February 2023

DEC Bulletin

The Winlink system will generate GIS reports that can be displayed on a map. These reports are essential to incident management. The reports can be sent where no internet is present by using the Winlink system.

The system has several Mapping-GIS Forms in the systems template manager. The data for the reports can be saved as a .txt, .csv, or KML files. The information from the form is extracted and automatically save in a data file as the message is being received. No operator intervention is required.

The position is determined by one of three ways. When the form is opened the system looks at the following:

1.  If a GPS device is present the location latitude/longitude will be determined and automatically added to the form.

2.  If no GPS device is found, then the system uses a previous reception report location.

3.  If no GPS device is found and no reception report is present, then the system will use the center of the grid square for the location.

The latitude and longitude can be manually entered if necessary and will override the default latitude/longitude position.


To display the reports on a map, In Winlink Express click on Message on the menu bar then Generate maps and csv files for the forms. Clicking on the World icon on the tool bar will also bring up a map with the information displayed.


When the data is displayed on a map a map pin will be generated. Hovering the mouse over the map pin will show the senders information. By clicking on the map pin the message content will be displayed. If an amateur radio operator sends multiple reports from the same location the system will only display the most recent report when the map pin is clicked. There are some filter settings that can be made to customize the map displaay. Probably the most used filter is the color filter. Map pin colors can be changed when certain parameters are achieved.


This mapping feature will be important for those in the EOC and other management positions that are interested in knowing where special problems may be. In the EOC this file can be handed to a GIS Specialist and the data can be displayed on their third-party GIS programs.


Other News


The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) is currently seeking applications for membership.

1.        Will you register your qualifications and communications equipment for use in public service during a communications emergency?

2.        Can you work in a controlled environment?

3.        Do you have a desire to contribute to your community?


If you answered “yes” to these questions, then consider volunteering for the ARES®.

Candidates for ARES® are asked to visit https://www.hamradioelpaso.com/emergency-coordinations and do the prerequisites to get started with becoming a member. Then contact me as shown below for further information.


Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT

Amateur Radio Emergency Service®

DEC, District 6, WTX Section


Email: kb5hpt@arrl.net