Counterpoi​nt to Communicat​ion Hi-Jinks

This is a guest post by Cliff C

[This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win - First Prize a 10 Person Deluxe Family Survival Kit,  Second Prize an Herb Seed Bank or Third Prize a copy of Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat.  For complete rules and list of prizes see this post.]

I read the story entry “Communication Hi-Jinks” with interest. I feel the need to offer some counterpoints to what the writer stated.

The writer is a big proponent of using HAM Radio or GMRS. Let me give you a small lesson on why these are dangerous modes of communication. I spent many years (23 to be exact) in what was originally USAF Security Service, later to be Electronic Security Command and then later to be Air Force Intelligence Command. One of the side projects, that we started during the Vietnam War and carried through to Iraq and Afghanistan and other target areas was called C3CM (Command Control Communications Counter Measures).

With not a lot of training an operator can listen in on routine HAM communications, GMRS coms, cell phone comms, walkie talkies and just about any other wireless unencrypted communications. Depending on the level of encryption, many of those systems, including frequency hopping and binary codes can be broken in short order.

Now, this is where the counter measures come in. Say you and a few other preppers have established a routine HAM radion check in net on a daily basis where you discuss everything from how much food you have on hand to how much background radiation is going on. An operator may use a variety of means to disrupt your communications.

They may jam the frequency, they may take the frequency away from you but using a strong signal or worse of all, they can intrude on your net. With a little practice I can imitate the chatter of any station or imitate the fist of anyone using Morse code. I can enter your net, take control, issue bogus orders, order all clear when it isn’t all clear or warn of imminent attacks when none are coming. This will confuse and may even cause panic.

With a more powerful transmitter (available to the government) they can block entire frequency spectrums or take over command and control of local resources. During military exercises, it was not uncommon, to enter a net, assume control, either confuse the other users, force them to go to landline coms (which can also be tapped and intruded upon) or even worse, we assume net control and start giving bogus commands.

Call out the crash trucks to the active run way and stop all take offs and landings, during a simulated chemical agent attack, while agents are still present in the air, giving the “all clear” and having people come out of their chemical protective gear into a chemical environment, call out explosive ordnance personnel to defuse a non-existent bomb on a main through fare stopping all traffic for hours at a time, to things as mundane as changing the hours for the dining facilities or grossly over ordering food to be delivered to the control centers.

While these all seem to be military oriented the same thing can happen in a city. Control of storm, hurricane or natural disaster alerting systems can be taken over quite easily and misinformation passed easily. Or worse the entire system can be shut down remotely.

Preppers depending on comms from other preppers will never know if can trust what they are hearing over the radio. They can never be sure that the person on the other end of the radio is actually their friend or backup or instead a stealthy operator feeding misinformation.

How would you feel if you were a prepper and someone you’ve talked to for quite a while tells you that your whole stock of survival food was contaminated before it left the factory and under no circumstances should you eat it? How about if they tell you that the big berky filters are failing and people are becoming ill? How about a meet up being planned to share food or medicine and it leads you right in to a trap.

Bottom line, you have to be suspect of anything you hear coming over the airways. You can develop book codes for authentication and challenge and response identification but even that can be breached. Over the air radio communication is nice to have when you hear news but how reliable is that news? Do you really know who you are talking to? Do you really know who is listening in to your cell phone, radio communications or intercepting your emails?

I just offer this information as a counterpoint. There are ways to protect yourself or to mitigate some of the harm that can be done to you through bogus transmissions but you have to train and be prepared. Trust none of what you hear, less of what you read and listen to only those people you trust completely in face to face situations. Be paranoid. Government, military, invaders, whom ever are not your friends but they’ll be happy to be talking to you on the radios.

Just as an aside, we were able to intrude upon North Vietnamese and Chinese morse nets using regular HF radios and instruct them to turn off their radars prior to an Arc Light mission flying over. We were able to instruct the VC to prepare for site inspections by Chinese officials, taking time away from building defenses by getting ready to greet the brass that isn’t coming.

It can happen to them, it can happen to you. Think about how you will communicate, be aware that nothing is private and no one owns any frequency. There are highly talented operators among the good guys and among the bad guys and you’ll never know which one you are talking to until the crap hits.

Be safe, be aware, be prepared.

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Comments

  1. richard muszynski says:

    greetings. excellent advice. a good reminder that the government has unlimited funds for violating our rights to privacy and we don’t. getting a mickey mouse set up and assuming that it is unbreakable as far as encription goes is simply fantasy. communication will be the biggest weak point in any disaster scenaro. Besides why would anyone assume that another group of survivalists would travel to where you are to help you out if you are under attack? Walt Disney is dead. His world is too. Time for reality as this piece points out from the other side.

  2. Cliff C……

    I think we all understand that it is best to always assume SOMEONE is listening to your conversations and brevity codes, schedules and code words should always be a part of your radio usage. I have some Tri-Square, frequency hopping, eXRS walki-talkis with texting capability ($68 from Amazon) that I have SOME confidence in, given my local area and the threats I would perceive as being most likely to develop in most emergencies. Given the Tri-Square’s range I have trouble imagining what entity exists, within that range, that would have the capability of decoding (or even picking up) eXRS messages. I’d even be surprised if local officials (police, fire, sheriff) have the capabilities to pick up frequency hopping messages. In any event, the fact that “someone-somewhere” has code breaking and radio intelligence gathering capabilities doesn’t preclude the need for communications within a group.

    • Hawkeye,
      I agree with you. If it comes down to the government going rogue against the citizenry, which is kind of what Cliff implies, then there would potentially be a considerable array of sophisticated and expensive equipment employed against you. If however it is just the roving band of zombies planning a raid, then well planned communication with the proper pro words and challenge authentication would work for most of our needs. In the amateur radio service there is a rule that we should only use the minimum amount of power required for reliable communications, and this also should be applied to non-amateur comms.
      As for the Tri-Square EXRS radios, I personally think that in most situations they would be more than adequate for relatively secure communications within a limited range; keeping in mind that they have more range to a sophisticated eavesdropper, than they do with in their own sphere of radiation, meaning that when you are working at the farthest distance, there is other equipment that can still receive your signal beyond that distance perfectly. Decoding and synchronizing with the pseudo-random channel hopping however; presents another much more complicated task which no one but the government is likely to possess.
      As for intercepting hardwired communication within your secure perimeter; that would require physical access, and may present more problems than they’re worth.
      Although Cliff brings up ideas that are good food for thought we must always plan using a threat matrix that is realistic. Here in Ohio I have no plans whatsoever for an event involving a tsunami, because that is an event that will never directly affect me. We must plan our comms accordingly, using secure and insecure communications with an eye to the likely threats we will encounter.
      If you or your group has done something to have the government looking at you specifically, then you would be as prepared as I am for that tsunami.

  3. Excellent article! Thanks for posting it. Maybe you can comment on something I read recently. I’m sorry but I don’t remember the source.
    It implied that the government has already built databases from many of the books (if not all) in the library of congress such that they can have a computer search for code patterns using the typical page/paragraph/word count format. Is this true?

    • [If this is a duplicate, please disregard]
      Since book codes are a common technique (lookup Beale Cipher), it seems very likely that the NSA would have such a database. Whether the database is derived from the LoC, Project Guttenberg, Google Books or whatever, doesn’t really matter.
      The question is, would someone (ie government) with this capability, really want/need to crack the code of a couple of preppers? I would think not. You may have a different opinion.
      One of my concerns is radio direction finding (lookup “RDF fox hunt”). Not that hard even with an improvised antenna. I plan on doing a lot of listening (without trusting what I hear). Transmitting very little if at all. If you must transmit, consider traveling to a different location first.
      A whole CEOI (Communications-Electronics Operating Instructions), not just a book code, is important to OPSEC.

      • I agree that the gov’t isn’t like to be code cracking on a couple of preppers but if you turn out to be that one specific prepper, that one Randy Weaver if you will, then the odds change.

  4. Anonymous says:

    A valid look at OPSEC radio procedures. I liked the idea of a book code (I know how to use one) Even with all that the need for radio commo is still great. Radio commo between units in the field is a force multiplier and massive time saver.

    I guess it boils down to the adage ” Don’t believe everything you hear”, I know that contact procedures for meetups is something I will be thinking about and writing up in my binder.

    Just sayin….

  5. Muddy Fork says:

    Cliff
    I appreciate your thought and insight given your previous profession and THANK YOU for your service. I have to ask, if the cell and land lines were down what means of long distance communication would you use? If it is not electronic in nature that takes us back to runners and the pony express which are way too slow and even more vulnerable. Unless I am missing something electronic long distance communication is the only viable option but it must be used with care to ensure proper security and safety. My biggest concern in my area would not be the government but the locals who would like to take whatever they can by listening in and learning your position.

  6. Well it seems that nothing is sure in this life after all except “Death and Taxes”. Now ain’t that a clicker.
    I have heard rumors of agencies listening in on our conversations for years, as far as mine go will own up to everything I have ever said. Probably get the firing squad but will own up to it.
    You should know that communications can be broken by the simple fact of the Emergency broadcasting system. They can interupt a movie right at the time the jist of the movie is layed out. That is a simple, programmed in modification.
    I have had a clicking on my phone for over 7 years, I figure it is because the neighbor had a phone put in and it has caused it for some reason. But for years now the family and I have teased that someone was listening in to our converstions. So we make sure we let them know-that we know- that they are known. But lets face it the phone system has been lousy for years.
    Let’s really put in this way “there is nothing new under the sun” what has been done has been done before. WWII and all others past and present have hidden then revealed all the tricks of the trade.
    So that leaves us with one thing, we have to be more cunning than the fox. We have to out think him. We have to reach deep into the recesses of our brains and use them to the hilt. And don’t be surprised if the ol’ boy you thought couldn’t carry a hammer let alone use it is the one that out does your thinking.
    ———————-
    Off topic: Jobs—-High Tec Manufacturing
    If anyone has the skills for High tec Manufacturing heard on the news that a lot of these places are looking for workers.
    The companies they mentioned was
    Gentex
    MGS
    If they are hiring then others of such maybe hiring also.
    So if you have the skills check it out.

  7. Cliff in Douglasville says:

    Muddy,
    Thanks for your note. If cell is down and land line is down that only leaves the old fallback of HF radio using Morse code (which will cut through most any static). If it’s an EMP situation then even that is questionable. We have to face the facts that long distance communication may cease to exist for a time. Plan to be with your group and plan to stand your ground and not let others know your plans. That could mean no communications.
    As far as freq hoppers, built in encryption, even cell phones, they are all fairly easy to defeat. Up to about 20 years ago the only really secure coms were ground to satellite to ground but even that is easily broken at the government levels. Navajo code talkers might be useful but even with a speech detection module that fails.
    The only positive thing is that there are millions of people who are going to communicate and a finite number of computers and operators to detect and dissect the communications. So, the odds are in your favor that someone might not be listening. Then again…….

    • Cliff,
      You stated, “As far as freq hoppers, built in encryption, even cell phones, they are all fairly easy to defeat.”, and my question to you would be, by whom? If you’re talking the US Government, then I concur. If however, you are talking general folks in your local community, no matter how technically savvy, then I think you’ll find most of these technologies more than adequate and a serious challenge to any eavesdropper.

  8. The simple fact is ALL open ended electronic communications are not secure. Period. Open ended means that they can be received by anyone who has the proper equipment. Even closed loop communications can be compromised. Your own unique cyphers that are changed regulary are not even secure as they too can be intercepted and broken. Mouth to ear is the only “almost safe” form of secure comms there is and with interrogation, that isnt even reliable. The simple fact is do not put yourself in a situation where you are required to use secure comms and you will be safe from having your”secrets” intercepted. You are not an army or paramilitary force. If you haven’t made your plans in advance you have already limited your chances and no amount of communications are going to help. As an electronics engineer, and a ham extra, I can tell you there are literally thousands of ways to communicate that are easily done, that limit the ability of others to intercept or jam, but the point is prevention and safety. And the first step is not putting yourself in a position of risk, until you ABSOLUTELY HAVE NO CHOICE. Remember, the US military is comprised of our family, neighbors and friends, they will turn on the ones giving the orders to fire on us before the would fire on us, the same with law enforcement. Our only real risks fall on economic collapse and foreign invasion. Foreign invasion is not likely due to the numbers of armed citizens, the size of our military, the expanse of our country and infrastructure (which Eisenhower wisely set up for military use), and the American mind set, which is displayed here. SO we are left with economic collapse. Someone will probably shout out pan/epidemic… well that will create an economic collapse scenario. In that type of situation it will be mobs and rabble vs individual, and these are not the organized groups that use electronic surveillance.

  9. Good article Cliff.
    I know some about C3CM but not enough to challenge a thing you wrote.
    Between 1977 and 1992 I was a United States Air Force Disaster Preparedness Specialist/Technician/Supervisor. I was responsible for the Survivability of Air Force installations, to include families and civilian employees, by planning, preparing, training, exercising, and improving emergency plans for all natural and manmade disasters, as well as Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) Warfare, Air Base Survivability and Defense, to include Camouflage, Concealment, and Deception or CCD. (We once fooled a German AF Tornado, which was using Ground Attack Radar, into attacking a site 30 miles from our base).
    COMSEC and OPSEC were major parts of our wartime operation. I loved messing with base communications during local TAC EVALs and spent a lot of time TDY with the NATO Team.
    We should get together sometimes and share stories.

  10. Hello Md I had a heck of a power glitch here I was writing some info for folks..
    My (ups) in not in good shape and I did not see it show up on the blog as waiting
    approval or whatever it says.. If it showed up at your end could you mabey send it back back and I will finish or mabey I will start over and write somthing and enter it the contest.. It is just a lot of frequencies ect.. Mabey no ham folks would not find it interesting.. I agree with c3mc can do a lot and if the Gov. want to know they will out you know but some of this info would zombie proof people but you must have a line of site.. And one it is listed here it will not be zombie proof..

    Hello Md and All

    Cliff C this is written with all respects. I do not mean to be arguing or try to say you are wrong cause you are not.
    But there many alternatives people do not know about that are legal with a ham license. But if the shtf a ham license may mean nothings. .I had a heck of a power glitch here I was writing some info for folks..
    My (ups) in not in good shape and I did not see the typed info anywhere..
    show up on the blog.
    I do not see it any where saying waiting for approval or whatever it says..
    If it showed up at your end MD could you mabey send it back or delete it..
    I will update these websites and places of interest in the next day or so it is getting late here….
    And I will finish writing it but here is a brief description… There are just a lot of frequencies out there that are not used ect..
    One these frequencies you use may only communicate with a few people like one or 2 people and they are they only ones to here you.. (Nobody unless) they are REALLY looking .. and that would be hard..
    Many hams do not find them interesting because you can only communicate with I persons and hear no one else and no one else hears you!! …
    Ham folks would not find that interesting. They are to social. And love to listen to them self talk don’t they O.P. I agree with c3mc can do a lot and if the Gov. wants to know. But you must have a perfect line of site.
    You can use government and used industrial equipment to help you do clandestine communications or operation a lot!!!
    Al- thought It may be illegal to modify this equipment.. And I would NEVER recommend that. I guess I have said enough and will not carry on..
    A little research and anyone can find these frequencies. It is so easy to get ham radio license any more,, and all prepares should get one for emergencies like. the last hurricane and Katrina and all the other stuff mother nature is trowing at us..
    I will get a list of frequency and equipment suppliers if any one is interested let me know .. But I bet I get no response.. And this equipment is not super cheep or expensive you just have to be patient read and figure our what you want to do….

    You and one other person can comunicate with a clean line of sit for years before any one finds you are there…

    Gone
    ThatAway

    I do not know why any prepper would not have one.. But it is like a concealed carry or a FFL they the Gov know where you are!!!! (((But you know what just being on this blog they know where you are)))

    There so many digital modes and line of site communications that are almost
    un fineable except buy well happen to stumble upon them one is microwave! you need a dish to receives.. enough said the gigahertz frequencies . And that dish has to be right in the middle of the signal being sent.. And if you do not relay the signal 100 % or it is interrupt then the signal it will be interrupted and the you will know of an intruder…(busted.)

    Just move the disks a bit and everyone has to start again..

    But for common folk this system will only work for 30 to 75 miles line of site unless you have some bucks.. But used gig a hertz equipment is available all over dayton ham fest!!

    Good night All

    .

    • See part of my other communications is there good luck deciphering it all…
      Sorry folks..

  11. Hi! It wasn’t my intention to come off (when I wrote the paper) that all communications are peachy and fine. I didn’t go the doom and gloom route for the simple reason that a lot more of what preppers may run into won’t involve a rouge government trying to poison gas everyone. If that was the case, I think most preppers would know that they should maintain radio silence. I think, and perhaps I should have been more eloquent, is the other times when we are on our own. Some of us are more adept to communications than others, and even though, for instance, my system employs a lot of items not readily available to most people, I’m not going to think nobody is going to be able to listen. I have other means for that. But, think of the people in Vermont in the floods right now. Good case for it, no? Regardless, I appreciate the thought provoking response.

  12. Cliff in Douglasville says:

    It was not my intent to stir a hornets nest. Thanks for the good words Ron. It was serious business when I would intrude on a military net during an exercise and give the all clear while still in a toxic environment (simulated for exercise purposes but all the troops that removed their gas mask were deemed dead and all had to be carried to the morgue and laid on body bags and they were out for the duration of the exercise). Sucks when the only two people who are certified to sign off on a munitions load are laying in the morgue.

    There are ways to communicate and there are ways to communicate. I’m familiar with line of sight, moon bounce, microwave and a lot of other types of transmissions. Someone said “that’s fine for the government but not something some mainstream guy could do” or words to that effect. I’m a Ham radio operator, a fair electronics experimenter, and I have a lot of years of government training that I suddenly forgot when I left the service. There are thousands like me. I still “sit and spin” with my HF receiver. Don’t talk much any more but I’m all over the HF spectrum but spending very little time in the approved Ham bands. Since I’m also an AMARS operator I have modified my transceiver to transmit on any frequency it will receive on (again just talking about HF radio). I listen to the out of band CB guys and I could talk to them but don’t want to. With my scanners (regular and trunking) I have all the local law enforcement, 911 and emergency responder freqs plugged in and listen to that when I’m in the shack. I “could” listen to cell phones if I wanted to but as that is illegal I would never consider doing that or encouraging anyone to open up the back of their scanner and clipping a wire to restore that part of the frequency spectrum.

    Someone is always listening somewhere. Some of the better receivers even have a scope that shows signals up and down the band from where you are listening so you can slide up or down to them in a hurry. You can hide but you can’t hide your signal (except point to point and that takes good equipment, trained personnel and a need to talk to someone not too far away).

    Bottom line, get a good receiver and listen. By the way, if you get one of the older receivers with a BFO (Beat Frequency Oscillator) it is actually transmitting a low frequency signal when it’s on receiving. If you absolutely have to talk to someone, get your Ham ticket, get you a CB radio, get a walkie talkie, get you a moon bounce or meteor scatter set up and have at it. Or, when the stuff gets bad, just sit back, turn the comms off, enjoy your time with fellow perppers and family and live your life to the fullest.

    We can beat this horse until the cow comes home. I just offer a little experience with opsec and communications security. Take it for what it cost, use it or not, but at least think about what you really need for comms or if you really need to talk to someone 75 miles away when the cars don’t run and the horse isn’t going to pull your buggy that far.

    73
    SK SK

  13. Another thought provoking article…just another reminder not to ever post, transmit, or print anything that you wish to have remain confidential…

  14. Did a career in the Signals Corps and understand the concept(s) being put forth by the initial poster and many of the responders. A few concepts that should be understood prior to any rash changes:

    1. Operations Security (OPSEC) – This does not need to be sophisticated and often does not need to be “unbreakable” to be effective. For example, you could have multiple code words related to activity/locations and multiple “Sig Orders” with your allies. On SHTF, you use Sig O Alpha where Hill #1 is ORANGE/DOG/ZOMBIE and Sig O Bravo where Hill #1 is HERB/COUCH/TEMPLE. Similar code words for other things. Key is to keep the codes secured, not reuse the same code for similar items and to change as required. Sometimes the simplest things are the best. In a SHTHF scenario and standard lay-low operations, 3-4 code word cipher would work for weeks. Having only 3-4 Sig O’s in a cabinet would realistically last for many months of essentially secure “open source” comms.

    2. Technology – Great solution but always expensive, requires lots of training to operate and coordination. It’s great to say we’ll use all kinds of encryption and frequency hopping to defeat the “enemy” but this means we need to use the same codes & equipment types. For example, inter-force comms in Afghanistan operated on US radios as some countries could not upscale/downscale to US standard for freq hopping/encryption. Ditto on the encryption algorithms – most are disseminated via secure landline/IP which will likely be gone after SHTF. How do you coordinate multiple survivalist groups to get same, expensive equipment? And keep up the changing codes?

    3. Radio types – Pick a type and learn it’s advantages and disadvantages. Type of band and antenna is the factor that drives the communication constraints. VHF and up is point-to-point communication with minimal ground-wave – use directional antennae and “back stops” such as hills and you’ll be talking to your friends and restricting the “bad guys”. HF and down produces both a ground-wave and sky-wave (reflecting off atmosphere) – with the right antennae, power and luck you can essentially go around the world. If you only need to broadcast 30 kms in a 90 degree arc, research and use the right tools for the job – it will greatly reduce the security threat.

    4. Differentiate between strategic and operational and understand what can be broadcast and what should not. Stick to the mantra of loose lips sink ships for strategic and rely on codes. Operational matters (of no own force impact) can be broadcast in the open (i.e. contact reports) for expediency and the fact that tactical information becomes obsolete quickly.

    5. Local codes (i.e. patrol orders). Can be updated routinely in-person and have the security codes changed every day that are used on-air. For example, have a different code word/challenge/number every 24 hours and radio brevity code for incoming patrol. Implement danger codes in the SOPs.

    6. One of the principles of defeating EW techniques (and just good comms procedures) is shifting frequencies. Combine this with verification methods (challenges and ignoring unauthorized stations on the net) to add another level of security.

    I like both of the articles and agree with most of their points – but the one major point that needs to be understood is that under a SHTF scenario any communication will most times provide good things. A reasonable approach to sig sec will enable essentially secure comms with a minimum of effort. From my experience with advanced equipment, if the government wants to find you or listen in to your comms, they will – chances are they’ll be too busy with other things to worry about a few small survival groups.

    But the one thing that everyone should consider related to comms – look up the principles of warfare and consider how many are/would be impacted by radio comms, especially between some allied groups in a defined region.

  15. My “buddies” that have freq hopping radios end each series of transmissions with a letter or number we randomly generated to authenticate a message. We all have the same series of lines and will check off a number or letter once it is used. Theres NO WAY to randomly generate this exact set of authenticators. Too easy to say “line 7, A” after a transmission. Then the next transmission would be “12” which would be the next on line 7’s series. Give me the wrong one and it’s silence from me…

  16. I am not worried about you or anyone else.

  17. I was reading this article and not paying much attention, I guess, until I read this:

    “With a little practice I can imitate the chatter of any station or imitate the fist of anyone using Morse code.”

    I call Bravo Sierra (or Baker Sam for Cliff’s sake) on Cliff C and can not imagine anyone would believe this. I don’t.

    Let’s look at what else he has to say.

    “…HAM radion check in net on a daily basis…” and “…where you discuss everything from how much food you have on hand…”

    -Oh, sure. Preppers will get on the radio every day at the same time and frequency and ragchew about how much food they have left in the basement and how much water they have in a bucket. Sorry, OM, but you are talking about the daily lunch bunch of retired folk at noon on two meters.

    “…Preppers depending on comms from other preppers…”

    -Would a group of preppers have any need to talk to other preppers around the state or country? For what purpose?

    “How would you feel if you were a prepper and someone you’ve talked to for quite a while tells you that your whole stock of survival food was contaminated before it left the factory and under no circumstances should you eat it?”

    -Yet another imaginary and truly insipid sentence. Who would know where or when I bought anything? Who would know what I bought? Not only can Cliff C mimic anyones voice or CW fist, but his ESP is enabled. Who needs radio?

    …”we were able to intrude upon North Vietnamese and Chinese morse nets…”

    -Fresh! Nothing like a couple of examples from forty years ago in the 1970’s to demonstrate your street cred.

    Let me be clear that any communication over the radio has the potential to be heard by anyone with a radio, and giving out the kind of information Cliff C talks about is not smart and could make you a target . This can not be news to anyone reading this blog.

    • SrvivlSally says:

      MC, don’t take this the wrong way, but there is no sense in being rude because Cliff C is sincerely trying to help all of us and let us know that we should be careful wherein communications are concerned. For your information, I am part of a huge network of survivalists that use every kind of communication that you could think of…and then some… and we regularly talk to one another about all sorts of things, from food to family, and because we have lives that entail working, caring for children, gardening, target practicing and other things that I would not do well to disclose, we therefore have schedules that we have to maintain which means, in terms that anyone can understand, we talk back and forth with one another only on certain days and at certain times. Also, my pappy ran HAM, he was licensed for more than ten years, and with what he knew…he passed it on to me…he could invade anyone, anywhere, anytime and go unnoticed. He knew all about RF/HF/UF and the ‘F’ stands for ‘Frequency’. He also soldered a lot and knew setups inside and out. By the way, I have a ‘Voice Changing’ machine and if you would do a search on the net for them, you would find them in many prices and styles. They sure are fun to deceive people with. Oh, man! I hate to admit it but it is a gag when you can get an opposing force to do what you want them to do after hacking into their system. Are you military? My pappy was. Got lots of awards, too. One for shooting better than anyone in his group. One guy he knew went on to be a sniper for a SWAT team and then went overseas to work in intelligence within…sorry, but that is privileged information which means that only those with special clearance or status are allowed to know anything. It was frustrating when I went to school because everyone thought that I was a BRAT which does not mean one that is spoiled rotten. I hope that when you submit an article, that it will be as good as good as Cliff C’s is. Oh, man!

  18. My son gave me a couple of radios. I have to look at them to know what they are but I have an interest in radio now because we have used them so much. I have a Midland Base Camp. There are a lot of buttons and knobs on it but he taped two laminated sheets attached with with the instruction about turning it on and what numbers to go to. It usually goes to the right number right away so I don’t have a problem. The other radio is a radio shack 404 and this is real easy because there are only a couple of knobs on top and all the frequencies are the one I want. We practice with them and when I hear my son say Mom where are you? I have a couple of answers like I’m here, I’m there, I’m going here, I’m going there. My son will say good Mom I love you and give me a kiss. I don’t know why people would want to listen to that.

  19. SrvivlSally says:

    Cliff C, you did an awesome job on your article. I must say that it was a real pleasure reading your article and that your words are and will be useful and very insightful for anyone wishing to use the various communications in the coming shtf future. Thank you.

  20. What was said here is bacially true and I know this and more, because I’m ex-ASA and did much of what he said for a living against real enemies. However, the basic fact remains that >everything< that is of human origin is succeptable to distortion and falsification. If the enemy you are making plans against is the U.S. Government, then yes, huge ("huge'er than huge) resources are available right now for all modes of electronic/cyber warfare. Welcome to Earth, that is a fact. You're on a 'government' internet right now – remember, it is derived from the old ARPANET, so like it or not, you're already in 'the game'.

    There are also methods to fight exactly what he spoke about in the way of radio deception, encryption and etc, but frankly, most people simply do not have the self discipline to learn and to use them even if there was a genuine need. There is a reason why the Special Forces Communicators (18E) course is so long – there is much to learn about effective sneaky comms.

    Back to something closer to home (and I would say 'more realistic'):

    However daunting the previous fellows article may be, prepping in general is more than preparing to live as Johnny Rambo -v- The government. Anyone who tries that will soon find out that war is indeed hell – personally. For the other 99.9% of prepping society, being prepared is more about financial collapse (we're in it now…), food scarcity, 'social unrest' (weasel speak for riots – usually racial), and etc.

    Even before these scenarios though, are the more common hurricane, earthquake, ice storm and other natural disasters which happen rather regularly. I've been through more than a few of these and found that ham radio – spacifically shortwave also known as "HF" radio was VERY handy, both for listening for REAL news from outside of the effected area and for two way comms with friends of mine, both in and outside of the affected area.

    In short – I have heard many arguements for not having radio, cars, licenses of any kind, cell phones, dental fillings and such simple things as bumper stickers on a car. Look – you take your chances everyday, in every decision that you make. That's life. If you want to run a 'zero electronic emission' survial life – feel free. If this is the case, you are not reading this comment – right? (ha ha)

    There is much to be gained from both monitoring radio and using radio for two way/group communication. The ability for team coordination, rende' with friends, learn new things is large. I've even monitored the Maritime Mobile Service Network on ham when they had surgeon on the air assisting a fishing captain who had a crew member bleeding-out on deck from a knife wound from another crew member. They were miles at sea and days from a doctor. In short, he was stabilized and monitored with guidance via radio. If the captain was worried about electronic exploitation, then then man would have likely died. The Cap'n was not a ham, but it was life or death and knew who to call when the local (foreign) Coast Guard did not respond.

    Remember, even in the worst extreme, the vast majority of what we call 'survival' is nothing more than good Home-Economics: Snug Shelter, Clean Water/food, and fire to cook it. The last fraction of one percent is having the power to hold ON to your shelter, water and fire when dirt-bags want to take it from you and for that the 'hard skills' of a more military nature are usually called for. I agree with Ragnar Benson on this one – if you're in a firefight, then you've already screwed-up. Same here – if you have major national resources deployed against you personally, you're already screwed. But with over a half million ham radio operators in the USA, it would be difficult to make the head of The List ™.

    73 de Ray …_ ._