There are several different contexts in which digital modes can be used and a preferred solution for each. Of course we will always have to “do what’s required” to communicate, but we do have some preferred starting points. Make sure to:
- Visit the Digital Training page for how to use the software on this page.
- Check the events calendar for any upcoming digital mode training.
- Leverage our Software Downloads page for a “one stop shop” to get the suggested software.
Non real-time communications (like e-mail)
For communications where a piece of information is destined for one or more amateur radio operators or a normal internet e-mail address and immediate acknowledgement is not required, the preferred solution is Winlink 2000 (WL2K) used via the RMS Express software. Some situations where this is the preferred solution:
- This is a perfect solution for sending health & welfare messages from shelter residents to someone outside the affected area who likely still has internet access.
- Sending messages from between a Shelter and the EOC when the messages do not require an immediate response to ensure life safety or preserve property. So anything not “an emergency.” Things like resource requests, status reports, damage reports not requiring immediate response or evacuation, etc. This mode would not be appropriate for reporting a fire affecting the shelter or immediate need for medical evacuation.
- Any other need to “send someone an e-mail” when the internet is not accessible at your location.
Chat type functionality
For “chat” type functionality, V4 Chat is the preferred solution! It allows both “broadcast” style chats using Forward Error Correction (FEC) for any number of stations and “just two station” style chats with Automatic Repeat Queries (ARQ).