Winlink

New Experimental HF Propagation Map

Lee Inman of the Winlink Team has mined the server databases for useful propagation data and developed a new map showing recent HF connection paths on a worldwide basis. You can view the new map here.

Stations that do not report gridsquare positions (especially gateways) can not shown. If you aren't seeing your QSO's check your software settings. BPQ gateway programs generally do not report positions for sessions. The controls in the upper left of the map should be self-explanitory, but if not let us know. Mouse over a path line and see details of the QSO.

Please send us a comment if you like the map, and make any suggestions you feel would make it more useful to you.

Developers: This data is available through the Winlink API. Contact us for information and access to the API. Please include a reference to your project or a detailed description of your application.

--Winlink Development Team

FCC Petition RM-11831 Threatens Amateur Digital Operations Like Winlink

April 5, 2019--The FCC has opened for comment RM-11831, a proposal for rule making that would do two things to the US amateur radio rules:

1) remove paragraph (c) of 97.221. This would disallow narrow-bandwidth ARQ modes of 500 Hz or less from outside the specified 97.221 sub bands for automatically controlled digital stations. This will require all US Winlink HF gateway stations, regardless of mode/technique, to only operate within these narrow sub bands.

2) modify the wording of 97.309(4) thusly:
(4) An amateur station transmitting a RTTY or data emission using a digital code specified in this paragraph may use any technique whose technical characteristics have been documented publicly, *such as CLOVER, G-TOR, or PacTOR,* (remove *-*, add the following:) and the protocol used can be be monitored, in it's entirety, by 3rd parties, with freely available open source software, for the purpose of facilitating communications.

This effectively eliminates Pactor 2, 3, and 4 from the US amateur bands unless SCS steps up and publishes complete technical specifications, including their proprietary signal processing methods, and produces an open-source monitoring program allowing on-air eavesdropping by third parties (not likely).

The Winlink Team will have to produce monitoring software for an unconnected eavesdropper for WINMOR, ARDOP. VARA's author must do the same. The alternative is for Winlink to close shop for US licensees on HF amateur bands, or to eliminate B2F compression for messages sent by US-licensed amateurs. This will cause US users of all modes to suffer much longer transmission times by a factor of 2-10 times. Limits would not be placed on other users.

See and read the new proceeding from the link below. The 30-day comment period opened on 28 March. We have prepared a document containing useful arguments you may paraphrase for your comment filing. The formal ARSFI Motion to Dismiss RM-11831 and Petition for Rulemaking is also here for your review.

https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?proceedings_name=RM-11831&sort=d...

Unless we receive support from users on this serious threat, Winlink may be forced to close shop on HF in the USA. US and non-US users and gateway operators are urged to educate themselves and file a comment soon!

Sincerely,

Lor Kutchins, W3QA
Winlink Development Team
President,
Amateur Radio Safety Foundation, Inc.

How ITU is strengthening Emergency Telecommunications in the Americas

ITU News Logo

March 5, 2019 -- In 2018, ITU teamed up with regional telecommunications bodies in the Americas such as la Comision Regional Tecnica de Telecommunicaciones (COMTELCA), the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) and the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) to set up an alternative telecommunication system for use in times of emergencies. The system does not rely on conventional means of communication such as the Internet, but rather on amateur radio systems. The system is Winlink Global Radio Email®️. Read the entire article here.

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