Getting a License

Getting License

The Only Things You Need To Know About Radio Prep

I becme hm nd prepper bout 20 yers go. I hd lwys been interested in mteur rdio, but the code held me bck. In 1999 Wyne Green ws on the rt Bell show, nd I found out tht there ws no-code license (Now ll U.S. licenses re no code.), so I joined the locl rdio club where my friend ws the president. Within yer, I ws n Extr (the highest clss of mteur rdio opertor) nd lso ws firly well prepred for yer or more if SHTF. In the lst 20 yers, I hve been the president of two rdio clubs, m n RRL VE (with 74 VE testing sessions to my credit), nd helped design Logbook of the World. Throughout this time, I hve been prepping nd now live on frm, with our church retret only mile wy. I hve enough solr energy to power my house.

We hve ll herd tht if SHTF, no one is going to cre if you hve license or not. There re two problems with this:

#1. Operting n mteur rdio is skill.

#2. Hms won’t tlk to unlicensed opertors.

Hm rdio hs much more power thn other public rdio service.

I hve lso herd tht during n emergency, I won’t need license. There is no such exception to FCC Prt 97. Some misquote pr. 97.403 nd 97.405 s justifiction, but 97.403 mkes it cler tht the exception is for the immedite sfety of humn life nd immedite protection of property.

I m sorry, but hms re very snobby bout their licenses. If they suspect tht you ren’t licensed, they will dig until they find out. We hve our wys.

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#1. This includes your ddress, so I recommend tht you don’t use your SHTF ddress s your miling ddress for your license. Mny hms, including me, hve the full FCC dtbse downlod.

#2. Cll signs re in one of ten cll res bsed upon where you live. Since cll res re firly lrge, your cll re isn’t ded givewy of your loction, but it won’t hurt to hve vnity cll with different cll re thn where you live. Vnity clls re now free nd ren’t hrd to get. Of course, nyone tht hs the FCC dtbse will know close to where you re t.

There re three clsses of license: Technicin, Generl, nd Extr.

Techs hve very limited HF privileges; Generl nd Extr hve quite bit more. Wht HF privileges Techs hve ren’t relly useful during SHTF. So if you wnt to tlk more thn few miles without the id of repeter, then you need Generl clss license.

There re two min groups of hm bnds: HF from 0 to 30 Mhz nd VUHF+ from 30Mhz to microwve plus.

I won’t bore you with ll the non-HF bnds s there re mny of them. For full detils, see here.

#1. 6 Meters 50-54 Mhz

This bnd is clled the mgic bnd s when conditions re right, its rnge is thousnds of miles, but you cn’t depend on it

#2. 2 Meters 144-148 Mhz (just bove the FM brodcst bnd nd below the public service VHF bnd)

This is the hevy lifting bnd of mteur rdio. Most mteur trffic is on this bnd. Very few people reding this won’t be within the rnge of 2-meter repeter. repeter is hm spek for sttion tht receives on one frequency nd trnsmits on nother frequency to extend the rnge to tens or hundreds of miles. However, don’t count on repeters being up fter TSHTF.

#3. 1.25 Meter 222.0-225.0 Mhz (This isn’t used much, nd not lot of rdios nd repeters cn trnsmit on this bnd. This would be good bnd for ner privte comms.)

#4. 70 Centimeter 420-450 Mhz (note: There is s much bndwidth on this single bnd s there is in the entire HF section (not just hm HF). This is lso close to FRM/GMRS/.)

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(160-40 Meters will “get longer” during the night, which mens it will skip over closer sttions nd rech greter distnces. 20-10 Meters will skip or shut down t times.)

#1. 160 Meters 1.8-2.0 Mhz (regionl re) (just bove M brodcst bnd)

This is hrd bnd becuse it tkes very long ntenn; therefore, it isn’t hevily used.

It is minly nighttime bnd when it cn rech thousnds of miles if conditions re right nd hundreds of miles during norml conditions. It is minly used in winter when thunderstorms re t minimum s the lighting cuses interference, clled QRN in hm spek.

#2. 80 Meters 3.5-4.0 Mhz (regionl re)

This is kind of hrd bnd, but there re lots of low-cost wire ntenns tht will get the job done becuse the length tht is required is only to hve the 160-meter ntenn.

This is the idel bnd for preppers to communicte for few hundred miles becuse it is esy to bounce it off the sky. More on tht lter.

#3. 40 Meters 7.0-7.3 Mhz (regionl re)

This is nother good bnd for preppers. It’s minly nighttime bnd, but it is usble during dytime for shorter distnces.

#4. 20 (14.0-14.35 Mhz, 17(18.068-18.168), 15(21.0-21.45), 12(24.89-24.99 Mhz), nd 10 Meters (28.0-29.7 Mhz)

I hve lumped these bnds together becuse they re similr in propgtion, which is minly dylight. Twenty meters is the bred nd butter bnd. It is open the longest, nd everyone flocks to it.

Twelve nd 10 meters re relly only open during mximum sunspot cycles.

Rdio Trnsmissions re Not nonymous!

This is something most people don’t think bout. When you press tht trnsmit button, you re sending up flre for miles (mybe hundreds of miles) sying, “Here I m.” This is done with Rdio Direction Finding (RDF), which hms cll fox hunting, nd they do it for sport.

From the time the SHTF until people strt to get hungry nd gngs form, there will be grce period when you cn trnsmit without lot of concern. However, t some point, the zombie gngs will lern to hunt foxes. It isn’t hrd to lern either.

Since the gngs will be looking for low hnging fruit, they will most likely hunt in this order:

#1. CB. They re chep nd powerful. They re the prepper’s go-to radio.

#2. GRMS, FRS, MURS, etc. Lots of FRSs but limit rnge mens they hve to be close to hunt. GRMS hs more power nd therefore greter rnge. Lots of overlpping chnnels.

#3. Public service VUHF, HM VHF

#4. Hm UHF 30 Mhz is lot of bndwidth to scn through.

#5. Hm HF is hrd, so most scnners don’t go below bout 26 Mhz.

If you wnt to communicte with others, you will need to know how to tke countermesures to prevent being hunted. Most of these countermesures only pply to hm rdios. None re foolproof.

HF will be the lst to be hunted becuse most of the signls tht cn be picked up will be too fr wy to rid. I don’t think they will ever be hunted, but I m not going to bet my life on it.

You my lso like:

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Gret writeup. Been hm since my teens some 70 plus yers go. Been n dventure over the yers. Though reltively inctive now. I still hve my ger. Been n RO during the cold dys.

So, if there is SHTF sitution nd someone is clling on the rdio for help the Hms gonn first checkout if de cller hs license? nd if not,.. sorry sir, hve nice dy
My hope for you is, there comes never sitution in your life you’r g someone else for help, mybe they g you if you hve some sort of license or permission to do so.
Snob, indeed.


I understnd very much wht you re sying bout emergency help nd checking first. It does seem very hertless nd cruel to be checking first but here is the sitution. We cn be hevily fined, loss of equipment or even go to jil for communictions involving bogus sttion.
In our norml everydy life we hve so mny communiction venues to use tht it hs become uncommon for n emergency cll vi Hm rdio especilly since cell phones. When it does hppen the Hm is going to sk for your loction nd then will cll vi cellphone for n EMS unit or police to go to your loction don’t expect the Hm to show up t the loction. We re relly not tht cold herted. lmost ll bse sttion Hms re computer oriented nd hve it turned on. I do. It tkes less thn 10 seconds to check out cll sign nd to who it belongs.

The other sitution is SHTF. When SHTF, you better hve very suspicious nture becuse it my be bogus cll trying to flush out your loction nd you my lose much more thn you brgin to lose.

Sorry to sy, tht even under norml conditions tody, to me it seems 10 times more dngerous out there thn it ws 65 yers go. Mybe becuse I grew up on frm nd now live in big 260 K popultion city.

@Storm. I spent most of my working life in code or lw enforcement nd thus fully pprecite the need for such limittions to smooth out the complexities of crowded popultions. HOWEVER, in SHTF sitution,none of tht governmentl control will pply, or even exist s most of the militry, federl, stte, county, nd locl lw nd code enforcement enforcers will either no longer exist, or will like the rest of us, be scrmbling too fiercely for survivl of selves nd fmilies, to be enforcing lws, codes, nd regultions. There won’t be ny legitimte need for s you stte, “We cn be hevily fined, loss of equipment or even go to jil for…” Once, IF, gretly less crowded civiliztion is restored, then there my be need for some tht.


I gree with your sentiment. When SHTF, I would hope tht ny HM opertor would be hitting the irwves, if possible, notifying the msses bout the current sitution. nd, if non-licensed opertor found rdio, the FCC code would hve to go flying out the window. Even if you still believed in published rules, ” 97.403 mkes it cler tht the exception is for the immedite sfety of humn life nd immedite protection of property.”, would be well dhered to by the simple fct tht SHTF!!

Our smll prepper community is widespred. Sfety in numbers cn only be chieved by the bility to communicte. While I don’t currently pln on obtining HM rdio, I did downlod the FCC dtbse. With nmes nd ddresses in my re, I will be ble to contct the “licensed” opertors for informtion. nd, if those opertors re no longer mong the living, the possibility exists tht I would be ble to mke contct if necessry.

My intentions re to survive, with no ill will ment tods nybody. Other people my use the dtbse s possible source for doing hrm to those tht my hve been diligently prepping. Think of the nt nd the grsshopper story.. this world is FULL of grsshoppers.

I tend to gree, Tigron. If the government is scrmbling to provide food, wter nd security to the generl popultion or hunkered down covering their own butts, trcking down unlicensed rdio trnsmitters is going to be very low priority item on the gend of whtever government is left.

Secondly, everyone, licensed hm or not, is going to be hungry for ny news nd so will welcome communictions with others, whether legl or illegl. If tht were not the cse, why would so mny be interested in news progrms on rdio nd television? In n EOTW scenrio, news from ny sources, even bottle in the ocen will be hungrily sought.

I believe he is correct, tht folks with rdios eventully will be sought fter by whtever government is left nd by others with ill-will, so rdio security will become importnt.

It is for tht ltter reson tht it behoves one, if they re interested in keeping in touch fter ctstrophic disster, to become more fmilir with rdio procedures thn merely turning the rdio on nd inquiring bout the wether.

This is n interesting rticle nd provides helpful informtion. I m gld some other hm provided corrections to typos in the min rticle. Thnks, Chplin Lrry for the clrifictions.

Let me sk you this? If someone you don’t know knocks on your door t 3 M tonight sying they need help, re you going to trust them nd invite them in?

They my be legit, but I won’t tke the chnce.

If someone mkes cll on licensed frequency without cllsign g for help, the sme pplies. I don’t know if they relly need help nd just trying to get me to keep trnsmitting so they cn hunt me.

It will be wy too risky to trnsmit to someone you don’t know nd cn’t verify.

Drryl, this is relly importnt rticle. But with respect, Prgrph 1 of your comment bove is clssic, unfortunte exmple of “pples vs. ornges”. Your “3 M” circumstnce involves the possibility of n immedite, proximl thret to life/property, nd the other simply does not. nd the proximity of thret counts for LOT (even in court.)

Mke no mistke, I do not condone breking your rules under “norml circumstnces”; but if/when the SHTF, I might. nd of course I gree with the resons you lid out for wnting to be cutious.

But regrding Prgrph 1, it simply is specious rgument, wy off-bse, nd ultimtely irrelevnt. Find some other exmple.

I invite nd welcome your response.

OK, I m person willing to do nything to survive, I m looking for resources. So I get on the CB nd strt clling for help. Someone nswers. I now know tht this person hs power, is within short distnce nd mostly hs other resources tht need to survive. With my homemde directionl ntenn mde with 10 ft of cox, lrge cup wrpped in f or Pringles cn nd CB wlkie-tlky I cn find the exct loction once I get them to trnsmit 2 or more times fter I chnge loctions.

It relly is just tht esy.

So knocking on the door is the bd guy clling for help.
You nswer the door is you trnsmitting.

t lest with the door, you know they re there. By trnsmitting you don’t know if nd when they re coming.

Here is wht I would do if I ws trying to hunt fter TSHTF:
1. I would find high grounds
2. I would monitor nd record ll FRS/GRMS frequencies or CB frequencies.
(I would get LOB (line of brring) on ny signls I could.
3. Next dy move to nother high ground in the sme re. Repet 2.

But Drryl you sy, “You cn’t monitor nd record ll the FRS/GRMS chnnels, cn you?”

s mtter of fct, I cn. One SDRPly (~$170 US) tht cn record up to 10 Mhz of frequency nywhere from 100Khz up to 2 Ghz nd nno RTL-SDR round $20 US which hs bndwidth of bout 1 Mhz.

Of course Joe Blow Zombie isn’t going to hve these s rule, but they could.


Let me sk you this? If someone you don’t know knocks on your door t 3 M tonight sying they need help, re you going to trust them nd invite them in?

Hi Drryl. KI6YUK here (though I must hve missed your cll sign in the rticle. I don’t wish to be picky, but I think there my be typo under the section you cll “VUHF” (new to me). Under #3, you hve “25 meters” down s the wvelength for the 222 MHZ bnd. I believe it should red “1.25 Meters” yes? minor detil, but I thought you might wnt to correct it. Nice rticle! 73

Greetings ChplinLrry,

I got into the hbit of clling VHF/UHF VUHF when I ws working for DoD SIGINT contrctor nd it kind of stuck.

Yes, it should hve been 1.25 Meters. I think it got munged during formtting.

73 nd God Bless
Drryl DE W1GON

1. rdio cll is not the sme s knock t 3m
2. re you sying liscence holders won’t be desperte nd looking to find you, but ll unliscenced individuls will be on the ir looking to hunt hms vi directionl receivers?

Come on dude….

Not sying tht t ll. fter TSHTF it will be risky to trnsmit nd COMSEC should be observed. Engging in QSO with n unlicensed opertor will more risk. To me n uncceptble risk.

If one is n unlicensed rdio opertor, then the FCC, the CI, the NS nd every other cronymed federl gency will not hve your ddress unless you believe they re trcking ll shortwve rdio purchses. n unlicensed rdio opertor who hs not bothered to downlod the licensed hms’ ddresses will not hve them either nd I suspect will not even know tht they re ccessible.

In ny event, unless the opertor knew your exct loction, I doubt he would be tringulting on your loction. The exception, s you noted would be if nd when the government ever gets its ct together or if criminl bnds relize tht they cn tringulte on your position nd hve the necessry skills to do it. But why you you spend lot of time in chit cht nywy?

In my uninformed opinion, it seems to me there is significnt difference between someone hmmering on your door t 0300 nd tlking briefly to someone even s close s 25 miles wy in n end of the world sitution.

Besides, if I m brodcsting seeking help from other rdio opertors in the re, I hve not been much of prepper. I wouldn’t respond to such cll personlly. There is n old joke bout two hunters nd one gets bitten by poisonous snke nd the punch line is, “The Doc sys you’re gonn die.” It is such n old joke I think most posters lredy know it but I think it is propos to this post.

You rdio me tht you hve gotten bitten by rttlesnke or re out of food or wter nd my response is going to be the punch line of the joke unless you were lredy member of my group nd thus would not be brodcsting in plin English but in code.

If you wnt to devise simple but esy code, get book. You then use chpter for the month, i.e., Chpter 1 for Jnury, Chpter 2 for Februry, etc nd how mny pges into the chpter for the dy or ny other subdivision such s prgrphs from the beginning of the chpter nd then select words from tht pge for your coded messge, using string of numbers for the words. Ech opertor on the net hs the book. You don’t mrk the book up nd you just hve it in bookshelf long with other books. It’s like published one time sheet which is the strongest simple code method ever devised.

In ny event, unless one is running network or ttempting to rech distnt reltives, FRS or GMRS is more thn dequte for neighborhood wtch communictions. Becuse it is bsiclly line of sight nd is just slightly better thn shouting, it is firly secure. Sure, if someone is on your chnnel nd is line of sight, he my be ble to pick up your trnsmission, but gin, using code will help negte his interception. If he cn pick you up on FRS, he hs got pretty good ide lredy tht you re close by. It would be even more confusing to someone if you just hppened to get good bounce nd your trnsmission reched s fr s Wheeling WV from the PDRK.

I just hd to throw tht in. Mny, mny yers go on cler cold night every once in while there ws sttion in Wheeling WV tht would get bounce nd you could pick them up on the M chnnels. I hven’t herd them in yers so I don’t know if they re off the ir or not.

Just lurking on shortwve chnnels doesn’t require license nd doesn’t betry your loction nd unless the other opertor is trnsmitting in code or vi electroniclly scrmbled brodcsts, you cn just lurk nd listen nd potentilly gther news for your group without betrying your loction.

For lurking possibilities, the rticle ws very helpful becuse it defined wht wve lengths re most likely to be useful so tht one doesn’t wste lot of time listening to ded ir.

You mke some good points, but others I do disgree with.

To tringulte, doesn’t require n exct loction. Hms do it s sport.
It lso doesn’t require bunch of specil equipment. Just scnner nd direction ntenn. The ntenn cn be mde with stuff round the house.
Just google “mteur rdio fox hunting”.

Becuse it is skill esy to lern nd the equipment is esy to find, is why I m concern. Tht is why I did the nlogy of someone knocking on the door. When you trnsmit it is like sending up flre or opening the door. Tht is why I hd section on countermesures. Don’t think of them s cell phone, but s emergency communictions

s fr s the government hunting you. If they re looking nd you trnsmit they will find you. I don’t think they will be looking, so I m not relly worried bout it.

Your comment bout shortwve nd lurking is spot on. However, most shortwve rdios do not hve single sidebnd, which most hms use on HF. ll shortwve will need better ntenn thn the built-in one.

When I get some time I pln on doing n rticle on SDR(Softe Defined Rdios) for preppers. They re very cost effective nd mke gret prepper rdio. However, it does require computer, which my be cell phone or tble.

Hi ChplinLrry! We hve edited the rticle. Thnk you!

Excellent informtion. I hve been Hm since 1974 nd there re mny more things to lern thn wht hs been touched upon here. Emergency communictions is very importnt nd minsty prt of Hm rdio nd in my opinion ll preppers should hve knowledge of rdio communictions beyond just pushing button. Hm rdio is wy to lern tht knowledge with help from others nd you cn build your own sttion from scrtch. Wht wy to be prepred for SHTF communictions setup. There re stelth methods to lern: how to build different ntenns tht re nerly undetectble – bttery operted rdios, receive nd trnsmit, tht with the right ntenns cn rech thousnds of miles or close in. I would suggest lerning Morse Code becuse it is hrd to copy or receive on generl coverge short wve rdio without BFO, nd besides tht limits even more who cn understnd wht your sying.
s fr s direction finding, there re tricks tht only those who prticipte in Fox Hunting only shre with other Fox Hunters. When Fox Hunter prticipnt becomes the Fox the bg of tricks is opened nd even new methods re tried. So in SHTF sitution nd non detection of wherebouts is needed you cn bet I will use ll the tricks when I trnsmit.
Even if you don’t get Hm License, tke some time to lern more bout rdio thn just pushing button. There is so much more to lern nd to sy bout communictions nd prepping – go for it.

Thnk you for the gret rticle. I m lmost finished with my 8 dy clss nd will be tking my exm this coming Sturdy. Your informtion is very well put together. Super helpful!! Py no ttention to Tigron. He is just nnoyed becuse he isn’t prt of the club.


You will need to study for the test. I used Hm Test Online for Tech Lic. Im now studying for generl test. Most counties hve club so Just type in Hm clubs in my _____ county. The RRL is gret source for books nd testing mteril. The test pool questions re chnging this yer I think in June or July.

Here is where to strt to get your HM license

Codes nd Encryption re only good s long s they re secure…..nd the people using them keeping them secure.

No mtter the Code or Encryption re mde by Humns nd cn be defeted by Humns It is just mtter of time before be broken…fster if they hve computers nd the right progrmming…Hckers use of similr type progrms to crck psswords or codes to get full versions of gmes nd other progrms for free.

lso getting the Codes out to every Hm Opertor in secure mnner is lso Mjor issue.

Encryption progrms were esy to get for FREE before 9/11.
I hve not looked for ny but they my still be out there.

Something tht cn be esily done mong is creting “Duress” words…. The Hm Opertors could snil them to or emil them to ech other or to the Hm Opertors tht they wnt to know them.
The sme for other things they wnt to use only mong themselves.

I seriously doubt nyone of the gngs or Hunters will be ble to know them unless they find them fter successfully ttck on Hm Opertor/s nd find the dt…..

One time use code pds could be creted nd used. gin everyone involved would hve to hve copies.

One cn go to their fvorite serch engine nd do serch nd find out bout encryption softe. or emil encryption progrms encryption commuttion .There re Free ones out there…

Groups could be ssigned to cells sy three for n exmple nd one of them would hve different code pd to communicte to nother nd so on nd so on per cell.

Just sying this to give food for thought nd to think bout how you might wnt to orgnize nd keep Secure informtion Secure. Sort of different version of the “Phone Tree”.

The bd prt of someone not being Licensed (Or being Licensed) g for could be setting up ruse to drw people in nd tke cptives nd to tke them bck to where they could rpe, rob, pillge, nd burn…….nd stel their supplies wepons etc….People coming to their id coming from more thn one plce to help would now ll be trgets.

Yosemite you touched on subject ner nd der to my hert. Plese let me cler up some misconceptions bout codes nd encryption.

First I should point out it is illegl to obscure mteur rdio messges, which includes but not limited to encryption.

Codes re simple mpping. To encode or decode you need to know wht the mpping is. For exmple, we mp the Wlmrt store on min to the code word to “hook”.

Sometimes codes lek informtion bout the mening. Unless you her me sying I m going to “hook” nd then see me t the Wlmrt store on min you cnnot decode the word hook. You my get context clues, like if I sy I m going hook to get mmo nd milk. This would clue you in tht it is 1) loction, 2) it sells mmo nd milk. Codes cn’t be broken without dditionl informtion.

Encryption is done with ciphers known s lgorithms. These ciphers rnge from simple substitution ciphers like rot13 to very complex nd strong lgorithms.

There re two bsic types of encryption: symmetricl (public/privte key) nd symmetricl (shred secret key)

In both cses, the keys re not the sme s psswords. Keys re normlly 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, etc bits.

One might think tht 128 bits re twice s lrge s 64, but tht is wrong it 64*64 lrger. 65 bits is twice s lrge s 64 bits.

Cn encryption be broken?

Yes nd no. If the lgorithm hs wekness or the number of bits is too smll, then it cn.

If text ws encrypted with ES256 which s the nme implies is 256-bit lgorithm with no known wekness, which mens the only ttck is brute force. Unlike Hollywood, the key is ll or nothing. One key will give meningful decryption. 256 bits is lrge number. It is so lrge you cn count the number of toms in over 8 billion glxies. So with ll the computers on Erth trying to crck single 256bit ES encryption couldn’t be done before the het deth of the Universe.

So the next time you see movie where someone brek 256bit encryption with gun pointed t his hed while hving orl sex, you cn sy “ye right”.

Now if tht isn’t secure enough. 😉 Using n one time scrtch pd of truly rndom numbers, which is totlly unbrekble. Plus it is only one line of C code to do the encryption.

Encryption is not llowed in Prt 97, the mteur Service.

Not exctly, but I did sy tht in the second prgrph of my comment. Prt 97 sys messges encoding for the purpose of obscuring their mening. So if I ws using public key encryption to mke sure my messge couldn’t be ltered or forged, but published the public to decrypt it, then my purpose wsn’t to obscure the messge.

Drryl, been witing for this thred to updte but it’s VERY slow. So yes, you’re probbly right. I’m just recounting wht we encountered when we stood up emcomm for locl hospitl. We relied on fldigi which required the softe to decode the signls t both ends, but re sent in cler text llowing nyone with the softe to know wht informtion is being exchnged. We decided to refer to ptients by number, the identity of which ws communicted through secure chnnels (trunked) of first responders.

Simmer down, et some fruit. I’ve been hm most of my life nd now in my erly sixties, I’ve seen, red, nd herd it ll t this point. During the second world which ws still before my time, the Koren , Vietnm, hms becme very useful. Nobody hunted them down, but were egerly sought fter. If you relly think bout it our government is NOT the poster child of being orgnized, especilly with politicins who feed off of ech other. The is hms were sought fter becuse they brought very needed skills to the tble. Tht’s the trck record, not some kind of Hollywood scifi movie. Tht’s the benefit of checks nd blnces in this country. There’s plenty Boogymn (rel nd imgined) out there bent on tking tht wy from us. They sow the seeds of mny noxious , the chief if which is confusion. Don’t be prt of the problem; become prt of the solution. If everything goes south, we need to stnd together, not prt. I know there re people who tend to operte solely in pnic mode nd justify their own sense of self importnce by wving red flg (or whtever color). To them I sy, get grip. Yes, everyone should be prepred, we should hve food storge nd other which just mkes good sense. If s it’s been sid, the “SHTF”, people with their own grdens will be bigger trget thn somebody growing n ntenn frm. It just mzes me how some people cn be more influenced by the movies coming out of Hollywood, ie, some kind of zombie poclypse, nd tht ilk, thn the good experiences of their own life, which surround us ll. Yes, there’s lot of corruption nd bd out there but there’s more good thn wht people give credit for. Remember the words of Elish, “They tht be with us re more thn they tht be with them”.

nyone reding this undoubtedly hs the benefit of some kind of eduction, which mens you possess the bility to think for yourself. Don’t wste your energy nd finite resources sowing pnic nd confusion. Don’t contribute to disorder nd nrchy. nd for Pete’s ske, don’t pln on tking to the irwves without license. Tht very ct is exctly wht ny enemy wnts their prey to do: Disregrd their own lws nd devolve into chos.

Choose better wy. Get licensed now, be legl ND prctice good operting skills. One of the biggest chllenges in ny emergency communiction drill or event, is hving opertors with experience under their belt. It isn’t enough just to hve license; you must hve experience deling with conditions on the ir. nd the only wy to gin experience nd build good operting skills is to get licensed. very good strting point is to rech out to n orgniztion like the RRL; visit their website ( to identify the locl resources who cn help you get qulified nd on the ir. If possible, ttend the Hmvention held every My to cquint yourself with even more venues of interest within the hobby be it do-it-yourself topics, ll the wy to stellite work (yes, we hve stellites).

Bottom line, don’t contribute to the problem, be prt of the solution. Get licensed, get on the ir, gin experience. Only then will you be properly prepred with skills nd knowledge, nd not be guided by fer.


( ͡ʘ ͜ʖ ͡ʘ) KE7FD

Excellent follow-up Glen,

I gree I don’t think the government will be the problem. However, I do think gngs will be if it is true SHTF event nd will lern to foxhunt. person trnsmitting is brodcsting tht they hve the power nd resources to support rdio sttion.

I lso strongly gree tht being prt of the solution is the best pln. Get licensed, join RES/RCES/Skyn etc. Get known to be n sset to your locl public services.

In true SHTF sitution, even rdio snob is going to get hungry. I think it’s funny tht some of you ctully think tht the “purists” will be trcking down the unlicensed opertors like me when the world is coming prt. I don’t wnt to operte in your snobby environment t this time, but when it hits the fn, I’ll do wht I must to protect nd inform my fmily…nd so would you!
In closing, if it relly hits the fn nd you wnt to spend your time trcking me down becuse I’m unlicensed, I suggest you rm yourself with something more thn microphone…just syin!
Hve nice dy! 🙂

“FCC License Informtion Is Public: #1. This includes your ddress.” So, Hm opertors re lredy (or would become) trgets of the criminl, low-life segment of SHTF survivors. Menwhile, nyone trying to survive while using fictitious cll sign remins nonymous.

I find it relly disppointing tht licensed mteur rdio opertors consider themselves to be so self righteous nd snctimonious tht they would not respond to cll for help or ccept useful, ctionble informtion from n unlicensed (unwshed) opertor during SHTF sitution. Tht’s wht I cll poor citizenship.

Like I sid in other comments, it isn’t bout being snobbish, but knowing who re you tlking to fter the SHTF. There is going to be millions looking for help.

I will ccept unlicensed informtion. I just won’t tlk bck, t lest t first for the resons bove. It isn’t just the hm bnds I won’t nswer, but CB, FRS, etc s well TSHTF.

It took quite few more yers before I ws ble to ern my Extr Clss license; but, would hve been esier hd I just wited for the 20 WPM code requirement to be dropped. In 1981 my wife erned her Novice license nd unfortuntely still hs tht license, despite my prodding her to upgrde.
When you stte:

#1. Operting n mteur rdio is skill.

but 97.403 mkes it cler tht the exception is for the immedite sfety of humn life nd immedite protection of property.

fter which you re required to contct the FCC nd explin the event nd the reson for the use of tht exception. I personlly don’t think we’ll hve globl SHTF event tht would obvite those regultions; however, locl regionl events cn nd do on occsion; but, most public service entities hve their own communictions systems nd infrstructure for redundncy nd use of mteur rdio is not utilized s much s mny of us would like.
We my not lwys dig; but, n unlicensed person often sticks out like sore thumb nd we cn nd do just ignore them.

Bnds nd Uses (Bckground for Other Importnt Informtion)
For discussing the frequencies, bnds, nd modes, I find this pdf perhps the best overll resource:
I live in rurl re nd hve ntenn cpbility from 160 through 6 on my wire ntenns nd VHF / UHF on others, with our locl club working on 2400 MHz brodbnd cpbilities throughout our county. My only shortcoming t the time is 6 meter rdio, tht hs been purchsed; but, yet to be instlled.

Rdio Trnsmissions re Not nonymous!
While this should be obvious, it’s good tht you mentioned it. One other confusion I’m constntly hving to explin to non hms re the so clled “privcy fetures” on the FRS nd FRS/FMRS combintion rdios. Hms know these s CTCSS (Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System) or PL (Privte Line) tht re only effective to help eliminte some type of interference; but, do not convey ny kind of privcy, since nyone with scnner or properly progrmmed rdio cn her wht is being sid. PL is BTW Motorol trdemrked cronym for this common feture.

If you wnt to communicte with others, you will need to know how to tke countermesures to prevent being hunted. Most of these countermesures only pply to hm rdios. None re foolproof.

Your list is pretty good; but, in my experience doing fox hunts (for fun nd prctice) the best countermesure is to keep trnsmissions infrequent nd short. lso use of the newer digitl modes mkes direction finding bit hrder. s hms, if you hve distnt repeter, you cn use low power nd communicte over wide re, mking the individul trnsmissions hrder to detect.
Use of pre-positioned nd imed directionl ntenns cn lso be gret help in fing ny would be enemy.

Mke up your own cll signs when not communicting with hms.
This is lso somewht of good ide when communicting with other hms. We MUST identify with our cll signs every 10 minutes; but, tht could use Morse code t up to 20 WPM, nd other trnsmissions my leglly use tcticl clls, We often provide communictions for chrity bicycle events, nd use tcticl clls like SG (Support nd Ger) wgon, Rest Stop 1, Rest Stop2, etc, ll done quite leglly s long s we ech mention our cll signs within the 10 minute intervl.
It’s interesting tht you mention NVIS, since Ohio will be hving n NVIS contest of sorts on Sturdy pril 27, 2019 s prt of our RES trining, so ll of you hms out there who wnt to tlk, should strt scnning the HF bnds tht dy.
One other thing I’ve noticed is tht nerly ll of my mteur Rdio collegues re lso shooters, most with conceled licenses. lso, mny of us prticipte in locl emergency orgniztions.

Gret comments. I gree with ll.

I think word on digitl modes is needed, since this seems to be plce with lots of confusion. There re numerous udio digitl modes, going bck to the erlier dys of my experience with RTTY nd X.25 Pcket rdio, both of which produce udio tones tht re used to modulte stndrd crrier mode such s FM, SSB (Single Side Bnd), or even M. With the dvent of more powerful nd inexpensive computing like the Rspberry Pi, we cn now implement DSP (Digitl Signl Processing) lgorithms to generte nd decode simple wveforms without dditionl expensive hrde, nd free progrms like FlDigi llow nyone to use newer trnsmission modes like RTTY, PSK31, Olivi, nd others with simple inexpensive hrde, tht llow both phse nd mplitude to be used in the modultion scheme. While these re clled “Digitl” modes, since they essentilly trnsmit binry informtion, they still modulte stndrd crrier method on the ir.

These digitl modes long with progrms like Echolink llow remote ccess vi the Internet, bringing more of the younger crowd into the hobby.

The RTL-SDR nd Rspberry Pi cn perform things we only dremed of just 10 yers go.

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