Introduction Hardware Download Configuration


NBEMS is short for Narrow Band Ememgency Message System.  It make use of Fldigi, Flmsg and Flwrap.  All three programs are available at  All three programs are able to be run on Linux, Mac and Windows.    All three programs are under current development and updated frequently.

NBEMS uses sound card modes.  The most common are MT63 and Olivia.  You can use your sound card on your computer or a device such as a Signalink or Rigblaster.  Packet radio is not currently a part of this package but you can use Flmsg to fill out forms and attach them to Winlink messages that can be send via packet, Winmor or Pactor modes.

Introduction to NBEMS

Fldigi introduction video from KB3FXI


All the parts needed for a fully complimented NBEMS setup  are available at  All three programs are able to be run on Linux, Mac and Windows. The downloads are available at  All versions for supported operating systems are on the same page.  Make sure you get the correct one.  If you are running on Linux, you can build from source or use the bin files provided by W1HKJ. 

Windows users are able to run the installation with out to much worry.

Linux users, if you have not run Fldigi before you need to do a couple of  things.
  1. Run sudo apt-get build-dep fldigi
  2. Make sure you have installed fltk-1.3.0.  This currenlty is not required but highly suggested.  You may have to install it from source.
  3. If you do install fltk from source make sure to use the following switches for configure:  ./configure --enable-threads --enable-xft --enable-shared --enable-static.
I am testing Lubuntu 12.04 on a Dell D-810 that is a 2GHZ Centrino with 2G of RAM to see if I like it. The Unity desktop on the current 12.04 of Ubuntu is not sitting well with me. I do not think it is that intuitive. I found a few things I needed to do with the setup before I was able to get Fldigi to run.
  1. sudo apt-get build-dep fldigi
  2. Install fltk-1.3.0 from source. You can download it from
  3. If you do install fltk from source make sure to use the following switches for configure:  ./configure --enable-threads --enable-xft --enable-shared --enable-static.
  4. If you get an error message about, it probably is not installed. I had that happen on my Lubuntu install and in my 8.04 Ubuntu install. In Lubuntu, go to System Tools, Synaptic Package manager and search for libjpeg. You will find libjpeg62. Tag it for install and apply.

If you want to use Flrig and you can not get the radio to initialize you may have a permissions issue. I have seen Flrig loose the com port setting when you go to initialize if your account is not in the dialout group. If you are new to linux this is simple and there are several ways to take care of it. I use nano in a shell but you can use the Users and Groups program under Preferences. Add your account to the group called dialout. This is a linux manorism, not Flrig.


NBEMS works using FLMSG working in tandom with FLDIGI.  FLDIGI needs to be told where to find FLMSG.  Please watch the following video.  It is Window conncentric.

If you are using Linux, you should find flmsg in /usr/local/bin. 

Mac users should find FLMSG in /Applications/flmsg-<version number>.app/Contents/MacOS/flmsg

Isolated multiple instances of Fldigi


Look for links to videos and documentation here.  This area will be considered to be under construction all the time.

You can right click and save the examples below if you want to open them in Flmsg.
  • Unwrapped Message in txt file format. This message is not wrapped.
    You will see the following tags in this message.
  • <flmsg> 1.1.8 This is the version of Flmsg used. This is not critical as all versions are compatable.
  • <ics213> This is the form template used to create the message.
  • Wrapped Message using the wrap file extenstion. This example is what a wrap file looks like. I have changed the file extenstion so you can view it in your web browser.
    You will see at the very top and bottom the following tags that "WRAP" the message.
  • [WRAP:beg][WRAP:lf][WRAP:fn KC5GOI-20120108-164026Z-1.213]
  • [WRAP:chksum B021][WRAP:end]
  • Wrapped Message using Flwrap.

  • FLMSG Examples and Screen Shots

    Note: Examples shown may not reflect the most current version of Flmsg.

    Flmsg had a change several sub version back that changed the look of the program also known as the UI (user interface). If you have tabs for the various forms you will notice the change in the UI when you update. It is strongly recommended that you update to the current version.

    You will notice in the new versions that the tabs are gone.

    This is were you find your forms now. Corrections for MARS and additional Red Cross forms have been added.

    You will also find a blue dot in the upper right hand corner. This is a short cut for dragging and dropping flmsg files that you have. FLMSG knows, based on the file extension, the form to open up and populate for you. In Flmsg you have a selection labeled DnD. This is short for Drag and Drop. DnD gives you the ability to do several things.

  • Take a Flwrapped file from Windows Explorer or My Computer, drag and drop the file in the box. You will get the message opened up in the correct form.
  • Take the contents of an open file, highlight the text, hit CTRL+C, go to the DnD box, and hit CTRL+V. You will get the message opened up in the correct form.
  • If you are using some other program other than Fldigi, highlight the payload, copy it, go to the DnD box and hit CTRL+V. You will get the message opened up in the correct form.

    This is the text of the example above. It is blue because I highlighted it then hit CTRL+C.

    This is the DnD box. It is the last tab on the right in Flmsg. Note that in Windows you have to use CTRL+V to insert. If you try to right click, you do not get the paste option. DnD is designed for droping a file into the box but cut and paste via keyboard commands works too.

    The decoded result.

    At this point you can save the message. If you want to print the ICS-213 form, click on File, View and select either HTML Delivery or HTML File Copy. Either selection will open in your default web browser.

    Your end result will look like this. Click on the image to get a larger version.

    Additional Training Resources
    RSID and Fldigi
    RSID allows you to send a bit of info before a transmission that tells the mode and center frequency being used. It helps automate the process instead of you chasing down incase the settings have not been decided in advance or a center frequency is not correct.

    How to move a spread sheet as a csv (comma separate value) file. You do not need to use Flmsg to do this but you can still use and want to use Flwrap.

  • VoaRecodedReception

    My reception of VOA on Nov 24th at 1930Z

    My reception of VOA on Nov 30th at 1600Z

    My reception of VOA on Dec 21st at 1600Z

    My reception on December 22nd at 1930Z of VOA


    Flmsg help document from W1HKJ. Sending and Receiving Spreadsheet CSV Files with Flmsg

    73, KC5GOI