Prepping: What’s a “Survival Radio?”

Damn-fine question, that.  By the end of today’s column, you may have evolved an opinion and along the path, you’ll learn about an obscure American radio company that even most hams don’t know about.

But let’s tackle the question, first.  It’s entirely contextual.  What I mean by that is on a submarine, the “survival radio” might be the shipboard VLF.  In a desert or mountain fire-fight, it be the squad satcoms.  In a fire or disaster recovery setting, it could be the under-$50 2-meter radios that every prepping site on the planetentiary has offered for sale.

Yet another?  Oh, what about all those HF single sideband marine radios I’ve installed or worked on over the years?

Fortunately, for reg-lar ‘Mericans the definition is considerably easier: What’s the distance desired and what are the operating limitations.

Let’s start with the simple bug-out radio.  Imagine you’re in the L.A. area and things have gotten ugly due to an attack on critical infrastructure.  SoCal two exposed soft-spots:  water supplies and power transmission.

You get wind of something, perhaps by listening to something you overheard or read having set up a home intelligence platform.  This is where you use Google News alerts and route them to your email.  Once it hits your computer, you’ve got some clever routing rules and you noticed what could be “bad news advancing quickly” and decide to head up the hill to hang out with friends in Phoenix.


You get in the car.  Just as you’re climbing the 10 eastbound up the long hill from Indio/Thermal, the AM all news station drops to less audible.  Oh-oh:  the regular power is gone and they are on backup power and not running their normal full 50 kilowatts.  Down to 5 or 10 kW, based on your finely calibrated AM monitoring ears…

You decide to call the folks in Phoenix and tell them “We’re out and on our way ahead of the human tide…”  Except, when you go to dial them on the cell phone, how do you get them?  The attack – whatever it was – seems to have hit all the cell tower routers.

You eye the two radios in your vehicle:  One is a used 2-meter ham radio, but you wonder if it will make it to Phoenix by linking repeaters?  You’ve never done that,. but it might work.

The other option is to simply turn on the 40-meter mobile radio which would likely be the radio of choice for such an adventure.

40-meters offers decent range in the daytime, and if the people you’re bugging-to happen to be hams with a 40-meter antenna,…you would likely get them.

IF you had a pre-arranged frequency.

Prepper sites get breathlessly whipped up over how cool this little handheld is and how it has a blinking light so you can find it at night.  But, when push come to it, do you even know how to program the damn thing?

Many hams don’t.  They buy “programming software” and shove in a bunch of frequencies that work around home base and that’s it.  I mean seriously, if you live in Seattle and your bug-out destination was Spokane (or North Dakota), where’s the comms plan for that?

Odds are 99.95 there isn’t a plan.

Take our own family:  We have two ham radio relatives/close friends in the Seattle area.  BOTH of them know that in the event of an actual emergency, either in Texas or a tsunami rinses Seattle, that we’ll all be hitting the Maritime Mobile Services net on 14.300 at the top, :15, :30, and :45 minutes past each hour.

That may sound “loosey-goosey” but think about the signal path:  From our airport to the one we’ve landed at at Gig Harbor, WA, it’s about 1,900 miles.  The only band where you’d have a chance would be 20-meters until you’re down to the final 200-miles, or so.

Write this down and memorize it:  Having a radio isn’t a solution unless you have invested in operating plans that include times or day, path lengths, modes, and frequencies.

In order, then:

An Operating Plan says “We are planning to travel from Texas to Payson, AZ at starting date X with time Y.”

This means we can estimate what kind of range would be needed for every step of the trip to have about a  50-50 chance of getting through.

Starting out, you might begin on the 20-meter band – during the day – as the band is not always “open” out west.  We are in the dregs of the solar cycle and judging by the latest solar weather progression studies, we could have crap radio conditions for another five year.  Or longer!.

The easiest way to build your comms plan is to begin from “sky wave” propagation (like 20 meters or 14. Mhz) and then move to NVIS or ground wave (40 meters) when closer, then NVIS (80 meters) and ultimately 2 meter of 440 MHz line-of sight.

Problem solved?

No.  In fact, we’re only skimming the surface.

If the XYL (wife or S.O.) hasn’t let you put a big ugly HF radio antenna on the family car, there is a useful back-up option in the form of a trailer hitch radio mount.  Less than $100 bucks.

Use a good LMR-type coax and in possible, set things up so the radio can be fed with an automatic remote antenna tuner.  LDG and SGC make good agnostic (brand-independent) units.  Of all of the partisans, I happen to like the Icom AH-3 and AH-4 but then again, my Bug-out HF is an Icom 725.

The BEST HF mobile installations use a remote coupler (AH-4 or SG-230) and have only a strand of solid core ignition wire going from the tune to the antenna.  Coming out of a tuner or coupler just causes lost efficiency.  Quick:  How much capacitance per foot of coax?

RG-8 is around 29.6 pF per foot.  When you are transfering power and the line is flat (meaning a very low standing wave ratio (swr) the capacitance is not a terribly big deal.  But, as the line departs from its design impedance, and the SWR increases, then capacitance losses increase.

It can also screw up a tuner.  Can’t tell you how many “Antenna tuner won’t work” problems I fixed by simply taking the braid off the output side and exposing insulated wire for the final foot or so from the tuner to antenna base…

What about Tube Versus Solid-state Radios?

There.  You would have to ask.

Some prepping sites opine that ONLY tube type gear is worth a damn because a) it works using high voltages so (rather logically) it would be more resistance to certain threats like EMP.

That’s true but a wholly incomplete answer.

Most tube type radios require 110 VAC (regular power power) to run. This is something that many people don’t really think through:  Yes, the radio may work, but will the power?

“Tube type equipment is easier to work on, Ure.  You’s said so yourself!”

Well, yes, it is easier IF you have 55-years experience.

The fact of the matter is – even with the lights on and the Internet up – tube-type gear can still be a cranky bitch on a bad day to work on.

When you see this:

You need to know how to find the broken part is this one on a schematic.

Oh-oh.  You DO have the schematic printed off from the now non-existent Internet we’re prepping for, right?

And you need to test tubes to make sure they are not at fault.  So I’m going into the Prepper Hereafter with one of these…

Yes, a tube tester. Seen a lot of gear in my life.  Still haven’t seen a 12 volt tube tester that’s worth a damn, though.

And spare tubes for every one in your “EMP proof radio”, are in your kit right?


And that’s ONLY the Tubes.  Now, you have resistors (40 common values but 4 wattages   (you can usually cobble up something with 1, 5, 10, and 25 watt resistors but that’s a pile of dough to have laying around in parts!)- so 160 types – and meters to make sure you didn’t screw up remembering all those color bands on components actually give you their value (and tolerance).

THEN you need a butt-load of capacitors.  On the solid-state gear, 25 and 35 volt caps are de rigor.   On hybrid gear (some of which is great like the FT-101 Yaesu’s) you will still have high voltage caps in the power supply because they use three tubes for transmit.  These radios were built in the transistor-tube crossover period.

On the other hand, replacing surface mount components requires eyes that I don’t have anymore.  And hot air rework soldering station is nice, but now we’re back to that damn power problem again.  Try finding a soldering station or hot6 air rework station that runs on 12 VDC.

Something as stupidly simple as a Bristol wrench to deal with set-screws on Hallicrafters front panel knobs can keep a radio down for however long it takes.  Prying knobs off without the right tool can damage more parts and now you’re into what?  Yes, very good:  Cascading Failures mode.

I’m not trying to scare you off.  Ham radio is a grand hobby.  But the best radio to prep with?  Is the one that works, will handle the path and modes you need,

And the one that comes out at least quarterly and is used for point to point comms testing.  Because if you don’t have the operating skills, you can have the some of the finest tube type gear in the world –a Collins 75-3C-based S-Line or a highly sought-after Cosmophone!

Wait!  you don’t know what a Cosmophone is????  Pour a second cup and enjoy some grand American technical history at this Youtube video…

Since I’ve now revealed that yes, I know what a Cosmophone is, you’re part of a very elite group.  Most ham radio operators have never heard of it.

Would it be as good as a Hallicrafters or Collins radio?  Go to church this weekend and pray we never find out.

Write when you get rich…

21 thoughts on “Prepping: What’s a “Survival Radio?””

  1. Very disappointing PT fireside chat last night. PT needs to go on the offensive & not talk gibberish. I hope at the meeting today, PT shows some gumption & declares a national security emergency & builds a wall. PT is letting the Dems walk all over him.

      • Amen!
        This ain’t no party…
        This ain’t no disco….
        This ain’t no foolin’ around!

    • I have to say.. I Missed it.. it was on the same time as the curse of Oak Island and I had to decide which was more important. me sit down and actually watch a program or listen to something I already have a conviction about..

      I like the wall as a symbol..

      I Personally think we should pull out of all these useless conflicts that are only staged so someone else can gain wealth power and steal their natural resources.. and use the money we save blowing stuff up to rebuild our infrastructure, create jobs. Use some of the money we save from the Military’s inflated budget and use the funds saved to secure our borders and rebuild our infrastructure.. then go after the people hiring them and housing illegal immigrants.. fine them then seize their assets and not just the joker sitting behind the desk taking orders to hire them go to the top. fine the companies hiring them first then if they persist seize their assets until they stop.
      we live in an age where we can touch anyone at any point anywhere in the world. for us to go blow someones home off the face of the earth then act like a nice guy and go back and rebuild it all on the backs of the middle class is pointless use the money to secure our borders.

      I would vote for him for president.
      Its all a business model..

    • The media is trying to frame the issue in a narrow and negative light.

      Note that Minnesota’s new Governor Walz, Attorney General, and Speaker of the House do not support the following. They want Minnesota to be a sanctuary state and not distinguish between citizens and non-citizens in almost every respect. Local media do not mention that fact.

      Practically everything the media offers appears to deliberately miss the more important points. The overarching matter is the numbers, immigration law enforcement, jobs, and the environment. NONE of this is being reported.

      Of course, President Trump makes it easy with his inability to fully articulate the situation.

      Our media, with Trump’s surprising assistance, tries to frame it all as limited to the one ore two really bad people sneaking across the border and those oh so poor and helpless children forced to illegally cross our border. Ergo, President Trump is heartless and not telling the whole truth.

      But there is so much more to it that the media refuses to acknowledge. They fail to discuss practically everything of consequence!

      Of course it starts with Schumer / Pelosi saying its the President who is holding the nation hostage. Nonsense! Had the open borders groups been honest we would have immigration law enforcement and responsible immigration.

      The reporting should have said something about the years or decades of DFL refusal to accept anything but their “comprehensive immigration reform”. That is wordsmithing for open borders and mass amnesty.

      Grievous errors of omission.

      Had the reporting been or be, less biased and deceptive it would have included the following sixteen following practices. It appears fifteen of the items went missing in media reporting (and much of the President’s inarticulate speech!)

      1. Immediately implement a 10-year immigration moratorium stopping all in-migration from all sources.

      2. After the moratorium set total in-migration from all sources to no more than 150,000 per year.

      3. The overarching immigration issue is resources and environmental sustainability. What is a sustainable population level for the U.S. and what is immigration’s role in achieving it?

      4. The Trump position, narrowly, is to secure the border and improve border enforcement. It means the construction of a wall, merely 230 miles of the 1700 miles without any but natural barriers, preferably steel slotted walls, in high traffic areas. Stop anyone from stepping foot on U.S. soil without a visa.

      As he previously said, it also implies hiring 1,000s of border agents and interior enforcement offices. He mentioned a much skimmed down number and you wouldn’t report it.

      5. Prior to any admission, a thorough background check and interview be made prior to issuing a visa before admittance into the country. Screening must be expanded to include Mexicans and Canadians.

      6. No amnesty or “path to citizenship” for any illegal alien.

      7. Stop chain migration, the endless chains of foreigners allowed to come because other residents before them are allowed to sponsor their non-nuclear family members. Limit this “family reunification” to wives or husbands and their children. Remember, it’s all included in the 150,000 total legal and illegal immigration.

      8. End the practice of birthright citizenship for illegal aliens, those on temporary visas, refugees, and foreign visitors. If they come on a temporary visa, they first must agree that any, “birthright citizenship” children are not citizens and chain migration does not apply.

      9. Implement and fully fund a visa tracking system for student, employment, etc., visas to stop visa overstayers. Include a biometric entry/exit system to monitor all those here on visas. An exit-recording system is essential. Schools, employers, et al, be held accountable for overstayers.

      All legal immigrants should be required to carry U.S. government issued identification document. Changing the laws to provide for information-sharing. E-Verify must be used for all employees to insure overstayers are not in the labor market.

      10. Make E-Verify mandatory for all U.S. employers to eliminate the jobs magnet; i.e., to deny illegal aliens a job. Requiring employers to verify the status of workers. Mandatory continuing workplace verification of immigration status.

      The IRS has the IDs of most illegal aliens, and issues tax refunds and tax credits to illegal aliens. Measures to curb misuse of Social Security numbers and IRS identification numbers must be implemented and also apply to credit cards, bank accounts, and other financial transactions.

      11. On an employment visa, they must return to their homeland and re-apply. Cut H1-b visas by 75%. Require any candidate to return to their homeland to re-register and be approved prior to re-entering the U.S. Enforce labor laws. And only if there is no competing American citizen can the visa be accepted, and then only annually.

      12. Restore the definition of a “refugee” to the traditional definition of those individuals in immediate danger of death for political beliefs and must soon be returned to their own country in any event. Deny immigrant and non-immigrant visas to nations that refuse to repatriate their citizens.

      13. Require state and local law enforcement to report all non-citizens in custody to ICE, make ICE detainers mandatory, and require ICE to pick up and remove deportable aliens. Authorize and encourage state and local law enforcement agencies to use the 287(g) program. End catch-and-release of illegal aliens by requiring that they be detained until removal.

      14. Sanctuary policies are illegal under Federal law therefore, deny state funding to municipalities that refuse to cooperate with the INS. Similarly, are driver’s licenses, in-state tuition, health care, etc., intended for citizens.

      15. Eliminate the Diversity Visa Program, the “Visa Lottery” intended to increase immigration from countries with low immigration to the U.S.

      16. Allow the border patrol access to all federal lands.


      • Thank you, Dell. It really is a fixable problem. The problem is, though, that this is a deliberate agenda driven problem, made complex by our bought off politicians tap dancing to the globalist agenda. Look up Agenda 2030 and other planned policies to destroy our country. Americans have been lulled by a bought and paid for globalist press which has lied to them and misled them and left out ALL the important details of this illegal alien immigration invasion, so they cannot make ‘informed’ decisions just emotional ones. What has happened AND is happening to America is no different than Merkel opening up the EU to criminals and invaders. That itself lets anyone with a BRAIN to understand this is a world-wide cabal directed invasion. What can Americans do? Too many Americans think that it doesn’t affect them because it isn’t coming directly out of their pockets. BUT, it is DEBT laden on their and their children’s backs. Our government has borrowed BILLIONS of dollars a year to fund this invasion into our country. Our government NO LONGER represents the American CITIZEN. This is a very sad day for our country – just watching the 2 – Shumer and Pelosi, 30 plus year caricatures for America, lie through their teeth was a shock to the system of any thinking American. THEY are on video, all these years back, lying to all of us of what they claimed they wanted for America – SECURE borders, and they never did anything to get it! They are bait and switchers, and they are lying again, they won’t do one thing! We have seen our congress pass funding for the VA and then NEVER build the clinics and hospitals! We have watched our congress CLAIM they will secure our borders, fund some of it, and then NOT fund it all, under Bush. We have watched our leaders sell the American CITIZEN out! We are being invaded it is affecting all aspects our lives: schools – preschool through college, hospitals, jobs, safety, jails, housing, banking, taxes, government benefits, you name it, this invasion is costing BILLIONS, on the backs of the American citizen!!! The IRS is NOT a government organization just like the Federal Reserve IS NOT so they don’t CARE if they give away 5 BILLION dollars a year to the illegal alien!!! They know they are doing it, and they don’t stop it! IT IS INFURIATING that there is NOT ONE CONGRESSPERSON STICKING UP FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS!!!

      • “Of course, President Trump makes it easy with his inability to fully articulate the situation.”

        I seriously don’t think it is with his inability to articulate the situation. I see DJT as an extremely attentive person. I have the same problems at times with my family. I see things and figure it is so obvious how could they not know. This gets me in trouble at home all the time..It is similar to how he spots subliminal’s on mainstream media.. whether or not he realizes that is what irritates him or not he is quick enough that he knows there is something there that just rubs him wrong.
        I think he views This problem as serious enough and right in your face with it that he see’s it as so obvious that who could not see it for what it is.
        what gets me is MSM is painting it in a completely different light to get public sentiments. instead of a mass of illegal aliens trying to force themselves across the border and right in your face saying its your responsibility and you need to take care of us completely like it or not.. the MSM is painting it in the the wheres your humanity..which in my opinion this situation has absolutely nothing to do with our humanity at all but more with repelling an army from our border.

        I think its only a shell game being played by some pretty powerful people.. the question I have is.. if they want our attention there what is going on someplace else..

  2. Other good bug-out HF rigs. Yaesu FT-840, Icom IC-718, and Kenwood TS-50. The TS-50 is quite small, about the size of a typical VHF mobile. Stick to 100-watt class HF rigs. Survival comms is no place to fuss with QRP. Many other good choices exist.

    Probably best to eschew rigs with lots of sophisticated features, These features often don’t contribute much to actual operations. Bite the bullet and put a good, old-fashioned, police-style “ball mount” on the body of the car — yes, you have to drill holes; but nothing matches it for strength, electrical stability, and effectiveness. “Hustler” brand masts and loading coils (resonators) are about the very most efficient brand of HF mobile antennas.
    They are not very broadband, and can be fussy, but nothing mobile out-performs them.
    Look at for dozens of other choices for small HF mobile rigs — all will run from 12 volts. Stick to Big-Shot, well-known brand names. “Quality” can save your butt.

    Ideally, have an HF rig and a 2-meter rig in the car, and a couple of small “shirt-pocket” VHF Handle-Talkers for “excursions” away from the vee-HIC-cle when one member of your merry refugee band needs to water the bushes or do some other recon job.

  3. “Let’s start with the simple bug-out radio”

    listening.. or speaking……

    most cb radio’s are short range..and if there is a lot of structures in the way even shorter. In a true SHTF scenario and communication systems are down you might discover that it is just added weight..(although.. I am digressing here LOL I use to work for one of the laziest guys in the world..he would always grab one as he left for lunch and say if you need anything just call me he did that because he knew no one could call him because of the range and by company rules he had to be accessible.. so I made an antenna that I could attach to one of the units to extend my range and climb on top of the building get up to the cupola aim it in the direction he lived and then call him at home to ask him questions LOL ).. unless your out hunting for supplies or out on a walk about.. do you really want to use it for anything other than listening.. I have a listening one that I can scan channels to see what is going on in the world and a set I think it says thirty mile range ( if the grand kids will let me use them) in case we go out walking then I can call home and tell the little lady where I am.. short range better than a cell phone..
    My thought is in a true SHTF scenario the average person just doesn’t have them and who is listening on the other side.. and would they be out looking for stuff to.. triangulate your position via your transmissions and take what you have.

  4. You must have seen the picture I sent you yesterday regarding the closeout sale of racks of old vacuum tubes, engineering parts and equipment at HSC Electronic Supply. You would have loved this place! Was the only large scale engineering supply warehouse left in Silicone Valley. They carried everything from R&D supplies, test equipment and components. I was there stocking up along with many other gray haired engineers. Everyone was talking about the end of an era. Looks like computer programs have replaced hands on engineering.


  5. the perfect piece of equipment to have is a time machine.,.,.,
    just think ,,you could go back in time far enough to get to your destination without any problems ,,,
    yep that would be my first prepper item.
    2nd would probably be some lsd or mescaline or just a 15 pack of beer,
    3rd oh did i mention the bouncy blonde,
    4th ______________________________ you fill in the blank ,

  6. If you have a tube set and if getting 110V supply voltage during an emergency is a problem, but do have a 12VDC battery, there is an interesting solution.

    When in high school, the vibrator in the car radio went U/S and a replacement cost $4.95. A huge sum in those days considering minimum wage was 75 cents/hour. Dropped in to a local surplus store and for 50 cents bought an ARC-5 dynamotor. Input was 28VDC. Did not run so well on 12VDC, took it apart and while examining the commutator found it was a series connection. Basically a wire circle from one commutator contact to another. I split apart the commutator connections to end up with 2 wire circuits where 12VDC power was supplied alternately from 1 circuit to another as the dynamotor operated. Modified power to field coils where B+ output was around 235 VDC. It replaced the synchronous vibrator with B+ transformer. This worked for many years until the junk man took ownership of the car with radio. Would have been nice to keep the radio as a momento, however, didn’t think of it in those terms as a teenager.

    A lot of mil equipment can easily be re-purposed for emergency operation. Has high reliability with mil-spec components, a gold standard at the time. Not sure what it is today. Must say though, mil electronic surplus stores are getting scare today, yet for reliability, and emergency use, re-purposed mil equipment in my opinion would be the best emergency equipment to have on hand. After all, it has been battle tested. How much equipment today can say the same?

  7. Wow.. It isn’t a secret that o detest insurance companies..
    But you have to have it. .
    I have been with the same company for over thirty years.. Average amount I pay in for home and cars about ten grand a year.
    No tickets or claims ..well I have to do major cutting off the budget so I went shopping. I can get the same coverage I have and have what they took off with the renuall and save three grand a year.. If I go with the insurance exchange that ec suggested I can make almost fifteen grand a year cut right there off of what I’m kicking out.

  8. as the aliens say …we have been here for trillions of years and we have never found this thing you call GOD.
    the only thing that could be called a GOD is extraterrestrials .
    and we have technology trillions of years in advance of yours ,so when we appear .you worship us .

    there are trillions of galaxies , YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

    there are so many dimensions that you wamble trying to understand.
    We control the universe
    We control what you see,feel,hear,prophesied,
    what happens when you put in a request, we have the ability to fulfill an deliver a request,knowing that each request puts you in another dimensional timeline,,

    when you allow yourself to feel the best and or the worst that you can imagine, you shift the spaghetti lines of mythology

  9. G, no mention of/about “Radarlove”? Been ruminating on this survival radio/comms thing and “Radarlove” seems to be only fail safe comms. for when TEOTWAWKI comes a calling.

    “theres a voice in my head thats driving my heel,
    its my baby calling saying “I need You Here..don’t need no letter at all..we got a line in the sky..she sends a cable from above”

    Golden Earring was on to something.
    All as U gotz to do is bring some Light into your Pineal Gland to fire up the internal radio, then start imagining in pictures what you R thinking..easy peasy lemon squeasy.
    Of course imagining/bringing that light into a gland in middle, base of the brain takes some doing…thats what Practice is for..just like cultivating Virtue in our lives..
    The Ferryman on the river Styx don’t take no gold or silver – what do you have in your afterlife bank account ? or didn’t U know such a thing existed? just like Radar Love..what the mind can conceive..

  10. …Got the tubes, the resistors, the capysitters, the 12v soldering station (it sucks, BTW. If you think it takes a long time for a Weller or Wahl to heat up, ya ain’t seen nuthin’!) I also have a 6 volt vibrator in case I ever need 110VAC in the Jeep (run the numbers — the draw is ridiculous, and probably as much a consideration during WW-II for brief transmit times as the possibility that Axis intel would triangulate OP and command locations…)

    Personally, although I have, and love the boatanchors, if I have to bug out, I’ve a brace of Icom HTs that’re preconfigged, and I’m going to rely on them, my Yaesu mobiles, and the TS-590 if at all possible. There’s a reason the gummint STILL has warehouses full of Collins R-390As. There is also a reason they remain warehoused, until needed…

    In an emergency, a hex or Torx wrench can be made to work in a Bristol Spline screw — It’d better be an emergency, though. I hate replacing buggered screws, and only have a precious few extra Bristol Spline set screws…

    Over the years I’ve considered most things, but not so scheduled DX from my perspective. My planning is that I would always be near the shack — you showed me my deficiency… Thanks!

  11. George, If I strip off the insulation and braid from the coax for the last foot or so between the Antenna Tuner and the Antenna then does that exposed wire not become part of the radiant element and there for by extended length of the radiant element again change the SWR??

    • Many hams are confused on this concept so let me nail it down for you as I did when I rewrote the SG-230 manual when I was at that radio mfgr in Bellevue.
      An antenna TUNER is a devices which is generally locaqted at the radio location. It’s purpose is to present a radio with a tolerable SWR. The Internet units to HF radios are “tuners” and they do not change the SWR of the feedline to the (radiator) Antenna.
      On the other hand, and ANTENNA COUPLER is located at the antenna feed point, or as close as you can physically get it.
      The purpose of the COUPLER is to make sure that the transmitter is not just looking at a low SWR at the radio location, but also along the length (whatever it is) of the Feedline, which is usually 50-75 ohms with 50 vastly predominating.
      Now, if you are just trying to keep a local raqdio from “folding back” power output to save the final amplifiers from perdition (due to excessive heat, generated when a 50 ohm output is mismatched) then an antenna TUNER is fine.
      On the other hand, if you are “remote mounting” a “tuner” then the objective is to flatten out as much of the line as possible.
      On the OUTPUT side of a device used in the COUPLER configuraqtion, you will typically be feeding an antenna that may present impedances in the 20-2,000 ohm range.
      Now wqe begin to see how the 29 PF per foot of capacitance, typical in RG-213/RG-8/LMR-400 (with some minor variances) will shunt power that would otherwise go to the antenna into the ground/counterpoise of the system.
      It would be a (boring) Smith chart discussion, but if you ARE putting a “tuner” in, then you will habve the best possible results by mounting it so that the output is as short as possible, typically, 16-inches, or less.
      With a short wire lead, although there will be some radiative loss into nearby items, as long as you’re diligent about keeping the feedline (solid HV ignition wire used by hot rodders is great stuff for this, or strip the outer insulation and the braid off a suitable piece of RG8 or 213 – but leave the insulation and the center conductor intact and use that if you don’t want to run to the NAPA auto parts store) 5-6 inches from metal, then you should see (at the feedpoint, which would be the tuner/coupler outpuit post) lower capacitance than if you leave ANY outer braid attached.
      Sorry for the long/detailed answer, but most hams have no idea how antenna “tuners” and “couplers” work.
      There was a interesting legal tussle that involved the SG-230 and the SEA Electronics-1612 COUPLER (going fromn memory here). As I recall, the 230 maker was alleged to have “borrowed” design concepts from the SEA product… How2ever, because the PNW fishing industry was in decline SEA went on to attempt 220 MHz SSB radio project for one of the big delivery outfits – UPS I seem to remember) for commercial apps and that led the company down the road to ruin and cell phones and satellites were much better choices..;.
      A reconstituted SEA COM CORP Model 1612DC was attempted, but by this point, SGC ghad locked up the market.
      Later, along came LDG which is the present challenger along with the “rice box maqker’s” brand-specific products, such as iCOM’s AH-4 series.
      Following this, SEA MAY HAVE BEEN acquired, by Datamarine and I think it’s the34 same outfit that trades “IN THE PINKS”. but I can’t swear to an6y of this. Trying to piece the company data back is not fun…

      (Sorry you asked?)

  12. anything to grow the size and power of the Federal Government is the PLAN…we the people are not any way shape or form of that PLAN….except just one…workers that pay taxes…others are the users and takers…that vote for the ‘hand outs’ and keep the scumbag ,corrupt, lying, politicians in office…
    solution to illegal migration to the USA with out a wall

    ALL the rounded up and arrested persons that ICE release back into the interior of this country..MUST be put into SHUMER,PELOSI,MC CONNEL,RYAN,BUSH CLINTON and every other pro immigration TV star politician,s DISTRAIT to house and feed and cloth and educate
    them…when that fills up THEIR districts…then ALL the rest that keep coming are to be housed on the DC MALL in barracks and keep in DC till……..FORE EVER…imo

  13. My vehicle radio system is a Yaesu FT-857D, LDG tuner, with 6/10/20/40/80 meter Hamsticks on a mag mount. This system works well for me, plus the 857 is a all band, all mode radio.

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