Topics

Flmsg as a Stand-Alone Forms Application

shansen@...
 

Question: Are other NBEMS users using flmsg with applications other than fldigi?


Flmsg's flexibility is noted at the start of the Help file, I'm curious about how others are using flmsg in addition to its use within NBEMS.


Earlier this week on another emcomm oriented reflector there was a discussion about sending forms. This, for the most part, included talk of sending scanned ICS paper forms as attachments or using an embedded forms feature in the communications program. The former requires the sending of an approx 20 kB image file for each page and would require ARQ or flamp and a fast mode. The argument for this was that transcription errors could be avoided by sending an image of the original form. As examples of the latter, the Outpost packet client has the ability to send radiogram and ICS-213 forms with a built in tool. Also, the latest versions of RMS Express can now handle html forms using its own utility. There's a nascent forms library but, as of now, there are no forms. Some test forms have been circulated.


With Outpost and RMS Express, the form has to be created on the program in question and there is little (or no) ability to be able to move a form from one application to any other. At last not easily as far as I can tell. That aside, the new RMSE utility is much like flmsg in its general approach.


In the discussion, a few folks - myself included - noted that flmsg can be made to work with just about anything. First off, there was a lot of confusion as to what flmsg is. Getting beyond that, a few examples were cited.


In Maine ARES/RACES, our primary digital tools include NBEMS and to a lesser extent RMS Express. RMSE is used mostly as a BPQ BBS client but can also be used with the Winlink system. RMS Express has the ability to carry attachments. John Wiseman G8BPQ made a number of enhancements to BPQ in 2014 which permitted the use of RMS Express (with attachments) as a BBQ client.


As a result, we are using flmsg as our “standard” radio forms program, regardless of what we use it with. It can also be installed on the computer of team member who is not serving as an operator and who may not even be a ham. This takes the load off of the person who is sitting at the radio. They just have to load the message from a thumb drive.


As an example, an operator can send a flmsg 213 from a field location to the county EOC using VHF NBEMS. If the message has to go further, the flmsg file can be attached to RMS Express and sent on via the BPQ BBS using packet or out of the region with Winlink.


While not the most desirable, if the ultimate recipient doesn't have a clue what flmsg is, the text output of flmsg can be cut and pasted into the RMS Express message screen. Using Notepad++ the text looks like:


ICS 213 GENERAL MESSAGE


INC: Test of Formats

TO: Ray Sisk

POSITION: Knox EMA

FROM: Steve Hansen KB1TCE

POSITION: Owls Head

SUBJ: Test of Formats

DATE: 2015-05-07

TIME: 0802L

MESSAGE:

Ray,

(text snipped)


SIGNATURE: Steve KB1TCE

POSITION: Owls Head, ME

REPLY:


DATE:

TIME:

SIGNATURE:

POSITION:


(The only thing missing is a way to get the text back into flmsg.)


The other option is to use flmsg's html output and then send the html file. The file is larger than with the other methods but is not overly large (say 1k for a flmsg file, 3k for the html). Certainly far better than sending a scanned document.


Bottom line, a lot of versatility.


So – are others using flmsg with more than NBEMS? If so, how and what might be some current limitations or opportunities for enhancement?


Thanks and 73,

Steve KB1TCE

Dave Newmyer <dnewmye@...>
 

Our state ARES digital group uses FLMSG with both RMS-EXPRESS and AIRMAIL software. Also, we have used it with tnc-based mailboxes. In some cases we rename the .213 extension to .txt for sending as file attachments, then rename the extension back to .213 .

Have also used FLMSG with voice ARRL Radiogram messages. Like the word number check feature, as well as being able to archive the message plus being able to print out in a professional looking format.

On 5/8/2015 1:33 PM, shansen@... [NBEMSham] wrote:

Question: Are other NBEMS users using flmsg with applications other than fldigi?


Flmsg's flexibility is noted at the start of the Help file, I'm curious about how others are using flmsg in addition to its use within NBEMS.


<<snip>>

POSITION:


(The only thing missing is a way to get the text back into flmsg.)


The other option is to use flmsg's html output and then send the html file. The file is larger than with the other methods but is not overly large (say 1k for a flmsg file, 3k for the html). Certainly far better than sending a scanned document.


Bottom line, a lot of versatility.


So – are others using flmsg with more than NBEMS? If so, how and what might be some current limitations or opportunities for enhancement?


Thanks and 73,

Steve KB1TCE

Steve <shansen@...>
 


Thanks for your reply Dave.

Is it your expectation that all message recipients will have flmsg available?

I think that the NTS folks are looking at some sort of forms solution but I'm not quite sure what it might be. We use flmsg for radiograms on our Maine digital nets. Our NTS liason moves out-of-area traffic via the statewide voice net and I cut and paste to the Airmail NTSD format.

73, Steve KB1TCE


On 05/09/2015 10:37 AM, Dave Newmyer dnewmye@... [NBEMSham] wrote:
 

Our state ARES digital group uses FLMSG with both RMS-EXPRESS and
AIRMAIL software. Also, we have used it with tnc-based mailboxes. In
some cases we rename the .213 extension to .txt for sending as file
attachments, then rename the extension back to .213 .

Have also used FLMSG with voice ARRL Radiogram messages. Like the word
number check feature, as well as being able to archive the message plus
being able to print out in a professional looking format.

On 5/8/2015 1:33 PM, shansen@... [NBEMSham] wrote:
>
> Question: Are other NBEMS users using flmsg with applications other
> than fldigi?
>
>
> Flmsg's flexibility is noted at the start of the Help file, I'm
> curious about how others are using flmsg in addition to its use within
> NBEMS.
>
>
> <>
>
> POSITION:
>
>
> (The only thing missing is a way to get the text back into flmsg.)
>
>
> The other option is to use flmsg's html output and then send the html
> file. The file is larger than with the other methods but is not overly
> large (say 1k for a flmsg file, 3k for the html). Certainly far better
> than sending a scanned document.
>
>
> Bottom line, a lot of versatility.
>
>
> So – are others using flmsg with more than NBEMS? If so, how and what
> might be some current limitations or opportunities for enhancement?
>
>
> Thanks and 73,
>
> Steve KB1TCE
>
>

---
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http://www.avast.com


Dave Newmyer <dnewmye@...>
 

Given our circumstances, it is doubtful that all recipients will have FLMSG running, but it can be installed fairly quickly, or else at least read by common text editors.

I recently received an NTS radiogram destined for a new ham in the area via a regional SSB net on 40M. Took the message, typed it into FLMSG, then printed out on paper (html report I believe) and hand delivered it to that individual at a meeting we were both attending at an EOC. The professional look of the message was well received, and I believe worth the effort.
By the way, I had not handled any NTS traffic in years prior to that meeting.

I do appreciate the hard work that W1HKJ and crew put into the FLDIGI software!

73,

Dave N

On 5/10/2015 7:14 AM, Steve shansen@... [NBEMSham] wrote:


Thanks for your reply Dave.

Is it your expectation that all message recipients will have flmsg available?

I think that the NTS folks are looking at some sort of forms solution but I'm not quite sure what it might be. We use flmsg for radiograms on our Maine digital nets. Our NTS liason moves out-of-area traffic via the statewide voice net and I cut and paste to the Airmail NTSD format.

73, Steve KB1TCE


On 05/09/2015 10:37 AM, Dave Newmyer dnewmye@... [NBEMSham] wrote:

Our state ARES digital group uses FLMSG with both RMS-EXPRESS and
AIRMAIL software. Also, we have used it with tnc-based mailboxes. In
some cases we rename the .213 extension to .txt for sending as file
attachments, then rename the extension back to .213 .

Have also used FLMSG with voice ARRL Radiogram messages. Like the word
number check feature, as well as being able to archive the message plus
being able to print out in a professional looking format.

On 5/8/2015 1:33 PM, shansen@... [NBEMSham] wrote:

Question: Are other NBEMS users using flmsg with applications other
than fldigi?


Flmsg's flexibility is noted at the start of the Help file, I'm
curious about how others are using flmsg in addition to its use within
NBEMS.


<<snip>>

POSITION:


(The only thing missing is a way to get the text back into flmsg.)


The other option is to use flmsg's html output and then send the html
file. The file is larger than with the other methods but is not overly
large (say 1k for a flmsg file, 3k for the html). Certainly far better
than sending a scanned document.


Bottom line, a lot of versatility.


So – are others using flmsg with more than NBEMS? If so, how and what
might be some current limitations or opportunities for enhancement?


Thanks and 73,

Steve KB1TCE

---
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http://www.avast.com

Steve <shansen@...>
 


I don't take radiograms on voice nets that often but when I do I try to do like you did - enter it directly into Flmsg. First off, my handwriting stinks. Second, it's easy to verify the check sum. Third, I can quickly decode the ARL if present (yeah, I've got it printed on a sheet of paper somewhere but never close at hand). And then everything you say regarding appearance, etc.

Agree totally on W1HKJ &Co.

73, Steve KB1TCE


On 05/10/2015 11:32 AM, Dave Newmyer dnewmye@... [NBEMSham] wrote:
 

Given our circumstances, it is doubtful that all recipients will have
FLMSG running, but it can be installed fairly quickly, or else at least
read by common text editors.

I recently received an NTS radiogram destined for a new ham in the area
via a regional SSB net on 40M. Took the message, typed it into FLMSG,
then printed out on paper (html report I believe) and hand delivered it
to that individual at a meeting we were both attending at an EOC. The
professional look of the message was well received, and I believe worth
the effort.
By the way, I had not handled any NTS traffic in years prior to that
meeting.

I do appreciate the hard work that W1HKJ and crew put into the FLDIGI
software!

73,

Dave N

On 5/10/2015 7:14 AM, Steve shansen@... [NBEMSham] wrote:
>
>
> Thanks for your reply Dave.
>
> Is it your expectation that all message recipients will have flmsg
> available?
>
> I think that the NTS folks are looking at some sort of forms solution
> but I'm not quite sure what it might be. We use flmsg for radiograms
> on our Maine digital nets. Our NTS liason moves out-of-area traffic
> via the statewide voice net and I cut and paste to the Airmail NTSD
> format.
>
> 73, Steve KB1TCE
>
>
> On 05/09/2015 10:37 AM, Dave Newmyer dnewmye@... [NBEMSham] wrote:
>>
>> Our state ARES digital group uses FLMSG with both RMS-EXPRESS and
>> AIRMAIL software. Also, we have used it with tnc-based mailboxes. In
>> some cases we rename the .213 extension to .txt for sending as file
>> attachments, then rename the extension back to .213 .
>>
>> Have also used FLMSG with voice ARRL Radiogram messages. Like the word
>> number check feature, as well as being able to archive the message plus
>> being able to print out in a professional looking format.
>>
>> On 5/8/2015 1:33 PM, shansen@... [NBEMSham] wrote:
>> >
>> > Question: Are other NBEMS users using flmsg with applications other
>> > than fldigi?
>> >
>> >
>> > Flmsg's flexibility is noted at the start of the Help file, I'm
>> > curious about how others are using flmsg in addition to its use within
>> > NBEMS.
>> >
>> >
>> > <>
>> >
>> > POSITION:
>> >
>> >
>> > (The only thing missing is a way to get the text back into flmsg.)
>> >
>> >
>> > The other option is to use flmsg's html output and then send the html
>> > file. The file is larger than with the other methods but is not overly
>> > large (say 1k for a flmsg file, 3k for the html). Certainly far better
>> > than sending a scanned document.
>> >
>> >
>> > Bottom line, a lot of versatility.
>> >
>> >
>> > So – are others using flmsg with more than NBEMS? If so, how and what
>> > might be some current limitations or opportunities for enhancement?
>> >
>> >
>> > Thanks and 73,
>> >
>> > Steve KB1TCE
>> >
>> >
>>
>> ---
>> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
>> http://www.avast.com
>>
>
>

---
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
http://www.avast.com


Pete Thuotte
 

Steve,
I thought I might find some posts of yours here!
So, you are familiar within my issue. Messages come through my BBS, using Winlink Packet as attachments, in .xml format. I need to import/drop & drag convert ?.. into FLMSG  to send to local teams in the field via VHF, using FLDIGI (flmsg). They have no access to Winklink Packet or Packet. only VHF FLDIGI. I been doing it by "copy paste" the contents of the attachments into Blank form, and sending it that way. the formatting information is also copied along with the message. 
How to make use of that formatting information to deliver a professional looking message, in it's original format, to the end user is my question.
It may have been answered already but, I have not previously dove to this level of the software (Operator, not well educated on the software)\ and only begun to search this group's messages for help.
Thanks in advance.

73's, Pete N1ZRL