Inexpensive Starter Kit for EMCOMM

Topics on Radio (CB, GMRS, Ham, etc), GPS, Smoke Signals, or whatever else you can use to talk to other people who are not within yelling distance.

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

Post Reply
JJ1
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:00 am

Inexpensive Starter Kit for EMCOMM

Post by JJ1 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:59 am

I recently made EMCOMM kits for each of my vehicles and I thought I'd share the parts and pieces I decided to include. I started with Baofengs, mainly because I could afford to put two in each vehicle, unlike if I had used a Big Three brand. Upgraded antennas, most of them to the Nagoya NA-771...still affordable, and flexible enough to fit in the waterproof case in the picture. I got the 3800mAh battery, not just for the extra power but also because you can get a USB cable that plugs right into the battery so the charging cradle isn't needed. (I still use the cradle at home, where it's more convenient than the USB cable.) There's also a battery adapter that takes AA batteries, so I could run it off whatever AAs I find in a gas station or grocery store.

And I created an EMCOMM Card (link) with emergency repeaters that are monitored 24/7 in my area, and simplex frequencies we'd use, like if I have to leave an injured person at the vehicle and go for help or loan a radio to a traveling partner.

Pics and details at the link. Tried to add a pic here but the image is too big. Anyway, hope this helps someone add some comms capability to their kits!
http://www.tothewoods.net/Comms-vehicle ... MM-kit.php

darmstrong
*
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:32 am

Re: Inexpensive Starter Kit for EMCOMM

Post by darmstrong » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:30 pm

Saw your post on r/preppers

For years I struggled to put aside the money for a pair of Baofeng's. I'm financially to a spot where I can do that pretty easily, but still haven't done it yet. I think next month I'll pick up one or two. I've programmed a OLD scanners by hand which were not fun. I understand I'm not able to broadcast until I have a ham license. I've reviewed the material and it like a lot of memorization, but pretty easy.

User avatar
moab
* * * * *
Posts: 3788
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:07 pm

Re: Inexpensive Starter Kit for EMCOMM

Post by moab » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:33 pm

I wish you had posted your article here. Instead of posting a link to your amazon links. But having said that. What a great page! I to have a Jeep TJ. I'd encourage you to look at Arkon mounts too. Like ram mounts but way way cheaper.

Are you at all concerned about the airbag in relation to where you mounted your cellphone? I would like to put a handheld mount in that same location. There's a great mount on ebay for doing that. But I've always been concerned about the airbag going off and turning the phone and/or mount into a projectile.

I also applaud your use of those radios. I have not read your article yet. But what was your thinking in your choice of one 8w unit and one 5w unit?
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

JJ1
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:00 am

Re: Inexpensive Starter Kit for EMCOMM

Post by JJ1 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:02 pm

darmstrong wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:30 pm
I understand I'm not able to broadcast until I have a ham license. I've reviewed the material and it like a lot of memorization, but pretty easy.
I'd say go ahead and get the radios so you can listen, at least, and figure out how to program them to access the repeaters in your area. There's a bit of a learning curve, and you can start on that without without transmitting, before you get a license.

There's some memorization involved, but it's really about the concepts behind the steps you take to communicate. Once you get the license and start doing those steps, the things you memorized will fall into place. It's chicken and egg...you can do the things until you memorize some stuff, but you can't really understand the things you do without memorizing some stuff first. That's why a Tech license is really just a license to start learning.

My basic approach was to take the online practice exams until I memorized the answers, while reading a book designed specifically to explain the answers on the test, which helped in understanding. I also took a class (taught partly by the guy who wrote that book) from my local club so I could ask questions.

Like you said, passing the test isn't very hard. Actually understanding it all can take a long time!

JJ1
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:00 am

Re: Inexpensive Starter Kit for EMCOMM

Post by JJ1 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:22 pm

moab wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:33 pm
Are you at all concerned about the airbag in relation to where you mounted your cellphone? I would like to put a handheld mount in that same location. There's a great mount on ebay for doing that. But I've always been concerned about the airbag going off and turning the phone and/or mount into a projectile.
Nope - I bought the mount in the Wrangler from Quadratec but they don't carry it anymore. IIRC (after about ten years), the description said it wouldn't interfere with the passenger airbag. It looks to be far enough out of the way but I've never seen a TJ airbag deployment so that's just a guess.
moab wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:33 pm
I also applaud your use of those radios. I have not read your article yet. But what was your thinking in your choice of one 8w unit and one 5w unit?
I got different models as I progressed to building kits for five vehicles. When I took those pics, I only had one 8W unit. Now I have several BF-F8HPs, UV-5Rs, UV-5RX3s, BF-F8+s, and I think another model. So now I try to pair the 8Ws together and the tri-bands together...other than that, it doesn't really matter.

And now that the basic VHF comms kits are in place, I'm moving on to better radios and HF comms. Started with the FT-818ND but will probably get an 857 at some point. Not sure I'll ever get more capability than that...I don't have much interest in pushing 1000W from inside my house.

I'll check out the mounts you recommended. Thanks!

User avatar
SCBrian
* * * * *
Posts: 1214
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:56 pm
Location: Charleston, SC

Re: Inexpensive Starter Kit for EMCOMM

Post by SCBrian » Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:34 pm

JJ1 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:59 am

Pics and details at the link. Tried to add a pic here but the image is too big. Anyway, hope this helps someone add some comms capability to their kits!
http://www.tothewoods.net/Comms-vehicle ... MM-kit.php
I read through most of your stuff quite a while ago re: Hammock, DIY Gear ,etc. It's great to see you continuing to post!
I tilt at Windmills
BattleVersion wrote:For my Family?...Burn down the world, sure... But, I'm also willing to carry it on my shoulders.
raptor wrote:...I am allergic to bullets;I break out in blood.
jnathan wrote:... you can choke on my Hebrew National.

JJ1
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:00 am

Re: Inexpensive Starter Kit for EMCOMM

Post by JJ1 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:41 pm

SCBrian wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:34 pm
I read through most of your stuff quite a while ago re: Hammock, DIY Gear ,etc. It's great to see you continuing to post!
Thanks! I haven't posted much new stuff on hammocks but I updated the website to CSS. Still do the coding myself instead of using Wordpress or Squarespace. I do have a new DIY hammock that may end up on there. It's the only comfortable bridge hammock I've found.

Current interest is ham radios though, with a few bits on cast iron.

darmstrong
*
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:32 am

Re: Inexpensive Starter Kit for EMCOMM

Post by darmstrong » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:45 pm

JJ1 wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:02 pm
Like you said, passing the test isn't very hard. Actually understanding it all can take a long time!
I'm not super concerned with that. I've done some work with Software Defined Radio. I have an SDR wireless adaptor for my laptop that I've used to track down some equipment. I've also had to perform frequency coordination for multiple wireless microphone in the audio world.

I've got a little bit of money that I can spend on prepping supplies. I spent it this month, so it looks like next month.

JJ1
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:00 am

Re: Inexpensive Starter Kit for EMCOMM

Post by JJ1 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:33 pm

Awesome! One good thing about Baofengs is that the accessories are also inexpensive, so if you get a pair of radios one month, getting the extended batteries and USB chargers the next month isn't so bad.

Post Reply

Return to “Communications”