Digital Comms: Communicating even when you can’t hear!
Hello my friend and welcome back! Today we’re going to be talking about using digital radio communications to hide your radio traffic in the background noise. It’s an interesting concept and one it would definitely pay you to know about. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and have a seat while we visit.
Many people worry about their radio signals being heard by those who shouldn’t. It is very common, but there is a way around it using ham radios and even hand-held radios that are very inexpensive. AS many of you may know, it is illegal to transmit any signal over a ham radio with the intent of blocking it from others. That’s just the way it is, but there are ways around it if you’re smart.
So what is digital radio? Digital radio covers a lot of items including hand-held radios which can transmit pictures, files, and even GPS data. Basically, it transmits a signal which sounds somewhat like the old modem noise you could hear over the air waves. They are completely unintelligible if you are just listening to them, however add a computer to the mix and you have another way to communicate. It’s kind of like texting over the airways. While you will need a computer and a way to attach your computer to it, you do not need a digital radio. A simple handheld Baofeng radio will work if you have the rest of what you need.
To connect your radio to your computer, you will need a little box and cables know as a SignaLink and it is made by a company called Tigertronics. It is relatively inexpensive, about $120 and well worth it. When you order it you specify what cable you need and it is included in the price. Do not worry the website will help you decide which cable you will need for your radio. It all connects to your computer through a USB port.
It basically connects the audio out and the mic input to your computer and in most cases you need only type on the computer keyboard to communicate. So what makes this so special? Because it is a digital signal, your computer can hear it even if you can’t. In many cases, even if the signal is heavily degraded, the computer can both receive and transmit without any issues. It’s amazing just how well it works. Anyone who happens upon the frequency that you are using, will not be able to decipher your messages without a digital setup, on the same frequency.
All of the software you need for it is available on the internet for FREE. FLDIGI is the most popular software use for this purpose and it even runs on windows 10 as well as older versions and Linux and many others. The software is simple to set up and use and there are tons of videos on it at YouTube if you want to check it out.
There are many different Digital mode formats available for you to use such PSK31 and a ton of others. A person needs to know which digital mode you are using to be able to decipher what you are sending. There are also other applications which work with FLDIGI and allow you to even send forms, with information in them, to each other as well. If you already have a radio, then all you need is the SignaLink and the cable for your radio to connect to your laptop or computer and you’re in business. It is well worth the investment and something every Prepper should check out!
It can greatly extend your range of communications and help you stay in touch in cases where you may otherwise not have been able. I have included the links to the sites I have mentioned above and I really hope you take the time to look into it. Well I guess that is it for today and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Until next time, stay safe, stay strong and stay prepared. God Save America!