February 26, 2017

Sunday Link List

Living down-grid, you should be able to build your own gear (at least be able to assemble a kit), troubleshoot it, and have at least basic knowledge of  RF propagation.  These useful links will help further your education.

VHF Propagation Info

VHF Handbook (1956), by
William I. Orr, Herbert G. Johnson

February 15, 2017

Count Zero Interrupt

On receiving an interrupt, decrement the counter to zero.


"Signals allow the manipulation of a process from outside its domain as well as allowing the process to manipulate itself or copies of itself (children)."
"Signal(3) - SIGQUIT - quit program"

Victory Against Ignorance - The Five Meter Liberation Army

"A man of the '30s awakens one night in the '90s with a new mission: recapture 56-60 mc. He forms a Five Meter Liberation Army from his mobile home in a Barrio trailer park run by Tom Joad of Steinback's Grapes of Wrath, and soon draws a decidedly uncolorful bodyguard. A six foot tall half Mexican stockbroker named for Ayn Rand makes him rich and a demonic white ferret and a half-siamese cat become his familiars. The leader of all this, called only "Frank," settles down in the narrator's basement to be joined by Maj. Armstrong, Hiram Maxim and one-time pals Carl and Jerry from the 1950s Popular Electronics. His huge 1940s sedan, with contemporary plates, is immune from police and his breadboarded electronic creations recall those distant days when a ham built his own rig and could "fix a radio." Of course all this is crazy. No one builds anything anymore and the other things Frank stands for, like self- reliance, tolerance and a generally Boy Scout viewpoint are simply out of step. Frank knows that too, but he does not care. If you're standing in the middle of the road and see a big brown Frazer coming at you, you better jump - one way or the other."
 Plenty of interesting tidbits in this one...  

Things Every Hacker Once Knew


February 12, 2017

Issue #7 Released

Issue #7 has been released.  Details in your email via the Google Group.

If you would like to subscribe, please click here.

February 5, 2017

Why I Recommend The Uniden Home Patrol

By now you should realize why having good monitoring equipment is more important is being able to transmit.  You also by now should know that the recommendation of myself and others such as Sam Culper is the Uniden Home Patrol II.

Now despite the good reviews and recommendations of this unit, there are still a few ignorant folk who come up with comments such as:
"Wow. That’s kinda spendy. Anybody know of an alternative for those of us whose wives are accountants?"
 The short answer to that question is "No.", and here are the reasons why.

  1. The vast majority of public safety agencies are switching over to APCO P25 systems, and you need a scanner capable of decoding P25 modulation to hear them. The Home Patrol II does this.
  2. The Uniden Home Patrol II is the easiest scanner to program. You simply turn it on, enter in your zip code, and it loads your local frequency data in automatically. You are ready to go in seconds.
It's that second point that's most important.  I've seen a lot of you come through classes and show up at events across the country.  90% of you have serious problems programming in simple frequency data  into your dual-band ham HT.  You're not going to be able to program a P25 trunked radio system into most police scanners.  With the Uniden Home Patrol II, you don't have to.

That's important, because most of you when you buy something, such as radio gear, that perplexes you, you stick it in closet or a corner of the basement and forget about it, thinking you'll get to it during the great TEOTWAWKI / WROL / SHTF fantasy event.  The police scanner is for the here and now.  Buy another P25 scanner, and I guarantee that'll happen unless you have a resident techie who can set it up for you. Buy a Uniden Home Patrol, and you'll be up and running in no time. Getting the intel feeds you'll need to ride the storm(s) out.

Yes, it does cost $464 from Amazon. Good quality tools will cost you some money, and I know you spent more on that for your M4orgey. In fact, if you own more than one gun, especially if you have a duplicate, sell it and you'll be able to afford a Home Patrol II.  Then you'll be able to know what's going on around you, as in the raw unfinished truth of the signal. That's important.

Your wife is an accountant, you say?  Then sell some excess crap you don't need, and come up with the money.  Put aside a measly $25 a week, and you'll have it in four and a half months.  By then it'll be warm enough for you to install a proper antenna.

As an alternative, provided you don't need P25 Phase II reception, you can find a used Uniden Home Patrol I.  That'll do P25 Phase I, but not Phase II.  They're going for $200-$225 on Ebay.  You'll have to do some research to find out if that'll suffice for your area. That's half the price of a new Home Patrol II.  Get off your ass and do some research.

Finally, if your spouse isn't on board with your self-reliant and prepared lifestyle, then you have a problem that goes beyond money.  Fix it before she gets pissed off and files that false police report before handing you divorce papers.

February 2, 2017

Why Listening Is More Important Than Transmitting

    A lot of prepper/milita/3per blogs have mentioned how “listening is >2X as important as transmitting.”  In my book Down-Grid Communications, I mention how the first item you need to take care of is your communications monitoring capability.  This article will explain why it is more important to have your listening post set up before working on any of your other communications equipment setup.
    Communications monitoring is the one method that enables you, as an individual, to receive uncensored information regarding events, overall situation, and other happenings in your local area.  A police scanner gets you that raw information straight from the source in real time.  The equipment is a one-time purchase, requires no ongoing subscriptions, and is as affordable as a decent rifle.  With a good external antenna, you will be able to reach out and hear to at least a 20 mile radius from your listening post, depending on location.  A wide range of communications users ranging from public safety to critical infrastructure providers/maintainers will be available to you.  You can pick and choose from among these users, depending on your intelligence requirements.

    Communications monitoring is the electronic version of the “passive listening” HUMINT collection technique detailed by Tom Baugh in his recent article (http://starvingthemonkeys.com/2017/01/29/five-humint-collection-techniques/).  Just like its HUMINT equivilant, it's low-impact, low-risk, anonymous, and very fecund.  It also has the added advantage of not requiring you to attend expensive events with sketchy people.  You can't catch things off the electromagnetic wavelengths the way you can off a toilet seat.

    Finally, communications monitoring gives you the satisfaction of knowing what's really going on, and lets you effectively figure out the social/political alignment of the local establishment mass media, and how they “spin” their “news stories” versus what really happens.

    So what do you need to get started?  One item:

For those who can't see the Amazon Associates ad, it's a  Uniden Home Patrol II - http://amzn.to/2k9XzMQ

The built-in database is pretty good, and can be updated.  It'll even record audio for later analysis.  Operation of this unit is real simple.  You insert rechargable batteries, attach an antenna, plug in the AC power supply, turn it on, and enter in your zip code.  It'll load up the memory channels within a certain (selectable) mile radius, and start scanning.  Keep a notepad and writing instrument nearby, and start taking notes about what you hear.

This article is from the soon to be released February, 2017 issue of Signal-3.  If you would like to learn more, please subscribe.  Signal-3 is a monthly electronic newsletter, delivered in PDF format via email list announcement, that covers the technical aspects of down-grid communications, information collection systems, and other self-reliance and preparedness topics.  Subscriptions are $40/year.  Payment is by cash or (payee-blank USPS) money order sent to:
c/o Tom Filecco
PO Box 1351
Riverton, WY 82501