In the preceding post, I very bluntly pointed out, as a few of us have been trying to do, that the capability to DF and monitor anyone and anything indeed does exist. So now the question becomes ‘how do you work against it?’
Well, let’s examine some options and point out a few truths. The first, and largest, is that there simply is NO REPLACEMENT for working knowledge. None. You cannot master these skills without getting out and doing it. The second, is that you should have a healthy library to back up and supplement that working knowledge. Even for websites you find useful you should print out the hard information and file it away somewhere. Even if not perfect, always learning and always improving our positions is a must.
So while anything and everything can indeed be Direction Found and/monitored, does this mean will it? Thinking about it rationally here (which I know is a tough thing to do among some), likely not. Sure, the technology exists. It has for a LONG time (the HFDF network mapped in that link has been in place since the 60’s, and EWO birds have been able to do it even before then) But if there was one omnipotent eye of Sauron, why would resources be dedicated to the ground level, putting individuals at risk? Why not do it from the comfort of a leather office chair and a nice walnut desk? Because it doesn’t work quite like what you think. There’s a human factor, inherently error prone and often not used to pattern recognition.
Humans by nature set patterns. In fact, all creatures do it. Take a walk through the woods. If you have any experience tracking at all, you know instantly that deer follow paths and create trails. So do humans. You do it with everything, whether you realize it or not. The trick becomes recognizing those patterns. When complacent, we set one pattern behind what we do, and when the hunter is complacent, they become used to trailing one pattern, and usually make little sense of what “doesn’t fit”. In short, changing up what you do regularly keeps one ahead of the power curve. This is easier said than done, but is possible. For example, at the tactical level, one patrol uses low band VHF for intra-team communications, and the next patrol uses UHF, always following the simple rules of short transmissions, rotating callsigns, and directional antennas. Resistance is a thinking man’s game.
Breaking out that map and compass
You know that critical skill that everyone who’s worth a crap in the ‘Liberty’ movement keeps telling you to get out and practice? This is one of those reasons why it’s so damn important.
The transmission points need to be known, preplanned, and have alternates. Why? Because you need to know where your signal is coming from in order to send it along it’s desired path, and in reality things don’t always go the way we planned. You need to know how to plot the points you’ll be transmitting to, so that you’ll know the rough azimuth to which the signal will be sent. You need to know how to read the terrain features on the map, so you can recognize elements which may block your signal, or may refract your signal (‘bounce’ it off of stuff, as seen to the left).
In order to make this work, any of this, one must understand much more than the simple ‘plug n play’ nature of common radio knowledge. The difference between, say, Vertical antennas, like the one on your HT or on the back of your truck behave one way while a horizontal dipole behaves in another, with highly directional antennas such as Yagis or Terminated Vees behaving in yet another. Confused yet? Don’t be. To put it simply, it’s like a flashlight vs a lamp. A lamp is similar to your vertical antenna, with the light flooding the room similar to the radiation pattern. A dipole is like a lantern with two sides blocked, shining equally bright in both directions. A yagi is like a flashlight, illuminating whichever direction it’s pointed.
So understanding this analogy, plotting our points on the map to create pre-planned transmission sites becomes a critical part of our mission planning cycle. The RTO, Senior Scout, and Team Leader need to all be on the same page with this in order to be successful. Coordination with the other teams is a must. Have I conveyed how important the basic skillset is? I hope so.
Directional Antennas now become the tool of choice for your communications needs. Two flashlights pointing at each other in the dark. Get it? OK. So how do we get this done? Simple. As the diagram shows, a random wire cut to length for the frequency (234/Freq for length in feet for quarter wave, multiply by 12 for length in inches) and terminate with a Resistor to pull your radiation in one direction, end-fire off the wire. These can be horizontal or sloped, whichever is field expedient for the desired task. Place another cold wire (no current) under the hot wire as a counterpoise if on the lower end HF to tighten the NVIS qualities. Another, somewhat tighter antenna is the horizontal Vee. Built in the same manner as the single wire, it has a bit better, tighter pattern, as the random wire is fairly broad. The open end (gator’s mouth…easy to remember when cold, tired, and wet) is in the direction of the intended receiver. And if you want to get really fancy, build another matching antenna one wavelength (936/Frequency for one wavelength distance in feet) behind it, which will act as a reflector, just like the one on a Yagi antenna. One other important note is that the radiated energy is pushed into one direction, making more efficient use of your power in that direction versus radiating in an omnidirectional pattern all at once. Flashlight vs Lamp.
No, the sky is not falling.
All of this together makes a tough(er) nut to crack. It doesn’t mean you can’t be tracked or found by any means, but it makes the job a hell of a lot harder for the hunter. It also takes work and a lot of practice to get right, when you’re not cold, tired, starving, and wet, so doing it now fairly regularly is pretty important, that is, if you actually want to get further than the starting line. So while the capability exists in the OPFOR sense, the capability to beat it also exists, at least for those willing to put in the work. And for the rest, you’ll reap exactly what you sow.