Signalink USB and WINMOR as a mode

Started by KC9TNH, October 18, 2012, 09:50:27 am

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Quote from: WA4STO on November 18, 2012, 10:52:29 amI had one serious problem, and that was that the port to or from the Signalink USB wouldn't initialize.  A reboot fixed that, but I'm suspicious of FLDIGI and other Windows sounds causing difficulties down the road.
Try going back through your Signalink setup instructions; I believe the part about making sure that default Windows sounds go to the speaker and are not audio out to the Signalink. When you're in s/w that will use the Signalink like RMSExpress (or fldigi for that matter) it will use that. But you can either turn all your Windows sound events off or, preferably, just tell them to use the built-in speaker. The Signalink instructions cover this if I recall correctly.


Hayulp!  I've lost my third RMS Express screen.

I was doing fine (thanks, KC9TNH) until I tried to get to the screen that lets you put in the dial and center frequencies.  Used to have it, but it's just plain gone now.  wuzzup with that, anyway?

So now I have the "Winmor sound card TNC" screen and the -- wait! -- I just 'found' that third screen.  it was 'greyed out" if you will down on the windoze task bar.  Only way I could get it to come up was to to right click on it and then 'maximize'.

OK, then another question:  When there's traffic being passed, and I KNOW I'm smack on freq, shouldn't I be able to see something in the way of data?  I can see the "rcv frame" info changing but I'm wondering if the TNC allows for monitored data to be shown, even if it's just bits 'n pieces.

73 de WA4STO


November 21, 2012, 05:57:20 pm #17 Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 09:33:19 pm by RadioRay
It does not show data.  The data is compressed, so it must receive the entire message before it's readable, which is VERY good for 'privacy' on the air. It's not CRYPTO, but it's quite private, in that Joe Ham/SWL is not going to be able to read the compressed mail unless he captured every packet, and assembles them, then decompresses it into a coherent message.   This is one of the many things that I like about WINMOR.

Basically at the top of the screen (one of three.... )  there are numbers like 650/28   and that changes 500/237  as the data is received and confirmed.  Remember - WINMOR is checking EVERY packet and rejecting any garbles, then automatically requesting retransmission of those packets so that you receiver fully error free messaging.

>de RadioRay ..._ ._
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry


aha!  That makes perfect sense -- and provides a further level of comfort...

So now I've gotta see if 3585 is gonna support prop between myself and that rascal W7ASA.  Not real likely but ya never know.

I'm in Nebraska.  Are there any active TAPRN Winmor stations further west than you two?  Are you still in peer to peer mode on 3585?  And do you forward into the WL2K system?

Tks es 73 de WA4STO


I am not ative on WINMOR at this time.  The 3585 has not been active in a very long time.

W0ECM in Oklahoma should be VERY strong for you! His mailbox scans 20/40 meters and should show-up on your list of WINMOR e-mail stations.

"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry


Winmor forwarding questions:

1.  Thinking back to the early 80s when packet forwarding systems were up 'n running, I remember that an individual operator could tell the whole system that WA4STO traffic should be sent to W1AW-5 for retrieval. 

But the beauty of Winmor is that the system doesn't know what station is going to be strongest at a given operator's location.  So how does the system know that W4WXA is going to be looking for his traffic at W0ECM?  Or does it?  And, if it's a matter of telling the system in advance, how exactly do I do that for my incoming traffic?

2.   On a related note, during post-SHTF, I have a node suddenly set up at the local Emergency Operations Center.  Piddly poor antennas, pathetic power levels, tons of RF interference.  How do incoming health and welfare messages "know' that I'm only able to get my traffic at, say, W0ECM?

Hmmm, Q1 sounds remarkably like Q2.  Sigh...

73 de WA4STO


November 22, 2012, 12:23:10 pm #21 Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 07:46:03 pm by RadioRay
As the Winlink/Winmor system looks at your log-ins.  When you log-into a station, it adds that station to the list (top 3 stations, if I remember) where you are likely to get your mail and forwards to them.  This makes sense, because the system , back when it was WINLINK, was designed for long distance sailors who would be changing their prefered home stations as they sailed around the globe. 

So, if you sign-in with W0ECM, your mail goes there, then you sign in to N0DOG it can go there and then K9MUTT it goes there.  One thing I would do when I heard a lod station that I had not used before, was to long on, sign-off  - wait ten minutes then call back and POOF! my e-mail would be waiting there.

WINMOR is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  If I wanted to use a computer, WINMOR is my first choice. I especially like it because it can wait for traffic right at your house.  Friends drop by, leave you mail,and pick-up theirs directly from you or to you directly from them in Peer to Peer (P2P) connections, or via the WINLINK network.

de RadioRay ..._ ._

Ps. Time for me to shower, shave and smell human for our Thanksgiving Day visit with friends.    ???
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry


Quote from: RadioRay on November 22, 2012, 12:23:10 pm
Ps. Time for me to shower, shave and smell human for our Thanksgiving Day visit with friends.    ???
As with all here, wishing an enjoyable Thanksgiving event. (Our houseful will be on Saturday in concert with #1 gd's birthday.)

Sunflower, prayers out.

Since I spent the first half of the day hiking through hill & dale for a couple of guys on stand I should do the same thing as Ray, house full of company or not.

The interesting thing I've found about the channel selection in RMS Express is that it still pays to look at other stations if one has a pretty good understanding of their own antenna & where their first hop lands. A station "ranked" not near the top might still be in your wheelhouse. Still testing but it is no doubt a cool tool to have in the bag.


Quote from: KC9TNH on November 22, 2012, 01:58:14 pmThe interesting thing I've found about the channel selection in RMS Express is that it still pays to look at other stations if one has a pretty good understanding of their own antenna & where their first hop lands. A station "ranked" not near the top might still be in your wheelhouse. Still testing but it is no doubt a cool tool to have in the bag.
25?, NW winds at 20, add 10-15 mph up on the ridge, and it made for a short 1/2 day of hunting, especially after I came around after my Lewis & Clark expedition through a valley trying to push some critters to a couple others & found them already back in the house w/coffee & German choc cake. >:(

So I tested a couple of things. What Ray has said regarding packet disassembly & re-assembly is certainly borne out by today's test of the same message, 3 different ways.

First, was simply the text as part of the message.
Second was that text exported to a .pdf, and then attached.
Third, was a .jpg capture of that .pdf, and then THAT was the attachment.

In each case the whole shebang took about 2 minutes or less, per, given a distant-end of reasonable signal strength. Within approximately same-size payloads, the TYPE of payload seems to matter not.

The message contents from this source were used for the actual message contents, just for fun. (Neat story; unfortunately unless one of the gray-beards from Bletchley Park saved their "in" pad with a record of what pathfinder team it was issued to they will be out of luck. Yes, I love one-time pads. 'Nuff on that here.)

Maybe it really says "Sorry to bother, old boy, but did you say, "One if by land, or was it the other way 'round?"


November 26, 2012, 12:58:36 pm #24 Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 06:12:32 pm by KC9TNH
The things we do while waiting for the dryer to finish its work...
I've found over the last relatively short digital foray that my knowledge of my own wires exceeded the defaults when a WINMOR session comes to recommending a 'best path' to a relay. So I decided to play with the itshf VOACAP software a bit to see if they had something a bit better in their tables that would pop up depicting the real characteristics of my antenna. (coffee, need coffee) Since I usually work days as a wage slave (insuring you all have at least another 19 days worth of my Social Security money) I also wanted to see what the typical choices looked like with some daytime prop.

BLUF: The choices in the VOACAP software (used by RMS Express) are pretty varied and one can find something close to their real base situation in there, it is some nugging through details and plugging the correct values in. For instance, right off the top if you accept the defaults of a wire antenna oriented due N-S, but your dipole goes E-W, and you only look at the GREEN choices in selecting your channel, you may be short-changing yourself. So it can pay to spend some (boring) time going through everything that affects how your digital setup runs - RMS Express uses this info to make choices for you. G I G O.

If, on the other hand, you fully understand the capabilities of your antenna(s), you can scan further down the list of channels and, basically, take the attitude "I know more than you do."  :D  and select something more in your antenna's wheelhouse.

I've got an 80m dipole running E-W and just changing the orientation of this, and the gain relative to an isotropic, notably changed what was offered.  Not a big bunch, but some other stations floated to the top while a few moved lower.  Likewise, since I also have a 20m end-fed up close to 1/2 wave length high that IS running N-S, and it's slightly dipped at the fed end & plays great to the south as well, I can make judgements about whether to use it for 20m & higher. Part of that is because it's 'quieter' on receive being physically further from the residential noise-floor. It's not good for mid-distances - it doesn't play from WI to WY any better, WY is actually too close. But it plays like gangbusters out to the left-coast, New England into the North Atlantic, and down into the Caribbean and Gulf of Meh-e-ko on 20m.

Summarizing, it may be worth the time to nug-out the details of your setup in the prop s/w that RMS Express uses. Or... you can use knowledge of your antenna(s) and make a more than cursory glance at the less-than-perfect relay stations the software picks for you.

In a field situation (or after everything came down in a storm but I had to communicate with a specific station), I'd turn my back on the target, throw some wire up into a tree, and let that sloping wire signal play over my shoulder, so to speak. So it comes down to (old refrain) what you need to do.*

But give it a look, maybe your antenna parameters are already in there, or something close to it (like, uh, "horizontal dipole", duh). <headslap>

* Postscript: In the interest of being fair & balanced I did just a few more tests today before taking a step-back from digital immersion to return some balance to the atmospheric life, like talking to folks and pounding brass.

In the spirit of "I have this saddle & need a horse", I just couldn't resist checking the duty cycle of the mode. I have an extremely flexible charger, albeit bigger than the one that takes care of the gel-cells in my field bag, that is crying for me to have some more/bigger gel-cells around (on sale during Christmas in the lawn-care section of my local hardware store).  So I found that the rough duty cycle of a 3 minute transmission of several paragraphs of text is about 2:1, xmit to receive, actual current draw of course determined by output power. Because 40m during the day ain't the greatest this led me to....

Same message, any elapsed time differences based on output power used?
Earlier in the day I'd been using 45w and going with a distant station, to move the relays around a bit.  This time I picked a 40m station that was in my AO and was at the top of the (new) recommended channel list.
Obviously if things aren't going well there may be a tactical reason to hit a more distant station, even off-shore if you've got the power to hold the signal.

But there is no substitute for having a monster connection in terms of not needing packets repeated. Power settings, and the transmission times for the TOTAL session on-air were:
45w ~3 min.
20w - 2.1 min.
10w - 1.8 min.
5w  - 2.1 min.
5w - 1.9 minutes off my short 20m end-fed NON-resonant opposite azimuth wire, working as a 1/4 wave.

That's pretty minimalist and (gulp) democratic in my book.
A good mode, with readable text on the other end by those who may need it (or from whom you may need something).

. .


Anyone had any luck using a west mountain radio PNP? I am able to successfully do psk31 and i can get RMS to activate the radio but it won't connect to a station. Trying to do it all on 20m, maybe i got to try 40?


Quote from: madball13 on January 13, 2013, 12:01:36 pm
Anyone had any luck using a west mountain radio PNP? I am able to successfully do psk31 and i can get RMS to activate the radio but it won't connect to a station. Trying to do it all on 20m, maybe i got to try 40?
Lots of variables. Not familiar with the West Mountain device. Not all stations that come up on the RMS Express list are going to be available. It's usually advisable until you get more familiar with it to pick the best recommendations. Could be something as simple as the levels you've got set. Any further info you can provide about your settings, power being used, antenna, station attempting to be contacted etc.?


i'm pushing 100W with an 857D. RMS is able to trigger my radio on and off to make a connection but thr session just ends up shutting down. I did make sure be on USB.


Quote from: madball13 on January 14, 2013, 01:03:38 pm
i'm pushing 100W.....

1.  You should be able to hear when your station first makes the initial contact attempt if there is any attempt by the other station to acknowledge you.  If there is, try this:

For the sake of your radio's finals, dial back your power to about 40w.  In the case of packet transmission less-is-more. 2 reasons are:
- the duty cycle at full output can be hard on your radio.
- you run the risk of clipping the waveform to the point that the other station may not reecognize it for what it is.  (My simplistic understanding of it.)

In a full key-down signoff, you'll see the 40w on a wattmeter, otherwise it'll  normally during the session be transmitting at about half that. Either way, you don't need 100w to get this done and if that's your full output you need to back that off by half or more.

2.  Further questions:
a.  What's the distance, bearing & band of the relay station you're trying to connect to?  (and where are you?)
b.  Is it a station that is operating during those hours (your best bets are relays that have 00-23 in the hours column).
c.  Is that really the direction your antenna plays best?  Probably not the first problem choice but the selection ranking is going to be partially dependent upon the propagation software parameters. Usually the defaults don't matter, but if you have some quirky special antenna that is doing something different....

Any specifics you can provide will help.  You're there, I'm not.


I will tone it down for my next try. I am located in northeastern MA and there is a station 38K from me the operates 0-23. My antenna is a homebrew dipole oriented N to S.