Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System (NBEMS) is a messaging system used by different agencies including AREs, RACES, MARS, FEMA, The Red Cross, and the national weather services to pass digital traffic (messages) like radiograms, incident reports and even weather reports during emergencies. FlDIGI is a software package used to send and receive NBEMS messages digitally.

NBEMS and FLDigi are promoted for their accuracy and speed for passing information. Operators can send a list of 100 shelter occupants in less than a minute with ZERO errors. Some protocols are designed to send messages in the worst band conditions.

Sending such traffic only requires your radio, and a computer with the FLDigi suite installed on it (there are versions for Windows, MacOS and also Linux)

  • FLDIGI:  the core program
  • FLMSG:  messaging application that incorporates the Radiogram and other messaging forms.  If we are to pass a Radiogram in digital format, you'd use this.  You can also use it to type the Radiogram or other messages formats up and generate a text or HTML version.
  • FLARQ:  a data transfer program
  • FLWRAP:  allows files to be embedded or 'wrapped' into one transmission and incorporates an embedded checksum for data integrity
  • FLAMP:  transmits one or more files in one or multiple iterations. 

The most important and most used programs are: FLdigi, FLmsg, and FLamp

You can download them from: 

 

 

Also, I would like to share with you the following useful links about NBEMS:

 

SATERN Alberta Blog - WPA ARES Section Standards for Digital EmComm 

https://saternalberta.wordpress.com/digital/wpa-ares-section-standards-for-digital-emcomm/

A good article to provide context on how we would use the tools in an EmComm scenario. This is the standard being used by ARES.

 

ARRL Introduction to NBEMS

http://www.arrl.org/files/file/On%20the%20Air/Tutorials/Introduction_to_NBEMS_ARRL.pdf

Another good presentation.  This will talk about VHF/UHF as well as HF modes.

 

Getting Started With FLDIGI Including FLMSG and FLWRAP

https://www.jeffreykopcak.com/2015/04/16/getting-started-with-fldigi-including-flmsg-and-flwrap/

This one is a good how-to.  It is a couple of versions behind, but it is still very relevant.

 

There are also some good YouTube Videos:

FLDIGI Tutorial:  https://youtu.be/bN2QPZZzkn4 - Watch the video a couple of times and take good notes -- this can get you rolling.

Getting Started with FLDIGI / NBEMS:  https://youtu.be/DNBJnDHCw_M

FLDIGI Set Up & Configuration for New Users:  https://youtu.be/FKZapCXJdAw

FLDIGI UI and Basic Operations:  https://youtu.be/2HM9vk_zuz0

 

If you have any questions, or need mentoring for NBEMS, please email me: aly@al0y.com ... I will be more than happy to assist you.

 

73!

Aly Badawy (al0y)
Passaic County (NJ) District emergency Coordinator