Category: SHTF Preparedness

How To Program The BaoFeng UV-5R

Reliable, water-resistant, compact, feature-packed, very affordable, and a long battery life – the BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio (Amazon link) is a proper two-way Ham or emergency radio. You can even listen to FM broadcast radio during your outdoor trail hike, while still monitoring incoming radio frequencies. Neat, right?

But perhaps the main perk of the BaoFeng UV-5R is its versatility. You can transmit on amateur frequencies, including Wideband (25kHz) and Narrowband (12.5kHz) frequencies. It also boasts of 128 programmable memory channels — allowing you to tweak your device how you want (as long as it’s within legal / licensed limits). Some reviewers have claimed range up to 15 miles with the addition of a compatible Nagoya NA-771 15.6-inch whip antenna (around $20-$25).

But while it is relatively easy to use, programming the device is not all that straightforward for beginners. Whether it is due to a lack of support from manufacturers or poorly elaborated user manuals, programming handheld radios seems to be an eternal challenge for many users. Fortunately, there are BaoFeng UV-5R enthusiasts such as Tin Hat Ranch, who offer helpful resources.

Related: How To Make A Crystal Radio

You generally have two options to program the BaoFeng UV-5R. You can either:

• Make use of the Excellent CHIRP Software: This is an open-source tool available on Windows, Linux, and macOS. It offers a user-friendly interface that allows the seamless programming of a wide range of amateur radios. To program your BaoFeng UV-5R radio using CHIRP, all you need is the software, a USB plug’n play programming cable, and the simplified tutorial (see linked video).

• Programs Channels Manually: Don’t have access to a computer? No worries! You can also manually program your HAM radio on the fly – i.e., direct from the keypad. With this method, you can program a simplex channel or a repeater channel depending on your needs.

Tip: It’s illegal to transmit on certain frequencies unless you have an operator’s license or are in a true emergency situation. The restricted bands vary by locality. Be sure to understand and follow the codes in your region.

How To Program The Baofeng UV-5R
How To Program The BaoFeng UV-5R – Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mzY5vIH718

10 Of The Best Herbal Remedies You Could Possibly Learn About

10 Of The Best Herbal Remedies You Could Possibly Learn AboutImage sources: see foot of page

Since time immemorial, medicinal plants and oils have been known to serve as effective remedies to both minor and major ailments. With the following herbs, your home remedy kit will be will be better stocked than ever before.

1. Great BurdockBurdock has been used by herbalist to treat a variety skin diseases such as abscesses, acne, carbuncles, psoriasis and eczema. The beneficial effects of this herb includes increasing circulation to the skin, helping to detoxify the epidermal tissues.

2. Marsh Mallow – Marsh Mallow was traditionally used for dry coughs and sore throats. Recently, it has been discovered that the plant may be supportive in a variety of digestive complaints, including indigestion, heartburn, stomach ulcers / ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

3. Aloe Vera – Aloe Vera is used to combat skin aging and is a primary remedy for burns. It also participates in the faster healing of wounds, cuts, abrasions and injuries. It’s also obtainable in a juice form and this is considered very valuable for cases of stomach ulcer.

4. Pot Marigold – Only the flower heads of marigolds are used medicinally and they are well known for their wound healing and antiseptic properties. Its anti-bacterial actions combat infection and promote healthy tissue growth and its anti-inflammatory properties reduce swelling and irritation, soothing the treated areas.

5. Gotu KolaGotu kola is used in herbalism for a wide variety of viral, bacterial, or parasitic infectious diseases – such as urinary tract infection, syphilis, shingles, cholera, leprosy, the common cold, dysentery and influenza.

6. Chamomile – Chamomile is used to soothe irritation from chest colds, aid in the faster healing of wounds, eradicate abscesses, lessen gum inflammation and treat various skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, chickenpox, and diaper rash.

7. Chinese Yam – Chinese yam is traditionally used to treat disorders related to the stomach, spleen, lungs, and kidneys. It contains allantoin, a natural compound that can accelerate the growth of healthy tissue and reduce healing time. Victims of scorpion stings and snakebites can be treated with its leaf juices.

8. EchinaceaEchinacea is used by herbalists to fight infections, especially the common cold, flu and other upper respiratory infections. It is also considered valuable against many infections including urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, herpes, tonsillitis, typhoid, malaria, swine flu, warts, and nose and throat infections. Should not be used long term.

9. Great Yellow Gentian – The gentians have been used for centuries as bitters to stimulate the appetite, improve digestion and to treat heartburn, vomiting, stomach ache and diarrhea.

10. Siberian Ginseng – Unlike many herbs with a medicinal use, the Siberian Ginseng is considered more useful for maintaining good health rather than treating ill-health. Research has shown that it stimulates resistance to stress and so it is now widely used as a tonic in times of stress and pressure. Regular use is said to restore ones energy and improve the memory.

Although these herbs are widely available in supplement form, labels on store-bought herbs rarely reveal how plants are raised or how long the ingredients were exposed to light and high temperatures while stored in their plastic containers. The best way to know that the herbal remedies you bought are of top quality is to grow them yourself right in your own garden.

Image Sources:

Great Burdock
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arctium_lappa_bgiu.jpg
Marsh Mallow
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Althaea_officinalis_001.JPG
Aloe Vera
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aloe_Vera.jpg
Pot Marigold
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2006-10-22Calendula01.jpg
Gotu Kola
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Starr_020803-0094_Centella_asiatica.jpg
Chamomile
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chamaemelum_nobile_001.JPG
Echinacea
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EchinaceaPurpureaMaxima1a.UME.JPG
Great Yellow Gentian
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gentiana_lutea_230705.jpg

Image For Pinterest:

10 Of The Best Herbal Remedies You Could Possibly Learn About
Graphic – off-grid.info. Images – Wikipedia 1 2 3 4 5 – lic. under Creative Commons

Emergency Phone Charger From Old Cordless Drill!

Emergency Phone Charger From Old Cordless Drill!!Emergency Phone Charger From Old Cordless Drill!
Photo – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCxmn1ERbXc#t=0

Here’s another astonishing video from the legendary Grant Thompson, the “King of Random”. It demonstrates how a simple device with a motor (such as a cordless drill) can be used “in reverse” as a generator to convert motion into electrical power. If you had no other way to charge your phone in an emergency, this would do the job! This idea would make a great science project too – or how about connecting a small generator to an exercise bike to make use of all that hard work!

For me, the best thing about this short video is that it shows just how easy it is to make your own electricity at home. There are a lot of uses for a small generator like this one – it can charge batteries and power lights or small electrical appliances. There are some risks involved as the power output needs to be within the correct range for any small device and overloading could cause damage to your phone or other device. The risk can be avoided by working out the current and voltage required and measuring the output of your generator at a different rate of rotation – ideally a regulator should be used – I would certainly recommend using a multimeter to check the levels before connecting anything up!

The same principle forms the basis of some forms of alternative energy production, such as wind power and hydroelectricity. In these systems, a generator is attached to a turbine that is rotated by wind or running water. A regulator would be helpful to ensure a safe and consistent supply of power and batteries can be used to store the power for later use. We also found an inspiring story of someone who has made a huge reduction to his electricity bill with a small investment – it pays to do some research into existing projects like this to pick up tips and avoid mistakes:
http://www.motherearthnews.com/renewable-energy/homemade-wind-generator-zmaz86jazgoe.aspx

Before taking on a project to generate your own electricity, you’ll need to check if you have a suitable location and enough wind or water to make it worthwhile – there are legal limits on the size of your construction and if you use hydro power a licence is needed to extract water. You’ll find some useful guidelines here http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Generating-energy/Choosing-a-renewable-technology and here –
http://info.cat.org.uk/

Related: DIY Keychain Phone Charger – (runs without electricity)

All of the parts you need for a simple home made generator like this are readily available and the internet is packed with guides to help with every step of the building process. If you’re keen to take steps towards an off-grid lifestyle and want to know more about tapping into a free, sustainable source of power, try these sites for some advice and construction ideas:
http://rocketjsqu.hubpages.com/hub/So-you-think-you-have-enough-wind-to-power-your-home—heres-what-you-need-to-know-make-your-own-electricity
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/vansant131.html

Okay, here is the video: