5. Looking up and connecting to RMS nodes

You can always look up the available RMS nodes using data from the Winlink System. Once you open up a Packet or HF session, click on “Channel Selection”.

For VHF/UHF this will bring up a list of stations withing 100 miles of the grid square you entered when you set up your Winlink account.

For HF this will list stations sorted based on probability of connecting from your location based on current RF propagation conditions.

You can update the list via Internet or Radio. Due to the amount of time required to download the data over the air, it’s best to update via the internet prior to heading to the field, or to periodically download a list to ensure it is available during an internet outage.

You can also see a live map of active RMS stations on the Winlink website: https://winlink.org/RMSChannels

Public and EMCOMM RMS stations:
From the main Winlink Express screen, click on Settings; Winlink Express Setup. In the lower left part of the screen, there is a box titled Service Codes. Default is “PUBLIC”. Setting it to “PUBLIC EMCOMM” adds stations set up for Emergency Communications. W6CDR-10 is an EMCOMM station for instance.


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

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

Several of the VHF and UHF stations are displayed on APRS when using an internet (APRS-IS) connection.

HF: There are many HF RMS stations throughout the world. Those that I have had the best luck reaching with my station (40W on a 10-40 Sloper or 80M Hamstick Dipole at 35 feet) at various times of day are:

KC8YJJ, 3589.500 Toronto OH (VARA, ARDOP, PACTOR)
VE3HJL, 3587.00, 7108.00 Scarborough Ontario (VARA, ARDOP)
NM5PB-11, 7101.300 St. Louis MO (VARA, ARDOP)
KØSI, 7103.500, Columbia MO (VARA, ARDOP)

What works for you will vary depending on your station/antenna configuration.

You can save your favorite stations for each type of HF session. On the tool bar of the session, click on “Add to favorites” when you have the station displayed. There is a drop down box with your saved favorites you can use to quickly bring up your most used stations.

Our next training will discuss sending messages to Winlink and Email users, setting up Contacts, and checking in to Winlink nets.

Feel free to send a message to KA0AZS and in the message specify what RMS you used.