2. WinLink Setup for RF


Setting up WinLink for RF assumes that you have:
Downloaded and Installed the WinLink Express program.
Have practiced using the program to send emails and ICS 213 forms via Telnet method.

If you have not accomplished the above you might wish to begin with this link.

Several modes of operation within RMS Express of particular interest to Amateurs are:
Telnet      *  Using the program with direct internet connection.
Packet      *  Using the program with radio via UHF or VHF.
WinMor  *  Using the program with radio via HF frequencies.
P2P           *  Peer to Peer

The preferred WinLink RF method will be Packet using a UHF or VHF radio. When this mode is possible it will be 4 times faster and usually more reliable and less prone to fading.  After setting your configurations for RF use you will find that messages and templates work the same way as in the Telnet. Only mode selection need to be changed.

The WinLink RF program modes uses tones that remind us of our old dial up connections to the internet. The tones are sent and received using a computer sound card either in the computer or perhaps connected to the USB port.
There are a couple of additional items required to communicate via RF.  Obviously we need a radio or transceiver. We need a method to get the sounds in and out of the radio and a way to control the radio transmissions.  Many people use a device made by Signalink that connects to the computer’s USB port.  The Signalink is a Sound Card with it’s own volume controls and connects to the radio with a cable that typically attaches in place of the radio’s microphone cable.  The Signalink also controls the radio’s (PPT) Push to Talk function.

We also need a TNC or terminal node controller.  This can be in software or as a hardware device. For this tutorial we will assume the use of a free software program from a Amateur with the callsign UZ7HO.  The current download for program is the soundmodem100.zip file. The 100 indicates the current version number so perhaps the name could be a little different after another upgrade.  The downloads and manuals are available on UZ7HO’s website at http://uz7.ho.ua/packetradio.htm

Download, unzip and install the soundmodem program.
Open the soundmodem program

From the menu bar select SETTINGS and DEVICES

set up 1_soundcard devices setting selection

The names for the Output and Input devices may appear differently on your computer but the other settings should work. Verify or change settings and check marks to match below, then click the OK button.set up 2_soundcard devices settings

From the menu bar select SETTINGS and MODEMS

set up 3_soundcard modem settings selection

This setup is for the preferred RF method using mode  “AFSK AX25 1200bd” on a UHF/VHF radio at the 1200 baud rate which is 4 times faster than the HF mode. Verify or change settings and check marks to match below on the left side for Channel A.

set up 4_soundcard modem settings jpg


winlink express 3_packet session first screen

winlink express 4_packet session_settings_winlink_p2p setup