Quick Planning


Some people just want a list, so here is one

  •     Do we need a local EmComm RMS?

    •     Not likely, yes, or perhaps.  If there is local digital email messaging activity with Paclink and Airmail stations already in place, then the answer may be yes.

    •     No, if you are mostly alone.  Set up Airmail and do what you can do.


  •     Do we need HF?

    •     Yes, if you anticipate the need to reach out farther than a few miles.

    •     No, if you have reliable, secure, battery backed, local VHF, UHF, and/or WiFi networks and do not need to communicate with others outside the local network.


    I would suggest ...

  •     Start with Airmail using Telnet - then add HF and VHF

    • Add UHF, WiFi, D-Star, and/or Sat Links if your area has the resources available

    • Run Windows XP on a reliable computer

    • Run some antivirus program with a firewall.  I like Norton Systemworks or 360.

    • Use an Uninteruptable Power Supply (UPS) on the computer if you do not run it on 12 volts directly

    • Use a Keyspan USB to Serial adaptor if you need one

  •     Use a reliable HF rig such as a Kenwood 450, 950, 570, 480, or 2000, or an Icom with the level converter to control the rig using Airmail.  Some others work well also.

  •     Use a 144 / 440 rig that will run 1200 and 9600 baud.  Kenwood and Icom and Alinco work well.  Some others will do well also.  Check the specifications.

  •     Some people like a multiband HF/VHF/UHF rig to do it all

    •     A multiband HF/VHF/UHF rig is fine if you do not expect to run VHF and HF at the same time. 

    •     If you expect to run local VHF and also HF in an emergency, then you will do better having separate rigs running independently.

  •     Get an Astron or some name brand switching power supply to power everything. 

    •     Get a West Mountain RigRunner and PWRgate to distribute the power with Anderson PowerPole connectors which are common to many groups. 

    •     Get one or more Gel or AGM batteries for back up.

    •     Do you need a generator?  If so, then you need fuel, oil, and supplies.

    •     You may need a 12 volt to 110 volt converter to run the computer or some other 110 volt equipment.  Be sure the converter does not produce RF Hash.


  •     Put up flexable antennas

    •     A multiband HF antenna such as B&W, or multiple dipoles off the same feed line will allow for band hopping and scanning

    •    Put up a dual band 2 meter and 440 vertical.

    •     Be sure to do a good job of grounding everything.

    •     Frequency agility is much more important then being the strongest on the band.

  •     Get a SCS modem. 

    •     The PTCIIpro or PTCIIex works very well.  The pro will run both VHF and HF on separate rigs.  The IIex will run all modes off one port. 

    •     The USB version works well as do the others.

  •     Get a KPC3+ for VHF 1200 baud packet or the Kantronics 9612 if you expect to have some 9600 baud packet..

  •     After you get it all running and have used it for a while, then you may decide you want to be a 24/7 RMS. All you have to do is load the software and you are up and running

  •     Others have various thoughts and opinions, and variations are part of your circumstances. 

    •     There is not ONE way to do it.

  •     No matter how you do it, if it is not enjoyed and used, then it will become useless and worthless.

.  Last modified:  April 06, 2013 06:20 AM  .