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:
Signal-3
c/o Tom Filecco
PO Box 1351
Riverton, WY 82501

14 comments:

  1. The HP2 has great functionality. The stock antenna leaves a lot to be desired however.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great article on a timely topic...given what is happening around us now, very important to know what FLEA/LE is doing in ones AO...I own this model, love it, literally set it and forget..Perfect travel companion too...I connect mine to wide band discone in attic and the reception/range is incredible, being able to actively listen to agencies 20+ miles away...Well worth the money...PSYOP

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sparks,

    I have Slim Jim J Pole and 20 feet of 50 ohm coax. Is this suitable as an antenna upgrade to the Home Patrol or can recommend something else?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It'll probably work. It'll likely work if the primary active bands in your AO are VHF-High and UHF.

      Delete
  4. I live in a valley nestled in the foothills of the Alleghenies. What antenna would you recommend?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Start with the stock OEM antenna that comes with it. It's not the greatest, but it still enable you to hear local signals. If it's not adequate, then think about an upgrade. I use a cheap Radio Shack Scanner Ground Plane antenna - Cat# 20-176. It gets the job done out here just fine. Back East, I used a Diamond D3000 Discone, and that'll be my next upgrade out here. Point is, that both antennas worked. The R.S. was not my first choice, but it was a cheap workable solution that got the job done.

      Delete
  5. "So what do you need to get started? One item:"

    I've loaded this article in two different browsers, and the picture doesn't show up in either one. I got here from WRSA, and they have a picture of what looks like a Uniden Bearcat HomePatrol II scanner. Is that it?

    ReplyDelete
  6. For some reason, the picture of this scanner will not load. Could you provide a model/description? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The scanner is a Uniden Home Patrol II, and what you're not seeing is an Amazon Associates ad. I'll toss in a text URL.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the tip.

    Can you spare a comment or two on the Uniden BCD436HP? I like portability, but how do its capabilities compare to the tabletop unit?

    #OREGON HOBO#

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The BCD435HP is a good unit, other than the fact that it won't charge batteries during operation. For a beginner however, I still recommend the Home Patrol II because it's simple to get up and running.

      Then, since one is none, and two is one, a person can consider another model of scanning receiver if they start getting more involved in communications monitoring.

      The original objective is to get the novice reader up and running in short order with something that works well, not confuse them with this, that, and the other thing.

      Delete