EmComm Nets in New England

Ed Feustel, AI1R, writes on the Connecticut Valley FM Association mailing list:

There are at least three groups that practice preparing for emergency communications: two every Saturday morning and one every Wednesday. You are welcome to join any or all.

The first is the NH Digital Training Net. It uses the FLDIGI suite of tools to pass or relay messages. We learn how to use the tools so we are prepared to communicate in the event of an emergency. The net has participants from all New England States as well as NY, NJ, and PA. Typical participation include 20-30. Currently we use THOR22 or MFSK32 to transmit messages or images. However we have used ODFM(?) and other modes experimentally. The net has a checkin session on 3.582 MHz USB with an offset of 1500 Hz each Saturday at 0700 local time. The net runs from 7:30 to 8:00. You will need FLDIGI, FLMSG, and FLAMP at a minimum. These are available for free at sourceforge.net under an FLDIGI search. The group will be happy to help you get configured properly.

The second is a NH ARES section voice net. It meets weekly Saturday at 0830 to 0900 on 3.976 MHz and conducts practice of sending and receiving short voice messages. For more information on NH ARES, see nhradio.org for information on its organization, frequencies, plans, etc. Consider joining it particularly since you are in the Upper Valley area.

The third is a WinLink “net.” WinLink consists of a number of store and forward stations (s&f) or gateways that rely on a central internet hub. WinLink serves as a pickup place for mail consisting of text, images, etc. It relies on gateway stations that still have power and internet connectivity. A station in an emergency area without communications sends their e-mail via radio to one of the gateway stations that it can contact somewhere in the world. That station will either send the e-mail via the internet (if directed) or store the message in a “cloud” so that it can be picked up by a calling station. Accounts last for 90 days from last access, so it is important to check in frequently to be have a usable account in the event of an emergency. gateway stations are available on HF, VHF, and satellite with higher bandwidth being available on higher frequencies. A special program, WinLink Express, is used via telnet or one of a variety of radio modems.  Most gateways now use the VARA modem in one of its three forms in either free or licensed forms. The WinLink Net has us send a special WinLink formatted message to a NCS once a week: Wednesday from 6AM to 6PM. We get a reply message indicating who has checked in.

NH encourages it ARES participants to join a SKYWARN net on DMR (VHF/UHF) on Thursday evening on the SKYWARN Talk Group for more detail see nhradio.org.

VT had/has a RACES net. I believe it was on a weekday evening.  I have forgotten its frequency and time.

I participate in the NHDN group weekly and once every 5 weeks as NCS. If you have further questions about it, please feel free to contact myself or George, N1GB (a VT ham), organizer of its activity.

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