3. Setting up Winlink for use on VHF/UHF

For RF operations, you can use either a hardware modem (TNC) or a sound card (computer, built into the radio, or external such as SignaLink etc.) with one of a variety of software modems to interface between your radio and sound card. Some radios, such as the Kenwood APRS radios, have internal TNCs that can be used for VHF/UHF.

Note for SignaLink users: You may have to adjust your settings when switching between FLDIGI and Winlink. For instance for FLDIGI my TX and DLY are both set at about 11 O’clock. For Winlink my TX may be turned up depending on frequency and antenna, and the DLY is set to almost minimum. Users with other hardware/software setups may have to make similar adjustments.

For VHF I personally use the UZ7HO Sound modem available at: http://uz7.ho.ua/packetradio.htm. Once installed, you will need to open a “Packet Winlink” session, open Settings in the session, and enter the path to where you installed the sound modem.

There is another popular VHF mode known as VARA FM. That will be covered in another training.

Once you have your modem (hardware or software) hooked up, select “Packet Winlink” from the Session drop down box on the main screen of the Winlink Express software then click on Open Session.

In the Packet Winlink Session window that opens, click on settings. There is a drop down box to select Packet TNC type.

If you are using a hardware modem, select it from the list shown. If your TNC is not shown, you may still be able to use it in KISS mode.

If using a software modem (such as the UZ7HO), select KISS. You will then have to enter the path to where you have the software installed in the Packet Sound Modem box.

To start with leave the rest of the settings in default and make adjustments as needed.

If using the UZ7HO software modem, open it up, open settings, open devices, and select the sound card being used for Input and Output device (USB Audio Codec for the SignaLink). You may have to research the rest of the settings to work with your set up.

The Winlink website, https://winlink.org/ has links to software, documentation, tutorials including YouTube videos.

You should be ready to start connecting to RMS nodes on VHF/UHF. We will go into more detail in later training, but for now, here are some local nodes.

VHF Packet: Locally 145.010 simplex is the primary frequency used. Three of the local VHF RMS stations using this frequency are W6CDR-10 in Kettering, N8JE-10 in Springfield and N8TVU-10 in Cincinnati.

UHF Packet: W8GCA-10 in Beavercreek operates on 445.010 simplex.

On the Packet Winlink Session window make sure the connection type is “Direct”, and the box to the right has the call of the node you want. Ensure that your radio is on the proper frequency (simplex, no tone). Listen to ensure the frequency is clear, the click on “Start” to try connecting.

Once you have your VHF/UHF station configured, feel free to send a test message to KA0AZS with the mode you’re using and the RMS station your used.

We will discuss the use of the “Digipeater” connection type in a future session.

Next training will discuss HF setup.

UPDATE: 2 VARA FM RMS nodes have recently become active in District 3: N8JE-10 in Springfield and K8DRC-10 in Dayton.  Both operate on 145.030 simplex.