Radio Preppers

General Category => Net Activity => Topic started by: WA4STO on September 08, 2013, 11:37:40 am

Title: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: WA4STO on September 08, 2013, 11:37:40 am
This year's Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is being held in early October. The exact dates are up to local groups and participating individuals.

My personal goal is to send 500 SET messages, although I'm hoping that a substantial number of return messages will be received here at WA4STO as well.

I need recipients. No, not addressees; I have thousands of those, but rather recipients. You know, folks who would be willing to receive a few, a few dozen, or a few hundred messages.

What would you need to do in order to participate? You would need to be willing to receive them. That's it. Nothing more. If you wanted to send back responses, such as "Your number 7712 received" or even "Your number 7712 received x addressee does not appear in local shelter database", that would be appreciated.

Now, what modes are we talking about? In order to participate in "my" version of this year's SET, you would need one of the three following capabilities:

1. Pactor 1, 2, or 3 so as to retrieve them from your nearest MBO as per your local NTS(D) plan.

2. Winlink. That is, you would need to have a winlink.org address.

3. An email address.

That's it. Just about everybody here can manage one or more of those. But here's the thing:

No matter which of the three (above) that I use, I'll get SAR/ORS/DRS and Target Station 'points' on my monthly reports. Why is that? Because the PSCM and the MPG both say so. Gonna be a big month...

And for you, if you use #1 or #2 above to send OR receive these messages, you'll get credit as well. Number 3? Not so much... Or, actually, not at all. Your choice.

What formats will be used? For #1 above, I'll be using NTS format for all outgoing Pactor MBO messages. But for Winlink, I'll be utilizing "radio email" format, which is to say, no specific format at all, as per the PSCM and the MPG. They're all good.

As for your use of #3 above, you have the option of using a particular format (NTS or otherwise) or not, since I'll be getting them via Winlink anyway.

I have a questionnaire / survey ready to send out, asking everybody I know (hams, non-hams, anybody) if they'd like to participate, on which of the three modes specified above, and how many maximum they would be willing to take. Remember, there's no particular action required of you, although acknowledgments would be appreciated.

But I'm holding off on the survey for just a bit in order to see how much potential activity and/or discussion this generates.

I do have a reason for all this. Certain Sections and even whole States suffer from a pretty bad disconnect between various groups that used to participate together in SETs. Today, one "side" either fails or is very reluctant to admit that they have no long-haul capability whatsoever. I'm betting that my follow-up SET article to Steve Ewald at HQ as well as to our Division Director and Vice Director who put out a wonderfully vibrant newsletter will go a long way toward helping point out what could be if everybody would agree to agree.

What about you? Think you might be interested?

73, Luck WA4STO
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: gil on September 08, 2013, 12:00:19 pm
Hello Luck,

You might want to clarify what all those abbreviations mean... The only one I know is "NTS," none of the others  :o
I am sure I am not the only one... Have a great day  :)

Gil.
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: WA4STO on September 08, 2013, 12:22:05 pm
KF5RHI - Thanks for the message:

SET message recipients:

I have you listed as wanting to receive SET messages during the first week of October at this address: kf5rhi@winlink.org

*** Please advise the maximum number of messages you'd be willing to accept.

No relay or delivery attempts are necessary.  Individual receipt messages including message number and name are encouraged but not required.

The text will look something like this:

EXAMPLE ONLY, NOT LIVE
---

NR 7777 TEST W WA4STO 30 WILBER NE OCT 1
K7FLI
BT
TEST MESSAGE LOCAL AGENCY REQUESTING HEALTH AND WELFARE REPORT ON TIMOTHY JENSEN
KD0WNV THOUGHT TO HAVE TRAVELED TO YOUR AREA DUE TO
DISASTER SITUATION HERE REQUEST CHECK OF SHELTER DATABASES
BT
LEIGH HURDER WILBER NEBRASKA

I have sent this same message (above) to your Winlink address.  Please respond that way.  Best 73 - Luck
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on September 08, 2013, 12:23:04 pm
Very true!  I'm still a newbie with a lot of this; but I'm willing to help out.  I don't know anything about the various message formats; but the way I see it, there's time!

Just tell me when to be on the air and I'll make sure my ears are up!

Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: WA4STO on September 08, 2013, 12:42:56 pm
KF5RHI de WA4STO

That's the beautiful thing about Winlink and Pactor; you don't need to necessarily be on the air at any given time to participate.

For example, since I have injected a message for you into the WL2K system, you're free to log in via your VHF setup.  You'll find that the message is awaiting you and you can reply when you have the opportunity.

Thanks for the help; much appreciated!

73

Luck, WA4STO
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: WA4STO on September 08, 2013, 12:54:08 pm
KF5RHI asks:

Can you see if I understand this right...

     NR 7777 TEST W WA4STO 30 WILBER NE OCT 1  <--My message number will be different.  Is "Test W" standing for "Test WinLink"
     K7FLI  <--What's this?
     BT      <--I've seen this in other messages before.  "Beginning transmission"??
     TEST MESSAGE LOCAL AGENCY REQUESTING HEALTH AND WELFARE REPORT ON TIMOTHY JENSEN
     KD0WNV THOUGHT TO HAVE TRAVELED TO YOUR AREA DUE TO
     DISASTER SITUATION HERE REQUEST CHECK OF SHELTER DATABASES
     BT
     LEIGH HURDER WILBER NEBRASKA  <--This is you, so I'll sub my own info!  THAT part I can figure out!  ;)

How long is this test to run?  I don't really have a maximum amount of messages I'll handle I guess.  How many are you thinking?

--------------
Everyone is free to establish their own timing for SET, but generally in the October 5 to 6 time frame.  In my case, I'll be sending the messages during the first week of October.

Yes, *IF* you generate your messages (for example, acknowlegments of having received mine) you will use your own message numbering system.

But in the case of mine to you (or ANY that you receive) you may not change anything about the message.

"K7FLI" is the addressee of this example message.  The ones you get during SET will have the addressee as KF5RHI@winlink.org

The characters after the message number (in this case "TEST W") represent the precedence of the message or how quickly it must be handled.  Normally you will only see "R" for routine.  In this case, the precedence is "W" for welfare.  We precede anything other than "R" with the word "Test" so as to alert the others that this is only a test.

"BT" is commonly known to mean "Break Text".  There are two BTs in an NTS message.  If you count the exact number of words between the BTs, you will come up with the "check" or the word count, which is the very same as the number following the station of origin.  In this case, 30.  If you don't get a check of 30,  you should query the operator to get it right.

Thanks again!

73

LH


Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: gil on September 08, 2013, 01:29:16 pm
I am willing to receive and reply to a FEW Winlink messages. Good for me to practice using it from time to time. I'll receive and reply on the air too  8)

Gil.
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: WA4STO on September 08, 2013, 01:56:52 pm
FB, Gil -

What's your winlink address?  I'll set you up for five SET messages if that's ok

73

Luck
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on September 08, 2013, 10:38:24 pm
For those of us new to message traffic I found a primer...

     http://www.w7arc.com/nts/

Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: WA4STO on September 09, 2013, 12:18:18 pm
KF5RHI sent me the following yesterday:

----------
NR 0001 TEST W KF5RHI 30 FORT WORTH TX OCT 1
KF5RHI
BT
TIMOTHY JENSEN KD0WNV CHECKED IN AT SOUTH FORT WORTH SHELTER 0715 AND DEPARTED
0915 ENROUTE TO FAMILY IN AUSTIN TX
BT
RICHARD SLUSHER FORT WORTH TX

Questions: 
1.  First line you had "30" after your call sign.  What's that?
2.  Was the message body done properly.  Was wondering if the time should be local or   
    UTC/Zulu.  Should the date be included?  Formatting?

-----------------

Richard, your effort was fabulous.  I particularly liked the thought process you used to make the return message so very believable and applicable to the drill.

1.  The "30" is the "check", that is, the number of words or groups between the two "BT"s.  So in the case of the message I sent to you, a check of 30 would be accurate, whereas your message should have a check of 20. 

2.  The body/text of the message was perfect.  It stipulated what you, the originator, was trying to get across without being too wordy.  If I was the agency or family on the receiving end, I'd be delighted at the news.  Job well done.

3.  As for the time, I believe it's accurate to say that if you don't stipulate the time zone, it's thought to be "local".  If you wanted to make it zulu time, you would format it like so:    0940z   which would be one word in the "check".  Otherwise, I think it's assumed to be local time.

You wouldn't need to include "fort worth" in the signature since it's already stated in the preamble.  Having said that, I see that *I* include 'wilber nebraska' when my wife signs my outgoing.  Go figure...

Again, nice job.  73

Luck
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on September 09, 2013, 12:32:04 pm
Quote from: WA4STO on September 09, 2013, 12:18:18 pm
KF5RHI sent me the following yesterday:

----------
NR 0001 TEST W KF5RHI 30 FORT WORTH TX OCT 1
KF5RHI
BT
TIMOTHY JENSEN KD0WNV CHECKED IN AT SOUTH FORT WORTH SHELTER 0715 AND DEPARTED
0915 ENROUTE TO FAMILY IN AUSTIN TX
BT
RICHARD SLUSHER FORT WORTH TX

Questions: 
1.  First line you had "30" after your call sign.  What's that?
2.  Was the message body done properly.  Was wondering if the time should be local or   
    UTC/Zulu.  Should the date be included?  Formatting?

-----------------

Richard, your effort was fabulous.  I particularly liked the thought process you used to make the return message so very believable and applicable to the drill.

1.  The "30" is the "check", that is, the number of words or groups between the two "BT"s.  So in the case of the message I sent to you, a check of 30 would be accurate, whereas your message should have a check of 20. 

2.  The body/text of the message was perfect.  It stipulated what you, the originator, was trying to get across without being too wordy.  If I was the agency or family on the receiving end, I'd be delighted at the news.  Job well done.

3.  As for the time, I believe it's accurate to say that if you don't stipulate the time zone, it's thought to be "local".  If you wanted to make it zulu time, you would format it like so:    0940z   which would be one word in the "check".  Otherwise, I think it's assumed to be local time.

You wouldn't need to include "fort worth" in the signature since it's already stated in the preamble.  Having said that, I see that *I* include 'wilber nebraska' when my wife signs my outgoing.  Go figure...

Again, nice job.  73

Luck


Starting to get the hang of it...

So the second line where I had MY callsign was right?

Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: WA4STO on September 09, 2013, 12:42:11 pm
KF5RHI -

Oh, I didn't see that 'second line'.

That would be the place where the addressee of your message goes.

Thus, you could have it say:

Leigh Hurder
Wilber Nebraska

or

WA4STO
Wilber Nebraska

You are SO getting the hang of this!

BTW, my name is "Luck" and my wife's name is "Leigh".  I often sign my outgoing messages with her name, or to put it another way, I often ORIGINATE messages from her.  That has the benefit of almost doubling my traffic "scores" each month.  Here's my traffic report for a previous month:

NR 6275 R WA4STO 18  WILBER NE AUG 1
NF0N
SOUTH SIOUX CITY NE
BT
OFFICIAL RELAY STATION REPORT JULY
X ORIGINATED 653 RECEIVED 230
SENT 872 DELIVERED 4 TOTAL
1759 X 73
BT
LUCK

So here's your test question for the day:  What does the "18" mean in the preamble, and how did I come to that figure?

73

Luck


Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on September 09, 2013, 01:16:12 pm
Luck,

Ha!  I know this one!  18 is the number of words (or groups) in the body of the message.  Error checking.

Nice to meetcha, Luck, BTW!  Richard here!
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: gil on September 09, 2013, 01:24:45 pm
Well, I couldn't raise any Winlink stations right now, I'm sure I'll have better luck tonight...

Gil.
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on September 09, 2013, 01:27:45 pm
I'm lucky in that I've got a VHF gateway about 5 miles from my house.  Barring any major issues I should be able to hit it with no problem!

Title: Status of October simulated emergency test routing
Post by: WA4STO on September 10, 2013, 05:30:37 pm
The following depicts the status of my planned output routing during the first week of October

The column with the digits represents the number (maximum) of SET QTC that the recipient will accept.

Some of the recipients have not successfully responded to me, which may mean that WL2K doesn't recognize them.

Notice the European entries!  It was downright exciting to see the RAYNET members digging in to this.

I'm a little nervous to see that multiple listings for K6RXX users might become problematic.  On the one hand, I want
to 'stress' the system, but I don't wish to cause any difficulties.  W5KAV might be able to assist me on this from his
perspective.  Other thoughts definitely welcomed.

As of today, I have 142 messages completed.

Others certainly welcomed!  Remember, ham radio license not required to participate.  73 -- LH

K7FLI    k7fli@winlink.org    80    
w7ekb    w7ekb@k7bdu             100   
   
VE3GNA    CW    
   
W4DNA    W4DNA@W4DNA    100    
W0RJA    W0RJA via K6RXX    250    
KI0BK    KI0BK@KI0BK    20    
N5DPG    N5DPG@winlink.org    25    
n1umj    n1umj@winlink.org    
   
K6HTN    K6HTN@K6RXX    
   
KU6J    KU6J@WINLINK.ORG    
   
wo0w    wo0w@kb0ofd    UNLIM    
df0nts    Chester GBR G0DUB
   
   
ka5don    ka5don@winlink.org    100    
KF5RHI    KF5RHI@WINLINK.ORG    
   
gil    redacted @winlink.org    5    FULL
AK4PE    AK4PE@WINLINK.ORG    50    
df0nts    M0LSA CHESTER GBR ( Lisa )    
   
kd8rbp    kd8rbp@winlink.org    
   
df0nts    G4KUJ WATFORD GBR ( Trevor )    
   
df0nts    G0VPJ VERWOOD GBR ( John )    
   
df0nts    G8OJQ NESS GBR ( Alan )    
   
G4HPE    Steve G4HPE, ROYSTON GBR WINLINK.ORG    
   
EI7IG    John, EI7IG, TRAMORE IRL
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on September 10, 2013, 08:16:05 pm
So when these messages come in to us will we just be replying back to you or to one of our fellow volunteers?

Forgive my endless questions...I'm just starting to learn all this.   8)
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: WA4STO on September 11, 2013, 12:01:53 pm
Quote from: KF5RHI on September 10, 2013, 08:16:05 pm
So when these messages come in to us will we just be replying back to you or to one of our fellow volunteers?

Forgive my endless questions...I'm just starting to learn all this.   8)


It is SO not a problem.  I've been helping people learn about traffic handling for almost 40 years now and it remains one of the funner things I can do in my retirement.


With regard to the SET messages (at least the ones from me; other efforts may well be different) I am only trying to make the point that our local (Nebraska) ARES and NEMA groups have a well-honed long-haul capability, if they would only use it. 

Thus, I'm only after quantities.  My goal is to send  500; I presently have 184 put together.

I'm only asking that people receive them.  If they want to generate messages back, saying that they received such-and-such or that "so-and-so's name was located in the disaster shelter and he is well" -- anything like that would be super, just not required.

Now, the last part of your question is interesting, in that one fellow in Minnesota has begun asking for a much larger quantity.  Seems that he has a lot of hams in the State who are wanting the traffic but who don't have WL2K or Pactor capability.  So I'll ship him more than originally planned and he'll spread the wealth.  Cool.  More fun for everybody.

Have you considered how you'll be keeping track of the ones you receive and -- potentially -- send?  I have a little (well, not so little these days) spreadsheet that I use, but the real reason for such a thing would be that you'll want to send your traffic totals to your Section Traffic Manager at the end of the month.

And remember, anything that you receive by Winlink (by the radio, I mean, not by internet email) counts for  your message count.  Doesn't have to be in NTS format.

Keep the questions coming.

73

Luck, WA4STO
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: WA4STO on September 11, 2013, 12:10:16 pm
Quote from: KF5RHI on September 10, 2013, 08:16:05 pm
So when these messages come in to us will we just be replying back to you or to one of our fellow volunteers?




I see now that I didn't actually answer your question.

My outgoing SET messages are designed to be fairly vague:

NR 7165 TEST W WA4STO 18 WILBER NE OCT 1
W7EKB@VE7GN
BT
TEST MESSAGE
REQUEST CHECK OF SHELTER DATABASES FOR  WARREN C GOBIN KD0WMV
FRANTIC FAMILY MEMBERS REQUESTING HEALTH AND WELFARE  REPORT
BT
LEIGH HURDER WILBER NEBRASKA

so that even though the message might be addressed to you, you are certainly free to send it to a dozen other people (who are perhaps in other shelter locations).  Just replace the "W7EKB@VE7GN with  KC5ABC via W7EKB@VE7GN with kc5abc being the person in another location.

So if you get 30 SET messages from me, you'll be able to expand that to 300 addressees if that's what you wish to do. 

Hope that answers the question better.

73

WA4STO
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on September 11, 2013, 12:37:13 pm
Luck,

Yeah, I think I've got it now; but now you bring up another question!  (You brought this one on yourself!! ;) )  What do I need to do to report these to my section traffic manager?  Just email him this mythical spreadsheet?  Nothing I need to do prior as far as registering with him/her?  If I just send him/her this log is he (I believe it's He) going to look at it and say, who's this guy??

OK, one more thing...since I'm actually going to do this by radio and not cheat and use internet mail is there any sort of time limit on this?  Oct 5/6 is the weekend and I'll be home so I'll be able to knock a bunch of them out; but on days when I'm at work, I won't be able to "play with my radio toys" (as my wife calls it) until later in the evening CST. 
Title: Re: Traffic handling procedures and hints
Post by: WA4STO on September 11, 2013, 02:55:31 pm
Richard -

Short answer:  heck no!

Long answer: Don't send your STM a spreadsheet.  What he's looking for is a radiogram like this:

NR 6719 R WA4STO 14 WILBER NE SEP 1
NF0N
BT
AUG ORS/SAR ORIG 420 RECD
361 SENT 542 DELIVERED 2
TOTAL 1325 X 73
BT
LUCK

Which, of course! -- brings up more questions.  Hey, I got answers:

1.  NF0N is my Section Traffic Manager.  It is his responsibility to collate the reports and send them in to Steve Ewald at ARRL HQ such that they will arrive prior to the 5th of the month (for the preceding month).  See p.102 of the August QST.  When you're chatting with your Section Manager, ask him if your STM is the one who gets the monthly traffic reports. In some ARRL Sections, the SM gets them directly.

2.  In the text above, note "SAR" and "ORS".  The "SAR" stands for "station activity report" and "ORS" stands for "Official Relay Station".  You may wish to apply for an ORS appointment; your SM can help you there as well.

3.  Now, about the categories of traffic.  Hey, you didn't ask (yet) but I'm getting to know you; you WILL.  :)

See:  http://www.arrl.org/chapter-ten-counting-net-traffic (http://www.arrl.org/chapter-ten-counting-net-traffic) and look at section 10.2

Then, just so you'll have fuel for even MORE questions, look at my monthly traffic report above.  Can you think of reasons why the "originated" category is usually less than the "sent" category?  And why "delivered" can never be more than "received" ?

73

Luck, WA4STO
Title: Re: Traffic handling procedures and hints
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on September 11, 2013, 03:09:41 pm
Quote from: WA4STO on September 11, 2013, 02:55:31 pm
1.  NF0N is my Section Traffic Manager.  It is his responsibility to collate the reports and send them in to Steve Ewald at ARRL HQ such that they will arrive prior to the 5th of the month (for the preceding month).  See p.102 of the August QST.  When you're chatting with your Section Manager, ask him if your STM is the one who gets the monthly traffic reports. In some ARRL Sections, the SM gets them directly.
I found a link on the North Texas section website with the STM's email addy so I sent him a message.  If I don't hear back from him by my club's meeting next Thursday I'll talk to the SM and find out what to do.

2.  In the text above, note "SAR" and "ORS".  The "SAR" stands for "station activity report" and "ORS" stands for "Official Relay Station".  You may wish to apply for an ORS appointment; your SM can help you there as well.
Finally!!  Acronyms U recognize!!  :)

3.  Now, about the categories of traffic.  Hey, you didn't ask (yet) but I'm getting to know you; you WILL.  :)

See:  http://www.arrl.org/chapter-ten-counting-net-traffic (http://www.arrl.org/chapter-ten-counting-net-traffic) and look at section 10.2

Then, just so you'll have fuel for even MORE questions, look at my monthly traffic report above.  Can you think of reasons why the "originated" category is usually less than the "sent" category?  And why "delivered" can never be more than "received" ?
You're just a fount of knowledge!!  :)

73

Luck, WA4STO

Right back atcha!!  ;)


Because "Sent" includes both originated and relayed messages and because you can't deliver something until you receive it?  Some messages may be undeliverable because the person couldn't be reached?
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: WA4STO on September 11, 2013, 05:56:22 pm
Exactly right.  Sigh, I get the BEST pupils.

OK, you brought this up so it's YOUR fault:

What happens when you can't deliver a message? 

When you accept responsibility for a message, you have only three choices left to you at that point:

1.  You deliver it
2.  You relay it on to another amateur
3.  You service it back to the originator.

So your homework assignment for the day is as follows.  You have Received the following message but the telephone number listed is bogus or otherwise not working.  You could always mail it but you choose not to.  What now?

Here's the message you received and accepted responsibility for:

NR 2335 R DL4FN ARL 2 ERBACH ODW SEP 11
JODI SOMEBODY KD5ZZZ
512-555-1212
DFW
BT
ARL FIFTY
BT
PETER DL4FN

Now put together a message that tells dl4fn why you couldn't deliver it. 

Hint: you will need to refer to an email I sent you this afternoon regarding the proper 'addressing' for dl4fn.  Remember, NTS doesn't exist in Germany, and he doesn't have WL2K.

73

Luck
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on September 12, 2013, 09:51:57 am
How's this?  I'm hoping I'm at least in the ballpark...

NR 003 R KF5RHI ARL 11 FORT WORTH TX SEP 12
DL4FN@NTSEU
BT
ARL SIXTY SEVEN FIGURES TWO
THREE THREE FIVE BAD PHONE
NUMBER
BT
KF5RHI
FORT WORTH TX


Take your red pen to it!

Richard
Title: Re: Traffic handling procedures and hints
Post by: WA4STO on September 12, 2013, 01:30:37 pm
Where's my red pen when I seriously need it?

Oh... wait... don't need it, never mind.

Ya dun gud, kid; ya dun gud.

I would remove the zeros from the message number.  Remember that your messages could very easily land on CW nets and you can be assured that those guys will zap those ten "dahs" faster than a Lake Jackson 'gator will die from Dow chemical poison sludge.

Wow!  You figured out the new "NTSEU" domain.  Eggs-ellent!

And you got the ARL thingie down pat, AND you got the check correct.  Amazing.

I couldn't quite figure out the use of the word "figures" in the text.  Then it dawned on me that you might have been listening in on a voice net where extraneous words like that are frequently used. 

Converting the four digits to words like that is much more likely to survive the many relays (some on voice, some on cw, some on digital) that your message may encounter.  Good job.

Ballpark?  More like "home run". 

73

Luck, WA4STO

Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on September 12, 2013, 02:02:18 pm
Whew!  Thanks!

I'm much more coherent after I've had my morning Starbucks!   :o

I'd still like to do maybe one or two practice runs through my WinLink account; but only if you've got time.  To me there's no such thing as "kinda right".

Do...or do not...there is no "try".  :)

Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: WA4STO on September 12, 2013, 06:24:24 pm
Quote from: KF5RHI on September 12, 2013, 02:02:18 pm
I'd still like to do maybe one or two practice runs through my WinLink account; but only if you've got time.  To me there's no such thing as "kinda right".



Richard - I'll spit out two to you right now on 40 meter Winmor/Winlink.  You'll no doubt get the very same ones during the drill but that's OK.

Just so that you know, I have 280 pieces of formal message traffic prepared, with 3 or 4 hundred more to come in the days leading up to October 1.

Of the 280, about 20 are destined for you via WL2K.  About 40% of the grand total will leave here via NTS(D) Pactor I, 40% will go by WL2K and 10% by CW.

73

Luck, WA4STO
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on September 12, 2013, 10:46:49 pm
Jedi Master Luck, a question...

Do you save copies of the messages you've sent and received.  I've been looking at some of the Army MARS stuff and it looks like they keep copies of all messages.

Title: Re: Traffic handling procedures and hints
Post by: WA4STO on September 12, 2013, 11:02:54 pm
Richard -

For all the "manual" modes (CW, since I can't do voice nets any more) I keep a separate monthly file.  e.g. augQTC and SEPqtc, etc etc.

For everything else (WL2k, NTS(D) Pactor), the software keeps track of it of course in it's 'received' and 'sent' folders.

Now in the case of SET traffic, I keep the whole mess in one big file.  I'm presently finishing up the 328th message for the exercise, so, well, it's a good sized file now.  And it's backed up in the save 'sent' and received folders as above. 

It's extremely rare that any of the digital traffic would need to be repeated, say, a month or so later, because it's error-corrected.  CW traffic, on the other hand, is occasionally requested again when handling instructions are not returned properly.  or at all.
'
Hey, have we covered 'handling instructions' yet?

73

LH
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on September 12, 2013, 11:06:47 pm
Don't believe so...
Title: Re: Traffic handling procedures and hints
Post by: WA4STO on September 13, 2013, 11:52:39 am
Oh goodie; another traffic handling topic.  yay!  :)

You may have seen a handling instruction or two in your travels.  Here's a typical message that contains one:

27 R HXC N1IQI 25 PEMBROKE MA  SEP 5
JOHN E HOAGLAND N0YUE
605 HOGAN DRIVE
PAPILLION NE 68046
402 614 6482
BT
A FRIENDLY REMINDER YOUR AMATEUR
RADIO LICENSE EXPIRES OCT 4 2013
HOPE YOU WILL RENEW
IF NOT DONE SO ALREADY
WE NEED YOUR PARTICIPATION 73
BT
LOREN N1IQI

There it is, hidden squarely between the message precedence and the station of origin.

To understand what the originator is requesting, go here:  http://nts.ema.arrl.org/node/32 (http://nts.ema.arrl.org/node/32)

As you can see, N1IQI has asked the delivering station to report the date and time of delivery back to him (N1IQI).  If you ever have
any trouble figuring out how to get a message back to the originator, just send your message to me and I'll take responsibility for it.

Not all handling instructions require action on your part.  Sometimes the originator wants you to know that delivery is not required if there's any charges involved with doing so.  (But even so, if you accept responsibility for it, you've only got those three choices available to you...)

350 SET messages created so far.  So little time; so many messages!

73

Luck, WA4STO
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on September 13, 2013, 12:21:16 pm
OK, yes, I have seen those on some messages.  I just haven't dealt with them.

Jedi Master Luck, I do have a question about to flow of traffic.  Once I am able to take the pebble from your hand and graduate to Traffic Handler Extraordinaire how does the traffic come to me?  Assuming I'm on something like WinLink or NTS, how does someone sending a message know that I'm the right person to get a message to it's intended target? 
Title: Re: Traffic handling procedures and hints
Post by: WA4STO on September 13, 2013, 02:12:42 pm
KF5RHI de WA4STO

Valid question.  Hard to answer.

I know this first answer is not what you had in mind, but it's important to mention.  The National Traffic System (made up of individuals and nets, from local to Area) will route your traffic according to the address.  In other words, the individuals will see that you have a message for Nebraska which will then get routed (manually) to the Section, Region, and Area nets and back down again until it reaches me in Nebraska.

The second way is WL2K.  WL2K does not know how to route NTS traffic, per se; all it knows is how to route the whole message (which might contain a hundred messages, or no formal written traffic at all) either to a registered callsign (like KF5RHI or EI7IG), OR to a valid email address.  However, it doesn't know (nor can it see) any imbedded formal message traffic. 

The third method is by NTS(D) Pactor.  In this case, the routing is quite robust and is set up to route one QTC per pactor message, based on the zip code and NTS state or section.  Thus, if you enter "02056@NTSMA" the QTC will be autoforwarded to Massachusetts.  If I enter one to "DL0NTS@NTSEU", it will get routed to Germany.

Having said all that, I suspect you had some other (related) question in mind.  What didn't I answer?

73

Luck, WA4STO
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on September 13, 2013, 02:43:03 pm
I think I've got it for now...or at least I don't know what I don't know.  :)

I reached out to my STM a couple days ago; but haven't heard anything back.
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: WA4STO on March 13, 2014, 03:33:36 pm
KF5RHI sez:

>>>>I was checking out HamSpots.net the other day and saw your callsign!

Hey you.  Long time.  Hope all's well.

Yes, hamspots is pretty good at spotting anybody who's on the digital modes.

Well, except for the ones I'm most active on.

As you may recall, I'm almost never on SSB.  That's primarily because of my greatly diminished hearing in recent years, but perhaps more importantly:

SSB doesn't yet (to the best of my knowledge) allow error corrected international forwarding.  So not only can I not hear it, I can't be assured that my messages will get to their intended destinations, nor can I assume that they'll get there error free by utilizing voice modes.

Same thing with CW.  Granted, this month I have (so far) sent and received the vast majority of my messages by way of CW.  But this month is a strange case. 

Most often, I use NTS(D) Pactor and/or WL2K.

And I can't help but notice that the overseas guys are digging in REAL well with the purchase (no small thing...) and use of the newer P3 and even P4 modems which offer a huge increase in thruput.  And those very same 'overseas' guys are still hoping for us back here to generate more and more messages for them.  From my point of view, my cadre of SHTF-minded folks has greatly increased in size, now just over 300 individuals around the globe, who I can count on to answer my SHTF resource-specific questions.  Cool stuff.

Anyway, to your point.  I was very likely assisting somebody or another on the K3UK site who needed Nebraska on SSB.  But that is seriously rare for me.

Won't be long till we'll be planning for the October Simulated Emergency Test again.  I'm hoping to triple my thruput during the SET this year and can only wish I could somehow afford a much faster pactor modem by then.  Sigh!

73

Luck, WA4STO
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on March 13, 2014, 04:10:59 pm
I'm on Spring Break all week so I've been trying to get my digital station in a box built.  Sadly, I'm not as far along as I would have liked.  Yesterday was a loss since it was in the 40s just about all day and I'm not willing to sit out in the garage and freeze my stones off. 

I didn't even notice what mode you were using.  I just saw your callsign and thought I'd give ya a shout!  :)  As soon as I get my digital box put together I'll see if I can give ya a holler out there.

Those pactor modems are really expensive.  I don't see one of those in my future any time soon.

Give me a shout when it gets time for that SET.  I'll be glad to help!

Take care in the mean time!

73, amigo!
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: kat on March 15, 2014, 03:42:26 pm
Been fighting with my mfj1278....once I get it connected up to the raspberry pi I can get it on the air


Sent from my HTC Aria

Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: NCGunDude on March 16, 2014, 10:49:46 pm
Been lurking for a while. Technician licensee, sitting for General next month. Located in Central NC.

I'm getting the specs together for a portable digital station. Currently I'm looking at using something like Signalink USB and a laptop running Linux.

Also need advice on an HF rig. Hope to get online in the near future. 73's.
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: madball13 on March 17, 2014, 07:05:16 am

Quote from: NCGunDude on March 16, 2014, 10:49:46 pm
Been lurking for a while. Technician licensee, sitting for General next month. Located in Central NC.

I'm getting the specs together for a portable digital station. Currently I'm looking at using something like Signalink USB and a laptop running Linux.

Also need advice on an HF rig. Hope to get online in the near future. 73's.


do you have any interest in learning morse code?
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: KK0G on March 17, 2014, 09:26:15 am

Quote from: NCGunDude on March 16, 2014, 10:49:46 pm
Been lurking for a while. Technician licensee, sitting for General next month. Located in Central NC.

I'm getting the specs together for a portable digital station. Currently I'm looking at using something like Signalink USB and a laptop running Linux.

Also need advice on an HF rig. Hope to get online in the near future. 73's.

Welcome to the forum, glad to have you aboard. Good luck on your General.
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: gil on March 17, 2014, 09:29:40 am
QuoteAlso need advice on an HF rig. Hope to get online in the near future. 73's.


Hello and welcome aboard.

It depends if you want to go portable or not.. Power is not an issue on HF. It's nice to have at least 10W on SSB though. What you'll need t decide is if you want to take your rig with you on trips. For that, Elecraft KX3 or Yaesu FT-817nd. If I was getting a home station I'd probably go for an Icom Ic-7200. They all cost quite a bit of money, but worth waiting for...

Gil.
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: NCGunDude on March 17, 2014, 10:32:45 pm
Thanks for the welcome. CW is on my list. HF rig will be portable for field work.

Elecraft has come up. The plans are to build a go box using a gator case, rig runner, and powerwerx switching power supply.

I'm looking for a used Chromebook to install Linux and get a Signalink USB dongle. Everything should fit well and run portable using any external power source.

Got on 40m at a QSO party last month and made contacts statewide and neighboring states. Still a lot to learn and do. Cheers and 73's.
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: WA4STO on April 10, 2014, 06:27:04 pm
Quote from: WA4STO on September 08, 2013, 12:22:05 pm
I am posting this primarily for KF5RHI but it may be of interest to the others of you who participated in the last Simulated Emergency Test.

--------
On 4/10/2014 2:49 PM, Peter Dintelmann, DL4FN wrote:
> ...
(Regarding last October's Simulated Emergency Test)
>
> It was the joint wish of users on both sides of
> the great pond to have more detailed information
> on the rcvd/sent status of their traffic.
>
> ...
>
> As I do not want to put too much additional traffic
> on the nets my idea is to send these service
> messages only to stations which are on a certain
> whitelist.
>
>
> @Luck: could you please organize some tests for me? We
> will need a few volunteering whitelist stations and a
> couple of HXC/HXD messages. Traffic to be forwarded to
> the UK is of great help also to test the 2.x rules.
>
>
Peter - as I was reading your message, it struck me that we (the collective 'we') may have
asked you to put forth way too much effort.  For example if I were to send another 800
messages during the next SET, it would be unthinkable to ask you to service them.

Then I spotted the fact that you are writing code to do the heavy lifting.  So much for my
worries, hi.

I'd be more than happy to organize some tests for you.  I would like to ask several of the
high volume traffic handlers around the U.S. to send some as practice test messages, but I'm assuming
that the "whitelist" portion of this plan would mean stations that are known to be NTSD pactor -
capable, rather than those, plus the CW, plus the SSB traffic handlers.  In due time, we should strive
to include them, but for the testing of your code, probably best to keep things relatively sane.

So, if this sounds like what you had in mind, how about if I come up with five stations who agree
to be whitelisted and also agree to send you a few messages each, but only after you've assured us
that you're ready to go.  Would that work?

Also, I'm thinking that messages addressed to Trevor would be of value for (at least) two reasons:

1. It would help to test your 2.x rules as mentioned above and

2.  I think it's accurate to say that Trevor is up and running on Pactor now.  Does that mean that it would
make sense to arrange for traffic to him via DF0NTS for this practice purpose?

I recall that G4HPE was accepting messages for several additional stations and that I was sending Steve
the messages by way of WL2K.  I would guess that there wouldn't be a point in sending Steve test messages
for this specific purpose, unless you and he agree that there would be value in doing so.

Am I on the right track with all this?

73

Luck, WA4STO
ARRL A1-operator,
BPL Medallion holder, circa 1977
VUCC Satellite (all CW)
NTS(D) Digital Relay Station, Central Area
NTS(D) Target Station, CAN, TEN & NE
TCC Station “Echo”, “Fox” & “Charlie”
Associate Member, NTS Central Area Staff
Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on April 10, 2014, 09:32:08 pm
Assuming that things in eastern Europe haven't gone further to sh** by then I can probably come up with something along the lines of the Russians moving against the rest of Ukraine or maybe the other Baltic states.

Title: Re: Simulated Emergency Test - 1st week of Oct. Anyone can participate.
Post by: WA4STO on April 10, 2014, 10:43:37 pm
Uh.... these are Brits we're talking about here, right?  You know, the ones with the stiff upper lip and zero sense of humor?

Maybe something more along the lines of "testing testing 1 2 3"   :o

but in any event, nothing yet.  Let's let DL4FN write up those 500 lines of code for DF0NTS.  Will letcha know when he's ready to accept a few test messages.

73

LH