Pennsylvania Zombie Response Team
Communications - Printable Version

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Communications - MJFletcher - 01-09-2009

When Z-Day comes, we're going to need a way to keep in contact with each other once the internet, telephone, and cellular services start to go down, which they most assuredly will. When that happens we're going to need more than smoke signals, radios will be a must. Handheld walkies will be fine for short range communications (car to car, patroling perimeter, etc), but medium to long range is going to need a bit more. CB and Ham/Amateur radio will be extremely useful for that. CBs are pretty much limited to medium range (barring exceptions like atmostpheric skip cycle or seriously jacked up rigs) but hams can cover everything from short to long range and even international with repeaters and satellite uplinks (which can be powered from generators).

I've already got a CB in my van and am planning to get my technician class HAM license to get started there. Anyone else out there on the CB or already into HAM?


Re: Communications - nepawolf - 01-09-2009

I have a cb in my truck already, but looking into ham to add that in there too.


Re: Communications - jmiro - 01-09-2009

Not to highjack this but I see alot of the little walkie talkie two packs out there. I am not looking for ones that break the bank. THoughts.


Re: Communications - MJFletcher - 01-09-2009

jmiro Wrote:Not to highjack this but I see alot of the little walkie talkie two packs out there. I am not looking for ones that break the bank. THoughts.

Like I said in my first post, walkies are good for short range but even the ones that advertise as having 30 mile range fall far short of that and have problems dealing with trees, buildings, hills, etc. For car to car in a convoy, person to person to tower on perimeter patrols, and other such walkies are ideal because they're short range, but outside that they're out of their element.


Re: Communications - 4XLT - 01-12-2009

i'm atruck driver so i have a couple of CB's and have in the past thought about HAM radio but unless you are at a base unit the mobile ones are expensive but should be in everyones plans to purchase at some point i think they have a CB/HAM deal but not sure its been a while since i looked into such things, i will check them out the next time i am at the truck stop

ETA: great idea for a post we should all be able to communicate and be able to join our forces if needed ....


Re: Communications - MJFletcher - 01-12-2009

4XLT Wrote:i'm atruck driver so i have a couple of CB's and have in the past thought about HAM radio but unless you are at a base unit the mobile ones are expensive but should be in everyones plans to purchase at some point i think they have a CB/HAM deal but not sure its been a while since i looked into such things, i will check them out the next time i am at the truck stop

ETA: great idea for a post we should all be able to communicate and be able to join our forces if needed ....

Thats why I made it, Nepa and I were discussing it in the chat and figured it would be a good idea to post it.

HAM radios can be tuned to the frequencies the CB channels use, but that requires that either you know EXACTLY what frequency each channel is using, or you program them into the HAMs presets for quick access. I'd rather have one of each so I can save the presets for other frequencies (IE: ZRT Sector command posts is 7 frequencies right there, frequencies of known friendly survivor compounds could easily count in the hundreds, etc etc)

At a compound, multiple base stations would be a good setup. Different antenna types have different Rx/Tx capabilities, so we'd want to be able to harness that
ie:
omnidirectional antennas for general use and communicating with mobile users
beam antennas for straight line transmission when communicating with fixed locations
multi-frequency antennas for scanning a broad range of transmissions including the frequencies used by handheld walkies that passing survivor groups may be using


Re: Communications - nepawolf - 01-13-2009

Should we have a default CB channel as it seems that that will be the most common source of communication? I know at least here in NEPA, almost all channels are pretty calm, but I would imagine during the zombiepocolypse that would change.


Re: Communications - 4XLT - 01-13-2009

we could use our sector number for the CB channel , so we would be channel 6...

this is a low channel and not used often normally so would be perfect,, just to let you know the main country wide channel for truckers is 19 , so if something were happening you could switch to channel 19 an dfind out what roads are blocked,clear etc ...

others used by truckers often are 17 and 21


Re: Communications - MJFletcher - 01-13-2009

Sector for CB channel sounds like a plan.

Trivia: 19 is (as per the FCC) the travelers information channel which is why truckers use it. 17/21 is common to avoid bleedover from neighboring channels (frequencies are real closely spaced so it happens commonly) when having longer conversations (its considered rude to tie up a channel for extended periods of time).

I learned something at work today about the walkies we use which will be useful knowledge to us. They're mil spec, in clear areas they'll go 5 miles, cities 2 miles, and they'll work in a building up to 10 stories though there may be static/interference depending on the construction of the building. So even mil spec isn't going to give alot of range with walkies. Definitely good for short range only.


Re: Communications - nepawolf - 01-14-2009

I think if we could set a preset cb channel it could help for when migrating to another sector. The only issue would be anyone using a tuned up radio could clutter other sectors with chatter not related to their current task at hand.