Ever since I upgraded my amateur radio licence to the Standard level which allows the use of “Data” modes, I have been interested in the Winlink collection of protocols. Winlink allows the transfer of text based emails from RF to the wider internet. Connection us bunch of strange radio folks to the wider world. Winlink is used by sailors and those off the beaten track the world over.
In the US it is very very common to have VHF Winlink gateway stations at the county level, with at least one covering most regions. The VHF side generally uses 1200 baud and has a range of around 50-100 kms. However in Australia VHF Winlink is very rare. Below is a map showing VHF stations in Australia. As you can see there are very few.
More common in Australia is the use of HF with the below map showing HF nodes across Australia. Although unlike VHF @1200 Baud, HF is at the slower 300 baud.
I turned my mind to created a VHF Winlink gateway with the Raspberry Pi and the ex-Taxi Radio Tait 8110. Using the similar set up to the 25w ARPS station I have set up at home.
it might look a little messy in the above image but what it is is a raspberry pi zero w, an audio board and an easy digi interface to handle the Pi using its GPIO to control the PTT of the radio. Currently works very well.
While I don’t plan to write a step by step on how to do it- I will post 2 links that really really helped me.
Let me know if you do get one on their air!