Digital Messaging

As part of our mission to provide emergency and auxiliary communications, GEARS embraces digital communications over amateur radio.  Transmitting message traffic  digitally ensures speed and accuracy.

Ham Radio data modes are not exactly turn-key, and practice is required to be effective. That’s why GEARS holds regular digital nets after our voice nets.

What You Need

Hardware

It’s likely that all you’ll need to purchase is a sound card interface – this is what connects your radio to your computer. 

We recommend the DRA-100 or  SignaLink USB. Both are easy to use, work with just about every radio and are built solid and reliable.

Software

Our most commonly-used software is fldigi with flmsg which is available free of charge.

To get started, read this article by Jeff K8JTK.

We also use Winlink – available free of charge or an optional donation.

We are also beginning to work with VARA, although there is a license fee involved.


Practice!

Finally – and most importantly – you need practice!  That’s why GEARS holds regular digital nets after our voice nets. See our calendar for more information.

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