Thanks for the invaluable resource - knowledge - as provided by SurvivalBlog. I was wanting to get some feedback on long range phones, particularly the Motorola M800 Bag Phone. From what I can gather, this phone is dual digital and analog and it is described as used "for workers in the Oil and Gas, Agriculture and Forestry industries. Now you can stay connected in the field, on rural or urban highways, when traveling, at the cottage or even camping".
I travel into Appalachia in Eastern Tennessee and Southeast Kentucky and also have a houseboat (on a mooring line, so a fixed phone would be excellent) that is situated in a fairly inaccessible area. In these areas, I receive very poor and unreliable cellular phone reception. As I have found, changing carriers can help, only marginally, but does not eliminate the problem. From what I can tell, very few people own this type of phone after the widespread conversion to digital cellular systems January 1, 2008. It is my understanding that some carriers like Verizon still offer analog service and that this would be viable option for someone like myself to fill in the gaps. If there is anyone within the readership, who owns or has owned one and can offer me some practical advice that would be appreciated - very little information exists on this product other than what is provided by the manufacturer. - Jorge L.
JWR Adds: One other advantage of using "legacy" analog cell phone systems is that in some locales the carriers never implemented the automatic caller location features that are standard by law with digital cell phones. (Digital phones are automatically located by process called pinging. Analog phones are located via triangulation.) This can provide a bit of privacy, but be sure to check with your local carrier to see if they implemented automatic analog signal triangulation. Many of them did not. For those providers, triangulation is a slow and cumbersome process.