Today we are talking about more practical and ultimately more effective training for EMCOMM and preparedness.
The following video demonstrates my morning routine with JS8Call and Winlink. Most mornings I take the dogs out, have breakfast, then take a few minutes to sit in front of the radio gear.
Notice I use much of the same gear for comms from the shack, as I do for field communications.
I start by checking for any JS8Call messages which would have come in overnight. Most JS8Call activity is on 40m, so I leave the radio there with JS8Call running. This helps the network by giving weaker stations some store and forward stations to bounce off of. Afterwords I connect to a local RMS gateway to check my radio email. These are usually stations within 600km (NVIS Range), on 80m. 80m NVIS is almost always effective at this latitude, during daylight hours. It could also be effective at night, but requires more antenna configuration coordination. If the RTTY stations are jamming the band, I’ll switch over to 60 meters for stations a little further out day or night. 30 meters is also an option during day. I don’t use 40 meters for Winlink since I always have a radio on 40m monitoring JS8Call. The target RMS gateways are almost always in Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Russia west of the Ural mountains.
We are constantly bombarded with Bullshill about field day. Field day has evolved into a contest. A contest although fun, is anything but useful if the goal is actually teaching operators to send, receive or forward messages. My belief is if we create a daily routine around the tools we actually use for EMCOMM and preparedness, that day to day training will be a more effective training strategy, versus buying the gear, storing in a box, and using it once a year for what is effectively a contest (field day).
Just food for thought.