Henderson KY Winlink Gateway

Henderson Kentucky Winlink 2000 Gateway 145.010


Thursday, December 31, 2009

Winlink 2000 RMS Station

The RMS Station is up and running using Sound card technology. I am running a Compaq computer with XP, running AGWPE and WL2K RMS. The setup for these programs was real easy KC2RLM has a good tutorial for the setup. The sound card interface is a Rigblaster Nomic. The Nomic performs very good and is easy to setup. The 2m radio is a Radio Shack HTX-242. This radio is an older 2m radio but does a really good job with packet. You can still find these for sale on Ebay and other places. The antenna is a Diamond CP22E at about 35 Feet. This antenna is a high-gain monoband antenna made from heavy-duty aluminum construction. It has 6.5db gain and rated to 200 watts. If you have a PSK31 or any other digital mode running, you can also run Winlink2000.



Friday, December 4, 2009

Dad's old Ham Station

Here is a picture of my Dad's N4QFI (SK) Ham Station sometime in the 1970's. I cut my Ham teeth during this time. There is a lot of different items in the picture, but this was probably typical for that time. I see a Drake 2-A, E.F.Johnson Viking II, ARC5, Heathkit DX-40. These are the ones I recognize. I have some good memories of listening to shortwave on a National NC-88 while he worked CW.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The next step for HSMM

The next step for the HSMM testing will be using a VHF bridge for email. This will be accomplished with WINLINK2000. Winlink is a worldwide radio messaging system that uses the Internet where possible. I will build a RMS Packet Gateway and a mobile unit. The mobile unit will be connected to the 802.11 system which then could connect to several remote linked 802.11 nodes. I will show the build here.


Monday, November 16, 2009

HSMM First Test a Success!!!!!

Today we tested the first two HSMM Radios in Henderson County. The people involved in this Historic Day were KI4GWN Kimber, the EC for Henderson county, KI4IYS Chris, and myself KC4BQK. This has been a fun and a very good learning experience. Of course we had our problems getting everything setup. There was to much glare on the laptop screens and a few other small problems that always happen in the Mark 1 prototype equipment. One unit was on house power and the other was powered from the truck. We did get everything working at close range and then we went long range, about 3/4 mile. At that distance we had no problems communicating with the equipment. This was done with only 200mW.

Here are a couple of pictures of the test:

Monday, November 9, 2009


Speak Freely looks like a very good VoIP program for HSMM. IRLP uses a Voice-Over-IP (VoIP) streaming software called Speak Freely. VoIP is the technology that allows you to send your voice over the Internet. Speak Freely is Open Source under the GNU General Public License. There are two versions of this program Release 7.2 for Windows with Crypto. This is the version that you could have encrypted or private conversations. As Hams, we would need to use the Non-Cryptographic version which has all encryption capability removed. In initial testing this program works very good. It is easy to use and will act just like a push-to-talk radio. This will make it very familiar to Hams.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

HSMM Radio Completed

The first radio is mounted and operational. Now it is time to build more and start setting up the system. My ultimate plan is to have these radios run to a mobile Winlink node and then sent to a RMS. The 802.11 radios would probably work beter at providing infrastructure for the served agency's. We would then use the Winlink RF and Internet for the backbone. Here are a couple of pictures of the radio.

Friday, October 30, 2009

How to Program the WRT54G

Now that the two WRT54G's (one version 4 and one version 8) have had their firmware upgraded to DD-WRT, it is time to make them work together. We have to set the routers up for WDS (Wireless Distribution System) to stay legal with Part 97 ID requirement. If the SSID is your Callsign the station easily satisfies Part 97 ID requirements.

The WRT54G's default address is You need to change this and give each one it's own IP address. For example: The first Router= then on your WDS connected router, third would be etc. You also need to disable DHCP on all routers except the first one. Set the routers to AP mode and put them on the same Ham channel 2 through 5. Turn off security on both routers. Under Part 97 the transmissions can not be encrypted. Wireless - Wireless Security - Security Mode. Then put the wireless MAC address of each router into the table of the other router, and select LAN for the type. Wireless - WDS. There is no need to enable Lazy WDS or WDS subnet on either router. Turn off the firewall on the routers. Security - Firewall - Firewall Protection. And do not forget to turn up the Tx power. These are the basic steps to get the routers talking together.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

WRT-54G Programming

There are many good Programs out there to turn a "cheap" Router into a $600 Router. Some of the more popular DD-WRT, Tomato, OpenWRT and Sveasoft. Not all Routers can have the firmware upgraded it depends on which third party firmware you go with. You can find out which one to use with each router on the web sites of the firmware vendors. It is best to see which routers you can use before buying one. The main reason to upgrade the firmware on a router is for WDS bridging. WDS, or Wireless Distribution System, is a way of bridging access points together without wires. By using WDS you can use your callsign as the SSID and stay within Part 97 ID requirements. You can also increase the Tx power from 70mW to 250mW. When you upgrade your firmware, be sure to read and read again all instructions. This will keep you from "Bricking" your router. I will be using DD-WRT because it will work with the most versions of the WRT-54G. I will be using several WRT-54G routers for this build. For further research use these links:


Monday, October 19, 2009

HSMM Parts Pictures

Here are some of the parts for the main AP and a bridged AP.

19 dBi Parabolic Grid Directional Antenna

Omni directional Antenna

The WRT-54G Version 8

The box to put theWRT54G on the antenna

And the WV54GC Remote Camara

These are the main parts. Also needed are tripods and poles along with connectors and cables.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

HSMM Parts

There are many places to get parts for HSMM radios. I am incuding a list of some that I have bought from.

FAB-Corp Good product and fast shipping. They have anttenas, boxes, adapters and connectors.

Radio Shack Masts and tripods along with cables and other small parts.

EBAY Almost any part for this system you would need. Be careful and ask lots of questions.

MFJ MFJ-1800 WI-FI Antenna and many other fun things!

These are only a few of the many places to get started with HSMM.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Henderson County Kentucky ARES HSMM

The Henderson County ARES Team is developing HSMM system to establish a working and compatible digital communications network, one that can provide modern emergency communication service to served agencies in times of disaster or other incidents.

This system will be based on the Linksys WRT54G Router running WRT-DD. It will have the capability for voice transmission as well as file sharing and live video. In the following posts I will detail the parts and the build for 2 radio AP. For more information check out the links below.