Thursday, January 2, 2014

AUXFOG: Auxiliary Communications Field Operations Guide. (Free PDF)

FYI - Here's a free, handy reference guide to have around.  It's a version of the DHS "National Interoperability Field Operations Guide" (NIFOG) that has been adapted to be more appropriate for our uses.  It contains frequency information for many other radio services that you might want to have programmed in a scanner or radio with some available memories.  There is also some tutorial information including some antennas that can be easily constructed.

"The Auxiliary Communications Field Operations Guide (AUXFOG) is a reference for auxiliary communicators who directly support backup emergency communications for State/local public safety entities or for an amateur radio organization supporting public safety.

This reference guide contains information about AuxComm best practices, frequently used radio frequencies, Mutual Aid channels as well as tips and suggestions about auxiliary emergency communicators integrating into a NIMS ICS environment to support communications for planned events or incidents. It can serve as a reference both for auxiliary emergency communicators and public safety communications professionals. You can download the AUXFOG by clicking on the hyperlink to the left and save it to your own storage device. It will only download as a PDF.

While printed copies are not available from DHS, you may download an electronic copy to print as many hard copies as desired."

Trying Linux and amateur radio software without having to install it on your computer.

The topic of trying Linux without having to actually install it on your computer came up recently.   There are several "Live" distributions which can be downloaded to a bootable DVD or USB thumb drive. You can then boot your computer from the DVD or USB drive without having to touch the existing installation on your hard drive.

The simplest approach is to download the DVD .iso, burn it to a blank DVD, and then reboot your computer, telling it to boot from the DVD drive.

The USB thumb drive approach has more steps to create, but can be faster as well as allowing you to save changes between reboots.

Two ham radio oriented builds that have been mentioned:

Both are based on Ubuntu Linux and include software such as FLdigi and Chirp.

If you are interested in trying them, I think there are better tutorials available if you google "ubuntu live" than the instructions that accompany the two ham specific packages mentioned above.

Rigol DS1052E/DS1102 and Linux, Python, usbtmc

[To Be Updated]
This is one of those intersections of electronics, open source, hacking, and programming that really gets my interest.

Here are some links with information on connecting the Rigol scope to Linux, and controlling it using Python via USB.  The scope implements the USB test and measurement class, usbtmc.