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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Tools of the trade  |  Topic: What ES supporting software do you use?
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sschwab
Recruit

Posts: 20

« on: March 30, 2007, 02:15:14 PM »

I am the new ITO in a senior squadron, which is mainly working ES missions.  In mid summer we have a big SARX planned, and was wandering what software people have found useful at Mission Base.  Lets assume actually have electricity, but may or may not have an internet connection.

For when you we do have an internet connection, useful websites links would be helpful as well.


Thanks,
2LT Scott Schwab
Gateway Squadron, Missouri Wing
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Pylon
Administrator

Posts: 5,147
Unit: NER-NH-032

Michael Kieloch, Communications & PR Leadership
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2007, 02:19:38 PM »

I am the new ITO in a senior squadron, which is mainly working ES missions.  In mid summer we have a big SARX planned, and was wandering what software people have found useful at Mission Base.  Lets assume actually have electricity, but may or may not have an internet connection.

For when you we do have an internet connection, useful websites links would be helpful as well.


Thanks,
2LT Scott Schwab
Gateway Squadron, Missouri Wing

SIMS to track attendance and ES ratings is handy.  We've even used the barcode scanner attached to the laptop to scan CAP membership cards and automatically check people in.   Though it works best for your-unit-only events, as it makes personnel records and pulls ES ratings from CAPWATCH.  Those outside your unit, you'd have to manually create them in the system first.

See http://www.squadroncommand.com for more info on SIMS.  :)

Of course there are tons of other tools, too.  Just one suggestion as I run out the door to a meeting...  :)
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Michael F. Kieloch, Maj, CAP
Concord Composite Squadron, NH       
IceNine
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Posts: 1,969

« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2007, 05:33:31 PM »

depends on what ES qual system your wing is using.  Of course the 2 most common are MIMS and the WMU.  If you are using MIMS the best way to do any tracking is SIMS if you are using the WMU, the IMU (Incident Management Utility) downloadable through the WMU website is your best bet.  Unfortunately there are a few downfall's to using SIMS the first being that it was designed for tracking squadron level information and not an es Mission, the other is that you will still have to manually load any participation data and forms into MIMS by hand, The IMU is uploadable to the WMU, which in turn syncs with MIMS.  Other things I find useful are a good mapping program (one that you can download both Ground and Air Charts) and place pins when crews call in, an Excel spreadsheet for financial tracking (several of them avaliable on the web,  and finally a good photo editing software and memory card reader is valuable for both air and ground
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"All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies"

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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2007, 06:43:35 PM »

WMIRS, WMU, IMU, eServices/MIMS

Google

Garmin Mapsource

Google Earth

Microsoft Livesearch Mobile

Adobe Photoshop

PRO Log:
http://group22.net/files/other/cap_pro_log_jan03_v1.pdf



Palm N-Number Search:
http://group22.net/files/other/n-number.pqa

Palm CAP Grid locator:
http://group22.net/files/other/rcc_gridfind.prc

(note, these Palm applications do not like new versions of Palm OS, use at your own risk)

Any good mapping application which allows for dropping markers and doing a mark for a bearing is in valuable - the effect mentally on being able to see where everyone is at a glance is amazing.  It also doesn't hurt with regards to USAF evaluators who might be lurking...
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floridacyclist
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Tallahassee Composite Squadron
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2007, 04:20:37 AM »

Delorme Street Atlas is great both for navigating in the field with a GPS or for keeping track at Mission base

Google earth is also great if you have internet access....hope they come out with a DVD version one day.

WinAPRS would be awesome once we get a cleared frequency (since they took away our old digital freq) and enough operators using it. You could configure the aircraft as a digi and the folks that be could see where everyone is at a glance.

IMU....in fact, FL wing requires it

One of hte things that we actually use a lot on the RECON missions was a collection of MASH and Gilligan's Island reruns. Short time-fillers that were great for de-stressing.

MS Office

Adobe Acrobat Pro is great for printing or scanning documents to PDF then emailing them.

AOL is kind of handy because it lets you dial in from anywhere with a telephone connection....great when you're 10 miles from the nearest LAN but have a working fax machine

Setting up your MS Fax on your computer is good too....it lets you use the modem as a fax machine (it comes up as a printer and you print to it, then it asks you for the fax number to send it to) rather than printing something so it can be faxed.....and the final quality is much better
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Gene Floyd, Capt CAP
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sardak
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Posts: 1,248

« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2007, 05:09:37 AM »

Google Earth can be used without an Internet connection.  While connected, the images and data are stored in a cache.   When starting GE without an Internet connection, the program gives a warning, then asks if you want to continue.  If yes, it uses what is in the cache.  The cache can be expanded up to 2 GB in Tools/Options/Cache within GE.

So while online, visit the places you want loaded in the cache.

Power users will load the cache, copy the files to a thumb drive, CD or DVD, and rename the cache files to something appropriate.  They do this for mulitple areas. The caveat is that GE will only read the file if it has the generic cache name, so there is some file renaming that must happen to use the saved cache data.

On my XP machines, the cache files are in:
Documents and Settings/Administrator/Application Data/Google/Google Earth/
and are named dbCache.dat and dbCache.dat.index

Mike
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Al Sayre
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Mississippi Wing
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2007, 06:14:16 AM »

I put links to a bunch of good ones on our squadron website.  http://serms100.googlepages.com/emergencyservices
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Lt Col Al Sayre
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Admiral, Great Navy of the State of Nebraska
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JC004
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2007, 06:38:39 AM »

Google Earth can be used without an Internet connection.  While connected, the images and data are stored in a cache.   When starting GE without an Internet connection, the program gives a warning, then asks if you want to continue.  If yes, it uses what is in the cache.  The cache can be expanded up to 2 GB in Tools/Options/Cache within GE.

So while online, visit the places you want loaded in the cache.

Power users will load the cache, copy the files to a thumb drive, CD or DVD, and rename the cache files to something appropriate.  They do this for mulitple areas. The caveat is that GE will only read the file if it has the generic cache name, so there is some file renaming that must happen to use the saved cache data.

On my XP machines, the cache files are in:
Documents and Settings/Administrator/Application Data/Google/Google Earth/
and are named dbCache.dat and dbCache.dat.index

Mike

Thanks for that.  Good info.
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sardak
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Posts: 1,248

« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2007, 06:40:03 AM »

I agree with the prior recommendations.  Here are some less commonly known programs, all free, which I use.

From the National Interagency Fire Center
http://www.nifc.blm.gov/nsdu/aviation/

Stand Alone IAMS (Initial Attack Management System) provides the aviation users access to military training routes, FAA Airports, Agency Airbases, VORís, Dispatch Mission Planning and contacts for Aviation Wildland Firefighting resources. It provides a tool to define a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) (91.137A).

The contents of IamsInstall.exe changes every 28 days. You must download and install a new copy to get the most recent data.  The 28 day update is the FAA update interval, since it uses FAA data.  The program warns you when the data is out-of-date, but will continue to operate.
**************
These programs are free, they run in Microsoft Windows, and were written in C by Doug Cox, a retired Delta Air Lines pilot.

http://www.jdmcox.com

USAPhotoMaps downloads USGS aerial photo and topo map data from Microsoft's free TerraServer Web site, saves  it on your hard drive, and creates maps with GPS accuracy.  You can: scroll and zoom, see latitude/longitude and UTM, USGS Landmarks, TIGER/Line streets, elevation and contour lines, add waypoints, routes, and text, go to any address, populated place, USGS landmark, or lat/lon in the U.S.A., transfer waypoints, tracks, and routes to and from most GPS receivers, see your GPS location, and much more...
You must be connected to the Internet to load the initial data and maps, but it is stored on your computer, so once loaded, no connection is necessary.

FillOutAForm 2.91 enables you to fill out either a scanned form or a PDF form on your computer and print it (or print the original form with your entries superimposed).
*****************
http://joshmadison.com/software/convert/

Convert is an easy to use unit conversion program that will convert the most popular units of distance, temperature, volume, time, speed, mass, power, density, pressure, energy and many others, including the ability to create custom conversions!
*********************
From the FAA

http://www.naco.faa.gov/index.asp?xml=naco/online/compsys

COMPSYS 21 is a free download designed to perform geodetic calculations. This user-friendly graphics interface developed for the National Aeronautical Charting Office includes nine standard geodetic calculations. The calculations include Forward, Inverse, Segment/Segment, Bearing/Bearing, Segment Distance, Circle Bearing, Circle/Circle, Segment Bearing, and Airport Reference Point.

Users of COMPSYS 21 include many FAA offices including ATA, AVN, all Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCCs), TRACONS, some airport control towers, NGA, and avionic companies.

Sectionals and Terminal Area Charts can now be downloaded from the FAA for $1.50  each.
http://naco.faa.gov/ecomp/Catalog.aspx?a=AERO+NOS+DIGITAL+DSEC
**************
From US Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management
http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/planning/nist/dispatch_utilities.htm

Dispatch Utilities contain three programs, ADaM, Sunrise-Sunset, and CAN.

ADaM, the Aviation Data Manager, consists of four management programs to facilitate aircraft dispatching.

Sunrise-Sunset computes the time of sunrise and sunset. Duh.

CAN Ė Computer Aided Navigation will convert latitudes and longitudes to a valid legal description (township/range/section) for the following fifteen western states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
***********
There are more for another time.

Mike
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CLB
Member

Posts: 66

« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2007, 11:43:20 AM »

Delorme Topo, Google Earth, Nortech Navigator and a program called XCorder plugged into a scanner to record all the mission VHF traffic. 
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Capt Christopher Bishop
Coastal Charleston Composite Squadron
Pumbaa
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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2007, 01:18:14 PM »

Free Programs

OPEN-Office.  Has a suite of tools like MS Professional best of all Free!

GIMP - A Photo editing Program with a lot of the Power of Photo Shop

And a ton of others.

What I use are the portable versions, that can reside on a USB Thumb Drive.  This way I can plug it into any computer and I have all my programs.

Here is one source.  Again all Open Source, no spyware, FREE!

http://portableapps.com/apps

ETA Of Course Portable Firefox, Thunderbird, GAIM, and a host of security appl;ications.

Open Source Rules!  Why buy when you can get it for free!?!?!
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sschwab
Recruit

Posts: 20

« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2007, 02:29:11 PM »

Thanks to all the contributers, I have plenty to download and start looking at.    I think I'll compile the list and will try to:

  • Make it available on the National IT Discussion Forum, as stated referenced in the 227
  • See if the folks at http://www.cap-it.us want to a host some kind of  master discussion list.
  • Set something up on my squadron's web hosting service.  http://www.cap-gatewaystl.org.
 

Once I get this sorted out,  I'll update this thread.

Thanks
2LT Scott Schwab

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arajca
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Posts: 4,443

« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2007, 04:15:14 PM »

If you're interested in using ICS forms, try this: http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/oilaids/ICS/ICS.html. I've used it myself on hazmat incidents.

Where is the National IT Discussion Forum?
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sschwab
Recruit

Posts: 20

« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2007, 04:19:22 PM »


Where is the National IT Discussion Forum?

Good question, I assume National has not sorted that out yet.  ;)  so I'll give them time.

2LT Scott Schwab
Gateway Squadron
Missouri Wing
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sardak
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Posts: 1,248

« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2007, 07:40:13 PM »

The Texas Forest Service created a workbook of generic (original) ICS forms in Excel.  Information filled in on one form automatically populates the other forms that use the same info (date, operational period, frequencies, etc.)  Being in Excel it can be modified, which is necessary because the font size in some forms needs to be changed.

A version more current than the one on the TFS site is here:

http://www.nimsonline.com/download_center/index.htm#ics

There are two TFS Excel spreadsheets.  The ICSFormsWorkbook.xls is the the one I've mentioned.  The other does the same thing, but without a nice user interface.

The original TFS form site is here:
http://tfsfrp.tamu.edu/toolbox/ICSExcel.aspx

*****************
Additional software:
Software used in the National SAR School is available from AFRCC here:
SAR Manager

You'll need to read the install instructions on this page, as well as download the "Ground Search" and "Air Search" instructions.

For missing person searches, try WinCASIE III.  It manages clues, Mattson consenuses, POD, POAs, calculates shifting POAs, etc.

http://wcasie.com/default.aspx

This Windows version was released last fall.  The previous version, around since the mid-1980s, was written in DOS, and wouldn't run on XP and later systems.  Some groups kept old laptops around just to run CASIE.

Mike
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JC004
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« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2007, 10:00:15 PM »

Thanks to all the contributers, I have plenty to download and start looking at.    I think I'll compile the list and will try to:

  • Make it available on the National IT Discussion Forum, as stated referenced in the 227
  • See if the folks at http://www.cap-it.us want to a host some kind of  master discussion list.
  • Set something up on my squadron's web hosting service.  http://www.cap-gatewaystl.org.
 

Once I get this sorted out,  I'll update this thread.

Thanks
2LT Scott Schwab

Thanks for doing that.  There is loads of good software out there, but having lists like this helps a lot.
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Psicorp
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« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2007, 10:38:29 PM »

This is sorta new and was explained at our Wing Conference this past weekend.  It's going to be a standard use program for aircrews and ground teams.

I've already started messing with it.  I need a newer camera and a better GPS, but it's quite impressive.

http://www.robogeo.com/home/
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Jamie Kahler, Capt., CAP
(C/Lt Col, ret.)
CC
GLR-MI-257
epound
Recruit

Posts: 8

« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2007, 08:03:48 PM »

Thanks to all the contributers, I have plenty to download and start looking at.    I think I'll compile the list and will try to:

  • Make it available on the National IT Discussion Forum, as stated referenced in the 227
  • See if the folks at http://www.cap-it.us want to a host some kind of  master discussion list.
  • Set something up on my squadron's web hosting service.  http://www.cap-gatewaystl.org.
 

Once I get this sorted out,  I'll update this thread.

Thanks
2LT Scott Schwab

Shane Williams and I run the cap-it.us site.  We are currently working on a few things.  The first is the discussion forums.  The details have not been worked out but expect to see them up and running in the not so distant future.  We are also working on a CAP layer for Google Earth.  Hopefully we can bring together all the layers people are using into one layer.  We will be releasing an early version of that soon on the cap-it.us site.  Let me know if you have any questions or comments.
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Erick Pound, SSgt, CAP
sardak
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« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2007, 07:37:16 AM »

This site has the kml and image files to add sectionals and Terminal Area Charts to Google Earth.  Sectionals and TACs can be added individually, which is a good thing.  The files are huge.  There are other maps at this site which can be added to GE.

http://www.topomaps.fox-fam.com/category/aeronautical-charts/

This link goes to a thread on the Google Earth community forums where you can find the CAP grids for the following sectionals: Klamath Falls (LMT), Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), Phoenix (PHX) and San Francisco (SFO).  Go to the last post in the thread and click on the "View in Google Earth" icon.  The grids were created by 2nd Lt Landis Bennett of CAWG.

http://tinyurl.com/2l3mnd

I passed all this along to Shane and Erick at cap-it.

Mike
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JC004
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« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2007, 02:34:27 AM »

Some Firefox extensions that I like for CAP use:

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sschwab
Recruit

Posts: 20

« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2007, 05:01:19 PM »


Where is the National IT Discussion Forum?

Good question, I assume National has not sorted that out yet.  ;)  so I'll give them time.

It looks like the National Forum will be hosted, admined, or at least helped out by those over at the http://www.cap-it.us/ website.  I'll be monitoring their website for more information.

2LT Scott Schwab
Gateway Squadron
Missouri Wing
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JC004
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« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2007, 05:22:38 AM »

CAP (but not ES)-related software (all free and open source):

  • Stellarium - planetarium on your computer
  • NASA World Wind (like Google Earth - includes Earth, Moon, Mars, Venus)
  • FlightGear (if you don't feel like buying Microsoft Flight Sim, or your computer will explode trying to run MS Flight Sim)
« Last Edit: May 06, 2007, 05:29:48 AM by JC004 » Report to moderator   Logged
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Tools of the trade  |  Topic: What ES supporting software do you use?
 


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