Saturday, August 4, 2012

Non-Standard Communications

Non-Standard Communications is a some what vague term. It covers a raft of topics, but I will try and keep to irregular communications as we may have it in our near future.

In todays world of instant communications to include video and Computer interface the key is power and links. While we have risen above the devices requiring connection to an electrical outlet we still need power. How we achieve this power is dependent upon the requirements of the device. While it can be stated that in our new world we are a Direct Current powered world today we still create that DC from an Alternating Current (AC) power outlet using other devices. This is funny since in the early 1880s that is what we used in America. Problem is that DC power loses its value as it is sent out over a pair of lines. Thus we found that Westinghouse using the works of Tesla and other European inventors started making AC to send over Morgan's Copper wire for our power.

Currently we receive our power at 110 volts single phase, 208 (210) Volts Double phase at 60 Cycles per Second. None of these will directly power any of the non plugged in Electronics we currently own and use.

To use this line power we must have devices to convert the line frequency and voltages to DC of a voltage we can use. This is a boon to our needs under no power situations. Since we can build small DC Solar chargers for pennies we can create many chargers for many devices. First though we need to look at all of the other possibilities available.

First is using what we have. The standard Telephone for instance that we have on our desk is attached to a 48Volt DC line. The amperage though is very low. However 48 volts DC will charge 8 @ 6 volt Batteries if you connect them in series. Then you can pull out 6VDC, 12VDC, 18VDC ,24 VDC, 30VDC, 36VDC, 42VDC, and 48 VDC. If you place a second group of 6 volt Batteries in Parallel you will double the storage capabilities.

If you connect wires from your equipment to the batteries at the correct points you can also charge the devices themselves. The key is to know what they use today when these wires are readily available. The Solar panel are the same thing.

With our devices charged up we can communicate on the move. This is far more prudent than Communications from a fixed location. We first have to determine how we will communicate when TSHTF.

If it is all out war on the streets we should probably use radio. Radio though is open to everyone who in on our frequency and knows our procedures. However the JBT's also need to communicate. If we can operate from near where something they need is operating the Radio Direction Finders will have a problem sorting us out. If we keep the Transmissions down to 10 seconds or less we can do it with almost impunity. This is however not very practical.
Better yet would be to only receive messages where the heat is greatest. So we use something else to answer.

If I am a leader directing a squad into a position I can give each man (I will use the term Man to designate both genders for ease of space) number. Then give each man a scanner with only their freq in it. Next I can use pre-set ping numbers to replace directions, feet (distance), and start stop. From my place a distance away I can move them without compromising them by pinging my transmitter on their freq with a switch. By either having a number of radios or a switch to change frequencies I can talk to them and their movement can be my answer.

It is hard to RDF a on off radio signal of less than 10 seconds.

Perhaps if the JBT's leave the Internet up we can slip into an area and install WIFI repeaters that we know how to access, but are used by local businesses. If I place a directional antenna on my WIFI modem where the direction is both narrow and line of site the JBT's may not find it for months. If I also place a computer in a basement behind some boxes with a dial up modem connected to a dial line I can access the internet to drop messages on these computers. Then as I get to an accessible dial line I can access these messages. The antenna can be fashioned out of a Soup can with a WIFI antenna inside that has been positioned on a window ledge inside the building. I can access this from another window about 500 to 1000 feet away. What will be even better is if the locals can either leave their WIFI open for us or leak us the third or forth set of WEP codes.

If they can do this then if you take an old Dish network or Direct TV Antennas and cut a hole in the center for a WIFI connector with an antenna attached. Then just point it toward the source. This can extend the distance up to 600 yards.

With a series of these computers through out the AO you can have teams using them from Handhelds. Then the dial ups will be backups.

Then there is pure phone access. This where you find an empty building and locate the Phone drop location. Today as we speak the availability to find old Dial phones is good. There is also the repairman's Phones available in Pawn Shops and on line. These have better camouflage than carrying a desk phone in your pack.

When you see a building phone drop it is usually near the back. They look like a brick made of plastic and metal with two or three rows of pins sticking out. Usually the left hand row is the input. The wires are in vertical (long ways) order. The phone line is two lines. They can be found by using a phone or the Repairman's set and touching the wire to the first two. If it makes a noise but no dial tone mark it. This can be used if it doesn't show up in the second test as a 48V power source for power. Proceed down the pins.

When you come to the end and found no lines active do not despair.

Take the negative wire for the set and connect it to ground point. Usually a large copper wire connected to the outside of the pipe bringing the wires into the building. Then carefully go back down the wires and see if you can find either hot wires or Dial tones. If you get one it will never ring in but can be used to call out. Use these only for short emergency calls. They will set off alarms every time they are used until the phone company finds you.

Thus we have radio, WiFi, Dial phones, and finally we will cover light.

In 1776 it was one or two lanterns in the Old North Church Bell tower. In 2012 it can be red or green laser pointers. If you take a 3 foot piece of PVC pipe, paint it black, and using a Green laser pointer placed inside the pipe aim it using a rifle site behind the curtains in a specific apartment or empty building so that it strikes a particular brick in the side of a specific building. Using this set up you can either send Morse code or mark a drop point. It will be almost invisible in daylight unless the interested party wears a white shirt or carries a white hanky. The Sender looking across the mile path through the site will send the code when the hanky is on the brick. The recipient can acknowledge by had signals that were prearranged. To a follower or agent it looks like his contact didn't show up.

Hand signals can be used in restaurants with almost impunity. The sender and receiver don't ever need to meet. The code can be anything the unit has set up. From true Blind hand signals to prepared messages using private codes. The sender goes to a specific table or chair. Get their meal or drink and as they eat with one hand they send with the other. When the message is sent the sender eats up and departs. Later the viewer departs and carries the message on to it's destination, or re-sends it someplace else using another method.

The purpose of this is not to tell you how. It is to suggest to you how to start. Then as you sit down with each idea here begin to think how it could be implemented and designed.
The ideas are free. Share them with other nets and save a copy for yourself.


  1. Some good stuff there. Thanks for posting. I need to get me a repairmans handset (called a butt in in the old days) and I also must get my Morse code speed back up to something respectable.
    This year is my 50th as an amateur radio operator. Just now getting active again after 20 years of inactivity.


  2. This year is my 50th as an amateur radio operator.

    Wow! Congratulations!