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Surviving the Coronavirus: Get Offline While Staying In Touch

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Coronavirus (a.k.a. COVID-19).  You may not be sick but its effecting your life.  You can’t go out to dinner.  You can’t go see a movie.  You have to work from home online.  Your kids are at home playing MMO games and talking on Instagram.

What does most of this have common?  They use the Internet.  BTW: thanks for stopping by. Did you know that they Internet is a finite resource?

Everyone in your neighborhood are probable using the same cable company for their Internet.  So right now more and more people that are staying are pulling from same online pipe to watch Netflix and Disney+.  Things are going to keep slowing down as this tragedy keeps going into July or August. So how do you stay in touch when you have trouble streaming?

Glad you asked.  Here are a few suggestions:

Dig out the Old Radio

Most radios can pick up 20-40 FM stations and 40-100 AM stations in my area.  FM usually sound great and a lot of variety.  I’ve picked up AM stations over 200 miles away.  Plus if you lose power you can keep in contact with what is going on around.

Buy a TV Antenna

Did you don’t need cable or a Smart TV to watch TV?  You can pick up a flat TV Antenna for around $15-20 from Walmart. With those you can pick about 20 channels in most areas.  Locally I get a science fiction, weather, and crime channel along with the usual classic channels.  After you screw in the antenna TV you’ll have go into the TV’s settings and search for new channels.

10-4 Good Buddy

CB, or Citizen Band radio, is a method of two-way communication that can let you talk easily for miles and miles.  At least 5 miles in most places. You don’t need a special license to use CB. A basic setup from Walmart costs about $35. With the cheap CB’s  you get 40 channels to find someone to chat with.

Nice CB sold online or at a truck stop have something called Single Side Band (SSB). That gives you at least another 80 channels that go farther the the standard channels and sound better.

Mobile CB’s (ones you use in your car or truck) are cheaper then base stations (one that sit on a desk) but mobiles don’t get as far and require accessory plug.  What we use to call cigarette plugs. Most people are nice. But since anyone can use CB’s there are jerks out there. Of course it’s not much different then being on the Internet.

BTW: NEVER USE A CB WITHOUT AN ANTENNA.  That’s the fastest way to may your new CB into a brick.

The Walkie and the Talkie

You can pick up a pair of walkie talkies for $10 to $100.  The $10 – $15 walkie talkies can be found at your local Dollar General.  They sometimes will go further then the $100 ones.  Unless you buy recharable batteries you will be using a lot of batteries.  Also the cheap walkie takies work on only 1 channel.

FRS and GRMS walkie talkies give you great sound quality and 24 channels.  They sometimes don’t have the best range or a rechargeable batteries.  You get what you pay for.  If you buy a GRMS license you can get a lot more power and at least quadruple your range.

You can buy another kind of radio: MURS.  You wonder what kind of radios the servers at McDonalds and Arby’s use to take your order?  Its usually using a MURS radio.  The radio has a great range and great sound clarity. License free ones start around $20. The high powered that requires a licence are about $100 for a single radio but can get 25 miles easily.

BTW: NEVER USE A MURS RADIO WITHOUT AN ANTENNA.  That’s also the fastest way to make your new MURS radio into a brick.

No link are affiliate link.  I just did look ups and I copy and pasted them.