This system was first used by ships and mariners and has
developed into a worldwide system for sending email which includes
remote areas or for emergency situations where there is little or no
power. Some of the disaster organizations that use it are as
What does the Winlink System offer for Emcomm
- Southern Baptist Disaster Relief
- American Red Cross
- Salvation Army
- Internet-only (Telnet direct connections to
- Radio link bridge to Internet Email.
- Radio-only store and forward messaging.
- Peer-to-peer connections between radio end-user.
- Familiar and simple Email client interface.
- Connect different types of systems.
- Bridge different radio capabilities (VHF - UHF - HF)
- Seamless integration with Internet Email
- Geographical dispersion and redundancy
- Standard Email format with many features
- Binary file attachments (photos, pdf's, spreadsheets)
- Automatic message compression/decoding
- White listing used to prevent spam
- Time independence
- Ability to collect messages while unattended
- Good operation at most power levels.
- Not limited by station-to-station propagation
- Message logging, and ICS report generation
- Forms and templates support
Hierarchical levels of the Winlink System
1. Common Message Servers (CMS) - Winlink backbone
3. Nearby Radio Message Server (RMS) - Radio Gateway
4. Client System - Radio, computer with Winlink Express, TNC (or
sound card), and you, the end-user
Hierarchical Levels without the Internet
1. Nearby Radio Message Server (RMS) - Radio Gateway, require three which are linked
2. Client System - Radio, computer with Winlink Express, TNC (or sound card), and you, the end-user
Southern US Gateways
The nearest gateways to Sumter County are the yellow one (west of
Gainesville) and the green one on the West coast (Sarasota). Both
are too far to connect via VHF or UHF radio but are in range for HF
Winlink Peer-To-Peer Radio Only
This is the method that has a lot of potential for
Sumter County and can be done via simplex or utilizing a local
repeater to connect end-users who must be on the same frequency
and both are using Winlink Express.
- The Internet is not used, all communications by radio
- Only the two client stations are involved
- 100% error-free transmission and file attachments
Winlink Connection Modes
- Telnet (Internet)– Non-radio connection through the Internet.
Good for training (no radio equipment required) and use if radio is
down or network is busy.
- VHF/UHF Packet (Local LOS propagation)-
- 9600 baud – Fast, reliable, range limited and requires
- 1200 baud – Slower, but can use inexpensive
- HF WINMOR - “Poor man's Pactor” Not as good as Pactor, but operates
with inexpensive sound card device (SignaLink) speed between Pactor
2 and 3.
- HF Pactor 1,2,3, and 4 – Fast and reliable but requires an expensive
Resources Needed for Winlink Express (VHF/UHF Packet Radio)
- Computer with Windows XP to Windows10 & NET 3.5 framework software
- Winlink Express 18.104.22.168 Software
- VHF/UHF radio with data port (1200/9600) or speaker connection (1200 only)
- SignaLink or similar USB soundcard interface, or Packet TNC (Kantronics PC3+, TNC-X, MFJ, etc.). Might require a USB or Serial dongle.
Note: Some new radios have a built-in soundcard / TNC's (example: Kenwood TM-D710G).