The PMRC Digital Education Net

A voice and data net to discuss digital modes

Every Tuesday evening at 1900 (7:00 PM)

One of the benefits of the Winlink system is sending an email using the Ham bands either HF or the VHF and UHF bands.  The majority of the use is for emergency services as we've seen with the storms in Puerto Rico.  Casual use of the Winlink system consists of RVers and sailors sending email to friends and family while they are vacationing.  This week on the DEN we will continue to explore this concept.

We will again take check ins using Sound Modem and Ezterm.  Review last week's email for the recommended configuration settings.  Start Sound Modem first and leave it running in the background.  Sound Modem will be the TNC emulator for Ezterm and Winlink.  You can minimize but don't close Sound Modem.  Next start Ezterm and watch the bottom receive window for instructions on checking in.  When you're area is called for check ins just press enter with your cursor in the middle transmit window.  Your callsign will be sent automatically.  Once we are through with check ins we can close Ezterm and start RMS Express.  The two can't be run together because they will conflict with the port connection.

On the Winlink Express window select Settings and follow the next screen shot for your setup.  Use your own call and personal information.  If this is the first time using RMS Express you should open a Telnet Winlink session and send a message to your personal email to register your call in the Winlink system.

On the Winlink Express window select Packet P2P in the right hand drop down box and click Open Session.  Then click Settings.  Use the next screen shot for your setup.

I will then send a Packet Peer to Peer Message to each station who checked in.  If successful you will then see my message in your Inbox.

Next each user will send a Packet Peer to Peer Message to my using my email address NY3J.  If it's an email to a Winlink user you don't have to enter NY3J@WINLINK.ORG.  If it's a non Winlink email then you need the complete email address.  If you are sending to a Winlink user from a commercial email you must enter //WL2K in the Subject link.  This prevents spam because the system will reject emails without this designation.

I forgot to mention setting the SignaLink DLY to zero but the DEN are expert Packeteers now and they know that :-)  It looked like setting the delay in Sound Card Modem to 1000 helped with the turn around time of Packet acknowledgements last week when we used EzTerm.  There's a little more overhead using Winlink but it should be ok for training purposes.  I wouldn't want to depend on any voice repeater to pass Packet radio traffic.  Also, 147.270 doesn't do well in parts of Bucks County.

For more practice after the DEN we could look around for Winlink Gateways in the area.  For the folks in Bucks County there is a Digipeater, W3SK, on 145.610.  Send me an email on times you would like to try Winlink and I will have my Gateway NY3J-10 running.  If you want to connect directly you set RMS Express Winlink Packet for direct connect and enter NY3J-10 or through the Digipeater by changing from direct to VIA W3SK.  For Montgomery County maybe someone could get the Gateway AA3E-10 running on 145.050.  For Chester County someone could get W3EOC-10 running on 145.690.  For New Jersey I believe there is a Gateway K2EOC-10 on 145.050 and I think we have a member of the Gloucester County ARES/RACES group on the DEN :-)

For a Winlink Gateway you need 2 programs running.  RMS Packet and RMS Relay.  It is possible to use a Sound Card Modem but it is recommended to use a hardware TNC.  For a digipeater it is recommended to use a hardware TNC like a KPC3+ which has digipeater firmware built into the TNC.  A computer is not needed.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on the DEN.  Any questions or comments please email me NY3J AT ARRL DOT ORG

73, Ron NY3J