Renfrew County ARES

For a number of years now, our group has been using Outpost Packet Message Manager to pass messages for served agencies.

On the computer screen, Outpost looks like a regular email client. When a new message is created and sent, it is sent by packet radio to a local BBS. The BBS is polled by all of the packet stations involved and the message is downloaded by the station the message is addressed to. The whole process is automated so the operator has only to enter messages as new messages and pass printouts of received messages to their addressees.

OP Config

This drawing shows how stations could be configured using Outpost. The stations do not communicate with each other, only with the BBS. If the BBS is at a good location, such as a repeater site, messages can be passed over a good distance. A station can use one or more nodes or digipeaters to reach the BBS, further increasing the range.

We have BBSs located at several repeater sites. VE3NRR and VA3RBW have KPC3+ TNCs which act as BBSs and nodes. These sites along with nodes near Renfrew and in Ottawa enable us to pass messages throughout most of Renfrew County and to Ottawa and area.


This photo shows the operating position at the Laurentian Hills EOC. The Outpost main screen is on the laptop. The packet station consists of an FT-8800 and a KAM TNC. The laptop is connected to the TNC serial port by an FTDI USB to serial adapter. The packet station shares a power supply with the HF station on the small table behind.

Installation of Outpost could hardly be simpler. Download the latest version of the Outpost opsetup####.exe file from the web site and run the .exe file. Also download the Users Guide, Outpost###UG.pdf

For use with our ARES group, some data files need to be replaced with the files contained in the following 2 .zip files. In the main screen of Outpost, type [Ctrl] d to see the folder where these files should be saved.

For Outpost versions up to 2.8, download and unzip the following .zip file and place the unzipped files in the Outpost folder identified above.

Zipped Ver. 2.8 data files

For Outpost Ver. 3.0 and later, the following .zip file should be unzipped and the addr.d, bbs.d and tnc.d folders and contents should be put in the Outpost folder found with [Ctrl] d as above.

Zipped Ver. 3.0 data files

The following 2 files should be put in the Reports folder.

Message Form

Exercise Message Form

Then download and read our Outpost setup document which is specific to our group.



Last revised 21-May-2015