Monday, June 20, 2022

Winlink Email Using VARA HF

Introduction

I wanted to run a Winlink Express app (email application) and use HF radio to send and receive email messages.  The Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) team that I’m on uses Winlink along with its built in standard FEMA forms.  It helps ARES accomplish their mission to support local hospitals, clinics and associated agencies during an emergency.  Using HF setup for sending email during an emergency is appropriate if the affected area is large (no internet for 100 miles).  This is because you can move messages into and out of the affected area using relay stations that have internet service that are 100s or over 1,000 miles away.  For instance, if there was an earthquake in my area, I’m better off trying to get a message to a hub station that is outside of the affected area which could be all of Southern California.  Because of it’s range, HF is perfect for this scenario.  Station to station transmission could be achieved using the lower HF bands as well, or using VHF modes like VARA FM or packet.  I’ve been successful using packet radio from my 5w FT-817 but packet stations are slowly disappearing. 
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