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Old 01-25-2010, 03:45 PM   #1
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WINMOR Long distance radio email on Winlink 2000 WITHOUT Pactor



WINMOR 1600 Hz connection.

Yesterday Dorval, PY2LIN, on his sailboat Luthier 60 NM south of Salvador on the Brazil east coast, sent two emails via the Winlink 2000 RMS, VE1YZ-5, near Halifax in Nova Scotia, using only his laptop and HF SSB radio. That is correct, NO Pactor TNC or modem was used.

This was done using $39 worth of Windows based software, called Winmor, and his laptop's internal sound card. The distance between the two stations was more than 3600 NM on an amateur radio frequency of 18.102 KHz.

Dorval's ham radio setup on Luthier consists of a Kenwood TS-480 radio and a 23 ft whip antenna on the back of the boat. The laptop was an ASUS netbook with internal sound card. (But any similar setup will work sufficiently). It is recommended that the Signalink external sound card be used for greater speed. (Beta testers of Winmor have seen throughput speeds of between Pactor 2 and 3).

More and more of these Winmor-enabled Winlink 2000 RMS's (gateways) are coming on line. Click on the following link to see an updated list, and then click on "Mode" to sort the Winmor channels on top. The frequencies are center frequency, and 1.5 KHz needs to be subtracted to get to the USB radio dial frequency.

http://www.winlink.org/RMSHFStatus

More information from Beta testers in the field can be seen here:

http://www.sarl.org.za/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4452

To learn more about Winmor and to download its present email client called RMS Express, click here:

http://www.winlink.org/WINMOR
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Old 01-25-2010, 10:31 PM   #2
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Hi All,

Here is Youtube video of WINMOR on RMS Express in action.

This was before the software was very robust, and I used the video to record a crash.

This was done between two laptops with acoustic coupling (microphones and speakers), and the internal sound cards. No radios and no RF.

Note the CPU usage. About 20 % on a 1.5 GHz laptop.

Also note I had to trip the "Busy Channel Indicator" at the beginning. (Due to noise into the microphones.)

Note the automatic "gear shift" to 8Car V16PSK.

Note the CPU spike at the crash.

WINMOR does NOT crash anymore, and is very stable, fast and robust now.

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/sg5lG-x8wbw&hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparant"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/sg5lG-x8wbw&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparant" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:23 AM   #3
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This is all very interesting and good news. I have an ICOM IC-M600 and although it's got the blanking plate in the back where the PACTOR modem interface should go, there is no modem interface and I'm finding it hard to obtain the parts to build one. Also the cost of the PACTOR modems is quite high, and there's no guarantee it would work on the HF set I have.

How would I go about physically interfacing my laptop to this radio? At the back of the radio there's an jack for an external speaker (6.5mm mono although I have a 3.5mm plug converter in there). There's a single 3 pin microphone jack, into which the ICOM microphone is plugged. Would I unplug the mic from the HF radio and run it to the audio output of my sound card, then run the audio input of my sound card to the external speaker jack? Or would I use a purely audio connection a la acoustic coupler modems of many years ago? Or do I need to purchase some additional hardware to connect?

One concern is that the ICOM mic has a press-to-talk button on it, obviously I don't want to have to push that button each time the Winmor software wants to transmit.

Any clues anyone?
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:13 AM   #4
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Hi delatbabel,

Ok, first try the Signalink external sound card and interface. They have interface cables for each and every radio possible at your local ham radio shop.

Second, acoustic coupling will work and some guys have had great success. PTT is done via the radio's VOX (all controls set to minimum).

Third, try this link. See the home built interface: http://www.emergencyradio.ca/course/Gettin...d%20Digital.pdf

There are two WINMOR RMS's (gateways) in Australia already. Many more to come, I am sure.

I don't know all the answers, but ask away.

Best regards,

Bernard

Hamsailor

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Old 01-26-2010, 05:26 AM   #5
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It seems like good news. I cannot understand how a closed protocol could go so long like the pactor in the ham world.

Where is the protocol description?
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:57 AM   #6
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Hi maqwas,

Most of the documents are here: http://www.winlink.org/WINMOR

Some other ones and the software (RMS Express), is on the Yahoo Winmor Group reflector, here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WINMOR

Sign in to Yahoo, or create a free account.

Note: We are still in Beta testing, but almost done.
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magwas View Post
It seems like good news. I cannot understand how a closed protocol could go so long like the pactor in the ham world.

Where is the protocol description?
My understanding is that Pactor II and III are not "closed" in the sense of secret, but they are patented by the inventors. Accordingly they retain all the rights to production, distribution, and sale. That is the reward for invention and creativity!

Pactor II and III have retained their market share in the ham, marine, and "outback" worlds because there hasn't been a viable alternative. WINMOR still won't beat Pactor III for speed and robustness, but it is looking quite promising. It is still in beta test and the authors are still tweaking the algorithms.

sail fast and eat well, dave KO4MI

S/V Auspicious WDC9882
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:39 PM   #8
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To help with the download and installation of WINMOR RMS Express, also read this very excellent Winmor Primer by Dr Fred Hambrecht, W4JLE here:

(Takes a little while to download.)

http://www.winlink.org/webfm_send/109
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamsailor View Post
The distance between the two stations was more than 3600 NM on an amateur radio frequency of 18.102 KHz.
NB. 18.102 KHz should read 18.102 MHz or 18102 KHz.

Question:- is the software for 'Winmor' free ?
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMNETSEA View Post
NB. 18.102 KHz should read 18.102 MHz or 18102 KHz.

Question:- is the software for 'Winmor' free ?
It was supposed to be, I read somewhere it will be 30 USD now. Fortunately the spec is open so there should be a free software version before too long..
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:29 AM   #11
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Free as in "speech" vs Free as in "beer".

The WINMOR protocol is free as in "speech" because anyone can take a copy of it, read it, and provided that they understand it and implement it correctly, get it running with their own software/hardware. It is not subject to onerous copyright or patent conditions. I could write a version for Linux, Macintosh, or even my mobile phone if it had a decent sound driver. If I had the time, patience, and technology I could design and build my own customised hardware implementation of the WINMOR protocol in an external modem. I could not do that with PACTOR because it has copyright and patent restrictions.

The current WINMOR software is not free as in "beer" because you have to pay money to obtain it. Once you have it, you can do as you will with it.

Note that most free software is free "speech" not free "beer" because (for example) although you can download and install a copy of Ubuntu yourself, if you decide to take it into your local Linux store they will install and configure it for you however they will ask you for a fee to cover their time and equipment.
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:33 AM   #12
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The definition of a protocol in computing terms is given as :-

A protocol is a set of rules which is used by computers to communicate with each other across a network. A protocol is a convention or standard that controls or enables the connection, communication, and data transfer between computing endpoints. In its simplest form, a protocol can be defined as the rules governing the syntax, semantics, and synchronization of communication. Protocols may be implemented by hardware, software, or a combination of the two. At the lowest level, a protocol defines the behavior of a hardware connection.

The question as to whether the programme was free arose because we had been informed that it was still in the Beta stage of development and yet it required payment of between $30 and $39 to acquire it. One hopes that the use of Cruiser log is not regarded by the developers of Winmor as a means of advertising a product that they are developing for commercial gain.
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:01 AM   #13
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Interesting the way this thread is turning out....

I posted this to draw attention to Winmor to HELP cruisers on a fixed income. Those who specifically want inexpensive email from the High Seas.

And I have absolutely no affiliation with the Winmor designers.

I am only an avid ham radio operator and sailor who knows a great deal when I see one.

Are you kidding me ? $39 against $1200 ?

As a Beta tester of Winmor from the gitgo, I can tell you that it works fantastically well in real conditions for the price. This should excite all sailing cruisers on a budget.

Advertising it ? - Heck no. Just absolutely loving this protocol and software.

A working sound card virtual TNC for Winlink 2000 email, has been long overdue.
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:31 AM   #14
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Thanks Bernard, for your explanation regarding your involvement as a beta tester of this product (Note: We are still in Beta testing, but almost done)

It would be appreciated that once the product has become a fully commercial venture beyond the Beta testing stage, that the developers thereof will consider sponsoring one of our appropriate forums.
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