Are you a newly licensed Ham Radio Operator? Want to use your new hobby, but don’t have a Ham shack or expensive equipment? Are you a Tech level who wants to be part of helping people? Well, CommsConnectUS is for you!
If you have a Ham Radio license and cell phone or computer, YOU can be an important part of CCUS-HAMNet! Just download the EchoLink app, then do a search for and connect to “CommsConnectUS” or “KO4DMY-L (Node 528307)”, then connect. It’s as easy as that!
Why use digital communications in amateur radio?
For a couple of very important reasons.
First, is that we can actually send a formatted report to someone who needs information about a particular danger or situation (i.e. supplies requests, mission coordination, damage reports, SitReps, updates on current joint operations in a particular area, etc.).
These types of reports are much easier to submit and then pass on to others when a lot of things are happening at the same time. It also eliminates the need for repeatedly asking for the same information.
Secondly, the atmosphere (ie, propogation) gets too noisy for voice transmissions. Voices get lost too easily in static. Computers (digital) can send and decode messages much easier when conditions are not favorable for voice communication. Digital “busts through” the static at a much smaller bandwidth than voice, and the receiving end can pick it up even when it cannot be heard by the human ear. Computers have an error correcting feature and can retransmit the data quickly to get a report to its destination accurately.
Amateur Radio Operators – Intro to Digital Comms
So, you got your license, got a radio, maybe even made a contact or two, but you keep hearing about digital communications. CCUS will be using the following software for net operations and passing traffic (information).
There is a great piece of software call FLDigi. This is a freeware application, meaning you do not have to purchase anything.
Below are several YouTube videos created by Rick Frost (K4REF) on how to download, install, and configure the FLDigi/NBEMS software suite.
Please follow these videos to get started with digital communications.
** These videos were created a couple of years ago, download the latest versions and install them following his instructions. **
Video #1: Getting Started With FLDigi/NBEMS
Video #2: FLDigi Set Up & Configuration for New Users
Video #3: FLDigi UI and Basic Operation
Video #4: Using Macros in FLDigi & Using FLWrap
Video #5: FLMsg Configuration & Operations
Video #6: FLAMP Configuration & Operations