Signals Intelligence and Prepping
On this morning after the terror attack in Orlando, I was having another discussion with the group I found myself in. They asked me why I was “into” radio, and how I wanted to talk to people on the radio when I barely talked to anyone at all. I explained why Signals Intelligence is my primary use of radio and I listen far more than I transmit.
They also asked me what exactly I did with radio, the whys and hows, and after we finished talking it looks like Ill be doing a HAM radio class in the near future.
This guy is a very knowledgeable veteran and a combat experienced radio operator. Its not like TV, there is a deep set of skills related to using a radio in extreme conditions. I highly recommend taking a look at his site. He does good work in NC.
Why do you need to have commo gear?
Its just like owning a fence around your property, electronic gear emits signals. Detecting acts like an electronic fence.
Your local EMS including fire and police, and things as benign as the trash collector talking to dispatch. Your neighbors kids playing with bubble pack radios, hunters on similar gear and other preppers doing their own thing.
Having a detailed overview of all transmissions in your area, knowing and recognizing voices and styles of use, and frequencies you hear people on develops into a picture of what normal traffic is.
So, I need a scanner, right?
Well, in short yes. But not just any yard sale scanner. You are looking for danger which applies NOW. Not maybe later, so you use it today, and not just sitting on a shelf.
You need a Digital, P25(apco 25), Phase 1, Phase 2, x2-tdma, Motorola, edacs & ltr trunked systems. This is so you will find out anything coming into police or fire dispatch at the same time it is sent out to the responders.
So, why do you need that? Well, little things like someone shooting up a club, hazmat spills, etc which you can either walk into or drive up on without knowing. The average time from a 911 call coming in and the response is sent out over the radio is 30 seconds. If you are not at the scene already, knowing not to be there will come in handy.
Most people who are killed are surprised by it, I know that comes as a shock but look at a few bodies and they are all pretty much the same. It comes from the lack of situational awareness and lacking personal responsibility for their own safety. In other words, they are clueless. You can see the last expression on their faces, disbelief.
So, this is a prep with uses today as well as “after”. Today you are using it to keep an ear on what happens around you.
A detailed log is also a way to get a larger picture of what goes on around you daily. Please look at the link I put up for basics of intel development.
I have carried a radio for 24 years and counting at work. So its safe to say I have a bit of practice in learning about the larger picture on the radio. I have locked out most of the local rif raf and using my experience I scan 2 channels. I know from my experience in my area the freq I am on at work plus the local PD is the best bang for my buck without sorting through every message coming through.
Ive learned everything of any importance which could effect me and mine will be transmitted over 1 or both of those channels. The trick for you is to break down what happens locally and have to sets of memories programmed.
The first will be your local emergency channels so you have advanced warnings about anything which might interfere with your well being
The second should be the same and contain all the channels on FRS/GMRS, CB, and any other radio systems used commonly in cheap OTC bubble pack radios that will be used by the thousands, literally.
After, its just part of a layered system acting like an electronic fence around your area.
Most people when you give them a radio you get 1 of 2 things.
The most common thing someone does is immediately start broadcasting like they are a 1 man news crew, and they don’t shut up. Ever. About anything.
These guys will drive you nuts, so in my group we keep new members off the transmit key until we know they understand every time you transmit, you tell anyone with the right gear what you are doing, and exactly where you are.
If you are the commo watch , which is basically the guy who listens to the radio, and you hear ” Bubba” running his pie hole about sneaking around to your location, you have an advanced warning. This job is as important as your perimeter sentry at night. You can “see” as far as the opposition can transmit, which can be as far out as 15-20 miles IF you have rigged the right antennas at your location. And you know to scan the frequencies most commonly used by the “Bubbas”
Those will be CB, FRS/GMRS, and then at lesser MURS. In there you will have the people who bought Chinese radios thinking they are the “best” because of cost. That’s a different post but they are not the best by any means.
Most people will call it good once they have a scanner.
Not even close
Antennas make or break your radio gear. Plain and simple, $10,000 of gear will be useless if you cant get any signal. Antennas are the key.
My favorite for any scanner system is a Discone. They are multi-frequency antennas and are a good choice for the first antenna you buy instead of making your own
Why do I like these style the most?
First is they don’t look like the antenna everyone who lived through the CB radio boom considers to be an antenna.
They are low profile, easy to mount on your roof or balcony and come with the cable to match your scanner. Make sure you check what connector you have before ordering. The Scanner I linked has a BNC connector which is an option with the included cable on the linked antenna.
But most of all, Discone antennas work extremely well.
Listening to what is being said around you is especially important in todays world because people are accustomed to believe their conversations are not being listened too. It will be a slow curve for them when using a radio that everyone can hear them if they have the right equipment.
Get out in front of the bad guys and stay there
Signals Intelligence and Prepping