Cell phone service.

Woke up this morning in Arkansas and there is no service among several cell phone services. This is concerning cause no communication is done. Any thoughts or concerns??

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It can happen. Sucks when it does.

Are you a licensed amateur radio operator aka HAM? ARRL has great resources for that, consider getting a HAM license and get setup for that.

And always have a regular old AM/FM radio around to receive info

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That’s a reason I will always have a landline at home. I never use it, and the ringer is off because of telemarketers, but there’s a live, working phone on my nightstand and one other in the house so I can call out if I need to. I don’t trust cell service to be there when it’s needed. I Also keep a set of CB radios, handhelds, base station, and a mobile instslled in my truck, as an alternative communication system between my wife and me if there’s a major issue, with lines all down. I realize there are more modern radio systems, but it’s what I have, it works, and I know how to set up antennas that give good range. Also, a lot of ham guys I know still monitor CB (and build high power systmes), and can relay information.

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I just read about the big outage going on all over the place. Interesting, but it has happened before and will happen again.

But in genral cellular service is crap throughout most of that state. I’ve been in quite a few place in Arkansas with zero bars. If you live there your option is to look for alternatives like getting cellular though wi-fi on you cable internet service so you have a backup. It’s usually the tower network that takes a hit NOT the internet. If you know both infrastructures you’d know why.

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I was not affected, but I see the real concern that others have from this. It got me thinking about how much we rely on the grid and things beyond our control to communicate and do basic day-to-day things. Now I’m thinking what my plan would be to move forward if this were to happen on a national level and last days, not just hours. Does anyone here have experience with Radios that don’t require a license such as Ham radio operators do?

Also, might not be a bad idea to take some time this week to refresh and update and go bags and emergency supplies.

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I’ve had a local outage, regional actually, where that was down too. TV, cell, landline, everything

Stand alone nodes like point to point HAM is all that’s going to work then

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That’s what I plan for. I had done the training for my technicians license about 10 years ago but never did the exam. I’m considering it again and building a 10 meter system. The CB (11 meter) setup I’ve had for years will have to do for now in a total “down” situation, and it can all run on battery or AC if I’m running my generator.

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The short version is there is nothing with anywhere near that capability other than with the license. If it could approach the power and reach of HAM, it would be licensed precisely because it has that power and reach.

You basically have the licensed amateur stuf, GMRS, FRS, CB, and then special situational stuff like marine and aviation.

And the HAM license is primarily education so you can actually use the stuff, so it’s very practical plus licensing is one and done you can renew once every 10 years without ever testing again

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Perhaps we are under attack! Communications, first thing to go! Too many enemies in the wire!

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Would those still work if there was something that completely took out the power grid including certain satellites or basic power?

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Mostly yes. Amateur radio encompasses a lot of stuff, but the ones who are into it, are self sufficient at least for awhile.

Literally there are people nationwide and globally who have deep cycle batteries (like golf cart or marine batteries) to run their rigs (radios), and they need nothing from the outside to talk to others who similarly need nothing from the outside. Many will also have generators to extend this.

There are nets of users to get messages to their destination grapevine style so to speak

There are also repeaters setup that you can join clubs to get access to (some are public), many of these repeaters (for shorter range VHF/UHF stuff) have on site battery backup and the like.

A lot of hams get super into this stuff, there is a field day annually to practice field setups and making contacts, it’s a whole thing and the amateur radio community in general leans pretty heavily into emergency/SHTF service

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Great info, thanks. I recently started to take a course to get licensed, and have the ARRL book. Ixm thinking I may join a club too. So shoukd something happen, I want experience.

Also considering a scanner and short wave to monitor activity.

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It could have very well been a test attack from any number of enemies.

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The same with me but I have mine go to a fax machine.

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most low power radios between 4 and 10 watts with the right antenna can talk 20 to 30 miles, ham with right gear and antenna’s anywhere on earth.

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My wife and I have been thinking about a cb radio, and hend held radios. Is a ham radio better than a cb? Will the hand held radios go between buildings and so on or will the reach only be miniscule?

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HAM/amateur radio is so much more capable than CB it’s not even fair to ask if HAM is better. It’s the equivalent of comparing dude with a Ruger 10/22 to a full strength Marines platoon

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Makes sense. I know almost nothing with ham and cb radios. Had the hand held ones as a kid and adult but mostly they didnt work well. I want to get something that can be reached 20-30 miles away. I take it then only ham radios do that as they cmgo across country and so on.

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To extrapolate, HM gets significantly more frequencies to use, and significantly more power and range. And that’s only the beginning.

Even if you illegally modify CB for extra power above what FCC allows, it still doesn’t, and can’t, hold a candle to fully realized amateur radio. Two different universes

30 miles may be difficult. It’s, you’ll see when you learn, shorter range stuff with VHF/UHF, point to point that is sure to work, over the horizon can be tricky, because, well, radio waves don’t bend

HF (high frequency) goes farther, potentially all around the word, but it’s not as reliable, “it depends” on the exact frequency, antennas, exact locations, atmospheric conditions, etc

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CB is a useful platform for unlicensed operators over fairly short distances, but it does require some knowledge in setting up a system. The CB wavelength is 36’ (11 meters), so that’s the ideal antenna length. Shorter antennas are just fractions of that length. CB antennas need to be fairly precisely tuned to eliminate standing waves in the antenna. With that, hand held CB’s have fairly limited broadcast ability because the antenna is so limited. However, they can usually receive well, as that’s less subject to antenna length. They’re also limited by the FCC to 4 watts max. For local communications over a mile or two They’re actually pretty good.

Ham frequencies generally start in the 10 meter band and are often used in the 2 meter band, with much more powerful transmitters. The traditional way “shortwave radio” got its long distance capabilities was by skipping the signal off the ionosphere, bouncing it around the world. CB’s 11-meter signals can skip, too, and if conditions are right, you can hear people all over the country, but it’s not reliable communication. These days there’s some joker out of New Mexico (mud duck radio he calls himself) that has a rig that seems to be able to skip all over the country at will. He dominates the traditional highway channel 19 with almost constant blather. CB is pretty much always AM (though some radios can use single side band (SSB) modulation). Ham operators usually use FM, or SSB. Similarly, marine VHF is FM. Marine and FM hamnare generally considered “line of sight.”

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