If Sherlock Holmes Stared at a Ham Radio Scanner, What Might He See?

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By the creator of The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications.

Let’s say the poopy has hit the fan, and also you’re now residing in a post-collapse society. Each man is for himself, and there’s no resupply. You already know that data is essential to survival, and a big a part of that data is gathering as a lot information in your area as attainable. That’s why you’ve been utilizing your scanner.

Fortunately, Sherlock Holmes resides with you.

The one drawback is that one thing has occurred to Sherlock’s ears, making it in order that he can’t hear a factor. He nonetheless needs that will help you out at your home, although. He sits in entrance of a scanner waiting for when a radio frequency pops up on the show, telling you what he thinks he can deduce from nothing greater than the frequency alone.

Right here is a few of what he might discover…

What are you able to deduce when you decide up an FRS/GMRS frequency? 

There are a variety of frequencies that fall throughout the FRS a part of the radio spectrum. These frequencies are listed beneath:

radio scanner
Picture from Wikimedia Commons.

If you’re listening to your scanner (and you should have one) and also you hear considered one of these frequencies, there are some things that you may deduce with a comparatively excessive diploma of certainty.

For starters, whoever is transmitting is shut. We’re speaking about perhaps inside half a mile or so. The explanation for that is that almost all FRS radios are the walkie-talkies that folks decide up at Huge Field Retailer. They are saying they transmit for 30+ miles. They lie. When you decide up considered one of these frequencies, any person is sort of proper on prime of you.

These little walkie-talkies don’t transmit very far in any respect, they usually’re nearly all programmed for FRS/GMRS.

When you’re bugging out, you could wish to transfer camp or keep further vigilant. When you’re at dwelling, you could doubtlessly have guests within the subsequent half-hour. When you’re touring, you could wish to head in a distinct route.

There are GMRS repeaters on the market, however in my expertise, they’re few and much between. More than likely, you’re coping with a bunch of bubbas – rednecks on the market with their radios and rifles. That doesn’t make them any much less harmful, but it surely does make it easier to to have one thing of a deduction as to who you might be coping with.

Whether or not the individuals you might be near are organized will rely upon a number of elements. They’re most actually extra organized than the gang of individuals you’ll be able to see together with your binoculars off within the distance with out ANY radios, however are they ORGANIZED organized?

You’re going to should hearken to how they use the radio and what they are saying right here to get a greater image.

What are you able to deduce when you decide up an novice radio frequency? 

Particularly, let’s look at the 2m, 70cm, and 1.25-meter bands. When you decide up individuals speaking on a kind of frequencies, then you definitely’re seemingly listening to any person with a great deal of radio expertise. If that is so, I might make the case that you may at the least assume that the individual has higher radio gear than nearly all of individuals on the market.

And if they’ve higher comms gear than quite a lot of the opposite individuals on the market, what else might they’ve that others don’t? Are they headed your method armed for bear? You don’t actually know, however you do know that these individuals are seemingly extra critical of an issue.

In relation to the space, you primarily simply know that these individuals are inside your geographical area. Possibly they’re inside 5 miles; perhaps 30. It’s actually type of exhausting to inform with nothing aside from the “Hey, look. Someone is on 146.500” knowledge level.

What are you able to deduce when you decide up a marine band frequency? 

For starters, you might be close to a physique of water. When you’re on The Lengthy Stroll House after an EMP strike forces you to trek again to your home, this can be data of curiosity.

After all, there are guys on the market who use marine band frequencies within the woods away from any physique of water. It’s one thing that folks get in bother for in a functioning society, however there are guys that do that.

So choosing up considered one of these frequencies isn’t an computerized indicator of water, however you typically will discover much more radios utilizing marine band frequencies once you’re near a lake, ocean, or river.

(What do you eat when the ability goes out? Learn our free QUICKSTART Guide for extra data.)

What are you able to deduce when you decide up a CB frequency? 

More than likely, the individual you might be listening to is in a car. There’s an opportunity that they’ve arrange a rig in a home, and there’s an opportunity that they’ve a handheld, however the majority of CB rigs that I each see and listen to are coming from those that are on the street – particularly from truckers.

There are CB handheld rigs on the market just like the President Randy, however I don’t personally know of lots of people on the market with them.

Whereas it’s attainable to get sporadic long-range contacts with a CB radio, the final rule of thumb is that you may attain out a mile for each foot-long your antenna is. So, a truck might have a 4’ lengthy antenna, which means they might typically have a four-mile vary.

What are you able to deduce when you’re choosing up bizarre buzzing noises and on a frequency outdoors of the ham radio spectrum? 

Sherlock would want working ears right here, however there’s nonetheless one thing to be realized.

We’ll assume that you just’re choosing up one thing on the 2-meter band that’s outdoors of the place ham radio operators usually would discuss. If that is so, you’re listening to a digital mode.

Let’s say that you just preserve listening to this type of noise on 154.3475 MHz. You’re listening to P25 – a digital mode. (You’ll find different nice audio examples of varied digital modes HERE.) Contemplating that it’s outdoors of the everyday ham radio spectrum, you’re seemingly listening to a police officer or different emergency responder.

When you’re in a grid-down surroundings – let’s say a hurricane just hit – that could possibly be welcome information. You now will know that there’s any person inside your area.

What when you’re choosing up buzzy noises throughout the ham radio spectrum? 

These individuals are nonetheless utilizing a digital mode radio. If that is so, there are two belongings you’ll know off the bat: these individuals are critical about their comms gear, they usually seemingly have superb coaching with their comms gear as properly. For what it’s price, you additionally know that they had been seemingly hams.

Digital radios are each costly and tough to function. Analog radios are low-cost and comparatively straightforward to function. For as apples-to-apples of a comparability as is probably going attainable, you’re prone to see a $200 value distinction between a high-end analog handy-talky and a strong, digital handy-talky.

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Alright, Sherlock Holmes. What do you deduce?

There’s received to be extra attainable deductions right here that I’m lacking. Are there others that you already know about that I don’t? Do you agree with the above deductions roughly? Are you doubtlessly freely giving extra data than you realized? Let’s examine collectively. Inform us your ideas within the feedback part beneath.

About Aden

Aden Tate is a daily contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm the place he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has 4 revealed books, What Faculty Ought to Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You’ll find his podcast The Final American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.


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