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The short answer to
your question - - "is there a way to make the custom
forms look like the built in forms? ie they are selected from
the menu and filled out in the program" - - is yes. Although I
personally have not done it I went to an ARES meeting earlier
this year and the local group distributed some custom forms that
they had developed. The custom forms are in the form of an .html
file and they are saved under User > [Name] >NBEMS.files
> CUSTOM > [file names]. (At least that's where they are
in my Windows 7 Pro machine.) Once your custom forms are there
they can be retrieved by selecting Forms > Custom > then
the individual forms.
Do these custom forms
look exactly like a standard flmsg form? No they
do not. The background is white; the boxes to be completed with
data are white; there's no automatic "fill in" function for date
and time. However I assume these were form design decisions.
What I can see is that a NBEMS user open the forms from flmsg,
can tab between input fields and fill them in, and then send it
away to the ultimate data collector.
I imagine your primary
challenge will be to decide what info you would like to
collect and then cull that down as necessary so the form doesn't
become too unwieldy. I did a quick Google search and it looks
like there's quite a bit of free design help available on the internet.
I believe the ARES guys also mentioned that they went through a
testing process to make sure the forms they designed worked on
Good luck! Learning
how to make custom forms is on my list of things to do so please
consider sharing what you come up with with the rest of us.
On 10/15/2017 6:14 PM, Art - KC7SDA
So here's the possible situation:
We have an emergency (fire/heavy snow/etc etc) and we are cut
off from the rest of the county (there are only 3 roads into the
area I live in, and we have over 3000 houses out here). There is
a project called 'BECON' who's purpose is to deploy in such
situations and collect and relay data (its very hilly so walking
to a command post or aid station isn't really an option). I have
suggested that we use some sort of form to collect the data (ie
neighborhood houses, people, medical needs, are they going to
bug out, etc) and relay that information to the command post.
the command post relays back any information about aid (ie
water/food) and when/where to get it.
The collected data has to be transmitted back somehow to the
command post, flmsg seems to be a good method in doing that as
it can handle large volumes of data and handle hand-shaking it
also doesn't require any extra hardware (the UDRC is basically a
double signalink stacked on top of the pi) for our group and
most of the group is cert and has previous experience with flmsg
could I use packet? sure, but then we have to deal with getting
everyone set up with the software, configured and train/tested,
we've already tested fldigi and flmsg on our setups and it works
great, we can also use modes that work well with low signal
levels where packet can go really slow real fast if you don't
have a good signal.
as far as the website it would be local to the pi (ie i'm
thinking no infrastructure so people are just running the pi and
a rig, no internet no wifi, etc) and it would allow each 'node'
(ie becon post) to collect data (ie 4 or 5 people worth of 'yes
we are ok, we are staying, but we only have food for 2 days, oh
and our neighbors are out on vacation so one is there') compile
it into some sort of csv file pass it to flmsg then flmsg wraps
it and passes it on to fldigi. I probably could do it in some
sort of program but gui programming in linux is not fun!
I also realize that I could do it with winlink but that opens up
another can of worms in the linux environment and has its own
issues with training (hence the desire of 'enter data into a
form, press send' simplicity).
if it isn't possible thats fine, I see how i can send csv files
so that isn't too big of a problem to just have people drag and
drop if thats what needs to happen, just hoping for a 'better'