How-To: Digital Net Check-In (ORCA Protocol)

Phase 1) Become proficient with PC Highlight/Copy/Paste operations:
Shadowing NCS during check-in is good practise for learning the check-in routine. As NCS takes ck-ins, Highlight/Copy NCS’s reply to each ck-in and Paste it into a FLMSG Blank form. When NCS sends the final roster, you can check your shadow roster. This will familiarize you with the Highlight/Copy/Paste routine used during ck-in and other NCS activities.

When Participating stations ck-in with their CALLSIGN, NCS replies:
W1EEP Gene Pine Valley,UT < W7ZAP
Highlight/Copy the 2nd line, ‘W1EEP Gene Pine Valley,UT’, and Paste it into an FLMSG Blank form.

Monitoring (QNX) stations are a little different. They have two spaces b4 their CALL and ‘QNX’ at the end.
__W1EEP Gene Pine Valley,UT QNX < W7ZAP
Be sure to copy the leading two blank spaces and the ending ‘QNX’. The two-space indent helps identify Monitoring and Participating stations quickly. Shadowing NCS with your own roster will help prepare you for digital net ck-in and develop your Highlight/Copy/Paste skill. No stress. No exposure. Check your own work. It’s very easy and soon you will be mirroring the NCS check-in log. Do this until it’s easy and then move on the Phase 2.

Phase 2) Advanced. Prepare to check-in VHF/HF digital nets (you need an on-line CALLSIGN lookup account like
In the FLDIGI Menu, Logbooks/Files/New, create ‘ORCA_logbook.adif’. The ORCA log is now active in FLDIGI Logger. When you click a CALLSIGN in the RX window, it appears in the CALL window.  Click the ‘QRZ’ button to populate the other windows. Their value (content) will be added to any macro using their respective TAGs, <CALL>, <NAME>, <QTH> <ST>. When you execute the Ck-In Macro, the TAGs are replaced with content, ie:
<NAME> = Gene
<QTH> = Pine Valley,UT
Imagine you are NCS. W1EEP checks in; his CALL prints in the RX window. Click ‘W1EEP’ to populate the Logging window. Call, Name, & QTH appear. Next, click your ck-in macro. Here it is:
This macro prints in the RX window like this:
W1EEP Gene Pine Valley,UT < W7ZAP

Highlight and copy, ‘W1EEP Gene Pine Valley,UT'(<CALL> <NAME> <QTH>). Paste this line into a fLMSG Blank form to create a roster. Repeat for all Check-Ins.

For ‘QNX’ (Monitoring) stations, you need another macro. Monitoring stations send, ‘CALLSIGN QNX’; you need a macro like this:
NOTE: When you highlight the macro to Copy, you’ll notice 2nd line two leading spaces are actually two invisible dashes. WordPress removes all leading spaces but Tab, so we insert two white dashes to make the webpage print correctly.  You must replace these dashes with blank spaces. Two spaces are added b4 <CALL> to set the monitoring stations apart on the roster, making it easy to discern between Active and Monitoring stations. Add this ‘Monitoring’ check-in to the roster by Highlight/Copy the 2nd line, now including two initial spaces and ‘QNX’, and Paste it into the roster, ie: ‘W1EEP Gene Pine Valley,UT QNX’.

That’s the basic digital check-in routine. There are a couple exceptions; you can learn them as you go. When you check-in an unknown station, their data will not be in ‘ORCA_logbook.adif’. If you have a subscription to one of the on-line callsign databases, like, clicking the LookUp button will populate the logger with data for that CALL. Otherwise, you must manually enter NAME and QTH B4 Saving.  Remember to SAVE when you log a new station.

See how we use FLDIGI Logger with MACROS to create a detailed roster. The video begins with NCS receiving a VidID from K6ETA @ 2000WF. Expand video for better viability.



Download NBEMS Exercises (Zip File)

Download Path Evaluation Macro Files


FEMA Region X HF Interoperability Testing (60m)

FEMA Region X Monthly Interoperability NET, which comprises Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, conducts a monthly interoperability communications exercise on the 60-meter band. This exercise often includes a voice portion and a digital portion.

FEMA Region X uses the call sign of WGY910. The COMMEX occurs on the third Wednesday of the month from 1730 to 1900Z. Primary check-in is usually on 60-meter channel 1.

FEMA Region X Monthly Interoperability NET

3rd Wednesday 1730Z - 1900Z
Channel 1: 5330.5 kHz
Channel 2: 5346.5 kHz
Channel 3: 5357.0 kHz
Channel 4: 5371.5 kHz
Channel 5: 5403.5 kHz
1730Z Open net, delay check-ins
60M - CH1
1735Z NCS sends 1st dig msg
60M - BPSK31 - CH 2
1740Z NCS repeats 1st dig msg using alt mode
60M - MT63-2KL CH2
1745Z NCS calls for check-ins and reports
60M - CH1
1815Z NCS TX 2nd digital msg
60M - BPSK31 - CH 2
1825Z NCS reTX 2nd dig msg using alt mode
60M - MT63-2KL - CH 2
1827Z NCS calls for reports
60M - CH 1
1850Z NCS closes the net
60M - CH 1

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Shortwave Radiogram transmits digital text and images on an analog shortwave broadcast transmitter. The program is produced and presented by Dr. Kim Andrew Elliott KD9XB. Shortwave Radiogram continues VOA Radiogram's tradition testing new modes and is an interesting source for Digital Ops wishing to practice more with FLDIGI & FLAMP.

Shortwave Radiogram Transmission Schedule (AM)

Fri 2030-2100 UTC
7780 kHz
9455 kHz
WRMI Florida
Sat 1600-1630 UTC
9400 kHz
Space Line, Bulgaria
Sun 2330-2400 UTC
7780 kHz
WRMI Florida
Mon 0800-0830 UTC
7730 kHz
5850 kHz
WRMI Florida

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