I have been a Ham Radio Operator “Ham” starting when I was eight years old, and I am now 76, so I have been talking into microphones and communing for a long time. So why Radio and especially Radio Communications? The last first thing that would drive me crazy during these times would not know where my family was and how to communicate with them. In the coming year (s) we may have to actually worry about that scenario. During 911 and the twin tower destruction, communication became problematic. Cell towers were jammed with callers. People were very worried about family an friends. It was mayhem for sure.
Why you can’t count on your cell phone in bad times
I love my cell phone. I use to communicate, calculate and even run my small business. Having email and text almost instantly with almost anyone on the planet is wonderful. There are a few things that is needed to successfully make a cell phone call or get an email or do most anything with it. These are:
- Electricity or power for you and the power running the cell tower
- Cell Tower must be in range of your little low power cell phone (Note: it’s a transmitter and receiver)
- Your cell’s battery must be charged
- The internet must be up and working in your home, or at the cell tower
If you think about it, that’s a large amount of things that must be available and working to get that text or make a call. If for some reason your locality, city, state or the whole country had a grid down problem, then you cell becomes just a bunch of silicon semiconductors wrapped in plastic. It would be useless.
This blog is all about the Grand Solar Minimum and global food loss and ultimately global mayhem and chaos. It is during these periods that communications will be especially important.
Basic Radio Communications
So lets talk about basic radio communications. It’s not rocket science. So come along with me and learn a few things.
You talk the other person (Bob) listens. You (Joe) listen and the other person talks. You and the other person transmit and listen on the same frequency so you can’t talk or listen at the same time. This is the way most radios are set up. A radio is not a cell phone.
A Cell System is a duplex system where you can talk and hear at the same time. If the cell tower is not working, then your cell phone is a worthless piece of junk. Also the internet must be working as it keeps track of what tower you are using and will switch you from tower to tower as you move about. I don’t expect the internet or cell towers to be working during the deep days of the GSM.
A repeater is a powerful radio transmitter and receiver. They are usually put on towers or high buildings ( The antenna anyway). Repeaters allow some one with a low power radio to talk over long distances. Here is how it works:
The repeater uses two frequencies. One that it transmits on and one that it receives on.
The repeater can receive and transmit at the same time. When a user uses the repeater, the user will transmit on the repeaters receiving frequency and the repeater will re-transmit on the repeaters transmit frequency. All the other users are listening to the repeaters transmit frequency as you transmit (talk).
A repeater user can only do 1 thing at a time – Transmit (Uses the repeater) or receives (Listens to the repeater. If the repeater is down, then the system will not work. This type of system is used by most city and state agencies – Also Ham Radio Operators.
How far can you talk?
You just asked the number one question asked by people just getting started using a radio. The distance is determined by a bunch of different things. For most communications you will be doing (VHF and UHF) radios and will be line of sight. You can transmit further than line of sight by increasing the power of the transmitter on both ends, or clime a tree or go to the top of a tall building which increases the line of sight. Most portable radios are the Handy Talkie (HT) type that are low power and have very small antennas. In a radio system there can be a Base station. Usually a base station has a more powerful transmitter and it’s receiver is connected to a higher gain antenna that may be higher in the air. This allows the base station to talk with lower power HTs.
Most communications that use VHF or UHF frequencies are vertical polarized, The example above is a vertical system. Note: VHF = around 150 MHz and UHF = around 450 MHz.
Well that’s it for now. I can assure you I will be writing MUCH more on radio and radio communications, so come back soon. Communications will be essential during the coming cool and icy times ahead. Keep in touch!
Contact me below. Ill get back ASAP.