What is the Midwest Prepper Report NET?

The Midwest Prepper Report “NET” is a twice a week radio event on HF radio for preppers in the midwest to share information relative to their particular location. You can learn about the status of other areas and have a reliable method of communication in the event all other means of communication are down.

Unlicensed listeners are welcome and we encourage non-Ham participation.

So what is a NET?

A Net is a meeting on the air between Ham operators where one operator is the lead or NET Control Station (NCS for short) and he/she will call out for “check ins” where other stations call back with their callsign, county and name. After everyone is “checked in” the NCS station will call each of the checked in stations one at a time and ask for their “Traffic” (the information they want to share or ask for ).

A listener can learn a lot about the status of surrounding areas and potential good deals at certain stores or possibly what areas to avoid.

Our Public GMRS Repeater

On the Midwest Prepper Report NET last night it was brought to my attention that I have not shared any information about our GMRS Repeater in Mayville Michigan. We are running an Icom FR4000 Commercial UHF 50 watt Repeater with a 6db antenna on a 60ft tower.

The Mayville repeater reach is roughly a maximum of 25 miles when using a mobile or base radio. A handheld will generally max out at about 10 miles unless you can find some substantially high ground to transmit from, then the handheld range will go up considerably.

Our repeater does announce itself every 15 minutes. You may hear a female voice or you may hear morse code but it does announce itself every 15 minutes.

Our Repeater settings are : Receive : 462.625 and transmit 467.625 with a Tone of 141.3 (This will be channel 18 or channel 26 depending on how your GMRS radio is setup)

We hope to hear you using the repeater soon!

Spidertrap File Spider

This is a simple python script, you change the last two lines for the url you want it to spider and the folder you want the files deposited in. The Spider will go 3 levels deep and it will find txt, zip, pdf and html files.If there is a link menu on the page, it will follow the links down.

This script is simple but effective for scouring Prepper files and loading them on your computer or memory stick.

NOTE : This tool must be run from the python3 command line

Change the url to match the url you want it to scour.

Change the folder path you want it to save the files to

type : python3 spidertrap.py

It will start displaying the file count in the console window.

Here is the link to the spidertrap.zip file

Shortwave for “Real News”

Coming Soon! Shortwave stations and listening times!

Today, finding truth in journalism is nearly impossible. How do you know what is really happening around you? We use the ATS20+ mini shortwave receiver. What is so special about this little receiver?

  • Receives AM / FM / MW / SW
  • Rechargeable Battery for hours of use
  • *** Has SSB so you can listen to HAMS
  • Easy to use
  • Portable for Bug Out Bag!
  • Operational Security is maintained!
  • Situational Awareness is raised!

We have many folks that use this little radio to listen to the Midwest Prepper Report for an idea of what is going on in their area, county region and around the world. This news is not propaganda from the typical news fronts. These guys are dialed into news like Forward Observer, Grayman Bulletins, State Department releases and more. You get real news from real people that you can act on.

Learn when to :

  • Stock up on fuel or water
  • When to circle your wagons!
  • Advanced notice to charge batteries etc.
  • When to bug out (avoiding a conflict is the best way to survive a conflict)
  • Pull family in closer!

Baofeng FCC Type Accepted GMRS Radios

Below is a list of FCC Approved Baofeng radios for GMRS. We actually have and use the UV-5G radios on our farm, they work well just like any other Baofeng. These radios are virtually indestructible, here on our farm the Baofeng radios suffer a great deal of abuse, dropping on concrete, dropping in mud, splashed with water and more. While not waterproof we don’t worry about dropping them in water, if they eventually fail, they are very inexpensive to replace!

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Easy GMRS License

General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) Filing Instructions

An FCC license is required to operate GMRS system. Licenses are issued for a ten-year term and can be renewed between 90 days prior to the expiration date and up to the actual expiration date of the license. After a license expires, an individual must request a new GMRS license.

A GMRS system licensed to a non-individual prior to July 31, 1987 is also eligible for renewal, but the licensee may not make any major modification to the system.

You may apply for a GMRS license if you are 18 years or older and not a representative of a foreign government. If you receive a license, any family member, regardless of age, can operate GMRS stations and units within the licensed system.

Per Public Notice DA 15-72, the FCC no longer mails license authorizations. If you provide an email address on your application, an official copy of your license will be automatically emailed to you after the application has been granted.

Steps to Filing an Application for a new GMRS Station license in the Universal Licensing System (ULS):

  1. Go to ULS License Manager and log in with your FCC Registration Number (FRN) and password. After entering your password, proceed to Step 2 below to begin filing the application.If you do not have an FRN, you can register for one here: FCC Registration System or by clicking the “Register with the FCC” link under the Submit button on the Log In page.NOTE: You will be prompted to register and verify a username account prior to obtaining your FRN.If you do not know your FRN, you can search for it by entering your call sign here:
    ULS License Search or by clicking the “Check your licenses” link under the submit button on the Log In page.If you do not know the password:
    • Click on the Contact Tech Support link under the Submit button on the Log In page.
    • On the next page, click the link and follow the prompts for resetting the password.
    • After receiving confirmation of a successful password reset, click the link for Universal Licensing System (DO NOT click the CORES Public Interface link.)
    • Click the yellow ULS License Manager button to return to the Log In page.
    • Enter the FRN and password and click the Submit button.
  2. On the left side of the page, click the Apply for a New License link.
  3. Choose “ZA – General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)” from the radio service drop down list.
  4. Click Continue to navigate through the application.
  5. On the Summary page, review your application and click the Continue to Certify button to continue.
  6. On the Certification page, sign your application by typing your name in the boxes provided and click the Submit button. (The Title box is optional.)
  7. ULS will calculate the fees. Fees for online filing MUST be received within 10 calendar days of the filing.
  8. Click the Continue For Payment Options button to choose the method of payment.

Further information can be found on General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) on the FCC website.

The GMRS license rules are found in Part 95, Subpart A of the Code of Federal Regulations. The rules are available at the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations website.

Downloading Authorizations in ULS

After your application has been granted, you may also download an official copy of your license from the License Manager by following the steps below:

  1. Go to License Manager and log in with your FCC Registration Number (FRN) and password.
  2. Click the “Download Electronic Authorizations” link on the navigation bar on the left side of the License Manager home page.
  3. In the My Authorizations box at the bottom of the page, select the call sign(s) you wish to download.
  4. Add the call signs to the Authorizations to Download box by clicking the Add button.
  5. Click the Download button in the lower right-hand corner of the page. The download will be automatically converted to a PDF file, and you can choose to Open (to print) or Save (to save to a desired folder).

If you have any further questions on a GMRS license or need additional information, please submit a help request online to the FCC Licensing Support Center or call (877) 480-3201.

FCC Licensing Support Center
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM EST, Monday – Friday

GMRS Radio

With all of the censorship going on and the rumblings of social credit scores. Two way radio might be the last hope of free speech.

General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) offers some distinct advantages:

  • Ability to use local repeaters for much longer range (25 miles is not unusual)
  • License does not require any testing (just $35 fee)
  • One license applies to your whole immediate family
  • High power mobile and base station radios are available for longer distance communications.
  • Inexpensive Personal Repeater available!

GMRS Radio offers you the ability to test and use your radios BEFORE an event! You can use repeaters and converse with other GMRS folks like yourself who are within radio range of you. Build supporting networks and bartering networks so you are truly prepared for any event!

Retevis RB17P GMRS Radio,Long Range Two Way Radio Rechargeable,2200mAh SOS Siren NOAA Scanning & Receiving, Handheld Walkie Talkies for Adults

  • 5 Watt power rating
  • NOAA Alerts
  • Repeater Capable
  • USB charging
  • 7 Day Standby Monitoring!
  • Inexpensive ($35)

(We actually use these radios with our GMRS repeater at Off Grid Comms!) He

Retevis RA86 GMRS Mobile Radio, GMRS Radio with Antenna, NOAA 30 Channel GMRS Repeater, Mobile GMRS Two Way Radio with Integrated Control Mic, for Offroad Jeep

  • High Power (3x more than Walkies)
  • NOAA Weather
  • Repeater Capable

The best value in GMRS! A personal repeater and two handhelds for $404.

Retevis RT97 GMRS Mobile Radio Relay Communication Set, Full Duplex Radio Base Station(1 Pack) and GMRS Handheld Walkie Talkies(2 Pack),Designed for RV Camping,Farm,Remote Area, Emergency Rescue

Off Grid Comms actually owns one of these sets! Very reliable repeater for personal use!

5 Watt repeater coupled with a good antenna mounted high up can improve your range from a mile or two up to 20+ miles!

Retevis 462-467MHz GMRS Amateur Base Antenna,High Gain Fiberglass Base Antenna, SL16K/PL259 Connector for RT97 Two Way Radio Base Station Repeater Mobile Radio Transceiver (1 Pack)

(We actually use this antenna for our Off Grid Comms GMRS Repeater!)

MOOKEERF PL259 UHF Cable 25ft, KMR400 PL259 Male to Male Coaxial Cable Low Loss CB Coax Cable for HAM Radio, VHF Radio

Painless Amateur Radio License

    At the last couple meetups I had several people ask me what the process is to get licensed and how difficult it is to get licensed. This post should help you navigate this minefield and get you on a short easy path to a license.

    What are the Amateur License levels?

    • Technician (VHF UHF and very limited HF access)
    • General (VHF UHF Good HF Access)
    • Extra (VHF UHF and all HF bands / Frequencies allocated to Amateur Radio by the FCC)

    This article will focus on the Technician license as it is the easiest and will be useful for most emergency situations.

    Popular license misconceptions :

    • The test is super hard and technical (35 questions and 74% is passing)
    • The test and license is expensive ($35 for a 10yr license)

    So what does a license grant you?

    • The ability to transmit on frequencies aligned to the license level you successfully test for.
    • The ability to use repeaters and infrastructure reserved for licensed operators

    What are the steps for obtaining a license?

    • Study for the test by taking practice tests online (see the link below)
    • When you are confident enough schedule your self for in person testing at one of the facilities listed below.
    • Arrive on time, pay your money and take your test. If successful you will receive your license in about 10 days.

    Situational Awareness

    We think that one of the most important overlooked prepping items is situational awareness. We all prep for one reason, to make an otherwise uncomfortable situation more comfortable. In some cases uncomfortable could be unsurvivable and comfortable could be thriving. We hedge the risk of an uncomfortable scenario by setting back goods and skills that will make that scenario more comfortable. Many of us try to prepare for all possible eventualities including hunkering down, long term self-sustainability, bugging out, defensive positioning, some even practice offensive offensive maneuvers.

    Failing to have a robust communication plan could leave all of the above in a state of failure.

    A good example is the Maui fire where no sirens alerted the residents of their impending doom. They had little or no situational awareness until it was too late to devise a proper reaction plan. Would a communication plan saved the 1000+ residents that lost their lives? Let’s think about that, how many died moving the wrong direction? Executing their predetermined communication plan may have resulted in at least some of those folks making better decisions due to having information and guidance from others that were participating in the communication plan.

    We have heard people saying they don’t need a communication plan, they enjoy their solitude on their homestead paradise. However that solitude will only last as long as your situational awareness allows it to.

    Events that could strongly benefit from a communications plan:

    • Wildfire
      • How far is it, what direction is it moving? Am I being forced to evacuate?
    • Tornado or Hurricane Aftermath :
      • Where to get medical attention or what roads are passable?
    • Government Intervention
      • Martial law, National Guard forcing evacuations etc.
    • Long Term Grid Outage
      • Locations of refugee caravans, proximity of thieves or bad actors
      • Setting up defensive perimeters
      • Collecting / sharing intel about non-friendly movements

    In some cases having a network of trusted people could be the difference between surviving and not surviving. Using the information gleaned from your communications plan could help you make informed decisions instead of guessing for the following :

    • When to bug out
    • When to hide
    • When to provide disinformation over the air (very effective in steering away bad actors)
    • When to take up a defensive posture
    • Where to obtain medical assistance
    • Where to redirect folks who need help
    • How to prioritize your own situation.

    Off Grid Comms is trying to wake folks up and provide useful solutions to these challenges, follow us for to learn more about what a good communication plan should include.