Re: Winlink exercises

KC0EZE Ernest Shaw

If you bring your setup, I'll bring my laptop and Kenwood D72 and see if I can see what kind of decode we get.


On Mon, Dec 13, 2021 at 2:20 PM Boback <RNAckerman@...> wrote:

Well, I spoke to soon. I didn't get anything with Winlink to work. I failed to realize that I had "Telnet Winlink" selected and it connected through the Internet. I insured the internet was turned off, and I tried all my experiments with 2 different TNC's. I set Winlink back to "Packet Telnet". When testing on the Mobilinkd I can see the lights flashing as if it is trying to transmit, but the radio doesn't transmit (I have two radios and monitoring on other). I also have a MFJ TNC-X Packet Controller, connected to my base unit, that appears to work, I can hear the transmitter transmitting, yet no connection is made.

The many videos I have watched do the same thing I see in computer videos while I was working. They talk about a subject but the gloss over contents that they assume the viewer already knows. Those missing pieces are what I think I am missing.


On 12/12/21 9:02 AM, Ralph Howard wrote:
Glad to hear it is working for you.  I only got my Moblnkd T2 to half work.  But my sound card interface is working.  I will bring it along to see if I can connect with Vara.
See you then.

From: <> on behalf of Boback <RNAckerman@...>
Sent: Sunday, December 12, 2021 8:53:37 AM
To: <>
Subject: Re: [CMRA] Winlink exercises

Well, after much trial and error, I got Winlink to work, both with my Mobilinkd/ID-51A HT, as well with my mFJ TNC-x Packet Controller/ID-4100A base unit. SInce it works with my ID-4100A, I suspect it will work with my ID-5100A mobile unit.

Thanks everybody for the help. I will still be at the meeting on Tuesday. Suggestions for parking at the new location?

Bob, N6VZO

On 12/10/21 9:43 AM, Ralph Howard wrote:
Just something else to check.
When you are connected, slow blink.  Can you see some new ports in the device list.  Mine shows 2 like com:11 and Com:12.  Only one works.  If I pick the wrong one I have to reset everything.  Pull battery to reset the TNC.  Then in Settings, remove the TNC and do a search and reconnect.  Ugh
I did T2 to connect to my RMS port.  It did all the hand shaking but would not pass any data.  The T3 is supposed to cure that.

From: <> on behalf of Boback <RNAckerman@...>
Sent: Friday, December 10, 2021 7:33:11 AM
To: <>
Subject: Re: [CMRA] Winlink exercises

I found a couple of wiring details online and tested the cable. All the wiring diagrams I have see match, and I printed one off which I will have with me. I found the cable tested properly and no cross or shorts across elements. I also verified repeatedly that the cables were connected all the way in with each of the female connections. I plan to be at the meeting Tuesday (and join) and I will bring along my Laptop, TNC3, and Icom 51A. As with the cable inserted where it is supposed to, on the Icom, the 2 pin connector only goes in only one way as the 2 pins are of different sizes.

A gut feeling is that I am missing one key point in the setup preventing it from working. I don't know if it is in the software, TNC3 setup, or in the radio. Looking at several websites and videos on YouTube doesn't give me any additional information that I already have seen.

Thanks for the assistance.

73s, Bob, N6VZO

On 12/9/21 7:53 AM, Ralph Howard wrote:
The no transmit tells me that there is a problem with the cable.  I would suggest to buzz the cable.  Make sure the 1/8" 4 way plug, goes to whereit is supposed to go.  I have got bad cables from them.
I could bring my Baofeng cable and you could try that.  That would at least isolate that part.
Are you planing on attending the CMRA meeting next Tuesday?

I just read the the tnc doesn't do winlink with the Baofeng.  I will try my Kenwood instead.

I also attend the Wed Lunch Bunch at High Vee.


From: <> on behalf of Boback <RNAckerman@...>
Sent: Thursday, December 9, 2021 7:42:47 AM
To: <>
Subject: Re: [CMRA] Winlink exercises

The radio does not transmit, and I checked with another radio (I have a base, mobile and HT). I tried the volume at all different levels and set the squelch to various levels also. I think I might have a ferrite or two around here but I don't remember them saying that I needed one. Their data cable is 6" long and if I needed one, I would have suspected they would have included one. I just checked and they have one available on their website. I will look and attach one to the cable and try again.

Thanks for your assistance.

Bob, N6VZO

On 12/9/21 7:32 AM, Ralph Howard wrote:
Couple dumb questions.
When you try and connect, does the radio transmit?

  Can you transmit the test tones?  Use another radio to listen.

Does it connect?  A second radio helps here.  You should heae some handshaking between your station and who you are trying to connect with.

I have to set the volume on my HT quite high.

Mine connects, then just stops.  That is because in packet, after the connection makes, it "shifts gears" to a faster mode.  Mine never makes the shift.  Shifting gears is my term.  If you listen on another radio, you can hear the differance.

Last thing, Mobilkind suggests a ferrite clamped over the radio data cable.  If you don't have one, I have sone spares.


From: <> on behalf of Boback <RNAckerman@...>
Sent: Thursday, December 9, 2021 6:59:53 AM
To: <>
Subject: Re: [CMRA] Winlink exercises

I had talked to Mobilinkd support multiple times and they kept say in works with the 51A, and they sold a cable for it, and they keep referring me to the manual to insure I set it up properly. But they finally said, "We don't have a 51A to test it with." I think I am just missing one step in the process so I am looking for hardware recommendations. I have the 51A (HT, external mic connection) and a 5100A (mobile, mic RJ45 cable connection) to work with. My recent interest is from the recent BCARES exercise and I wanted to be able to be mobile and operate Winlink. During the exercise I ended up using my cell phone as a hot spot to connect via internet.

Bob, N6VZO

On 12/9/21 6:51 AM, Ralph Howard wrote:
I have a Mobilinkd TNC.  Mine is an early model.  It does not like Winlink.  Is OK for APRS.  And for normal packet radio.  At least that is what the manufacture told me.  He said that the newist version should work with Winlink.
It does work OK with APRSDROID.  I rubber band the TNC to a Boefeng, and run Droid on my phone.
Hope this helps.

From: <> on behalf of Boback <RNAckerman@...>
Sent: Thursday, December 9, 2021 6:20:12 AM
To: <>
Subject: Re: [CMRA] Winlink exercises

I would like to see a meeting or workshop (Zoom or in person) on setting up Winlink hardware. The software side I understand. I have been unsuccessful in getting the radio transmission side functional. I have Win 10, Mobilinkd TNC, and an Icom ID-51a.

Bob, N6VZO

On 12/8/21 9:43 PM, Bill McFarland - N0AXZ wrote:
There were a good number of us using Winlink for the SET, but things keep changing and we need to practice to keep our radios doing the right thing as we can forget over time of non-use.

So I am asking for those who would like to do a Winlink exercise once a week to respond to this email. I will take a week to collect your red hot responses and then make a group of Winlink practitioners to which all subsequent emails will be sent. 

What would you be getting into?

Each week I will send you some instructions via your regular internet email describing what you should try in a Winlink session. You will have a few days to do the homework and send your Winlink message. You can use any mode and any RMS node in general with some exceptions. We will experiment with forms, and pictures and some Peer-to-Peer opportunities, and some Tactical call signs with all that. We will specify some non-local RMS nodes to see how well we can get out of the county (HF) should we need that in some emergency response. (but we don't want to swamp any node with all our messages :)

So I would send out a play on Sunday night and you would have until Thursday 11:59 PM to send your Winlink message to me. That will give me Friday and Saturday to see how we are doing and what comes next (or REPEAT).

The developers of Winlink are continually improving the system so we need to open Winlink Express and take the updates that pop up regularly. For instance the Check--in form has just gotten a significant change. You will need to know your GPS coordinates and now they have added What 3 Words (W3W). If you don't know what that is, your first assignment is to find out what your W3W are.

It will be fun and educational all at once. If you have never used Winlink before but are willing to try sending email by radio, join us and ask questions and get help setting things up. At the beginning if you don't have a radio connected to your computer, you can use the Telnet session which only requires you to have internet to play. 

Please send your requests to join, or questions before you commit to me off-list (billmcfarland10@...).

Happy Holiday,
Bill N0AXZ

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