Community Comms: Jungle Telegraph Part One

When an event occurs that disrupts eve20150508_011258ryday life and your trusty smart phone becomes a brick, don’t be left deaf, dumb and speechless. If you don’t think the cell phone networks are fragile then you need to think again.  We have become so dependent on communication that without it, most level-headed people would lose their minds.  As commo people, we need to think of ways to keep our team on the up and up.  Not all of us are radio nerds so we also have to think of the “other guys”.


  • You need short-range communications (around town/neighborhood) FRS is not going to get it.
  • It needs to be cheap and readily available.
  • It needs to run off 12 volts.
  • It needs to be easy to operate.20150508_011359
  • No license.

SOLUTION:  Citizen Band Radio (Jungle Telegraph)20150508_011246

Now, before some of you roll your eyes…..  Yes, CB is the answer.  If you disagree, then you have not read the requirements correctly.  The above describes CB radio.  It is local comms, it is cheap, they are everywhere and the list goes on.  I am a HAM radio operator but I also see the value of CB.  Like I said before, don’t waste your resources.  Every tractor-trailer has one, almost every old barn and attic has one somewhere.  You can get a used CB at a yard sale for $5.  There is no excuse.  All you need is a 23 or 40 channel radio.  SSB is nice but we will discuss that later.  This two-part post is to get you to think about linking up your neighborhood, retreat or bug out location.  This idea will get your primitive “social media” back on-line.  Mama takes comfort in knowing she can talk to close friends and neighbors.  Also, it serves as a great intel gathering device.  If all the locals are running CB radio you can take part in the comms and take notes.  When in Rome……  This does not take the place of your other radios, it is just another tool to help complete your mission.  You must get the “breaker 1-9” out of your head and view CB as a channelized 11 meter radio.  I know an old 23 channel midland CB is not going to look very “tactical” sitting next to you AR battle Rifle, but that’s nothing a $4 can of OD paint won’t fix.  It’s not about “sexy” gear, it’s about what works when the chips are down.  If you understand the meaning of “tactical” then, a CB in this case is about as tactical as you get.  Think local, think easy for non radio folk and you think of CB.  It’s not the “end all be all”,  but it will keep you in the local gossip chain.  In part two, I will address the more technical side of things.  We will go over a field expedient “dirty dipole” for CB, the test surprised me……  I hope this gets you to dig those radios out and give them a second chance. Stay on frequency and listen out for part two.  Dialtone OUT.20150125_154916


23 thoughts on “Community Comms: Jungle Telegraph Part One

  1. Yes to the above.
    Got mine for $10.00. Good intel on traffic etc. and Channel 9 is the emergency channel, at 27.065mhz. One extra source of info, cheap.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent article.

    I’m from the old school…11 meter sideband operator since the sixties. Back then emergency services and even the military advised the public to set up emergency/civil defense networks using CB radio. It worked well then and can still serve the purpose today. CB was the original ‘cell phone’. Every home and vehicle should have one. Although I have a ton of HF/VHF/UHF gear my ‘go to rig’ for local comm is still my old Swan 1011D.

    Too many hams think amateur radio is the only way to communicate. The average Joe isn’t going to read a book, study, or take a test. CB, MURS and GMRS is a viable option for the general public.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Jungle Telegraph – Part I | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  4. “Cobra 29, wilson “Little Wil” antenna and a cigarette lighter plug in for juice!! Brand new, out of the box, $30 rebate (mail in from Cobra gets the out of pocket cost for the brand new radio down to $69.00!!) Good stuff!! Less than $100!! “Breaker 1-9…we have a Convoy!!!!!!”
    Got Radio!!


  5. Pingback: Jungle Telegraph – Part I | "There isn't a darknet dark enough to black out 'stupid'."

  6. As a line haul driver in the Northern Arctic I can attest to the fact that the redneck cell phone is THE tool. Still heavily used, it is the one radio that is counted upon for initial contact and close range comms along my 500 mile route. Thank You! I look foreward to updates and tips. Scotty.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great article, I have no ham license, and have been experimenting with 11m. AM is ok for up close, but when you go SSB, that’s your meat and potatoes. I’ve set up a cobra 148gtl for a base station, and run a uniden 122xl for a man pack. Throw in an antenna tuner and alligator clips attached to coax, and BABOOM, watch out cattle fence. The possibilities are endless, especially if you use digital, (illegal in the US). I use ( predict skip. Some will say, blah, no ham license, but if your CUTT (Max Velocity) doesn’t have theirs, and you’re just a workin joe, what’s the point? Great article can’t wait for the rest.


  8. Pingback: Jungle Telegraph/Community Communications: Part II | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  9. over the past 18 mos i’ve picked up 4 fully functional cb’s and 2 antennas for just about $20 total… the channel count varies between 23 and 40 BUT if operating within the minimal count, there’s no issues… all my purchases have been flea market/garage sale effort which effort will continue this spring and summer to include obtaining other antennae and possibly better, newer units…

    Liked by 1 person

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