Radio Prepper Survival Radio Philosophy & Charging Batteries

Hello Operators
I’m sharing another video from Gil the radio prepper. Most of you already know I consider Gil a friend. That is true even when I don’t agree with his philosophy. That’s not to say I don’t learn anything from Gil, I do. I also learned something in this video, which I will certainly apply to the channel and blog.
In this video, Gil goes through his philosophy on choosing a Survival radio, and his portable power strstegy.

Here are the points where Gil and I disagree.

  • Gil uses a CW only radio. Benefits of this is portability and low current draw. Downsides, it’s only one mode, and it’s only 3 bands. He also says that his primary goals are gathering information, and communicating. How much information can be gathered with a three band radio, having only one mode!?
  • Gil’s primary objectives are low power consumption and portability. My primary objectives are maximized capability, and portability, Gil wins on portability for sure, but does so at the expense of capability.
  • Gil shows us his very cheap Chinese solar panel Choetech, which we’ve reviewed on the channel before. He charges his 18650 batteries using a nitecore USB charger. Good Strategy! When I use 18650 batteries I also charge them with my nitecore charger, but I use a Power Film solar panel because it’s robust and unlike the Choetech, can output 15 volts or USB making it useful for more than just charging those batteries. It’s also a quarter of the weight of Gil’s panel, and can also take multiple punctures and continue working.
  • Finally, Gil keeps focusing on the large capacity battery Builds and QRO radio on the channel. Perhaps he doesn’t really watch my videos or he doesn’t understand the big picture of the channel. I’ve got two different radios which were selected for their unique capabilities. The first is the Yaesu ft-817 ( portability). The other is the ft-891 (capability). I also have a series of battery Builds on the channel starting with one as small as Gils 18650 pack, all the way up to 128wh 50A pack. Please check out the portable power series on the channel.

Just so it’s clear, I’m not trying to criticize or attack Gil. Far too often I hear feedback from viewers of his channel and readers or participants on his website, criticizing me for my choices and using Gils as an example of a “properly designed” system. Gils philosophy is one way, but I have never seen him fully test in the field. This is why it’s important not to be a fanboy. Moreover, we all need to get out to the field for testing and prove that the solution is actually working. Not just blindly taking the word of someone in a YouTube video.

I suggested to Gil that he do a training scenario to prove his philosophy actually works. A scenario where he’s lost with a broken ankle. His goal, send out his exact position over CW, without having a pre-planned sked with any other operator. Do you think Gil would succeed? Let’s see if Gil goes for it.

Julian oh8stn

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