# 36 - Serious SHTF Comms
Merry Christmas everyone. I hope that everyone has had a safe and joyful holiday weekend with their families.
I started building my Emergency Communications (EmComms) go-box after a lot of debate over its contents and layout. I decided to go with a Gator Case 12U which is the largest portable rack system made by Gator cases because I have so many different communications options that I am putting the box, I needed all the room I could get.
I have CB, FRS/GMRS radios along with HF, VHF, and UHF amateur radio transmitting capabilities.
For amateur radios I have a 100 watt Yaesu 857D multi-band multi-mode radio for everything from 160-meter through 70-cm bands however, I mainly only use this radio for HF transmissions. I have a 50 watt BTech UV-50X2 dual-band radio for 2-meter and 70-cm, and a 25 watt Alinco DR-235T MK III 220 MHz radio.
I have also added in a SignaLink USB so that I have digital capabilities on HF, VHF, or UHF with the Yaesu 758D and either my Windows based laptop or my MacBook Pro. I have also setup Winlink so that I will have access to receive and send email onsite via the HF radio system with my new email address: WH6FQE@winlink.org
In addition to my transmitting capabilities I also have monitoring capabilities via a digital scanner programmed with all local, state, and federal agencies here in Hawaii as well as a Weather Alert radio.
Basically the only thing that I do not have in this emcomms go-box is a short-wave radio which I will be adding shortly.
The case itself has built-in locks on both the front and rear covers and I added a locking storage drawer to the bottom of the box where I will store microphones, operating manuals, charts, maps, forms, logbook, etc., along with a copy of my FCC licenses for both amateur and GMRS radios.
On the top of the rack system I installed a Furman M-80x AC conditioner which has two slide-out lights to illuminate the front of the radios in the dark when I am on AC power. I also added a 12 volt LED lighting system that I can light up the front of the radios with when I am on battery power.
Instead of leaving the back open as most people do, I have enclosed the back with hinged panels which can be opened quickly to access the back of the radios if I need to. By having the back of the rack enclosed, it forces air to be pulled through the front of the rack system across my radios to cool them before being sucked out the back of the system by the two exhaust fans located at the top.
I have ordered a 100 watt solar panel and a 400 watt wind turbine that I will use to recharge the 55Ah Duracell Ultra Deep Cycle AGM battery that sits in the back of the radio box. Here in Hawaii we have plenty of sunshine for recharging, however since this kit will be used in disaster situations, there is always a chance that the emergency may include a storm which will limit solar recharging capabilities so I decided to add on a wind turbine as well giving me a total of 500 watts of power that I am able to generate.
I ordered a 70 amp solid state automatic power switcher that will detect if my AC power fails and seamlessly switch over to battery power with no interruption to my radio operations. Both my 12 volt 50amp switching power supply and my deep cycle battery are connected to it. If it senses a drop in voltage from the power supply it automatically switches over to the battery until the voltage level from the power supply recovers, then it automatically switches back to the power supply. If everything works as it is designed to, unless I am watching the indicator lights I should not even know that the changeover has occurred.
The solar panel, wind turbine, solid state automatic power switcher, and RigRunner power block have all been ordered, now I just have to wait patiently for them to be shipped.
I will do an update as the remaining parts come in and I finish getting it all together including a video episode unveiling the new Ultimate Disaster Communications Center.
Until next time,
In upcoming episodes we will also take a look at "Water Purification & Sanitization" as well as "Vacuum Sealed vs. Mylar Bagged Food Storage". We will also take a look at the shelf-life of "Home Canned Foods" and the viability of using them in our emergency supplies. We will also have future episodes on Emergency Communications or EmComms.
Also we will have an episode on the need for a Wilderness First Aid training even if you live in a city. We will also take a look at the need for "Sanitation After A Disaster".