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NukesMurphy
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Here’s a new one to look at! https://youtu.be/DumgHz56IjI

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Sam
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@nukesmurphy I actually was looking into Lora and saw that video.  It's pretty sweet.  I didn't pursue it since it looked more complicated, had to solder shit, etc, but it actually looks pretty simple.  I may buy some to mess around with

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Box
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I would think something like that would be more useful for at least what I would need it for than anything else. But the range seems incredibly limited. Is there a way to bump it up to like, 15-20 miles? More power, larger antenna or something? And no, if you haven't caught on yet, I don't care about legality.

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NukesMurphy
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@box it’s less about legality than it is about physics. It is possible but you’d need a tower, a high power transmitter. It would be more cost effective to buy dozens of these and link them together of that distance. The frequency used in these is good at cutting through some obstructions but not hills and major blockages. Terrain is the enemy. On the top of a house and clear terrain around you I’d say you could probably get a quarter of a mile is my guess. 

 

The other option is to use HF communication like FT-8 and use different antennas and radios to reach 10-300 miles. You just can’t do that portable or on a phone.  

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Sam
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Well I've ordered a couple so we're gonna find out.  I have seen some tests where guys got 2 miles out of them.  And they are a mesh system obviously, so you can rig one with power and put it on top of your house or in a tree or something to get the height, and then use another in the house, hooked to your phone.

Also, there's better antennas you can get, but realistically I wouldn't expect much over a few miles.   Until we can figure out how to boost the power output.

Also of note.  The world record for Lora communication is around 150 km, so it's capable with the correct upgrades, but I'm sure he had some super high end shit.

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NukesMurphy
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@sam alright alright. I’ll order some as well.

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NukesMurphy
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@sam I’ll print up a couple of cases and send them your way as well.

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Sam
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@nukesmurphy sweet, I was gonna ask ya about that!  Let me know what I owe ya man.

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Sam
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Mine shipped out yesterday.  Coming from China apparently tho(fuck china) so it'll be a while, but I suppose it'll give me time to study up on em.

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NukesMurphy
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@sam yeah mine are coming from Commie-ville as well. Just in time for next summer!

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Sam
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So apparently "base station" gmrs units are not a thing?  Everything I've seen is all mobile units.   Then you have to buy a power supply and antenna and everything separate so you can put it in your house.  Kinda seems like this even for ham.  Irritating.  

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NukesMurphy
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@sam that sounds normal yep.

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NukesMurphy
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@sam, this is a good time to buy though. Black Friday / Cyber Monday is probably the cheapest you'll find things.

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Sam
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@nukesmurphy that's a good point.  I'll keep my eyes open

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NukesMurphy
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@sam I'm watching https://www.radioddity.com/ for my stuff. They should have a good deal on the Xiegu G90 I've been wanting.

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NukesMurphy
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Sam
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@nukesmurphy nice!!  Looks like it'll be a hell of a nice set-up!  I ordered a gmrs mobile radio and a couple antennas for my handheld radios from radioddity myself, so I'm getting closer to having my short range communication covered.   Then I can dive into the long range shit.

Haven't really looked into much HF stuff until just now, watched a video on it.  Pretty wild

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NukesMurphy
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@sam kickass! I know you'll have a good time with those. HF is a whole other beast. I am attempting to get smart on it but it's such a huge world. There are literally thousands of different antennas you can make for different purposes, etc. ranging from basic parts and shit laying around the house to multi-thousand dollar setups with towers, rotators, lightning arresting systems, etc. Quite the freaking rabbit hole. For example, I could have made the antenna I bought, but I thought for my first one, get one by someone who builds them professionally and then experiment from there.

As for HF communication between us in the future I did nail down we would need what's called a NVIS antenna setup so we don't shoot the signal over each other's heads. Typically you have what's called the skip range where you don't make contacts in the surrounding states because the wavelength travels beyond them before coming back down. The NVIS setup bounces the more vertically and is good for 100-500 mile ranges. Luckily NVIS antennas are really easy to setup!

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Sam
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@nukesmurphy awesome.  I was wondering about that.  I'll let ya know when I get setup for HF for sure.

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@nukesmurphy oh yeah, also picked up an ecoflow river pro battery.  Can use it as a power supply as well as run my commination equipment in a grid down scenario too.

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NukesMurphy
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@sam very cool and absolutely. I actually plan to run my radio off of my battery in the beginning to make sure I have clean power signal, then I'll wire in my power supply to run it. I have an old 12v power supply from a decommissioned 3D printer to use, not as ideal as some of the really nice radio rig ones from somewhere like MFJ, but for something free sitting on a shelf it works for me.

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Sam
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Got my radio the other day!  Just going with GMRS for now.  I got a Radioddity DB25-G mobile for my truck.  Then i got a few handheld baofeng UV5x(GMRS specific) and a few UV5rs.  Those will be improved down the road.  But anyways, that'll be my short range comms.  I'm waiting for an antenna yet, apparently its still sitting in one of the Carolina's, so as soon as i get that I can start messing around and finding my range.  I also got a 700 wH battery, which I can use as a power supply in the house, as well as of course battery backup in a grid down situation.  Should be able to reach all my family and friends I'll need to reach close to me before i get into the long range stuff.

Still waiting on my LoRa shit so I can start playing with that tho.

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NukesMurphy
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@sam Awesome! Glad to hear you are getting setup! I'm looking forward to getting my LoRa as well. I have some plans involving a large oak tree outside of my house.

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Sam
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@nukesmurphy haha i had similar thoughts.  Actually, I had thought it'd be fun to build a small solar powered unit and use a drone to set it on top of the water tower and see what kind of range we can get.  lol.

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NukesMurphy
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@sam I like where your head is at!

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Sam
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Alright, so I've made some progress on this whole off grid comms thing.  I've got a Radioddity DB25 GMRS mobile radio mounted in my truck.  And a few UR-5X GMRS handhelds, as well as some UV5Rs.  GMRS is far simpler for the average joe to operate, so I went that route so I can hand em out to family and friends if need to and just tell em channel 16 or whatever.  I may ditch the GMRS in my truck and just go with a normal HAM radio, as you can still communicate with GMRS, and you can communicate with anyone running another radio.  There's a ton of marine bands around here that people use for coyote hunting.  I haven't decided on that yet.  

I also picked up a couple of LoRA devices. Pic below.  Just need some 3d printed cases for em.  Basically, these are a poor man, or tinkering man's, Gotennas.  You can bluetooth them with your phone and text over radio signals with them.  So if cell service goes down, you can still communicate with anyone that has one.  Range is limited of course, but you can use a "mesh" system and basically they act as relays so you can reach further.  Just kind of some cool tech to play with.

Also, I have an EcoFlow River Pro power station.  Can see the edge of it in the first picture.  But my plan is to charge all of my battery operated devices off of that.  My ring cams, flashlights, radios, phones, battery banks.  And that will be connected to a solar panel to keep it topped off.  That way power outages have no effect on comms.  Anywho, just some stuff I've been playing with.  Hopefully will never need, but I enjoy messing with em, and it's dang nice to have em.

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NukesMurphy
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@sam looks good man! Get those first couple of ham licenses and an HF radio/antenna and you'll be set for almost all the use cases. There's a couple more on the UHF/VHF side like DMR/APRS/Winlink, etc I need to figure out but you are far more prepared than most! We should do a field day and practice some comms and do some freedom shit in the woods.

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Sam
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@nukesmurphy most definitely!

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