Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Communications - Prep Tip 2

Communications - Tip 1
You will need a radio that works and that can receive various signals from a variety of sources - some of which may be working in an emergency or shortly after. These two here the Kaito KA007 works off 4 power sources and receives on 10 Bands...sells for about $34. Thousands are in use across Afghanistan and Iraq distributed by the US and UK military.
Designed in UK and made in China, they function, are reliable and can work even if your batteries die out. NiMh batteries are on board an can be charged by crank/solar/transformer and AA backups supplied by you. Make sure your AA's are rechargeable Hybrids that you can charge via small solar charger or Lithium based to ensure they work in the cold and store for 10 years.
One drawback - the shrink wrapped rechargeable NiMh battery pack is not made to be replaced according to our research.
Check the manual out here
More info and order:

Grundig (made by Eton) makes the FR200, a crank operated rechargeable radio that is dependable as well and has battery backup -same rule applies to those solar option on this radio but it is simple and rugged and widely available for $39 and it has a bright light built in. The rechargeable pack is removable and you can get easy to replace battery packs at Radio Shack - available from L.L. Bean, Radio Shack and many other stores. AM/FM/SW/Weather... AC Adapter NOT included. Comes with a case.

These are not miniature radios but are lightweight and durable as radios go nowadays - and most people can afford them. They come in many variations and colors.... do you need to get aviation channels in an emergency? Up to you....but there is a better chance of using VHF police signals. These are one-way radios - receivers - not transceivers....remember keep it simple. You won't be using these to entertain in an emergency - but you can indeed use them for that in normal times.

Another option is handheld Multi-Band Marine(boat)/FRS/AM-FM Waterproof Transceivers - cost is a factor for some and not recommended for casual use around town on Marine VHF...if you are near the coast or large waterways, the Coast Guard may be around....some float, get weather band and are simple to use. Potential drawback - they cost upwards of $100-200.

There are some Family Radio and GMRS multiband radios but if your major reason for selection is communication with other FRS users because you see the 22 mile range...think again - that is only if you are on a mountain top transmitting into a valley - read the fine print. We will look into these as well soon.

Keep in mind, if you are standardizing the batteries your electronics use, then AA (Lithium or Rechargeable Hybrid NiMh) are the most widely available type going. Need info on batteries or to purchase at pretty fair prices try All

Make sure your other gear uses the same batteries too. Super small radios are available for small kits. We will discuss those later.

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