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11/20/2019 5:07:11 PM
Posted: 11/2/2009 8:07:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/2/2009 8:07:46 PM EST by Skibane]
Winlink Overview

The ability to route local VHF packet radio through HF PACTOR stations for delivering e-mail and bulletins over long distances sounds intriguing.

A new sound card-based HF protocol (WINMOR) is in early beta testing. One of the biggest disadvantages of the original HF scheme was that it required proprietary, expensive modems in order to exploit the faster PACTOR modes. This new protocol claims to deliver most of the speed advantages of fast PACTOR, using just a sound card and inexpensive Signalink or similar radio interface.

Comments?

User experiences?
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 12:46:11 AM EST
I set it up on a clients sailboat once...I had a hard time configuring it, but then again that was my fist exposure to it. I have a signalink and hope to try it with my Icom 706.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 1:40:43 AM EST
Warning––Winmor evangelist posting!

I am a very active beta tester of Winmor (someone recently coined the term "winmoron" ). It represents a huge leap forward for the Winlink network and my only concern is will the Winlink network, which only has a finite number of "radio mail server" stations, survive the influx of new users?

First the bad:

Like most digital mode software it is a little obscure to use. It's user interface is clunky, strange and does not meet most normal Windows user interface guidelines. This can be forgiven in the beta period as the focus is on getting the modem to work, however.

Now the good:

The sound card TNC modem works great.

With a properly adjusted transceiver drive level and an S9, low multipath connection you can see burst rates in excess of 5Kbytes/min.

Because of ARQ overhead and connection negotiation overhead you don't see good payload rates until the message size goes over about 1K at which point it starts to become really impressive. For 1-5K payloads 1Kbyte/min is typical. For 5-10K payloads 2Kbyte/min is typical.

Bandwidth is only 1.6KHz instead of the 2.5KHz of Pactor 3 and speed scales at about 60% of Pactor 3 (about the same as Pactor 2).

The protocol is very tolerant of simple sound card interface set-ups. The developers test with the Signalink using VOX and that's what I and many other testers use. ARQ with VOX––that's awesome!

The protocol is tolerant of varying conditions and will change up/down speed rates and bandwidths automatically to keep the ARQ repeat rate down. Under what I would characterize as "fair to poor" NVIS (high multipath) conditions you can still move a 1-5K payload at 200bytes/min typical.

Do not be fooled into a direct comparison to other keyboard to keyboard modes. There is no such mode in Winmor. It only moves email (and attachments!) Sure, you can get Olivia to hook up in really crappy conditions but you can't really move email with it and not bit perfect email, either. Nor is there the promise of an existing network of stations to move the mail to/from the internet for you. The price you pay is you need at least average band conditions.

This will be an invaluable resource once it is completed. Imagine being able to get short emails to/from family and friends outside of a disaster area you might be stuck in.

Did I mention it's free? Pactor 3 modems are in the $1K range.

Right now all beta testing is peer to peer. No Winlink RMS stations are running it yet. We are probably a year away from that, maybe less. We need more beta testers. Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WINMOR/ to sign up on the group, download Winmor and get going!
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 7:43:03 AM EST
Some of our Army MARS guys are looking at Winmor beta. I haven't been able to get the beta software, but from what I've seen it looks neat.

I'm good to go with Pactor 3 so I'll wait to see how Winmor shakes out. We have our own PMBOs so until something substantially better comes along, MARS will likely stay with Pactor modems.

Link Posted: 11/3/2009 12:15:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By pcsutton:
Some of our Army MARS guys are looking at Winmor beta. I haven't been able to get the beta software, but from what I've seen it looks neat.

I'm good to go with Pactor 3 so I'll wait to see how Winmor shakes out. We have our own PMBOs so until something substantially better comes along, MARS will likely stay with Pactor modems.



P3 is still the best, but for the rest of us unwashed types Winmor is going to be the next best thing, at least equal to P2. If you join the yahoo group (the only admittance policy being that you are warm, breathing and ham) the softwareand docs are right there in the "files" section.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:11:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By aa777888-2:
Do not be fooled into a direct comparison to other keyboard to keyboard modes. There is no such mode in Winmor. It only moves email (and attachments!)


Winlink users can also to subscribe to bulletins - and these bulletins could be delivered via Winmor, correct? These could be an important source of info during an emergency.

From a SHTF standpoint, it would seem that one of Winlink's biggest drawbacks is its reliance on the internet for some crucial tasks.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 1:42:06 AM EST
Originally Posted By Skibane:
Originally Posted By aa777888-2:
Do not be fooled into a direct comparison to other keyboard to keyboard modes. There is no such mode in Winmor. It only moves email (and attachments!)


Winlink users can also to subscribe to bulletins - and these bulletins could be delivered via Winmor, correct? These could be an important source of info during an emergency.

From a SHTF standpoint, it would seem that one of Winlink's biggest drawbacks is its reliance on the internet for some crucial tasks.


True on the bulletins but apples and oranges otherwise.

Take your average SHTF scenario. If we limit discussion to ARQ modes then local comm's can go by Winmor or Pactor (or FLARQ or ALE400, etc.) on an NVIS link. More distant comm's to those outside of the affected area are well served by the Winlink network using Pactor (and in the future, Winmor). This assumes the Winlink net does not get overloaded.

For me the whole point of Winlink is to be able to get a messages to/from family and friends in neighboring states, not to family and friends locally during a SHTF situation. Also it allows me to leverage amateur radio in a way that allows me to involve family and friends who are not hams, which is basically all of them. They can be working problems for me such as intel gathering or sending help that I will not be able to do for myself. As for the locals there will be no comm's for as the recent ice storm proved even the local repeaters were not sufficiently prepared and the few hams that are prepared enough for NVIS, etc. are too busy doing their MARS and ARES things. Those latter items matter not because there are no hams I want to or need to talk to during such an emergency and none that are friends or family (and no, i can't convince them to make the effort).


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