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Old 08-03-2012, 19:37   #1
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PSKMail Ham HF SSB Email and much more.

Hi All,

PSKMail has been around for a while, and is now getting more organized and exciting.
The GUI software can be downloaded on Windows for FREE.
Several radio message servers in North America, Europe, Australia and Africa can be contacted via HF USB.
The digital modes used are all in the popular FLDigi software which acts as the virtual TNC for PSKMail. PSK250 is the default mode in the USA, but the server will adjust the mode according to the propagation conditions.

Like Outlook Express, PSKMail will display and send your email and small attachments to and from your chosen regular email account.
Also do APRS gating to send manual or automatic position information (from the GPS) to a Google map viewable by friends and family.
Get general interest and news files directly from the servers.
Get GRIB files and weather catalog products directly from Saildocs.com

Bear in mind that PSKMail is completely open source software.
Nobody gets paid, but very excellent minds contribute to to it daily.
It is getting better and more user-friendly as we speak.
The present developing team is acutely aware of the user-friendly aspect.

Download the latest Windows client software - go here:
http://www.pskmail.org/downloads/jPS....5.7-Setup.exe

Download the latest PSKMail client manual here:
http://pskmail.org/downloads/jpskmail_manual-1.5.7.pdf

To see the latest real time active servers and clients go here:
http://www.pskmail.it/

For server frequencies, go here:
http://pskmail.wikispaces.com/PSKmailservers

Put yourself on the users map by connecting to a server via radio:
Servers are blue.
Users are red.
http://hermes.esrac.ele.tue.nl/maps/pskmailers.php

For more information go to http://pskmail.wikispaces.com/

KC9SGV
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:54   #2
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Re: PSKMail Ham HF SSB Email and much more.

From the wiki:

Quote:
PSKmail is a narrow band arq system for use by amateur radio hams via short wave (HF) communication. It does not use a special controller, you just need a computer with a sound card.
Wow, that's pretty interesting. Guess I need to dust off my ham license and go buy an xcvr to give this a try!
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:05   #3
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Re: PSKMail Ham HF SSB Email and much more.

Very interesting!
Does this mean it can fully replace sailMail & the likes and also doesn't need a Pactor III modem?

Jan
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:31   #4
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Re: PSKMail Ham HF SSB Email and much more.

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Originally Posted by Goudurix View Post
Very interesting!
Does this mean it can fully replace sailMail & the likes and also doesn't need a Pactor III modem?

Jan
ON3ZTT
From what I've read so far, yes, that's exactly what it means. You probably will need some sort of interface between your PC and transceiver to handle transmit / receive switching and sound card impedance / sound levels, but if it's anything like what I used to use for 2 meter packet it should be pretty easy and cheap to build. I haven't used my license in 12 years, I wonder what cheaper costing rigs might work best for this?
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:15   #5
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Re: PSKMail Ham HF SSB Email and much more.

Inetresting!
I have that kind of interface, I use it for PSK31 and RTTY.
You can build it yourself, there is a lot to find if you google PSK31 or MTTY (yes M not R).
I bought one from Buxcomm mail order though I have to change something inside to enable the FSK command signal.


A good solid and affordable rig seems to be the Icom 718.
I use aYaesu FT897D. It is a compact mobile rig and the big advantage is it has VHF so it can double for marine VHF in emergencies.
It has a dedicated data out on the back for the interfacing.
It is only double conversion super heterodyne on receive, the receiver is a bit on the noisy side but I dont think that is a real issue for digi modes.

I guees Bill B Trayfors can tell you more on the Icom 718 I think he owns one. The 718 does not have VHF.

I look forward to any comments or experiences with the software you mentioned.

Jan

Jan
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:09   #6
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Re: PSKMail Ham HF SSB Email and much more.

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Originally Posted by prof_mariner View Post
You probably will need some sort of interface between your PC and transceiver...

Look up SignaLink. They're about $100 and you can get already made cables for certain radios. I got one for my IC-718/706 and it works out pretty good for sound card modes.
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:59   #7
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Two main disadvantages to pskmail compared to pactor are that it is slower and there are fewer servers. It still may fill the bill for basic text email in some geographic locations. Worth the experiment if you are inclined.
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:59   #8
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Re: PSKMail Ham HF SSB Email and much more.

Buxcomm is about $80.
Very wide choice of cable connectors for all brands of Ham tranceivers.

Jan
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:31   #9
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Re: PSKMail Ham HF SSB Email and much more.

If you want a free software modem for ham email, look at WINMOR. This is comparable in throughput to Pactor II. The Winlink system supports WINMOR, although there aren't yet very many Radio Mail Server stations using it.

I've played with it, and sent / received a few emails using it. It works.

Now I'm going to have to look at PSKMail. Sounds interesting!
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:19   #10
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Re: PSKMail Ham HF SSB Email and much more.

PSKMail Server on Linux.

Why not run a PSKMail server (easy as child's play for you Linux guys), from the marina office, yacht club or even your boat at the dock ?

Other boats can then send email to their regular email accounts via the server, using their Windows laptops, Signalink USB and Ham HF SSB radio - inexpensive from Ebay.

Get any posted files directly from the server.
Do APRS position info (manually or automatically from the GPS) - gating onto an on-line Google map for friends and family.
Get GRIB files and weather catalog info from Saildocs.com for FREE, etc.

Of course you need a General ham radio license. (Easy to get nowadays without the Morse Code requirement anymore.)

Choose any quiet frequency in the Ham HF auto sub bands.
10.147 MHZ USB dial is the regular U.S., Canadian and Caribbean frequency.
The servers automatically talk to each other via radio at set intervals, while also listening for clients to connect at any time with email, etc.

Download the server and do this here:

http://pskmail.wikispaces.com/Server

KC9SGV
Sysop, KC9SGV-5 PSKMail Server
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:36   #11
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Re: PSKMail Ham HF SSB Email and much more.

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Why not run a PSKMail server (easy as child's play for you Linux guys), from the marina office, yacht club or even your boat at the dock?
Hmmm... this sounds interesting. Would be nice to set up a server at home so I could check email while off sailing for the weekend. All I have right now is an old (but still functional) Kenwood 2m hand held, I couldn't somehow use that for this, could I? I has a port for an external microphone key.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:45   #12
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Re: PSKMail Ham HF SSB Email and much more.

I'm currently experimenting with pskmail. I've been using WINMOR and RMS Express for the past month or so, with *very* good success. I know the guy above said there's not many servers, but I've never seen less than 30 available and have yet to have an occasion where I couldn't get email. I do not own a Pactor modem and have no intention of purchasing one.

I've been trying pskmail because I want to be able to use my own domain name with my email, and the winlink system requires you to use <callsign>@winlink.org as your address.

So far I have not been able to connect to the pskmail system. My findings are that pskmail is interesting, but the learning curve is a LOT steeper than WINMOR and RMS Express; I found the RMS Express tools to be very simple (a little too simple, honestly). In contrast, it feels like pskmail makes you use tools that can do a thousand different things, and you have to learn the little subset of those that you need to connect to the servers.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:02   #13
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Re: PSKMail Ham HF SSB Email and much more.

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Originally Posted by prof_mariner View Post
Hmmm... this sounds interesting. Would be nice to set up a server at home so I could check email while off sailing for the weekend. All I have right now is an old (but still functional) Kenwood 2m hand held, I couldn't somehow use that for this, could I? I has a port for an external microphone key.
Absolutely !
PSKMail over Ham VHF/UHF is taking off too.
One Australian developer is reporting massive thruput speeds with 4 or 8 channels.
Not sure how you would interface your radio, though.
But Tigertronics Signalink or other interface company should have the answer.

Now, it might be possible and even maybe legal to do this on marine VHF as well.
All that is needed is a public digital channel....
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