The long used and well established ARRL Radiogram has traditionally been a voice–to–paper transaction. In this digital age, ham radio is changing that paradyme. Now, we are able to make this same document an instant digital message that can be sent with 100% accuracy with all the conventions of the paper document intact.
Whether the originator is taking the message as a voice message on a net, or from a phone call with the originating person, the whole process is signicantly enhanced by electronic form entry.
FLMSG uses the entry form shown, to capture the text of the ARRL Radiogram. Once complete the sender may save the document and transmit using an appropriate mode in FLDIGI.
As can be seen from the image shown, even the message precidence and message type are made as easy as selecting from an extensive dictionary of standardized choices. The optional, handling method choice, dialog is shown here.
As with all FLMSG documents, FLMSG can begin the transmission without changing to FLDIGI or closing FLMSG. FLMSG has provided a toolbar that contains specialized methods for message handling using FLDIGI as the modem. This is accomplished by clicking on the AUTOSEND tool button at the top of the form. FLMSG immediately puts FLDIGI in transmit mode and sends the document as formatted. Configuration options allow FLMSG to specify what mode FLDIGI should use to AUTOSEND without re–configuring FLDIGI or having to switch to FLDIGI to manually change the FLDIGI mode.
The receiving station, (assuming both sender and receiver are using an appropriate error-correcting mode) will get the message as sent. As explained earlier, the receiving station may view the document in HTML using the receiving station’s browser, and print, export to PDF, or email as is needed.
This convenience greatly enhances the value of the Radiogram since it can be created and reaches the destination 100% error free.
Special notice should be taken of the "CK" button at the top right. This convenience feature automatically makes an accurate word count and updates the form.
When the message entry is complete and saved for documentation, an appropriate mode may be selected by the mode selection choices at the bottom of the form. This is the mode FLDIGI should use if the AUTOSEND button is pressed on the FLMSG window. There is also a checkbox to select whether or not to use run–length binary text compression. They may not be appropriate for all modes as discussed earlier. Just what is an appropriate mode, is a subject covered in a separate article.