WinLink and Digital Emergency Comm

Alachua County MESH Network

Gordon Gibby KX4Z describes the development of the Alachua County initial microwave MESH network linked to a packet repeater network.  Read the article Overview of MESH Network Development.

EMP Hardened Digitally Controlled HF Transceiver

Gordon Gibby KX4Z explains how to develop an EMP-hardened transceiver for HF service, to include WINLINK and other digital services.  Read the article Creating An Emp Hardened Transceiver.

How to Inexpensively Publish Ham Radio Materials

Gordon Gibby KX4Z has written a “how to” article on publishing ham radio information using the website Createspace  Read the article HamRadioPublishing KX4Z.

Digital Emergency Communications

Gordon Gibby KX4Z delivered a presentation to the Gainesville Amateur Radio Society on February 21, 2017.  Here are the presentation slides:

Part 1 – Ham Radio DigitalComms

Part 2 – Ham Radio Digital Comms

WinLink – Email Over Ham Radio

Gordon Gibby KX4Z has provided an excellent information paper on WinLink – Email Over Ham Radio.  Included in the paper is a good list of websites to start learning about WinLink.  Check it out!

WinLink –  Speed Advantage of Digital Comm

Gordon Gibby KX4Z has provided another superb information paper on WinLink communications concerning the speed of digital communications.  Read the paper at Estimations of the Speed Advantage of Digital or WINLINK Communications over Gold-Standard VOICE Communications For Precise Emergency Communications.

This article by Gordon Gibby KX4Z was written up & quoted in the bulletins of the South African ham radio society on September 11, 2016 by Dave Reece at

Here’s a quote from the South African Hamnet:  “On the matter of transmitting emergency messages, Gordon KX4Z, has done an interesting study comparing messages being sent by voice, by PSK31, by MT63-2K, and by Winlink. Various limiting factors in each protocol do provide problems, with the estimated efficiency of the first 3 systems being assessed at about 50%. Winlink becomes more efficient as messages to send get bigger, because the message headers and error-correction handshakes get less. Gordon estimates the number of 50-word messages able to be sent per minute by voice as 0.3, for PSK31 0.48, for MT63-2K 2, and for Winlink 3.02. He says Winlink messages are 10 times faster for multiple short messages, and up to 69 times faster for large files. His concluding paragraph reads:

“One digital station using a faster digital protocol (MT63 – 2K) is likely to be able to perform the same throughput of short, 50-word emergency messages as 6 voice stations. One WINLINK station using the same Signalink equipment may be able to perform the throughput of 10 voice stations, with error-corrected text transmission. For larger data files, the throughput of the WINLINK station dramatically improves to over 1,000 words per minute, apparently due to decrease in the required message overhead baggage—making it the equivalent of over SIXTY voice stations working together.

“Because of this tremendous throughput advantage in emergency communications, it would be useful both to develop, train, and include both digital and WINLINK-based HF stations in emergency communications planning”. All in all, a good reason to train our HAMNET members in Winlink-based communications.” [end quote from Hamnet]

RFI Fixes

WinLink help forums are forever filled with people who hit XMIT and their computer crashes.   The same thing happens on PSK31 and other digital modes.   The cause is often radio frequency interference (RFI).  Conquering RFI to sensitive computer interfaces can be a bear.  Gordon Gibby KX4Z has written a paper to help solve these issues.  Read the paper at RFI and How To Stop It From Crashing Your Digital Ham Radio.

Overview of Ham Radio Software

This is an overview of the software used to train ARES members for emergency communications.  Read the paper by Gordon Gibby KX4ZOverview of Ham Radio Software.

WinLink – Software

Understanding how various WinLink programs fit into a backup Emergency Communications system can be confusing.   Here’s  a guide to demonstrate how EMCOMM systems from very simple single-user, all the way  to a county-wide,  multi-user, multi-location, system that allow officials to use their own computers for email,  can be built.   Read the paper at WINLINKSOFTWARE.  Gordon Gibby KX4Z has written a guide to help you.

WinLink – Stages of Experience for Em Comm

Just starting out with WinLink or emergency communications support?  Here are some thoughts to guide you as you grow in experience.  Gordon Gibby KX4Z has written some guidance for you.  Read the paper at Winlink – Stages of Experience.

Strategies to use WINLINK Software for your Emergency Communications

Here is the 2016 update of a paper on Winlink configurations written by John Galvin N5TIM.  Read the paper at Winlink 2000A Configurations.

Digital Connections

Here’s some good guidance for hooking up a SignaLink interface device to your transceiver.  Written by Gordon Gibby KX4Z, your can read the paper here Digital Connections.

How-To for Packet WINLINK Express Email

This is a primer on how to get everything going for email via VHF Packet WINLINK.  Written by Gordon Gibby KX4Z, read the paper Red Cross Winlink Express Primer.

An Inexpensive TNC

One can make a very inexpensive terminal node controller (TNC) from a $5 Adafruit sound card dongle, and a simple transistor circuit to key the push-to-talk.  This is essentially a poor-man’s Signalink.  Add UZ7HO’s soundmodem.exe, and you have a packet TNC.   Add FLDIGI, and you have bunches of HF digital modes.  Read the paper by Gordon Gibby KX4Z, Inexpensive TNC.  Construction information is here, part 1 TNC Construction, part 2 TNC Construction 2.  The schematic is here Schematic 4.

A Raspberry Pi Digipeater

This paper explains how to make a BPQ node (which can be a digipeater, a node, a Winlink Packet RMS and probably lots more) out of a Raspberry PI and free software.    It can work with a soundcard-based terminal node controller (TNC) such as my inexpensive TNC (see “An Inexpensive TNC” above), or a Signalink, or it can work with a KISS TNC like the TNC-X.  Read the paper by Gordon Gibby KX4Z, Making Raspberry Pi Node Digipeater ver 1.4.

Raspberry Pi USB System Patch

This article describes a serious flaw in the Raspberry Pi USB system that causes random outages.  Read the “patch” submitted by Gordon Gibby KX4Z at Raspberry Pi USB Patch.

A Raspberry Pi Node Go Station

Here is a description of how to build a digital repeater station which can be picked up in a moment and sent to a disaster area to create a string of repeaters back to the working telecommunications.  Read the paper by Gordon Gibby KX4ZRaspberry Pi Node Go Station.

Creating a City-Wide Residential Backbone

This article describes how to establish a city-wide packet radio backbone.  Read the article by Gordon Gibby KX4ZCreating A City-wide Residential Digital Backbone.


Florida is blessed to have an extensive packet node backbone known as the SEDAN.  This paper explains how to use WINLINK over the SEDAN network.  Read the paper by Gordon Gibby KX4Z, WINLINK via Florida SEDAN.

Disaster Scenarios and WINLINK

This is a briefing formated explanation of different ways to use WINLINK components to handle different types of disasters.  Submitted by Gordon Gibby KX4Z.  Read the briefing here Disaster Scenarios and WINLINK.

Shelter Vignette

Here is a fictional over-the-air emergency net snippet that illustrates the kinds of capabilities that WINLINK can serve.  Submitted by Gordon Gibby KX4Z, read the story here Shelter Vignette.

Soundcard Interface Project

Gordon Gibby KX4Z, has created a printed circuit board using ExpressPCB to build a soundcard interface.  The software to fabricate the board is available free directly from Gordon.  Email him at  You upload the file from Gordon to ExpressPCB and receive your board in the mail in a few days.  The file from Gordon is free, but there is a charge from ExpressPCB for fabricating the board.  Go to the ExpressPCB site for instructions about downloading a free PCB board layout software.

Read the Construction Manual before you start building.

Alachua County 2017 ARES Hurricane Test

Gordon Gibby KX4Z, has provided the Alachua County 2017 ARES Hurricane Test – Participant Workbook for the drill planned for Saturday, May 6, 2017.

Building a Wooden Emergency Go-Box

The concept of a “go-box” has appeal in situations where you may be conducting radio communications for an extended period using portable equipment.  Gordon Gibby KX4Z has a simple and functional solution for a go-box.  Read his paper titled Building a Simple Wooden Emergency Radio Go-Box.

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