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Emcomm Messaging Systems

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KG7LEA, Apr 29, 2018.

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  1. KG7LEA

    KG7LEA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am looking for examples of messaging systems to manage amateur radio and GMRS traffic in and out of an EOC to provide for 1) information only broadcasts from the EOC, 2) requests for information from the EOC and the ability to track replies, 3) requests for assistance from field stations vs. information only messages, and 4) both digital and voice modes. I have reviewed the Outpost software which seems to depend on a bulletin board.
     
  2. KK5JY

    KK5JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    With whom are you trading this information? It's one thing if you have control over all the stations in the message exchange. Then you can pick whatever you like. But if you have to interoperate with others over whose gear you have no or little control, that's a different problem altogether.

    Also, are the messages short messages, like SMS length? Or long messages like NWS extended textual forecasts?
     
  3. KG7LEA

    KG7LEA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes.

    For the most part the served agency is the EOC, but traffic can come in for other destinations such as neighboring jurisdictions or other parts of the city.
     
  4. K0RGR

    K0RGR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't think you can do digital modes over GMRS at all, so that's something you need to research. I believe you can do digital on MURS, however - which might be a better solution. You might also look into the Citizens Broadband Radio Service.

    'Broadcasting' per se is illegal under Part 97. However, what you describe sounds more like 'multicasting' - aimed at a number of receiving stations at the same time. FLAMP (Amateur Multicast Protocol) is particularly useful for this purpose. FLAMP takes a file and breaks it into packets. The system can be set to automatically repeat the file as many times as desired. On the receive end, the file is reassembled as the packets are received. Missing packets will be copied when the message is repeated. Also, the receiving stations can send requests for specific packets to be resent.

    The FLDIGI/NBEMS software has many of the features you desire. FLMSG has templates for standard ICS forms, including replies. Received messages can be formatted into HTML documents, which can be viewed with a web browser. We've considered setting it up so that the messages can be accessed from portable tablet devices, rather than printing them. You would need to configure a basic web server on the system receiving the messages and grant access to the directory where received messages are stored.

    FLDIGI also supports the FSQ protocol. FSQ allows a central operator to interrogate and remotely control other stations in the network. For example, the net control station could tell a remote user to receive and store a file that will be sent.

    You might also get some ideas from this group - http://www.14567.org/ Their network is based on the high speed 1.2 GHz D-star gear. Unfortunately, the ID-1 transceiver which is the heart of this system has been discontinued by ICOM and there is no replacement. You could implement something similar with VHF/UHF D-star at much lower speeds, but it would still have the advantage of doing voice and data simultaneously, and should be fast enough for all text data, and perhaps small pictures.
     
  5. KG7LEA

    KG7LEA Ham Member QRZ Page

    GMRS is voice only. My city maintains four GMRS repeaters that are tested weekly. GMRS is the service of preference for CERT volunteers and neighborhood hubs. GMRS messages come in from non hams, must be manually transcribed. and do not have originating station message numbers. These messages still have to be managed at the EOC for passing to the affected city department(s).

    The digital operations are handled by Fldigi (EOC to the rest of the city) and Winlink. Fldigi is vulnerable to malicious interference. The Fldigi and Winlink ICS and state templates are used for the hard copies than can be handed off to affected city departments. High priority messages can be handled by voice on amateur bands and transcribed to hard copy.

    Although all the information and messages generated by the ARES/RACES team can be entered into the Web EOC system (all of us trained), we are encouraged to "walk" messages to the addressee.

    At present, a hard copy of a message is created and printed out for the message manager. He assigns his own numbering system and messages go to different pile, e.g., no further action, information only, request for assistance, reply to an earlier request from the EOC, etc..
     
  6. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Huh? All radio transmissions are vulnerable to malicious interference.

    p.s. What you are describing is NOT a Message Handling System but an Operations System; a vastly more complex thing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018

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