Sunday, June 14, 2015

What are others doing with FLDIGI?

Here are some postings from the NBEMSham group that tells us what other groups are doing with FLDIGI.  Interesting stuff!

Great topic Dave,

Here's what's happening in Maine.

We have two ARES/RACES NBEMS nets in Maine that meet weekly. These nets
were started in late 2010. I am the net manager for the VHF net and Mike
KB1UTD handles the HF net.

The VHF net meets on Sundays at 7:00 PM. Originally we met on a county
repeater in the midcoast area. As of January of this year we moved the
net to the KQ1L linked repeater system which covers a much larger part
of the state. Our primary mode is PSK125RC5. This provides very good
performance through the system. We have used some faster modes such as
PSK250RC5 but they tend to have issues on some of the repeaters (one was
damaged in the 11/02/2014 ice storm and permanent fixes are just getting

The net takes traffic for NTS. Within the net, all radiogram traffic is
passed using Flmsg. One of our regulars is a liason to the state voice
NTS net and I am a NTSD Digital Relay Station (DRS). As part of this we
have been exchanging radiograms with hams that participate in a NBEMS
net in the UK. I think that NBEMS nets should look at radiograms and
NTS. Radiograms are very useful for health & welfare messages from and
to people in shelters and can be used even if the sender doesn't have a
complete address for the intended recipient.

We consider the use of Flmsg as a core skill since we use Flmsg to
create forms that can move between locations by any of several means of
transport. Fldigi (of course) is the primary one. We also use Flmsg as
the "standard" files program with other applications. These include the
RMS Express client for messages destined for a BBS or the Winlink
system. Locally, some Flmsg files are transferred via LAN (e.g. within
an EOC) and at slightly longer distances via wifi mesh network as
attachments to instant messages. Concerning this one, we are setting up
a fixed mesh network that includes a town fire station/EOC and a nearby
shelter. This is Part 15 wifi, not Part 97 "HamNet" as we want anyone to
be able to send ICS and radiogram files (and anything else) between
locations over the mesh. We expect to be expanding this approach in my

The HF net meets Wednesdays at 7:30 PM on 3583.0 +1500 Hz. The check in
mode is Olivia 8/500. Regular participants are from Maine and NH. Hams
from further away drop in occasionally. File transfers are generally
with THOR 50x1. We have also used some of the PSKR modes. We're looking
at incorporating the upcoming FSQ chat mode when it is released as part
of Fldigi. The HF net will also accept traffic destined for the NTS.

More information at

73, Steve KB1TCE


Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:03 pm (PDT) . Posted by:


The SATERN So. Terr. Digtal Net meets each Saturday at NOON Central Time on 20 meters. Our software of choice is FLDIGI / NBEMS Suite. We operate the net in OLIVIA 8/500 +1000.

During the net we hold a training segment where we transmit in a mode other than OLIVIA and using FLMSG and FLAMP. We try to keep the messages < 2500 characters to allow transmission time to be short and give listeners time to request fills. We encourage net visitors to send their reception results so we can determine the what modes are most effective under a wide range of band conditions -- not the least of which include QRM from lids causing interference, to contests in other modes like CW and FELD-HELL. We do not use FLARQ during the net, but net members are encouraged to use the ARQ peer-to-peer connection in local, good to excellent connections for maximum accuracy and minimal lost of data.

While the band, time of day, and mode allows for a wide-area net it also has some limitations that are not within our control (e.g. atmospheric and space weather conditions).

We consider several factors as criteria for prime net use under emergency conditions, giving "last resort" consideration to "Whatever works". After all, in an emergency situation passing critical information, we look for the error-free solution first. Of course, "works" is a subjective term that varies from station to station and differing conditions on any given band / day.

The factors we use to value the performance of a particular mode on a given day with specific conditions are:

1) Accuracy - does the message get through error-free. How much time is needed for fills?
2) Speed - how much time is needed for the message to be passed in a particular mode with reasonable accuracy.
3) Noise / QRM tolerance - does the injection of propagation noise or QRM affect #1 & #2 above.

Other criteria are more subjective and not worth mentioning here but are also much less important than those
mentioned above.

We have collected considerable data over a period of approximately 2 years or more. The results have led us to settle on the use of only a few of the many modes available in FLDIGI. This not to say other modes are not useful in other situations, but given our narrow application the following modes perform the best:

OLIVIA - most accurate of all modes tested but lacks the throughput for large message contents.
MFSK32 - speed is similar to OLIVIA and works fairly well under most conditions
but is not as noise tolerant as OLIVIA
THOR22 - approximately twice as fast as OLIVIA but has problems if the noise level rises moderately
or QSB is more than moderate.
PSK63F - faster than OLIVIA and MFSK but is easily confused by noise and QRM. Recommended
only for local connections that have good to excellent conditions.
PSK125R4c - very fast but suffers somewhat as noise and QSB rises. Can be used in moderate

to good conditions with few errors. Block fills in FLAMP are very quick. Not a good kb-kb mode.
8PSK125F - very fast and has much better noise and QSB tolerance than single carrier PSK
or even PSK125R4c with better spectrum usage. A message as large as 2.2K can be sent
with FLAMP 2/2 in under 3 min. This mode holds a lot of promise where good to excellent
conditions occur on our HF net frequency.

We have benefited greatly from the addition of FLAMP and the great number of useful FLMSG forms. I have personally used quite a few of them during hurricanes (including e.g. the WX report / Hurricane Report).
We can also see the possible enhancement in future releases of a WSIWIG editor for completing forms and editing, in with more than just HTML as output (possibly .pdf, .odt, .doc, or .docx) as well as the ability to send
completed forms by email directly (not viewing in or using a browser).

de AD5XJ SATERN So. Terr. Digital Net Manager


Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:19 am (PDT) . Posted by:


Chester County(PA) ARES/RACES ( CCAR) has two NBEMS nets. CCAR uses 3 linked UHF repeaters(W3EOC) and a linked 2 M repeater(W3EOC)
We meet Mondays at 1930 and Thursdays after the voice net at about
1945. All stations are welcome.
We have been using 8PSK1200 F for several months now with almost 100%
success. 8PSK1200 F is almost twice as fast as what we had previously used.
We are thinking ahead to our Limerick (nuclear gen stn) drill in November.
We send large .eml files that open in Thunderbird complete with attachments.
I don't read much about the 8PSK modes being used by other groups but
we are having great success with 8PSK1200 F.

Frank N3FLL

Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:22 pm (PDT) . Posted by:


We have a countywide fldigi net that has been meeting for about a year. Last month we used fldigi as part of our health drill. We had 4 operators running and, needless to say, the reports were much faster. Our clients were pleased and impressed with the results. We taught a local fldigi class Tuesday night and 5 people showed up. Mind you, there are only 600 people here in our remote Mendocino County coastal town. We're meeting on simplex Friday night.

I'm trying to put together a local form based on HICS251. With the help of other folks' uploaded files here, I was able to get the html file to populate correctly, fill out and send. I'm at a loss as to how to get the receiving station to populate the message into Firefox and FLMSG, the way the Radiograms do. Is there a way to do this? If so, will someone point me in the right direction? There's a lot of information to go through here and I don't know how to navigate it yet.

Many thanks for those who have paved the road.

Great podcast of the creator of FLDIGI, David Freese W1HKJ

Click on the link to the go to the podcast of an interview of David Freese W1HKJ, the creator of the program FLDIGI.  Very interesting information about his background and the ever-expanding capabilities of the FLDIGI suite of programs.

Podcast is at

June APRS net was fun!

KC5SHE did an excellent job for the June APRS net.  He had many check-ins (I'll let him post the list later) from around the state.  We also had a check-in through the Oklahoma DMR talkgroup by KE5URG.

The real breakthrough was the use of the ANSRVR portion of APRS.  Basically ANSRVR lets you send one message to a group.  In our case, it was OKAPRS.  The message is then sent to all the individual participants, routing through the closest IGATE to them.  Really makes running the net much easier, plus everyone gets to see everyone else's remarks at the same time.  I believe all but one or two of the participants successfully logged on to the ANSRVR system and used it successfully. 

The other breakthrough was we had our first check-in on HF using MFSK-32 on the FLDIGI program interfaced to the BPQ32 packet switch program.  AF5LW was able to get it going by using the instructions previously posted on this blog in less than an hour.  So, if you were worried that it was difficult to get started, that proves that it can easily be done in literally just a few hours.

All in all a "fun" net.  Next one is coming up on July 11th and net control will be KD5NJR.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Statewide APRS Net coming up June 13th at 1 PM!

Many thanks to those who checked in during last month's APRS net.  Check ins were received on APRS, DMR statewide OK group, and the TARC UHF linked system.  The list included:


The next statewide APRS net will be on Saturday, June 13th at 1 PM.  Net control will be KC5SHE-2, Scott Mayes, located near Claremore, OK.  In addition to standard messages and bulletins, Scott will be using the ANSRVR to send out requests for check ins and receive check ins.  If you don't know how to use ANSRVR, check out the training materials at  Scott will also be monitoring the DMR statewide OK group and the TARC UHF linked system for those stations that may not have APRS capability, but still want to participate.

We continue to operate HF APRS using the instructions located at .  As an additional incentive for this upcoming net, a certicate of appreciation from the Tulsa Digital Radio Club (TRDC) will be sent to those stations that try this new high-tech wrinkle on the two decades old HF APRS mode.  The HF APRS net will be running on 7036 kHz at a center frequency of 1000 Hz using MFSK-16 for highest robustness during the net.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Jeff Scoville, AE5ME at