Last summer, Greg KW6GB brought to Virginia an idea he picked up from a friend in Wisconsin: a weekly Winlink “net”. Here in Virginia it’s referred to as Winlink Wednesday. Winlink Wednesday provides a regular opportunity to test our hardware and software configurations, and to practice our skills in using the Winlink radio email system (www.winlink.org). Announcements and reminders go out to past participants via Winlink and via the ARES®/RACES of VA Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/101756496822770. Any licensed amateur capable of sending and receiving Winlink radio email via VHF or HF is welcome to participate.
Participation has been steadily increasing over the past year as word spreads:
There are three Winlink VHF Gateways here in Central Virginia that you can use to participate: W4UVA (www.w4uva.org) operates a VHF Gateway (W4UVA-10) on 145.510 MHz on Observatory Hill in Charlottesville; KE4LWT operates a VHF Gateway (KE4LWT-10) on 145.730 MHz near Ruckersville; N4IWI operates a VHF Gateway (N4IWI-10) on 144.990 MHz in Stuarts Draft. These gateways are available 24/7/365 for ARES®/RACES and any other legitimate amateur radio use. You can use W4UVA-10, KE4LWT-10, N4IWI-10, another VHF or UHF Gateway, one of the many HF Gateways worldwide, or point-to-point HF to participate in Winlink Wednesdays. The Winlink Web site has maps and lists of all of the gateways available for use.
Please consider joining in the fun and adding Winlink, an important part of our ARES®/RACES response capability, to your amateur radio toolkit. It’s easy to do, and if you are already set up for digital modes you have all the hardware you need. There are lots of Winlink how-to pages on ARES® Web sites and step-by-step videos on YouTube to help you get started. I have created a how-to page for CVADN at https://www.cvadn.net/how-to-winlink-radio-email.