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Old January 06, 2016, 19:26   #101
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Found this device and been picking through several competing versions.



It allows connection of up to four devices including ham radios, cell phones, public service radios, scanners and more into headset or earbuds. Can program so each ear bud hears different devices and PTT (push to talk) swith keys radio or radios of choice. Can redefine which device it keys with push of a button. It is completely submersible, dust proof, shock proof etc. Here is its website:

http://invisio.com/products/adv-hear...visio-v60.aspx

You can listen to all four devices simultaneously and it has earbuds and headsets that offer hear through capability to hear sounds and voices around you but automatically suppresses loud noises for hearing protection. Been using an ear bud in one ear for scanner and transceiver in other and no hearing protection or ability to use phone without taking out of pocket.

Found other similar devices that are three channel and waterproof for under $100 not counting headset or earbuds. This device is call for quote on every website found thus far. Even if price is stupid, the three channel units have found totally blinged out with microphone, pass through hearing protection and PTT button of choice are under $200 total.

Ability to hook my scanner, ham radio and phone together in a three channel unit is enough for me. Especially adding hearing protection without muting surrounding sounds. Going to see what deal is and if totally out of line will let all know and once figure out which unit offers most versatility for money will post it up. Meanwhile check the features and other than fourth channel, the companies making same thing in three channel has most of same features.
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Old January 28, 2016, 10:16   #102
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This morning while prepping for work was watching a History Channel show on weapons and had segment about the development of the VT proximity fuse for anti-aircraft and artillery shells. The segment started "Richard Roberts and a team of ham radio experts began experiments at John Hopkins University". General Patton credited success at Battle of the Bulge to the thing and in the Pacific first battle used they decimated 92% of the Japanese planes involved reducing number or average rounds from 2,400 to 400 to down an aaircraft. The VT fuse is estimated to have reduced length of WW II buy two years or more.

That said ham radio operators are supposed to be informed and operate their stations as cleanly and professionally as possible. Past few months been a huge amount of oddball interference and noise on local repeaters. I keep two to three radios on in truck and at least two dual band/dual watch radios running at work.

Yesterday had one repeater that would key up, a tone would come through followed by 10 to 30 seconds of static mixed with background noise of a vehicle, tone would repeat and repeater would close. Every once in a while some guy would key up and be barely understandable calling for a contact. Finally realized the background noise of the dead key matched the noise when he would call. Turns out his Baofeng H.T. was randomly keying itself up then as got hot or whatever has shook loose shifted it would unkey.

There are hoards of folks running around using the little ~$30 radios now and the common thing is poor signal quality, radios doing odd things and other issues. Sorry but a 30 dollar radio made as cheaply as possible just doesn't have much of a chance for quality and durability. Yes, know a lot of people using them successfully in ham bands but every month that goes by hear more and more that are cropping out and doing odd things.

Most like them because cheap and operate out of ham bands. But do you want your SHTF comm gear to be the cheapest piece of crap on the market. Near as I can tell if used occasionally and close to a good repeater are o.k. When people are using the things daily as their primary mobile and portable rig they have the durability and leakage of a $19 microwave oven. Have not purchased one yet but may be time to buy one to put on bench for testing to see how wide the signals are.

Have noticed if listen to input side of repeater can hear their signals way out of band set for. One local guy has to program his significantly out of band according to display to actually be on frequency. About a month ago he spent better part of a day with a friend switching from repeater to repeater adjusting frequency till finally got best signal and would lock it down when told it had least amount of noise. Every instance what his display told him was significantly off from actual output and input. Radio never sounded good and now it's in his car hooked to a 75 watt linear amp running into magnet mount MFJ antenna.

I own some MFJ stuff and if careful can get some decent stuff but for most part MFJ was said to be an acronym for Mighty Fine Junk but compared to what hearing out of the preponderance of the Baofeng radios it's top shelf. Sorry, but a Yaesu H.T. or mobile is not that huge of an investment. New FT 60 dual band H.T.'s can be purchased for under $150, will last decades and if want to go out of band are easy to MARS/CAP or totally free-band. An FT 1900 mobile is $120 and there are several Kenwood choices in H.T.'s and mobiles under $150. Not even going to mention all the Alinco radios with decades in the market that hover around the $99 mark if shop specials.

Remember guys, in the ham bands part of the test references "good operating principles". Like all the Galaxy Citizen Band radios that had 10 and 12 meters that FCC fined into submission, hope these little all band radios get the ax soon. FCC fined Galaxy, Uniden and even some national Truck Stop chains like Flying J and Truck Stops of America. Hopefully the O.O.'s will start sending out some letters to operators concerning their signal quality and operating principles.

My radios all go on the oscilloscope, especially my home brew, modified and repaired units to ensure are on frequency. If don't have some items like pictured below, someone in your local club does and would be more than happy to set your radio(s) on the bench if unsure about if have any frequency drift or other issues.

One piece of MFJ equipment all hams should have:



Should have some of this too, not going to bore y'all with the dozens of meters or exotic equipment:











Old Bench pic, even when new ham made point of understanding how it works:



This will show you how narrow your transmission is, notice how steep the frequency testing drops off to either side. That is a nice narrow signal.



All used radios purchased are opened for cleaning and then full testing before start scattering trash across bands not intended to be on:



Plenty of good clean power, a $49 switch mode power supply is just starting the downhill snowball that becomes an avalanche of garbage output:





Experiments get run on experimental test bench before being taken to other locations, know it's all within specifications:



When SHTF your going to want to be able to play with items like this. Probably be good to use in relation to the current thread on how to disable a humanoid robot. Bet it will scramble his transistors:



And remember this is the real goal of ham radio and why the FCC gives us such a wide slice of the radio spectrum:
Quote:
The Amateur Radio Service rules are designed to provide emergency communications, advance radio technology, improve operator skills, enhance international goodwill, and expand the number of trained operators, technicians and electronic experts.
Operators, technicians and electronic experts... Not a group of yahoo's that would be better off jawboning on a C.B. radio saying stuff like "hey good buddy". That includes using the cheapest garbage equipment can possibly find the doesn't meet FCC regulations. Way I read it, most of the Baofeng radios are not type accepted.
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Old February 06, 2016, 20:09   #103
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In above post second picture from bottom in corner of work shack is a black box with buttons and slot where thermal print paper spits out. It is a radio receiver called a weather fax. No matter where you are on planet earth there are satellites in the air that are continuously sending down maps and weather data from cloud coverage to active precipitation, storms on horizon, winds, extended forecasts, etc to weather services. Just turn it on according to broadcast schedule and it's starts spitting out maps till seen all I need and turn it off. Can let run 24/7/365 if want but waste of consumables. Below is link to National Weather Service web page with schedules, frequencies and information on the system.

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/marine/radiofax.htm

Have dedicated weather fax at work, home and till today in truck. Below is picture of the weather fax carry in truck in its nice mobile pouch, attach to antenna and it will print as stand alone or can tether to laptop and view on screen. Have lugged this thing around for years as ability to get live weather and maps via a system that has been in continuous operation for almost 100 years is not going away anytime soon. Mariners can't really function without weather fax.



Keeping the weather fax in truck has always been a pain as prints to roll paper using toner cartridges. One generation up from thermal paper but that stuff turns black when gets hot in summer and modern dedicated weather fax machines can be pricey. I buy older or broken units from fleabay and put into service. Always felt having weather fax capabilities at work home and on road put me way ahead of game if the feds decided to shut down broadcast news media in an emergency.

When they declare martial law, censor the news or shut it down, cannot leave all the marine traffic on Great Lakes, river systems, along coast and on the open seas blind. 99.99% of the world's population doesn't even know this system exists. Unless a communications officer or work on the bridge of a commercial ship then most have no idea of this or its ability to send you live data and forecasts for free through radio signals.

Usually can find units from reputable marine vendors with serviceable tags for under a hundred bucks. Prefer dedicated stand alone hardware based devices that do a specific job. They don't take up bandwidth from a radio that could be monitoring other traffic. Always looking for new ways to skin cats like recent project of converting a marine radar into a ground unit that can pick up people moving at even a slow pace. Have one old Vietnam era military unit that works by interpreting tones through a headset like metal detector. Having ability to watch for moving objects on a screen as multitasking is nice.

Truthfully, lugging around a dedicated weather fax is a pain. Have been a few apps come down the pipeline but initially were expensive as far as apps go and many pulled their data from internet rather than N.W.S. or Maritime radio systems. Have found a couple recently that once installed in phone or tablet all the necessary stuff is in phone and even if pull SIM card so don't have a connection will function just fine when launch and sit down next to speaker of radio.

Here is an app to install on any smart phone where just sit phone by radio receiver set to proper frequency and data will pop up on screen as broadcast. There are NWS Weather Broadcast Stations all over the country. The app keeps up with broadcast schedules and frequencies also.

http://www.blackcatsystems.com/ipad/...r_Fax_App.html

In a SHTF scenario cell phone and internet systems will crash fast soon as power grid fails. The systems that maritime and aircraft depend on will be kept up much longer. Military leans on weather fax system extensively just like location beacons for commercial aircraft. The puppet masters and string pullers will want their ships with expensive holds full of cargo to arrive in ports. Follow the NWS link and the links from their page to learn some about the system. Then check the information on the page linked to app. If have a world band shortwave or decent scanner and smartphone this or similar app is a must have. If are a ham radio person can get free computer software that does the same thing though your digital sound card interface.

Like having my hardware based equipment, computer sound card options and now my smartphone app. The weather fax have been dragging around in truck came out today as the app has proven itself worthy, usually have two smartphones in truck so if one dies other can pick up slack or have each running a specific task. Probably going to put the old truck unit in one of my EMP protected boxes as a spare for when the world turns inside out but won't be getting rid of it. Especially since it integrates with two of my radar systems to allow printing screen captures.
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Old March 03, 2016, 10:12   #104
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Odd but this morning at house land line which runs through Ma Bell copper wire pair is down, Ma Bell cell is down. Have a VOIP internet phone service through cable for international calls and it's down. Fired up my Verizon cell and it's down. Contacted friends through ham radio and their phones are all working. Must be a local tap to the wire center down.

Most people don't realize every phone, no matter type or service provider all has to hit a Ma Bell switch and run through wire center. Guess it's a big enough snafu that the local towers can't get to switch. Cells all show full connection, land lines have dial tones. If try call out nothing happens and if someone tries call in our cells go to voice mail first ring and land lines get busy signal.

Luckily know an old ham who still has a phone patch on his repeater. He plugged up, turned on and made my call. I keep a phone patch in a box at both shacks so if had a spotty phone outage and mine was working could put together my phone patch on personal repeater and other hams could take turns using my phone line. Don't put all your antique stuff on fleabay, may need it some day. The phone patch was nice as morning net that's always running had three guys come back offering to put a patch up for me but one just had to turn it on.
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Old March 03, 2016, 10:58   #105
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I haven't hooked up and tested my phone patch yet.

I have also noted the odd behavior on local repeaters...no way to know why someone is keying up and not talking, unless you call them out on it. I do that occasionally if I am bored "You're making it into the repeater just fine, want to talk?"

For $30 the Baofengs are disposable, I have a bucket of them I use for various things.

I think of them as kel-tecs or hi-points.
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Old March 03, 2016, 15:53   #106
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Originally Posted by stimpsonjcat View Post
I haven't hooked up and tested my phone patch yet.

I have also noted the odd behavior on local repeaters...no way to know why someone is keying up and not talking, unless you call them out on it. I do that occasionally if I am bored "You're making it into the repeater just fine, want to talk?"

For $30 the Baofengs are disposable, I have a bucket of them I use for various things.

I think of them as kel-tecs or hi-points.
Absolutely hilarious about the kel-tec reference. Have one of those Grendel P30 22magnum repeaters with 30 round capacity. After the first round or two you throw it at your attacker when it jams so can either run away or find a better gun while he is screwing with trying to make the darn thing shoot.

My phone patches are tested but put away. My tower is undergoing maintenance so to use my Wilson booster would have had to stood the tower back up and since one of my local guys said he could push button on his wanted to see if I could still dial into it just for grins as was not an important call. When got in truck dropped phone in Wilson holder and went from zero bars to two bars immediately.

Just a heads up for folk to realize how fragile the grid is. I know two points could either use a track-hoe or burn the hut and entire county would be down for a day or more as all our calls have to go through the Cumming, GA or Athens, GA switch. Cut the fiber trunk lines going to both and Hall county is off the grid for some time. All calls have to go through a switch whether cell, land, IRLP or whatever. Kill the connection to a switch and then the backup switch for an area and its done.

My guess is a rack went down in the CEV feeding the Athens switch way things went loopy. Sad thing is anyone somewhat familiar with how the different regions are tied to switches and can really do some damage. Back in the 1980's Ma Bell did a firmware upgrade push to all the long distance switches (51 nationwide my last count) with a single faulty line of code. All long distance calls in the country were down for at least eight minutes, longer in some places.

Even the White House and Pentagon lost all their long distance land lines. Imagine the hackers that are attacking those switches every day??? The I.T. guys protecting those switches probably have about a two year burnout rate before stroke, heart attack or hauled off to the psycho ward.

While I could never get through, know a couple guys that could if took a notion. Why Kevin Mitnick was held without access to even a phone for years. They were afraid he could launch a nuclear missile from a payphone just with whistle tones. Still have a couple "Free Kevin" bumper stickers floating around and autographed copy of his book from his speaking tour. Miss the old pre-internet days of usenet and the majority of people able to access it at least recognized each others names.

Eventually some 14 year old kid is going to get in and fubar the entire world. If I ran the world I would pull the plug on this internet thing before someone kills us all just for grins.
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Old March 03, 2016, 17:17   #107
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...Eventually some 14 year old kid is going to get in and fubar the entire world. If I ran the world I would pull the plug on this internet thing before someone kills us all just for grins.
LOL that made my day.

Not too long ago the local metro area Internet access went Flintstones when idiots running aerial fiber accidentally cut public safety pairs. Public safety got priority routing. That made people think... for a minute.

A manager of a sensitive site once asked me head up the red team during their annual mock event with public safety. I'm no expert, but he wanted fresh ideas and needed volunteers. I thought it would be fun and wanted to help. I gave the manager an outline citing open source info. Then I was sidelined by a commander I used to work with because "he'll make us look bad". He refused to participate if I was part of the event.

I can only imagine the WTF moments experienced by forum guys like C2A1. It would drive me nuts.
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Old March 07, 2016, 16:53   #108
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Was digging around looking for some old information and stumbled across this folder on one of my work machines today. Knew it was in all my shack computers and especially my "end of the world" computers all stashed in Faraday boxes but since it was open I burned a CD with all the information contained. Its the programming software for hundreds if not pushing a thousand radios including commercial and public safety. Not sure if its my most recent but if anyone wants a copy PM me an address. Guarantee it will program a whole bunch of radios if your willing to purchase a half dozen cables. Fleabay is covered with the cables needed, know there is one guy with a USB to three different Motoralla output types for under ten bucks. Only issue is a lot of the old radios will not take data from a fast computer. I keep a Pentium 1 up and running at work, home and in the deep dark hole to use with older radios. The old slow brick units are most likely to survive any real EMP and keep on ticking.





Edit:
And if your an absolute nut can drop this folder on your disk also.

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Old March 09, 2016, 19:09   #109
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Trained a new part time guy from local Fire Dept today. Fire Fighters make great part time help. He looked at my little 1993 Dakota suspiciously this morning as looks long in the tooth. Every time bend something buy a new piece of sheet metal and squirt whatever shade of red is close in the automotive paint cabinet. Call it my "truck of many colors" as its five or more shades of red. Then there's the eight antennas populating from front fender rear bumper.

When got in cab I dropped my smart phone in Wilson Cell Booster cradle and popped Bluetooth in ear. He saw all the ham radio control faces and four microphones lined up along with GPS and a Netbook in hard mount and said didn't know if cab looked like commercial airliner cockpit or one of their newer Rescue Units. He was amazed when phone would light up and female voice would announce caller name and I could just say "answer phone" or "reject call" and phone did as commanded without taking hands off wheel.

Screen would light up and say text message and I respond "read message" and female voice did best to read. Can say reply, then give short sentence which she types and say send. As day went on and rush hour hit in different parts of the world the D-Star traffic would come across reflector and would chat with people all over the world. Local repeaters would key and might chat with a friend and at one point had a band opening into Europe and picked up a few DX contacts. When stopped could pull up work orders on the Netbook, check email, surf net, post to group, whatever. The 6.8 AR had him concerned about theft till pointed at cable cuff extending from under seat could lock around receiver and the AR behind seat was in a police style lock.

By end of day rolling along he was really impressed with my $500 24 year old truck. We stopped to order a new set of $1,000 Michelin tires which are worth four times truck value. There was four to five times value in guns of what truck is worth and ten to twenty times truck value in radios and electronics. Reason I still drive the little ol truck is would take a month to move all the systems that are perfect to another. Every device and button is either single quick push with hand always on wheel and eyes on road or totally hands free. Our entire days trip preprogrammed into the GPS so when the nice girl in that box would say "you have arrived" we got out and worked. When finished she would tell us where to go next. By hiding stuff and remote mounting the control faces have an entire all band, all mode ham radio shack, complete office and rolling gun ship. He noticed the beryllium rescue ax in floor, CPR barrier, pulse oximeter in console, full first aid kit and every tool could possibly need in tool box. As we came back into town he started asking value of systems and tools. Just hitting the highlights my little $500 truck has over $50,000 in electronics, guns and tools. He then understood the paging alarm and why I have such high level of security in a truck that when he first saw was unsure if it would get us across town and back.

He was really s uprising in ride and then how it drove once I took a pain pill and handed over the keys. It's 4x4 but been lowered 1.5" instead of lifted with a performance handling package. Sway bars are double diameter of stock and shocks cost stupid money. He understood me ordering the Michelin tires also after driving. He laughed as truck had been noticed all the time by his station as pass by daily and the 41 foot random wire Texas Bug Catcher HF antenna plus the 30 meter Ham Stick for digital HF make the little old thing look like some C.B. redneck freak with black and hispanic mixed in. All in all a good day as he ended up asking in manner that wants to use if he gets to drive the little truck named "Team Dodge". I gave him a firm maybe, likely put him in a newer and nice truck by most people's standard unless it's a pain pill day and I need a driver. That impressed him too, said most just drive anyway till they scrape out of a wreck to put in body bag.

A camo paint job and the truck would be the ultimate prepper or bug out truck. With 300,000 miles on odometer would set off to Washington State tomorrow with no worries. Might have to fix something on trip bit know it's more dependable and proven than a new truck. Funny thing is my brother and some friends are too embarrassed to ride in such an ugly, old, tacky looking truck. Once a professional spends a day in it wants to use as his work truck because totally set up like his department units that cost close to seven figures totally equipped.

At one point while he was driving turned the Netbook toward passenger seat, set HF rig on 30 meters, flipped antenna switch and brought up the PSK31 waterfall. Watching the conversations drop through the waterfall like the backdrop to movie The Matrix totally intrigued him. Said Department was always encouraging them to get ham licenses and pay them for time in ham class and taking exam. When discovered I teach the class and give the test think I have a new ham ready to blossom. Hopefully he will get his entire shift to take class together. Like licensing up Public Safety folk. Those of you without licenses or mobile HF and digital modes go ahead and start studying or running wires. Ham radio is great way to pass the time on long trips or when commuting in vehicle.
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Old April 02, 2016, 16:09   #110
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About a year ago working a location when an F2 tornado rolled over us, helper crawled under truck, I got in. Sucked several sheets of 1/2" plywood out and scattered it for several hundred yards. Sign we were working on has heck of a footing (we poured it) so no damage except my Texas Bug Catcher 41 foot random wire antenna was gone off rear corner of truck. It's 12.5 feet from pavement to top but enough turns of wire is actually 43 feet electrical length.

Have driven this truck for years with this antenna including states with higher than Georgia speed limit. Have driven 85 mph into 20 to 30 mph headwinds so know it's 100 mph antenna. Even with cruise set on 75 on days with 30+ mph wind gusts has just ticked along with zero issues. The tornado took out some trees and windows around us but little more. Took an hour to find the critical parts to my Bug Catcher. Today another project was to get it up and working so could work all bands using the Icom Tuner in aluminum box at base of antenna instead of swapping ham sticks for band of choice on far right tool box mount antenna. Now back up to my eight antenna count so just flip antenna switches, press tune buttons and can work most of the ham bands from drivers seat. Australia, bout to start calling DX mobile again...



Doubled value of truck with a new set of Michelin LTX tires, new brakes and four wheel alignment. Actually tripled the value of the truck. Have a new upgraded alarm that communicates with smart phones to install next week due to contents value and doing a new clutch. The little truck has been in every state in the lower 48 plus four Canadian Provence's plus Ol Mexico and gets me home every day. Would take a month to move electronics and firearms if switched so will keep on driving it, already priced out a crate engine when/if that becomes necessary.
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Old May 19, 2016, 08:21   #111
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My hobby for past year has been developing best combination of load carrying systems, body armor and necessary gear if have to go outside of the house or just cover the back yard while someone else covers front and possibly others the sides. Have worked multiple scenarios based on being by myself, self/wife, one to a dozen friends. Situational awareness and communications are the the most important force multipliers can have based on my situation. Being able to communicate and share information on the fly is key, especially if have wife or other in radio shack monitoring cameras and other equipment.

While in house, range is of little issue for radios, once the frequency jammer turns on have very narrow bandwidth to operate in and some bleed over from jammer but adjusted notch filters on jammer to give a fair slice of spectrum and radios in shack can go to nice inside mounted verticals that are as resonant as reasonably possible. Issue is with the mobile radios on load bearing gear.

If lay down your suddenly cross polarized and lost huge amount of signal strength considering trying to operate on as low power as possible. When running 0.5 watts or lower, majority of bands either side of operating frequencies being actively disrupted it's easy to have issues when all radios are in house and fastest range concerned with being fence line.

This was a common theme for vests:







Here is a detail photo of one of my primary issues:



Most vests have two radios with two ear pieces going to each ear with a PTT on microphone. The mic/speaker wire routs right next to antenna. Whether use stock rubber duck or high gain antenna. Will notice most vests (well if posted all current pictures) have one must band radio in the 6 meter band. I find the "magic band" useful so most vests now have a dual band VHF/UHF radio along with a tri-band or quad-band radio.

Took some hints from military and the relatively common antenna relocation kit.



So sat down and soldered up some cables and have run inside of vest to rear and have a pair of high gain antennas either side of the rear rifle plate, cable routed down through vest and around back so antenna nor wire make contact or run beside headsets of choice. If lay down still have issue of cross polarization unless everyone else is belly down (have an antenna swith on two shack radios to flip quickly to horizontal polarization if need) but antennas are on back and not under person with body laying on top and attenuating even more. Antenna protected inside of vest, not poking operator in eye or otherwise in way.

In testing around house and yard most of the time can keep all radios in lowest power setting even if have opposing polarization. On occasion have to bump a notch on power which sucks as forces you to monkey with the radio when in real life situation, more than tapping the PTT button takes, time, effort, concentration and risks messing up other settings anytime you change anything on a radio especially in dark and under stress.

Just got some new ear pieces with throat mics in and two different radio integration devices that allow up to three devices including a cell phone to all tie into one headset and select one or more devices to transmit at same time from little box on front of vest. Thought would share some of my antenna issues with load bearing gear and hope someone has some ideas to share to improve my issues.

Now have five rifle rated vests that each have two matched capability radios plus all other necessary gear including ammo. Switched all rifle plates to Dyneema and according to ancillary equipment each vest weighs 21 to 30 pounds with all gear and fully loaded magazines. Decided to set a 30 pound maximum limit and whenever possible trim that as much as possible. The two vests in the 21 to 23 pound range are actually quite comfortable for a rifle rated vest. 30 pounds plus other gear and rifle begins to drag a man down. Goal is to keep tweaking to reduce weight while increase capabilities as much as possible.

Have two jumpable vests with nothing but a 12"×14" front and rear hard panel, no soft armor, one radio, IFAK and ammo. Those only protect center of mass front and back with minimum accessories but large ammo load out and are about 18 pounds each trimmable to 15/16 pound range.
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Old May 19, 2016, 11:22   #112
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Nice setup on those vests! Antenna routing can be a pain, and I haven't even put them in a vest yet. I'll have to look into building some cables to move the antennas for my two HTs.
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Old May 19, 2016, 14:03   #113
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Most of the time our ham club uses vests,it's for visibility. We did a 5K run/walk thing a couple weeks back,used generic-type orange vests. They definitely lack in holding radios and whatnot. I looked thru e-bay,looks like surveyor's vests would be a notch better than what we have now. For my own,those molle FLC vest work good too. Lots of places to attach crap.
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Old May 19, 2016, 14:20   #114
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Top two photos can see the high gain aftermarket antennas even threaded through the molle up to shoulder extended just high enough can poke yourself in the eye or chin with antenna. If key up on high power then antenna contacting earpiece wire resulting whine was a problem. I like two radios as so easy to accidentally get one off frequency, battery go flat or break though have never broken an H.T. to date but buy good units.

Now most every vest has a triband or quadband with six meters and a dual band with D-Star. Switch to a simplex digital D-Star frequency and comms become relatively secure. Going six meters low power takes most other H.T's out of the game and works fine for inside the fence line of my home. New integration boxes after test and decide which one works easiest will tie three devices together and will either add a tiny FRS/GMRS or cell phone into the chain.

Moving the antennas to inside rear of vest panels (except dumping ceramic for Dyneema) is best modification have made yet. Gets it out of the way, puts it "jelly side up" if face down in the dirt and if flat on your back likely means your bleeding out and no good to the effort anymore. Since wife is wheelchair bound most of the time, teaching her to monitor cameras from shack and passing intel has made best use of her. If just wife and I she has a hide to shoot from and if forced to fight, as long as running is not involved she will shoot out eyeballs to the fence line.

If have guest(s) show up for the party. Can hand each a vest with matching rifle and all have to do is turn on the power switches for the radios. Back of each bedroom door and master bathroom look like this.



Hang a vest totally equipped, rifle and bandoleer of magazines on back of the door. If forced to retreat deeper into the house each door you close have immediate access to additional party favors. Wife can switch to cane or even with wheelchair the setup on back of her bedroom door works for her. Her kit only weighs 16 pounds with level 2 soft armor and 10"x12" 3+ rifle plates. Trimmed down to a single radio and her 5.7x28 gives lots of ammo without excessive weight.

Have two of the old fashioned woodland IOTV in 3a soft and 3+ Dyneema rifle panels and both are set up for 7.62. Currently one has magazine load out for the CETME and other for metric FAL. Looking for a third woodland IOTV to rig for M1a and whatever rifle choose, vest is ready.

Luckily when got heavily involved in emcomm, seemed like half our operators showed up without radios to training session or call outs with some lame excuse so I bought a pile to have ready. Had intended to sell a bunch then started this project and all are finding homes. Will likely never need this many vests at one time but all are good clean units, not going to die hanging around in the house.

Most important, has been a fun exercise is doing something different than building rifles and loading ammo. Have bought dozens of vests over past year along with accessories to play with. Playing Leggo's with all the different molle attachments, routing radio wires, antennas and now integrating all the radios into a single headset combines hobbies of guns, ham radio, electronics and gadgets all into one system. As it stands feel that if slip into any of the vests and have wife directing me from the shack can do a decent job keeping the stray dogs and feral cats out of the yard.

Just ordered two high cut ACH helmets with the side accessory attachments and two pair of the headsets that clip into accessory rail. Throat mics will be on vest then once don helmet plug the wire into to integration box and it will all work together. The headsets ordered are electronic sound protection rated to attenuate any loud noises but allow normal hearing or even turn up volume for my deafness and radios integrated into the setup.

Amazes me is how cheap can find some of this top shelf gear that military is just being issued on ebay and pawn shops near military bases. Seems like everyone rotating home is able to sell their kit. Was told are allowed to loose everything except night vision and weapons. Cruise ebay and its like a candy store with stuff 10% of what dot gov pays and half was issued to REMF's so not even dirty.
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Old May 20, 2016, 08:05   #115
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Found a half dozen companies making these and all sorts of similar items.



Also found a discussion group post from a combat RTO who lost a friend in combat when his antenna contacted a low power line. He engineered a nice home brew solution. Several companies making similar items to picture posted have schematics. So now into antenna projects for a while. Body worn antennas have a lot of issues with induction, attenuation of wearer but apparently enough people had similar issues in battle plenty of solutions, just have to see which is easiest to home brew as these out of box units seem expensive.
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Old May 20, 2016, 08:15   #116
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While on subject of antennas, going through bug out bag found these two WiFi antennas and don't think have discussed.



In addition to the antennas my bug out laptop allows the use of this.



The Buffalo High Power Wifi card without antenna extends range of laptop Wifi an average of 70%. The small antenna adds more and the large antenna allows me to "piggyback" open access systems from several blocks away. Have a beam antenna in tool box of truck that gives me up to a mile of Wifi. Like having my data on the go, whether riding around or walking with gear.
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Old May 20, 2016, 16:30   #117
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More have researched and played with wearable antenna for VHF specifically designs for back panel of vest crossed paths with threads and sites on the 33 centimeter band. Hams have a big slice that is basically unused and lots of potential. Have at least three 900 MHz mobiles use for different stuff but mostly for monitoring public service frequencies. Pretty good at programming the things but not purchased any H.T.'s in this band.

Now have five Motorolla 900 MHz H.T.'s with reputation to be easy to modify, reprogram and like most Motorola H.T.'s can use like a brick to subdue someone, chock wheel of truck with no parking brake and they keep on ticking. For personal use, to hand out to neighbors or anyone showing up for an end of the world party may be a good direction to go. Yes, power/range issues, picket fencing and all the 900 MHz issues are well known but for using around the house, in yard or small team working close proximity may be a good radio to put into service though very narrow scope of flexibility.

The pluses are milspec durability, cheap and very few others using the band. Don't care if wipe the neighbors cordless phone or television remote when key up. Configuring vests with a tri-band or quad-band H.T. and a 900 MHz radio integrated, good antenna system and would have super diversity capabilities with few people scanning some of the bands available. Many of my H.T.'s have the 1.25 meter band for packet work so can work in bands most hams don't even have equipment for if choose. Now that have two projects, modifying the 900 MHz radios and maximizing wearable antenna gain and omni directional capabilities have new hobby to keep idle hands from getting into trouble.

As an aside, found a company doing wearable antennas that have a radar product that tracks the location of incoming projectiles from rifle bullets to RPG's and shoulder fired missiles. Followed a bunch of their links, did some Google searches landing in university web sites and have a new project to experiment with the two radar units just finished repairing with no particular use planned. Another project will have to find someone smart to help with but again, may come up with something that does something even if not what original goal was.

Also just got a bargain in a good used weather radar antenna that ran on eBay for almost two years as untested and price went down every time relisted. Paid just over $100 bucks shipped and darn if all the servos didn't come to life along with all critical parts. May be able to upgrade my weather radar soon once figure out how to get it handshaking with current control box. Radio and radar are hobbies that have lots of uses if world ends. Otherwise my smart phone does most all of that better with free apps. If cell and Internet goes down my WW2 through Vietnam technology will be handy tools. Always knew I should have finished that E.E. degree. Any ex N.W.S., Army Signal Corp or Navy radar/sonar techs out there with time to burn?
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Old May 20, 2016, 18:14   #118
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As an aside, found a company doing wearable antennas that have a radar product that tracks the location of incoming projectiles from rifle bullets to RPG's and shoulder fired missiles.
Takes millimeter wave radar to do that. Even then, you're up against the inverse square law of target size and reflection co-efficient. I ain't even going into aspect ratio, as in, bullets flying your direction.

This ain't re purposed boat radars that will do this. And no, I ain't an internet commando spewing regurgitated Google results. Instrumented tests like this a White Sands. Computers and most especially signal processing have progressed a long way since those days. Physics remains the same.
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Old May 20, 2016, 19:01   #119
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Figured as much. Why said had to find someone to ask. I can repair most marine, aircraft and weather radar units from broken to functioning. Then a few basic hacks, beyond that have to bring in a real technician and usually a software consultant. Just the idea of knowing which direction stuff was coming from seems interesting. My guess was such items needed DARPA money to figure out initially then as filters to multiple manufactures, still need dot gov money to play the game. Sometimes if send up a flair somebody has some genius solution already worked out.

The wearable body antennas was working me over then finally put the correct string of words into the proper phrase and suddenly 100's of canned, out of the box wearable antenna solutions populated my Google searches. Dozens of home brews that are reasonably simple to build also popped up. Funny how been beating my head against the wall trying to come up with a workable antenna solution and so many were there, just didn't enter search parameters correctly.

In process found tons of other interesting ideas as chased rabbits down different trails. Found several groups modifying 900 MHz H.T.'s into ham frequencies and discovered can buy good Motorola radios for said purpose under $50 each. Pulled my model and serial number decoding information out and found some working and easy to modify H.T.'s as cheap as $25 with shipping. Invested a total of about $400 to get five radios, headsets and a couple spare batteries on the way. Found a site that had plans that will allow easy modification of two of my mobile 900 MHz radios into a poor man repeater.

Worse case scenario get the radios all cleaned up, serviced, batteries refreshed or replaced, reprogrammed and then if doesn't do what want, put them on eBay and recover most of my money if not turn a profit. Often my projects end up being sold for a profit if don't end up doing exactly what had hoped would happen. Lots of times a public service radio cleaned up, programmed into ham bands and verified functioning turns into a profitable venture. Why I jump head first into so many projects, worst case is start with a parts device is end up with a parts device. Lots of my marine radars are so fried when get into them all can do is put the cover back on and roll back onto the market for some other electronics tinkerer to take a shot at. Learn a lot in the process, usually what my limitations are.
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Old May 23, 2016, 08:20   #120
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Most of the time our ham club uses vests,it's for visibility. We did a 5K run/walk thing a couple weeks back,used generic-type orange vests. They definitely lack in holding radios and whatnot. I looked thru e-bay,looks like surveyor's vests would be a notch better than what we have now. For my own,those molle FLC vest work good too. Lots of places to attach crap.
Guy out of U.K. sells a very nice conspicouity vest in lime green and bright orange with level 2 armor panels, lots of pockets and some molle. Use one when have to wear one working side of road.

Currently experimenting with home brew antenna antenna like this with a "rats tail" counterpoise and short connector cable with SMA to attach top of radios and convert to BNC. The connector cable routs through an existing hole so all is hidden and not subject to getting in way. The antenna routes up and over shoulder inside vest and counterpoise runs along bottom of vest on inside of plate panel. Have one over each shoulder for each radio. Waiting on molle patches and parts to build a wide band antenna that works 30 to 500 MHz

.
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Old May 24, 2016, 17:58   #121
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Bench is a mess and waiting for six 10.5"×14" molle panels to use as my "platform" to weave body worn antennas to insert into rear of vests. Working on 30 MHz aka 6 meter to 500 MHz multiband omni directional antenna. Was able to download a lot of university research, diagrams provided by companies selling body worn antennas to military and law enforcement, plus some of my go-to home brew antenna sites. Here is the antenna that is basic idea plan to build with improvements.



Built buy an active duty radio operator trying to improve on issue antennas. Claims this out performs all his high dollar dot gov issue antennas. He is using in combat theater and sure if having issues someone up chain of command would make him go back to issue equipment. Found others using similar in dot gov applications and contractor world. While the 11 Bravo type would mainly be concerned with 30 to 87 MHz, these antennas both commercially made and home brew supposedly are working 30 to 500 MHz with a single antenna.

My plan is to weave one that will be more resonant in the 30 to 150 MHz range to go in back plate pocket of my overt vests and then use a home brew short wire with counterpoise in front of vest topping out in shoulder strap area for 150 through 500 MHz. Since prefer having two radios, use one in VHF and other in UHF bands should be able to make it work decently and have all antennas free from getting tangled in anything.

Notice earpiece of new vest working on:



Trying to bypass a $200 to $500 headset on every vest, this vest has two radios integrated into one earpiece. Took a pair of Sonic II earplugs and removed the diaphragm mechanism from one. Put the earpiece in cavity that the little device that blocks loud noises but allows normal sound out. The other ear plug is in factory configuration. After testing determined works pretty good. Can hear ambient sounds around me through unmodified plug, radio traffic through modified plug and muzzle blast is an acceptable level. Considering it's a $10 option compared to $400 tom $500 for good new or $200 for used headset that is compatible with radios and allows hearing of normal sounds before mutes gunfire or blasts can afford to put these on all of the vests instead of either using my one helmet with a headset for all vests. Especially when don't want to wear helmet most of the time, prefer vest with rifle plates and if take one to the head less suffering than the crushed skull going to get from deflection of the helmet dealing what amounts to a hammer blow at point of impact.

Getting less and less enamored with ballistic helmets, especially the high dollar rifle rated unit and the ACH series. If they stop the round, in the process they basically turn into an impact transferring device that breaks your skull like an eggshell. Rather just have brains scattered and be done than lay suffering from that significant level of blunt force trauma. So now my idea of helmets with headsets is sidelined till a real rifle rated helmet is available that does job advertised.

Getting antennas buried in vest, have them function multiband and omnidirectional, standing or crawling face down in the dirt, without body disrupting, ability to hear comms and surrounding sounds while minimizing muzzle blast when not using a can is main goal. That's a lot of crap to ask for even though seems simple. Wallowing around with handy talkie on front of vest and body laying on top of it with negative gain rubber duck antenna screws up something as simple as a radio. Having to remove it from vest to use takes hands off weapon which sucks. If only putting together one setup could use the Bose headset and not worry. Trying to have multiple kits the price of a good headset is more than the armor or the radios. The Sonic II mod does 80% of what wanted for ten bucks so till figure out better and still cheap it's my go to ear gear. A 30 MHz radio and a VHF/UHF radio working in tandem gives all the flexibility can ask for in man portable, hands free comms.

Once tweak antenna project next idea is to look at idea of licensing a business band frequency and determining legality of encrypting a licensed and paid for frequency. As with amateur radio, there are legal ways to encrypt just with ham radio it violates the spirit of the rules though technically doesn't break them. Don't want to be discussing semantics of hair splitting the rules with an OO if can go business band and use a law enforcement encryption board.
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Old May 24, 2016, 21:27   #122
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The milsurp Nacre QuietPro units were the hot ticket budget performance rig for a while. I've been looking at the Silynx Clarus Pro for a bit.
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Old May 25, 2016, 08:54   #123
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The milsurp Nacre QuietPro units were the hot ticket budget performance rig for a while. I've been looking at the Silynx Clarus Pro for a bit.
Own a QuietPro in the dual radio configuration. At $200 plus price of ear buds/headset of choice then cables to tether to radios have popped over $300 to setup. The single radio model at $100 doesn't even make sense to me.

Have looked at the Silynx Clarus Pro and as hearing protection that allows situational awareness is top shelf unit. According to manufacturer is able to tether to smart phones and mp3 players and have found references to people using with radios but the Silynx doesn't have a PTT switch anything have read mentions. At $250 for a set of hearing protectors that basically tether to a phone price is kind of steep. Do like the microphone in the earpiece and thus does not need a separate device such as boom, throat or hand microphone.

Could put in line with my current breadboarded box that would allow additional devices to connect but then still have the PTT issue and which device would transmit. Have several schematics of different devices that could put together to sit between all devices you mentioned in single channel option to allow multiple devices but non have elegant PTT option.

Would like to run two radios and smart phone through a single device, monitor all, have hearing protection and ability to transmit on single device or all. Several companies make three channel devices that do exactly what want but crack a $500 bill. If had unlimited toy budget would order up a six pack of whichever was leading the pack this week in reviews but that's real money.

Have made a little box that allows me to plug in two H.T.'s and monitor both through a single ear bud. Costs me less than $5 bucks to solder up with either Icom or Yaesu connectors or one of each. My PTT keys both radios as trying to decide which PTT works which radio under stress is too much. One of the radios can be locked in monitor only mode if only want one to transmit. Device is small and pot entire device in five minute epoxy so totally sealed except for connectors.

Plug in radios, headset and done. One PTT near shoulder on mic. The setup on vest last pictured uses a $15 headset/mic, home brew box to tether both radios to headset. A Rat Shack 2"×2" breadboard, electronics and connectors about $5 to $10 bucks according to if impatient and drive to Frys or patient and wait for Mouser to ship whichever part missing from junk box. Frys sells a nice aluminum project box that 2"×2" project board fits but costs triple the Rat Shack plastic box. Once fill with epoxy unless sink in water long enough for water to infiltrate the connectors would take a sledge hammer to break it. Very basic box but does everything the $500 units do except being hear through and active noise protection. So the radios into a gutted Sonic II and the other left meets most of my objectives for under $30 bucks and some time soldering up each device. Have one that is Icom/Icom, one Yaesu/Yaesu, one Icom/Yaesu. Before plugging radios and headset in fill the connectors with dielectric grease to slow infiltration from water.

Working on one that allows tethering phone in also but trying to solve some issues with circuitry instead of relying on voice commands to operate phone. In vehicle with phone sitting in Wilson Booster cradle it's easy to say "dial phone" then say name of contact or say "answer phone" when rings. But when phone is in a closed pouch and laying on top of it face down with ambient noise the voice command features go to crap. Guess if phone rings will have to leap to feet, wave hands and call "time out, my wife is calling" then once done can ask all other participants if finished their calls and resume our running gun fight.

In today's day and age think we should establish a "man rule" all participants in any sort of altercation, gun fight, small unit type neighborhood SHTF battle scenario have one official "wife is calling time out". I might be better off shot at the fence line by invading zombies, killed in route trying to fight my way home, or other such situation than purposely not answer phone if wife calls. The nagging about ignoring her call may be so bad have to shoot myself rather than be locked in house for months listening to how much better life would be if I had answered phone when she called.
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Old May 25, 2016, 10:43   #124
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Own a QuietPro in the dual radio configuration. At $200 plus price of ear buds/headset of choice then cables to tether to radios have popped over $300 to setup. The single radio model at $100 doesn't even make sense to me.
...
I hear you. I'm using Standard Horizon HX370/400 models and shoulder mics w/earphone out, so that's my PTT/monitor config.
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Old May 26, 2016, 06:53   #125
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I hear you. I'm using Standard Horizon HX370/400 models and shoulder mics w/earphone out, so that's my PTT/monitor config.
Actually a decent option. Till recently hearing protection equation was biggest issue in the equation. Collecting enough cans most guns will have a muffler now except the emergency handgun on gear. Losing ability to hear after first few shots is huge tactical disadvantage. Console of every truck and shirt pocket always have a set of Sonic II's handy. If working in sketchy part of town put in the ear plugs as part of habit.

Last night at church guy came in needing checked out closely and until contents of bag verified safe had already slipped my ear plugs in. If someone comes in no ushers/greeters/security recognize, carrying a backpack or shoulder bag of any size try to take a quick glance. Grandmother's with box of home baked muffins get immediate clearance unless hungry then may have to confiscate a blueberry muffin and examine for safety of entire crowd....
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Old June 08, 2016, 09:43   #126
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Stick in my trash thread not to go off topic in others or start new. Been trying to call doctor past two hours. My land line says "all circuits busy" as do my Ma Bell and Verizon cell phones. Don't know if just my neighborhood or wider spread as not hiked downstairs to shack, turned on an H.T. or scanner. Don't care, will call when phones come back.

Just goes to prove that blue sky day, no obvious issues other than no phones working that system is fragile. Always kept my land lines in case cell went down for alarm purposes and cells from two providers. If in area where one doesn't work then other usually does. Have a cell booster in shack and truck, probably find a signal but don't feel good and why calling doctor. So will sit here in my recliner till phones come back. If no phones by lunch will just drive to doctors office. Primary no work Wednesday but endocrinologist does and it's there issue anyway.

For all who are considering dropping land lines like half my friends have, what are you going to do if have emergency and local cell tower off grid? Of course I have lost both systems but internet and cable television is fine. If real emergency could walk downstairs and make a call work even if had to wake up 911 through a public service band like our fire departments UHF system they keep in event the digital trunking system goes down. Our communication grid is one firmware push, hacker attack, EMP or weather event from total collapse. Be ready.
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Old June 08, 2016, 11:56   #127
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It's not just local to you Huey.

While my phones are not out, they are having trouble.

When I called czusa's warranty line, the phone was cutting out like a cell phone does.

Only, I wasn't on a cell phone. I was on my landline.

Very annoying, but still better than sending smoke signals.

FWIW, CZ is in Kansas city, and I'm in KY.
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Old June 08, 2016, 15:30   #128
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Our communication grid is one firmware push, hacker attack, EMP or weather event from total collapse.
Huey nailed that one.
Been learning about some of the extremely low S/N data modes lately. Playing mostly but wanted to know the math involved. They need 'accurate' time, which can be off by 10~20 milliseconds and you'd never notice. Which devolved into time standards and the need for them in our current cellular, fiber, and Main Office transmission protocols.

I was shocked at what is required to make 4G data work. The timing requirements on a commercial communications system are at the point that cesium beam clocks have been deployed and integrated into these networks.

As a less accurate BACKUP. Think about that for a bit. Normal timing is derived from the GPS system. The way they accomplish that stretched my mind quite a bit. And I used to work with IRIG timing streams so the concept ain't exactly new. The level of precision they can wring out today damn sure was.
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Old June 08, 2016, 16:28   #129
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Huey nailed that one.
Been learning about some of the extremely low S/N data modes lately. Playing mostly but wanted to know the math involved. They need 'accurate' time, which can be off by 10~20 milliseconds and you'd never notice. Which devolved into time standards and the need for them in our current cellular, fiber, and Main Office transmission protocols.
I was toying with the idea of setting up a method of sending data via a jt mode where part of the data would indicate next tx start offset. It would frustrate the crap out of most hams...if they could record it and play it back enough they might get your call and then I am sure I'd get another OO card.

You can actually sync your PC clock by just when the next over starts if there are signals you can hear...I have done it before in the field and it worked fine.
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Old June 08, 2016, 16:41   #130
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You can actually sync your PC clock by just when the next over starts if there are signals you can hear...I have done it before in the field and it worked fine.

If you have an NNTP time server daemon running on your Linux machine, and I'd be surprised if you didn't, timing for all the JT modes is moot. That was the 10~20 millisecond uncertainty I spoke of above.

There are also sniglets of PERL that will listen to WWV off your sound card and set the box clock.
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Old June 08, 2016, 21:39   #131
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I was toying with the idea of setting up a method of sending data via a jt mode where part of the data would indicate next tx start offset. It would frustrate the crap out of most hams...if they could record it and play it back enough they might get your call and then I am sure I'd get another OO card.

You can actually sync your PC clock by just when the next over starts if there are signals you can hear...I have done it before in the field and it worked fine.
Actually been twisting digital modes hard. Even sending PGP encrypted (public key posted at library on bulletin board in hex) files or other ways of scrambling has not raised any eyebrows. Often send traffic where next frequency is at end of each transmission so have to move frequency every time new info is transmitted.

So many modes running in the digital and voice allocations think the OO's are more worried about people out of their allowed privileges, off frequency and trash talking on 75 meters chasing odd digital transmissions is low priority. Especially short transmissions as info is sent and done before most can even identify mode unless you announce intentions. Especially if go up into the 2.4 GHz slice which is the freaking wild west of experimenters. Recently loaned one of my dot gov surplus radios with law enforcement encryption board to friend that's been modified into ham bands. Been sending FLdigi without any complaints but just done a few short tests. Been using 1.25 and 6 meter bands a good bit where few seem to lurk. Stay off repeater splits, calling frequencies, 20 and 75 meters then have very few people listening. The 30 meter guys seem to find something new a challenge instead of complaint. Low power transmissions and beams are great for experimenting when flirting around edge of rules. I try to always be inside the rules but a lot of gaps that have wide definitions of what's allowed if read like a lawyer specializing in hostile takeovers. Remember when the flag goes up, the rules go in the shredder. Lots of 800 and 900 MHz equipment for under 20 bucks as nobody wants it now. Play hard, play by the rules but push the edges hard and set up your local information sharing nets. May need it all someday. Still have a box of old Oki cell phones that are amazing devices when crack them open.
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Old June 08, 2016, 22:52   #132
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im running the cheap Boafeng UV5R type radios and the boafeng 888 walkies and will be sticking with them or models like them from here on out..

Only option so far is running the ear bud and shoulder mic that they have with them..some one needs to make a decent quality in ear tactical head set type unit for these for CHEAP..

they would sell a ton of them.

Huey that INVISIO thing look promising..i wonder if you could jerry rig and cheap headset to work with the Boafeng UV series and the high powered series ?

UPDATE

I just googled INVISIO and couldnt find one site , NOT ONE,, that even had a price for the cheapest model (Invisio 10) much less an "add to cart " feature for one

why are they so hard to buy ???
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Old June 08, 2016, 23:30   #133
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found this for the cheap Boafengs


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00M2UCOQO/...1D7G8CT9HBPBT8
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Old June 09, 2016, 06:03   #134
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Put several Baofengs on test bench along with half a dozen brought in with significant issues out of the box. Betting your emcomm system working on the cheapest pieces of crap is odd. Why not go trade your carry pistol for a Raven 25 acp, duct tape some scrap metal around you for body armor and make your water filter out of used coffee filters? Oh, go trade all your battle rifles for 22 rimfire's and get some 14 year old girls to defend your perimeter. Like buying used take off tires from a Hispanic used tire shop for your sports car. If giving to kids for toys, maybe. Otherwise looking at the output on a scope and spectrum analyzer, how the frequency drifts and dances, so many people with a button, knob or feature that doesn't work correctly and other issues, not going down over a cheap radio.

One guy I know has six of the Baofengs and three have to be set significantly off displayed channel to get on correct band. Local repeater people are often adjusting their new little cheap radios spending a half hour getting the things on something close to the correct input and output frequencies then lock them down. Once they get them locked down and start using them long enough to get hot then start drifting. Helped a guy who was on VHF calling frequency get on band. His radio just made some static when display set to frequency he was trying to use. Occasionally somebody gets a decent one but I would only use them for target practice. Hate to get in a bind, need my comms to work and my radio crap out.

While use Yaesu radios will usually go for their Vertex commercial line. Icom's and Kenwood's are fine but like to move into the professional series as much as possible. If want to be cheap, buy good used Motorolla public service radios and reprogram into ham bands. My primary vest has an Icom dual band D-Star, Yaesu quad band and Motorolla public service radio. Secondary vest same Icom D-Star, Icom tri band and Motorolla. Third backup vest is about the same, bug out bags and such.

The nastiest thing in the world to me of late are the guys with a Baofeng run through a 50 watt linear amp into a magnetic mount antenna for a mobile rig. W.T.F.? A Yaesu 2900 is only $119. Remember buying four Icom 2200h's new in box for $199 each then dropped D-Star boards in for $99 each when they discontinued the things for next model. Rated at 65 watts and all swing 73 to 78 clean watts on my no lie meter. Gigaparts has six good mobile rigs under $150. Have Icom handhelds starting at $99. Rather have one $100 radio that will work for decades than throw a $49 radio in the trash every couple of years.
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Old June 09, 2016, 11:10   #135
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If you have an NNTP time server daemon running on your Linux machine, and I'd be surprised if you didn't, .
Yep, just pointing out the low-tech solutions in case anyone needed one.
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Old June 11, 2016, 09:24   #136
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I got my hat handed to me trying to get a Linux box up and running about 15 years ago. Had what was supposed to be best distribution at the time in a box with A, B, C instructions. But beyond the included word processing and few other pieces of software getting a peripheral to run off the Linux box was so time consuming that I abandoned it. Hate Apple because so proprietary and many industrial machine builders will not even try to provide drivers and Apple support. Think their stuff is one of those overpriced niche products sold to people who believe the hype created with each new product released.

Beauty of Windows was backwards compatibility. That seems to be going away as time goes by and newer distributions are not supporting older devices. Have shop full of machines that cost five figures each that have been well cared for and no new versions that are significant upgrades to what they do. Some are actually better than the newer machines as my main industry of signs has started sacrificing outdoor durability for speed of manufacturing. Thermal printers have been replaced by ink jets with half the outdoor durability. They call it planned obsolescence. Make a product that has to be replaced every few years instead of a product that lasts as long as substrate applied to does.

Now I have to maintain three distributions of Windows. A Pentium 1 machine in each shack running Windows 97 to talk to older radios as port speed is so fast if try to reprogram a lot of older Motorola radios a fast computer will dump data faster than radio can accept it and resulting collision turns the radio into a brick till find someone with their old 586 machine in corner. While a bit of a pain, it allows buying absolutely top notch radios and programming them for whatever bands and frequencies needed. Every ham club has an old timer who can make magic with old Moto's.

Have found the three to ten channel Moto's to be best tactical radio for small groups where many are not radio fluent. Once programmed their only choice is on/off/volume knob then select a frequency. Ear buds, hand mics, batteries and all could want is usually easy to find. Can select in bands that are specific to mission used for. Person can't get their radio off frequency or wrong band/mode. If works when purchased with a fresh battery or two will go another decade till needs another battery. Ability to buy for $10 to $49 based on what user wants brings cost down and is a professional radio.

Company out of Hawaii put up a bunch of FBI encryption boards on ebay a while back and similar pop up frequently. Can put in wide number of radios and once you program your boards and install into radios all a person has to do is hit the happy switch and takes a dot gov alphabet agency to decode your traffic. A small group working at one watt or less to keep up with each other would likely never get any attention other than someone close scanning trying to figure out how to decode the gobldygoop. In 800 or 900 MHz most will assume it's machine, not human traffic or at least something other than hillbillies with handitalkies. Snap up Moto encryption boards as fast as can find them, group a set of radios then get all programmed, happy with sharp batteries plus earpieces and microphones then can always find a small group willing to take them at a premium. Most don't want complicated or being able to hear others, just ability to talk without others listening. The scanner in their shack or freebanded ham radios can do that and their RTO can feed them any info may need heard from others.

Just in one church group worked with couple dozen smaller groups popped up wanting turn key comm solutions and have money to spend. Two bought new American Tower Co freestanding towers with huge wind load ratings and had complete shacks installed with grounds, surge suppressors, radios, programming, computers and power backup. Luckily being their specialist keeps me in their loop and have groups spread out for a 100 mile radius around me to pull information from.

All the common Bass Pro, Wallyworld and internet radios with security features are so easy to crack. Just have a scanner piped into a laptop with correct software and it will pull those guys out and find their security settings to decode. Why like two radios per person. If had to wander out of house wife can talk to me on a private frequency with encryption board, monitor all the common stuff from the other and use as backup or secondary feed if computer hears something wife thinks need to hear while in the yard just pipes it in. Our primary comms are bomb proof on the commercial Motorola radios and all do is turn single knob to change frequency. No trying to handle a complicated tiny radio in the dark with rifle in hand. One ham radio is usually on scan and other is locked down on an uncommon band for backup and secondary information feeds. Each radio weighs less than a loaded magazine and information can be more important than bullets. It's at least a hobby that keeps me occupied without backbreaking work.
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Old June 20, 2016, 15:25   #137
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Have been looking around at canned equipment designed specifically for tasks I have been hacking or modifying equipment designed for other purposes. Lot of my stuff is mission specific canned military intrusion detection equipment mostly late Vietnam War into early 1980's technology. I finally got my hands on four Desert Storm era perimeter intrusion radar units that link together and operate in the 5.4 GHz band that all require repair and only reason was able to afford. As digging around for information on these and other more recent technology devices found a lot of stuff that has radar, thermal, video camera and other technology packaged together in nice commercial units if want to throw six figures into a basic system. Found one quote that sums up what my theory has always been about security worded exactly as I look at security systems.

Quote:
Buying time, that is truly what security is about. *Security*stops*no*one, it only provides enough time for you to react to a threat. *I’ve spent my professional life in the physical and electronic security world, protecting high value assets throughout the United States. *Ultimately speaking, my job is to purchase time.
That is all any of us can do. The farther we cast our net, the more time we buy. I start with ability to read data from weather satellites without broadcast filtering, monitoring radio spectrum then as distance to my location decreases personal radar, seismic sensors, motion sensors, cameras, then hard structures beginning with the fence at property line. Each hopefully buys time. Can watch cloud formations even if all news is off air long as weather birds are still in orbit. Listen for radio traffic world wide, nationally, regionally then locally through scanning and communicating with other like minded people.

If threat survives crossing fence then seismic, cameras, PIR, infrared, laser, radar, doppler, microwave, etc give a darn good idea where to aim. Dual security doors, dual windows, lockable shutters, brick walls, etc create final layer. Every single one can be brute force destroyed, elegantly circumvented, or combination of both. If society is still running alarms should bring emergency responders, if not alert that final layer is breached and time to be in panic room, bugged out or ready to go toe-to-toe. There is no such thing as real security as dot gov can't even keep airplanes out of the Pentagon. Just more layers takes more time to defeat and allows better response. If someone has the price of a seven series BMW to pitch in the wind, FLIR has a nice commercial ground radar coupled with thermal and cameras into a slick software interface which will own 700 meters from sensors.

This guy hacked a marine unit into a marine/ground unit (uses it for both) and put it on his bicycle.



Unless he modified radone in housing won't be good for low crawling people or low flying objects.
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Old June 21, 2016, 09:15   #138
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A good way of keeping up with what's going on and ideas to keep your comms up to date is look at the applications to the FCC for Experimental Radio Service. A few of interest have read about lately.


Running high speed WiFi data in the UHF bands:

Quote:
The Wisconsin Wireless and Networking Systems (WiNGS) Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, filed an*application*with*exhibit*for experimental license to test fixed point-to-point backhaul and vehicular networking on TV white=space frequencies. Operation will be in the vicinity of Madison, Wisconsin on 174-216, 470-608, and 614-698 MHz. The experimental platform is called Wide Band Digital Radio. Its major function is to perform frequency translation from Wi-Fi frequencies in the 2.4 GHz range to UHF-TV frequencies.
This one not only gave me ideas could leverage for personal use but things to look for if dot gov or guys in blue helmets start operating locally rather than middle east or other far flung parts of the planet.

Quote:
Harris filed an*application*with*exhibits*for experimental license to test transmission and reception of voice and data from 1.35 GHz to 1.39 GHz at various distances and locations at its facility in Rochester, New York. Stationary and mobile tests will be performed to transmit voice and data in both urban and rural settings. Tests will replicate in-theater tactical communications. This testing is partly in support of U.S. government contracts. The tests will use the*Harris AN/PRC 117G*wideband tactical radio.
Used information found by following these people's work to improve resolution and quality of my ground to air radar. Found several universities using marine radar units to track birds, wild game and even insects. My ground radar has been greatly improved by adding a radar fence, changing the antenna and software that now will track a target and show its path on computer monitor. Can literally see the tracks of people who walk the lake shore fishing and deer moving through back yard in real time or logs from earlier in day or last week if want to store that much data.

Quote:
The University of Nebraska – Omaha, filed an*application*and*exhibits*for special temporary authority to test repurposing of*Furuno*marine radar to count aircraft at a non-controlled airport. Operation will be at the Council Bluffs, Iowa airport on 9410 MHz. The applicant says it wants to investigate marine radar in this application as a step toward creating a system to prevent aircraft collisions. The radar system in this experiment will include a stationary radar antenna linked to a 10 inch radar display that will transmit data to a computer, which will be programmed to count aircraft. The data collected includes the distance from the radar, the heading from the radar, and the heading of the aircraft.
Found several on ground penetration radar which I had never considered. Have a great project now to modify one of my spare marine units into a unit to take up in Dahlonega area to look for where streams used to be. Dang gold prospectors have really cleaned up all the normal places I used to pan and sluice. Digging test holes randomly looking for black sand is too much on me now but have a friend who would happily force his kids to drag a radar around if showed him we could locate areas to dig more easily. One of the university experiments was specifically geared toward locating former stream and river bed tracks.

Radio is a lot more than your granddaddy's C.B.
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Old July 13, 2016, 16:11   #139
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I was toying with the idea of setting up a method of sending data via a jt mode where part of the data would indicate next tx start offset.
I think a lot more could be done with some extensions to the various JT protocol stacks. Much longer messages could be accommodated with embedded 'resync' symbols. Symbols can also be 'split' in the audio pass band, say, oh, 1776 hz apart. Unless the decoder was looking in the right place you have nothing to reassemble.

Not interested in using the stuff personally for EME, but I can think of a few instances where deliberate below the noise floor transmission would be a handy tool.
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Old August 03, 2016, 17:13   #140
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What , TS-830S , Tempo 2020 , Hw-101 , Halicrafters SX-24 , Yaesu FT-857D , Drake MN2700 tuner , SGC SG-230 autotuner , Baofeng , Baofeng , Baofeng ...

How , 137 ft OCFD 80% with hand made 4:1 balun @ 80ft

dual band "J" pole on roof , 10/11M on roof , depending on day of the week an experiment or three in the back yard .

Coverage , near DC to 470MHZ all mode . Just very little interest in digital modes , yet .

Home ,

444.6500+ (131.8)

27.405 LSB most evenings (as "7177" or spud)

27.385 LSB some nets and friends (as "7177" or spud)

3875 LSB 9:00p

3845 LSB 9:00a , same as the 3875 group more or less

3840 evenings just because

7240 swap net weekends

7255 daytime backround noise

I'm willing to spend as much tech time as necessary to find a solution .

Boat anchors r us :-)

Just saw this and had to , there will be more ...

73

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Old August 03, 2016, 18:44   #141
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How , 137 ft OCFD 80% with hand made 4:1 balun @ 80ft
I have about exactly that (with a commercial balun) at half the height. Mine surprises the shit out of me how well it works.

The ICOM 746 internal tuner will match it ( and match it well) from 80 to 6 meters. Never had a wire antenna that works like this. 80 and 6 seem to prefer off the ends, everything else seems pretty omnidirectional. I work into northern Italy on 20 anytime I turn the rig on. That's kind of spooky.

Do you like yours?
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Old August 04, 2016, 11:55   #142
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Entire world stops when ability to send data does now. LGS internet connection goes down and they are toast, happens all the time due to entire area of town still with issues relating to 2015 ice storm. Friends daughter is a Senior and yesterday I tenet for entire gown school located in went down and they could not do any school work as even classroom stuff has to go.through the cloud.

Two years ago medium size municipality south end of county lost internet for over 24 hours when scrap metal thief cut a fiber bundle. 2012 three counties in South Kalifornication lost internet, land lines, police/fire trunking systems and all cellular 48 hours when striking telecom worker cut two fiber bundles. Parts of two states were down when steam pipe ruptured in Wisconsin/North Dakota area including all land, cell, internet and even border patrol stations. Forget the year but Ma Bell did a firmware push to all long distance switches with one faulty line of code. Entire country including White House and Pentagon lost long distance phone service for eight minutes. Imagine a hacker getting into the grid at that level...

If not able to be your own master and know can communicate with your own equipment then will likely lose all situational awareness during a large event. At least have digital data software and interfaces for radios even if not interested in using now so can make it work if have to. It's not that hard. System using now so robust, running under noise floor that someone can key up and start rag chewing on same frequency and data keeps going uninterrupted.
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Old August 26, 2016, 12:56   #143
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In my never ending search to make communications, situational awareness and comfort all easier got a blurb on a one day sale for Walkers Quad Connect shooting muffs. Retail right at $200 and see for sale anywhere from $169 to $249 and the sale was $80 per pair so risked a couple. Claim will do everything including cook a meal then spoon feed it to you.





They showed up and was suprised they even included batteries. Only real issue was no printed instructions, have to go to their website and download how to use the darn things. No huge deal, easier to have them in the phone and tablet anyway. Had hoped for a aux jack like some of their other models which I have used with scanners and ham radios trying to skin the proverbial cat as Bluetooth and an aux port would rock with these. That said here is some of the marketing information on these shooting muffs.

Quote:
Walkers Ultimate Digital Quad Connect BlueTooth Electronic Shooters Ear Muffs are the pinnacle of the extraordinary Walkers Electronic Shooters Ear Muffs Series. Walkers Ultimate Digital Quad Connect includes a high 27 NRR, an advanced sound compression amplifier that raises the volume of low sounds up to 9 times normal while it simultaneously limits the volume of dangerously loud sounds, and 4-speaker surround sound for optimal situational awareness. As a result, you hear everything around you, clearly, comfortably and safely.

Walkers Ultimate Digital Quad Connect now lets you connect your bluetooth enabled device, including virtually all smart phones and bluetooth enabled two way radios. Once you sync the headset to your phone or radio, you can communicate entirely through the headset, hearing through the speakers in each ear and picking up your voice through a built in microphone.

Walkers Ultimate Digital Quad Connect includes Adjustable Frequency Tuning (AFT.) With AFT, you can quickly adjust each ear independently to balance bass/treble to suit the game you are pursuing, or your personal need for differential frequency enhancement.

Walkers Ultimate Digital Quad Connect lets you know the precise direction from which sound is coming, without the need to move. With ordinary two microphone electronic ear muffs, you can tell if the source is right or left of your position, but you must turn your head to determine if it is coming from the front or behind you. With Walkers Ultimate Digital Quad Connect 4-speaker surround system, each directional mic feeds data into the amplifier, letting you know precisely from where sound is originating, without the need to move, which all too often can spook the game you are stalking.

Walkers Ultimate Digital Quad Connect advanced digital amplifier circuitry provides the clearest, most accurate sound available in a Walkers electronic earmuff.

Walkers Ultimate Digital Quad Connect also features independent circuitry, microphones, speakers and controls in each ear cup. That means you can set the volume and frequency response in each ear to suit your needs for amplification independently. The four low noise, frequency tuned, wind-resistant microphones provide natural sound clarity, and better hearing by far, than you have with the open ear.

Walkers Ultimate Digital Quad Connect Electronic Shooters Ear Muffs Features and Benefits:BlueTooth enabled so you can sync with your smart phone to listen to music or make/take phone calls without removing the ear muffsExcellent environmental noise protection (NRR of 27), enhanced by the sound dampening composite housing.Maximum amplification of 50 dB (up to 9 times normal!)Sound activated compression so you hear the entire soundscape, both amplified low sounds plus limited loud sounds for maximum situational awareness, no matter what is happening around you.Very fast response time of .02 seconds. When a loud sound strikes the muffs, the compression amplifier instantly responds to prevent dangerously loud sounds from entering your ears.Light-weight, ergonomic, adjustable padded headband and ear cups, designed for maximum comfortHeadset folds neatly for easy storage and carry.Independent user-adjustable volume control on each ear cupIndependent user-adjustable frequency tuning controls on each ear cupTwo, directional, wind-resistant microphones on each ear cup (a total of 4 mics) so you can tell from which direction sound is coming without the need to move!Uses two standard aaa batteries (included)90 day warranty. Extended support plan also available. See owner's manual for details.*
Immediately installed batteries and linked to phone. Grabbed a pistol, turned on some music in shop and adjusted volume. Could hear music fine, launched a few rounds and were working great. Went outside and the four microphone system worked well being able to hear traffic, the kids across street playing soccer and could adjust each side independently. Being half deaf the ability to turn up ambient sounds worked well enough could hear conversation across the street unable to discern with just my ears. Have one handietalkie with Bluetooth, linked it and was able to hear local repeater fine and station reports said they could hear me fine with the muffs built in microphones. As the QSO continued went back inside and let friend talking to know was about to shoot to test and see how gunfire sounded on his end. All reports said could hear the shots but noise did not overwhelm the radios as apparently noise cancelling kicked in so all was good.

As talking and shooting heard an odd tone and took me a moment to figure out it was my phone ringing. Had both devices linked and headset was willing to work with both. Turned VOX off on the H.T. and answered the phone. Was a friend so tried launching a few rounds as we talked. At points if repeater keyed up, was listening to someone on phone and there was ambient sound nearby it got a bit flakey but works well enough. Now my issue was only one H.T. with Bluetooth.

Did a little Google searching ham sites and found some homebrew projects, canned equipment could modify and get PTT function but then hit the site for Advanced Wireless Communications selling Pryme Bluetooth adapters for a wide variety of devices including Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood and Motorolla radios. Know Beofong or whatever makes a Bluetooth adapter for their "radios" but costs about double what the radio does. Use a lot of Pryme antennas so ordered two of their adapters, one Icom and one Yaesu. They have an easy to use PTT switch that I like a lot better than VOX with my Bluetooth enabled H.T. as its a pain to switch on and off. So the $125 each for a few of the adapters has been easiest solution for me.



Now have two of the headsets that live with rifle vests and a third set for work/truck. Each of the vests now have a 3G Motorolla Razor and a H.T. that live in them 24/7/365 and can link my smartphone as well. More items you pair, the more messed up it gets, but two at a time is manageable. Even found an adapter for my portable digital trunking scanners. It's still not a $600 to $1,200 3M/Peltor milspec headset but am not paying a grand for a stinking headset when have to lop ends off cables and adapt to civilian radios. Sent an email and made a call to customer support telling them if would add an aux jack or two (one in each side would rock) would gladly pay more money and it's a feature they have on other models so should not be a huge leap. Even if your not a ham operator, the situational awareness get from four microphones in stereo has a robust natural sound where can identify what direction a noise is coming from. With other shooting muffs that have microphones have struggled to identify if sound hearing was in front, behind, left or right. With these seem to be much better than any of my others at picking up where sound is originating all while listening to wife talk via cell phone. She doesn't have to know was on the range or out hunting squirrels. Long as I answer and grunt when appropriate the occasional shot can be explained as work related sounds. That my friends is worth the price of admission.
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Old April 02, 2017, 10:31   #144
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Stuck this in here as won't muddy up someone else's thread. Somewhere I posted a thread on scavenging parts from microwave ovens and the uses for magnetrons, capacitors, limit switches, timer circuits and such but found this first. Friend called me last week running way short on microwave capacitors and needed some. Took a dozen and he showed me what was building. A freaking rail gun from free electronic parts he has mined, begged and borrowed. Next two pictures are from the net, not of his device.

Using a capacitor bank similar to this (exact caps get out of microwaves on side of road and dumpsters) but many more in his bank.



He has built a device similar to this.



He is in process of tearing his Gen 2 model down for parts to build a bigger unit. Do a Google search on homebrew rail guns, some really nice devices.





My friends is a bit of a hybrid, it uses compressed air to get projectile moving then as it enters the line of electromagnets and capacitors start dumping electricity his Gen 2 device will kill at close range. Maybe my addiction to building AR's is going to be channeled elsewhere for a while. Thinking about all the big capacitors have packed away and my pole transformer. Once charged, a rail gun disguised and on a motion sensor could ruin a zombies day. He had Gauss guns, his Gen 1 rail gun and devices have not thought about. Same friend that walked me through my first spare magnatron microwave gun. He manages to stay alive and actually had FAA show up with cease and desist order to stop using a device used to launch metal objects thousand or more feet straight up. Guy is the best kind of crazy will ever meet and now am intrigued. So it's research and material gathering time for a new toy to drive the wife mad. Going to go help assemble his Gen 3 rail gun and may just copy it for simplicities sake. Wife doesn't mind guns but my pole pig and big capacitors scare her.
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Last edited by hueyville; April 02, 2017 at 12:47. Reason: Get oversize picture sized appropriately
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Old April 21, 2017, 10:41   #145
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Someone who reads my drivel and pays a moderate amount of attention caught a brief mention of having a bunch of linked blanks and links. Sent PM asked how much for how many. As I gave up on owning an M60 when blew past $20,000 price for a worn out piece of crap and couldn't bring myself to scrap my links and linked blanks want them to go to good home. My price is free as of no value to me and be helpful, especially 4th of July for an M60 owner plus can link up a bunch of live ammo.



The programming software in post above am burning disks for all requests today. If want the software for hundreds maybe 1,000 or more different radios let me know. Going to burn extra. If asked in past send me a reminder.
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Old April 21, 2017, 17:09   #146
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I read your drivel. PM sent.
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Old April 23, 2017, 19:08   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hueyville View Post
Someone who reads my drivel and pays a moderate amount of attention caught a brief mention of having a bunch of linked blanks and links. Sent PM asked how much for how many. As I gave up on owning an M60 when blew past $20,000 price for a worn out piece of crap and couldn't bring myself to scrap my links and linked blanks want them to go to good home. My price is free as of no value to me and be helpful, especially 4th of July for an M60 owner plus can link up a bunch of live ammo.



The programming software in post above am burning disks for all requests today. If want the software for hundreds maybe 1,000 or more different radios let me know. Going to burn extra. If asked in past send me a reminder.
So...you have blanks you don't want?

I'll take them if you still have any. I will give you back your gas piston and spring for them!
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Old April 24, 2017, 06:06   #148
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I didn't state my OP clearly. Mentioned these in anot her thread and Files member with M60 was all over them at the free price before I could blink. He wants links so will pull AA mag load of blanks off them for the two that asked. In most rifles won't cycle without blank adapter. In ROTC we never had enough blank adapters and a sneaky pete sargeant showed me a trick. Whenever we drew weapons from local Reserve unit and had n no blank adapters would take a 5.56 case, cut off as thin a possible at web, punch out primer, do a little grinding, remove flash hider and screw case head between flash hider and muzzle. Have no idea if over gassing at that point but M16's ran blanks flawlessly single or rock n roll.

Pulling a few blanks for folk but majority along with links need to go to guy promised. Had a 55 gallon drum of these once but many years of July 4th and such whittled them away. Was nice when local base scrapped stuff locally instead of on contract. Got a drum of 30 round mags at mixed scrap price, brass really cheap by the drum and on occasion live ammo. Scrap metal yard cut me a deal on live ammo and blanks as afraid to handle them. Got disks burned yesterday while cobbling together a gauntlet of motion sensing, DVR recording video cameras. Even quadrupled the size of hard drives for 30 days of high resolution archiving and added a 256 gb thumb drive they record five minutes of any camera that senses motion to along with continuous hard drive recording. Stimpy, will bring you blanks and get my gas rod as stuck without it.
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Old June 01, 2017, 18:51   #149
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For folks waiting on programming disks have three universal rib cables on way and programming software for 15 more radios. More of the modern narrow band and P-25 stuff. Purchased six Icom 2 meter handhelds with 136 to 174 MHz transmit and receive, fresh replacement batteries, chargers and two battery housings per radio that hold AA rechargable. With eight sharp PowerEx nicads will have 10x to 12 power reserve of factory battery. Can program 36 split frequencies and are narrowband compliant. Paid $35 each all have been tested, modulation and power tweaked, programmed to frequency splits I requested and coming with software disk and programming cord if want to change. Was absolutely stunned, bought one from guy in online auction on bidsnipe, passed a couple emails and he agreed to let me have other five same price. Will put one in six of my rifle rated kits and recover some of my newer Icom and Yaesu handitalkies for other uses. Still have one dual band D-Star in primary kits and all have a wide band scanner as well.
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Old October 04, 2017, 21:20   #150
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2017 FCC Rule Changes

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Bands – GMRS, FRS, CB & MURS

On May 18th 2017, the FCC adopted parts of a long-standing Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) that affects several of the PRS (Personal Radio Service) bands, which include GMRS*(General Mobile Radio Service),*FRS*(Family Radio Service), and CB (Citizens Band), now called the CBRS (CB Radio Service).*MURS*(Multi-Use Radio Service) remains largely unchanged. Read the full*FCC Report & Order.

Implementation of the rules took effect 30 days after the new order was published on 08/29/17 (effective on 09/28/17), but some of the equipment changes required by the new rules won’t take place for 90 days to 24 months.

We’ll dive deeper into the changes and also what exciting new gear and programming configurations we’ll be offering to take advantage of the*new GMRS capabilities in future posts, but in the meantime, here*are some bullet points of*the rule changes that*might affect BetterSafeRadio customers and FRS/GMRS users in general:

Hybrid FRS/GMRS “Bubble Pack” radios will no longer be certified in the future by the FCC. Radios will now only be certified as either FRS, or GMRS (or MURS), etc. FRS radios can now operate on the previously GMRS-only 462 MHz (GMRS ch. 15-22) Channels. Yes, these are the GMRS repeater output frequencies, which could cause even more repeater interference by FRS users (especially considering the next item below), but they will not be allowed to transmit on the repeater input channels, so no repeater use for FRS. FRS radios will now be authorized to use up to 2 Watts ERP (Effective Radiated Power) on FRS 462 MHz frequencies (FRS ch. 1-7), and on the new shared FRS/GMRS 462 MHz frequencies (GMRS ch. 15-22). This means a kid with an FRS radio running 2W next door to you, might be able to mask your repeater reception if they are close to your antenna (although they’ve been doing this with the hybrid FRS/GMRS radios for years).Existing FRS/GMRS hybrid radios that use 2W or less, will now be retro-reclassified as FRS radios, using the new expanded FRS capabilities. Existing FRS/GMRS hybrid radios that put out MORE than 2W, will now be*retro-reclassified as GMRS*radios, will still require a GMRS license, and will allow the new expanded FRS/GMRS interstitial channels (previously FRS-only ch. 8-14 – see below).GMRS will now become Part 95E (instead of Part 95A), FRS (Part 95B) and MURS (Part 95J) remaining the same. GMRS licenses (and new renewals) will now be good for 10 years (est. $75 license fee). GMRS radios will remain largely the same, except that they will gain use of the previously FRS-only 467 MHz (ch. 8-14) frequencies, with the same technical limits that previously applied to FRS radios (.5W with a built-in antenna). This adds 7 new shared “interstitial” GMRS channels, giving existing hybrid FRS/GMRS radio users more legal options to find a clear simplex channel (but still shared with all the .5W FRS radios out in the world now). Part 90 certified radios are still not officially legal to transmit with on GMRS, even though FCC acknowledged that many people use them as such. GMRS will now also allow digital GPS and Short Text Messaging between specific radios, limited to a maximum of 1 second per every 30 seconds, and only on radios that have integrated antennas, and not on repeaters, which will hopefully limit interference to serious GMRS users, but allow these digital services for short-range simplex communications. This does NOT mean you can use DMR or P25 (or any other digital voice encoding) on FRS or GMRS. CB radios (Part 95D) will no longer be required to have their serial number etched onto the outside of their cases. CB operation*will no longer be restricted from long-distance “SKIP” communications, although the power limits will remain at 4W on AM and 12W PEP on SSB.

While these changes will simplify the rules and expand shared “interstitial” channels in both the FRS and MURS bands, it may also open up GMRS to more interference from newer, 2W FRS radios. We think this change makes*MURS*even more attractive for personal, business or*emergency/prepper SHTF uses, because it’s VHF and still underutilized as compared to FRS/GMRS.

Now that GMRS will have 22 channels available, 30 if you consider*the repeater*configurations,*TERA TR-505*and other 16-channel radio users will need to make some decisions as to which channels they want programmed. Those using larger radios (for emergency use only) such as the*TERA TR-590, Wouxun KG-UV3D*or*Wouxun KG-UV9D (Plus), will be able to program and access all of the FRS, GMRS & MURS frequencies (although Part 90 or 97 radios are not type-accepted for transmitting on the FRS/GMRS/MURS bands).
These rules are going to confuse and confound many. GMRS is getting more crowded sharing some frequencies with other services. We can finally "skip" talk on C.B.'s, I mean in CBRS. (People have been skip talking since the inception of C.B. but know of a few cases where charges were dropped) I have a huge tri-band beam with a bad trap on one of the bands and it its optimum resonance is on 27.185 MHz. Total suprised and pain as eventually need to rent or borrow a 70 foot lift to repair it but I did put a meter at the antenna and if I put about 15 watts into the wire in the shack signal hits the big tri-beam in a value of 4.x watts with calibrated meter. Can swing it toward a couple truck stops about 60 miles away and talk like in the parking lot with the truckers. Will be nice when 11 meter skips begin to roll know that working a west coast contact is legal now.

The little Chinese radios that are sold as ham radios but often used in other services could be a legal issue though most I have had in hand had no information on them saying if Part 90, Part 95 or type acceptance in any FCC regulated part of the radio spectrum. People that free band, unlock, MARS/CAP radios and use as Swiss Army Knife type radios are no more or less in the shady parts of FCC rules. That said, MURS is one of the really good places to play as very unregulated as to different devices allowed to piggyback or work in-line with this service. I lucked out and got eight Motorolla MURS radios that accepted Motorola encryption boards and all are now programmed the same with same model encryption boards with same encryption algorythms.

Sent to a Motorola tech I know along with five other Motorola MURS with slots for encryption boards and he aligned, set modulation, adjusted power and totally tweaked on his bench. Have one in each overt vest in current service and several laying in house plus piped into an exterior antenna from shack so wife and I can talk knowing short of a very good Motorola expert with encryption/decryption and close or dot gov agency with really good radio geeks if we drop to half a watt are almost impossible to eve's drop on and legal. At the legal limit can talk much farther from house than would want to be. Can't do this legally much anywhere else in FCC regulated services now except a couple very narrow slices of radio spectrum in bands hard to wor voice.

Just be aware many out of the box radios can be easily programmed or came out of their box set up in manner are now out of kilter with the new rules though your going to have to likely have to be doing something else bad and prosecutor wants more charges to add to his list. Post SHTF all rules are off. If emergency is declared all rules are off. Just like to pass FCC rule changes on as they are silly ways for good people to get in trouble on occasion. If use a band requiring a license it's a good idea to get it especially with 10 year terms.
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