NBEMS-Local

Step 2.4: Replying to an flmsg message

In Step 2.4 of this course, you will get experience replying to flmsg messages. You will be making simulated receptions of flmsg messages, then using flmsg to enter a reply or comment into the file you received, and finally transmitting this edited file.

This step assumes that you have already completed Step 2.3: Transmitting an flmsg message.

Requirements (for all exercises in Step 2.4)

In addition, set your fldigi settings in Configure|Config Dialog Misc~NBEMS interface as follows:

Exercise 2.4.1

In this exercise, you will simulate the reception of a message formatted with flmsg's Plaintext form. You will edit the message with flmsg. You will then transmit the edited message.

Exercise configuration: Before beginning this exercise, follow the steps outlined on the Off-the-air exercise preparation page for configuring fldigi. (Using this link will open the page in a separate browser window or tab.)

In fldigi, use "File|Audio|Playback" and check the checkbox. In the box that opens, locate the audio file that you created and saved in Exercise 2.3.2. (When you created it, I suggested naming your file "ex2.3.2a.wav" and placing it in your workspace folder. I wrote, "You will need this file again, in Step 2.4, so remember where you've put it!") Locate and select that file and press the Open button. [If you don't see that file in the dialog box, you may need to get around a small bug in the Windows version of fldigi: click in the box above the Open and Cancel buttons and select "All Files (*.*)"; it should now appear.] You will probably want to answer the question "playback continous loop?" with "No".

fldigi will play the audio recording and open the received file in flmsg. In flmsg, you will see the familiar paragraph about young Alice displayed in flmsg's Plaintext form.

Send a simulated message to Alice as a reply to this message. The Plaintext form does not explicitly provide for replies, but that does not matter. Just start a new paragraph under the received text and type some advice to Alice. For example, "Alice! Be careful! Under no circumstances should you follow any rabbit you see. Pay no attention!" Or type whatever you wish to say. Add "de" and your Amateur Radio call sign at the end. (If you have no Amateur Radio call sign, use "XXXXXX".)

Having edited the message you received, you can transmit it. But you should first save the edited file so you have a copy of what you have sent. Use File|Save As to save your edited message.

Now use flmsg's AutoSend button to transmit your message. You will see fldigi transmit the original message with your comment included at the end.

Exercise 2.4.2

In this exercise, you will simulate the reception of a message formatted with flmsg's ICS-213 form. You will edit the message with flmsg, adding your reply. You will then transmit the edited message and record the transmission. You will then play the transmission back to simulate the reception of the original file plus your reply.

In fldigi, use "File|Audio|Playback" and check the checkbox. In the box that opens, locate the audio file that you created and saved in Exercise 2.3.3. (When you created it, I suggested naming your file "ex2.3.3a.wav" and placing it in your workspace folder. I wrote, "You will need this file again, in Step 2.4, so remember where you've put it!") Locate and select that file and press the Open button. [If you don't see that file in the dialog box, you may need to get around a small bug in the Windows version of fldigi: click in the box above the Open and Cancel buttons and select "All Files (*.*)"; it should now appear.] You will probably want to answer the question "playback continous loop?" with "No".

fldigi will play the audio recording and open the received file in flmsg. In flmsg, you will see registered nurse Alice Jones's familiar request for prescription medications displayed in flmsg's ICS-213 form.

Due to its origin as a paper form designed for hand-carried messages with room for a reply, the flmsg ICS-213 form has two tabs, just below the top. The message from Alice Jones to you is on the form's Originator tab. Click on the Responder tab. In this tab's reply pane, type a reply to Alice, something like "I will ensure that you have these items as soon as possible." Include your name. Below your name, add "de" and the call sign of the licensed Amateur who is transmitting the message. That would be you (if you have no Amateur Radio call sign, use "XXXXXX".) Above, at Date and Time, click the "..." boxes to enter the current values.

Having edited the message you received, you are going to transmit it. But you should save the edited file so you have a copy of what you have sent. Use File|Save As to save your edited message.

Now use flmsg's AutoSend button to transmit your message. You will see fldigi transmit the original message with your response included at the end.

On the Air

If you are a licensed Amateur, have a transceiver, and can interface it with your fldigi and flmsg installations, and you are in contact with someone who can exchange flmsg files with you, you may wish to try exchanging files (original and reply) with flmsg over the air. Please remember to identify your transmissions with your Amateur Radio call sign as required by FCC regulation.

Summary

In the Step 2.4 exercises above, you simulated receiving flmsg digital files with fldigi and using those received files to reply. After entering your reply, you were able to save a copy of the complete message. Your recipient received from you a complete copy as well: the original message with your reply.

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John Rabold KS6M
April 2020