DELARANEWS

Joe

Joe Papworth, K8MP

So many words. So little time.

Does anyone remember Bob Newhart’s stand-up comedy routine about monkeys and

typewriters? It was based on the premise that given enough time and typewriters, monkeys

would eventually write all the great books of all time. Well, I suppose that premise is

possible but I don’t have that kind of time. And lucky for me, mine doesn’t have to be one of

the great volumes in history. It just needs to be my greatest work for today. Unlucky for me,

I don’t have a clue what I’m going to write.

Hey, current events are always a good topic.

Recently, we had the 2021 ARRL SET (Simulated Emergency Test).

During it, I learned a few things. First off, I need to learn to print faster and more legibly.

Most of the radiograms I received were given orally. I had to ask several operators to slow

down and repeat their messages. If this had been a real emergency, I would have also

needed to relay the messages on to various served agencies. For example, I might have

needed to relay a message to the Red Cross asking for cots, blankets, and pillows. Easy

enough, right? But when you’re running a net with double-digit participants, each stationed

at a different shelter, it would be way too slow. Rather than print the messages by hand,

Larry, AC8YE, suggested typing the messages directly into an FLDIGI radiogram. In hindsight,

I should have at least tried that.

I better mention how message forms work in FLDIGI and WinLink. In either program,

besides just typing a message ad lib, you have the option of sending any one of many

standard forms. If you are familiar with the layout of an ARRL Radiogram, you would

immediately recognize the digital copy that pops up on your monitor. All the fields that you

are used to seeing are there. You just enter the data. That’s what Larry was talking about

when he suggested just typing the message into a radiogram.

Moving on: I also need to be flexible. Some of the deployed folks were not familiar with how

to properly format a radiogram. All they had was their radio. We can fix that with an hour of

training at an ARES meeting. But consider this: In the heat of an emergency, there may be

folks who have never made out a radiogram. Their emergency request must still get

through. If that happens, I would get the pertinent information from them, type it into a

message form, then route it to the proper served agency.

I should mention that FLDIGI (And WinLink) have many fillable forms to choose from, most

of which we’ll probably never use. These can be transmitted over the air, very quickly and

accurately. The form you filled out at your end will appear at the receiving end, looking like

the form you chose to send. By the way, the radiogram form is just the one we chose to use

in the SET.

Other forms

Some of you are familiar with the ICS (Incident Command System) that was developed to

coordinate resources (People, supplies, communication, etc) in an emergency. Both FLDIGI

and WinLink have the standard ICS forms that can be quickly filled out and transmitted.

Some of you may not know that Delaware County developed their own form for internal

use. We asked the WinLink and FLDIGI gurus if they could add that form to the regular stash

of forms that are included in their downloads. They accommodated us which impressed the

EOC staff. The WinLink guys liked the form so much, they made it editable so anyone from

another county or organization could modify it for their own purposes.

That’s it for this edition. I hope to see everyone at the October meeting. If not, then at Joe’s

Place in November.

DELARANews

Joe

Joe Papworth, K8MP

So many words. So little time.

Does anyone remember Bob Newhart’s stand-up comedy routine about

monkeys and typewriters? It was based on the premise that given

enough time and typewriters, monkeys would eventually write all the

great books of all time. Well, I suppose that premise is possible but I

don’t have that kind of time. And lucky for me, mine doesn’t have to be

one of the great volumes in history. It just needs to be my greatest work

for today. Unlucky for me, I don’t have a clue what I’m going to write.

Hey, current events are always a good topic.

Recently, we had the 2021 ARRL SET (Simulated Emergency Test).

During it, I learned a few things. First off, I need to learn to print faster

and more legibly. Most of the radiograms I received were given orally. I

had to ask several operators to slow down and repeat their messages. If

this had been a real emergency, I would have also needed to relay the

messages on to various served agencies. For example, I might have

needed to relay a message to the Red Cross asking for cots, blankets,

and pillows. Easy enough, right? But when you’re running a net with

double-digit participants, each stationed at a different shelter, it would

be way too slow. Rather than print the messages by hand, Larry, AC8YE,

suggested typing the messages directly into an FLDIGI radiogram. In

hindsight, I should have at least tried that.

I better mention how message forms work in FLDIGI and WinLink. In

either program, besides just typing a message ad lib, you have the

option of sending any one of many standard forms. If you are familiar

with the layout of an ARRL Radiogram, you would immediately recognize

the digital copy that pops up on your monitor. All the fields that you are

used to seeing are there. You just enter the data. That’s what Larry was

talking about when he suggested just typing the message into a

radiogram.

Moving on: I also need to be flexible. Some of the deployed folks were

not familiar with how to properly format a radiogram. All they had was

their radio. We can fix that with an hour of training at an ARES meeting.

But consider this: In the heat of an emergency, there may be folks who

have never made out a radiogram. Their emergency request must still

get through. If that happens, I would get the pertinent information from

them, type it into a message form, then route it to the proper served

agency.

I should mention that FLDIGI (And WinLink) have many fillable forms to

choose from, most of which we’ll probably never use. These can be

transmitted over the air, very quickly and accurately. The form you filled

out at your end will appear at the receiving end, looking like the form

you chose to send. By the way, the radiogram form is just the one we

chose to use in the SET.

Other forms

Some of you are familiar with the ICS (Incident Command System) that

was developed to coordinate resources (People, supplies,

communication, etc) in an emergency. Both FLDIGI and WinLink have the

standard ICS forms that can be quickly filled out and transmitted. Some

of you may not know that Delaware County developed their own form

for internal use. We asked the WinLink and FLDIGI gurus if they could

add that form to the regular stash of forms that are included in their

downloads. They accommodated us which impressed the EOC staff. The

WinLink guys liked the form so much, they made it editable so anyone

from another county or organization could modify it for their own

purposes.

That’s it for this edition. I hope to see everyone at the October meeting.

If not, then at Joe’s Place in November.