Narrow Band Emergency Messaging Software (NBEMS)





The Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System (NBEMS - pronounced "N-beams" in the trade) is a suite of software programs designed for point-to-point, fast, error-free, emergency messaging up to or over 100 miles distant, and takes up a very minimum of space on the ham bands.  The system is designed primarily for use on the two-meter band, or on HF with NVIS antennas, where there is a minimum of fading (QSB) to slow down message transfers.  Two meters has the advantage that distances long enough to span disaster areas of up to 100 miles can be dependably done with small, portable antennas.  In hilly regions, if two meters is not workable over the distances required, NVIS antennas on HF can be employed instead.

The system is comprised of a number of programs that work together:



  • fldigi / flarq - digital modem / ARQ file transfer
  • flwrap - file encapsulation / compression
  • flmsg - ARRL Radiogram & ICS213 message manager
  • flrig - rig control program, cooperates with fldigi

The computer soundcard is used as the modem, and other than a simple interface connection between the computer and transceiver, no additional hardware is needed.  Versions are available for a variety of operating systems, including Windows (XP or later), Mac OS X, Free-BSD, and Linux. 



NBEMS & fldigi Program Home Page:
Beginner's Guide to fldigi:
Fldigi On-line Help Page:
Flarq On-line Help Page:


Getting Started

All you need is a computer with a mic and speaker along with a 2 meter handheld or mobile rig. Fldigi and associated programs will take about 30 minutes to install and configure.


  • Skim this presentation to understand NBEM

          Introduction to NBEMS - Digital Message Communications

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