Randy May Family in Hillsboro Oregon

November 9, 2014

After more antenna research for the GMRS/MURS bands…

I was thinking most any dual band 2M/70CM ham antenna would work fine for me to operate on the GMRS and MURS bands but it is not really true. The antennas can not tune effeciently to those frequencies. I am finding if I want to operate mainly in those bands I need an antenna designed and tuned for them.

In trying to keep costs down I found a few to consider that seem to do the job.

This one I found on Ebay:


It might be other places but it appears to be a kit that requires some assembly and a piece of PVC pipe and the hardware to mount it. I can not find a company that sells it complete. It appears to be an individual making them and selling them on ebay.

Then there is the Slim Jim sold by Two Way Electronics which appears to be a very portable and affordable unit that can be portable, hung on the wall inside the home or used with a piece of PVC to to mount it on a mast outside or in the attic.
http://www.2wayelectronix.com/Dual-band-MURS-GMRS-Slim-Jim-Antenna-dualmurs.htm. Here is the owners web site with more info and ideas on how to mount and tune the antenna. http://www.n9tax.com/Slim%20Jim%20Info.html


The other options is a little more expensive but seems to be the better built and designed J-Pole Antenna meant to be mast mounted and seems to be indestructible and made by Arrow. http://www.arrowantennas.com and click on Open Stub J-Pole and the band you are looking for.


Another company makes a single band GMRS mast antenna. It is not dual band but seems well made and with plenty of gain made by DPD Products.  http://www.dpdproductions.com/page_gmrs.html


So far these appear to be the best options I can commercially or to buy to operate efficiently on the GMSR and MURS radio bands.  Of course there are tons of homebrew plans and options that can be made. You can made a simple 1/4 wave ground plane to your own J-Pole or Yagi or Loop antennas. Here are many plans here.  No matter what you do, the best plan is to use an antenna that is designed to do the job you want it to do.

No matter what antenna you end up with, you will need a SWR meter to test it with. You can spend a lot of money on these for sure. About the least amount of money you can spend and still get one that works and works across the 2M and 70CM ham bands is the http://redmancb.com/custom-lighted-workman-104-swr-watt-power-test-meter-vhf-uhf-ham-radio-120-500-mhz-dual-band/. It is not perfect but seems to get you on paper and some idea of where you are.

73 and see you on the air.


November 4, 2014

Two of My Favorite but Unattained .22 Rifles

Two of my favorite .22 rifles I have yet to acquire are the Marlin 7000T heavy barrel model and the Remington Nylon 66. They are very different rifles and the reasons I want them are different as well.

The Nylon 66 is nostalgic. There was a neighbor that had one when I was a kid and it was the first clip fed rifle I had ever shot and boy was it cool! Besides that, I like it because it is a light weight small frame plinker in the more affordable .22LR round. There hundreds of pages on the web dedicated to these and their history and the many nuances of color and model they were available in.

The 7000T is the heavy barrel “target” version of the 7000 model and a tack driver from the box. It is not as customizable as the 10/22 for sure but it is most of what I would make my 10/22 anyway. They used to be affordable but as they become rare, not as much anymore. Here is a link to more info:



November 3, 2014

Download or print entire survival blog

Here is a blog on survival that includes the ability to download the entire blog into one large PDF for off line use and printing.



September 23, 2014

Buiding Antennas for Ham Radios

Ones I might buy for now:



Here is a review and step by step assembly of it as well. Seems like a great antenna for the money!  http://advancedsurvivalguide.com/2010/09/15/review-centerfire-deluxe-discone-antenna/










SWR Meter










2 Meter vertical from PVC


2 Meter info in general


Apartment Antenna













This is for the GMRS and MURS



Diamond 7900A mobile antenna


Other 2M and 70CM Antennas


































Ham Band Info





Other hardware




















Cheap and Emergency Repeater set up








September 9, 2014

Portable Handheld Ham Radio Baofeng / Pofung

I always wanted to get involved in ham radio. I wanted to atleast get an affordable radio that I could monitor and start to listen to and familiarize myself with the community and see if I really wanted to get my license. The price range was prohibitive. They were always too expensive just to “try”. Enter the Chinese mfg that makes a radio that is very popular with ham radio enthusiasts, Baufeng.  The UV- 5RE PLUS seems to be the most popular model. The Pofung UV-B5, seems to be about the same radio. There seems to be some move to re-name Baofeng to Pofung. They are the same mfg. and even the same software CHIRP can be used to modify them. The best thing from Amazon, you can get a fully functional dual band handheld ham radio with 2 day prime shipping for a little over $30. Now that got my attention. At that price range, why even buy the bubble pack FSR/GMSR radios. For $70, I can get a pair of these and program them the same freq in channel mode so it operates the same there and then I have the rest of the 99 programmable channels that I select with anything else I want. Without a lisc, I can not transmit on most but I can listen and even scan channels such as local police and fire in some areas, local business like the local towing company and ambulance company which is all a lot more interesting than bubble pack radios from Walmart!

The post will be where I start the discussion and post the links I find interesting or worth investigation in my fun adventure!

Here are links to sites with data and info on these radios and how to use them.



This site seems to have a ton of info on all the radios made by this mfg: http://www.miklor.com/


I found them on Amazon for the best price and service so far: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BXVOKTW/?tag=uv5r.net-20

Here is the Pofung manual: http://www.miklor.com/UVB5/pdf/UVB5_Manual.pdf

Here is another supposed improved model by the same mfg, the GT-3 : http://www.amazon.com/Baofeng-GT-3-Transceiver-Chipsets-Upgraded/dp/B00HHOL1HI/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1410246013&sr=1-3&keywords=baofeng+gt-3

























Here is a Video review with tips :

Use them with the FRS/GMRS bubble pack radios:

From Tom’s Radio Room:

Antenna video review:

How to hack them:


Baofeng UVB5 + homebrew 2m diapole

As comms for preppers, security and survival:

The BF-F9 seems to cover the 2M band (220)

The KT-980HP in Europe is the BF-F8HP (High Power) for the US market. While the KT-960, is the older UV-5R model as seen here in the states and such, http://www.k-po.com/INTEK-KT-980-HP.2.html

Here is the link for the high power model but it is not available when I checked.































Other Radios that are nice and affordable:

IOCOM Mobile: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GS8CCD6?psc=1




Best time to stock up on 72 hr bug out bags

Filed under: Preparedness,Survival — rmay4 @ 5:15 am



There are a lot of sales and discounted items during back to school.

November 10, 2012

Would you survive an Electrical Outage? Even a Small One?

I read the article below and then read the articles from Sandy, from Katrina and the like and think but for the grace of God, there go I. I only a little more prepared than many of these people were and less than some. Here is a great list of things that we can do to make it through first 3 to 5 days.

I would ad to this list, garbage bags as in many areas, the garbage service did not run for more than a week and garbage began to pile up. Also, since gasoline  is a commodity that gets hard to acquire quickly in most disasters. I am going to probably keep 10 GL on hand. In the communications department, make sure you have a way to charge cell phones without electricity and also add and emergency radio to be able to receive news and broadcast that does rely on electricity to operate. Batteries, solar or a hand crank generator are all good power sources. Some emergency radios can charge cell phones and the radio can be a source of entertainment as well!


10 Power Outage PREPAREDNESS Tips: Easy Things You Can Do Today!

This past August We had a hurricane and a small earthquake here in Virginia in about the same week. We were without power for over a week at my house, other people were longer.  Cooking, cleaning, among other things were quite a challenge for everyone.

Below are 10  things Either I learned I needed to do differently next time or that I promise you are the first to go after a huge weather event that you will NOT be able to find.The good news is  you can grab a few  this week to feel like you’ve gotten a jump start on being better prepared.

With Hurricane and Tornado season coming soon here on the East Coast, in Virginia we have an upcoming tax free weekend for preparedness supplies. Batteries, tents, you name it will be on sale and you don’t have to pay sales tax, so it’s the perfect opportunity to stock up on a few things.

1) Water: Many of you have stored water set aside, but you’d be shocked at how much we really use every day in our lives. a gallon per person per day is just the bare minimum for drinking and staying alive! It doesn’t count for dishes, laundry, bathing/hygiene/first aid, pets, etc.  Seriously stock pile water and store it under every bed in the house if you need to. Fill empty soda bottles, or buy the 5 gallon water containers from the store and slide them on their sides under the beds, couches, etc. (hey, the kids can’t cram their stuff under them when “cleaning” their rooms, when they have water bottles under them instead!)

2) Batteries.  I can assure you when you need them in an emergency, the D batteries as well as the C and 9 volts are impossible to find!  Batteries last longer if stored in the freezer. The perfect way to store them is in recycled plastic containers such as spice jars and crystal light drink containers!
Stock up while they are on sale, label some empty plastic containers and store in the door of your freezer.
You can never have enough of these.

Ways to recycle plastic containers

3)  Fuel: Cooking, driving, and generator’, and misc:
               Cooking: Stock up on several kinds of fuel for cooking. With Memorial Day around the corner, they will be on sale.  Pick up some propane either the little green coleman ones or a couple of big propane tanks (like fit on your gas grills: we have 3). Also stockpile charcoal, lighter fluid and matches, matches, matches! You can never have enough of these and your neighbors will be desparate, so plan on an extra bag or two to share with loved ones that weren’t prepared.  We have like 20 bags stored away that we picked up on sale.  Don’t forget the lighter fluid and matches!

             Driving & generators: I guarantee you, the first thing that people have problems with everytime we have an extended power outage due to extreme weather is gasoline. People drive everywhere looking for any open and working gas station and the lines are CRAZY!  Do yourself a favor. This week pick up some appropriate 5 gallon gasoline containers and fill them! I know gas is expensive, but you will really appriciate it when you can drive a little bit or fuel your generator without going all over the place.  You can use them for your lawn mower to rotate and freshen the supply, but get more than one and store them properly.

 Miscellaneous: If you have oil lamps stock up on clear lamp oil and grab some extra wicks. If you don’t have an oil lamp consider buying one or two.It helps to light up larger rooms like your family room in the evenings, when it’s too early to go to bed and your’ all hanging out together.  Also stock up on long burning emergency candles. ( During power outages, we keep one burning in the bathroom in a safe spot.  We have no window so it’s pitch dark,  for sure in the middle of the night, so you can see to use the bathroom.

4)Food: Add some canned dinners/proteins to your pantry:  Take a second look at the food in your pantry. During emergencies cans of food that can be heated and served are a really a huge stress reducer.
So many of us are avoiding those premade conveneince foods, but  in a week or more with no power you will come to appriciate the simplicity of opening a can of something for dinner or lunch.
So add some canned hash, chili, ravioli, stews, etc. to your pantry.  I recommend,  that you plan a day’s worth of emergency food and store them altogether in a gallon sized ziplock bag and label them and set them in your panty.

Also make sure to have powdered milk and canned gravy. Canned gravy sure can make a lot of dry ingredients like rice and potatoes taste a lot better! Don’t underestimate the power of canned gravy for  your mental health!

Cooking oil: During world war II cooking oil was in such demand that  you could trade a quart of it for a ton of other foods and supplies! Without it you are forced to boil just about everything. Store some cooking oils and shortening cans away. You will not regret it!

5) Ice: Besides fuel, the next thing to disappear like in a matter of seconds at every store in town after a disaster is ice. If at all possible store some bags of ice in a deep freeze. If you don’t have a large separate freezer, try to store a few gallon sized freezer bags with extra ice and also identify the closest convenience store to you and keep some reserved cash on hand to run as quickly as you can to get some. It will help keep your food in your fridge or in my husbands case his diabetic insulin cold.

6) Non electric gadgets: Hand crank can openers, hand crank rechargers for phones (as well as car chargers for phones) and hand crank flashlights and radios, even duct tape to seal windows. along with a tarp, to duct tape and close off rooms  can help retain heat in the winter. Since we lost power in August in the south, the heat and humidity was awful! Being too hot makes you sooooo cranky!!!!!  Especially if you don’t have a generator, invest now in a few battery operated fans. In the camping section of the store their should be some that are small but stand alone so you can set them by your bed, etc. Also a heat source such as a propane heater  for winter, may be on clearance now that winter’s over. Seriously buy them this week. The peace of mind is priceless.

7)Communication With Family:  Prepare an emergency message command center out of state if possible.  When an earthquake hit (yes it was minor, thankfully) local cell phone towers were so jammed with calls that no one could reach their loved ones to check on each other. I couldn’t reach my husband or my youngest child in high school.  I found it much easier to reach my two oldest children who lived across the country.Often times long distance calls work better than local ones during an emergency.   So, decide on a common friend or family member, preferably out of state that can be your message relay center. Program that number into  your children, spouses, parents, etc phones.( put them on the schools emergency contact list on the child’s records)  whom everyone has the number to and can leave a message on how they are and where they are.

8) Umm…T.P… It’s miserable to run out!
More precious than gold maybe in an extended emergency is toilet paper. You could  not possibly store too much of this (or fuel, water ,or food).  You may need to share some with neighbors. Oh, and stash some extra feminine supplies, diapers, wipes, etc. specifically put these in a closet for an emergency.

9)  Misc. Necessities: Hygiene: tooth paste,  soaps, etc.,deodorant,  hand sanitizer. Grab some extra’s nothing makes you feel more human than feeling clean.
Other: Cash! When power outages hit for an extended period you can’t run to the bank or ATM’S! For heaven’s sake even though times are tight, next time the store clerk asks you if you need extra cash when you use your card, say yes and tuck a twenty dollar bill away for emergencies.  Start a small fund  no matter how small. Even a dollar a week is better than no cash at all when you need it! Do it!

10) Fun Activities The longest week of my teenagers life was without any electricty for his entertainment. Pick up some, games: Like uno cards, battleship,etc, books (especially ones that take you to another place like fantasy, mystery, etc.), simple crafts (playdoh etc) and put them away, so they are new and fun during an extended power outtage.


August 17, 2012

All roads lead to adventure on the Nehalem River

A campground set amid an old-growth forest of Douglas fir, cedar, spruce and hemlock awaits visitors who make their way to a beautiful location in the Tillamook State Forest, about 10 miles inland from Manzanita on the Oregon coast.

Main attraction: The Nehalem River Road , mostly paved but gravel in places, follows its namesake’s curves as the river flows through the Coast Range to empty in Nehalem Bay . The Nehalem Falls campground has 14 drive-in campsites, not a lot for a summer weekend but usually enough for other days. Campers who can’t find a spot head north on the river road to Clatsop County ‘s Spruce Run Park , or pitch a tent in an undeveloped site along the river.

Trails/users: Nehalem Falls campground has one mile of trail that loops through the old trees, never far from the river’s beautiful pools. For more hiking, look for the parking area at the Salmonberry River, eight miles north of the campground. Hikers can walk the lightly used railroad tracks upriver into one of the wilder parts of the Coast Range. Be cautious because freight and excursion trains occasionally use the tracks.

Season: Nehalem River Road is open all year. Busiest times are whenever the salmon and steelhead are running. Hot summer days bring out swimmers, while the golden leaves of fall have their own beauty. The campground is open May 1 through September.

Getting there: Nehalem River Road connects U.S. 26 near Elsie with U.S. 101 near Mohler. Finding the north entrance is a bit tricky when hurrying along at 55 mph. The turnoff is in the Coast Range , east of Oregon 53 (the cutoff highway between U.S. 26 and Manzanita).

When driving west from Portland , look for the Nehalem River Road ‘s north entrance at milepost 20.4, about 55 miles west of the city. When driving east from Seaside , the turnoff comes at milepost 19.8. Due to sharp curves and limited visibility, each traveling direction has its own approach. If you miss the turn when heading west (it comes up very fast), continue driving west one mile to the Elsie restaurant, then turn around.

Mileposts are measured from the U.S. 26-U.S. 101 junction at the coast.

Nehalem Falls campground is 20 miles south of U.S. 26.

To reach the southern end of the Nehalem River Road , drive north on U.S. 101 from Wheeler for a half mile. Turn right on Oregon 53 toward Mohler. At 1.3 miles from U.S. 101, turn right, drive 0.9 miles, then turn left on Foss Road . Nehalem Falls campground is seven miles north.

Trail tips: Anyone who plans to spend much time in the Tillamook State Forest should have a copy of the Tillamook State Forest Visitor Map and Guide, along with the book “50 Hikes in the Tillamook State Forest ” by the Sierra Club.

Cost: Day recreation is free in the Tillamook State Forest . The map sells for $6 from the Oregon Department of Forestry, the book for $14.95 (plus shipping) from the Columbia Chapter of the Sierra Club. Camping is $10 per night.

Information: Oregon Department of Forestry, Forest Grove, 503-357-2191, or http://www.odf.state.or.us

Exploring Ghost Towns and Mining Camps…

I have never had the chance to do so yet, but I have always wanted to visit Ghost Towns and old mining camps.

This post is started to serve as a platform to connect any and all articles that I write and post concerning exploring and discovering ghost towns and mining camps and maybe a little about learning to pan for gold!

Open Letter to Teen-ager

Filed under: Christianity,Family,Kids,Survival,Tools and Projects — rmay4 @ 7:38 am

This has been around since the 60’s but it still remains mostly true.

Judge Gilliam’s letter to the Pierce County Tribune:

Open Letter to Teen-ager

Always we hear the plaintive cry of the teen-ager. What can we do?…Were can we go?
The answer is GO HOME!
Hang the storm windows, paint the woodwork. Rake the leaves, mow the lawn, shovel the walk. Wash the car, learn to cook, scrub some floors. Repair the sink, build a boat, get a job.
Help the minister, priest, or rabbi, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army. Visit the sick, assist the poor, study your lessons. And then when you are through – and not too tired – read a book.
Your parents do not owe you entertainment. Your city or village does not owe you recreational facilities.
The world does not owe you a living…You owe the world something.
You owe it your time and your energy and your talents so that no one will be at war or in poverty or sick or lonely again.
Grow up; quit being a crybaby. Get out of your dream world and develop a backbone, not a wishbone, and start acting like a man or a lady.
You’re supposed to be mature enough to accept some of the responsibility your parents have carried for years.
They have nursed, protected, helped, appealed, begged, excused, tolerated and denied themselves needed comforts so that you could have every benefit. This they have done gladly, for you are their dearest treasure.
But now, you have no right to expect them to bow to every whim and fancy just because selfish ego instead of common sense dominates your personality, thinking and request.
In Heaven’s name, grow up and go home!

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