Winlink Information

If you have your old packet equipment stashed away, dust it off, it may just be good enough to use with Winlink.
Just what is Winlink

WinLink in the VHF/UHF spectrum is a communications method allowing users to send email messages including attachments over amateur radio to cover the "last mile." Home and portable stations generally communicate with local PMBO which in turn insert the email into the internet backbone. WinLink also uses HF to provide world wide coverage. This requires a more unique and expensive TNC.

Help/How To files;

Typical Home VHF/UHF Winlink Station

A home station can be configured using Airmail or PacLink programs. Airmail based station uses a modern TNC that provides normal TNC functionality. Airmail is basically an all inclusive program for WinLink communications. PacLink based stations make use of TNC operating in the KISS mode. This allows some of the KISS only TNC's to be used which are generally less expensive. It also interfaces to most common email programs. PacLink on the other hand is a little more involved in set up on the software side.
If you have a "RF" APRS set-up, you have everything hardware wise to implement a WinLink station. For emergency communications use, a portable station is generally of more benifit than fixed home station.

Typical home setup

Typical Portable VHF/UHF Winlink Station

A portable station can be configured the same as a home station by using a laptop computer in place of the home "mega" sized box computer and monitor. A number of amateurs now have portable APRS set-ups using a laptop. With the appropriate WinLink software the same equipment becomes WinLink capable.

Typical portable setup



Links referenced by this page are not exhaustive of the Winlink subject. A search engine will enhance your learning experience.

Updated Content - 10/2/2006
Links Updated - 05/06/2010

We hope you find this information useful with your public service events and RACES/ARES operations.

Garland RACES/ARES Informaton -

Last updated 03.23.2008