Winlink Express for Winlink Radio-Email and as a BBS Client


Overview, Training Resources & Weekly Exercises

If you are already familiar with Winlink Express and the Winlink system you may skip down to the Weekly Winlink Exercises at the bottom of this page.

Overview

Winlink Express a client program developed primarily for use with the Winlink radio-email system. It is compatible with a number of modes including packet for VHF/UHF plus Winmor, ARDOP, VARA and Pactor for HF. It may also be used to send messages directly through the internet (Telnet mode). Winlink Express also supports peer to pear (P2P) communications.

Winlink Express may also be used to access a BBS such as the BPQ bulletin boards in York, Androscoggin, Cumberland, Lincoln and Knox Counties.

As a client for store/forward systems (i.e. Winlink email and bulletin boards), the Winlink system is an ideal adjunct to the "real time" NBEMS suite of programs.

If you don't have a radio that is configured for digital communications, don't worry. You can still use the Telnet mode of RMS Express as long as you have a computer that is connected to the internet. The intent is to gain familiarily with RMS Express.

Training Modules

Up to date training modules are available at http://kx1ema.org/skills.html. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to the section Data Communications with Winlink Express.

Data Transfer Speeds

The following information is based on a table that is in the "Winlink FAQ." The times are based on a 4k message after compression. (RMS Express compresses all messages using the B2 forwarding protocol.)

Mode

Transfer Time

Packet 1200 (Direct) 2 minutes
Packet 1200 (1 node) 2.5 minutes
Packet 9600 (Direct) 1 minutes
Pactor 1 15 minutes
Pactor 2 4 minutes
Pactor 3 30 seconds (fastest Pactor mode currently legal in the USA)
Pactor 4 15 seconds (currently illegal in the USA - exceeds 300 baud)
Winmor 500 10 minutes
Winmor 1600 3 minutes
Telnet (Internet) Really fast (if you have internet)

Suggested Guidelines

In an emergency and/or there is a significant amount of traffic and the internet is available, use telnet to avoid congestion at the RMS stations.

Each RMS can only handle one HF connection at a time. Use packet if a reliable connection can be made.

Establishing and closing each connect session takes time. If possible, batch your messages rather than sending messages one at a time.

If there are multiple stations in an affected area that need to use the system, each station should try to use a different RMS.

Weekly Winlink Exercises

During Q1 2017 KB1TCE conducted a weekly Winlink exercise. This will resume by late summer 2017.

Stay tuned for details.

For comments or questions, please contact WE1U at DavidLoweMESEC(atsign)gmail(dot)com