[nos-bbs] Local Emergency communications but able to do e-mail if necessary

Maiko Langelaar (ve4klm) maiko at pcs.mb.ca
Tue Feb 13 13:59:26 EST 2007


Okay, I just want to get an idea of what you are looking for.

> We figure that Airmail 2000 could help somewhat as it is seems like the 
> closest thing to what we need.

What exact do you want to do ? Why is Airmail 2000 the closest thing ?

Is it the fact that the email portion looks and acts like any of the
modern email clients out there ?

For instance, IF I ran a NOS server on a linux box, and used Thunderbird
or Evolution or whatever on the same box to send and receive mail via the
NOS server, and have a CRON task running in NOS to periodically forward to
other systems, would that accomplish the same thing as just Airmail ?

That's just an example, I am NOT promoting one software over the other.

It could just as well be FBB on linux or BCM (Baycom Mailbox) on linux,
or (yes) Airmail 2000 on windows (Airmail has built in smtp service
so that a network of computers can send/read email from it on a local
lan). The others have this too.

> But only runs Pactor on HF so that makes it almost useless for us.

If you don't want Pactor, then what do you want ? Is HF packet useless
to you as well ? Are you just looking at PSK or MFSK ?

> I had thought that the developer was going to allow the AGWPE to operate
> through a sound card, but I don't think it can do that at this time.

What soundcard protocols are you looking at wanting to use ?

> I won't buy into the technology since it just doesn't have critical mass.

I can understand why people are hesitant to put their money into Pactor 3,
really I can. The price, if anything is a show stopper for myself anyways.

> Eventually there will be someone who has the skills and who also has the 
> interest in emergency networking, but we just don't have that person at this 
> time.

Are you looking at this list to find someone ?

> I have asked the developers of some of our keyboard modes if they would 
> be willing to do this and they say they really don't have an interest since 
> they are primarily interested only in keyboard to keyboard casual use of ham 
> radio linking for fun applications and not for any serious use.

There are people on this list that certainly have the skills. Being one of
them, I have yet to be approached by anyone that has asked me to seriously
work on something like this for them. But I should be careful saying that,
since the reality of the situation is that many of us on this list are very
busy people (family, work, other obligations, etc), meaning even if we had
the skills and experience (which we certainly do), time is very limited, and
you might get frustrated waiting for us to get things done. If I could make
a living doing this, that would be a different story of course.

> Contrary to the other commenters, I do believe that a practical emergency 
> network is doable.

I don't recall ever saying that it was not doable.

> It may be that almost no one is interested in doing it because they
> don't see the need for it.

It may very well be that the reason no one is interested is because they
already HAVE tried *doing it* (over and over), yet only to see politics
as well as government grant money get in the way of things.

I mean why on earth use low cost, simple, grassroots ham radio when you
can buy a ready made DSTAR system for a few thousands dollars, or get
an HF rig (CONTESTING FEATURES GALOR) for another few thousand bucks.

> But all we can do is ask since we just do not have the skills to do it ...

Again, what EXACTLY are you looking for ? Do you have a white paper or
something that details what your group wants ?

> While I admit that most of what we do as radio amateur emergency 
> communicators is tactical voice, and digital may be such a small
> part of it that it just is not on the radar screen ...

That's the reality in my area. So, you can see why one starts loosing
enthusiam in using digital communications for ARES. On a positive note,
I still keep trying from time to time.

Maiko Langelaar / VE4KLM

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