All emergency communicators should be developing NBEMS digital messaging capability using fldigi, flmsg, and flamp. The ARES Standardized Training Plan Task Book lists VHF digital competency as a Level 2 requirement and HF digital competency as a Level 3 requirement. The AUXCCOMM Position Task Book also lists digital proficiency as a required competency.
It is easier to get started than you might think! All that is required is a computer with a microphone and speakers and your existing radio(s). You do not need a hardwired interface although it is extremely helpful, especially on HF where with the exception of 60 M you can not 'talk and text' on the same frequency. See www.arrl.org/nbems for an overview. Detailed information and software downloads are available at www.w1hkj.com.
Introductory NBEMS digital communications workshops have been presented Section Emergency Coordinator KC2WI. These workshops covered the installation of fldigi and flmsg software, and basic operation using acoustic coupling. If your group is interested in a workshop, . Workshop content can be presented as a webinar.
The NY-NBEMS Training Net is held Saturdays 8 AM. 3585.5 center frequency (Dial Frequency 3584 (USB). Waterfall (audio) center frequency 1500 Hz.) Initial mode THOR22. Bulletins MFSK32. (info as of 6/13/20) Make sure your RXID is on. All NNY ARES members are strongly encouraged to participate in this net!
There are several other regional digital nets:
The NNY HF Fldigi Net operates on the 2nd Monday of every month at 20:00 local time on the 40meter band at approximately 7.065MHz (+/- QRM) dial frequency USB. The net will utilize Fldigi with the MT63-2KL mode at check-in. All licensed stations are urged to check in by sending your call sign a(and any statement about traffic or announcements). NCS will acknowledge stations after checking in. Netlogger and its AIM function will also be used to keep a log of participants and help with Fldigi difficulties.
The Saint Lawrence County Digital Net operates on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 18:00 local time on the KA2JXI repeater located near Russell, NY. The repeater has an output frequency of 146.925MHz, with a negative offset and PL tone of 151.4 Hz. Like the HF net above, this is an all-digital net utilizing Fldigi with the MT63-2KL mode and will follow the same policies and procedures (directed net, Netlogger, and AIM for Fldigi difficulties).
Those with a great interest or passion in digital emergency communications should look into Broadband-Hamnet. This is not anything the section is doing at this time, but something that could be explored if there is enough interest.