Winlink Training Exercises

A list of things you can do to become more proficient with operating Winlink.

Beginner Exercises

  1. Read the Winlink Book of Knowledge.
  2. Read the Winlink FAQ’s.
  3. Watch all the Winlink training videos and/or live workshops you can find.
  4. Install Winlink on a Windows based computer.
  5. Set your Winlink password and obtain a email address.
  6. Login to your Winlink webmail account.
  7. Add external email addresses you want to receive emails from (such as your own for testing) to the “My Whitelist” section of your account.
  8. Send yourself an email from an external email address to your email.  Use the webmail interface to check.
  9. Send yourself an email from an external email address to your email.  Use the Winlink program, telnet session to check.
  10. Send somebody you know a Winlink message from your Winlink client to a callsign using a telnet session.
  11. Send an ICS 213 or other form to somebody you know, using their callsign, telnet session.
  12. Request a weather report for your local area via Winlink catalog request via a telnet session.
  13. Subscribe to one or more of the Winlink Support Groups and use them for your questions.
  14. Join a local ham radio club who does exercises.

Intermediate Exercises

  1. Do a P2P telnet session with a buddy (don’t forget to map port 8774 to each computer through each router).
  2. Setup a Signalink or other quality TNC and connect with a quality mobile radio to an RMS Gateway over 1200 baud VHF.
  3. Do a P2P session using radios / TNC’s only with a buddy.
  4. Send a multi-person P2P message via telnet FM packet or Vara FM P2P packet.
  5. Participate in weekly Winlink exercises such as Winlink Wednesdays and Winlink Thursdays.
  6. Go mobile with your Winlink station (set up in the field with battery / solar / generator power only).
  7. Find a high spot in your area and connect to an RMS station well outside your normal range of communications.
  8. Setup a temporary RMS packet station and use another computer / radio / TNC to test it.
  9. Transcribe an ICS form from voice (incoming instructions from any band) to a Winlink message and send it.
  10. Connect a GPS to your computer and report your position.
  11. Request a GRIB file of the wind conditions in your area and view it on your computer with a GRIB file viewer.
  12. Convert an Excel spreadsheet of 100 rows, 10 columns of mixed character from Excel to a comma-delimited file send it to a buddy via Winlink packet.
  13. Convert a 500-word Word document from Word to an RTF file and send it to a buddy via Winlink packet.
  14. Resize a photo so that it’s 10 Kb or less with dimensions of 640×480 or greater and send it to a buddy via Winlink packet.  NOTE: You may need an external program to degrade the quality.
  15. Compose a Winlink form on one computer.  Copy the data file to USB drive.  Load that data from the drive into a Winlink form on another computer and send it.

Advanced Exercises

  1. Train a newbie one-on-one.
  2. Do a group training course for a group of people.
  3. Set up VARA FM and connect to a VARA FM RMS Gateway.
  4. Use VARA FM with a buddy to do a P2P Vara FM session.
  5. Setup an HF radio Winlink station and use ARDOP to connect to a long-range RMS Gateway.
  6. Use an HF radio with ARDOP and another buddy to do a long-range P2P session.
  7. Use an HF radio with VARA to send a message to a buddy via a long-range VARA gateway.
  8. Use an HF radio with VARA and another buddy to do a long-range P2P session.
  9. Setup a Winlink Hybrid Mode RMS Gateway.
  10. Setup an AREDN-based RMS Relay.
  11. Setup a store and forward post office server.
  12. Setup a Winlink client on a Linux-based computer or Mac.
  13. Setup a Winlink gateway on a Linux-based computer or Mac.

Am I missing something on this list or should something be re-ordered? Contact me with any comments!