9. Digipeating

In the event your local VHF RMS has lost its internet connection, you can often relay through it to another RMS that may still be up. This uses the Digipeater mode in Packet Winlink

For example: The internet connection at the W6CDR-10 RMS site is down. You may not be able to reach another VHF RMS directly. You can use the W6CDR-4 digipeater (same location, same frequency) to connect to N8TVU-10. In this example, N8TVU-10 has an internet connection to the CMS and your messages upload and download as normal.

To accomplish this, open a Packet Winlink session.

In Connection Type use the drop down box to select Digipeater

In the next box to the right, place the call of the RMS node you are trying to reach (N8TVU-10 in this example).

In the next box to the right of N8TVU-10 enter the callsign of the Digipeater you are using (W6CDR-4 in this case).

You can then tune your radio to 145.010 and click Start. The system will start the connection and messaging process.

Winlink Express has provisions to digipeat through up to 2 systems, but be aware that your throughput drops in half with each connection, and you are tying up additional resources with each connection.

How do you find a digipeater? One way is to monitor your local Winlink frequency and wait for a station ID. For instance, in monitoring 145.010 in the Dayton area using your sound modem/TNC screen (not the Packet Winlink screen) you will eventually see:

W6CDR-10 – District 3 ARES Winlink RMS Gateway 145.0100

W6CDR-4 – District 3 ARES Winlink Digipeater 145.0100

Another way is to simply ask around the local ham community. You can also send an Winlink message to the RMS callsign trustee.

Please note that all systems have to be on the same frequency. So you cannot, for instance, digipeat through W6CDR-4 to W8GCA-10 (which is on 445.010)

For homework send a message to KA0AZS using the Digipeater mode. If you are not in range of a Digipeater or have other issues, send one to KA0AZS giving your location and what issues you had.