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My Commo Box
#1
Im still working on this as well.

I do not recall the Brand of the Box but its 20" long
   

I am able to fit four radios in to it with antennas and gear..
   

   
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#2
Photo 
Looks good AbleSentry.
I have, well, I guess 3.
First is an IC-7200 and tuner in a pelican case, with battery, and solar controller.  This is WAYYYY to heavy to haul, but can be hooked up at home and run completely off solar panel or panels I can put up in my back yard--of course the case is water tight.

[Image: DSCF1498_zpscfc62da5.jpg?1452691014378&1...2691024882]
[Image: DSCF1499_zps5623a7af.jpg?1452691014381&1...2691024886]

The next one is an FT-857D in a sealed box. This also has battery and solar controlled in it (as well as tuner), it is light enough that I can grab and go.  Not going to be camping, but I can throw it in the back of the car and go.  It has a coiled up end fed antenna in the box, and has the capability of running off of a car battery as well.

[Image: DSCF1502_zps957ea1c4.jpg?1452691014365&1...2691024864]
[Image: DSCF1508_zps378c4e55.jpg?1452691014355&1...2691024850]

[Image: DSCF1511_zpsc5276cf0.jpg?1452691014352&1...2691024847]

Finally, should I need to go on foot, I have a Clansman PRC-320 all set, I can grab a Jackite pole and some powerfilm solar panels that are about the size of a 30 round mag and off I can go--also have a hand crank generator that is part of the kit.
[Image: DSCF1514_zpsa2a1be9d.jpg?1452691014342&1...2691024835]
[Image: DSCF1513_zpsf3015b54.jpg?1452691014339&1...2691024831]
This is it in the backpack it stays in with a battery:
[Image: DSCF1512_zps6a1d926e.jpg?1452691014345&1...2691024839]
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#3
Man, I feel like a piker looking at those comm boxes. I have HTs, a mobile for my new truck and a base station I haven't hooked up yet. Guess I should try and put something together.
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#4
Na, I get obsessed with things, and then have to max them out.
What base station you got?
Trouble (as I see it) with an HT is, if the SHTF I do not expect there to be electricity. Since UHF and VHF depends on repeaters to get out beyond any significant distance, if you want to contact someone to find out what is going on, you have to get past at least regional. Than means you have to get HF with a decent antenna. A NVIS would be best, but that works best at 160 or at least 80 meters (the antenna is too dang long to fool with when you are talking portable or putting it up after a disaster), so 20 or 40 meters seem best. I only run on about 25 to 30 watts (even though the kits can put out 100) because that is what I will probably use to keep battery drain down, and I can still talk around the world (and to other states no problem). Close in, not so great as it is too close to skip, but hey they would be in the disaster as well, so they would likely be as clueless as I was as to what was really going on.
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#5
Quote:Posted by Dr. Dickie
Na, I get obsessed with things, and then have to max them out.
What base station you got?
Trouble (as I see it) with an HT is, if the SHTF I do not expect there to be electricity. Since UHF and VHF depends on repeaters to get out beyond any significant distance, if you want to contact someone to find out what is going on, you have to get past at least regional. Than means you have to get HF with a decent antenna. A NVIS would be best, but that works best at 160 or at least 80 meters (the antenna is too dang long to fool with when you are talking portable or putting it up after a disaster), so 20 or 40 meters seem best. I only run on about 25 to 30 watts (even though the kits can put out 100) because that is what I will probably use to keep battery drain down, and I can still talk around the world (and to other states no problem). Close in, not so great as it is too close to skip, but hey they would be in the disaster as well, so they would likely be as clueless as I was as to what was really going on.

Just because there might not be electricity, does not make the HT's useless. Certainly being able to hear whats going on in other places is important. Being able to communicate with those beyond 5-6 miles (in reference to hand held's) and beyond 15-20 miles (in reference to mobile radios) is important.
I do have three mobile radios, Yaesu 2800, Yaesu 8800 and Yaesu 8900 which is also 10 Meter. I still have yet to play with the 10 meter band. But its my understanding that it can make distances of the half the country in some cases.
There is also satellite communications as well. Again I have not played with and do not fully understand the inner workings of it.

If I can speculate for a moment, and I'm not positive of the result. If power were out for a large area, I think it would be theoretically possible for HT's to communicate better and with a little more distance. They would not have the electrical interference they do while the power is on.
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#6
(01-15-2016, 04:01 PM)AbleSentry Wrote:
Quote:Posted by Dr. Dickie
Na, I get obsessed with things, and then have to max them out.
What base station you got?
Trouble (as I see it) with an HT is, if the SHTF I do not expect there to be electricity. Since UHF and VHF depends on repeaters to get out beyond any significant distance, if you want to contact someone to find out what is going on, you have to get past at least regional. Than means you have to get HF with a decent antenna. A NVIS would be best, but that works best at 160 or at least 80 meters (the antenna is too dang long to fool with when you are talking portable or putting it up after a disaster), so 20 or 40 meters seem best. I only run on about 25 to 30 watts (even though the kits can put out 100) because that is what I will probably use to keep battery drain down, and I can still talk around the world (and to other states no problem). Close in, not so great as it is too close to skip, but hey they would be in the disaster as well, so they would likely be as clueless as I was as to what was really going on.

Just because there might not be electricity, does not make the HT's useless. Certainly being able to hear whats going on in other places is important. Being able to communicate with those beyond 5-6 miles (in reference to hand held's) and beyond 15-20 miles (in reference to mobile radios) is important.
I do have three mobile radios, Yaesu 2800, Yaesu 8800 and Yaesu 8900 which is also 10 Meter. I still have yet to play with the 10 meter band. But its my understanding that it can make distances of the half the country in some cases.
There is also satellite communications as well. Again I have not played with and do not fully understand the inner workings of it.

If I can speculate for a moment, and I'm not positive of the result. If power were out for a large area, I think it would be theoretically possible for HT's to communicate better and with a little more distance. They would not have the electrical interference they do while the power is on.


A little more distance. Yes, you might go from 2-3 miles to 5-6 miles. Local electrical interference should not be the primary cause of the short distance for hand helds, it is power (5 watts) NO antenna to speak of (basically a dummy load radiator) and ground clutter, no ionosphereic skip or ground wave propagation to speak of).
Sure Mobile in car will get out farther (more power, better antenna), but I would not expect much more than 5 miles or so from handheld, even with no other power interference (unless you are on a mountain top or something).  Line of sight, and just too much ground clutter to get far--on the water or standing in the middle of a huge field you can probably get 10 miles before line of sight kills you, but what disaster is not regional at least? Tornado? Then I don't think emergency comms are so critical, as the disaster is local enough that help in coming in fast.
You could hook your handheld to a better antenna at home (or set up portable), and that would get you out farther but then what is the point of a handheld? Most hand helds are UHF/VHF (2 meter, 70 cm band), so its not just the power restriction on the hand held, the higher the frequency, the more line of sight you have.  Satellite, sure (UHF, VHF there), but limited time frame as satellite passes overhead, need more power than a handheld, special antenna (even though that is dead easy to make) way to difficult to mess with in an emergency situation--you have to track the satellite, etc. If the SHTF, you want it simple, throw out a panel, flip the switch and start talking.
Yep, 10 meters, with the right antenna gives you the world (I have talked to all of South America and Europe on 10 meters).  But with a Handy talky (no antenna to speak of again) and 4-5 watts that is a challenge ( QRP with a good antenna is a challenge, with no antenna forget it. Try it now, add QRP to the end of your call, folks will give you preference. 
Antenna trumps watts, but being able to get up to about 20 watts makes a HUGE difference (again, in HF, UHF/VHF even with more watts are killed by line of sight and poor skip capabilities).  After about 20 or 30 watts, there are much smaller gains going up to 100 watts, and even smaller gains per watts beyond that--but gains none the less, just smaller steps per watt. Handy talky are great for local stuff, very close comms, or with a repeater you can get local around the town.  If the electricity is still on to make the repeaters work, you don't have an emergency (other than a personal one), you have an inconvenience. 
CB is 11 meters, so it can skip and get out there as well.  But the power puts to kibash on its ability.  Good home base antenna and some illegal power and you are getting out. But again, you will find a lot more folks on the 20-80 meter band, and will get a lot more info legally in HAM. Even if you can get out beyond 5 miles with a handy talky, it also comes down to others as well.  Again, most UHF/VHF (2 meter and 70 cm) stuff is local, and repeaters. If you are looking to make contact (except possibly local disaster folks in your AO--THEY may be using 2 meters or 70 cm for local comms, and emergency stuff), you would want to step up to at least 10 meters, 20 being better during the day--20 watts. Go to 40 or 80 meters, and in the evening the US and the world is yours for 20 watts or so.
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#7
Took one of my small comm packs with me to the mountains of VA this past week.... about 1 mile off Skyline Dr , N of Charlottesville.

It consists of 2 small single band CW radios ( designed by Dave Benson called DSW 20 /40) , 40m and 20m .   Both put out about 5 w anywhere on the entire ham band for each. ( can copy ssb too ). Ear buds and paddle key. 30/60+ ft of  30g teflon coated wire.  Power pack is a li-ion 10ahr pack from an radio control hobby shop. I can prob go at least a week on the pack as RX comes in at 20ma and TX is approx 1a (with normal tx-rx ratio) Total weight about 3 lbs

Threw up a 30g wire for antenna via bolo method and was on the air in about 15 mins from start. ( trick here is to use elec tape on wire end with a rock so when the rock gets stuck in tree taking down (and it will) a good pull pulls the wire out ).

In matter of a couple hours made about 30 contacts with an end fed wire for the 20m band, later I put out a wire about 6-7 ft above the ground and worked some local stations with ( sort of NVIS ) on 40m... over mountain to west side.

PS after some of those prev listed packs you'll need a cart to carry them along...  CW does cut down on the rig size, biggest weight is usu battery

pic of one of the two radios with paddle( 4x5");
[Image: DSWIIWMP_small.JPG]
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#8
I've got a mixture. I personally don't care about getting long distance contacts for SHTF, I want to know what's happening locally. Having said that, I've got a Yaesu 817 which will do pretty much everything. I've got all of the civ frequencies programmed in (CB, FRS, GMRS, BB, Marine) and I have one of the auto tuners for it.

I bought a roll up UHF/VHF antenna (forget who makes it, I can look it up) that I connected to my 7R handheld when I was in the mountains of GA.. threw it up in a tree and was able to hit a repeater 15+ miles away on VHF.

I know that the 817 is low power, but for HF, you don't need much and for anything above HF, I don't care about distance. It's also low power draw, has an internal battery pack, can run on 12v external.. (I've got a variety of batteries/solar/AGM options)

side note, don't forget the power of D cell batteries. A D cell battery has about 12 amp hours. An 8 D cell battery holder costs about $5 and 8 D cells cost about $10. So that, plus some wiring and you have a 12v 12AH battery pack for $20. Yeah, it's not rechargeable, but it's light weight and easy to 'refill' You could power a mobile rig off it on low power, or run an Handheld through the external DC input..
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