Winlink Wednesday

I have told this story many times in the past but I think it applies to many of us out there.  When I first received my technician license some 15 years ago I purchased a HT and mobile radio.  I connected to a repeater and probably talked to a couple folks and then sat it on the shelf.  A year later I pulled it out, played around with it for a bit and put it back on the shelf.  This cycle went on for five to six years.   I realized that I would continue this trend unless I did something that would force me to use my license, so I started our local neighborhood ham group.

Well, over the past two years the West Valley City Amateur Radio Club in partnership with West Valley City has worked to deploy a city wide packet network.  This project is slated to be completed by the end of the year when construction on Fire Station 71 is finished this summer.  As a club we not only have placed hardware at various fire stations but have worked to outfit our club members with the hardware necessary to take advantage of this network.  What I am afraid of is a repeat of what happened to me when I received my ticket.

I received a timely email a few days ago from Doug Davis, AD7LO who, knowing my interest in Winlink, wanted to make me aware of an article in the latest ARES E-Letter regarding the Winlink system as an emergency communications resource.  The thing that caught my eye was that in Florida they have a weekly Winlink Net. "Participants simply use on-the-air radio to send a radio email using any Winlink RMS server station they wish with one or two lines of specified content."  I realized this is what we needed in order to blow the dust off of our equipment and become more familiar with this mode.  So, with that being said I am announcing the formation of the WVCARC Winlink Net.  This Net will be held each Wednesday ie "Winlink Wednesday".  All you need to do is send a message over RF unless otherwise instructed to K2WVC@winlink.org.  The format is as follows.

Subject: WVCARC Winlink Net Check-in.
Message: call sign, first name, city or town, state (HF, VHF or Telnet) and mode.

Example
K2MJM, Mat, West Valley City, UT VHF

All check-ins will be acknowledged, and a complete list of check-ins will be sent via Winlink to all participants.

Our first Winlink Wednesday NET will be this week, February 27th.  Our WVC Winlink server packet node is live on 145.050 Mhz.  Although you are free to use any you can connect to.  For this week we will keep it simple.  Just reply with your information as the example shows above.


I am putting this together to answer a few questions that I may have glossed over regarding Winlink Wednesday.

Question: When do I check-in?
Answer: Anytime on Wednesday.  There is not a specific time.

Question: What software do I use?
Answer:  You can use any Winlink client you want.  Here is a link to them: https://winlink.org/ClientSoftware.  If you are a Windows user then RMS Express is the easiest.  We will be showing people how to use one called PAT.  It is web based so you can use anything with a browser.

Question: How do I check-in?
Answer: Just send a message over RF.  Information is below.

To: k2wvc@winlink.org.
Subject: WVCARC Winlink Net Check-in.
Message: call sign, first name, city or town, state (HF, VHF, UHF) and mode.

An example of the message would be: K2MJM, Mat, West Valley City, UT VHF

Question: How do I hook up my TNC to my Radio and Computer
Answer: Send me an email directly or bring your equipment to the next in-person meeting and we will get you hooked up.

Question: Why are we doing this?
Answer: We want to make sure that everyone knows how to use the packet network we have setup for the city.  Nothing does this better then actually using the system.

Question:  What frequency should I use.
Answer:  145.050 Mhz simplex will be where our node is.

Question: What is the station I should connect to.
Answer: Ours is called K2WVC-10

Question: This is awesome!  Do you need help?
Answer: I would love help with this.  Shoot me an email at mat.murdock@wvcarc.com.


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