Off-grid communications capability is one reason why some get into the amateur radio service. There is a saying that “when all else fails, there’s amataeur radio.” While I don’t necessarily agree that emergency communications or emcomm should be the sole purpose of getting into amateur radio, there’s no question that the ability to communicate off-the-grid is one such benefit of having such knowledge, capability, and equipment.
Radio communication and prepping go hand-in-hand, since communication is a necessity in survival situations — at least being able to share knowledge and for coordination.
Back in 2016, the Yaesu FT-2DR had been my first-ever digital portable radio. It was during the time when local hams were only starting to get bitten by the digital bug. It was the second-generation Fusion radio from Yaesu, having superseded the FT1 series before it.
While I liked the dual receiver and extensive feature set, my main complaints with the FT2 were the size and difficult text entry. The big touchscreen was also an accident waiting to happen. One wrong bump against a corner or a key scratch could end up cracking the (relatively) big LCD.
I thus got…
There’s a reason why a product would be in the market and in production for so long. In the ham radio community, such longevity usually means a product is class-defining or has stood the test of time.
Such is the case for one of my favorites, the Yaesu FT-60R, which I have written about several times here. I have also recently acquired a Yaesu VX-6R, a submersible sub-compact portable that provides increased flexibility and ruggedness.
Launched in 2005, the Yaesu VX-6R is a dual-band single-receiver radio with JIS7 water ingress protection. …
This was converted from a presentation deck I made for DX1ARM, with introductions adopted from Tim Watson KB1HNZ & Ryan Michaelson KB1YTR.
The Baofeng UV-5R is said to be the “gateway drug” for many new radio amateurs today. Selling as cheap as $20, it has reportedly jumpstarted the interest of many newer and younger hams. It is very popular in the prepping community, with its low price point and the availability of accessories like battery cases.
Cheap radios have also resurrected interest in the hobby, particularly for old-timers who may have left ham radio for other pursuits — such is the case when cellular phones became popular, for example, and the idea of wirelessly getting in touch lost its novelty.
I get a lot of inquiries about whether a certain radio or frequency can be used here in the Philippines without a license. For example, the Baofeng UV-5R, WLN KD-C1 and Baofeng BF-888 are very popular here — they are being sold very cheap on e-commerce sites like Shopee and Lazada.
Being cheap and small, most people think these radios can be used without licenses. Some also mistake the 0.5 Watt FRS radios or GMRS radios imported from the US as being legal for use without licenses here.
For others, the mere “NTC Type Approved” sticker from brands like Cignus…
Mobile data has become an essential part of our lives, that we now allocate a certain amount of our budget and expenses to mobile data. I’m a practical person, and I have not signed up for any postpaid plans for more than a decade now. I mostly use prepaid, and with a combination of “combos” and “promos” I maximize my data, calls, and SMS with monthly roll-overs.
However, sometimes I forget to renew my promos, and all of my rolled-over minutes, SMS and data expire just like that.
I remember around 10 years ago, Globe had the “immortal text” and…
Note: I originally wrote this as a post in a Filipino prepper group. More events have transpired after, including the onslaught of typhoon Ulysses (international name: Vamco), which flooded many parts of Metro Manila and Cagayan Valley and again struck the Bicol region only a couple of weeks after Rolly. This has been edited for clarity.
This is in response to a call for the establishment of an off-grid or emergency communications capability, in light of typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni) and its devastating effect, particularly on the Bicol region.
True enough, power and communication lines were down, and among…
I am writing this guide as an FAQ and response to some of the questions on the Pinoy Preppers Facebook Group.
In the recent weeks, we have encountered several disasters, particularly typhoons and severe floods, not to mention the ongoing pandemic.
I will do my best to respond in practical terms. Kindly provide your own inputs if there are corrections.
Here is the question posted. I will try to translate as necessary, for an international audience.
Hello po sa inyo mga ka preppers! Kung sino man po may knowledge about radio and communication pls answer this. So first of all…
When anyone asks me for my recommendations on portable radio use, I would usually suggest radios with good receivers as one of the primary considerations.
Many inexpensive radios today use direct conversion receivers and poor front-end filtering — such as the Baofeng UV5R and most other similar designs. These are prone to desense and intermod. Sure, if you’re using it in rural areas or in the mountain trails, you would not have any problem with hearing distant or weak stations. However, in the city, your receive performance will suffer significantly, especially in locations with high RF congestion. …