Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Brookville, Pennsylvania
    (Jefferson County)
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    47
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    Default Re: Communications Preparations

    I have an AM/FM radio. I don't want to talk to anyone.
    RIP: SFN, 1861, twoeggsup, Lambo, jamesjo, JayBell, 32 Magnum, Pro2A, mrwildroot, dregan, Frenchy, Fragger, ungawa, Mtn Jack, Grapeshot, R.W.J.

    Don't end up in my signature!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: Communications Preparations

    Quote Originally Posted by knight0334 View Post
    I have an AM/FM radio. I don't want to talk to anyone.
    I will call you tonight and we can chat about it.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Tier, Pennsylvania
    (McKean County)
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    52
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    Default Re: Communications Preparations

    Quote Originally Posted by theshadow View Post
    I'd strongly recommend at least a CB radio, if nothing else you can talk to your neighbors and be aware of the situation around you.
    I have hand held radios, and live on high ground. They go pretty far. That's about as far as I'm willing to take it.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Northampton
    (Northampton County)
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    Default Re: Communications Preparations

    My father was a ham from back in the early 60s when radios had tubes until he passed in the late 90s,he had a radio hooked up to his commodore 64 for contests. I think he called it packit. My brother has been a ham from the late 80s, I am not a ham, but I know a tiny bit about it. I bought a Baofeng uv5r a few years back for like $20. shipped. since then I have learned how to hack and mod my way through a few freqs using chirp. I bought 2 bf888s for $17. shipped and 2 radioditty ga2s for 24.99 shipped a year ago or so and even though they say the are UHF only, I hacked them in CHIRP to get VHF for EMS, fire, some police and NOAH weather broadcasts, and MURS and GMRS freqs. All my radios are set to transmit on GMRS freqs, even though they receive other freqs so there's no chance of fouling up a transmission to or from the EMS radios. I have found that the MURS freqs don't transmit or receive well with out the antenna that is tuned for the murs Freqs. I have also added the marine freqs since I am near enough to the water, but have not tested the transmission on my radios. So now I have 5 radios, that my family can pack up and be on the move and still get weather, ems, some police, marine even SERT if needed. Or, we can sit home pass them out to a few key neighbors, and keep in contact about the neighborhood. They all transmit and receive each other very well for a mile or 2 in my area without repeaters.
    "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    127.0.0.1, Pennsylvania
    (Lancaster County)
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    Default Re: Communications Preparations

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland45 View Post
    My father was a ham from back in the early 60s when radios had tubes until he passed in the late 90s,he had a radio hooked up to his commodore 64 for contests. I think he called it packit. My brother has been a ham from the late 80s, I am not a ham, but I know a tiny bit about it. I bought a Baofeng uv5r a few years back for like $20. shipped. since then I have learned how to hack and mod my way through a few freqs using chirp. I bought 2 bf888s for $17. shipped and 2 radioditty ga2s for 24.99 shipped a year ago or so and even though they say the are UHF only, I hacked them in CHIRP to get VHF for EMS, fire, some police and NOAH weather broadcasts, and MURS and GMRS freqs. All my radios are set to transmit on GMRS freqs, even though they receive other freqs so there's no chance of fouling up a transmission to or from the EMS radios. I have found that the MURS freqs don't transmit or receive well with out the antenna that is tuned for the murs Freqs. I have also added the marine freqs since I am near enough to the water, but have not tested the transmission on my radios. So now I have 5 radios, that my family can pack up and be on the move and still get weather, ems, some police, marine even SERT if needed. Or, we can sit home pass them out to a few key neighbors, and keep in contact about the neighborhood. They all transmit and receive each other very well for a mile or 2 in my area without repeaters.
    Did he go to the Timonium Hamfest with that setup?
    Rules are written in the stone,
    Break the rules and you get no bones,
    all you get is ridicule, laughter,
    and a trip to the house of pain.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Northampton
    (Northampton County)
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    Default Re: Communications Preparations

    streaker,
    not sure , we lived in NJ at the time, Hunterdon County, I know his old call sign but after he passed my brother now has it, even thou my brothers orig call was a few steps up with a Q , and my fathers was K. I not comfortable giving it out at this time with out checking with my bro first. im sure you understand.
    I can tell you my fathers name tho, Walter (Bud) Talbott, stationed in Califon NJ till the early 90s, then lexington va until he passed. he knew a ton of hams around the world.
    "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    127.0.0.1, Pennsylvania
    (Lancaster County)
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    Default Re: Communications Preparations

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland45 View Post
    streaker,
    not sure , we lived in NJ at the time, Hunterdon County, I know his old call sign but after he passed my brother now has it, even thou my brothers orig call was a few steps up with a Q , and my fathers was K. I not comfortable giving it out at this time with out checking with my bro first. im sure you understand.
    I can tell you my fathers name tho, Walter (Bud) Talbott, stationed in Califon NJ till the early 90s, then lexington va until he passed. he knew a ton of hams around the world.
    that's ok, I don't need his call sign. I just remember an older fellow that would go to the Timonium Hamfest and would have a C64 setup running Packit. I never talked to him, but I just thought it was interesting seeing the C64 doing that.
    Rules are written in the stone,
    Break the rules and you get no bones,
    all you get is ridicule, laughter,
    and a trip to the house of pain.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Paxinos, Pennsylvania
    (Northumberland County)
    Posts
    18
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    0

    Default Re: Communications Preparations

    Hope its okay to ask this here but I am looking for recommendations on specific equipment to buy. Have been thinking about it for awhile and this thread gave me the kick to get moving. While I am pretty good with computers, radios are something I have no experience in. Ideally I would like to be able to listen in on emergency frequencies (police scanner?) to keep up with what is going on and possibly communicate with family members if the need arose (unlikely). I understand separate equipment may be needed and that's fine. On the communication front I am aware of CB as well as ham (license required) as for emergency I don't really know where to start if what I want is even possible. If you suggest a piece of hardware could you explain briefly what exactly it will and wont do if possible?

    Location is currently Montgomery County just outside Philly but in 6 months I'll be moving back to Northumberland County permanently.

    Thanks in advance for any advice your willing to offer!

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    (Lebanon County)
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    Default Re: Communications Preparations

    Quote Originally Posted by varano14 View Post
    Hope its okay to ask this here but I am looking for recommendations on specific equipment to buy. Have been thinking about it for awhile and this thread gave me the kick to get moving. While I am pretty good with computers, radios are something I have no experience in. Ideally I would like to be able to listen in on emergency frequencies (police scanner?) to keep up with what is going on and possibly communicate with family members if the need arose (unlikely). I understand separate equipment may be needed and that's fine. On the communication front I am aware of CB as well as ham (license required) as for emergency I don't really know where to start if what I want is even possible. If you suggest a piece of hardware could you explain briefly what exactly it will and wont do if possible?

    Location is currently Montgomery County just outside Philly but in 6 months I'll be moving back to Northumberland County permanently.

    Thanks in advance for any advice your willing to offer!
    Optimum you'd want several pieces of equipment, one for monitoring and one for talking. Not knowing you or your family makes it hard to make anything more than a Generic Communications Plan.

    The "optimum" (and most costly) way to go would be to get a Uniden digital trunking scanner. These automatically import all the local public safety and county frequencies from the internet. they also have a built in proximity scanner, so if someone is using a HAM (or other radio) on a frequency not prepopulated and it's close to you, it'll immediately focus on that. they run around 500-600 new. For the talk, I'd go with cheap cobra CB radios from Walmart. They give you decent range, for less than $50 you have reasonable ranged radio and antenna with no license requirement. You will need to invest in some form of power supply and for that you can go battery and battery tender, or AC power supply The battery and tender will run close to another $50 or so, might want two batteries, one running the radio, one on the tender. AC can run over $100, and if there is a power outage, no radio. For the future, getting your HAM license isn't difficult, and the license (while needing renewed at no cost every 10 years) is essentially a lifetime license, just keep your address up to date and let them know you want to renew every 10 years. I talked my daughter to getting her technician license for this, never know what will happen in the long term. The standard Red Cross emergency radio is great fro monitoring commercial AM FM, and usually has a built in crank or solar changer so again grid independent, some even are able to monitor shortwave broadcasts.

    Hope this helps get you started.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    (Lebanon County)
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    Default Re: Communications Preparations

    Quote Originally Posted by streaker69 View Post
    that's ok, I don't need his call sign. I just remember an older fellow that would go to the Timonium Hamfest and would have a C64 setup running Packit. I never talked to him, but I just thought it was interesting seeing the C64 doing that.
    Packit and digital modes are making big moves lately. Reading,York and Lebanon County repeaters are doing weekly digital "nets" using FLDigi, and some other stuff. There's even been a rush for people signing up to get WinLink email accounts so they can send and receive email and weather reports. I keep telling people, HAM is an umbrella term for over 50 hobbies under one umbrella.

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