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Old 20-01-2014, 18:10   #1
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Mac, Iridium, Winlink

I've gotten my satphone doing data, and gotten my MacBook Pro running Airmail. but I'm stuck on the last step, getting Airmail to talk to the Winlink Telnet server. (It connects to the server, identifying it by number) but then hangs) The instructions for making this happen in general on the Winlink and Airmail pages assume a "standard 12.2 something modem" and assume Windows control panels for giving the modem an init string which the Mac does not seem to have. I'm hoping someone out there can help me bridge this gap. Naturally I've googled it to death, but haven't found help I can use effectively. I tried emailing Jim Corenman but no response so far. It would really be nice to get Saildocs GRIBS while I am here in the Bahamas. Right now the only available computers are my GF's macbook and my ipad (which makes a DYNAMITE chartplotter using Seaiq BTW.)
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Old 20-01-2014, 18:27   #2
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Re: Mac, Iridium, Winlink

From Winlink:

Quote:
A4010 (This Telnet information may also be found in the Global Catalog under WL2K_Help).

AirMail Telnet Client setup
Go to AirMail menu item: "Tools>Options>Modules" and check the Telnet Option. If you wish you can also set the module to initialize when bringing up AirMail by also checking "autostart." However, if you wish to start the module manually, then go to menu item: Module>Telnet client."

The setup for accessing the CMS (as routed by logic to one of the 4 locations) is:

WL2K (Remote Call Sign; not case sensitive)
server.winlink.org (Remote Host; not case sensitive)
8772 (TCP Port Outbound)
30 (Timeout in seconds)
CMSTelnet (Password; not case sensitive)

You may also configure Telnet to go go a specific CMS location. Remote Call Sign and Remote Host information (case insensitive) for the specific CMS Sites are:

WL2KS SanDiego.winlink.org (San Diego)
WL2KH Halifax.winlink.org (Halifax)
WL2KP Perth.winlink.org (Perth)
WL2KV Wien.winlink.org (Wien [Vienna])
WL2KB Brentwood.winlink.org (Brentwood, Tennessee)

All of the active Common Message Servers are continually updating each other with new information.
When you enable the Telnet module, you get that extra button to start it, instead of the radio button.

These hosts change now and then. When my setup stops working, it's normally because I need to change hostnames.
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Old 20-01-2014, 18:39   #3
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Re: Mac, Iridium, Winlink

Yes, I get all that. I can connect and work Telnet using the Mac connected to the internet thu wifi or cell phone. But on the satphone after the connection is made and the server identifies itself nothing further happens. That is the frustrating missing link.

Thanks for the reply though.
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Old 20-01-2014, 19:08   #4
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Re: Mac, Iridium, Winlink

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vivid View Post
Yes, I get all that. I can connect and work Telnet using the Mac connected to the internet thu wifi or cell phone. But on the satphone after the connection is made and the server identifies itself nothing further happens. That is the frustrating missing link.

Thanks for the reply though.
So, you're trying this with a satphone… that wasn't clear to me. When I'm out of reach from wifi and cell towers, I use the radio, not satellite. I use it for weatherfax, gribfiles etc. with just Pactor3, no problem.

I'm not sure if your satphone provider allows transparent IP access; he may just provide pop3/imap/smtp/http/httpd via an enforced proxy-server.

Your satphone will most probably work when it is regarded as a standard 1200bps Hayes compatible modem.

If you must login to their server before proceeding, you can try to do that manually using the keyboard by switching to terminal mode.

You can also verify TCP using Applications->Utilities->Terminal. Login to your shell, then use the telnet command like "telnet <host> <tcp-port>" and see if you get contact with the remote server.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 21-01-2014, 06:01   #5
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Re: Mac, Iridium, Winlink

Ordinarily I would use Pactor, but this boat does not have HF radio. Thought I could do Winlink with the Satphone for this season. I still might figure it out.

Sorry to admit that much of your reply is over my head, but, as to transparency, The Mac is dialing the Winlink server phone number and Airmail/Telnet is getting the response that it is connected to server, which seems to be the Winlink server (it's number ends with the magic 8772). So I don't seem to be blocked by a proxy server.

You have helped me understand now that the modem I need to initialize is the satphone itself, which is helpful. I wasn't sure where the string was going.

I will try giving the phone the init string Winlink/sailmail specifies with the Mac terminal and then connecting and then starting Telnet.

Thanks for helping. Will report results.

Paul
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Old 21-01-2014, 06:46   #6
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Re: Mac, Iridium, Winlink

Paul,

You may just switch to your Iridium based email and access saildocs.com that way. You can use any email system to get the gribfiles, weatherfax etc.

see this link for more info: info
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Old 21-01-2014, 08:25   #7
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Re: Mac, Iridium, Winlink

I already know several ways to get satphone email by spending more money. Like many cruisers of my vintage I'd rather acquire and apply skill to solve problems than throw money at the problem better spent on shoreside cheeseburgers. Lol. If I want to spend $250 (the annual fee for sailmail) I'd buy a used windows laptop which I already know will connect me to the Winlink server and might work longer than a year. It's why I went to the trouble (considerable, at the time) of getting a General ticket to use Pactor back in the '80s, a classic example: learning Morse Code--I already knew the radio stuff on the test--to get a license, to get free email! I actually sailed around the world from '06 to '09 and never went a day at sea without connecting to Winlink using my crusty old used Kenwood TS50 and a cheap manual antenna tuner hooked to the backstay.

I appreciate the attention you have given to my problem, but I'm hoping someone out there can help me with the specific issue I face: connecting to the Winlink server using Airmail, Iridium satphone, and a Mac. I have no doubt it can be done and a strong hope I will figure it out.
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Old 21-01-2014, 09:26   #8
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Re: Mac, Iridium, Winlink

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vivid View Post
I already know several ways to get satphone email by spending more money. Like many cruisers of my vintage I'd rather acquire and apply skill to solve problems than throw money at the problem better spent on shoreside cheeseburgers. Lol. If I want to spend $250 (the annual fee for sailmail) I'd buy a used windows laptop which I already know will connect me to the Winlink server and might work longer than a year. It's why I went to the trouble (considerable, at the time) of getting a General ticket to use Pactor back in the '80s, a classic example: learning Morse Code--I already knew the radio stuff on the test--to get a license, to get free email! I actually sailed around the world from '06 to '09 and never went a day at sea without connecting to Winlink using my crusty old used Kenwood TS50 and a cheap manual antenna tuner hooked to the backstay.

I appreciate the attention you have given to my problem, but I'm hoping someone out there can help me with the specific issue I face: connecting to the Winlink server using Airmail, Iridium satphone, and a Mac. I have no doubt it can be done and a strong hope I will figure it out.
You may well be very smart about it, but as I see it, you are the one using a satphone, paying through the nose, while I am the one using Pactor 3 on HAM for 100% free email, weatherfax and gribfiles (also got my General license incl. morse code) etc.

But I never told you to use SailMail, you just make things up. Besides Winlink and Sailmail, there are many more email solutions, of which many are free. All of those work on a satphone like yours, like gmail.com etc.

I hope you get it to work the way you want
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Old 21-01-2014, 12:24   #9
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Re: Mac, Iridium, Winlink

Sorry, my mistake. I read saildocs as sailmail for some reason. Sorry I sounded like I was "so smart."

Anyway, I think your suggestion is a good one to use some other email service. I am going to give up on Winlink for now.

I found an outfit called Mailasail that seems to understand the issues. They had a download which gives the phone a modem script which at least works with their server and a firewall program which keeps other programs from using the sat phone internet link, both free. Great support. (Nothing against the Winlink folks--they are volunteers and, after all, what I am doing here has nothing to do with Amateur Radio)

Mailasail provides email service with a free trial month and a subscription of ten pounds a month thereafter (about 17 USD). I set up my regular OSX Mail program to communicate with their server by sat phone. I can send and receive emails with saildocs and get my GRIBS, using Open CPN to read them.

I am describing all this for the benefit of anyone else who happens to be trying to accomplish something similar. Not so easy. Next trip I'll have the SSB and a PC and the sat phone will be for emergency comms only.

Paul
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Old 13-02-2014, 14:40   #10
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Re: Mac, Iridium, Winlink

Paul,

Are you connecting the phone directly to your MAC or using the axcess point?
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Old 13-02-2014, 22:05   #11
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Re: Mac, Iridium, Winlink

Direct to the Mac thru USB. No AP in the mix.
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