Winlink Hybrid VHF/UHF

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DisasterGuy

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I am looking at designing a countywide Winlink setup with the idea of multiple RMS stations on 2 meters and linking each RMS for radio forwarding via 440. This is the basic idea of Winlink's Hybrid Network however it appears to only support HF for the RMS-RMS connectivity. While I would like to have an HF RMS Relay component as part of the system, it the design requirements UHF 9600bps linking is far more practical. Can anyone provide some guidance?
 

ka3jjz

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I helped install the first packet networks in the Harrisburg PA area years ago, so I think I can see several things - quite apart from the technical aspects of using Winlink - that need to be considered before you proceed.

First off is frequency coordination. I would touch base with TMARC and see if there will be any issues with the frequencies you wish to use. Remember the rules about coordinated vs. uncoordinated users.

TMARC Home

Next up - check the beta site user lists and see if there are any Winlink users already in the area. Be sure to click on the 'RMS List' tab

http://www.winlink.org:8995/RMSChannels

I thought I did see one or two users on the Eastern Shore...these folks will likely be very valuable to you in order to answer your questions about the network specifics. They should, at the very least, be able to point you in the right direction.

Next on the list is getting the various sites cleared with the county commissioners - assuming here you wish to use county property, and not just other users - including all the proposed construction details, purposes, equipment, estimated costs, insurance and several other factors. No doubt I've forgotten quite a few other things you will need to supply - and that will need to come from the commissioners or someone they would appoint. Be ready to give a very detailed dog and pony on the benefits, usage and - no big surprise here - costs. Insurance is a huge issue that probably could use a separate discussion all its own. I was not involved in that side of things, but from the discussions, at least at the time, it was a pretty big deal.

I'm sure others will chime in here at some point, but these are pretty decent starting points, I think...

GL with your project...Mike
 

ka3jjz

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You might also try approaching your local ham club for assistance and to gauge the interest level. You will, no doubt, be asked to present a dog and pony on the subject. We have several Maryland ham clubs linked in our Maryland state wiki (I don't know where you live)

You're going to need bodies - lots of them. And who knows you might run into a commissioner or two that knows about ham radio, or even better, is one. That will help you get your foot in the door...Mike
 

DisasterGuy

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The infrastructure, politics and Winlink in general aren't the issue (all bases covered). My issue is how to configure RMS Relay to gate from one packet channel to another rather than from packet to pactor.


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ka3jjz

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Then your best bet are other Winlink users in the area (using the link I gave earlier), and/or any associated Yahoo groups. Possibly also any ham clubs in the area (again I have some ham clubs on the Shore linked on our Maryland state wiki page, link given earlier)

There is just an outside chance that there are RR members out there who are hams that know what WinLink is, but using these suggestions are more targeted, and more likely to be able to point you in the right direction

Mike
 
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N8OHU

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In my opinion, the best option would be to set up a series of normal packet nodes that can be used to access a single RMS Packet system that is in a ham's personal dwelling, especially if you later plan to add HF Forwarding; while you could set up RMS Relay to automatically forward, most Hybrid Sysops in the US do not do so at this time.
 
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