Despite the communication ease rendered by the cellphones, one must admit that this invention has a part in frittering away useful time. Also, there can be situations where this communication channel lags to offer services. Natural disasters, power outage, network stations unavailability are some of the possible case scenarios.

So, when the SHTF, the old-school shortwave radio and a set of walkies talkies can probably be the best solution. The simplicity and reliability of these units is still unbeatable. But why are we praising these two devices? Or why should you rely on them? The facts in this article say it all.

Shortwave Radios

Invented in the late 1930s, shortwave radios gained popularity due to their long-range transmissions. The radios were given the name because of the short wavelength bands used while broadcasting. To transmit or receive messages, the radio uses electromagnetic wavelengths shorter than 100m with a frequency range of around 1.7 to 30 MHz.  

Earlier, long wave radios having a limitation for wide transmissions and portability were used. To eliminate these downsides, the invention of shortwave radios took place. They have a range covering large distances sometimes, even the whole continents. You can also find the portable models at affordable cost which consequently results in making the transmission experience better.  

How Shortwave Radio Works?

To make the shortwave bands scatter at wide distances, they are projected toward the sky. The directed waves are then bounced back toward the earth by electrically charged ions present in the atmosphere. This reflection of electromagnetic waves thereby leads to rendering transmissions spreading over wide distances.

The scattered waves are then received by radios all around. The modern radios come with a range of preset stations through which they automatically scan and play the active bands. Also, the Digital tuning function saves the user from the hassle of manual dialing. Similarly, several other features make the shortwave radios a definite choice when in dire strait.

What are the available Modulations?

Through shortwave radios, you can receive broadcasts in one of the following modes:

  1.     AM: Amplitude modulation is the earliest and most common technique incorporated into radios. Such units work by varying the amplitude or overall strength of the carrier waves. The simplicity of AM radios is what makes them a highly adopted transmission mode. Plus, they are easy to detect and can travel far distances.
  2.     SSB: A modified form of AM modulation, the Single sideband radio works by eliminating the frequency components accompanied by the carrier wave. This results in efficient use of power and bandwidth. However, these radios have quite complex functioning.
  3.     VSB: A smart combination of both AM and SSB modes, the Vestigial sideband works by partially eliminating the frequency components. This results in using less bandwidth than the AM frequencies. Also, simple receivers can pull in the VSB bands, unlike SSB where tuning is quite complex. 
  4.     NFM: The Narrow-band frequency modulations are commonly utilized for VHF transmissions. They work by varying the frequency of the carrier signal rather than the amplitude. Since the NFM radios are quite cheap, anyone can utilize them for maintaining clear communications.
  5.     DRM: Digital radio Mondiale has an edge over contemporary AM radios as they use digital signals to send or receive messages. Also, the DRM radios have wide access to stations and have clear sound quality.

Why Buy the Shortwave Radios?

  • Cost-effective solution to stay updated
  • Portable models can be carried anywhere
  • Different power options secure connectivity under different circumstances
  • Reliable transmission backup during emergencies
  • The short waves can travel thousands of kilometers to keep everyone informed

Walkie Talkies

First operated during World War II, the walkie talkies have come a long way in proving themselves as a reliable communication source when all other alternatives fail. You can carry along these smart, portable and rugged units when going out on a trip or commercial site. Also, since they transmit on both rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries, power or network unavailability is not going to obstruct this communication channel. 

How the Walkie Talkie Works?

This small unit comprises all essentials to make them work as both a transmitter and a receiver. For sending a message, you can press the installed PTT button which activates the integrated microphone. The RF signals then work to send the recorded message through a specific frequency band.

On the reception end, the antenna installed on walkie talkie pulls in the RF signals and the speaker works to play the received information. Modern two-way radios, similar to those from Altech Electronics Inc., also come with multiple privacy codes that protect your transmissions from possible interference. You can also have access to weather bands that update you on any weather emergency or forecasts.

What are the Available Types?

  1.     Analog Walkie Talkies: The analog walkie talkies work by transmitting messages in the form of analog waveforms. Such types of radios have limited connectivity and interferences are generally encountered. However, the modern units have enhanced reception and compatibility which makes them a reliable choice for short-range transmissions.
  2.     Digital Walkie Talkies: These latest radios transmit messages by first converting them into binary numbers. Although this conversion may deliver the message a few seconds late as compared to analog radios, the outcome is worth the delay. Receptions with digital units are crisp and clear and you can connect with several users simultaneously which offers wider compatibility.

Why Buy the Walkie Talkies?

  • Reliable communication source
  • Provide a channel for group communications
  • These rugged units can withstand the beatings
  • High battery capacity ensures that you are never out of connection
  • Can establish stable and static-free communications 

 What to Do When the SHTF?

Facing unexpected circumstances is a part of life. To save you from being at your wit’s end, shortwave radios and walkie talkies are the best options. Whether a weather calamity hits your area, or you are beyond the black stump, these two units can keep you connected to the world.

Moreover, the walkie talkies can help in managing large-scale tasks efficiently by keeping a continuous check on everyone. On the other hand, to entertain the couch potatoes when the power runs out, the shortwave radios can broadcast TV shows, music, live sport or whatnot.