How to Send Email to a Winlink Address

If you had a message rejected...

You may have received a rejection message "554 - Profanity not allowed."
This is because your message contained language or words considered indecent or profane and is not permitted in communications transported by amateur radio stations. If you submit the same message without offensive language it will not be rejected. In the USA, please see FCC rule Part 97.113(a)(4). Other licensing authorities have similar rules.

"554 - Sender not authorized for any recipient;"
Your message was rejected because it came from an e-mail account bearing a reply address that is missing from the "accept list" of your recipient WL2K user. Winlink Radio Email is NOT an internet email common carrier or Internet Service Provider. Under most country's amateur radio rules, internet email can not be regularly delivered over radio pathways unless the controlling radio operator first allows it. (See FCC Part 97.113(a)(5) or other similar jurisdiction's rule.) Also, unsolicited email from Internet addresses will not be delivered to radio users unless the user first elects to accept mail from that specific source. Normally, if you have first received a message from a Winlink user's account, the address to which they sent your mail (your address) will have been automatically placed on their whitelist (accept list). Sometimes, however, your e-mail account may be set so that your reply address is different than the account address from which you send, or perhaps your internet mail provider is using an unusual method of mail header addressing. Or, your Winlink correspondent may have purposely blocked mail from your address or domain.

How to Send a Message From an Internet Email Account to a Winlink Account

First, understand that there is absolutely no privacy for messages sent to a Winlink radio email user. Amateur radio is regulated service for licensed operators that forbids certain content in messages to be sent over radio. Anyone with the proper equipment and skill can read all messages transferred via radio. All messages within the system databases are routinely inspected online by system administrators and also other licensed radio operators. Be certain you read and understand the Winlink Terms and Conditions of Service and Use before you send a message to a Winlink user. Do not include information that you want kept private. If you have first received a message from your Winlink user/correspondent, you will notice a footer containing a warning message that if you reply, your message is regulated by amateur radio rules, and you can have absolutely no expectation of privacy in your reply.

For a Winlink user to receive a message, the sender's e-mail address must be listed in the recipient's whitelist (accept list). All Winlink accounts have this feature. By default, mail from the internet that is not expected or expressly permitted by the Winlink user/radio operator is rejected and a 'bounce' message is sent explaning why (with a reference to this page). This filter can be bypassed in an emergency even if the sender is NOT on the recipient's whitelist. This is done by including a special keyword in the subject line of the message (explained below) and the mail will be held while the Winlink user is notified to approve delivery.

Message Precedence and SPAM Control
Precedence indicators control the order in which messages get processed and sent across slow radio links through the Winlink system. It also includes a mechanism to block SPAM--unwanted and unexpected mail--from the system. Precedence categories are Flash (Z), Immediate (O), Priority (P), and Routine (R). Flash and Immediate messages are reserved for highly urgent messages. Unless there is some special circumstance or urgency routing precedence //WL2K R/ should always be used. "R" is the default if omitted.

The precedence indicator is included in a Winlink message by adding one of the following to the subject line--whether originated from Internet email or from a Winlink address.

//WL2K Z/ - Flash (for urgent message use only)
//WL2K O/ - Immediate (for urgent message use only)
//WL2K P/ - Priority
//WL2K R/ - Routine (Default)

“Reply” and “forwarded” messages will be treated with the same priority as the original unless the precedence indicator is changed in the subject line when replying or forwarding.

Here are some examples of acceptable subject lines using the precedence indicators:

//WL2K Z/EOC FLOODING
//WL2K 0/SHELTER STATUS - FULL
//WL2K P/Food and bedding inventory request
//WL2K R/Supplies received
Re://WL2K R/Generator manual needed
FW://WL2K R/Please bring Gasoline

It your 'FROM' address is absent from your recipient's account whitelist (accept list), the "//WL2K" key informs the mail processing system to bypass the anti-spam whitelist (accept list) and causes the message to be held while the Winlink user (recipient) is notified to approve transmission (delivery) of your message.

Why is the spam filter so important?
SPAM control on the WL2K system is essential because licensed radio users and station operators are bound by laws and regulations that prohibit commercial or private business, indecent, and other prohibited message content. Messages from internet email addresses are third-party messages to an amateur radio station when sent over the air using Winlink. All third-party messages transmitted over amateur radio must be approved by the control operator prior to transmission. The Winlink system is NOT a common carrier email provider as are internet email providers. More importantly, slow radio circuits can be easily congested with SPAM messages when important, urgent or emergency messages must get through.

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