Off grid comms: join me? **Update bottom page 2 **
So recently I've been really looking into off grid communication. I have a couple of UV5r radios, but that's about it currently. What I'm looking to do is actually build out a system that allows me to communicate with 1) my family within 10 miles and 2) some trusted individuals with 20 miles an 3) contacts further out to keep in touch with. Basically build a network of people we can all reach out to in an emergency(car accident, dead battery, to natural disaster, to total grid down scenario.) I don't like the fact that 100% of our current communication can be shut off by someone else and we're left with nothing.
At this point, it seems the best way to do that is Ham. Although GMRS could be a simpler option, but there's not near the repeaters in the state. Only Le mars, Omaha, Des Moines, Davenport and Dubuque. Comparted to hundreds of hams. So it would work in my little area, but not as well extended.
I think what I'll do is have a base station with antenna on my house and that should allow me to reach out to my family easily as well as everyone else through repeaters. I know GMRS licenses cover your immediate family, but does a ham license?
I ran across a Trex arms video while I was doing my youtube research that I found exceedingly interesting. You can send location and text over HAM? Pretty awesome. Ton of other great info in it as well. I'll link it below.
So, has anyone got their HAM license? I know there are some places you can do it online now, anyone want to do it? Might be fun to kinda work through building out a system and everything together.
Why get a license? Fuck the government.
@sam I have my HAM license, technician and general. Use the HamStudy app on your phone, it's like $5 bucks. I am only doing UHF/VHF at the moment. I have a couple of UV5rs as well. I run an ICOM 7300 out of my SUV with a roof mounted antenna for mobile operations, plus the 7300 is a lot more powerful. Let me know if you have any questions!
I'm interested in this as well. I picked up a few UV5Rs before I moved out of Siouxland.....yes, now the cat's outta the bag. I got offered a job in my hometown where I started in this crazy profession.
Anyway the Baofengs have sat in boxes and I haven't messed with them much after they arrived, but I like Sam, am interested in exploring their potential.
This is what I've been looking at for long distance comms. Additionally, I'd need a power supply and antenna, but those can be obtained relatively cheap. This radio is low power, but is portable, and can be used to make contacts all over the world. It also can be setup with an interface to plug into laptops to digital messages similar to email.
You'd need a General HAM radio license to operate it.
Ok, I take that back. There is a civilian version of ATAK available on the app store, but it looks like gotenna restricts the plugin you need to hook your gotenna to atak, for government and first responder users. Although, that's not to say it'd be impossible to procure....
*edit. Think I found the plugins. Posting here for those interested of course, but also so I can find them later. lol
Ok, so I think I've figure out what I wanna do. I think I'll get my GMRS license, as this covers my immediate family and it's simple to use. So I can buy the license, $35 bucks and no test, and my whole family can communicate with me. Additionally, any friends and people that want to stay in contact are more likely to buy this license as well. Secondly, I'm going to get my Ham license and start building a system to reach out further to contacts around the state. And lastly, I'm going to invest in a Gotenna mesh system. Will allow us to communicate via text message in a completely grid down scenario. Done correctly, it can be paired with phones running ATAK to give real time GPS location of your family, friends, or team. In an emergency situation, such as a tornado which are common around here, this would be an amazing tool.
Anyone interesting in getting set up to communicate once this is all in place, let me know!
What kind of range will you get with GMRS?
EDIT: And why do you need a license?
So how would that work talking to Pierson? Would they need a base station also?
Good plan. I looked at that GoTenna stuff. Wow. That’s super expensive!
let me know when you get your HAM, we’ll link up on a repeater.