Turn Your Yacht into a Mobile Winmor-Enabled Winlink 2000 Gateway
Turn your yacht into a mobile Winmor enabled Winlink 2000 gateway to augment world wide HF SSB email coverage.
The Winlink 2000 development team is now looking for dedicated Ham Radio stations with permanent internet access to set up inexpensive additional land HF SSB RMS gateway stations. The goal is to evenly populate the globe for full coverage. This can now be done inexpensively without the need for a Pactor 3 TNC controller, by using free software utilizing the Winmor protocol running at almost Pactor 3 speeds.
So, if your yacht is moored or anchored with permanent internet access as well (or at sea with a commercial satellite uplink), your Ham HF SSB radio could be used by other yachts out at sea to send and receive their emails utilizing Winmor software only. This will greatly enhance the operational accessibility of Winlink 2000 to all yachts. Of course, the existing Pactor 3 RMSís will still be available as well.
See this letter from Steve, K4CJX on the Winlink Development Team:
Call for HF WINMOR RMS stations: Please contact Steve K4CJX directly via
e-mail at k4cjxATcomcast.net. (replace AT with @ of course)
Please include, Name, call, address, Grid Square, telephone number, and
equipment list to be used.
Required are the following:
1. Dedicated operation on dedicated equipment 24 x7 x 365.
2. Adequate resources to run such an operation on the ham bands at a minimum
Of 100 watts without manually tuning the antenna for several frequencies.
3. UPS protected computer (required), and if available, generator power (not
4. Permanent Internet connectivity.
5. External soundcard operation, preferably, the Signalink USB.
What is NOT acceptable is to utilize the internal computer soundcard used by
the Windows operating system. Quote from the WINMOR help file:
"In all cases if you are serious about using WINMOR it is STRONGLY
recommended to use a dedicated high-quality Sound card (not the one
normally assigned to Windows) with a well-isolated interface. If you are
trying to use the main computer's sound card it is essential you disable
Windows sounds and not operate other programs that might try and access the
For more information see, "Soundcard" in the RMS Express (Winmor) Help file.
Finally, the method for acquiring WINMOR HF RMS stations is to evenly
populate the Globe with properly placed Winlink RF nodes in order to provide
an optimal solution for the end-user.
Steve, k4cjx, aaa9ac
Winlink network administrator
Winlink development team
Ever so impressed with the Winmor initiative! I just hope it's going to be cross-platform since it was programmed on some horrid MS stuff as far as I could gather..
I know the protocol itself is an open standard, but I still don't see any work towards a Linux implementation, since existing code is only for Windows, and it (the source code) is not open at this point.
Linux is growing by leaps and bounds - especially in the embedded device arena - most wireless routers, NAS storage boxes, new consumer electronics such as Sony TV's, MP3 players, heck - even wireless phones (Android ring a bell?) run on a Linux kernel, not Windows CE (or embedded - whatever it's called nowadays). Even most BlueRay DVDs run a Linux kernel internally, even though the device drivers for PC's are closed/proprietary and not available for Linux - how's that for a conundrum?
My coding skills are rusty as heck, but I'd be willing to contribute in my spare time. If you want to see how a community effort open-source style can help, just look at the good work being done on OpenCPN by members of this very forum.
I think it is premature to make waves about this being a windows-only solution. Although I am not active, I do receive the yahoo group emails for the testers. This has come up0 before - they want to get a stable prduct on a single platform before muddying the waters with others. I don't blame them, as there are so may factors that can make or break the experience of such an application -- so much out of the developer's control. If the windows version is a big hit, which we are all rooting for, then surely others will follow.
My question tends to be that why are many of the hams developing software for use only on Windows? Linux has the same type of heritage as ham radio: do it yourself, tinkering, taking things apart so you can see exactly how they work. So Linux use is growing within the ham community.
Writing software for a single platform, and keeping the source code hidden (especially when the app is distributed for free) tends to be against that spirit. I have no problem with people writing proprietary apps and charging for them. What I do wonder about are people who give their apps away for free, but keep the source code closely held. Other people could contribute and make the app better than any single coder could do alone.
Then again there's a group of hams out there who despise any type of data communication other than CW (Morse) on the amateur airwaves. They see it at best as misuse of a very narrow resource (HF spectrum) or at worst - illegally getting around the FCC regulations regarding monetary gain from the use of amateur spectrum. They would love nothing better to see Winlink shutdown, especially since all the rich yatchies out there can certainly afford broadband satellite data communications! :D
I think the answer about why they picked windows was simple - it is the programming environment that those doing the programming know. I have read some of their comments about the open-ness of the code, but I don't remember what they were. You might find something on the winlink site or from the yahoo group, which I encourage you to join - but beware, there is a fair amout or daily traffic!
I for one can't wait for this to be prime time - as I really don't want to buy any Pactor modem for our cruise.
The pactorless bit is certainly an exciting step forward. I'm wondering why/if there couldn't be packet transmission akin to wireless mesh networks between mobile stations?
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