Class Updates and Worland, WY Gun Show

1398561_10204727071552411_5565190358926059961_oSlots are quickly filling up for the 3%/Grid-Down Communications Classes in Pennsylvania and Tulsa, Oklahoma. You can still take advantage of the early-bird discount for Tulsa.  Pennsylvania will be my last class for the Northeast, so please act quickly if you’d like to attend.

Bucking_Horse_and_Rider_logoThe Big Horn Basin Gun Show in Worland, WY is next weekend, March 7-8,  2015 at the Worland Community Complex. I will be there with copies of my book, Grid-Down Communications, and will be accepting cash and silver bullion/90% junk silver for the book and  3%/Grid-Down Communications Classes in Wyoming and elsewhere.

A Reader Asks: Getting Squared Away

I was asked by Lost Patrol about a list of items to get in order for him to be squared away with his commo setup. Specifically he was asking about CB gear, small alternate-power setups, and Anderson PowerPoles. An emphasis was placed on local sources when available, enabling the purchase of items with anonymous cash.

Mobile CB and Antenna

My recommendations were either a Cobra 148 or Uniden/President series with sideband (SSB). For an antenna get either a K40 or Wilson 1000. You can find these at just about any truck stop on the I-80 corridor.

Alternate Power

I use GoalZero. They are lightweight, excellent quality, and pretty much plug and play. For low power/QRP use such as with a CB, Yasesu FT-817, or SGC SG-2020 go with a Sherpa 50 or 100, and a Nomad or Boulder panel to solar charge it. Many outdoor/sporting goods stores in Wyoming carry GoalZero products. Another good product is the Windcamp P-Box from Ham Source. It’s a 21AH LiPo battery that weighs in at 5 lbs.

For the Yaesu FT-817, get the Windcamp WLB-817, also available from Ham Source.

For a fixed/transportable setup, get an Optima BlueTop or YellowTop AGM battery. Autozone and other auto parts dealers sell them. Standard car/deep cycle battery charging systems will work on these. Most people on a budget find the solar panels and controllers from Harbor Freight to be adequate for an initial setup. You can always upgrade later.

Anderson PowerPoles

Anderson PowerPoles are the standard power connector for amateur radio applications involving ARES and RACES. There is always a parts dealer at your local hamfest who is selling them, or you can get them from either Ham Source or Quicksilver Radio.

Wire, Cable, Connectors, and Other Fooferaw

Both Ham Source and Quicksilver Radio are excellent sources for these items if you need to mail order. I have done business with both of these gentleman and they have my recommendation. Locally, your hardware and ag supply stores, as well as Radio Shack on occasion will have a lot of what you might be looking for.


GoalZero –

Ham Source –

Harbor Freight –

Quicksilver Radio –



From Mosby: Aristotle Thinks You’re An Asshole

Originally posted on Isher, Wyoming:

As I said on his blog,

One can start by relocating to an area where the people are generally of a similar social/political mindset, and where self-reliance and preparedness are considered a normal affair. That means getting out of places like the Northeast suburban s**thole, and moving to a place where your neighbors are less likely to call 1-800-BAD-GUNS to turn you in for a $50 prepaid debit card because they saw your NRA bumpersticker.

View original

Hi Guys!


Рад Вам нравится блог .
Пожалуйста, не стесняйтесь , присылайте любые единицы патчи или избыток радио в мою сторону.
Был бы весьма признателен. Спасибо!


SOT-A monkey

Squad Radio Considerations


  • Everyone in the group should have the same model of radio. It makes logistics of accessories such as microphones and batteries easier.
  • Radio model should have readily available accessories.
  • Radios should be rugged enough for heavy field (ab)use.
  • Radios should be capable of operating off of common alkaline batteries. Most HTs capable of doing so will take either AAs or AAAs.
  • Radios should be able to run on 12V DC, either directly or via an adapter.
  • Radios should be frequency agile, or front panel programmable. Ham HTs are. Most commercial LMR HTs are not unless they are specifically mentioned as being FPP. Amateur radios should have fairly easy “MARS/CAP” extended frequency coverage modification. Your mileage may vary.
  • Radios should preferably have a BNC or SMA type antenna connector, for ease of attaching gain-type antennas. This is not a problem with ham HTs. Many commercial LMR HTs will not.

The best “squad radios” I have come across where the 1980s vintage Icom IC-2AT and IC-02AT. The IC-2AT was a 2 watt thumbwheel switch tuned HT that was rugged and simple to use. You simply set the thumbwheel switches to your operating frequency and you were ready to go. Many these radios were abandoned in favor of newer models when the use of PL tones on repeaters became more popular in the late 1980s. If you look around, you can find one at a hamfest that has an aftermarket PL tone board installed. For our purposes as a rugged squad radio operating the 2 meter ham band, PL tone capability is not needed. The extended frequency coverage of an IC-2AT is from 140-150 MHz.

ic02at-nov87The IC-02AT is just as rugged as its predecessor, the IC-2AT. It came out in the mid 1980s and has the distinction of being my first ham HT. This model had a few more features than the 2AT: memories, scanning, and PL tone generation. It used the same accessories as the 2AT. It had 5 watts maximum RF output, and would run off of 12V DC (and charge your battery at the same time). I discovered that the unmodified frequency coverage of the IC-02AT was from 140-152 MHz. If you did the mod, you could extend that even further to ~160 MHz. before performance dropped off.

Icom made versions of these radios for the 220 and 440 MHz. bands. They were known as the IC-3AT/IC-03AT, and IC-4AT/IC-04AT respectively. They also made VHF-High and UHF LMR band versions known as the H-16 and U-16. I found the 2 meter ham band performance a little lacking on the H-16 because the radio’s factory spec on the lower band edge was ~150 MHz. A radio tech can tweak the radio to favor the lower end of the spec and get better 2 meter performance. I suspect that many H-16s on the used market have already been done. The U-16s I have used all have had good performance on the 440 MHz. ham band.

Back in the day, Alinco HTs were very popular entry-level HTs, being inexpensive and having good-performance. They used the same accessories as Icom radios, having the same speaker/microphone connectors and pinouts, and were extremely easy to modify for extended frequency coverage. They are undervalued in the used market, and can be easy found at hamfests.

My current “new” recommendations for an entry-level squad radio would be a Yaesu FT-60, Motorola DTR, or Wouxun KG-UV5D (6m/2m version). The Yaesu is a “dual-band” (2 meter (144 MHz.) & 70cm (440 MHz.) amateur radio handie-talkie (HT). The Motorola is a license-free HT operating spread spectrum on the 902-928 MHz. license-free Part 15/ISM band (incidentally also the 33cm ham band). The Wouxun is a dual-band amateur radio HT operting on 2 meters and 6 meters (50-54 MHz.) However, the actual model of radio is unimportant as long as it addresses the above considerations for an effective squad radio. Wouxon, along with Puxing and TYT, are the better values in Chinese-built ham HTs. Baofeng has been getting better in quality since their introduction, but you get a better value for the slight increase in price with the other three.

Regardless of what radio model you decide to go with, remember that “one is none and two is one”. Make sure you have a spare or two in case you lose a radio, or a late party-goer needs one. In this instance, the Chinese HTs are inexpensive enough for you to have a couple or a few. Make sure you also have extra accessories as well. Keep in mind that with replacement gain-type antennas you can extend the range of your squad radios, sometimes significantly.

jungle_antJungle antenna, anyone?