Posts are in reverse chronological order. Please let me know if you can't read the attached documents and I'll stop embedding them and just copy the text directly.

Site has moved

posted Oct 5, 2014, 6:57 PM by Douglas B. McKay

New location is:  http://kd7lrj.net

NBEMS signal reports

posted May 13, 2014, 6:08 PM by Douglas B. McKay   [ updated May 13, 2014, 7:47 PM ]

I've decided to keep my signal reports in my new WordPress site: http://kd7lrj.com/wp/2014/05/nbems-signal-reports

Hand held radio interface for NBEMS

posted Jan 28, 2014, 9:58 AM by Douglas B. McKay   [ updated Jan 28, 2014, 10:33 AM ]

I have been experimenting with making interface units for use with NBEMS and handheld radios. They use a couple of isolation transformers and plug directly into the radio and the computer to make digital transmissions automatic and noise free. I currently have several units in various stages of production. If any locals would like one, please email me. I will sell them for the price I paid for the parts ($15-25 depending on options). See my blog post to learn more about them.

I also plan to see if I can make one that allows listening and transmitting on voice while still plugged into the radio.


posted Dec 27, 2013, 12:17 AM by Douglas B. McKay   [ updated Dec 27, 2013, 1:11 AM ]

Here are some MP3 files recorded in MT63-2000L mode that can be used to send canned messages digitally from almost any device that can play an MP3 file. Just hold your radio's microphone near the speaker of your device. Press the PTT button on the mic then press Play on the device. Don't forget to ID once in a while by voice if you're sending stuff digitally. :)

Note that because of the Forward Error Correction used in MT63-2000L, even a very short message takes several seconds to send.

ANCS_Report message template

posted Dec 26, 2013, 7:06 PM by Douglas B. McKay   [ updated Dec 26, 2013, 7:10 PM ]

I made a template file that I think might work for use during a net for an Assistant Net Control Station on a secondary frequency to report check-ins to the Net Control Station on the primary frequency when the nets recombine after initial check-ins are completed. It's a work-in-progress so please feel free to test and report issues, enhancements, etc. I'd like to keep the transmission time as short as possible (within reason) because it's intended for use during what is primarily a voice net. In my limited testing, this form with 10 check-ins, takes about 40 seconds to send (using MT63-2KL mode). Once we get the hang of using it, this should take about the same time as reporting counts and relaying a couple of callsigns that checked in with traffic for the net. Plus, I like the idea of getting to practice using a digital mode every week. Since ANCS is likely already a training position on most nets, perhaps we could have a "digital scribe" that could do the reporting.

Save this file to the NBEMS.files\ICS\templates folder used by Flmsg on your system.

 Date Version Details 
 2013-12-26 v.1 Initial release
 2013-12-26 v.2 Updated to latest version of Flmsg (1.1.33)

NBEMS Beacon macro

posted Dec 24, 2013, 10:38 PM by Douglas B. McKay

I thought I'd post the macro I set up for running an NBEMS beacon on my machine:

Frm: <MYCALL>, <MYNAME>       Bcn Num: <CNTR>
Snt: <LD> @ <LT>     Sftw: <VER>
Loc: <MYLOC> - <MYQTH>   Mode: <MODE>
Rig: Kenwood G-707A         Pwr: 50 watts
Ant: GP-6 clone @ 25 feet  Freq: 145.710 MHz
Web: http://kd7lrj.net    Email: kd7lrj@arrl.net

NBEMS testing Thu 9pm and Sat 9pm on 147.280+ 141.3

The output looks like this:

Frm: KD7LRJ, Doug       Bcn Num: 001
Snt: 2013-12-24 @ 2311     Sftw: Fldigi 3.21.77
Loc: DN40DI - Lindon, UT   Mode: MT63-2KL
Rig: Kenwood G-707A         Pwr: 50 watts
Ant: GP-6 clone @ 25 feet  Freq: 145.710 MHz
Web: http://kd7lrj.net    Email: kd7lrj@arrl.net

NBEMS testing Thu 9pm and Sat 9pm on 147.280+ 141.3

We are currently using this beacon in Utah County to allow people to adjust their stations and confirm that they can receive and decode the transmissions successfully. It repeats every 30 minutes.

2013-12-14 Net

posted Dec 14, 2013, 9:36 PM by Douglas B. McKay

I didn't keep a list of check-ins, but we had a good group and did some experimentation. In nearly every case where there was any discernable audio present, someone was able to copy it. We're all still working on getting the little kinks ironed out. Of course that will continue forever, but we'll get better at knowing what works and what doesn't as we practice.

I mentioned that I was using an application on my Android phone. Here's a link. It locks up after a short time receiving and doesn't have a squelch control, but it does seems to work for short little bits and could be useful in a pinch.

At some point, it would be cool if we could have an all digital net, but since this isn't a connected mode, we would certainly trample all over each other if we weren't coordinated somehow. A control operator on voice seemed to work fairly well, but does anyone have any ideas on how to keep things working smoothly?

Next net: Saturday 14 Dec 2013 at 9pm MST on 147.280+ 141.3 tone

posted Dec 12, 2013, 11:22 PM by Douglas B. McKay   [ updated Jan 28, 2014, 10:20 AM ]

Here are some things I thought we could discuss if anyone is interested:
  • An operator doesn't have to be nearby in order to receive messages. Is the software, etc. stable enough?
  • Additional beacons could be setup to allow testing for reception and configuration from alternate locations. Include bulletin info in the text?
  • At the end of a net, the Net Control Station could send a message with a complete report to the Net Manager.
  • An Assistant NCS could send their list of check-ins from their frequency to the NCS in a quick digital message.
  • Configuration options or macros that are especially useful during a Net, a normal QSO, or even during emergency operations.
  • Forms are cool, right? We could experiment with sending/receiving and how to best utilize them. Develop templates?
  • Interface possibilities. I've built several for my Chinese HTs (if you want a completed one for the cost of the parts, let me know), but what about Mobiles, or HF rigs?
But mostly, I want to help people get up and running right now, so if anyone wants to test their setup and just try sending messages digitally, email me, or send a message to my station which, other than the scheduled nets, listens on 145.710 and beacons every 30 minutes.

Here's a document I created on getting started with NBEMS

   ...Doug  KD7LRJ

2013-12-12 Net

posted Dec 12, 2013, 10:10 PM by Douglas B. McKay   [ updated Jan 28, 2014, 10:21 AM ]

I just wanted to post what we did so I can refer to it later. If it helps someone else, that's great too.

Here is the document I created for and updated during the net tonight. I didn't follow it exactly, but we didn't go too far off. Doug N7DGN kept things moving and organized and I'm glad he's as interested in this as I am. I thank everyone for their patience with me and I'm excited for the future possibilities.

   ...Doug KD7LRJ

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