01 September 2004
A lot of Rubies out there are asking the simple question of “Why Electronics”? What does a basic knowledge of electronics/electricity do for me and mine in a true survival situation? Well the answer to that question could be as varied as the equipment that you choose to use for survival. Some Rubies believe in the KISS principal (Keep It Simple Stupid). Others believe in having every possible edge that you can use to survive. Whatever your personal belief a basic knowledge of electronics will never be an “anti-survival” skill. A few reasons that I think that electronics knowledge is a useable skill are:
1) Knowledge of how to do basic repairs of personal/team electronic equipment
2) Ability to use basic Communications equipment to localize and/or determine range to possible hostiles
3) A useable skill that can make you a valuable addition to any group that uses electronic equipment (especially handy for those of us that are too far from other Rubies to actually be a part of a team)
4) Ability to install and maintain an extensive (or even not so extensive) sensor system that gives you and/or your group the edge in group dynamic interactions (nasties are sneaking up on ya and YOU know they’re coming, lol)
5) A basic knowledge of electronics is useful in Communications so that you can talk to other Rubies long distance or even the Doctor over in the next county in the event of an emergency
The above are just a few very MINOR reasons that each of us should have at the least a basic understanding of electronics and electricity. A deeper understanding of electronics and some of its theory can enable you to design and construct your own power systems, sensor systems, etc. There are a multitude of Basic Electronics books out there and Radio Slack has several that can introduce you to electronics almost painlessly. There are also experimental kits (again at Radio Slack) that you can use in conjunction with your book learning to get practical hands on skills. With today’s throw away society you can pick up an extensive amount of free electronic goodies right from the curbside every day. Scavenging electronic parts has never been easier!
Another factor to consider, especially if you get into the hobby and actually start repairing radios, TVs, computers, etc. is that you can get perfectly good consumer electronics for next to nothing and then repair them (usually for nothing more than the cost of a couple of $1 parts). An el cheapo ad in the local thrifty nickel and you could actually make a few bucks that would allow you to buy even MORE survival goodies!
Some excellent sites where you can learn more about electronics are:
Look for more articles in the near future on electronics. Some of the ideas that I’ve got are:
· Basic soldering skills
· Component recognition (What IS a resister?)
· Basic electricity/electronics theory (a little math but not all that hard)
· Assembling basic circuits
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