My Small Friend


When operating in my local AO I like to know what’s going on around me.  I try to carry a radio at all times but it’s not always possible. The Motorola minitor above rides on my belt and is programed with my local fire dispatch frequency. I am not currently a member of a local fire department but know one thinks twice when they see this compact radio on my side. These units can be found on ebay,  craigslist and ham fest for around  $20-$60 dollars.  One thing to remember is they must be programmed by a radio shop or someone with the radio interface box and software.  Also make sure the unit you get is in the frequency range of your monitoring target.


Minitor seen here for size comparison

Dialtone OUT.




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Let’s play make-believe for a minute……Lets pretend that  your SIGINT (signals intelligence ) patrol has intercepted three unidentified signals. The frequencies are: 494.4375mhz, 457.9375mhz and 452.9375mhz. They where unable to get any other details so you have to further investigate. DO NOT USE THE INTERNET TO CHEAT,  THAT WILL MAKE THIS EXERCISE USELESS. Program these into your scanner and see what you get. You may or may not get hits? Write down what you hear and post your logs in the comment section below.  You have 72 hours to complete this op. 

Dialtone OUT.

A Students After Action Report

A student from this weekends class sent me this AAR (after action report ). Thanks for the kind words.  20150913_092601




Weekend “Grid Down Communications Course”.

I have been training for the last three years or so, I have been to the following schools and classes:

Advanced Wilderness Survival with Tim MacWelch

Fighting Pistol, Tactical Response with James Yeager (Like him or not, it was a good class, LOL)

Various Tactical Rifle Courses with Max Velocity

M/16-AR-15 Armorer’s School with Colt Factory

Knife-making with George Herron (Further back than three years)

Knife-Making with Ed Halligan (Further back than three years)

I thought I was pretty well rounded out until I realized I did not have any communications skills; you know “Shoot, Move, Communicate”.  In searching through information, I found AMRRON, and through them, I was encouraged to get my Technicians Grade HAM license.  Searching around after that, I found Sparks31, as most of you have.  I read everything he wrote and realized I might be missing the most important piece to the survival puzzle: communications.  If I don’t know what is going on around me, I am screwed, simple as that.

I had been following Joe’s Dialtone Blog with great interest.  A few weeks back, he offered the Grid Down Communications Course, and I jumped on it.  He is fairly close to me, and I knew he was a friend of Sparks31, great combo.

I went to the class hoping to fill in many gaps I had in my communications skills package; my package was quite small for sure.  In the first hour of Joe’s class, I already felt I got my moneys worth. Instructors are the most important component of any class or seminar.  I listed all of the above classes to show my exposure to top flight instructors and their various methods of teaching and interaction with students.  Of all the classes I have taken, Joe ranks among the best of the instructors.  His enthusiasm, skill level, love of his craft, and the ability to convey information is second to none.  His sense of humor is probably his most endearing quality, making a very dry subject entertaining and fun.  I came away from the class inspired to delve further into the communications arena.

Members of the class all brought their equipment to the class for review.  I found this portion of the class quite interesting.  It is exposure you might not get anywhere else.  As each student brought out their equipment and explained why they had each piece, as a fellow student, you could see the possibilities for improvement in your setup.  What I learned about batteries and alternate power supplies was worth the time and money I spent to take the class.

If you are seeking to learn communications, I make the following suggestion: study for and get your Technicians Class HAM license and take the General class in addition which would be even better, take Joe’s Grid Down Communications Class, and then continue to build on your communications skills every day.  This advise is coming from a complete amateur in communications, but if I can do it, you can also.  We will all need to communicate in the coming days.  Don’t be left in the dark.

Jack Weigand

Weigand Combat Handguns Inc.



Another Great Class!!!!


Operating position at our FTX TOC.

This weekends class was great! First,  I want to thank all of those that attended. I was fortunate to have such a good group that was so excited to learn.  I also would like to thank all of the help and support I received (you know who you are )!

Day one was the class room session.  It rained like crazy but all was dry indoors. We experienced a few power grid “failures ” but we made it through! Lots of great class room discussion and questions answered.


Day two was the FTX ( Field Training Exercise ).  The weather cleared and the sun came out to play. Good thing our antennas where low profile because the wind was also in the air! We learned about,  and constructed a jungle antenna. Students where able to get “hands on”  with this project.


Jungle antenna ready to be raised up for wilderness ops.

The sudents learned techniques to assemble and test various other antennas as well. We had a great field phone exercise with students learning the value of secure comms. We made a field expedient indoor covert CB loop antenna out of junk picture hanging wire! This is just a few things that we packed into a great FTX!


Everyone gets involved, doing it is better then reading about it.

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