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Author Topic: Automatically controlled digital stations  (Read 3169 times)
NX5MK
Member

Posts: 65




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« on: December 27, 2011, 06:19:03 AM »

With great interest (and of course concern) I read the message "Norway - Dagmar storm aftermath" (and hope that no one will come to harm secondary to the communications breakdown).

I have read in numerous accounts of large scale emergencies, that Amateur stations check-in with Net control at 3 hour (or similar) intervals. I assume that most here do not have an occupation in which they have ever experienced the fatigue which ensues with sleep deprivation caused by frequent interruption of their sleep. Do this for a night or two and you are seriously fatigued. Continuing this 3 hour rhythm for a period of over 2 days - don't go driving your automobile anymore!

So I have been thinking for a while on how I could leave my station running, ready to receive messages with me being able to have uninterrupted sleep, or non-hams being able to "read" (not send) any messages, without having to wake up the  HAM operator, and the station checking in to Net control automatically.

I believe there are only 3 software programs which fulfill this: PCALE, FLARQ, jPSKmail.

- Any thoughts from anyone on this concept?
- Anyone able to give some feedback on using these programs under such conditions?
- Any other software suggestions?

vy 73 de Marcus KD0JKM
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K7RBW
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Posts: 398




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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 07:37:36 AM »

What about just using a tone or digital squelch on the radio? Have one tone for routine uses and another that is sent for emergency messages? Then you have a radio set to receive the emergency tone and alert you when it goes off. Sort of like a paging tone.

Another idea might be to leave a radio on in PSK31 mode so that any emergency messages are sent as a QST by PSK31. The receiver would then have a log of the message with the date & time.

It seems like a reasonable requirement and I'm sure this problem has been solved many different ways in the past.
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NX5MK
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Posts: 65




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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2011, 10:28:17 AM »

Hi K7RBW,

Thank you so much for your thoughts and suggestions!

I am thinking of NVIS via HF and do not have a tone/ digital squelch on my rig, not sure that any HF rig has that. I do have SELCALL which allows for this functionality, but hardly anybody else has this (as a "free" feature, unlike the mentioned free software programs, so I did not mention SELCALL in my post) Please excuse that I did not specify HF comms in my original post. Also: I am specifically interested in being able to send-receive messages without having to wake up for a message every 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 hours... I was going along the assumption that many messages are not THAT time critical.

Re: leaving rig on with PSK31: the sender does not receive feedback if his message actually was received and needs to be resent. jPSKmail additionally offers a Client-Server behavior, allowing a recipient to retrieve messages from a "Net-controllers file folder" at their operational convenience, allowing retrieval of messages/ bulletins in case they were off-air for some time. Again, sorry for not specifying that I was interested in receive-acknowledge feedback between sender and receiver.

vy 73 de Marcus KD0JKM
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AI8P
Member

Posts: 118




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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2011, 09:36:10 AM »

If you run NBEMS (standard for my ARES group) you can tell flmsg to open the received messages in a web browser - non-hams can then read and even print the messages by looking through the web browser instances that are opened.

I'm not sure if this answers your question, but people have considered having a flmsg receive station in an EOC without a ham operator there - just depend on the responders there to read the messages transmitted in.

Your mileage may vary.

Dennis
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KD6KWZ
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Posts: 276




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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2012, 12:22:28 AM »

Quote
Have one tone for routine uses and another that is sent for emergency messages?

Many Police Departments have a special tone to get attention for a "hot" (serious felony in progress) situation. San Jose PD has a tone to get attention, then they broadcast a short tone every 20 seconds to warn units coming onto the frequency, or onto duty, to hold their non related radio traffic.
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K7RBW
Member

Posts: 398




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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2012, 08:39:34 AM »

I'm still not clear on what problem this is trying to solve.
a) that the radio heard the call
or
b) that the operator heard the call
or
c) the operator heard the call and the base /HQ/EOC heard the response
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NX5MK
Member

Posts: 65




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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2012, 11:38:01 AM »

"C".

How to leave your station turned on, with it being able to receive messages, having a system to verify if a message was received correctly, giving the sending station automatic acknowledgement that the message was received flawlessly.

This to solve the problem "how do I go to the bathroom or have a nap (i.e. leaving your station unattended), without missing any messages".

Any other suggestions except for: PCALE, FLARQ, jPSKmail?

73,
Marcus
KD0JKM
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