A local radio club who is heavily involved in Emergency Communications is hosting a meeting to discuss packet radio next week. When I initially heard that, I was thinking, why would anyone be interested in packet radio these days? After doing a bit more investigation, I realized that I was passing judgment too quickly (a bad habit of mine). So, I stuck it out for awhile longer and did the research.

The meeting topic is going to be presented by W2SWR (neat call huh?) and the topic is going to introduce a project called Winlink 2000. Obviously I knew nothing about this project until now. Reading over their Web site was rather interesting and very useful for those who are into volunteering for Emergency Services operations.

This Ain't Your Grandpa's Packet Radio System
Here's Your Grandpa's Archaic Packet Radio System

Winlink 2000 (WL2K) is a worldwide system of volunteer resources supporting e-mail by radio. The system has non-commercial links to internet e-mail. The primarily purpose of the Winlink 2000 network system is to assist the maritime, mobile or remotely located user, and to provide emergency email capabilities to community agencies.”

As usual, resources to run and maintain the project and its traffic come from the Ham Community, MARS systems operators and other volunteer groups. The Winlink 2000 system provides services to Emergency Communicators and licensed operators without Internet access.

Winlink is free of charge to all licensed operators or members of a related organization. Development of Winlink 2000 is an all volunteer, non-profit project associated with the Amateur Radio Safety Foundation. The project only functions by donations and the efforts of Ham Radio operators worldwide.

If you would like to know more about the project, submit a tax deductible donation or volunteer your technical expertise, visit their Website for more information.

The Winlink 2000 site is rather large with much to read. Here are few shortcuts.

Visit the Getting Started Page

Register and Read Winlink 2000 for Dummies!

Join The Winlink 2000 Yahoo Group

WINMOR A New HF Protocol Utilizing Winlink 2000

Action Items:
So come on, fess up!
Did you already know about Winlink 2000 project?
Are you a user or volunteer?
What are your experiences with it?
Please, throw in your comments.