Re: Narrow Band Emergency Messages

Frank Olaughlin
 

Cape Cod and Islands uses NBEMS for our county MACC facility. We use it to communicate with other EOCs and the also the state. We have been using and testing NBEMS for some time. We started off with MT632KL for VHF/UHF. We started using it because it seemed to be a sort of standard. It worked fine, but after testing other modes in Fldigi, we realized there was no sense in continuing to use it since it was so slow. We quickly switched to QPSK500 and never looked back. In recent years, we use 8PSK125F/500F on one of our repeaters and 8PSK1000F/1200F on simplex. We have used 8PSK1200F successfully during very intense coastal storms last Winter. Winds were around 100mph or so and both AT&T and Comcast were basically offline. The multicast capability makes it a great system. Our incident management team was impressed by both the ICS forms in Flmsg and sending files with Flamp. They needed a codeplug for two Motorola CDM-1550s in different areas. Using Flamp, we sent it to both in one shot using 8PSK. This really impressed them.

I think Meshnet systems do have potential, but I agree with the poster who was concerned by increasing use of infrastructure. We have to be careful not to abandon tested communications options just because something new comes along. That doesn't mean we shouldn't use new ideas as they come along. We just have to watch that we don't become the very same infrastructure dependent system that agencies use us to back up. I think the people advancing MESH tech realize this and are keeping system redundant and as interoperable as they can. It has a great future, as long as we remember not to put all our eggs in any one basket.

We also use Winlink, but to a lesser degree. It will likely see more use here with ARDOP coming along for HF. Pactor 4 is too expensive for me and most others.

What I really like about NBEMS is that I can use an old laptop with Linux, cheap 10 dollar Kenwood mobile bought at a fleamarket, cheap J-pole, and still have good speed digital operations with Flmsg and Flamp. Got to hand it to Dave for that……This stuff works.

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