Emergency Communication

My radio setup in the shack is not overwhelming – not too much with bells and whistles – but it’s solid gear and was build with emergency communication in mind. If I would do a list of inventory for emercomm operation (or a fieldday) somewhere in the open, this is how it would look like and being packed in the car:

Radio’s and Antenna’s

Amount Manufacturer & Type Functionality Remarks
1 Yaesu FT-857D Multibander SSB, AM, FM RX:0,1-56 + 76-108 + 118-164 + 420-470 MHz
TX:160-6m + 2m + 70cm
Modulation: LSB/ USB/ CW/ FM/ AM/ RTTY/ PSK31/ AFSK
1 Anytone AT-D578 UV Pro DMR, FM, 2m, 70cm TWINband 2m/70cm (V/U, V/V, U/U)
1 Anytone AT-D878 UV Pro DMR, FM, 2m, 70cm TWINband 2m/70cm (V/U, V/V, U/U) for Backup of D-578UV + Nearfield Comms.
1 ICOM ID51E Plus 2 DStar, FM, 2m, 70cm TWINband 2m/70cm (V/U, V/V, U/U) for DStar and Backup + Nearfield Comms.
1 Baofeng BF-F8HP 2m/70cm FM MONOband 2m/70cm for Nearfield Comms.
2 Baofeng UV-5R 2m/70cm FM MONOband 2m/70cm for Nearfield Comms.
1 LDG AT-1000Pro II Autotuner to match the  HF-antennas For the Yaesu FT-857D
1 Chameleon CHA Hybrid-Mini UNUN with 60′ (approx.18m) long wire  6m to 160m HF EndFed antenna For the Yaesu FT-857D
1 Chameleon CHA Mil-Whip 9’4” (approx. 3.10m) height 28-54 MHz monopole For the Yaesu FT-857D
1 G5RV Full 94′ (approx. 31m) long wire dipole  80-10m Band coverage For the Yaesu FT-857D
1 Antenna Switch 3x PL-Connectors  
1 Diamond NR-770H 2m/70cm antenna For the Anytone AT-D578UV / AT-D878UV or ID51E
10 RG58 cables PL – PL different length To connect the external antennas
1 PL/N-Adapter For the Yaesu FT857D
1 Antenna extension for antenna base mount To have the 2m/70cm antenna higher than the roof of the car (radial propagation of signals)

 

Supporting Materials

What Used for Remarks
1 Suzuki Gran Vitara SUV 5 Door Transportation, antenna support, 13.8 V power generation, shelter
1 Voltmeter  To monitor the battery
2 Sleeping Bag & Blankets Shelter & warmth
2 Self-inflating sleeping mats Soft and comfortable mattress Isolation from the ground when not sleeping in car
1 Camping table For the radios Foldable
2 Camping chairs For the OM’s Foldable
1 Rain cover Between hind door and a pole With eyelets
1 Pole For the rain cover and the dipole For the other end of the dipole if no other tree is around
1 Ground screw For the pole
90′ (approx. 30m) duct tape For repairs
21 gal. (approx. 80L) Diesel To keep the car going, charge the battery, deliver 13.8V in army fuel canisters (metal)
1 Powerpack 12V To start the engine if the main battery is too low
1 Roll of paracord To fix things, to hang the antennas, to place the pole
1 Set of tools To fix things
1 Set of tent pegs & a hammer For rain cover and pole
1 Camping oven, pots, pans, cutlery, dishes, gas, plastic bowl, kitchen towels To cook
1 Camping light gas with refills + mantles For light
50 bin bags For waste
1 Maglight Torch For light
1 Universal tool with knife (Leatherman) various use
1 Bow and arrow To shoot paracord through a tree to hang the dipole
1 Fishing line nylon To shoot first with the bow to pull the paracord later

 

Food, Water & other supplies

What Used for Remarks
5.3 gal. (approx. 20L) drinking water p.P. Fluid intake bottled or canister
20 Can’s of food, pepper, salt Food intake canned, packed
div. other Food (i.e. noodles, noodle sauce, butter, bread) Food intake packed, bread (=long lasting)
div. toilet-paper, kitchen-paper, soap, towels Hygiene
3 Lighters For the oven and candles
div. Candles for some light

 

Geography/Topology

The area I live in (red arrow) is relatively flat, but west of my home is a 210′ / 70m high hill (marked 70m) which is a leftover from one of the iceages. Reachable by streets and has parking areas, some houses nearby, lots of trees for the dipole. This would be strategically my point for emergency communication, as I can propagate FM/DMR/DStar into the rhein-ruhr-area (which is east and between 12.5mi / 20km closest, up to 40mi / 65km to the farthest point in the east), into Holland (19mi / 30km west) and maybe Belgium  (56mi / 90km south-west), Dusseldorf (18.6mi / 30km south-east), Cologne (34.4mi / 55km south) and everything in between. HF propagation is of course a different story.

 

Availability of the above stuff

Everything above is already “in stock” and used in day to day operations (radios)

 

Other things to consider

My Diesel engine of the Suzuki Gran Vitara consumes – in idling mode – approx. 0,26 gal/h or 1L/h. If the tank is full (18.5 gal or 70L) plus (21 gal or 80L) in canisters ,gives than (70L+80L)/1L(hour)= 150h idling of the engine 150h/24h=6.25 days of idling,

The box with tricky equipment

I sometimes spend weeks in a hotel when on a consulting job at customer site. Therefor I have created a tricky box to take with me; that I can easily have an outside antenna, without leaving a window or balcony door open to get the antenna cable through. Further more I like to have the AT-D578UV in my i.e. hotel room instead of the handheld. I prefer real RF-communication to the next repeater, not using the hotspot. Took me some weeks to think about how to do it best. Finally I came up with (I believe) brilliant idea. What you need is:

A heavy duty sucktion grip
A power supply here a 13.8V 30A Version for the radio
Diamond MGC50 Through Window/Door Cable Set
Mount for the antenna socket, will be fixed with reuseable cable-binders instead of the metal clamps. I have two mounts in the box. The second one is used when there is a balcony railing, where I can fix the mount with some cable binders directly
Antenna socket for the mount above
Short cable between the MGC50 Through Window/Door Cable set to the antenna mounts on the outside
Cable for the inside of the MGC50 connector
reuseable cable binder

With these parts you can easily build a “Hotel Shack”. On the handle of the sucktion grip the antenna mount is fixed to it with the reuseable cable binder. The antenna socket is fixed to the antenna mount. Now you can fix the sucktion grip to a window or any flat/even surface which is good for sucktion grips. The short cable is between the antenna socket and the MGC50 (through Window/Door Cable Set). In the inside the longer cable is between the MGC50 to the radio. If I am in a sky-scraper where I can’t open the window, I can use this construction just from the inside sucked to the window.

Brilliant ?

This how the antenna mount with suction grip looks like:

Holds even on a door or any other even surface

sucktion grip with antenna mount and short cable

 

 

Antenna Mount for my Suzuki SUV

I want to be prepared for Emergency Communications, where the car becomes my QTH. As I do not like to drill through the roof to have an antenna mounted there and due to the fact that I want to use Shortwave (AM, SSB, CW) as well as VHF and UHF (FM, DMR, DStar) I had to lay back and think entirely through this. Luckely the car has the sparewheel mounted to the back door I had to create a construction to have two antennas mounted in a way that I can extend the antenna mount over the car’s height, when not driving.


When driving the antenna mount extension should not disturb my view through the internal mirror, therefor must be removable. Both the antenna mount base and extension should also be constructed in a way that I can use my chameleon hybrid mini antenna, dipole or HyEndFed Antenna together with the 2m/70cm Antenna.

At the end it was easy. An aluminum profile delivered to my specs and another profile as the extension, A ground connection from the profile to the door and from the door to the chassis of the car. Two holes for the RG58 cables. Neatly screwed to the Sparewheel housing and screws/threaded holes to connect the antenna mount extension to the antenna mount base. One day work and it was done, works like a charm. Worst case there is always “the claw” on board, which allows to fix the chameleon hybrid mini everywhere.

I can now have either two VHF/UHF Antennas mounted to the mount base or one VHF/UHF and a HF-Antenna (Chameleon, Dipol or HyEndFed) or two HF-Antennas. Exactly the same is possible when the antenna mount extension is fixed to the mount base. The only difference is that the antenna bases are the same height as the cars roof. Tricky eh !!

Here are some pictures:

Base Mount

Base Mount

Extension

Extension

Extension
 

 

 

 

 

 

Antenna Mount with Extension Chameleon Unun and Mil-Whip

 

Detailled View, Chameleon Unun on top level w. Mil-Whip

 

Detail View Chameleon Unun on top level

 

Detailled View, Chameleon Unun on lower level for use with a wire

 

As before, more detailled

Codeplugs for specific use (QTH, Car, Mobile)

Let’s assume you have the same gear as I have. One D-878UV Handheld, two D-578UV mobile radio’s, one in the car, one in the QTH. Just by their use they are different.

Radio Where located Movement Repeaters in Codeplug Remarks
D-578UV QTH none, static local connects to repeaters nearby, always the same ones
D-878UV Always with me, beltclip often, dynamic Europe or Countries I will travel to connects to repeaters when available but mainly to a hotspot
D-578UV CAR mounted often, dynamic Europe or Countries I will travel to connects to known repeaters or hotspot, roaming should be enabled for common regions

I am lazy and want to get what I want without pressing to much buttons or crawl in lists. That’s why I created three different CP’s each with a little twist.

The D-578UV in the QTH knows only my hotspots at home and 8 repeaters I can reach from here. BUT I have multiplied each repeater 23 times. As the codeplug software does not accept duplicated channel (repeater) names, each repeater name got an addition which represents the TG. I.e. you will find the repeater DO0ERK as DO0ERK World, DO0ERK Germany and so on. In the channel list is for each channel of the same repeater a different TG associated as you can see here in the snippet (for a download of the whole file click here):

Channel Name Receive Frequency Transmit Frequency Channel Type Transmit Power Band Width CTCSS/DCS Decode CTCSS/DCS Encode Contact Contact Call Type
DO0ERK World 145.71250 145.11250 D-Digital Turbo 12.5K 67.0 Off BM World Group Call
DO0ERK Germany 145.71250 145.11250 D-Digital Turbo 12.5K 67.0 Off BM Germany Group Call
DO0ERK Regional 145.71250 145.11250 D-Digital Turbo 12.5K 67.0 Off BM Regional Group Call
DO0ERK Local 145.71250 145.11250 D-Digital Turbo 12.5K 67.0 Off BM Local Group Call
DO0ERK Europe 145.71250 145.11250 D-Digital Turbo 12.5K 67.0 Off BM Europe Group Call
DO0ERK German 145.71250 145.11250 D-Digital Turbo 12.5K 67.0 Off BM German Group Call
DO0ERK DACH 145.71250 145.11250 D-Digital Turbo 12.5K 67.0 Off BM DACH Group Call
DO0ERK DL-TAC 1 145.71250 145.11250 D-Digital Turbo 12.5K 67.0 Off BM DL-TAC 1 Group Call
DO0ERK DL-TAC 2 145.71250 145.11250 D-Digital Turbo 12.5K 67.0 Off BM DL-TAC 2 Group Call
DO0ERK DL-TAC 3 145.71250 145.11250 D-Digital Turbo 12.5K 67.0 Off BM DL-TAC 3 Group Call
DO0ERK DL-TAC 4 145.71250 145.11250 D-Digital Turbo 12.5K 67.0 Off BM DL-TAC 4 Group Call
DO0ERK DL-MultiM 145.71250 145.11250 D-Digital Turbo 12.5K 67.0 Off BM DL-Multimode Group Call
DO0ERK EMCOM112 145.71250 145.11250 D-Digital Turbo 12.5K 67.0 Off BM Emcom(112)EU Group Call
DO0ERK SachsAnh/ 145.71250 145.11250 D-Digital Turbo 12.5K 67.0 Off BM SachsAnh/Meck Group Call

The zones I have defined are the analog repeaters nearby, the digital repeaters with associated TG’s and my hotspots. The TG-List is still there with all TG’s available worldwide, but for nomal use, I just need the channel knob to switch between repeaters and their associated talkgroups. Very convenient. A roaming list is not needed, as this radio normally do not move.

Differently constructed is the CP for the D-578UV in the car. Each repeater is marked with the associated Timeslot (TS) and my most used TG. That means i.e. DO0ERK has two entries DO0ERK-1 and DO0ERK-2 For -1 the TG Germany is associated, for -2 the TG World is associated. That saves channel entries.

I have in my channel list all (and I mean ALL) European repeaters after this methodology. Countries can be selected by the zone list, where each country has its own entry with the corresponding repeaters associated. With one look at the repeater name I can see my TS and my TG is also displayed underneath the repeater name. Of course my hotspots are also there, in case I can not reach a repeater. In such a case I have LTE connection for my DMR hotspot to the WLAN routher in the car. In addition I have created a roming channel list and a roming zone list for my state, where I travel most. With the roaming switched on the radio in the car chooses by itself the next reachable repeater.

The handheld radio has the same channel-list and zones, but as I use mostly my hotspot with the handheld, that’s why I did not create a roaming channel or roaming zone list.

I hope that my idea behind these different CP’s became clear to you, if not pls. blame me as I must have explained it in an unclear way.