Sysop Software

Requirements for WL2K RMS Software

All Radio Mail Server (RMS) programs require a full-time Internet connection. The speed of this connection is not critical. RMS programs are all designed to sense loss of connectivity and recover or reconfigure automatically.

At a minimum, the computer should be a modern 500 MHz or greater Pentium/Celeron running one of the following OS with .NET 3.5 installed:

  • Windows Vista (32 bit or 64 bit versions)
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Windows Server 2003 or later

Win 95, Win 98, Win 2000, Win ME are not supported and will not run the required .NET 3.5 extensions. Win XP is no longer supported by Microsoft. Old Windows OS versions are security threats for all using Winlink, and thus are not supported. If you have old hardware that must be used, consider using a Linux solution for an RMS gateway.

The computer and TNCs should be powered from a smart uninterruptable power supply (UPS) that has a reserve battery and signals Windows to begin an orderly shutdown via an interface when battery power is low.

A shortcut to the RMS program executable should be installed in the "startup" directory and the computer configured to auto-boot on power applied. Check the RMS program help for references on how to do this. The objective is to set the computer and RMS program to operate unattended and to start automatically when power is applied.

RMS Trimode

RMS (Radio Mail Server) Trimode is software intended for WL2K sysops who operate High-Frequency gateway stations. These RMS stations are part of the global network of WL2K participating gateway stations.

RMS Trimode is a flexible HF radio server. It supports radio connections from clients using the Pactor (P1-P4), WINMOR (500Hz & 1600Hz bandwidths) and the Robust Packet HF protocols. RMS Trimode can be used for any one, two or all three of the above protocols simultaneously and can scan multiple frequencies adjusted by time of day. A single instance can support Amateur, MARS and EMComm plus other private service applications.

The objective of RMS Trimode is to allow sysops to use one program that supports multiple user protocols using the same radio, antenna, and computer resources. This gives users more connectivity options and makes better use of limited spectrum. It is intended to replace RMS Pactor and RMS WINMOR (now deprecated).

Once a connection in one protocol is established RMS Trimode will block other connections on the remaining protocols until the session is completed. If desired a single instance and radio can support multiple call signs and service codes. RMS Trimode may optionally use the program RMS Relay with a local message database or to temporarily buffer messages if internet connectivity is lost.

Before you can use the program you must have a WL2K administrator set a 'Gateway Authorized' flag associated with your account base call sign (call sign without any -ssid) in the WL2K database. Please review the Winlink Sysop Guidelines before setup or operation.

RMS Packet

RMS (Radio Mail Server) Packet is software intended for WL2K VHF/UHF sysops. This software supports a VHF/UHF packet radio gateway station to the WL2K system. RMS Packet stations are part of the network of participating gateway stations, and they provide automated messaging capability to the wireless amateur user using AX.25 packet radio in combination with the WL2K Common Message Servers.

RMS Packet is simple to install and run, and requires a minimum of computer and radio equipment. It supports the most popular TNCs directly, and almost all others through the AGW Packet Engine or Packet Engine Pro software.

RMS Packet is ideal to provide a temporary portable or fixed emergency portal for radio e-mail users, or for installation at unattended remote locations where it can provide wireless e-mail communications to the "last mile".

RMS Relay

RMS Relay is an optional, supplemental program for gateway sysops that provides temporary storage of messages and local routing in the event internet access to the CMS sites is lost. Different configurations using RMS Relay are possible for different scenarios. Some uses are:

  • A local Telnet server for HSMM/BBHN (WiFi), D-Star, or other broadband TCP/IP network links
  • If internet links to Winlink Central Message Servers (CMS) are down, a local message storage buffer for incoming messages from RMS Packet or RMS Trimode with forwarding to a CMS when connectivity returns.
  • If internet links to CMS are down, a store-and-forward message server hub for a set of local client stations. (Normal CMS forwarding when connectivity returns).
  • If internet links to CMS are down, a store-and forward message server hub that will seek forwarding to a CMS via HF connections with distant, internet-connected RMS. (Normal CMS forwarding when connectivity returns).
  • If internet links to CMS are down, a store-and-forward message server hub that will seek forwarding through the worldwide HF Hybrid Network of Message Pickup Stations (MPS). (Normal CMS forwarding when connectivity returns).
  • Normal CMS forwarding when internet connectivity is present, and concurrent HF forwarding of messages through the Hybrid Network via HF.
  • A completely off-internet, stand-alone forwarding hub in the HF Winlink Hybrid Network.

Autoforwarding is supported in most countries, otherwise in the US and where autoforwarding is not allowed control operator initiation of transmissions is required. Some study and planning is strongly advised for optimum configuration for the application at hand, but RMS Relay will do it. HF forwarding is supported using the most efficient modes only, Pactor 2-4.

See the description of the Winlink Hybrid Network for more information on internet-free and HF forwarding operation.

Linux RMS Gateway

The Linux RMS Gateway software is independently developed and maintained by Hans-J. Barthen DL5DI and Brian R. Eckert, W3SG, in cooperation with the Winlink Team. It is distributed mostly as source code under the GNU General Public License (a small component is distributed as a binary-only library).

This software has flexibility for packet-radio in a Linux environment. To build and run the software, you will need:

  • an installed and running Linux system
  • the GNU C compiler (GCC) and standard libraries and headers, as well as standard Linux software development utilities (such as GNU Make)
  • an existing ax25 installation on your Linux system with an ax25-enabled kernel, ax25-libs, and ax25-tools
  • a current MySQL client library
  • a current libxml2 library and header (and optionally libxml2-utils for XML document checking)
  • a TNC, soundcard, or other packet-radio modem drivers, axip/axudp, or anything else that is supported by Linux to run packet radio
  • radio equipment (usually a data-ready FM transceiver for VHF/UHF/SHF)
  • a 24/7 Internet connection
  • a WL2K password for the gateway's callsign (same password used for wl2k webmail)
  • a WL2K administrator's authorization for you to operate as a gateway with CMS connections (see the sysop guidelines)

The software and support for testing are available from the authors and the community at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LinuxRMS.

BPQ32 and LinBPQ

BPQ32 is a versatile suite of programs for radio networking. It runs under Microsoft Windows or there is also now a version known as LinBPQ that runs under Linux. It allows a computer to act as a node in an AX.25 NET/ROM network, with serial interfaces to TNC’s supporting KISS, JKISS, multi-drop BPQKISS and NET/ROM interfaces. It also supports internet connections via AX/IP/UDP as well as interfacing with AGWPE via a BPQtoAGW DLL. This later capability allows BPQ32 to provide AX.25 NET/ROM services via devices connected to AGWPE, most significantly sound card modems. It also supports data-over-radio protocols other than AX.25 packet, including a driver for the WINMOR Virtual TNC, Pactor, V4, Telnet and others. The program can be configured many ways for many applications, including as an RMS gateway in the Winlink system, or a client for communicating with RMS gateways, and more.

The Linux version is finding popularity among Raspberry Pi computer users, for low-cost, low-power implementations.

BPQ32 software is a product of John Wiseman G8BPQ/GM8BPQ. BPQ32 or LinBPQ are not in the public domain; however they may be freely used by licensed radio amateurs in amateur radio applications.

The program is recommended for technically-oriented individuals and is not advised for casual radio email users. Assistance in using BPQ32 can be obtained through participation in the BPQ32 Yahoo Group.

Software releases are available in the files section of the BPQ32 Yahoo Group.

RMS HF Analyzer

The RMS HF Analyzer program is a third-party product of Dave "DoC' Willard, W1EO. It is enormously helpful to sysops by providing real time data analysis of the Robust Packet, Winmor and Pactor activities at each RMS TRIMODE Server station. The program operates by reading log files produced by the RMS Trimode program and presents real-time graphic and alpha/numeric displays of activity on each frequency and mode the station uses.

RMS HF Analyzer now fully supports radio-only Relay operation and also supports V/UHF modes.

Download files, Q&A, and general discussions about the program are managed on the Yahoo Groups reflector at
https://groups.io/g/w1eo

Software from the Winlink Development Team can be downloaded from the Winlink downloads site.

Winlink Linkomatic