Getting Started with Winlink2000 A Tutorial. Equipment Needed for Winlink2000. (1) a Windows-operating system computer, (2) a VHF/UHF or HF transceiver., and (3) a terminal node controller (TNC or radio modem) or a sound card interface. Computer Hardware Requirements.
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(1) a Windows-operating system computer,
(2) a VHF/UHF or HF transceiver., and
(3) a terminal node controller (TNC or radio modem) or a sound card interface.
Operating System – Win95, 98SE, ME, 2K, or XP
Computer speed: Win95:75MHz CPU + 32K RAM
Win98SE, ME: 100MHz CPU + 64K RAM
NT4.0, Win2K: Pentium 133MHz CPU+128K RAM
WinXP: Pentium 233MHz CPU+256K RAM
Hard disk and RAM: more is better
Win 95 – can only use Airmail
Win98SE and above allow use of AGWPE, Winpack, PaclinkAGW, Paclink Post Office, and Telpac suite
AirMail is a complete stand-alone package for e-mail over Ham Radio for either HF PacTOR or VHF-UHF Packet.
AirMail is a 1) radio messaging system,
2) a radio terminal program for keyboard-to-keyboard, and keyboard-to-bulletin board system communication, and
3) a standalone email program
Presently, AirMail does not support soundcard operation.
A TNC is necessary.
The TNC must support the HOST mode and may need a firmware upgrade.
Compatible TNCs are:
Kantronics KPC3, KPC3+, KAM98, KAM+, KPC9612
AEA/Timewave PK-88, PK-232, PK900, DSP232, PK-96
MFJ-1278 – ROM version 3.7 needed
Not all TNCs will work with Airmail
Winlink 2000 Telpac stands for TELnet PACket gateway.
To operate a Telpac station or via soundcard mode, you will need to use Windows 98SE and have all 98SE Service Packs installed on your computer.
Windows 2000 and WinXP also require the use of Microsoft’s Net Framework 1.1, not 2.0. Service packs are necessary also for Win2000 and WinXP.
The best choice in a radio for use on VHF/UHF packet
is one with a data port . It is nice to have the receive
and transmit audio within the same connector.
A TNC or soundcard is needed for VHF packet.
AGW Packet Engine (AGWPE) is needed beyond
AirMail. AGWPE is a software engine that controls
many different types of TNCs. AGWPE supports
SOUNDCARD operation at 1200 baud.
Airmail works works only with TNCs listed in its
Older TNCs may need a $50 to $75 firmware upgrade. All older TNCs will run 1200 baud packet. Some newer ones might operate at 9600 baud.
BE CAREFUL! Some VHF/UHF FM radios meant for voice operation only may not operate at 9600 baud.
Beware of a transceiver with a built-in TASCO TNC. The TASCO TNC will not work with Winlink2000
e-mail. It is designed for APRS (automatic position reporting system) use only - an external TNC is needed to operate Winlink2000.
The free software is found at these URLs:
FREE version of AGW Packet Engine:
Win2000 and WinXP users will need the following
available from Microsoft:
Microsoft .NET Framework Version 1.1 Redistributable
Paclink AGW, Paclink Post Office and Telpac:
WinPack provides a full-featured Windows interface
to use with a Terminal Node Controller (TNC) or with
a computer sound card with other software. It will
work well initially for basic testing we need to do later
with a TNC and other parts of the Winlink2000 system.
The configuration will be for use with a TNC in cmd:
(native) mode, and later for use with Paclink AGW
operating on computers using the Win2000 or XP
If you are using Win2000Pro or XP, Winpack is AGWPE compliant and is needed to run each of the component parts of the Winlink2000 system, including Paclink AGW, Paclink Post Office, and, eventually later, Telpac.
Create a shortcut on the Desktop for AGWPE.exe
The first software to be installed is Microsoft Net Framework 1.1. If Net Framework 2.0 is installed on your computer, do not remove it. Net Framework 1.1 will co-exist with version 2.0.
Click the Desktop icon for AGWPE – then click I Agree
The Radio Port Selection window will open. Click on New Port
The default screen for adding a new port. Select your Comm port and baud rate of the serial port. Use the drop down arrow to select your TNC model. The proper settings will be loaded for your TNC model. Add a descriptionfor the TNC port.
Paclink AGW adds AX25 packet radio and Telnet channels for WL2K connectivity to Outlook Express and other POP3/SMTP email clients. Paclink AGW is intended for use with the Winlink 2000 system including the B2F protocol that supports attachments, mixed addresses and tactical addresses.
Paclink Postoffice is the companion program for all Paclink clients and implements the POP3/SMTP mail server functions.
Paclink Post Office is the “bridge” between the radio and the computer email program.
Click Paclink AGW. It will self-extract to a temporary folder. Click on setup.exe to install the program.
Click Next and then check Everyone and then Next again
Click Next. Paclink AGW will install. When the Installation Complete screen appears, you may click Close
Open Paclink Post office. Click setup.exe
Choose Next for the first step
and choose Next again on the screen pictured below.
The title bar of the real Paclink Post Office screens will say Paclink Post Office.
Click Next on the screen above and Close on the on screen to the right.
MUST BE CONFIGURED BEFORE Paclink AGW
YOUR COMPUTER MUST BE
ON THE INTERNET FOR THIS NEXT OPERATION.
When Paclink Postoffice is started for the first time, the popup menu below will appear:
Click OK - the Paclink Post Office Properties menu will appear as below:
Enter your call sign, and choose a password. You can also select to allow other LAN clients access to the Post Office. Click Update
When you click Update on the Properties menu, you should get
a confirmation similar to the following indicating the Paclink
Postoffice Outlook Express configuration wizard has set up a
corresponding account on your Outlook Express email client.
When you start Outlook Express and request it Send/Receive
mail you will be prompted to enter the account password.
Once this is done Outlook Express should remember the
Start Outlook Express.
Your callsign should appear as one of the Outlook Express e-mail accounts. Highlight the new account name and click Properties from the menu on the right side of this screen.
Paclink can use Tactical accounts, just enter the
account name in the appropriate block, as seen
in the figure below.
Winlink 2000 using the AGW suite of programs and
Telpac installation will be covered as a separate subject.