Winlink: Email Over Radio

At our January 4, 2017 meeting, SPARC president Bob Vanderwall WB6YJJ presented a video on the benefits of Winlink. Here is a simple definition of Winlink taken from its Wikipedia page:

Winlink is a worldwide radio messaging system that uses amateur-band radio frequencies to provide radio interconnection services that include email with attachments, position reporting, weather bulletins, emergency relief communications, and message relay.

The most common use of Winlink is sending email from an area where the Internet is unavailable. During an emergency that knocks out Internet access, Winlink can get a message to loved ones and other contacts. This powerful communication resource is an all-volunteer effort administered by a group called the Amateur Radio Safety Foundation Inc. Our Northeast section of ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) uses Winlink as part of its preparedness plans.

With a relatively small investment in equipment (typically an external sound card and free software such as Winlink Express), amateur radio operators can get up and running. Over the course of 2017, SPARC will continue to discuss how to set up and use Winlink at our monthly meetings .

This video by Rick Frost K4REF is a great introduction to Winlink. Rick has posted a series of videos on various aspects of the system on his YouTube page.

Once you’re ready to give Winlink a try, here are recommended node frequencies for the San Gabriel Valley:
145.050 MHz, 1200 baud
W6GSW-10 (Alhambra)
KA6ECT-10 (Pasadena)
W6SGB-10 (San Gabriel)

431.125 MHz, 9600 baud: