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Reading this page and the descriptions is like a class / book in itself.  I have MY descriptions next to each item.  How I've used it before, why I've used it, how it might work for you.   I own the majority of the items on this page.  This page is my review of the positive and negatives on each item and how YOU might use it for your benefit.  This page is designed to give you an overview in helping YOU decide WHAT YOU NEED for YOURSELF.  Clicking on the item will take you to Amazon where you can buy it, they have great prices, but if you desire, you can also go to your local store and buy it.  My main interest is you getting better prepared so you can help yourself and others in times of need.  - Steven Harris

 






STEVEN HARRIS ON THE SURVIVAL  PODCAST, LISTEN RIGHT HERE.
Radios for a Disaster.  Which ones and why.  I cover everything. 
 
Steven Harris on The Survival Podcast Again.  This time on Radios for preparedness and for the common man.  This is all about radios for prepping.  I cover EVERYTHING.  AM/FM Shortware + SSB, GMRS, FRS, HAM, CB, Marine Band Radios, Air Band Radios, Scanners and I show you how to get a really great $40 Scanner (the BaoFeng Ham Radio below here) that is just awesome.  Te show is a class in itself and it will take away a great deal of the mystery that always surrounds radios and communications.  What type do I need,  how do I use it, and where do I get it.  Go listen to the podcast below and you'll be a Happy and in touch Person.

  FREE CLASS      FREE CLASS       FREE CLASS 
Listen to the Steven Harris Radio Right HERE
The JWPlayer is RIGHT HERE
Tap to Listen & Scroll DOWN the Page to SEE ALL the Items we talk about

 
Radio Communications - Why its So Important.   
Because you can only hear the neighbor across the fence, you can only hear a gun shot from maybe a mile away.  If you have no TV, no radio, no CB, no Ham Radio, no Police Scanner, no short wave radio than you are in the dark and part of the rumor mill.  When you have any of these methods of communications you are wired in and getting the information.  While the TV and the local Radio might  not be the best source of raw 100% current information, listening to Ham radio and the police scanner will tell you what is going on in your city or town.  CB will also allow you to speak to others who might be listening using these methods even if you do not have them.  Ham (Amateur) radio is a community onto itself and full of information.  Listening to a CB and talking to truckers might get you word of mouth information he heard when he was 500 miles away earlier in the day.  A shortwave radio will allow you to pickup news from other countries.  This can be handy if you do not have TV or power for your TV.  If your cable is out and you do not have direct TV or DISH then you are not getting anything but local digital TV over the air waves.


 


   Radio Priorities 

   Priority #1.   D cell or AA Cell AM/FM Radio
   Priority #2.   Portable Low Power Digital LCD TV w/ Antenna
   Priority #3.   GMRS Radios + Simple Scanner for Police and Ham Frequencies 
   Priority #4.   AM/FM Radio with Short Wave Ability
   Priority #5.   CB Radio for local information and talk 
   Priority #6.   Advanced Trunk Tracking Police Scanner
 
 


 

The BIG Secret - Air Band & Marine Band Radios
This paragraph can save your life.

Here is the big secret, this radio (the air band radios below) will get you rescued faster than anything else. People stuck on life rafts in the Pacific talk of seeing international jet liners fly over them 7 miles up.  People stuck on mountains can hear the search planes, but can't see them or signal them.  People stuck on roofs in Katrina could do nothing but wave at helicopters to get their attention.  The big secret is that ALL aircraft; private planes, helicopters, commercial airline jets, US Military, Coast Guard, Police Aircraft ALL monitor 121.5Mhz Guard!  If you are in the woods, on a raft or in the mountains and you hear an airplane, you can get this radio out and talk to them INSTANTLY and tell them where you are. 

If you are in a Marine environment and the coast guard is who you are going to call you can get away with a Marine Radio.  Most boats and all Search and Rescue in an ocean environment (or the great lakes) monitor Marine Emergency Channel 16.  I suggest you also carry a very good GPS with you so when you get a hold of someone you can tell them where you are.  Think of this, you are in Alaska hiking deep in the woods or mountains, alone.  You fall and break your ankle or leg and you are stuck there.  You cannot move or walk.  You pull out your Air Radio on 121.5 Guard and you see a Jet Liner flying 7 miles high (35,000+ feet) and you key your radio and say, "Mayday mayday mayday.  Jet Line flying East above Alaska, This is [ your name ] and I have an Emergency.  Over."   I might take a few calls, but they will eventually figure out that its THEM you are talking to and they will respond.  Now is a great time have your GPS on and say, "I've fallen and broke my leg and cannot move.  I am near Kavik Alaska at 69 Degrees 40.5 minutes North, 146 Degrees 54.1 minutes West Over." 

They might not have telephone ability on the Jet Liner, but they CAN reach an aircraft control tower (air port) and relay your information.  This would be a good time to have this phone number: 202-372-2100 printed and laminated on the back of your radio, you might even write it in silver sharpie on the radio itself.  This phone number is for US Coast Guard National Command Center which is staffed 24/7/365 and ready assist in your emergency.  They can get a hold of any other coast guard Regional Coordination Center (RCC) and or they can get a hold of Alaska State Police or the Military or any other asset to send assistance.  This is the one phone number to call. Another way to remember the number is 1-800-DAD-SAFE. 

The reason I want you to give this phone number to the pilots so they can give it to the control tower. No matter where you go you will find people who are complacent and lazy and stupid.  The local airport they get a hold of might not have the right emergency phone numbers.  You are not going to trust your life to someone hundreds of miles away who does not have the right phone numbers.  So call Mayday, give the pilots your situation, your GPS location and the phone number that needs to be called.  Also make sure the pilots tell the coast guard that you have an air band radio and you are on 121.5 Guard.  One stop life saving. 

A coast guard C-130 at 30,000 feet can talk to you for hundreds of miles and get an update on your situation and tell you help is on the way.  You just went from having a broken leg in Alaska and being bear bate to being in direct communications with the US Coast Guard. This does not have to be for a marine or Alaska environment.  If you can't dial 911, you get your location to the Coast Guard, they can then get a hold of anyone else that will be local to you  The people at this phone number are intelligent, capable, highly trained professionals.  They will take your call or message 'heart attack serious' and they will move heaven and Earth to get your rescued by some method.   God Bless the US Coast Guard.  Note: If you can't or see or hear an airplane call MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY every 15 minutes.  Like I said, planes 500 miles away can hear you.


















 

AIR AND MARINE BAND RADIOS
have a question? email Steve at  support (at) KnowledgePublications (dot) com

Icom IC-A14 VHF Air Band transceiver $219.00
Icom is the big name in air radios.  This radio is water resistant, not water proof.  This is the most simple ICOM air radio that will do the job that you need to have done.  This is an 'air band' radio.  You CANNOT use it for a walkie talkie with your kids.  If you are NOT a pilot then this is for emergency purposes only, but its legal.  Coast Guard aircraft also ALWAYS monitor Marine Channel 16.  So if you just need a radio for a coast guard environment, get the Marine Band Radio below.  Yes, I Steven Harris OWN one of these radios and its in my communications Emergency Kit, along WITH a separate Marine radio.

  

Icom BP-261 Alkaline Battery Case for IC-A14 $60.00

Why is my information so valuable, I'm a Ham radio operator, I'm a radio expert and I'm an energy and preparedness expert.  I have an Icom Air Radio, and have had it for 7 years, and guess what.  The recharable battery that came with it is now dead dead dead.  100% useless.  When I bought my Icom Air Band radio I got the alkaline battery pack, and the alkaline batteries in it from 7 years ago will still power up the radio instantly and it will give you days of communications life.  Want more communications time ?  Carry more batteries, Especially the Energizer Lithium AA batteries (below).  They will store for over 20 years.  If you are buying the above air radio, spend the extra $60 and get this alkaline battery pack.

 

Icom CP-22 Cigarette Lighter Cable for IC-A14 $55.99

The above Icom Air Band radio comes with a 120 volt AC Charger to charge up the battery.  If you have a 120 VAC source or an inverter, then that is great.  However this is the official Icom DC charger for the radio.  It will charge the radio from any 12 volt source, just plug it into the cigarette lighter socket.  The AA Alkaline battery pack is by FAR more important for you to have than this if your funds are tight.

 

Yaesu FTA-230 Air Band Transceiver $204.00   *NEW* 
/Icom use to the standard when it came to air band radios but this Yeasu is one hell of a deal.  First, its water submersible, that's pretty much water proof.  The icon is only water resistant.  This radio comes with the AC adapter, the DC Car adapter, the normal NiMH recharable battery AND it comes with the AA Alkaline battery pack.  Its one stop shopping for an air band radio with EVERYTHING I INSIST you have with an air band radio.  I own the Icom, I don't own this one yet, but I'm impressed as hell so far with what I've seen about this radio.  The Yeasu seems to be a little harder to use than the Icom and it appears to be a bit smaller, but since you are only going to be on 1 frequency, 121.5 Guard, then once you set it up you should be good to go forever. Its not like you are a pilot trying to change frequencies in the cockpit in turbulence.

 

Uniden Handheld Floating Two-Way VHF Marine Radio $114.99   *NEW* 
If you are in a Marine environment then this is the radio for you.  Its ONLY a marine radio, but all of the coast guard boats, aircraft and most all private boats DO monitor channel 16 for emergencies.  So if you see one of these, you can talk to ANY of these for your rescue or help.  Now get this.  Its only $115 and it comes WITH a 120 Volt AC charger, a 12 Volt DC charger, a Li-ION recharable battery pack AND it comes with an Alkaline Battery Pack !!  Uniden has just blown me away.  Plus the radio is water proof, its submersible and it floats!!!  If you are in a hurricane zone and anticipate the coast guard will come and rescue you in an extreme case then get this radio.  If you can hear the helicopter going WOP WOP WOP in the distance they can hear you on the radio instantly.   This radio does NOT talk on 121.5 Mhz Guard like the air radio does.  Use this if you are in a marine / hurricane environment only.  If I had a boat that sailed the ocean blue, I'd have the Icom Air Band radio and I'd have this Uniden Radio, all with AA Energizer Lithium batteries in it and a zip lock or water proof marine bag with 24 extra AA Energizer Lithium Batteries.  2 is one, one is none, none gets you dead.  yes, even though this radio can handle being down in 5 feet of water for 30 minutes, I'd still put it in a water proof bag.  I have the best price on Lithium AA's and Duracell D Cells below...just scroll down.
 



 

PERSON TO PERSON GMRS RADIOS
have a question? email Steve at  support (at) KnowledgePublications (dot) com

Motorola 22-Channel 27-Mile Two-Way Radios $47.99   *NEW* 
/There are so many different variants of this radio even with Motorola.  So I search and search through all of them and bought this set and tested it just for everyone reading this.  This is the GMRS radio set I RELY ON.  Its next to my battery bank, always charged up and ready to go.  This is for person to person communications only. Its not for listening to anyone else.  It comes with 2 rechargable batteries, a charging cradle for both radios to sit in and it has the maximum FRS and GMSR power available under law.  It also have digital codes to eliminate interference on the channels, and it works very good.  No matter who else might be on the channel I can't hear them because there is 121 different digital codes to be used.  Now get this, here is the real kicker that makes these so sweat.  You can take out the recharable battery and put in 3 NiMH or 3 Alkaline or 3 Lithium AA batteries.  Yup.. its runs on AA batteries and I've already showed you how to have an unlimited number of those
(How to Power Your House From your Car at http://www.Solar1234.com )  Oh..they also have all of the NOAA Weather channels in them so you can hear your local weather.  It has a built in flashlight too.  It will run for 27 hours on 3 AA Alkaline batteries and 9 Hours in NiMH Batteries.  Radios also come with a detachable belt clip.

 

Motorola 53727 Earbud with Push-to-Talk Mic $10.99

This lets you leave the radio on your hip or in your pocket and you can hear everything and talk easily.  Just put the ear bud in your ear and you now have private communications and there is a Push To Talk (PTT) button on the microphone that hangs just below your chin.  Gives you easy hands free access to the radio.

Motorola Flexible Ear Receiver $9.49   *NEW* 
/This is just a larger version of the ear bud above, it has a larger speaker that goes OVER your ear.  Bigger speaker equal bigger sound and it its a lot more comfortable to have this in your ear all day long than an ear bud hanging in your ear canal.  I don't know about you, but my ear gets soar if I have ear buds in them all day long.

Motorola Remote Speaker Microphone (Black) $15.99   *NEW* 
/You've all seen speaker mics on police officers.  They usually clip onto your shirt up near your collar and under your ear so its easy to hear someone calling for you, and all you need to do is reach up and push the PTT button and reply.  Well this is one of those speaker mics and it works on the GMRS Motorola radios above.  One of the nice things about any of these head sets / speaker mics is if you have marginal reception you can hold your radio high up over your head and talk into the mic and get better reception.  It all about the antenna and how high up it is.  That is what you learn in detail when you become a Ham Radio Operator. 



 

                                                  SIMPLE AM / FM PORTABLE RADIOS
Its always a good idea to store your simple AM/FM radios in a zip lock bag and what else should be in there?  You should have extra batteries in there, I actually keep mine taped to the back of the radio and you should have a small note book and a pen in there. On the notebook or a piece of paper you should have all of the local AM and FM News stations so you don't have to try and find them during a disaster.  Think you know them all, in a disaster you can forget your own phone number (that's a true story).  So have all of that written down and placed in the zip lock bag and ALSO you need some extra paper in there so you can write down information you hear on the radio. 

have a question? email Steve at  support (at) KnowledgePublications (dot) com

Sony ICF-S10MK2 Pocket AM/FM Radio, Silver $12.99

With over 1600 ratings on Amazon and a 4.4 out of 5.0 rating.  You know this has to be a great little radio.  Its a standard AM / FM radio that runs on 2 AA batteries.  Its as simple as that, its as simple as it gets.  One of these should be in every kit you have ( car, home etc..) ONLY use Duracell Alkaline batteries when its stored and put away OR you can use the best AA battery there is, the Energizer Lithium AA battery.  If you are at home and a disaster has started and you do not need to run down the Alkaline or Lithium batteries, then you can put in NiMH Recharable batteries.  The most important thing is to have the best batteries in it possible so if you're running, leaving, taking off with your kit, you have a good radio with batteries in it.  In fact, I'd tell you to duct tape a 2nd spare pair of batteries to the back of the radio.  2 is 1, 1 is none and none sucks.

 

Sony ICF38 Portable AM/FM Radio (Black) $24.99

While the above radio is a true shirt pocket radio, this is more of a large pocket radio or a sit on your table radio.  It will run for up to 80 hours on 4 AA Alkaline batteries and it comes with a 120 volt adapter so it can run off your inverter or wall power in your house.  It has a larger speaker than the above radio, an illuminated dial and a tuning indicator.  If you have a Harris battery bank, this thing will run forever.  This is just another option and tool in your preparedness stores or kit. 

 

Sangean PR-D7 BK AM/FM Digital Rechargeable Portable Radio $52.32

Sangean is one of the top of the line radios.  So this will have improved sensitivity and selectivity (can isolate 1 station better).  I own this radio and its used everyday.  Want to know why I own a $50 AM / FM radio, because it comes in white and that matches our master bathroom and my wife likes to listen to AM news radio when she's getting ready for work.   This is also a digital tuning radio where the 2 above have a dial indicator, so this one is more precise but the other 2 above will work equally as good.  This radio might pull in some stations that are farther away, but the whole purpose of an AM/FM radio is to listen to what is going on locally anyways.  Radio runs on 6 AA batteries.  Lithium, Alkaline or NiMH Rechargable.

 

Energizer L91BP- 8 Count Lithium AA Photo Battery (8-Pack) $15.26
* NEW *
I talked in detail at the end of the show that the stuff in your 'go bag' or 'emergency' kit should have Energizer Lithium AA batteries in it.  They have the longest shelf life, the most power, the best heat and cold tolerance and they are the lightest batteries there are. (these are NOT rechargeable).  If you are getting stuck with one battery, you want to get stuck with this one.  You use the rechargeable ones when you are home in a disaster and you can recharge them from your car.  When stuck in the wild, use these blue and silver Energizer Lithium Batteries.  You can also get "AA Ultimate Photo Lithium Battery 24 Battery Bundle for $40.25 (bulk pack)"  or you can get

"Energizer Ultimate L91BP-4 Lithium AA Battery - 24 Batteries IN ORIGINAL RETAIL PACKS NOT BULK for $42.95"  Even the 8 pack above for $15.26 is cheaper than the batteries are at Sams Club. 
If you want the AAA version, them them HERE
 

Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA 36 Count Batteries $58.55   *NEW* 
The #1 Lithium AA battery to use is Energizer.  The #1 Alkaline Battery is Duracell.  The #1 rechargeable NiMH battery is the Sanyo Enloop which you can get at http://www.Solar1234.com  The AA lithium are the lightest AA battery on the market, they are the most expensive, they have the most power of any AA battery and they perform in the deep cold very very well, and they have the longest shelf life (20 years).  This is the cheapest you are going to get them for is with this Amazon deal, 36 AA Lithium batteries for less than $59 is a bargain.

Duracell Coppertop AA Batteries, 20-Count $6.99   *NEW* 
These batteries are factory fresh and sealed in factor packaging.  Costco is a good place to get Duracell batteries in bulk (Sams has energizer) but if you don't have a COSTCO near you or you don't want to go out and burn the time and fuel get them then this is a very good price on Duracell AA batteries.  If you are not using Energizer AA Lithiums then your next #1 choice is Duracell batteries.  They have stood the test of time for storage and the ability to work great in hot and cold conditions.  BEWARE of 40 packs and 100 packs of Duracell AA Alkaline batteries on Amazon, read the feed back, they are OLD batteries, many out of date, many just dead even if they are not out of date.  That is why I suggest you go with this package of factory fresh batteries, its only $7, buy more than one.

 

Ziploc Gallon Freezer Bags with Double Zipper 152 bags $19.99   *NEW* 
When ever I pack a back page or a travel kit, everything with the same theme always goes into a quart or gallon ziplic freezer bag.  I like the double zip ones the best, I hate the slide zip ones, they never seal water tight ever.  So all of my first aid stuff  goes into 1 bag, all of my emergency medications go into another bag, all of my phone cables and chargers go into another bag, flash light,  head lamp and batteries go into another bag.  It keeps stuff from getting separated and messed up.  So if I'm in a hotel I pull out the bag with all of my phone charging stuff and I charge my phone and keep that zip lock bag near the phone incase I need something more.  A ziploc bag makes for a home for everything that is related to each other.  Plus if your bag gets wet, rained on, sprayed from a fire truck or what ever, the contents are pretty significantly water proofed.  Another thing you never thought about, is that zip lock bags hold air in.  I can put a bit of air into each bag (not a lot needed) and put them in my backpack and now I have a floatation device and I can easily ford water or swim a significant distance without having to fight and spend energy to stay afloat.    So put your radios along with a list of local frequencies / news stations and a small note pad and pen or pencil into the bag, and put in some extra batteries.

 

Ziploc Double Zipper Quart Freezer Bags, 216 Bags $18.99   *NEW* 
As I was saying above, all of the stuff on this page are electronics, when being stored or transported they should have something that protects them from dust and water and being entangled with other unrelated things.  Buy a large box of ziploc bags and be generous with their use.  You'll be happy.  Also I always buy and use the thicker FREEZER bags rather than the normal thickness regular bags.   Also, hey.. I need to store a bunch of water real quick.  Get out your gallon bags with stuff in them, dump out the stuff and fill the ziploc bags full of water.  Now you have instant storage of water in your backpack and since they are so thin and small, keep some extra bags in your kit as well.

 


 


 

AM / FM / SHORT WAVE WORLD BAND RADIOS
have a question? email Steve at  support (at) KnowledgePublications (dot) com

Grundig S450DLX Deluxe AM/FM Shortwave Radio, Black $74.99
This is my main emergency radio that is in my first GO TO emergency cabinet under the TV.  The space basically holds some D Cell flashlights and this radio that also runs off of 4 D cell batteries.  It will run for months off of those batteries.  Grundig is a very high quality radio and well known in the field.  This is also a short wave radio so you can listen to news and stations from around the USA as well as around the world in a disaster.  This includes the BBC.  Last time I used it was a few years ago during a huge blizzard that knocked out our power.  It was late at night, so I just listened to the local AM station to find out how the greater city area was being affected and how long until the power might be restored.  It covers from the lower AM frequencies all the way up to 30 Megahertz, the top of the short wave band.  Listen to anything with this radio.  A high quality radio at a good price.

 

Tecsun PL-606 Digital PLL Portable AM/FM Shortwave Radio with DSP, Black $49.99

This radio is a lot smaller than it looks, its just a little too big to go into your shirt pocket.  Its 7.4 x 1.1 x 3.2 inches ; 6.2 ounces so its great for a small emergency kit radio.  It runs on 2 AA batteries, it gets all of the major short wave bands, it comes with an additional and longer whip antenna for improved reception (see photos on Amazon, Click the photo).  This is really a great little, sensitive AM/FM & Shortwave radio.  This radio is also very small... it will fit in an emergency kit very well.

 

Sony ICF-SW7600GR AM/FM Shortwave World Band Receiver with Single Side Band Reception, plus External Plug-in Antenna $138.00

Sony makes some of the best short wave radios in the world.  What is the difference between this one and the Tecsun  above?  Two main things.  This radio has the ability to listen to Single Side Band (SSB) in the short wave bands.  SSB is what Ham Radio Operators use to talk back and forth.  Regular broadcast on short wave by big stations is AM modulation. SSB modulation is a lot more efficient but does not have the straight forward quality as an AM signal.  As you tune into a SSB transmission the voice pitch will change until it appears normal when you are on the correct frequency.  So if you want to listen to Hams on the 160, 80, 40 and 20 meter bands, then you'll need this SSB capable radio.  This radio also has an attachment for an external antenna (like a long wire) and that is an INCREDIBLE feature that will allow you to pull in stations from around the world and the USA.  Its always all about the antenna.
 

Tecsun PL-360 Digital PLL Portable AM/FM Shortwave Radio with DSP, Black $45.42

If you wanted a shirt pocket AM/FM Shortwave radio then this is it.  its WEIGHT: 6.95 ounces - (with batteries) DIMENSIONS: 6.1 x 1.9 x 0.85 inches and runs on 2 AA batteries.  It comes with a USB power / charging cable.  If you put in 2 NiMH AA batteries (like eneloops) it will recharge them for you from USB power.  Of course ANY of the USB Chargers on http://www.Solar1234.com (Car DC or AC) will work to power and charge this radio.  That thing on the top, is for AM radio reception, it unplugs.  It needs nothing for FM radio reception and it has a wire antenna that plugs in for Shortwave reception.  This is a good thing, reception is all about the antenna.

 



 

                                                                     AMATEUR (HAM) RADIOS
Ham radios are used by Amateur (Ham) Radio operators.  They have to take a test to be able to legally operate (talk/transmit) on the Ham radio frequencies.  It is NOT illegal to own a ham radio without a license, you can listen all you desire, you just can't talk on the radio.  However if it was an emergency and you did not have 911 access, you'd be forgiven.

Ham radio operators are issued call signs by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and we operate under the Part 15 rules.  If you operate illegally on a ham radio repeater, the local hams WILL track you down and find you. They will drive right up to your door, knock on it, tell you to stop, and if you do not they will report you to the FCC for enforcement.  Its NOT hard to find out where you are transmitting from.  Its called a "Fox Hunt" and hams practice this on a regular basis.  We consider it 'fun', a sport.  So don't do it.  The ham radios below have a broad enough listening spectrum that they can be used as police scanners for police departments that still use a simple repeater setup.  If you wanted a simple way to listen to the police in your city then one of these radios might be the cheapest way of doing it.

have a question? email Steve at  support (at) KnowledgePublications (dot) com
 

BaoFeng UV-5RE Plus(UV-5R+) Dual-Band 136-174/400-480 MHz FM Ham Two-way Radio, Improved Stronger Case, More Rich and Enhanced Features (2013 Enhanced Version) $36.99
Before China made these and imported them into the USA a 'dual band' ham radio like this would cost OVER $200 each.  This one is $37, just incredible, and its NOT cheap Chinese Junk.  On Amazon it has over 129 reviews and 4.4 out of 5 stars on it.  Every where on the internet people rave about how good this radio is, especially for the price.  There are people who are into Ham radio and got their license because they could afford this radio.  This is a dual band radio so it does 2m (144mhz) and 70cm (440mhz).  This covers 95% of everything done in VHF and UHF in the ham radio community.   Since its frequency range is 136-174 Mhz & 400-479.995 MHz. it will receive most police and fire frequencies that are still on the simple repeater design (lots are).  So this is about the cheapest 'scanner' radio you can get.  Yes, it even has a scanner feature in the radio.  If you program in your frequencies it will scan between them and stop on the one when it someone is talking on it.
Someone wrote a greatly improved version of the manual, you can get it HERE for free.
 

Lb-75n Two-way Radio AAA BATTERY Case for Baofeng Uv-5r ,Tyt F8 F9 ,Vitai Vt-uv3 Vt-uv9r Two Way Radios $11.99   *NEW* 
Rechargable battery packs drain, you can pick up your radio to use it a year later and the rechargable battery is dead. Rechargable batteries just die in 4 to 8 years, 100% dead, no good.  Alkaline batteries can sit in this battery case for 10 years (at room temperature) and still have 85% of their energy in 10 years.  The radio is ready to go when you need it.  That is why I always always preach that you MUST have an alkaline battery pack to go with your radio.  The pack will also use AAA NiMH Batteries, but you don't keep those in there long term.  Only if your main rechargable battery pack is dead and you were past the stage of using the initial alkaline batteries would you then use AAA NiMH batteries in the holder.   My Icom air band radio is 7 years old, the Li-ion battery pack is beyond dead, but the alkaline battery is just perfect ready to work the instant I need it.

 

AA BATTERY uv5r Two-way Radio Battery Case for Baofeng Uv-5r ,Uv-5ra,Uv-5re ,Tyt F8 F9 ,Vitai Vt-uv3 Vt-uv9r Two Way Radios $9.99   *NEW* 
This battery case takes AA batteries, NOT AAA.  The one above takes AAA batteries.  You really want a AA battery case if its the only battery case you are going to purchase.  AA's have much more energy than a AAA, just over double the energy in most cases.  If you have something like 16 AAA NiMH batteries for your head lamps and other AAA items then it would make sense to get the above AAA case AFTER you've already purchased this AA case. I ALWAYS suggest you get a AA Alkaline battery case to BACKUP your rechargable battery on your radios.  This battery case WILL work with Alkaline batteries as well as NiMH rechargable batteries.

 

Original Handheld BAOFENG UV-5R Speaker-mic for dual band radio $7.32

Speaker Mics are awesome.  They let you keep your radio on your belt or in a pocket and put a speaker right up near your ear so you can hear the radio nice and clearly, instead of having to listen to it on your belt.  I've mentioned this before, the other advantage of a speaker mic is that you can hold your radio high above your head to get better height and reception and talk into the speaker mic.  As a ham, I've had to do this several times when my radio reception was not that good and I just needed a bit more to get my signal to the repeater and the message through.

Etekcity Dual Band Car Battery Eliminator Simulator For BAOFENG UV-5R VHF/UHF Two Way Radio $9.87

This is another power must have.  It allows you to run your BaoFeng radio from any 12 volt source.  You don't need your recharable pack, you don't need your AA alkaline pack, you can run it right off of 12 volts.  This could be your home battery bank you made ( free class, http://www.Battery1234.com )   You always want a way to run ANY of your radios off of AC power, DC power, Alkaline Batteries and Rechargable Batteries.

USB Programming Cable for Baofeng UV-5R/ Wouxun UVd1P/ UV6D Two Way Radio $6.33

You can either program frequencies into the radio from the keyboard and menu or you can connect it up with this USB Cable with provided software and type into the computer what frequencies and or PL tones need to be entered.  (PL tones are required for some repeaters, for talking only, not reception, you'll find the PL tones listed in the ARRL Repeater Guide Book (below) or from http://http://www.radioreference.com/  The programming software that comes with the cable is not the greatest.  There is a great free program that has been written for Windows, Mac and Linux called CHIRP that will program the radios a lot easier.  Here is a link to a website that not only links to the CHRIP software but it has a programming file to program the first 98 channels with everything you could want, GMRS, FRS, MARINE, Ham and even more.  Great place to start http://tinyurl.com/ppqyqe7  Now, the drivers that come on the CD with the cable are out of date and are not the best drivers.  This webpage (http://tinyurl.com/mnfszxz) has the correct updated drivers and will help you make sure you have the right drivers for the cable you purchased.  There are multiple cables out there, GET the one I have here.

 

ExpertPower 7.56" Dual Band Two-way Radio Antenna SMA-Female $2.75

The BaoFeng comes with a standard "Duckie".  Rubber antennas are called Duckies.  This one is longer and will give you better transmit and receive ability.  Like I keep telling you, its all about the antenna when it comes to radios.

ExpertPower 14.4" Dual Band Two-way Radio Antenna SMA-Female $8.55
The above antenna is 7.5" long.. this one is 14.4" long... so it will reach up your side a ways when on your belt but it is NOT uncomfortable.  I have this antenna on my BaoFeng radio, I have this type of antenna on ALL of my ham radios. ALL OF THEM, because its always about the antenna.  It determines more than anything else how good you can transmit and receive.

Hypario X Nagoya 771 DUAL BAND 144/430Mhz SMA-F UV Ham Radio Antenna for Kenwood TYT BAOFENG UV-82 UV-B5 UV-B6 GT-3 BF-F8 UV-5RA UV-5RC UV-5RE UV-5R+ series 15.6" $13.99
The above antenna is 14.4" long.. this one is 15.6" long... This is probably about the highest quality best rated extended duckie that I can find on amazon.  Its the most expensive one.  If you are going to get an extended antenna, I would suggest this one.  This antenna does fit on the UV-5RE radio that I have listed above.

Reverse SMA to "PL-259" Adapter Cable - Female/Female for Wouxun Baofeng $10.81   *NEW* 
The antenna connector is called an SMA connector, to run the ham radio to the scanner antenna for better transit and receive (the scanner antenna has a very broad frequency range to it) you will need to connect the BaoFeng radio, or any other hand held ham radio to a 50 ohm (RG-8) coax cable that has a PL-259 on it.  So you unscrew the antenna from the radio, screw on this cable and run it to your coax extension cable that is going to the antenna and that is all there is too it.

 

BROWNING BR-180 Amateur Dual-Band Mobile Antenna (works with BAOFENG Radios) $27.73   *NEW* 
This is a mobile antenna that goes on your car to have you an incredibly BETTER antenna than the 'duckie' that is on the BAOFENG or any other ham radio.  IF you want this mobile antenna for the BAOFENG or any other modern ham radio you are gong to need the Reverse SMA to PL-259 Adapter ABOVE and the Magnetic mobile mount BELOW.  This screws onto the magnetic mount.   This is a very high quality antenna, I own it, I use it.  Read the feedback, its awesome, same with the magnetic mount (mag mount) below.  The antenna is a lot longer than it is in the photograph.  Note: this is a VHF and UHF antenna, its NOT a CB antenna, a CB antenna cannot work for a VHF or UHF antenna.  Not Ever.
 

BROWNING BR316 NMO 3.5-Inch Chrome Magnet Mount $29.99   *NEW* 
This goes on top of your car, on the roof, the above browning antenna screws onto the top of this magnetic base then the cable with the PL-259 adapter end runs into your car, through a door, you just close the door on it, front or rear works and you run the cable into the car.  The cable then runs into the (ABOVE) Reverse SMA to PL-259 adapter and then that screws on where your antenna screws onto the boafeng or any other modern ham radios.  All new ham radios use and SMA antenna.  Older Ham radios use a BNC connector.

 

 

CITIZEN BAND (CB) RADIOS
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Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way Radio $79.90

I own this CB and its in my emergency communications kit.  Its really a portable CB Radio that comes with a battery pack, which takes 6 AA Alkaline or Lithium batteries, so it looks like a walkie talkie.  The configuration you see here is its mobile or car configuration.  The CB plugs into the cigarette lighter  and a roof top magnetic mount antenna screws into the silver antenna adapter.  The CB also has all 10 of the NOAA Weather Channels on it as well as all 40 CB Channels.  Because this is battery operated, you can use it at home for monitoring CB radio, it run on 6 AA batteries, but in How to Power Your House From Your Car Class I show you have to have unlimited AA recharable batteries, the class is at http://www.Solar1234.com

 

Cobra 75WXST 40-Channel CB Radio $89.62

This CB is actually smaller than the above midland CB.  This CB does not run off batteries.  The entire CB radio is the hand held mic / speaker unit you are looking at in the picture.  Its the smallest CB in the world.  On the end of the cable it has a power plug for the cigarette lighter and an antenna connection for hooking up to a  mobile antenna.  It has the full legal power of 4 watts.  Its just really small.  The entire CB fits in the palm  of your hand.  It also has all of the NOAA weather bands.

 

K40 K-30 35" 300 Watts Stainless Steel Magnet Mount CB Antenna $29.63

This is probably the best known and highest quality CB antenna on the market.  It has a nice large magnetic base on it so it won't fly off at 80 mph.  There is not much more for me to say, its very well tuned so you can talk further and hear better than with other lesser CB antennas.  If you need a mobile CB antenna then this is the one to get.

 

COBRA CB MOBILE COMPACT 40CH INST. CH 9 19ULTRAIII $34.99   *NEW* 
Just a simple 40 channel CB from Cobra.  This is the lowest price CB I can find.  It'll do all of the basic stuff you need.  This is ready to go for mobile use, if its for home, you'll have to get a 12 volt power supply (below) and probably the home antenna.

Galaxy DX-959 40 Channel AM/SSB Mobile CB Radio $165.62

Galaxy is the top of the line of CB manufactures.  This unit has many additional features and it has a very sensitive receiver and superior sound quality but it also features Single Side Band (SSB).   Normal CB's are AM modulation, like an AM radio.  A lot of power goes into making an AM signal and SSB is more efficient, in this case you can get more SSB signal out than you can with the same power on AM.  Truckers also use SSB to get 'skip' where the signal bounces off the atmosphere and skips over the horizon for hundreds of miles. The CB also has an SWR meter (Standing Wave Ratio), basically it tells you if your antenna is tuned properly.  That is the white meter on the left.  SWR should be as close to 1:1 as possible (one to one).  Don't worry, the K40 antenna above will be tuned properly.   Truckers can't run with a magnetic mount antenna because there is usually an aero shell above the cab for aerodynamics and fuel economy so truckers have an antenna on each mirror.  This does not make for the best ground plane and connection so its important to have a radio with an SWR meter.  This radio even has an SWR warning on it and will let you know if the SWR is too high.

 

Uniden BEARCAT CB Radio With Sideband And WeatherBand $139.99   *NEW* 
This is a less expensive version of the above Galaxy AM/SSB mobile CB radio.  This is a little smaller than the above galaxy as well and its made by Uniden.  For the price difference, get the Galaxy.  Get this if you really need one and the Galaxy is sold out.  Get this one if you don't like the older "KNOBBY" feel of the above galaxy.

Galaxy DX-2547 AM/SSB CB Base Station w/ Freq Counter, Talkback & Roger Beep $287.00   *NEW* 
This is the ultimate in CB Radios.  All of the other radios above are mobile radios.  This is home base station.  It does not run on 12 volts, it runs on 120 volts AC.  It the same AM & SSB as the above radios.  If you are looking for a top of the line CB for your home or shelter, then this is the unit.  Yes, its also a Galaxy radio.

 

Schumacher PC-6 120AC to 6A 12V DC Power Converter $22.52
If you want to run one of the above CB radios (except for the Galaxy DX-2547) you'll need a source of 12 volts in the house.  This AC to 12 Volt DC power supply will provide enough power for the CB to operate and transmit its 4 watts of legal power.
 

Pyramid PS15KX 10A 13.8-Volt Power Supply with Cigarette Lighter Adapter $59.88   *NEW* 
This is the big boy of DC Power supplies.  Run 120 volts AC into it from your inverter or grid power and it will make 12 volts DC just like your car does.   This allows you to run 1 or multiple CB Radios at the same time.  With a full 10 amps of power its power all of your DC electronics with ease.  Just put my favorite 4 way DC cigarette splitter on it ( http://www.Solar1234.com )

 

Solarcon A-99 CB Base Station Antenna $67.36   *NEW* 
If you are going to operate a CB at home, then you need an antenna for home.  This is a fiberglass antenna that you mount on a mast or a roof  mount outside your house.  You'll need to run RG-8 Cable to it from the CB (below) and if its a mobile CB inside the house you'll need a power supply (above).

50ft RG8x Coax UHF Male/Male 50 ohm Antenna Cable $31.99   *NEW* 
Ham radios, scanners and CB's and short wave all use what is called 50 ohm coax cable.  This comes in 2 popular formats, RG-58 (thinner, more loss) and RG-8 (thicker less loss).  I have RG-8 Cable listed here for you, this is a 50 foot RG-8 Cable you can use with the above home CB Antenna or with the Scanner Antenna below. 

100 ft RG8X COAX CABLE for CB / Ham Radio w/ PL259 Connectors  $40.71   *NEW* 
If the above 50 foot of cable is not enough, then you can get 100 feet here for not much more money.  Note: you always want to use the shortest cable possible.  The more cable you have the more signal loss you have.

UHF Female Female Barrel Adaptor $4.87   *NEW* 
/If you have to connect two 50 foot cables together to make one 100 foot cable you can use this connector.  Keep in mind, you loose signal with every connection you put in a cable, that's why you want to use only the length that is needed and you want the cable to be all one piece.  The OTHER NEAT thing you can do with this is connect your CB radio inside your home to your CB Antenna outside on your vehicle.  The mobile magnetic mount antenna needs to be on a car ( or a big hunk of metal ) to properly work.  That is because the vehicle or the metal establishes what is called a 'ground plane'.  So if you don't want to put up a home CB antenna (above) you might just move the CB radio inside with a DC power supply (above) and run a long cable out to your antenna still on your car.  This is the easiest answer.  Problem is that you have a PL-259 male on the antenna extension cable and the mobile CB antenna also has a PL-259 male on it.  So what you need is two SO-239 females to connect the two cables together, and that is what this adapter does.

 


 


 

SCANNERS - POLICE - FIRE - EMS - CITY - HAM RADIO
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Uniden BC355N 800 MHz 300-Channel Base Mobile Scanner $98.99

This is a basic, simple scanner that can run in your vehicle or at home.  It comes with an A/C power supply and an antenna that screws into the top of the scanner.  This is what is called a simple analog scanner.  Just like the scanners of old days designed to be used to listen to police or fire frequencies that are operating on a single repeater frequency.   This is NOT a trunking scanner.  Its a plain old regular scanner that will fit on your communications shelf just fine.

 

Uniden BC72XLT Handheld Scanner (Black) $119.99
This is the same simple scanner as above, but its a hand held portable scanner. It run off of 2AA Alkaline batteries or 2 NiMH recharable batteries.  It also comes with an AC Adapter to run it from 120 volts AC.  This is basic simplicity and ease of use if your local police and fire use the regular old repeaters for communications and NOT trunking.   Of course either of these 2 scanners will work perfect for listening to Marine Band or Amateur (HAM) radio frequencies.  Hams always use a regular repeater so you'll also be able to listen to this wealth of information from the Ham radio community.  This basic scanner should be in your kit.

Uniden BC346XT Handheld TrunkTracker III Analog Police Scanner $223.75

This is a trunk tracking scanner.  It will also operate like a plain old regular scanner like the ones above, but for police and fire departments that are on one of the new Trunking Radio Systems, you can use this to listen to them, if they are analog Trunk Tracking.  If they are Digital Trunk Tracking then you'll need the more expensive digital trunk tracking scanner below.   Confused by Trunking, the basics of it are explained very well here http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Trunking_Basics want to find out what frequencies are around you and what you can listen to then go to http://www.radioreference.com

Uniden BCD396XT Handheld TrunkTracker IV Digital Police Scanner $435.28

This is a digital trunk tracking scanner, yes, I know they are expensive, they are closer to $500 at radio shack.  This is what you need if your police and fire and EMT are on an integrated system.  That was a big push after 9/11/2001 to get Police and Fire hooked together on a modern radio system so they could talk easier among themselves as well as have the ability to talk to each other.   This will also function as a 'plain old scanner' and listen to regular repeater communications.

Uniden Public Safety Receiver (HOMEPATROL) $499.99   *NEW* 
This is the top of the line digital trunk tracking and regular old scanner there is on the market.  Nothing could be easier than this scanner.  If you wanted to listen to what is going on locally but did not want to have to program your scanner, than this is the unit for you.   It has *ALL* of the frequencies in the USA in it and who they belong to (Police, Fire, EMS, the local Zoo, local hospitals, FBI, ATF etc..)  The unit has a full color LCD touch screen display on it.  You just type in your zip code and it gives you a list of who you can listen to and all you do is tap the screen for the Police Department or who ever you want to listen to in your county and area.  Now get this, if you get the GPS Receiver below and you put this in your car, it knows where it is as you drive and it constantly gives you an option of who you can listen to as you drive.  Just incredible.  You can also plug the scanner into your computer and get FREE updates from Uniden on all of the frequencies.  So you are always up to date and ready to go.  This scanner has just taken all of the 'hard work' and 'learning' needed to run a modern scanner.  Yeah, its expensive, but its a top of the line scanner, if you can listen to it, then this radio will let you listen to it period, no matter what system they have (unless its encrypted, and very few are encrypted these days.)

 

Uniden GPS Receiver for Scanner and Marine Products $79.99   *NEW* 
/This is the GPS receiver that goes with the above "HomePatrol Uniden Scanner".  It allows the scanner to know where it is in the USA as you drive and it will constantly give you a list of agencies you can listen to with just one tap on the LCD Color Touch Screen.

 

Uniden Communications Speaker (BC15) $22.54

Sometimes the little speaker, although they are pretty good, is just not good enough.  You want to fill the house with what is going happening on the radio.  That calls for a much better speaker and that is what this is.  It plugs into the speaker port on any of the above radios and makes everything louder and fuller in sound.  This will work on your CB's as well as the scanners.

Antennacraft St3 VHF/UHF Scanner Antenna $21.97   *NEW* 
I keep on telling all of you that when it comes to radios its all about the antenna.  If you want range and performance then you want the best antenna you can get.  The antenna on the above scanners will work just perfect if you are in a city environment, if you are in  a rural or country environment, or you're in the city but want to listen to the next city over, then you'll probably need an outdoor scanner antenna.   Note: you'll need some RG-8 Cable (below) to run from the scanner to the antenna, and depending on the antenna on your scanner (probably BNC) you'll need a BNC to SO-239 adapter (below).  This antenna will even work for an external antenna for the 2m and 70cm (145mhz and 440mhz) Ham radios.
 

Falcon Products Professional Discone Antenna for Scanner and Shortwave Listening, and Transmitting on 144, 220, 440, 900 and 1290 Mhz Bands $64.98   *NEW* 
The antenna above is a great antenna for listening.  Especially for listening.  You can transmit through it but this antenna is an incredibly better antenna to transmit through.  Its called a Discone antenna and it has a very broad range of frequencies on which it has a flat SWR.  SWR is story in itself.  I own this antenna, I've owned it for over 20 years, it breaks down very easily for transport, all of the antenna parts just screw into the central base.  Remember what I taught you, its all about the antenna.  It WILL make the difference between hearing nothing, or others hearing nothing from you, and hearing everything.  This antenna is NOT for CB, it does NOT have the center coil and antenna.  This antenna IS for the boafeng radio or any other ham radio or scanner.
 

Tram 1411 Broad Band Discone/Scanner Base Antenna $64.98   *NEW* 
This antenna is exactly the same as the one above EXCEPT it can transmit and receive on CB as well as all of the other frequencies you want for ham radio or scanner work.   This antenna ALSO comes with 65 feet of cable included in the kit, plus mounting hardware, so its a bit more extensive and thus the larger price.

BNC To SO-239 Adapter $4.99   *NEW* 
If you are going to run a cable from the scanner to an external antenna you will probably need this adapter.  The extension coax will have a PL-259 on it and the antenna on the scanner is usually a BNC connection.  This configures one for the other.  Works great.

50ft RG8x Coax UHF Male/Male 50 ohm Antenna Cable $31.99   *NEW* 
Ham radios, scanners and CB's and short wave all use what is called 50 ohm coax cable.  This comes in 2 popular formats, RG-58 (thinner, more loss) and RG-8 (thicker less loss).  I have RG-8 Cable listed here for you, this is a 50 foot RG-8 Cable you can use with the above home CB Antenna or with the Scanner Antenna. 

100 ft RG8X COAX CABLE for CB / Ham Radio w/ PL259 Connectors  $40.71   *NEW* 
If the above 50 foot of cable is not enough, then you can get 100 feet here for not much more money.  Note: you always want to use the shortest cable possible.  The more cable you have the more signal loss you have.


 

BOOKS
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2013-2014 ARRL Repeater Directory Pocket sized $10.40   *NEW* 
The AARL Repeater Directory is a must have if you interested in learning what is going on locally in any disaster. NO MATTER HOW BAD a disaster is, the Hams are always talking and operational.  Katrina wipes New Orleans off the map, the Hams are still talking on their repeaters with backup power.  That is what Hams do.  In fact, many repeaters will be in Emergency Net Mode and its like listening to a command station with reports coming in and going out.  You need this book to find the Ham Radio repeaters in your area.  You can listen with a Ham radio or with any of the scanners on this page  If you don't have a ham radio license, you cannot transmit unless its an emergency.  Listening to Ham radio repeaters operating in Emergency Net mode  will be an even bigger source of local knowledge than listening to the local police on a scanner.  Cops report, Hams Talk. 
 

Two-Way Radios and Scanners For Dummies $17.81

Are the descriptions I have here for you just not enough, do you want to know more about Ham Radio and using Police / Fire Scanners ??  Then get this book.  It'll give you the basic fundamentals and more on what you need to know to listen and find out what is going on.  What is VHF, UHF, Trunk Tracking, Digital Trunk Tracking and more.  Also, you will learn that the vast majority of scanners CANNOT pick up CB frequencies.  That is because CB is on the upper end of the HF spectrum and police and fire and other city frequencies are most in VHF and UHF.  What is the difference?  its in the book.  Its a whole another world, its just not that easy to put into a paragraph.  Want to learn it all... become a Ham radio operator.

 


 

FM RADIO TRANSMITTER
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Fail-Safe 20 W Long Range Professional FM Transmitter 15A with HI/LO Mode (20 Watt / 1 Watt) + FREE 1/4 Wave GP Antenna $219.99   *NEW* 
Do you REALLY want to help your community before a hurricane or after a disaster?  This is an FM Radio TRANSMITTER.  With this you can set up your own FM Station with 20 watts of power, good for dozens of miles, depending on your antenna and its height and you can play any of Jacks TSP Shows or any of the Steven Harris Energy shows (especially how to power your house from your car) all at http://www.Solar1234.com http://www.Battery1234.com  and http://www.FirstAid1234.com  I suggest you have my shows and your favorite TSP show saved to your computer or MP3 Player, or phone.  You can just plug in and transmit on an empty frequency.  You can hook up a  microphone and talk to people as well, give them local news and information.  Your telephone will still have internet in most disaster (yup, its true) so I'd use social media to let everyone around you let you know that you have a self help FM radio station on XXX frequency.  Technically this is illegal to do according to FCC regulations so DO NOT DO THIS all the time.  Do this ONLY in a disaster and after a disaster (for a week or two, depending) and I'm pretty sure you won't get into trouble for providing this temporary public resource.  This comes with a 1/4 wave antenna, which is simple and good, if you want a better antenna that effectively turns your 20 watts of power into the equivalent of 40 watts, then get the antenna below.

 

5/8 Wave Collinear Vertical FM Antenna $139.95   *NEW* 
A 5/8th wave antenna is also called a 'GAIN' antenna because it puts out more signal for the same amount of power.  The details of which are beyond this paragraph, but a 5/8th antenna is better than a 1/4 wave antenna.  The 1/4 wave is the most basic and simple antenna, and there is nothing wrong with it.  This is just a better antenna, it will get you longer range.  Remember, you want the antenna as high up as it can go, so it will be on your roof or your chimney or you can get an ham radio tower for it and put it up as high as you want. You can also do what a lot of people do for wind generator and put up a 20, 30 or 40 foot pole in the ground and then use guy wires to hold it still.   This can be a temporary thing for the few weeks your station will be on the air during a disaster.

 

50ft RG8x Coax UHF Male/Male 50 ohm Antenna Cable $31.99   *NEW* 
You'll need one of these two cables to hook up your radio to your antenna.  The transmitter above comes with the radio and an antenna, it needs one of these cables to connect the radio to the antenna.

Ham radios, scanners and CB's and short wave all use what is called 50 ohm coax cable.  This comes in 2 popular formats, RG-58 (thinner, more loss) and RG-8 (thicker less loss).  I have RG-8 Cable listed here for you, this is a 50 foot RG-8 Cable you can use with the above home CB Antenna or with the Scanner Antenna below. 

100 ft RG8X COAX CABLE for CB / Ham Radio w/ PL259 Connectors  $40.71   *NEW* 
If the above 50 foot of cable is not enough, then you can get 100 feet here for not much more money.  Note: you always want to use the shortest cable possible.  The more cable you have the more signal loss you have.

 

 

WEATHER ALERT RADIOS
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MIDLAND WR300 Alarming Weather Radio $42.95
I got asked by a lot of people about weather alert radios, the ones that ALARM and wake you up in the middle of the night when there is a tornado or a severe thunderstorm warning.  I don't have any experience with these because I don't live in an area where we get many tornados.  So I put out the word that I needed someone in tornado alley to really give me an education on what their best radio was.  Old Grouch from the TSP expert panel responded and said: "Steve, this one has served me well, and has all the key features- SAME technology so you can narrow alerts to your ZIP code, a good sized antenna, and battery backup. This is more expensive than some others, but it has a feature I think is very important- it allows you to not only set so you only get alerts for your zip code, but lets you choose what kind of alerts you hear. Nothing is more annoying than a weather alert for a winter storm warning, high wind warning or flood watch going off 4 times a night waking you up when you only want tornado and severe thunderstorm alerts, so people grow weary of this and turn the radio off- defeating the purpose. By letting people tailor the alerts to what they want to hear it is less annoying and far more likely to be kept in service."
 

 

 

PORTABLE LCD DIGITAL TV
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Azend Group Envizen Digital  7-Inch Handheld Digital TV/DVD Player with Built-in Tuner, Carrying Case and Car Adapter $91.30
OMG this thing came with EVERYTHING.  120V power, DC 12 volt cable, antenna, antenna adapter, video IN cables (for game system) plus its a DVD player.  I have been looking for a portable TV for over a year, and they ALL STUNK.  I could not get one, could not recommend one till I found, bought and played with this one.  It draws ONLY 9 Watts of power.   Its reception is "DARN GOOD" with the little antenna that comes with it but I bought THIS ANTENNA for $8.50 With the external antenna (the $8.50 one) this thing picks up a huge amount of channels, and the TV even came with the antenna adapter to go from a large external antenna (coax screw) to a push type F connector.  This is NOW MY Storm and Disaster TV.  THIS SHOULD BE YOUR #1 STORM AND DISASTER TV, and its a DVD player for the kids too.  9 WATTS...that is an insane small amount of power.  The TV also has an internal battery will last 2.5 hours...but with me it'll always be on one of my external batteries.   TV will be your #1 source of news and information in a disaster.  If the 7" one is sold out, get the 9" version here. This TV will be your #1 TV, I guarantee it.  I cannot say how BEYOND IMPRESSED I am with this thing.
<HARRIS PHOTO> See what I do with this. Click here.
 

RCA Basic Indoor Antenna RABBIT EARS $8.19
/Its all about the antenna, and there are no built in antennas to modern LCD TV's that are not 'portable' like the one above, and even with the one above, I still tell you to get a set of rabbit ears over the basic antenna that comes with it.  Its all about the antenna.  This antenna will go into ALL of the 'antenna' or 'cable' connectors on the back of all LCD TV's sold in the USA.  This will dramatically improve your over the air reception.  Personally, I'd suggest you buy one of these for each of your TV's and just keep it behind the TV all the time, it'll be hidden and available for instant use.  DO NOT FORGET to plug it into your TV, and set your TV for ANTENNA or AIR or what ever it labels over the air TV as and let it search for the channel and get them into the memory of the TV BEFORE a disaster.  That way if a TV is off the air, you'll know.  If you try to do the search when the grid is down, and the TV station is off the air while it gets its backups going, then you'll never know that you have it because it'll never get entered into the TV memory.  Prepare BEFORE the disaster.  Unless you have it before a disaster you'll never get it during or after a disaster, unless you have moonshine you made and stored.  See www.iMakeMyGas.com for that.

 


Software Defined Radios (SDR)
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[NooElec NESDR Mini USB RTL-SDR & ADS-B Receiver Set, (Previously TV28T v2), RTL2832U & R820T Tuner, MCX Input. Low-Cost Software Defined Radio Compatible with Many SDR Software Packages. R820T Tuner & ESD-Safe Antenna Input, Guaranteed $23.95  *NEW*   
[The software for this SDR radio can be freely downloaded from nooelec.com here: http://www.nooelec.com/store/nesdr-mini-rtl2832-r820t.html at the VERY BOTTOM of the page you will see DOWNLOAD... click that. . you'll see "SDR# Auto-Installer" this is the software you want to download and install.  This is for the beginner to average user and is a lot more friendly.  If you are a HAM or extremely familiar with radio theory and want to do more stuff get the software labeled "HDSDR Software".

This is a Software Defined Radio (SDR) it will receive from about 25mhz to 1750mhz.  That is a huge range of frequencies. Obviously all of your law enforcement, fire and EMS are in this range.  You can listen to them or ham radio easily.   Note: it will work with that little antenna that you see in the photo.  It will work fine.  However, one of the discone antennas below will literally give you 100 TIMES better reception than this little antenna.  Like I say, its all about the antenna.  Start with this antenna, then upgrade if you so desire.

 

RF coaxial cable UHF SO239 PL259 female to MCX male right angle connector RG316 20CM $5.50  *NEW*   
The SDR has what is called an MCX antenna connector, its really small.   The antenna for the SDR that comes with it is really small.  You WILL NEED this adapter to go to the coax cable and the discone antenna below. What do I keep on saying, "Its all about the antenna".  This adapter lets you go up to a standard size antenna connector (SO239) which the RG8 Coax below can plug into so you can go to one of the scanner or discone antenas and get really really great reception.  This is for inside the house on a temp basis or emergency basis or for mounting the antenna outside the house.

The Hobbyist's Guide to the RTL-SDR: Really Cheap Software Defined Radio [Kindle Edition] $9.99  *NEW*   
The book has 5 Stars on Amazon.  A comprehensive guide to the RTL2832U RTL-SDR software defined radio by the authors of the RTL-SDR Blog. The RTL-SDR is a super cheap software defined radio based on DVB-T TV dongles that can be found for under $20. This book is about tips and tutorials that show you how to get the most out of your RTL-SDR dongle. Some projects described in this book are also compatible with other SDRs like the HackRF.

 

50ft RG8x Coax UHF Male/Male 50 ohm Antenna Cable $31.99   *NEW* 
You'll need one of these two cables to hook up your SDR radio to your antenna. 

Ham radios, scanners and CB's and short wave all use what is called 50 ohm coax cable.  This comes in 2 popular formats, RG-58 (thinner, more loss) and RG-8 (thicker less loss).  I have RG-8 Cable listed here for you, this is a 50 foot RG-8 Cable you can use with the above home CB Antenna or with the Scanner Antenna below. 

Antennacraft St3 VHF/UHF Scanner Antenna $21.97   *NEW* 
This is the cheapest antenna that you'd get for the SDR. I  keep on telling all of you that when it comes to radios its all about the antenna.  If you want range and performance then you want the best antenna you can get.  The antenna on the above scanners will work just perfect if you are in a city environment, if you are in  a rural or country environment, or you're in the city but want to listen to the next city over, then you'll probably need an outdoor scanner antenna.   Note: you'll need some RG-8 Cable (above) to run from the scanner to the antenna, and depending on the antenna on your scanner (probably BNC) you'll need a BNC to SO-239 adapter (below).  This antenna will even work for an external antenna for the 2m and 70cm (145mhz and 440mhz) Ham radios.
 

Falcon Products Professional Discone Antenna for Scanner and Shortwave Listening, and Transmitting on 144, 220, 440, 900 and 1290 Mhz Bands $64.98   *NEW* 
The antenna above is a great antenna for listening.  Especially for listening.  You can transmit through it but this antenna is an incredibly better antenna to transmit through.  Its called a Discone antenna and it has a very broad range of frequencies on which it has a flat SWR.  SWR is story in itself.  I own this antenna, I've owned it for over 20 years, it breaks down very easily for transport, all of the antenna parts just screw into the central base.  Remember what I taught you, its all about the antenna.  It WILL make the difference between hearing nothing, or others hearing nothing from you, and hearing everything.  This antenna is NOT for CB, it does NOT have the center coil and antenna.  This antenna IS for the boafeng radio or any other ham radio or scanner.
 

Tram 1411 Broad Band Discone/Scanner Base Antenna $64.98   *NEW* 
If you are gong to get a larger antenna for SDR, then this is the one to get.  This antenna is exactly the same as the one above EXCEPT it can transmit and receive on CB as well as all of the other frequencies you want for ham radio or scanner work.   This antenna ALSO comes with 65 feet of cable included in the kit, plus mounting hardware, so its a bit more extensive and thus the larger price. This antenna has the center coil and radiator, so this one can go down as low as the CB frequencies and will work with a CB.  This antenna use to be $127 from a different supplier, but I found this one on amazon for you to get at the same price as the discone antenna without the center coil and radiator, so get this one if there are any left in stock.
 



 

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