NBEMS - Amateur Radio program

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skiptaylor
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NBEMS - Amateur Radio program

Postby skiptaylor » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:49 pm

Have you ever heard of NBEMS ( Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System) ? It's a set of programs used to send messages and files via Amateur Radio using an audio interface.

I read about this in the August 2009 issue of QST. Rather interesting and best of all FREE!

Software at: http://www.w1hkj.com/NBEMS/

More info at ARRL: http://www.arrl.org/?artid=7933

It appears this could make a lot of tasks easier and faster.

Anyone have any experience with this?
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Lancaster CA.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:06 pm

Interesting.

I have mixed feelings about computer communication. While the benefits are great, the problem is power consumption. Not a problem if both ends are running a generator, but it's a bit much if you're stuck with battery-only. I suppose it could work to keep it off until notified or an agreed upon schedule.

Then there's the issue of complexity ....
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skiptaylor
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Postby skiptaylor » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:09 am

I think you'd find power consumption could/would be minimized. It's not a constant communication - only as needed. It would be a nice adjunct for long lists or many messages.

If done right, it would also lessen "on air" times and conserve power due to less transmitter time.

Since it's free, it's easy to play around with!
Skip Taylor :eek:
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:34 pm

avskip wrote:I think you'd find power consumption could/would be minimized. It's not a constant communication - only as needed. It would be a nice adjunct for long lists or many messages.


I'm more concerned about the power needed to keep the computer running listening for messages. I think if you'll check, you'll see a laptop will take more power then the receiver it's connected to. Yes, you could bring it up only as needed, but how would you know when to bring it up?

Not an insurmountable hurtle, but one that needs to be worked out.
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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:35 pm

I don't think the power involved is its big selling point, rather the ability to run a digital mode without anything except a ham radio and a PC with a speaker and mic. Place the PC's mic next to the radio for RX, and hold the radio's mic next to the PC speaker for TX. No TNC. No sound card interface. No ground loops. You could even do it with an HT if the destination was within reach. In fact, most FM repeaters will pass the digital traffic without problems. That's where this mode has the ability to shine.

I've grown to appreciate digital modes more and more. The ability to move large chunks of data (or images) that would normally take an eternity on already crowded voice channels can be a real asset during an emergency.
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jltware
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Postby jltware » Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:17 am

Is this program used by any lds emergency networks. I don't think the technical or power consumption requirements would be prohibitive, but communications networks in an emergency are much more useful if there are more people listening, and rolling out such programs across an extended network would be difficult, especially as the situation that necessitated emergency communications would also make it impossible to download any new software. It could be useful as a second line network for more detailed communications down the track. But in a first response communication, I think the most urgent details would be better communicated over a simpler voice only transmission to avoid missing a respondant might not have the right program or equipment.

On a tangent, is there a website that details some or all of the church amateur radio emergency communication networks out there? I know vaguely of a couple on different bandwidths that communicate regularly at pre-arranged times. But I don't know where to go to search for the details, or if any other networks are available. Are there any official church networks, or are these all private endeavours?

billstewman
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NBEMS (FLdigi) & Google Earth Ward Maps, How to use

Postby billstewman » Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:53 am

[size=84][size=75]Dear Fellow LDS Church Emergency Communicators,

RE: NBEMS (FLdigi) & Google Earth Ward Maps

I am Bill Stewman, W5RQR
Suwanee Ward Emergency Communications Specialist, Sugar Hill GA Stake
I am also a Ham Operator at the Atlanta (Tucker, GA) Bishop's Central Storehouse
on Tuesday's at 9:00 PM EDST on USB 14.244 MHz.

I do have a little real-world experience with W1KHJ's NBEMS (aka FLdigi & Wrap) and
am very impressed with its ease of use -- NO TNC is required --
only acoustical coupling between Microphones & Speakers on Radios and Computers.
(Use MT63-2000 mode and ignore most of the other parameters -- just use the defaults.)

I have "sent" my whole Ward Roster of 122 Family's names, phone, address,
Member Names, email, Area, Status, etc. in about 19 minutes.
(In a real emergency, to save time and be more secure,
we will send ONLY the Family Name and Status Letters, which takes only 2 Minutes to send.)
(Status: Red=Bad Problem, Yellow=Minor Problem, Green=No Problem, White=DoNotKnow Yet.)

This has been done with a lot of outside noise at the receiving and sending
locations with no disruption of the message.
{{ Bonus: The computer technology ALSO works between computers via:
Family Radio Service (FRS), Cell Phones, and inside a room. }}

The method I use to create Google Earth maps of the Ward is to:
download our Ward Roster CSV file from our Ward Website in SLC HQ,
(All Families are grouped into 14 geographical "AREAS" {named A-N} of between 5 and 15 each, with an Area Captain or Coordinator.)
prepare a geocoded file using www.BatchGeoCode.com,
copy the geocoded KML file into Google Earth, and
display the annotated map on a PC.
Any columns you add to the CSV file can appear on the map like White Magic, when you click on a symbol!

I have not done it yet, but expect to be able to send the annotated KMLs over NBMS, to Ward & Stake Leaders.

With proper and significant coordination between Wards,
Stake Leaders could see a composite,
annotated Map showing the color-coded Status of ALL Stake Members at one time.

Also, Photos over the air is a near term goal, like EcomSCS does.

See:
QST August 2009 NBEMS page 73
CQ April 2009 EcomSCS page 20,
www.HallCountyARES.com for Downloads & instructive notes re: NBEMS

If you want to know more about what I have done and how you can emulate it,
OR you can show me better ways,
contact me here on "LDS Tech" or email at W5RQR@arrl.net with subject "LDS NBEMS..."

73 Bill / Gist Stewman W5RQR

[/SIZE][/SIZE]

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:16 pm

Bill.Stewman wrote:[size=84][size=75]prepare a geocoded file using www.BatchGeoCode.com, [/SIZE][/SIZE]


Just the usual caveat about using the batchgeocode.com site to plot locations. It generally works, but it obscures known errors in the geocoded results. So some homes may be plotted in the wrong place.

My understanding is that, of all the potential uses of mapping in a ward or stake, emergency preparedness has the greatest need for accuracy. Geocoded results from that web site, for example, would not be considered trustworthy for emergency-dispatch applications.

billstewman
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NBEMS & a GeoCoder Program Better than BatchGeoCode is Needed

Postby billstewman » Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:20 pm

Thanks for the warning, but most of the geocoding seems OK.
What are the better options to place each home more accurately?
Thanks for all you do.

Bill Stewman

billstewman
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LDS Ham Nets - Not one Website, but some details here.

Postby billstewman » Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:55 pm

jltware wrote:Is this program used by any lds emergency networks. I don't think the technical or power consumption requirements would be prohibitive, but communications networks in an emergency are much more useful if there are more people listening, and rolling out such programs across an extended network would be difficult, especially as the situation that necessitated emergency communications would also make it impossible to download any new software. It could be useful as a second line network for more detailed communications down the track. But in a first response communication, I think the most urgent details would be better communicated over a simpler voice only transmission to avoid missing a respondant might not have the right program or equipment.

On a tangent, is there a website that details some or all of the church amateur radio emergency communication networks out there? I know vaguely of a couple on different bandwidths that communicate regularly at pre-arranged times. But I don't know where to go to search for the details, or if any other networks are available. Are there any official church networks, or are these all private endeavours?


======

FYI...

There is a MARA LSB Net on Saturday's 8:30 AM EDST on 3.8725 MHz followed immediately on 7.2830 MHz.

There is a little activity on EchoLink
*ERC-ECS* and *LDSHAMS*

=======
Here is the list of LDS HQ Nets on 20-M and 40-M bands controlled from SLC each Tuesday PM.

20 M 14244.00 MHZ 0100 UTC
40 M 7280.00 0200
VoIP Ch 9259 0230
80 M 3878.00 0300
40M CW 7117.00 0145
20M 3PM 14244.00 2100
80M CW 3573.00 0245

Lon W7WES, KA7CNM Brent

Bob Craven, N7GTE, ERC HQ Net Manager.
FAX 801-298-8181 EMAIL n7gte@yahoo.com


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