Re: Custom forms and templates #flmsg


Hello Art:

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 different platforms. 

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. 

73, Sarah

On 10/15/2017 6:14 PM, Art - KC7SDA wrote:

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' solution.

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