A view from across the pond…

Ironbound Concepts sends…

Of serious note:

Recently have read an interview with volunteer (militiaman) who supported pro-Russian separatists on Ukrainian south-east territories known as Donbass. Politics aside, interesting notes on communications. Sorry for my poor transcription (even with gugl help).

– Comms were the problem?

– In our unit comms were very good. Nearly every fighter had radio, barely there was just no-go to the operations without them. 95% of personnel were provided with comms, surely.

– What’s the radios?

– I’m not expert in them. Were good, “Kenvods”. Were bad. TKF, i guess.

– That is, radios were household and had not a secure communication channel?

– Yes.

– Have you a case to come across ukrainian transmissions on-the-air?

– We had not, but we had a branch wich intentionally listened to “ukrops”* dialogues through the open channels. The exactly same radios were on the opposite side, after all.

– As a secure communication channel was not existed, do yourselves used coded words during the conversations, so enemy do not understand the content?

– Before the operation of Debaltsevo we still tried to encrypt, but then battle broke out – dropped attempts. Well, maybe changed the names of settlements and that’s all. People just could be confused, they often even forgot a pass-word, and if to still play on air, then oops …

* Ukrop – hostile definition of Ukrainian. Ukrops – plural form.

A couple of things to note…

  • In many areas outside of the US, Baofengs are marketed as Kenwoods. Kenwood, Kenvod, etc. I doubt he was referring to Baofengs…but I know they’re present from photos and videos emerging. Point is- the better you can get now, the easier it is later on.
  • This is coming from citizen Militia types currently engaged in an ongoing conflict. If you do not heed the open source value of what they have to say, you have bigger problems than you realize.

Right now, we are very, very fortunate to be able to secure decent gear for a multitude of tasks. Take advantage of it.

4 thoughts on “A view from across the pond…

  1. Hi mate. As for radios brand, i’m pretty sure it were baofengs labeled as “Kenwood TK-F8”. They are even requested as volunteer help in this spelling – sorry, prooflink dead.

  2. mtnforge

    So lets get down to the nitty gritty of things here.
    You obviously have a professional perspective on small unit comms. Bottom line, minimum equipment, reliable, ease of use under stress, able to survive primitive and combat abusive circumstances.
    What do I go out and procure for on foot mobile comms for a citizen small unit infantry team for inter squad and checking in periodically with a home base system in the Appalachian Mtn range?
    Keep it simple, rugged and primitive as possible.

    This ladder line antenna system has some interesting features.

    1. For myself, in the woods, in your AO(Appalachia)…you can’t go wrong with the Icom V80 2M HT:

      It’s milspec IP rated, and built about as tough as it gets for an HT on the market. It’s 2M only, which serves much better in the hills, but if you need 70CM as well, there’s a dual band model(IC-70) which costs a bit more.

      Next, set up a base. In keeping with our 2M/Technician class/Local Line of Sight(LOS) setup, any of the higher powered mobiles coupled with a good antenna will do the job nicely.


      The Slim Jim antenna you linked to will work well, but you may want to get a more permanent antenna for long term durability. A 2M groundplane or J-pole will work well. Don’t skimp on the coax- for 2M you’re going to want LMR-240 for lower loss than RG-8.

      That’s about as simple and rugged as it gets for Line of Sight/Unit level communications.

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