The NBEMS Radio Assistance Network

The NBEMS Radio Assistance Network



   14065 USB, 7072.5, 3581.5 USB    



About The HF Radio Assistance Network:  The NBEMS  Radio Assistance Network is a network of amateur radio and SWLs that monitor the high frequency bands for emergency  or urgent communication needs,  and render assistance where needed.  Members of the The  Radio Assistance Network also participate in practice drills and casual experimentation testing applications, testing propagation, and testing effective message handling methods. The HF Radio Assistance Network has no formal command structure, no appointed officers, no election politics.  Membership is free.  The operations of the HF Radio Assistance Network are based on suggestions of the members and rely entirely on their operating practices . While not formally affiliated with the paNBEMS  or other local NBEMS group, the  Radio Assistance Network has been inspired by the activities of the paNBEMS and the pioneering work of Dave, KB3FXI paNBEMS  founder. The Radio Assistance Network is being developed as a supplement to the various regional NBEMS groups in North America. Acknowledgment also goes to the FLdigi team : Dave Freese, W1HKJ , Stelios Bounanos, M0GLD , Leigh Klotz, WA5ZNU, and  Remí Chateauneu, F4ECW for development of cutting edge software that has revolutionized  emergency communications.


Why NBEMS Radio Assistance Network?  The  Radio Assistance Network was started as a supplement to other emergency communication  groups (e.g. RACES, RAYNET,  ARES, SKYWARN, SATERN) and as an alternative to those groups that understandably have more rigid requirements.  At the  Radio Assistance Network there is no insistence on credentials, no background checks, no credit checks, no mandatory training, no NIMS certificates required. No field deployment is expected, no generators required. No required net participation.  No one expects you to run out in the middle of the night. No ID cards or badges required. No vests, no funny hard hats.  The  Radio Assistance Network is expected to be mainly regional and international in focus.  Local emergencies  are where we expect RACES or ARES to be involved and you are encouraged to support these groups.   On a regional,  national, or international  level however , we feel that home based communication is effective using existing antennas and equipment that hams or SWL's use every day. While use of the Internet can be essential, the primary communication method for the  Radio Assistance Network is via high frequency radio waves.  We expected to be back-up operators, not first responders.


How Do I Join?  Formal membership is not required,  so anyone can participate whether a "member" or not.  However, you can  join our email group and be involved in on-going discussion and also contribute new ideas on the development of Radio Assistance Network. You can join via this link


What Do The  Radio Assistance Network Members Do ?   At a minimum, we would like you to monitor the suggested frequencies listed above. Monitor them casually when you have nothing else to do, or monitor them intensify, it is up to you. The frequencies chosen have other activities such as NBEMS, ARES,  or SATERN nets.  These nets sometimes put out bulletins and conduct training in message handling. Some of the methods used do not even require you to be actively listening,  some amateur radio software can monitor and store messages while you are out of the shack. As the the  Radio Assistance Network grows the  Radio Assistance Network nets will be developed and additional message handling practice sessions will be held.  If an actual emergency situation develops, perhaps a snow storm, earth quake, hurricane, tornado,  plane crash, or civil emergency with heath and welfare implications, monitor the suggested frequencies in the event that traffic needs to be passed or relayed. If you are in an affected area and have reliable information, consider formatting a report that advises  others that are monitoring  your situation .  If your local ARES or RACES has been activated, use the  Radio Assistance Network suggested frequencies for advising others of the activation.


How To Monitor   We would like members to self-activate RAN , simply announce your presence.  To narrow things down, we suggest that you announce your  presence using the  suggested frequencies as follows :


20M:  The 20M  frequency is 14065 USB  (1500 Hz center frequency) on the top of the hour, perhaps the first 10 minutes of an hour.  Just put out a call using any digital mode  (but Olivia 8/500 is recommended) .You may wish to place a call as follows “ de mycall, this is mycall via the  Radio Assistance Network, anyone on frequency”?   Use common sense and ethical amateur radio principles to solve multiple CQ calls around the same time.  Establish a round table net on the fly, if needed.  Assign a NCS  based on those that have checked in.  It is  all good training in the event of a real emergency scenario. 


40M: For the 40M 7072.5 USB (1500 center frequency) .


If your call creates activity and a general roundtable breaks out, do not feel a need to move off the frequency simply because the suggested calling periods are nearing to an end.  Feel free to stay, experiment, rag-chew, and offer to carry any traffic that others need passing along. 


Nets:  A transcontinental net (North America) is help at 0200 UTC Friday (Thursday night in North America) and at 1800 UTC on Sundays.  14065 dial frequency.



Use of frequencies by others:  The  Radio Assistance Network claims no “ownership” over  the suggested frequencies.  We  urge that members always listen first and never transmit if the frequency is known to be in use. The suggested frequencies for digital operations are known to be used by NBEMS and SATERN.  We chose these frequencies deliberately so we can be a group that supports paNBEMS, and SATERN. If you hear paNBEMS, SATERN, or other nets taking place, please consider joining in and they will help you pass any traffic that you may have.


What Do I Do If Someone Has Emergency Traffic To Pass ?  We don’t expect earth shatteringly important traffic to be passed by RAN , more likely the communication will be health and welfare inquiries or status reports.  However, some occasional emergency communication is possible. Your main task would likely be the reception of a message for retransmission to another station or another organization.  When there are no emergency situations, RAN members practice how to send and receive messages (see training goals below) , so by monitoring… you will acquire the necessary skills and tools.



Training Goals. The minimum goal is for members to gain proficiency in relaying or initiating a message in the event of an emergency. Voice, and CW can be quite effective but digital modes can be extra helpful where much detail is needed and accuracy is essential. Amateur Radio already has very effective system for reliable communication of messages.  Direct message handling via the renowned NBEMS methods seen in Fldigi will be a primary skill that we would like HF Radio Assistance Network members to be proficient in. 


Suggested Software:  For digital modes The HF Radio Assistance Network recommends Fldigi . For supplemental digital message handling, The HF Radio Assistance Network also suggests Winmor, PSKmail,  or Winlink 2000. For help with any of these modes, please join   .


Suggested Training:  Members can always ask for advice via the email lists at , in addition the ARRL has a link to NBEMS training via .  You will also find additional help via and via video at


Additional Training Nets: 

PA-NBEMS 3583.5 USB at 10AM Eastern each Sunday . Net moves to 7073 at 11 AM.. 

Eastern Caribbean Emergency Messaging System (EC-NBEMS) net. This net will convene every Sunday at 21:00 UTC on 7.036 USB using Olivia 8/500 for general check-ins and MT63-1000 for passing messages.

NY State NBEMS Net .  Saturday Mornings 10AM Eastern, 7036 USB,  Olvia 8/500

East Coast NBEMS Wednesday 7:00 PM local eastern 7.036 mHz 1kHz Olivia 8/500 MT63-1000

Please email k3uk if you have other nets that you would like adding to this list.




Andy K3UK January, 12  2013.  V.06

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