From the Pacific Section Manager

Aloha all,

Many Hawaii hams have interesting projects that may be of interest to
others and even a solution to a problem we have.  I’ve asked members to
share their activities. If your have a pet project you’d like to share
please drop me an email at ah0a@arrl.org.  Hearing from a local ham in
our time zone may make it easier for others to profit from your
accomplishments.

Pascal Nelson (AC7N) on the Big Island has been testing a configuration
of a Raspberry Pi with a software modem package to operate Winlink ARDOP
on HF without a Windows PC.  It offers better portability and a good
emulation of Winlink RMS Express.  Here’s his report and information on
implementing it.

——–

“For most of us, Winlink has only been accessible by using Winlink
Express on a  Windows PC. I have the latest version (1.5.15.0) installed
on my Windows laptop, and it has worked well. However, I have been
looking at the possibility of running Winlink from a Raspberry Pi.

A Raspberry Pi is a single board computer which is small and relatively
inexpensive and can run various operating systems. I run Raspbian Linux
on my Pi-s. It is small, light, and requires only a 5V (USB type) power
supply, typically using 2W or less. It is ideal for emergency, portable,
and go-kit usage.

Quite a few of us have wondered about using Winlink on a Mac or Linux
machine, or even on a Raspberry Pi. Until recently, that was difficult
to do. Then along came a ham developer in Norway, LA5NTA, Martin, who
wrote a very helpful program called PAT (http://getpat.io). It is an
open source cross-platform client for Winlink that runs on Windows,
MacOS, Linux,  and even on a Raspberry Pi. So, I decided to try it out.

I downloaded Pat and the ARDOP software modem
(http://www.cantab.net/users/john.wiseman/Downloads/Beta/  — get
piardopc) and hamlib (https://hamlib.github.io). I had to build the
latest release of hamlib (3.3 beta) in order to get rig control for my
IC-7300.

I  found a very helpful series of videos on YouTube by Jason, KM4ACK,
showing how he installed PAT on his Raspberry Pi, and got it working
with ARDOP, the new Winlink software modem that supercedes Winmor. Here
is a link to the 4 videos by KM4ACK:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1QTYT4Qo9cY98NFmxrTvtGyWI9pgxtFq
. This reproduces what I did to install Pat/ARDOP/hamlib on my RPi,
except that he does not cover building hamlib from source.

I have found the Pat/ARDOP/hamlib on the RPi to work very well. I have
connected to many HF RMS stations, including NH6NN, WH6FG, and KH6SF, as
well as other distant stations, with great success. I have sent and
received email and attachments. It works as well as my Windows Winlink
Express. I have also made several peer-to-peer connections (thanks to
WH6FAM – Trip) both as listener and originator. Works great!

The only downside at this point is that PAT is not integrated with the
ITS HF Propagation prediction program that Winlink Express does. Also,
at the moment there are no pre-defined forms (ICS, etc.). However, it is
easy to send any file that you desire as an attachment to an email.
I’ve tried it, and it works well.

The Raspberry Pi Winlink setup using PAT is a great tool for normal or
emergency Winlink use. I highly recommend it. If there are any questions
about this project, I’d be happy to respond
73, Pascal Nelson, AC7N
ac7n@arrl.net

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