Not Everyone NEEDS a radio

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  • This topic has 5 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by JC. This post has been viewed 521 times
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    • #150230
      michaeltqs
      Participant

        This might be sacrilege here but I firmly believe, based on years of experience not everyone needs a personal radio. Especially in a tactical environment.

        Let me explain why.

        This site is a tactical based site and because of it there is a baseline team concept. If every member of a squad has a radio on the same freqs, plus your comms guy to talk to higher it is incredibly easy to DF your location. I see this with smugglers every day. The use the same radio, same freqs, and all on the same channel get picked off with minimum transmission times.

        Because this is a very different audience than my own I will say these few things.

        EVERY TIME YOU TRANSMIT SOMEONE IS LISTENING- this is a very unpopular and disturbing thought but it is as true a it gets. Today, tomorrow and future nothing you transmit is unheard.

        1)The chinese radios so popular will come back to bite you.

        Over half of them have unique spurious emissions ( transmissions off the freq you are on) which will provide a link from your transmissions to YOU particularly. I touched on this a few times but suffice to say it creates a verifiable link between the radio operator and the radio. And in doing so allows the OPFOR to determine exactly where and at what times a particular radio ( and the operator) is at a location. Im pretty sure I dont need to explain why this is less than optimal.

        2) Having an entire squad ( or larger) sized element transmitting from the same area brings instant attention, much more than just 1 or 2 who could be anything from kids to hunters. Reducing the number of transmissions to just leaders and hand signals to the team is a far better idea.

        3) HF radios, Digital transmissions and using NVIS techniques are as secure as you will get in the small unit environment. Admittedly this is not a fast way to communicate but is extremely difficult to DF. Because of the time involved it is best used as a patrol to higher comms set up. For the unsophisticated OPFOR they will have fits figuring out what mode, frequencies and brevity codes you are using. And isnt encrypted so you stay legal among the thousands of ham radio operators out there. For the very good with Uncle Sams best credit card purchased gear, they can hear an NVIS transmission, and intercept it, but because of how the signal bounces, they cant DF it.

        4) There is always 1 guy who cannot stay off the radio. This person will kill you in a tactical environment. Either by running his mouth or by inadvertently keying the mic, or having a shit radio or earpiece which keys up by itself. The number of the radios out there which do this amazes me at times, from the top line Motorola series to the chinese HT. Of course its mostly the chinese HT who are the biggest problems. If you listen to a ham 2m or 440 repeater you will hear random “kerchunks” as the cheap radios key on their own. And this is just on the particular repeater frequencies, multiply it by thousands on the simplex freqs.

        This is just 1 example of how a whole series of radios manufactured in china create the issues Im talking about here, but is indicative of the overall mess.

        Beofengs and their Ilk-Banned

        Yes these are a digital radio but the same problems with spurious emissions as the analog radios.

        What I have a hard time with is why when I tell people this they dont understand the consequences later. A radio which can be easily DF, and electronically tied to a person or a group is a terrible idea. All the comsec in the world wont help if you are attached to the radios you use buy its unique electronic signature.

        Solutions

        Get with a ham radio club or person sympathetic to this plight and who also has testing equipment to determine if the radio you use creates a spurious emission. Then, allow NO radios to transmit which have not been tested. You will still be DF but they will have a harder time tying a radio to a particular person/group.

        Or buy better HT radios.

        Limit comms to leaders or commo guys to talk to higher, and make sure the commo guy is up on HF digital and NVIS techniques. And make damn sure the leader of the group knows this is not an instant fix. You need extensive practice and knowledge to make this work. No plug and play here. Yup, life sucks. So does having an attack helicopter in your lap because you were identified by a radio mistake.

      • #150234
        Joe (G.W.N.S.)
        Moderator

          This might be sacrilege here but I firmly believe, based on years of experience not everyone needs a personal radio. Especially in a tactical environment.

          Not “sacrilege” to me, though I would tweak the comment slightly, but you make some great points!

          Finally depending on actual use; particularly the so called “boogaloo” type event, too many put far too much emphasis on communications use!

          In many scenarios there will be many who are killed because they didn’t appreciate the vulnerabilities to themselves such use creates!

          Against a modern OPFOR; which includes those with experienced HAM’s, will be found and fixed quickly. A modern military can fix you in seconds accurately enough to immediately engage you should they wish.

          We would be dealing thousands of more terrorists if they never touched cellphones and radios. ;-)

        • #150238
          michaeltqs
          Participant

            What I also point out to people who are listening to my thoughts.

            Recon/sniper elements are best served with a multiband receiver and earpiece. Nothing like a “bubba detector” to tell you what is going on in inside an OPFOR group you are observing like the frequencies their personal radios are set on. You dont really need a sophisticated antenna if you can see them. And with the radios which are popular, once you have the freq they are on you can get warnings about what exactly they are doing against you.

            The communications section in a group is the most important part of any organization. Its not as cool as running around in the bush but as been shown, the OPFOR groups will transmit without fail, and can be intercepted by your people. Think of it as an electronic fence and early warning system.

            • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by michaeltqs.
          • #150249
            wheelsee
            Participant

              :good: :good:

              Dang good stuff. It’s your “nuggets” that will save or kill people (depends on their responses)

              Thank you!

            • #150257
              D Close
              Moderator

                Limit comms to leaders or commo guys to talk to higher, and make sure the commo guy is up on HF digital and NVIS techniques. And make damn sure the leader of the group knows this is not an instant fix. You need extensive practice and knowledge to make this work. No plug and play here. Yup, life sucks. So does having an attack helicopter in your lap because you were identified by a radio mistake

                One of many gems. Excellent points sir. Will echo this as far and wide as possible.

              • #150424
                JC
                Participant

                  Excellent post. Thank you.

                  I totally agree – “not everyone needs a personal radio. Especially in a tactical environment.”

                  Besides the technical/security issues Michaelalt details, most of us will not be operating with a group of properly trained individuals. The reality is most of us will be running with marginally trained family, friends, neighbors, etc. Some of these folks can barely change out a mag without losing situational awareness. And some have absolutely no competence with radios (even after drills!). Given this it is not realistic to expect them to fight a rifle, and keep track of a radio at the same time. That is simply setting them (and you) up for failure.

                  Then there is the issue of expense. I might have a Mil grade comm setup, but I can’t afford to equip everyone in the group with one. And that standard is out of reach for some who are still working on a years’ worth of food, or stocking up ammo and mags, or medicine, etc. I also don’t feel a cheap Chinese radio is really the answer for these folks. It might be an adequate tool to get some radio practice before an event, but they are totally inadequate for a tactical environment.

                  So, I recommend applying the ‘least common denominator’ rule (aka “KISS”), and plan to equip a select few with a radio.

                  But also remember – sometimes it is just prudent to ‘go dark’.

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