Communication Systems

You are going to have to have several types of radios;


for local communications and a HF ( long distance) transceiver and one receiver for SW ( Short wave). With these three types of radios, one would be able to keep up with what is going on around them.


2 Meter, 70 CM, FRMS, GMRS, MURS, Green Dot

Once at your redoubt you are going to need a reliable, rechargable radio system that uses headsets. Anytime one person is away from others it is going to be required to stay in touch. So how does one accomlish this?

Simplest and least expensive?
Baofeng Radios, they cover all those "bands" listed above, attach headsets and mic's and you are in business. But they are limited to line of site and where I live thats very limited  travel.

You can expand usage and coverage of these small radios by creating a repeater in a high ground location to extend the coverage of your system. This can be accomplished for very little money and this could solar powered as well since you will be the only persons using it which would require very little power.


The most simplest device will be a SSB CB radio. I mention SSB  ( single side band) as it is the default long distance communication type to use, and they require no licensing. One good vertical antenna and you are in business.

You can expand on this type of radio by purchasing an extended range type of radio, see right side.

Then, there is all of the Ham Radio radio bands and radios which I will not go into because my whole purpose in this site is to keep things simple. If you are already a Ham Radio operator then you are already aware of what can be acquired and used.


You will need a good to real good SW radio, even better would be a general receiver that covers all bands of the radio spectrum. One single long wire ( like 150 ft) will make a great reciever antenna to use for this type of radio or you can purchase "speciality" type antenna that do a great job as well. See right side for recommendations.


The baofeng radios can be purchased for as little as 25 bucks in the UV-5R V2 version, and you can pick up extended batteries for 12 bucks, headset costs another 15. Purchase a programming cable and then download the CHIRP software.

The CHIRP software has all the FMRS, GMRS, MURS, Green dot, and Weather frequencies built into it. It is a simple setup even for beginners. Then you go online and add local ham radio repeaters. Remember, you do not need a license to listen.

From this point you can expand to tri-power radios, better antenna's, and so on to add to your supply. You can also get the 12V Car plugs for charging off solar power.

GMRS repeater?

See my repeater page and my solar Powered repeater project.

You can pickup a a simple SSB CB for as little as 110 bucks ( Uniden Bearcat 980SSB), add a good antenna and you have reliable communication. The SSB ( single side band) allows the 5 watt radio to transmit 12 watts legally and with skip you can talk across most of the USA in evenings and mornings. Channel 38 LSB is the starting place to start your communication with others.

I stick with 12 volt systems because in a emergency or disaster type of event, there will be limited or no 110Volt AC power. Best of all if you have 1 RV/Boat battery and a solar charger, you have good power source for those radios!

Yes, they still make walkie talkie radios in CB as well. They do work better for longer distances than GMRS.

Then there is a Ham Radio HF gear, but again, my goal is the basic items to get started.

With all the latest technology coming out today SW radios are everywhere with all kinds of cool features. Take the Kaito KA600L model, less than 100 dollars, includes hand crank and solar power, covers a wide range of  bands and will charge other USB devices.

Just amazing, get a extended antenna for it and you are good.

If you want to get into the high end of things in this catagory you can look at a Alinco DX-R8T for about 500 dollars.
You are going to have get some type of communication gear!