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No Cell Phone Service!!

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by skydiver, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. skydiver

    skydiver Sandy,OR Well-Known Member

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    Struck with the reality of the infrastructure failing on 4th of July.
    Was going to meet up with friend on the 4th to watch the fireworks downtown and listen the the blues festival.
    There was no cell phone service available at that event, even though I had 4 bars of signal strength!
    No voice, no texts. I was surprised that even texts couldn't get in or out.
    So, I never met up because we couldn't communicate.
    Just imagine a disaster when even more people would be trying to use their phones.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2015
  2. mrblond

    mrblond Salem OR Well-Known Member

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    If I remember right, something like that happened in California several years back where a virus I think, was sent out and it had phones send out mass text that pretty much closed down cell service. It showed how quickly a group, terrorist or not, could really hamper our communications.
     
  3. pbandshay

    pbandshay Soon to be Costal Oregon New Member

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    I just bought a couple FRS/GMRS radios for ~$50 at Walmart for our trip. Don't fall into the trap on the package that claims 27 mi. range, if you read the back carefully that is from a mountain to a valley with no obstructions. I also am a HAM operator and have a small 2 meter HT with the local repeaters and NOAA programmed into it. I got the FRS hybrids since my wife isn't a HAM and although GMRS needs a license, it's $85 just to feel good as the bands aren't really that well policed(think CB back in the day), although the license is valid for the operator and immediate family.

    Of course this all only works if the other person has a transceiver, but at least I can be in touch with my wife from a few miles if we lose cell service on our way out to Oregon.
     
    Riot, ATCclears, lowly monk and 3 others like this.
  4. knuckle Head

    knuckle Head southeast Well-Known Member

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    Was the system overload or was it being blocked out. Either way you are in shtf scenario the system will be so overloaded if shtf in a major, that you could 200 feet from a tower and not be able to get a call anywheres.
     
  5. skydiver

    skydiver Sandy,OR Well-Known Member

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    System overload would be my guess, because it didn't work several blocks away from waterfront park.
    Too many teens texting.
     
  6. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    (placing my tin hat on)

    So what if the service was blocked to stop any "flash Mob" scenes?
    What if they shut it down to keep control?

    Prove to me they didn't.
     
  7. slimer13

    slimer13 Deer Park Well-Known Member

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    Sounds blocked to me. Texts should still go through even with an overloaded system (I think, could be wrong).

    I was visiting my grandpa in Seattle a couple years ago and decided to cruise down to Boeing field which is only a couple minutes away to watch Air Force one depart. As the POTUS's motorcade approached on I 5, our phones acted the same way. Full bars, but no messages or calls would go out or come in until AF1 was long gone.
     
  8. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, a text message is much smaller than a voice call. The tower(s) were either really overloaded or blocked.

    I concur with the radio idea. A few neighbors and I have purchased them such that we can easily communicate in a SHTF situation. The wife and daughter will use them at a horse show to communicate, etc. etc. I've seen them recently at Costco, and the link below is for the ones I purchased on Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...mp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B001UE6MJ8

    You don't have to have the same make and model to be compatible. If they say FRS/GMRS then they are likely to work with similar radios.

    Peter
     
  9. pbandshay

    pbandshay Soon to be Costal Oregon New Member

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    I got the Motorola Talkabout MJ270R mostly due to the option for mini usb charging so we could charge mobile if need be.

    This is my other carry rig:
    uploadfromtaptalk1341680159313.jpg

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

    uploadfromtaptalk1341680159313.jpg
     
  10. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    So ahhh if they blocked all the cell service how do you call 911 for help? How many died by this being blocked?
     
  11. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    AF1 was almost certainly a jammer situation.

    However, it's unlikely that cell phones were being blocked for a major public event- it is easy to overload telephone capacity. It's a situation of what we call over-subscription. Basic telecom practice is to provide about 10% of subscriber capacity because people are rarely all talking at the same time.

    Texts use the call-set up/call id channel of a cell phone. It's narow bandwidth and limited in the nuimber of characters sent at one time because it wasn't designed for subscriber convenience. This is why texting was initially free- there was no incremental cost as it was already there and used for tenths of seconds at a time for these original functions. It became a sales differentiator, rather than a core service, to begin with. As people began to use it, the cell phone companies saw a major drop in revenue as people no longer made calls of a few seconds duration for quick comms- they texted on the free service instead. Many of these calls were only of 10-30 seconds duration, but they cost a "minute" of talk time.

    Now everybody texts, and it is a core service, and with the small channel it uses, it can easily be overwhelmed. The good thing is it is not real-time, it's a store and forward technology like email, so the info goes through anyway.
     
  12. knuckle Head

    knuckle Head southeast Well-Known Member

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    JJ,

    They look at it, as part of the equation, a few deaths vs a majorriot or blocking signals from terror groups to detonate or trigger something, a couple of deaths from no 911 access vs many from trigger / detonated event.

    There are things out there and have been for many years to block service in bldgs, area's etc. just another version of a jamming device.

    Here is something most people do not realize or believe exists, Cell Phone Spying Software Leads to Mobile Cyberstalking Nightmare - ABC News

    News Flash, the right equipment int he right hands it works and and does take a genius to operate, the only way to disable a cell phone from remote activation is to shut it off and remove the battery, they only way to insure the on-star system in not tracking and listening to you is to remove the fuse or unplug it, no power no workie
     
  13. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Oregon Well-Known Member

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    If it was jammed on purpose I bet calls to 911 would still go through.

    lost-phone.jpg

    lost-phone.jpg
     
  14. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Just an overload, that is all. Steve Miller was great btw - big surprise that the guy can sound as good as 1975.

    The outage is an example of how the Twittering Twits will be absolutely helpless when mobile service, Twitter, Facebook, et al are all gone. Ashton Kutcher of all people has spoke out on this many times. He believes people are so addicted to their texting and social media - like heroin - that there will be mass panic and violence when it is taken away. I have to agree with that statement. That, and all the psychotropic drugs being unavailable.
     
  15. JackThompson

    JackThompson Valley of the Demons Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so having most of my food and survival concerns handled I've been looking at disaster communication.

    My innitial instinct was to outfit my
    Family with CB radios and setup a base station at home (which at this point is about 30 miles from where they are).

    That hasn't turned out nearly as feasible after some research, so I'm looking at USB/LSB capable radios.

    Their range is also limited without some modification, which in some cases is against FCC regulation.

    I'm not looking to violate FCC regulation, but in a disaster or life and death situation I'd like to know HOW to communicate this way.

    Where is a good place to start learning?

    PMs are ok if you don't want to share info publicly.
     
  16. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    I would think Ham Radio would be worth a look. How Will You Communicate?

    You are going to have to get your nerd on since most guys heavy into Ham shower very little and often live in their mom's basement.

    In a SHTF scenario I'd be much more interested in what the average Joe out there had to say, and what he/she was witnessing, vs some blabber over the government emergency/tv broadcasts.
     
  17. JackThompson

    JackThompson Valley of the Demons Well-Known Member

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    HAM isn't feasible for mobile communication, and definitely something I'd want to tackle for 8 children's cars to communicate with my home base station. (I looked at what it takes to setup a vehicle to use with HAM and let's just say you have to modify the vehicle, and register with the FCC to get a HAM license.)

    I'm more interested in giving them the capability of communicating with me so we can coordinate getting them to my house, then using scanning capability of a base radio to get news from other (As distant as possible) radio operators if possible.

    This site is where my search began:
    SURVIVAL RADIO 101

    Which brought me to look at these as a base station radio:
    Ranger RCI-2950-70DX Amateur 10 & 12 Meter Mobile Radio from Ranger Communications

    and these as a potential portable radio to give to the kids:
    Amazon.com: Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair) (Black/Silver): Electronics

    My concern is what I can and cannot do to improve this functionality and range, what bands/frequencies are ok to use and what aren't, what bands/frequencies require "Registration" and what bands don't.

    *EDIT*
    and what bands I can monitor without crossing any lines.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
  18. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    The FRS/GMRS ranges are a joke. 36 miles? Funny; maybe 2 if both people are standing on the edge of a rooftop on a sunny day.

    I'd be curious to see what you eventually come up with though. I would be too worried about bending some rules post-SHTF either. The gobment will be too busy fighting riots and such to care about someone with an illegally amped-up CB.
     
  19. jimwsea

    jimwsea Vancouver, Washington state Active Member

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  20. JackThompson

    JackThompson Valley of the Demons Well-Known Member

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    I don't have the budget to experiment much Burt, but when I find someone who knows what mistakes to not make I'll share what I can. :)