Mississippi Digital Amateur Radio Club - MS-DARC
MSDARC.org

"Dedicated to digital wireless communications in Mississippi."





About Digital

Digital Nets in Mississippi

How to Get Started in the Digital Modes


Current Atmospheric Conditions and Maximum Usable Frequency



DIGITAL ADVANTAGES

The Mississippi Digital Amateur Radio Club (MS-DARC) is composed of Amateur Radio Operators, who are dedicated to furthering the understanding and use of the digital modes in Mississippi, for both pleasure and emergency communications.

Just like with the phone modes, the digital modes offer many opportunities for making local, stateside, and DX contacts, exchanging QSL cards, participating in contests, paper chasing, checking into nets, passing traffic, assisting with emergency communications, participating in Field Day and DXpeditions, and good old rag-chewing.

The digital modes also offer some new things you might be interested in doing: like have a keyboard-to-keyboard text QSO with someone, similar to using internet chat rooms and instant messaging; or send (and receive) messages to/from Bulletin Board System (BBS) for storage, retrieval, and forwarding; or send (and receive) email from your radio through the airwaves to a gateway station located in another state that places it into the internet email system for you; or by-pass the internet altogether and send (and receive) email (with attachments) straight from your radio to another Ham's radio (Peer-to-Peer) while your radio is unattended; or send and view digital video transmissions on your TV; or create a wide-area, high speed, self discovering, self configuring, fault tolerant, wireless computer network using an amateur radio frequency. During an electrical/phone/internet outage you could still share documents, forms, email, photos, video, view members web-pages, talk to each other on the phone using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP).

While it will never replace phone (voice) modes, the digital modes will continue to coexist with them, because the digital modes offer many advantages not found with phone modes: digital modes use narrow bandwidths which means greater distances than voice and CW, even with QRP power; digital information is sent discretely, unlike phone modes it cannot be understood by folks listening to scanners; 100% error free text can be sent even during the worst propagation conditions and QRM, the capability of sending and receiving (even while unattended) error free standardized agency forms such as NTS format Radiograms, ICS forms, HICS (hospital) forms, and Red Cross forms; silent operation in the shack which meets spouse approval; and lastly the digital modes allow Hams to participate via radio in the ubiquitous modern usage of email and text messages, which is not only fun, but necessary for remaining a viable service to communities and public service agencies during emergencies.

Just imagine all the possibilities and uses the digital modes can give you!

Understanding the immense value of the digital modes for emergency communications, the MS-DARC is seeking to establish standard practices and procedures for digital emcomm in the Mississippi. To that end we are dedicated to establishing reliable, NVIS, point-to-point, repeater independent, Internet independent, Digital Amateur Radio operation on VHF and HF frequencies within the state of Mississippi and to it's neighboring states. The MS-DARC endorses the use of the Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System, the WinLink 2000 System, Packet, and BroadBand HamNets for emergency communications.

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DIGITAL NETS IN MISSISSIPPI

HF Digital Nets
Frequency
Mode
Day
Time
3595.9 USB
1000hz center
MFSK-32
M
7:30P
7079.9 USB center
Winmor P2P
T
9am-4pm
3595.9 USB center
Winmor P2P
T
4pm-9pm
3595.9 USB
1000hz center
PSK-31
TH
1 & 3
7:00P
3595.9 USB
1000hz center
Olivia 8/500 &
MT63-1K
TH
2
7:00P
3595.9 USB
1000hz center
Olivia 8/500 &
MT63-1K
TH
4
7:00P
3595.9 USB
1000hz center
Various
TH
5
7:00P

The Mississippi Digital Amateur Radio Club (MS-DARC) encourages you to check into one or more of our weekly Digital nets. They each have a different purpose and format, but are all geared to helping beginners learn the basics of digital communications so they can participate. Click on the name of any Net below to open up its own page with details.

1. Our Thursday Night Digital HF Nets: 7pm. 3595.9 USB, 1000hz center

MS-PSK31 Net: A fun social net with a roundtable format. Held on the first and third Thursday of every month. PSK31.

MS-NBEMS Net: An emergency communications training net. Held on the second Thursday of every month. Olivia for check-ins.

MS-DSN Net: A training net for the Mississippi Digital SKYWARN Net. Held on the fourth Thursday of every Month. Olivia.

MS-DARC Experimental Net: This net experiments with new or unusual digital modes. Fifth Thursday Nights. Modes vary.

Elmers will be available on the Pelahatchie Repeater to help new folks who are having trouble checking in or using the FlDigi software. 145.390 77 Hz Tone - Offset

2. MS-DTN Net: The Mississippi Digital Traffic Net meets several times each week for practice and sending of digital NTS format messages: 3595.9 USB, 1000hz center, Olivia for check-ins. MT63-1K for bulletins, longer reports, and message passing.

3. Digital VHF/UHF Nets in Mississippi:

In addition to the above mentioned HF nets the MS-DARC also sponsors VHF/UHF Simplex Nets and VHF/UHF Repeater Nets throughout the state:

SCARES-NBEMS Net: The Scott County ARES Team is planning to hold a digital emergency communications training net on the Pelahatchie Repeater every other week and on a 2 meter simplex frequency on the alternate weeks. Details on our website.

4. Digital HF Email Nets in Mississippi:

MS-P2P-EmailNet: The Mississippi Peer-to-Peer Email Net runs all day on Tuesdays taking email check-ins from 9:00 am - 9:00 pm. Check-ins are done by preparing an email in RMS Express and initiating a Peer-to-Peer contact with our Net Manager's Station (K1REZ) which will be monitoring the following frequencies: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm: 7078.4 USB dial frequency on the radio. (Center Freq. 7079.9 USB on RMS Express)
4:00 pm to 9:00 pm: 3594.400 USB dial frequency on the radio. (Center Freq. 3595.900 USB on RMS Express).

4. Digital VHF/UHF Email Nets in Mississippi:

In addition to the above mentioned HF Email Net the MS-DARC also sponsors VHF Simplex Email Nets.

SCARES- P2P-EmailNet: The Scott County ARES Team is planning to hold their own email via radio net on a VHF simplex frequency every week. Details on our website.

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HOW TO GET STATED USING THE DIGITAL MODES

I. ADVANTAGES OF DIGITAL MODES:

Great for reliable rag-chew, DXing, Paper Chasing, emergency communications. Many modes - choose your mode depending on conditions. Bottom of the solar cycle - works well, even under very poor conditions where phone QSO's would be impossible!. It's FUN

II. EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:

1. Computer with a Monitor: FlDigi will run on Windows, Mac, and Linux. If you also want to send/receive email via radio you will need RMS Express, which runs on Windows versions XP through Windows 8.

2. HF Transceiver and/or VHF/UHF Transceiver: Any rig with a digital read-out that goes down to the 1 hz range, or any rig that is very stable. Most modern rigs have auxiliary jacks in the back. If not, you will at least need an audio output line (external speaker) and a microphone input line. Of course you will need a power supply and Antenna (For statewide emcomm purposes an NVIS antenna is recommended)

3. Soundcard Interface: The plug-n-play, defacto standard sound card interface is the SignaLink USB. Currently $109.99 and well worth it considering it allows you into the digital world and email via radio world!!!

Details: http://www.tigertronics.com/slusbmain.htm

Ordering Instructions: http://www.tigertronics.com/ordering.htm

III. FREE SOFTWARE REQUIRED:

A. FlDigi, Flmsg, FlWrap, Flamp: For making local, stateside, and DX keyboard-to-keyboard (chat-like) QSOs using PSK31, RTTY, Olivia, MT63, and CW (plus 150 other digital modes). For checking into Mississippi's new digital nets: MS-NBEMS, MS-Digital SKYWARN Net, MS-Digital Traffic Net, MS-PSK31 Roundtable. For sending and receiving (while unattended) error free NTS format Radiograms and ICS, HICS, and Red Cross forms during even the worst propagation conditions and QRM.

Download here: http://www.w1hkj.com/Fldigi.html

B. RMS Express: For sending email to an RMS Gateway Station which places it into the Internet System. For bypassing the Internet entirely and sending email directly to another radio station. For sending and receiving (while unattended) error free email messages, attachments, and NTS format Radiograms and ICS, HICS, and Red Cross forms.

Download here: ftp://autoupdate.winlink.org/User%20Programs/

IV. MORE INFORMATION:

1. The Mississippi Digital Amateur Radio Club (MS-DARC) is a statewide club composed of Amateur Radio Operators who are dedicated to digital wireless Amateur Radio Communications in Mississippi. http://MSDARC.org

2. Digital Modes: Look and Sound: http://www.w1hkj.com/FldigiHelp-3.21/Modes/

3. PODXS 070 PSK31 Club (for all you paper chasers): http://www.podxs070.com/

4. NVIS Antenna Design: http://www.w5jck.com/nvis/W5JCK-NVIS-Antenna-Presentation.pdf

5. NVIS Antenna for Roadside Operating: http://www.emcomm.org/projects/nvis.htm

VI. FLDIGI/NBEMS SOFTWARE INFORMATION:

A. FlDigi Wiki: https://fedorahosted.org/fldigi/wiki

B. Helpful FlDigi YouTube Videos:

1. NBEMS 01 - Installation & Basic Configuration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cAl3e0No70

2. NBEMS 02 - Sound Card Calibration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tppz_4Q49HI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUPKyQwHt5YsQD9v2gbWP8nw

3. NBEMS_FLMSG_2012 (Automatic messaging via FlDigi): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ3OXL8hrgQ

4. Basic NBEMS FLDIGI setup for use with the MT63 mode on FM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWZ2vKWSilE

5. Dave, KB3FXI's videos on FliDigi and NBEMS : http://www.youtube.com/user/davekle38sp/videos


V. RMS EXPRESS SOFTWARE INFORMATION:

A. RMS Express Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.winlink.org/faq/56

B. The WinLink 2000 System: http://www.winlink.org/

C. Helpful RMS Express YouTube Videos:

1. Downloading RMS Express (a bit outdated, but still valid): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb_cEUyYF9o

D. Excellent RMS Express Video Series:

1. Winlink "RMS Express - Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61XD28Ue_08

2. Winlink "RMS Express - Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahE2YWoSgpc

3. Winlink "RMS Express - Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58e3uH6x0DI

4. Winlink "RMS Express - Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKNGcFyHcoA

5. Winlink "RMS Express - Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXV-EjkkXnw

Fore more information, please send an email to: info AT scottcountyarc.org

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SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS

The MS-DARC has several Special Interest Groups (SIG) which focus on different aspects of digital wireless communications in Mississippi.

1. Mississippi Digital EmComm Group:

The MS-DEC SIG is interested in using digital modes for emergency communications. NBEMS, Packet Radio, Peer-to-Peer Email, WinLink 2000, RMSExpress/Winmor, They sponsor and participate in the following digital emcomm nets in Mississippi.

2. Mississippi PSK31 Group:

The MS-PSK31 SIG is interested in using the PSK31 digital mode for keyboard-to-keyboard text communications.

3. Mississippi Packet Group:

The MS-PKT SIG is interested in setting up packet stations, digipeaters, and BBSs for sending, storing, forwarding and receiving messages via VHF amateur radio.

4. WinLink 2000 Group:

The MS-WL2K SIG is interested in using Packet, Pactor, or Winmor (RMS Express) to send email via VHF, UHF and HF, using RMS Internet Gateway Stations and/or directly to another Amateur Radio Station via the airwaves alone (Peer-to-Peer).

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 Current Atmospheric Conditions
Maximum Usable Frequency


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