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What is WinLink 2000?. WinLink 2000 (WL2K) is a worldwide system of “free” resources to enable E-Mail by ham radio (and MARS). Part 1.

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Presentation on theme: "What is WinLink 2000?. WinLink 2000 (WL2K) is a worldwide system of “free” resources to enable E-Mail by ham radio (and MARS). Part 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is WinLink 2000?

2 WinLink 2000 (WL2K) is a worldwide system of “free” resources to enable by ham radio (and MARS). Part 1

3 What is WinLink 2000? WinLink 2000 (WL2K) is a worldwide system of “free” resources to enable by ham radio (and MARS). It is useful for sending by radio from remote areas or in emergency situations.

4 Four computers are located around the world and function as Common Message Servers (or CMSs). They organize, synchronize and manage the WinLink traffic. All CMSs have the same (e.g. redundant) information. The Internet How does it work? CMS Perth CMS Halifax CMS San Diego CMS Wein

5 The Internet CMS A CLIENT Station (That’s YOU!) A typical ham radio station is composed of simple components. Radio A Radio and a Good Antenna Data Interface A TNC or Soundcard Interface (TNC = Terminal Node Controller) Ham Computer Laptop for a Portable Station Paclink software with Program like Outlook Express RMS Express Software Windows Operating System Paclink or RMS Express WinLink uses ham e- mail addresses like

6 The Internet CMS Radio Data Interface Ham Computer The most direct way to use the WinLink system is with a TELNET connection Paclink or RMS Express TELNET

7 The Internet CMS Radio Data Interface To send or receive , a station makes a connection with a radio message server which is always connected to the Internet. RMS Radio Data Interface Ham Computer A radio “Gateway” to the Internet is called a Radio Message Server, or “RMS”. Paclink or RMS Express

8 The Internet CMS The radio “Gateway” to the Internet is called a Radio Message Server, or “RMS”. VHF Radio Data Interface VHF Radio Data Interface Ham Computer Up to 30 miles between stations we use VHF radios and the packet mode. RMS Packet Paclink

9 The Internet CMS WinLink uses “regular” VHF Radio Data Interface VHF Radio Data Interface Ham Computer You can send & receive radio directly to internet users and even cell phone “text” users. RMS Packet Paclink

10 The Internet CMS WinLink uses “regular” VHF Radio Data Interface VHF Radio Data Interface Ham Computer You can send & receive radio directly to internet users and even cell phone “text” users. RMS Packet Paclink It also works in REVERSE

11 The Internet CMS Packet Networks or digipeaters can be used if the nearest RMS “Gateway” has lost its Internet connection. VHF Radio Data Interface Ham Computer Packet Networks such as FPAC NET-ROM FLEX-NET NODE VHF Radio Data Interface RMS Packet VHF Radio Data Interface RMS Packet Paclink

12 RMS Packet “Gateway” Stations in Florida

13 RMS Packet “Gateway” Stations in Hillsborough The “10” is called a Secondary Station IDentifier (SSID) and ”10” is usually identified with an RMS Packet gateway station.

14 Local VHF Winlink RMS Packet Stations KI4VAM MHz - County Ctr, Tampa* KF4ATP MHz – Hillsborough EOC* W4BGH MHz – Riverview, FL* W1WAB MHz – Sun City Center, FL** W4ACS MHz – Pinellas EOC*** K4PPK MHz – Valrico, FL**** *Operate 24X7 **Currently down for repairs ***Not operational yet. ****Only available during emergency situations.

15 The Internet CMS HF Radios are used for RMS stations over long distances. VHF Radio Data Interface Ham Compute r For long distances and difficult terrain, Hams can use HF radios and the Pactor (1-3) modes and more recently WINMOR. HF Radio Data Interface Paclink or RMS Express HF Radio Data Interface RMS HF or RMS WinMOR

16 The Internet CMS HF Radios are used for RMS stations over long distances. VHF Radio Data Interface Ham Compute r HF Radio Data Interface If local VHF RMS “gateway” stations have lost their Internet connection, then HF Pactor or WinMOR may be the best option VHF Radio Data Interface RMS Packet HF Radio Data Interface RMS HF or RMS Express Paclink

17 RMS HF “Gateway” Stations (Pactor) Typical RMS HF Station W9MR – Keensburg, IL (p3) (p3) (p3) (p3) (p3) = Pactor 3

18 How do we send using Paclink? First create in an Program such as Outlook or Outlook Express. Next “send” it to Paclink that behaves as a POP3 mail server. Finally, direct Paclink to connect to either an RMS Packet or an RMS HF “gateway” station and transfer the message.

19 Creating in Outlook Express

20 Paclink sends the message “Post Office” Packet radio activity

21 Let’s Switch Gears… How Do You Get Started 1.Download the software from: 2.Install and setup a WinLink Client Program. (Your address will be 3. Send an either by Radio or Telnet. 4. Establish an “account” on (optional)

22 The WinLink Client Programs Paclink VHF Packet a)TNC b)Soundcard (AGWPE) HF Pactor a)TNC

23 The WinLink Client Programs PaclinkRMS Express VHF Packet a)TNC b) HF Pactor a)TNC VHF Packet a) TNC HF Pactor a)TNC Soundcard (AGWPE) HF WinMOR a) Soundcard

24 The WinLink Client Programs PaclinkRMS Express Both require Windows operating system Require installation of.NET Framework a) This may prevent the use of older versions of Window OS

25 The WinLink Client Programs PaclinkRMS Express Both programs will merge at some point. External Program (e.g. Outlook Express) Internal Program

26 Some Features of the WinLink System Winlink maintains a “White Page” system to control SPAM. An from to will not be delivered unless originator is in the user’s White Page. An address is added to the White Page when a WinLink user sends a message to that address (or is added by an to or logging in to web site). Any with //WL2K at the beginning of the SUBJECT line will be delivered whether or not the address is in the White Page.

27 Some Features of the WinLink System Here’s a problem we experienced during the 2008 Mass- Casualty drill. We sent messages by Winlink 2000 to: The messages were received with no problems, but the EOC replies were NEVER received. Why? The County IT Department was (is?) using a spam protection method called Bounce Address Tag Validation (BATV) which modified the “FROM” address in the reply to: This wasn’t in the Winlink “white page” and was blocked! Solution: Authorize the domain name “hillsboroughcounty.org” or use //WL2K in the subject line.

28 Some Features of the WinLink System Winlink maintains a “White Page” system to control SPAM. An from to will not be delivered unless originator is in the user’s White Page. An address is added to the White Page when a WinLink user sends a message to that address (or is added by an to or logging in to web site). Any with //WL2K at the beginning of the SUBJECT line will be delivered whether or not the address is in the White Page. WinLink has a “default” message size maximum of 120k including attachments. A User may establish their own “personal” message size maximum.

29 Time for a Quick Break

30 1.Paclink a)General Settings b)Outlook Express Client c)Telnet Channel d)TNC – VHF Packet Channel e)TNC – HF Pactor Channel f)Sound Card – VHF Packet 2.RMS Express a)WinMOR WL2K How to Setup Paclink and RMS Express Part 2

31 Setting up Paclink – File Menu Items

32 Setting up Paclink – Site Properties

33 Setting up Paclink – Polling Interval Paclink will reconnect to the WinLink System every 30 Minutes to send and/or receive messages.

34 Setting up Paclink – Callsign Accounts The callsign is normally the “base” callsign without an SSID. A callsign with an SSID is considered a separate account from the “base” account.

35 Setting up Outlook Express for Paclink

36

37 Password must match the password in Paclink. Outgoing Mail Server requires authentication.

38 Setting up Outlook Express for Paclink

39 Setting up Paclink – Telnet Channels

40 Setting up a VHF Packet TNC Channel Channel Priority: 1 – High; 5 – Low During automatic connection, Paclink will start at highest priority and continue to lower priorities until it has a successful connection.

41 Setting up Paclink – TNC Channels Note - Paclink has files to set up parameters for the TNC: e.g. C:\Paclink\Data\ExampleKPC3+.aps These can be edited with Notepad.

42 Setting up a Packet TNC Channels It is important to adjust the TX Audio from the TNC to the radio to prevent over-modulating the transceiver. If a deviation meter is available, set the deviation to slightly less than 3 kHz. Some TNCs have a potentiometer for adjusting the TX Audio. Some Kantronics models use a software command e.g. xmitlvl (range from 0 to 502)

43 Setting up a Packet TNC Channels Many TNCs have three operating “modes.” a. Terminal – normal for keyboard-to-keyboard. b. Host – for computer interfacing. c. KISS – also for computer interfacing. Some older TNCs don’t have the “Host” mode. a. Can be used with AGWPE in KISS mode. Paclink normally puts the TNC into the Host mode and returns it to the Terminal mode when the program exits. New “Native KISS” drivers are available for radios with internal TNCs like the Kenwood TM-D710a.

44 Sending an Create message in Outlook Express

45 Tell Paclink to Connect to a Channel “Post Office” Note: If “Autoconnect” is chosen the “Priorities” will determine which Channel will be used.

46 Paclink sends the message “Post Office” Packet radio activity

47 Setting up Paclink for HF Pactor Autoforward Enabled is normally left unchecked. A Pactor connection then requires manual initiation to insure a clear frequency.

48 Setting up Paclink Sound Card Packet Requires computer sound card and simple radio interface. Donner Digital Interface for Alinco DR-135T

49 Setting up Paclink Sound Card Packet Requires computer sound card and simple radio interface. A third-party program called AGW Packet Engine creates a “virtual TNC” using a Sound Card that can be used by Paclink. (http://www.sv2agw.com/downloads/default.htm) AGW Packet Engine is free, and an enhanced version called Packet Engine Pro is available for a small fee. This software also allows multiple programs to use a single hardware TNC. Some problems have been reported with AGW Packet Engine and Windows 7 and external USB sound cards. Operation with the computer’s primary sound card seems OK. Hopefully AGW Packet Engine updates will solve the problems.

50 Setting up Paclink Sound Card Packet Important note: Sound Card interfaces are susceptible to RF feedback, and ferrite materials should be liberally used to minimize the negative effects of this feedback.

51 Setting up Paclink Sound Card Packet The first requirement in AGW Packet Engine is to create a “Radio Port.”

52 Setting up Paclink Sound Card Packet The first requirement in AGW Packet Engine is to create a “Radio Port.”

53 Setting up Paclink Sound Card Packet Use the AGWPE Tuning Aid to set the RX audio level using the transceiver’s volume control in conjuction with the computers audio mixer.

54 Setting up Paclink Sound Card Packet

55 Now open Paclink’s File  AGW Engine Properties and create and Browse to AGWPE’s file location. Paclink will start AGWPE when required.

56 Setting up Paclink Sound Card Packet

57 Now open Paclink’s File  Packet AGW Channels and create a new channel. You are now ready to connect using an AGW Channel.

58 Pause for Questions

59 Now - RMS Express for HF WinMOR WinMOR is an Sound Card protocol that is an alternative to TNC-based Pactor with speeds approaching Pactor 2. The application program is RMS Express which utilizes a “virtual” WinMOR TNC. There is a small registration fee to offset the development costs of the Winlink development team. RMS Express uses a free propagation predicting program called “voacapx” that must be installed on the “C-drive” in a folder “c:\itshfbc” Like Paclink, RMS Express may be downloaded from the Winlink web site:

60 Setting Up RMS Express Start out with the Files → RMS Express Setup menu

61 Setting Up RMS Express The Winlink developers recommend the use of an external sound card to make sure the timing circuits are sufficiently stable for the WinMOR decoder. Retail price is ≈ $100 including a cable for a specific transceiver. It includes a VOX circuit for automatically enabling the rig’s PTT circuit. The computer usually identifies an external sound card as “USB Audio CODEC.” An example is the Tigertronics Signalink with a USB connection.

62 Setting Up RMS Express

63

64 A test result less than 50 can be a problem.

65 Setting Audio Levels Receive audio should be in the “green region.” Transmit audio should small enough to avoid generating any ALC indication in the transceiver. The transceiver should be in the USB mode regardless of the band.

66 Now, Create a New Message

67 Start Session & Select Channel

68 Start the Connection to the WinMOR Server

69 Read the Received

70 Let’s take another short break And we’ll have some demonstrations.


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