BAARC Club Meeting April 30, 2017
We were very fortunate to have visitors from the Duluth area. Doug Nelson (AA0AW) and Jeff Nast (KC0MKS) presented a program on using HF radio to serve as an email routing tool. In times of emergency or when you are not near an internet connection, the ability to send and receive emails can still be done via your HF radio and computer.
Winlink, also known as the Winlink 2000 Network, is a worldwide radio messaging system that uses amateur-band radio frequencies to provide radio interconnection services that include email with attachments, position reporting, weather bulletins, emergency relief communications, and message relay.
Jeff reviewed some background regarding the various protocols and the multiple transfer paths to route emails.
Prior to the meeting Al, Lyle, Steve, and Mitch put up a temporary antenna to use for the demonstration by using the fire station antenna tower with a pully system, some trees, and a fence.
While Jeff demonstrated the transmission and receive waterfall screens, Doug was able to use an HF radio and we could hear Jeff’s HF station located in Knife River sending the receiving emails.
Jeff also reference and actual situation where this email mode provided valued information due to an very heavy storm that impacted the Duluth Metro area. While Jeff/Doug and a team of people were on Isle Royal National Part during an National Parks on the air event. This storm hit the Duluth area and team members were able to send emails to home and determine if everything was OK, upon sending and receiving email confirmations that everything was fine, the team then continued on their mission to execute the “Parks on the Air” event.
In closing the program, Jeff asked that members seriously investigate putting a system on-line to pass email traffic. Remember, all you need is an HF radio, a USB sound card interface, and the installation of the software .