Fixed Base Radios

Fixed Base Radios

Fixed base radios and their usefulness to the survivalist will be the topic covered on this page. Many times communications between like-minded survivalists, or survivalist camps, are needed and this is where fixed base radios come into play. The term “fixed base” is a bit of a misnomer when referring to modern day 2-way and shortwave communications equipment. The vast majority of so-called base station radios run off of 12 volt power supplies making them very adaptable for mobile or portable use.

Best Type Of Fixed Base Equipment

As with other issues this depends upon what is expected of the equipment. A suggestion for those contemplating fixed base radio systems is to purchase radio gear that can be readily pressed into service as a mobile radio or for portable use. That being the case you will want to look at some of the major amateur radio manufacturers (Icom, Kenwood, Yaesu) for radios that run on 12 volts. Why? Simple, your vehicles run on 12 volts and you would need nothing more than a mobile antenna to run these base station radios in a vehicle. Shortwave radios make excellent base station radios as they pickup any and all shortwave frequencies and do it without the possibility of raising suspicions about licensing and so forth.

Fixed base radios do not need to be elaborate to work efficiently for you! Some of the gear (new and used) on the market nowadays is based on simplicity of use while maintaining advanced features. Many of the radios made for amateur radio use will amaze you when you examine their size and then compare the features contained within them.

Should I Buy 2-Way or Shortwave?

2-way radio naturally gives you the ability to talk back to anyone that you may be listening to. Admittedly this requires some sort of a license but this may not be such a drawback for a survivalist. The availability of new, or good used, 2-way equipment may be a better choice for you in the area you live. Shortwave radios are available though and all one needs to do is search diligently for them.

base radios

Ham Radio For Survivalists & Preppers

Ham Radio For Survivalists & Preppers

Ham radio, or amateur radio a it is called by the FCC, is one of the most attractive means of communications available for survivalists and preppers alike. True, you need an FCC license to use ham radio in the United Stated but it isn’t all that hard to get licensed in the Technician class. To be frank about it a Technician’s class license is only half of what a survival situation will require. Tech’s seem to be grateful to get on 10 meter voice but they don’t realize how absolutely flaky the 10 meter band can be. If it isn’t the atmospheric problems it’s the way the band can disappear in the middle of a conversation. Since 10 is the only band a Tech can use voice on they will need a General Class license to work the other bands on voice. Two of the better bands to be on in SHTF scenarios is 20 meters and 40 meters. The 20 meter band is good for day or night communications and is also suited for long distance communications, known as “DXing” in the ham community. The 40 meter band is an excellent night time band, also good for DXing, and can also be used for short-range communications in the daytime. ham radios


Yaesu Radios

Along with Kenwood and Icom, Yaesu makes up the big three of amateur radio equipment. There are other brands but none approach the market shares of these three companies. As far as being a source of communications gear for survivalists (and preppers too) Yaesu is number one. All of the radio manufacture mobile radios and of course hand-held radios (HT) which are valuable to survivalists and preppers alike. But Yaesu provides portable radios that are ideally suited for the low profile needs of a survivalist. Yes, Icom produced the IC-703 and similar radios but they are no longer in production.

The three most popular Yaesu portable radios which survivalists and preppers will find attractive are listed below. The Yaesu FT-817 is billed as the “Ultimate Backpacker” which in itself will let survivalists know it is well-suited for their needs. One highly sought at feature is that the FT-817 is HF, VHF, and UHF. Not only that but it has the following modes:
  • SSB, voice transmissions of course.
  • CW, Morse code, a great asset when conditions aren’t the greatest.
  • AM, think CB receive as well as other benefits.
  • FM, VHF/UHF of course but both 6 meter FM and 10 meter FM as well.
  • Packet, for digital communications.
The FT-817D also sports the 60 meter band. A self-contained (rechargeable) battery allows the FT-817 to operate completely portable operations out in the field. Some people will take issue with the fact that the FT-817 only runs 5 watts (which is known as a QRP rig). Yet they don’t realize the drain a 100 watt (or even a 50 watt) transmitter will have on battery consumption. As with any communications plan the antenna will either make or break the performance of a radio.

Next in line is the FT-857D, a radio which Yaesu bills as the “world’s smallest HF/VHF/UHF mobile transceiver” with the word “mobile” separating it from the FT-817 series.With dimensions of 6.1” x 2” x 9.2” one would assume Yaesu is correct about the FT-857D being the world’s smallest 100 watt transceiver. Being a mobile style radio allows the FT-857D the capability to run in several configurations. As a base station using a power supply, in a true mobile installation, or portable operation using an external battery. The display and large tuning knob are both attractive features when running out in the field. Frequency options are similar to the FT-817 listed above.

Rounding out the selection of Yaesu radios for survivalist communications plans is the FT-897D. This radio is a sort of a combination between the FT-817D and the FT-857D. It can run completely portable using internal batteries at a lower RF output of 20 watts. Or it can be operated at 100 watts using any available 13.8 volt external power source. It too shares the bands and modes listed in the FT-817D paragraph above.

As with the other big 3 the Yaesu line has many other mobile, base, and handheld radios but the emphasis on this post was to provide folks with equipment that will fit their communications plans. The most pressing issue of course is the size the the transceiver so that would rule out the base station sizes.

Vertex-Standard Radios Yaesu Radios