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Transportation / Re: What did you do today for ...
Last post by MacWa77ace - February 20, 2024, 09:03:10 AM
I have donuts in two of my cars, They only get the fours, but my explorer has a full sized spare. I never do a fiver on that cause its rim is plain steel and the rest are alloy. :smiley_shrug: I just have them put the best of the old tires on the spare every second tire change.

I rotate at about half the estimated life. Front to back, back to front same sides. That's not wrong is it? It seems to work. My fronts on all car models wear out fastest. At about twice the rears, doesn't matter front or RWD. Seems to work cause at end of life the tires are about even.

When I had that broken tire belt last Christmas on my BMW's cooper I replaced both rears, but I said I wanted the new rears moved to the front and the older fronts moved to the back and the dude at the tire shop freaked out. Oh, you can't do that.

We'll I'll tell you, I'd rather have a loose rear end that I can control in a slide, than a front end that 'pushes' out in a corner and you have no control over that slide and end up in a ditch. What's the deal with promoting keeping worn tires on the front and new tires on the back?

Transportation / Re: What did you do today for ...
Last post by NT2C - February 20, 2024, 08:05:12 AM
I did a 4 tire rotation last month when I got an oil change. Can't do a 5 on mine because the spare is a different width to fit in the trunk. Also looked for damage from my rock crawling last summer while it was on the lift. Had some scrapes on the rock rails where I bottomed out a few times but otherwise fine.
Dealing With Long COVID / Re: Long-COVID Chat
Last post by Ever (Zombiepreparation) - February 20, 2024, 04:06:31 AM
Quote from: majorhavoc on February 19, 2024, 09:37:04 AMInteresting article about growing legislative support for a Long COVID "Moonshot"
Long COVID "Moonshot".

Note: link touches on the current political climate in Congress and the difficulty in enacting legislation. Linking to this article as part of the larger discussion about the serious nature of this disease, not to discuss politics.

Whether it comes to fruition or not, whether it gets watered down in the end or not, whether oversight fails it or not... that's a huge and public first step in a really great direction, both for L.C. people and working together for the populace.
Communications / Re: BAOFENG AR-152
Last post by Moab - February 19, 2024, 10:12:46 PM
These look like they mught fit your new tadio. $1.99 and free shipping. If not they have a ton of small pouches for cheap. Many without the bulky molle. 

Just found this amazing item on AliExpress. Check it out! 
$1.99 84%OFF | Tactical Molle Radio Walkie Talkie Pouch Military Waist Bag Holder Pocket Outdoor Sports Camping Radio Magazine Mag Pocket
Transportation / Re: What did you do today for ...
Last post by Beowolf - February 19, 2024, 08:53:21 PM
Did a five tire rotation.
Bugout Location Planning & Preps / Re: Help me understand this ho...
Last post by Moab - February 19, 2024, 05:01:19 PM
Its a pretty popular thing to use the huts and containers. That first hut I posted has been used for like 10 yrs. 
Communications / Re: BAOFENG AR-152
Last post by Moab - February 19, 2024, 03:24:19 PM
This response is mostly just for additional thread info. For future use by anyone reading this thread. I know most of this knowledge is fairly coomon. So not its not directed just at you @macwallace.

The uv5r is back to $15 each. Just fyi for everyone reading this. 

Limited-time deal: Baofeng UV-5R Two Way Radio Handheld Ham Radio Dual Band Walkie Talkie(2PACK, Black)


I have not messed with the earbuds that came with mine. But they are essential imho. I've used earbud ptt's for decades. As far back as the 80's. Even having custom earpieces made for my ears for bodyguard and on foot surveillance work. They are a must for silent comms. But I misplaced mine a couple decades ago. I don't want top of the line models. But ok would be good enough. I need to research current options more. There must be a good research site on that subject.

I find myself not relying on Amazon reviews for radio products. Unless its like a 2 star rating. Proving an item is complete sh*t. 

So few people have the equipment and knowledge to properly test radio products. Its a huge waste of time. 99% of reviewers have nothing to compare a given radio or mic or antenna too. It's better to find a review from a ham or some guy that actually runs tests. 

(The early uv5r models were completely open to all freqs. Like a scanner. You could rx and tx on any channel. That's why they were so popular. But also why they got so much interest from the FCC. So they also.made doable scanners. So it a complete radio and scanner in one.) 

I have a very complete freq list for my area. I started with some guys list for LA. And worked from there. I spent a fair amount of time on it. And everything is set up in chirp. I just haven't programmed them yet. To busy with life.

I have two very fast scanners. One is 1000 channels per second iirc. And its fairly small. But I can of course use the uv5rs to scan the 128 channels that are programmed or freq ranges iirc. But you're right its not scanner fast. 

I really want that one new scanner that is out now. Its around $400. But you don't have to deal with trunking at all. 

I stopped buying scanners after everyone started trunking their freqs. It was just to much complicated tech to deal with. Iirc this new tech in this new scanner automatically solves all trunking. It's like a turn it on and go. You may have to load freqs. But its like one large region at a time. And they even give you the lists. Or it automatically has access to them. 

Its really a huge leap forward in making it infinitely easier. But its not cheap. I mean there have been plenty of $400 scanners before. But this really puts the present iteration of scanners to shame. Dealing with trunk codes and programming them was a huge hassle.

I had an AOR 8500(?) Scanner. I got it from England. And even had cell freqs. Back when they were in the open. Its funny cause they look just like the radio in question here. I think they copied that look. Its the same green color with a similar case plastic. And shape and size. 

"RE: Antenna's
Yeah, any antenna you get is going to have a sweetspot range. If you know what that optimal range is for the antenna you are using, you can program in a bunch of channels within that frequency range to get the most out of your antenna for two way comms. IME, the stock antenna's they come with are sheit for FM reception. And the Baofengs come with an FM receiver. Good luck with that."

Most rubber ducks or free antennas that come with a radio. Don't have a freq range they are good at. They are going to be pretty deaf across the entire range. You will pick some ranges up. But it will be haphazard and you'll always want to choose the correct, good quality, freq range antenna for what your tx/rx or scanning for. So its more of a matter of picking the right antenna for the freqs your using. Than programming your radio for a specific antenna. 

So if you want to use ham freqs. You're going to want a high end antenna specifically made for that range. Like the Strong Signals one I posted above. And perhaps a few more tuned specifically for any other range you want to tx or scan on. There is bleed off. And antenna's with wider ranges. But there is no universal antenna that will pick all up at a good rate. 

There are telescopic antenna's that can be tuned for various freqs across the range. But they are not as good as an antenna built for a specific range. You also usually pay a price for stubby antennas. I have not seen one that outperforms a whip. But if your working in relatively close ranges, line of site. Say like a construction site. The stubbies are nice to not have to deal with the long whips. 

That is the one advantage of the Strong Signals antennas. They can be coiled into a loose knot. Are very flexible and won't break easily. *You can also mount them on your chestrig or pack and weave the antenna throughout. And use your external mic or earbud. Leaving nothing poking out to get in the way or hung up. 

I think if you just had Baofengs, a good ham antenna, a long wire antenna for extreme distance, and a few others for desired freq ranges. You'd be good. Maybe a scanner. And maybe a cheap rx radio specifically for sw ( I don't recall the sw capabilities of the uv5r). You'd be set up for good comms in a bug out. But once out of the car. And on foot. I think you'd want to pair that down a great deal. The Baofengs being the last thing you'd ditch. 

But I'm anal about weight and bulk. There are about a 100+ items to account for in a bug out bag or inch. Each with so many variables of its necessities and weight/bulk. It's almost an exercise in futility. 
Amateur Radio (Ham) / Re: Getting your Amateur Radio...
Last post by Z.O.R.G. - February 19, 2024, 12:21:56 PM
@majorhavoc Thank-you and it's my pleasure to get more people on the air.  I'm working on the Technician topic now.  Hopefully I'll get it up in the next few days.
Amateur Radio (Ham) / Re: Getting your Amateur Radio...
Last post by majorhavoc - February 19, 2024, 12:12:36 PM
Outstanding post Z.O.R.G!  Super comprehensive and will be very helpful to a lot of people for a very long time.  It's obvious that you put a lot of time and effort into putting this together. Thank you!
Amateur Radio (Ham) / Getting your Amateur Radio Lic...
Last post by Z.O.R.G. - February 19, 2024, 11:37:04 AM
This is for Amateur (Ham) Radio in the US. Other countries have their own rules/regulations, although most of the usable frequencies are common. If one of our international members would like to get a license in their country but doesn't know where to start, PM me or post here. We'll try to give you a hand. Viewers (non-members) can always join the forums and then ask. :)

So why should you consider getting a Ham License?
  • We advocate obeying local state and federal laws, rule and regulations and do not support unauthorized transmissions.
  • Power: The "blister pack" handheld radios are typically 0.5 to 2 watts. CB Radios are 4 watts. Typical Ham handhelds (VHF/UHF) are 5 watts and base/mobile stations are 50-100 watts. Power amplifiers can take ham radios up to 1,500 watts for most bands and are against FCC rules for CB and FRS radios
  • It's not as hard as you think. The secret weapon of one of the ham organizations I belong to is an eight year old who has a General license. If they can do, you can too.
  • It's cheap. Taking the test is either free or limited to $15. Registering you license with the FCC is $35 and it's good for 10 years. That's $5/year. You can spend money on classes or books, but there are plenty of free online instruction and practice exams.
  • Amateur radio is actually orientated toward preparedness as we usually provide support services in the recovery from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and other disasters/emergencies.
  • Experience and Training
  • Frequencies – hams get privileges from below shortwave (HF or High Frequencies) as we call it all the way to microwave.
  • Cost – you'll pay just about the same for a 25-50 watt Ham mobile radio as you will a 4 watt CB
  • We advocate obeying local state and federal laws, rule and regulations and do not support unauthorized transmissions. (yes, I said that twice)

Common Questions about Ham Radio:
  • Do I need to learn Morse Code? No, that requirement was removed in 2007.
  • Do I need to build/repair radios? No, you can if you really want to but very few people do.
  • How expensive is it to get started? Handheld radios (with programming cables and such) range from about $50-300 new, base/mobile stations run from about $600 to over $10,000 new and about half that used. Like any hobby you can spend as much as you want on it.
  • Is it just sitting at home or in the car talking to people? No, there are numerous get out there are do things you can do. Examples are:
    • ARES/RACES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service/Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service
    • SKYWARN a national network that supports the national weather service and started as a tornado warning system.
    • MARS (Military Auxiliary Radio System)
    • Parks On The Air (POTA) you go to a designated state/national park and set-up a temporary station (sound prepper related?)
    • Summits On The Air (SOTA) you pack your gear to a designated hill/mountain summit and set up a temporary station. (Summits are chosen so you can't just drive to the top – also prepper related)
    • Pumpkin Patrol – our local Ham community coordinates with local law enforcement and has observer teams watching bridges around Halloween to report anyone who might be considering throwing pumpkins or anything else at passing cars.
    • Bike and foot races usually use Hams at checkpoints to coordinate resupply or notify first responders if there is an emergency.
    • Fox Hunting is where someone hides a transmitter (usually in a park) and people try to find it.  
    • Field Day is a national emergency preparedness exercise where individuals or groups set up (preferably off grid) and make as many contacts as they can. (It not a contest – they just have categories, you make points, can submit your scores and the results are published in a national magazine – but there's no prize so it's not a contest)

Classes of Licenses:
  • Technician is the lowest and gives all VHF (50 MHz) and above privileges. There is a small band just above CB frequencies you can do voice on. There are several HF (Shortwave) bands you can do Morse Code on if you know it. (You can get software to run on a computer if you don't and want to do it anyways.)
  • General is the next level and gives you privileges (Morse code, voice and data) on all of the HW band. This is a great license for a prepper, as the HF band give you long range (hundreds to thousands of miles) communication.
  • Extra is very similar to General, but you get some additional frequencies on the bands already available to Generals.

Passing the Exam:
  • The exams are all multiple choice and have 4 answers (A, B, C & D).
  • For each question on the exam there are several "pool" questions, usually around 7 to 10 and only 1 of them will be on the exam. The entire pool of questions is published, with the answers.
  • Technician and General each have 36 questions and you need to get 26 correct to pass.
  • Extra has 50 questions and you need to get 37 right to pass.
  • COVID changed Ham exams like everything else. Now you've an option to take the exam in person or online. I've never taken an online exam, so I'm not positive how they work but it sounds like they're Zoom or some other meeting and you probably have to share your screen so they make sure you don't cheat.

Study resources:

Right here – they're a number of experienced Hams here so post specific questions (to the Technician or General topic)
Local Ham community – many will have study groups, leave a post if you can't find one and we'll do what we can to help you.

HamTestOnline™ : ham radio license manual arrl Cutting edge amateur radio study tools Free Amateur Radio Practice Tests with Flash Cards
Getting Your Technician License (
Upgrading to a General License (

How to find Hams in your AO
select your state
select your county
select Amateur Radio (on the upper left)
Scroll down to Callsigns by ZIP Code
Select your ZIP code

Before you take the exam, you need to create an account with the FCC and get a FCC Registration Number (FRN) – this is relatively new and I didn't have to do it when I was originally licensed. To go thru the process can be painful, but the FCC actually has a good walk thru. After you pass your test, you need to log back in and pay the $35 for the 10 year license.

FCC Getting FRN - Help
Getting an FCC Registration Number (FRN) in the Universal Licensing System (ULS) | Federal Communications Commission

Creating Account
FCC Registration - Login

Username needs to be a valid email address (I created an email account for just ham radio activity)
Record information (however you secure it – you might not need to login for another 10 years)

Taking the Exam:
Find an Online Exam Session (
Find an Amateur Radio License Exam in Your Area (

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