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Winlink 2000 E-Mail via Amateur Radio. “ Our primary mission is to provide Global digital communications for the benefit, safety and well-being of the user community, anywhere, anytime, anyplace. ”. By Steve Waterman, K4CJX (help from Loring Kutchins , W3QA)

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winlink 2000 e mail via amateur radio

Winlink 2000E-Mail via Amateur Radio

“Our primary mission is to provide Global digital communications for the benefit, safety and well-being of the user community, anywhere, anytime, anyplace.”

By

Steve Waterman, K4CJX(help from Loring Kutchins, W3QA)

Winlink 2000 Network Administrator,

Winlink 2000 Development Team

LORING A KUTCHINSrevised January 20, 2005

Rick Muething, KN6KB

slide2

To Supply De facto e-mail:

    • using their existing e-mail programs,
    • on their own computers in their own offices,
    • with no additional invasive software,
    • seamlessly, transparently, from user-to-user.
    • from inside their own County or around the world
    • from inside a disaster area, and withoutnormal e-mailservers or Internet links.

This is the purpose of Winlink 2000 E-mail via Amateur Radio

slide3

Agency Focus on Emergency digital communications

NormalE-mail requires an internet connection

  • Between Agencies
  • Between an Agency and the Field
  • Between an Agency to multi-points
  • Between Agencies and anywhere!

Routine

Critical

agency focus
Agency Focus
  • If a community “Last Mile” internet link is broken, or the agency e-mail server is down, e-mail cannot flow.

“Critical Medical & Tactical Info sent!”

“What the ????”

X

the last mile is an important concept in emergency communications

The “last mile” is an important concept in Emergency Communications.

The “last mile” is the path across an area where conventional communications have been disrupted oroverloaded by an incident.

slide6

Unfortunately, in today’s World, we cannot predict the frequency, size, nature or location of our disaster areas! We be must prepared, Globally.

Global?

Local?

Regional?

slide7

Radio

Radio

Winlink 2000 is primarily a donated, dependable, transparent, back-up E-mail system that bridges any distance.

slide8
For the end user it must:
  • look like e-mail and use familiar software like Outlook
  • have an address book and a spell-checker
  • allow multiple recipients (to:, cc:)
  • send multiple attachments
  • be able to use tactical email addresses
  • andNOT add to the stress or learning curve when in an emergency situation
slide9
System Requirements:
  • It must work on multiple computers on a LAN without additional desktop software, and not invade security,
  • beautomated,
  • use available and futuredigital radiomodes,
  • interfacewith commercial communications systems like telephone, cellular telephone, the Internet, etc.,
  • havespeed, performance and accuracy,
  • and immediately deliver emergency traffic seamlessly, end-to-end.
written documents impose their own kind of discipline albert einstein
“Written documents impose their own kind of discipline”Albert Einstein

Moving into the 21st Century

Consistency

Accuracy

Record tracking

“I can’t work without a blackboard!”

why traditional role of amateur radio support
Why? Traditional role of Amateur Radio support:
  • Report health and welfare of affected public
  • Voice communications among served agencies (EOC's, hospitals, shelters, and incident command.)
  • Site tactical support – Incident Command, search and rescue, damage and storm reporting (SKYWARN).
  • “Formal,” Structured written emergency traffic handling.
why our traditional methods fail for complex message handling in today s agency environment
Why? Our traditional methods fail for complex message handling in today’s agency environment!
  • Since the advent of e-mail:
    • Need for delivering written procedures, lists, graphics, images, and Pre-defined, formatted, documents to multiple recipients!
    • Multiple recipient e-mail with binary attachments is the de facto standard to carry written information.
    • Hand-written message forms are seldom used, and are nottransparent to normal operations!
  • For complex messages, voice, Morse code, Radiograms, and traditional Packet radio won’t do…
    • way too slow, translation required, inflexible, prone to error, no permanent record, not self-originating, not point-to-multipoint.
    • doesn’t go end-to-end from user-to-user on their own computers in their own offices & no attachments and no automatic distribution..
emergency digital written complex communications for community agencies

Emergency Digital (written) Complex Communications For Community Agencies

With Telex? When was the last time an agency used Telex?

With a Telegram? When was the last time they sent a Telegram?

With a voice relayedNTS Radiogram or MarsGram? (could be an attachment)

With W0RLI Packet “H-routing”? “HUH???” “Do what???”

The accepted Global standard is now SMTP e-mail !

We can keep Agencies connected without an immediate Internet connection.

  • Bottom Line: Let’s make EmComm as easy & transparent as possible for those who need it during an emergency situation. Let’s not forget: It is their “party” and we want to be invited!
slide15

How ?

…do Hams do that?

slide16

WL2K System Overview

CMS Halifax

CMS San Diego

CMS Perth

Redundant Common Message Servers – 5 Servers Worldwide (Share the load but any ONE can run the ENTIRE system) - callsign@winlink.org

Internet

Conventional

Email Users

& Agencies

Radio Message Servers (RMS)

RMS HF Gateway = HF

RMS Packet Gateway = VHF

Links:

HF Radio

VHF/UHF Radio

D-Star data radio

WiFi, Telnet, Web

Existing Packet Ham Radio Networks

Users Running

Packlink or Airmail

slide17

What Is Needed to Use the System

To Access an RMS Packet Gateway (Local)

To Access an RMS HF Gateway (Worldwide)

Computer with Packlink, RMS Express, or Airmail software

Computer with Packlink or Airmail software

HF Transceiver

with Serial Data

Control

VHF/UHF Radio

Packet TNC (KPC-3+,

TNC-X, etc or Radio

with integrated TNC)

Modem - Pactor 2 or 3

or WINMOR Virtual TNC

slide18

Radio

Data

Interface

This is a Winlink 2000 VHF/UHF PACLINK station.

A typical ham radio “last mile” e-mail station is composed of simple components, even for an Agency with multiple computers.

A VHF or UHF Radio and a GoodAntenna

A D-Star or Packet Radio Modem (TNC.) or Integrated Raidio/modem

  • Laptop for a Portable Station. Desktop for an agency.
  • Software:
    • Paclink
    • AGW Packet Engine (only required for some TNC’s)
    • Outlook Express or Outlook
    • Win2000 or WinXP, Vista, Win 7

Laptop

Computer

slide19

Radio

Radio

Data

Interface

Data

Interface

(RMS)

To send or receive e-mail, this station makes a connection with a Winlink radio node or Radio Message Server (RMS)

Computer

slide20

VHF Radio

VHF Radio

Data

Interface

Data

Interface

RMS Packet Gateway

For the “last mile,” use VHF radios and the Packet mode as a pathway to carry e-mail.

Computer

slide21

VHF Radio

VHF Radio

VHF Radio

HF Radio

Data

Interface

Data

Interface

Data

Interface

Data

Interface

RMS Pactor Gateway

Computer

Computer

For longer distances or in difficult terrain, most Radio Message Servers are outfitted with multi-band HF radios and the Pactor II & III modes to serve stations with no other e-mail outlet.

Airmail

“client

Program

Users on HF have a special e-mail program called “Airmail.”

slide22

VHF Radio

VHF Radio

Data

Interface

Data

Interface

RMS Packet Gateway

The Radio Message Server is connected to the internet at all times.

Computer

The Internet

slide23

VHF Radio

VHF Radio

Data

Interface

Data

Interface

RMS Packet Gateway

Other computers, or Common Message Servers (CMS), organize and manage the network traffic.

Computer

CMS’s are transparent to users. They are redundant, and you never know they are there.

The Internet

CMS

CMS

slide24

VHF Radio

VHF Radio

Data

Interface

Data

Interface

RMS Packet Gateway

You can send radio e-mail directly to internet e-mail users.

Computer

The Internet

CMS

CMS

slide25

VHF Radio

VHF Radio

VHF Radio

Data

Interface

Data

Interface

Data

Interface

RMS Packet Gateway

Computer

Computer

And you can send radio e-mail to other Paclink or Airmail stations like yours.

The Internet

CMS

CMS

slide26

VHF Radio

VHF Radio

VHF Radio

Data

Interface

Data

Interface

Data

Interface

RMS Packet Gateway

Computer

Computer

Adding a LAN on the PACLINK computer permits individuals to send and receive radio e-mail. PACLINK is now an e-mail server.

PACLINK may be placed in the “DMZ” zone in front of the firewall.

The Internet

CMS

CMS

Served Agency LAN

slide27

VHF Radio

VHF Radio

VHF Radio

Data

Interface

Data

Interface

Data

Interface

RMS Packet + RMS Relay

Computer

The RMS Packet Gateway with RMS Relay forwards radio e-mail between its radio users,even if its internet connection is gone.

Computer

The Internet

CMS

CMS

slide28

HF Radio

VHF Radio

Data

Interface

Data

Interface

RMS Packet Gateway

Computer

Or… you can use an HF station to get to a distant connected RMS HF Gateway using Airmail.

RMS

HF Gateway

The Internet

CMS

CMS

slide29

VHF Radio

VHF Radio

VHF Radio

Data

Interface

Data

Interface

Data

Interface

RMS Packet Gateway

Computer

Computer

TELNET

TELNET

Besides radio channels, PACLINK stations also may have telnet channels to the internet. This is handy for fixed stations because it is fast.

PACLINK stations automatically switch between preset radio destinations and telnet channels to find a connection to a CMS.

The Internet

“My E-mail

server is down”

CMS

CMS

slide30

WL2K Future AdditionsWINMOR… Beta testing began Sept 2009

WINMOR = WINlink Message Over Radio

WINMOR is a new sound card based message protocol intended to be a

Lower cost alternative to Pactor for HF access to the WL2K system:

WINMOR objectives:

- provide a non-proprietary alternative HF Access to the WL2K system

- use your normal Ham or Marine SSB radio and a computer sound

card + interface to implement a new message protocol for HF.

- provide near P2 or P3 performance in terms of speed

and robustness. (500 and 1600Hz bandwidth modes)

- “Virtual TNC” concept to facilitate integration into other clients

like AirMail

Status:

Over-the-air Radio testing started with RMS Express Sept 1, 2009.

Over 1200 WINMOR enthusiasts enrolled for beta testing

For more details see paper and presentations at www.winlink.org

or sign up at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WINMOR

WINMOR is NOT yet in use for normal WL2K E-mail connections!

Best estimate of operational deployment in WL2K 4 – 6 months

so what does all this look like
So, what does all this look like?

“Real life” examples

E-MAIL VIA HAM RADIO

slide33

Winlink 2000 Today by the numbers

  • Over 99% system availability since Nov, 1999.
  • 5 Full-time, Redundant, Mirror image, Common Message Servers (CMS) in Halifax, San Diego, Washington DC, Perth, and Vienna all in hardened sites, providing excellent reliability, worldwide. (Wash DC is DHS sponsored, Halifax is Canadian Sponsored)
  • 600+ total Radio Message Servers, worldwide, in 3major Service Classes: Public, EmComm Amateur, and Government (MARS controlled) maintaining separate operations.
  • Approximately 13,000Radio users communicating with over 100,000Email recipients, pushing an average of 150,000messages or 280,000 minutes, monthly, with an average duration of 3.4 Minutes at 3,600 bytes/per message. The average time from message origination to availability for delivery is less than 1 minute, regardless of distance.
  • The greatest growth is now in Emergency Communications preparedness.
devise a plan
Devise a Plan!
  • Insure that there is no duplication of efforts in your “last mile” coverage area.
  • Set up an strategy for implementation with your local ARRL ARES® or RACES organization. Set up a time-line for each task.
    • Coordinate efforts with the Winlink 2000 Development Team, EC’s,SECs,DECs/SM, etc.
    • Ask other ARES® communities for assistance.
    • Set up personnel responsibilities with Time-lines!
    • Handle the finances.“How much will it actually cost”? Who should pay?
    • Involve and commit the end-user. They are the one’s to benefit!
  • Implement the plan in stages.
  • Test it, and Test it again.
  • Provide a presentation and demo for your served agencies.
  • Continue to promote your capabilities.
slide35

Winlink 2000

Future direction and summary

  • Expanding Development and support teams to “spread the load” and enable new projects
    • Volunteer Needs:
      • Experienced .NET programmers
      • System and Network specialists
      • Web development and programming
      • Documentation and training
      • 501C3 Accounting and Filing
  • Expanded Support for other OS clients and RMS (currently mostly Windows with a few Linux Packet gateways)
  • Deployment of WINMOR and RMS HF with WINMOR
  • Increased training and deployment help
  • Get more info, software, and application info at

www.winlink.org