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Communications Training

PACE plan

Your communications. The way that we communicate with the outside world. Think for a moment how you do that and how important that is. How robust are your communications? What would your life look like, if it was all taken from you? Once you realize that, you can look at your own situation and plan for the loss of some or most of your communications.

The PACE acronym is a great way to remember your communications plan. Let me explain: PACE is an acronym for Primary, Alternate, Contingency, and Emergency. Whenever communications between two parties are important, that line of communications will progress through those four stages until communications are reestablished. PACE is how we designate the order in which the parties move through available communications systems until contact can be established between the two parties.

Just how critical the line of communications is between those two parties will dictate how many steps are used. Ideally each method will be completely separate and independent of the other systems of communication. As an example, let’s look at a sample of communications between two parties:

  • Primary: This is the primary means that contact is made. It is monitored continuously. In our example, we know that the two parties constantly carry cell phones, so they have chosen to primarily communicate using cell phones to send text messages and/or phone calls.
  • Alternate: This is a secondary means of communication that is monitored nearly continuously. It uses, but does not require, cell phones. In this case, our two parties use email sent over the Internet.
  • Contingency: This method will not be as fast, easy, or convenient as the first two methods, but is capable of accomplishing the task. The parties rarely monitor this method. In this case, our two parties have agreed that they will reach each other by using radios. They have also agreed upon a channel/frequency plan that will be used to communicate.
  • Emergency: This is a method of reestablishing contact of last resort and typically has significant delays, costs, and/or impacts. Often only monitored when the other means fail. In the case of our two individuals, they have agreed to communicate by means of messages that will be left with at known trusted location (think geo caching, or a dead drop) A message might read: “Hey Skunk: I’m doing well. I will be at drop 6 in three days. Meet me in three days by arriving at point Chevy and calling on Channel Green. Booger sends”

Make sure that you have a way to reach those important to you. Make sure those communication paths are redundant. Make sure that they are secure. The time to plan is now. Hat tip to Aesop for the post idea.

Categories
Communications

Communications idiocy

Russel G., in response to this morning’s training video pointed to this video.

Now let me explain why the guy in this video is a tool.

His warnings are silly. He says that communications are useless because reasons. He then lists five of them. Let me explain why this guy is a clueless idiot:

1 The number one reason for not having communications, according to this idiot, is that you don’t have other preps taken care of. “You ain’t got a well. What if utilities go down because the Russians hacked it?” A radio won’t help you because you and none of your buddies have any preps except radios, gold coins, and ammo. Is this guy new to prepping? Does he think that he is the first guy to think of the five basics? (Food, Shelter, Weapons, Communications, Water)

2 No matter how much comms gear you have, there will be no one to talk to. Well the same would go for owning guns, or any other prep. Guess what? For about $350, you can buy ten BAOFENG radios, the programming cable, and the software. Now you have ten people to talk to.

3 He says radios don’t work because the people who own these radios are too stupid to know how to use them, or have the software to program their radios.

4 In point 4, he claims that they will RDF your radio, match it to the cell phone you are carrying, track that for weeks, then use that to raid 47 of your compatriots at once.

  • This is dumb as well. See 5a and 5b, below. Even if they started doing this, imagine the fun that could be had with a couple of decoy radios planted in the cars, homes, or office buildings of random targets.

5 In this point, he imagines a situation where a person keys up the mic on his VHF radio, an RDF unit locates it, then directs massive firepower on to the transmitter’s location. There are multiple problems with this scenario.

a. If you are using the UV-5R, why would you use a special frequency out in the middle of nowhere, where the OPFOR would be certain it was a target? The strength of the little guy in assymetric warfare is that he can blend into the background. Why stay in the woods when you can stay in the middle of town and use a GMRS or baby monitor frequencies? Do you see them flattening an entire grid square in the middle of Atlanta because they detected one of several million GMRS radios transmitting?

b. VHF is line of sight, and this is low power we are talking about. Thanks to physics, in order for ANY force to reliably RDF on it, they have to be within a few miles. Each RDF unit would only be able to detect in an area of about 30 square miles. Now imagine trying to cover the state of say, Tennessee with an RDF unit every 30 square miles. 24x7x365. How manpower intensive is that? Couple that with the billions of radio transmitters there are out there, and you see the scope of the problem in the enemy telling the difference between the sheep and the goats.

c. Even if they started doing this, imagine the fun that could be had with a decoy transmitter placed next to something the rebels want to destroy. A water plant, some power transmission lines, or a dam. It’s like having the enemy supply your artillery and demolitions for you.

The biggest threat isn’t RDF. It isn’t that you will have no one to talk to. In fact, the biggest threat is none of the things he mentioned. The biggest threat is that one of the people in your communications network has been compromised and is actually an informer. That is true even if you don’t have radios.

His entire video is just a variation of “you can’t fight the government because they have F-15s and nukes and you don’t.”

Categories
Communications

Radio Training

You have all taken my advice and gotten your HAM radio license, right? A technician license is easy to get. A 2 meter handheld radio can reach several kilometers and costs less than $50. Start thinking about communications methods that don’t include the Internet.

Assuming that you have already gotten that license and a radio, here is a 20 minute lesson on how to use the Baofeng UV-5R handheld radio.

Categories
Communications

HAM radio

A woman in North Central Florida has demanded that a HAM radio operator in her neighborhood stop using his equipment because it is interfering with her insulin pump.

This is bullshit. According to the FCC database, the HAM operator in question has a callsign of WB9UYK. He lives at 8546 SW 79th Ave, and has since June of 2019. The woman who is complaining lives at 8566 SW 79th. Ave, according to voter records. Using Google maps, the two houses are 74 feet apart, at their closest.

If I were the HAM operator, I would demand an engineer’s assessment showing that MY equipment was the cause of the interference. There is a Reddit thread on this one. Greybeard: if you see this, what do you think?

EDIT: There is also a thread on QRZ.

Categories
Me Prepping

Thank you to me

There are so many times that I see news that disheartens me. I see our nation dying before my eyes. It saddens me that there are so many signs of what is coming. I truly love this nation and the ideals that it was supposed to stand for. To watch it fall to the communists is tragic. It is easy to allow this to get to you, but I also know that things will get worse. Much worse. This post is a message to future me, and I hope it resonates with others.

I, future me, want to thank past me. Thank you for continuing to prepare for what has yet to come, for keeping at it day after day, even when it was difficult. No matter how dark and disheartening things were, the dark days to come will be so much better because you were prepared.

This nation will continue to fall apart, and things that you cannot even imagine will come to pass. Have the courage and the foresight to keep preparing, and know that you are not alone.

Categories
Communications Silence the opposition War on the Right

Communications

Earlier today, there was a story that broke about the Biden Administration, with their corporate partners in a Mussolini style fascist agreement, shutting down the public square by silencing SMS messages that are contrary to Big Brother’s message.

This isn’t the first time that these conspirators have silenced opposition:

It is difficult to fight and resist oppression if you cannot communicate. You also don’t want the secret police rolling you up too easily. When the DOJ was conspiring to overthrow Trump, they were well aware of the NSA’s capabilities, yet they chose to communicate with each other through HAM radios to coordinate this effort, even though such use was in violation of Federal law.

It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. The National Security Agency (NSA) picks up and records almost all electronic communications, thereby effectively wiretapping telephone conversations, email, and practically everything else we send out electronically. What the NSA doesn’t get, their partners in social media and at Google do.

The wife of a Deputy Director of the DOJ was coordinating this attempted coup, and would be well aware of the NSA’s capabilities. There are many technical reasons why spying on HAM radio would be a nearly impossible task. Just by using the frequencies and methods permitted to a person with a Technician license, there are thousands of available channels. Toss in the various modes like Digital, SSB, USB, AM, FM, CW, etc., and then consider that the higher frequencies are short range and would require hundreds of listening stations in every state, and it becomes a very difficult proposition to monitor HAM radio.

Insert basic tradecraft where a message is inserted into an innocent sounding conversation, and there is no practical way to shut down or monitor communications. It also becomes impossible to monitor a quick message through traffic analysis, if the operators do not identify, the conversation is short, and the transmitters mobile.

The coup plotters know this, and this is why they chose to communicate that way. This is how the pros do it.

A technician license is easy to get. A 2 meter handheld radio can reach several kilometers and costs less than $50. Start thinking about communications methods that don’t include the Internet.

Don’t you see that things are only going to get worse? There is no voting out of this, and no one is coming to save you. Time is short, and preparations need to be rushed to completion.

Categories
economics Prepping

About Ammo Prices

There are many who claim that Cheaper Than Dirt, along with other retailers of ammo, are price gouging. I disagree. This is simple supply and demand at work. There is even an old joke about it:

A woman pulls into a gas station and tells the clerk “I can’t believe that you are selling gas for $4 a gallon! That’s price gouging! Why, the station down the street is selling gas for only $2 a gallon!”
The clerk replies, “So why don’t you go get your gas there?”
The woman says, “They are out of gas.”
The clerk then replies, “Ha! When I am out of gas, I sell it for $1 a gallon!”

Let’s say that you are a dealer who normally buys ammo at $4 a box and sells for $8. The massive demand hits, and all 1,000 boxes of your ammo quickly sells out. You have 700 customers demanding more.

You call suppliers, and they have a limited supply. He tells you that he has 500 boxes, but they tell you that they will only sell you 50. If there was a rule about only selling for $8 a box, the story would end here with 650 of your customers having to look elsewhere for ammo.

Or you can offer your supplier $8 a box for all 500 of the boxes he has in his inventory. So you make the offer and put the 500 boxes up for sale at $12 a box. Those 500 sell out at that price, and now because of the shortage, you have 500 more customers in a panic who are willing to pay more, but you don’t have any more.

So you get creative and begin calling around, offering distributors $10 a box for any ammo they have. There isn’t any. The suppliers begin calling the factory, offering double the normal wholesale price for any ammo they can get. The factory begins paying their workers overtime, because the added price means that they can now afford the increased cost of production.

Now the wholesalers have gotten more ammo, but the wholesale price is now $12 a box. You pay it, and put it up for sale to your customers at $16 a box.

Sooner or later, one of two things will happen:
The high prices will cause more manufacturers to enter the game, which will increase supply, or demand will decrease. Once the supply/demand curve is reduced, the prices will decrease.

This isn’t gouging, this is how free markets work. If you don’t have enough guns or ammo right now, that is entirely YOUR fault. It isn’t as though the repeated gun and ammo shortages of the past weren’t a warning. If you failed to heed that warning and are left unprepared because you spent your money on other things, that is on you.

I saw a guy in my LGS wearing a USMC ballcap. He told me he was buying his first AR because, “I don’t know how much longer they will be legal.” So he waited until AFTER the inauguration of a gun hating Democrat to buy his first AR? I would argue that he DESERVED to pay $2K for one as a fine for being stupid.

RKguns has no lowers.

Every PSA lower is either out of stock, or more than $100. At one point last year, they were selling for less than half that.

Brownells has ONE lower in stock for less than $150. (at $136, it’s no bargain.) The rest are out of stock, or are more expensive.


Categories
Communications

Code cards

As a follow up to my communication frequencies post, a continuation of my communication series:

The conspirators who were responsible for the Fusion GPS dossier and wiretapping of the NYC election headquarters of Trump’s campaign were using HAM radios to communicate and coordinate this effort, in violation of Federal law. No one at the FCC cared.

Then word came down that people involved in the January 6 Capitol incursion were using HAM radios, so the FCC decided to begin looking out for that. Because of this, any communications that we are conducting need to be encoded in such a way as to not appear to be a code.

The answer to that is in cryptonyms. Setting up a cryptonym system is easy. All it takes is to setup a set of codewords that can be used in a sentence.

People pick up pseudonyms that don’t sound like pseudonyms. Generating them is as easy as using a random name generator. Locations can also be generated. You can give a place a random person’s name. Actions can receive a random verb.

When you transmit, you can still use your callsign:

This is WX4 NNE. John Davidson, are you there? (John Davidson doesn’t exist. That name is a code word for an asset you want to send a message to)

Another station answers:

This is KK2 WXA. John is helping Karen Bartow this weekend with her tennis game. He said he would see you on Monday at the gym.

Now the asset “John Davidson” just told you that he met the asset “Karen Bartow” this weekend at the Walmart on 23rd street (code named tennis court) and would update you by Monday by leaving the information at the dead drop (code named “the gym”).

You get the point. Use your imagination.

Categories
Communications

Common Radio Freqs

In the event of a complete loss of communication, here are the channels that I will monitor/use. There is little to be lost by putting these out here, because a quick frequency scan by anyone who wants to listen will find them as soon as you transmit, anyway.

Citizen’s Band
Channel 9 | CB9 | 27.065 | AM | Channel 9
Channel 19 | CB19 | 27.1850 | AM | Channel 19
Channel 22 | CB22 | 27.2250 | AM | Channel 22

FRS Channels
BAND| CHANNEL |FREQUENCY MHZ | MODE| ALPHA TAG
UHF |FRS 1 ===| 462.5625 | FM | FOX 1
UHF |FRS 2 ===| 462.5875 | FM | FOX 2
UHF |FRS 3 ===| 462.6125 | FM | FOX 3
GMRS
BAND| CHANNEL |FREQUENCY MHZ | MODE| ALPHA TAG
UHF |GMRS 15==| 462.5500 | FM | GANG 1
UHF |GMRS 16==| 462.5750 | FM | GANG 2
UHF |GMRS 17==| 462.6000 | FM | GANG 3
MARINE
VHF |MARINE 3 | 156.1500 | FM | BASIC 3
VHF |MARINE 72| 156.6250 | FM | BASIC 7

MURS Channels
BAND| CHANNEL |FREQUENCY MHZ | MODE| APLHA TAG
VHF |MURS 3 ==| 151.9400 | FM | MUSIC 3
VHF |MURS 4 ==| 154.5700 | FM | MUSIC 4
VHF |MURS 5 ==| 154.6000 | FM | MUSIC 5

HAM VHF/UHF BANDS
BAND| CHANNEL |FREQUENCY MHZ | MODE| APLHA TAG
2 METER |”652” | 146.520 | FM SIMPLEX | SIX FIVE TWO*
2 METER |RED | 147.250 | FM SIMPLEX | RED
2 METER |PURPLE| 144.850 | FM SIMPLEX | PURPLE
70 cm |GREEN | 424.250 | FM SIMPLEX | GREEN
70 cm | BLUE | 432.350 | FM SIMPLEX | BLUE
70 cm | 600 | 446.000 | FM SIMPLEX | SIX HUNDRED*

*Channels “600” at 446.000mHz and “652” at 146.5200 mHz are both channels commonly monitored by amateur radio operators.