Mr. Rawles, I have been reading your blog for
a few weeks now and I noticed that many references are made using the surplus
TA-1 telephone. A household telephone can be used for a point-to point two-way
communications by using 4 wire cable, a 9 volt battery (better 12 volts) a
300 ohm resistor, two momentary switches
and two signal devices such as a piezzo device or buzzer. A 9 volt battery
will furnish telephone comm. for several miles but have never used one over
I am also a Amateur Radio Operator, (57 years) and if you must go backpack with HF there's nothing lighter than a HF CW rig such as a Elcraft K1 I built 3 or 4 years ago. CW [manual morse code] still has it's place in emergency communications. However the Yaesu FT-817 is another but heavier choice that works very well. With a small homemade 50 watt linear amplifier you should not have too much difficulty communicating by SSB anywhere in the US and beyond depending on band conditions of course. It also works with my K1. Just my two cents worth. - M.C., Sr.