Digital Messaging

Seattle ACS encouraging members to practice digital modes

We’d like to encourage Seattle ACS members to develop proficiency with the Narrow-Band Emergency Messaging Software (NBEMS), which is an open-source software suite that allows amateur radio operators to reliably send and receive data over the radio using a wide range of digital modes. The suite includes the parent software FLDIGI (for fast, light digital); FLMSG which allows you to send formatted messages (e.g., ICS forms); FLWRAP which wraps messages with a checksum for verification; and FLAMP (for amateur multicast protocol) which allows you to send multiple files at one time, and divide the files into predetermined blocks and allows recipients to request individual missing blocks. The suite can be downloaded from http://sourceforge.net/projects/fldigi/files/

Why digital? It allows us to move higher volumes of data, more reliably than by phone transmissions. A message that would take 5 minutes to read can be transmitted verbatim in a minute or less, even when conditions are poor.

New to digital and not sure where to start? Check out the ARRL page on NBEMS and the presentation by Harry Bloomberg W3YJ, and there are a bunch of videos on Youtube (e.g., the series by Rick Frost K4ERF http://bit.ly/2lyQI2H). 

And every Monday at 20:00 there’s the Puget Sound Digital Hams Net (PSDHN) on the Columbia Tower Repeater (444.550 MHz + offset and a tone of 141.3; channel 101 on the Seattle ACS 217A). The purpose of the PSDHN is to help get hams familiar and comfortable using digital modes by practicing and trouble-shooting.

Have questions? Contact Christian K7XTN – k7xtn@arrl.net, and he’s happy to find a time to talk.