South African Maritime Mobile Net, SA MM Net, SAMMNET.CO.ZA, SAMMNET.COM

Who: Graham, Sam
Port: Durban
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WINMOR Long distance radio email on Winlink 2000 WITHOUT Pactor

05 July 2010 | Durban
Winmor 1600 Hz

WINMOR 1600 Hz connection.

Yesterday Dorival, PY2LIN, on his sailboat Luthier 60 NM south of Salvador on the Brazil east coast, sent two emails via the Winlink 2000 RMS, VE1YZ-5. This station is near Halifax in Nova Scotia. He used only his laptop and HF SSB radio. That is correct, NO Pactor TNC or modem.
This was done using $39 worth of Windows based software, called RMS Express based on the WINMOR protocol, and his laptop's internal sound card. The distance between the two stations was more than 3600 NM on an amateur radio frequency of 18.102 KHz.
Dorival's ham radio setup on Luthier consists of a Kenwood TS-480 radio and a 23 ft whip antenna on the back of the boat. The laptop was an ASUS netbook with internal sound card. (But any similar older radio and laptop setup will work sufficiently). It is recommended that the Signalink external sound card be used for greater speed. (Beta testers of WINMOR have seen throughput speeds of between Pactor 2 and 3. Early tests of WINMOR on an HF simulator showed in equivalent channels speeds were near 80% of P2 (500Hz) and 80% of P3 (1600 Hz).

And then, this email a few days ago to another reflector:

"I am maritime mobile on the Cook Strait coast at the top of South Island, ZL at present and sent email traffic via N1DL-5 on 20m a couple of days ago. Path length 13,000km, no S meter movement, Icom-M802, 8.5m vertical antenna. Although signal strength was low boats away from civilisation are very quiet radio environments (well, at least they should be :-) )which gives an advantage.

I have been using the VK Winmor RMSs but we were anchored close up against high hills in that direction so I thought I would give N1DL-5 a shot as W land is next closest for Winmor RMS's for us and N1DL-5 was top of the channels list. He responded straight away with easy flow.

Am hearing the Europeans coming in very well on 20m on some days also but unfortunately no RMS there on 20m at the right time for me. Path length to PD is approx 18,500km and I have no doubt that would be no problem if an RMS was on 20m at the propagation times that suit central ZL.

So it can be done even in these poorish HF conditions.

It would be interesting to hear what others are doing on long haul 20m, especially with mobile or low gain antennas as most of the reporting here seems to be with respect to 40m. Obviously pretty much experimental as for serious use one should go with the RMS with the best propagation forecast but other experiences may be useful for those of us outside of the USA with Winmor RMSs few and far between."

sv Kaniva

A note of thanks to the Winmor development team:

Last week I sailed from Bermuda to Newport aboard a 40ft Swan and had the opportunity to try Winmor for real throughout the crossing. We departed Bermuda on June 29th and arrived in Newport on July 5th. During the six days we were able to connect with several RMS stations reliably and at all times of the day. In fact, once at sea, there was never an occasion when a solid connection was not possible. Stations KN6KB-5, N1DL-5, W3QA-5 and KB1OOQ-5 were almost always available with W3QA-5 being the workhorse on 30m. Connections on 40m, 30m and 20m were always reliable with throughput of a few hundred b/s. 4PSK and 8PSK were usual and on occasion even 16PSK. We sent emails to family, friends and hams every day during the voyage for a total of 51 emails sent and 38 received, including 4 grib files downloaded for weather information. There was not a single email transfer terminated through loss of signal or poor signal strength. The rig was simple. Just an Icom IC-7000 mobile with an LDG IT-100 autotuner, a Rigblaster P&P interface, a $5 USB soundcard and a Dell laptop. The antenna was the backstay and the only limitation was the unavailability of 80m (KB1OOQ-5 in the evenings) since the tuner would not match at the lower frequency.

Although the boat was equipped with an Iridium sat phone we did not have the software set up for email via satellite. The phone was essentially for emergency use and was used only once to make a routine voice call. All crew aboard were appreciative of the safety and security of having HF email on board, to say nothing of the fun. As new RMS stations proliferate and the sun spot cycle picks up I have no doubt Winmor will become an important mode for global data communications.

I would like to thank the entire Winmor development team for their patient dedication and for making such a fine contribution to the ham radio, sailing and emcomm communities.



WINMOR max throughput speed.

3285 words per minute on 1600 Hz bandwidth, 8 carrier 16 PSK.
That is 9856 bytes/minute.
1314 Bits/second.
Pretty good for free software...Only 1600 Hz wide.
See WINMOR Rate 93.75B WS.xls
Here: Winmor Rate Spreadsheet

More and more Winmor-enabled Winlink 2000 RMS's (gateways) are coming on line. Click on the following link to see an updated list, and then click on "Mode" to sort the Winmor channels on top. The frequencies are center frequency, and 1.5 KHz needs to be subtracted to get to the USB radio dial frequency.
WINMOR Center Frequencies (Subtract 1.5 KHz for USB)
More information from Beta testers in the field can be seen here:
Winmor Beta Discussion
To learn more about Winmor and to download its present email client called RMS Express, click here:
Download and read the Winmor Primer. (Takes a little time to download).

Vessel Name: South African Maritime Mobile Net - ZS5MU, ZS2ABK, SA MM Net, SAMMNET.CO.ZA, SAMMNET.COM
Hailing Port: Durban
Crew: Graham, Sam
About: South African Maritime Mobile Net - ZS5MU, ZS5GC, ZS2ABK, SA MM Net, SAMMNET.CO.ZA SAMMNET.COM
SOUTH AFRICAN MARITIME NET 1979 -2009 ALISTAIR CAMPBELL ZS5MU ASSISTED BY DAVINA ZS5GC The Net was started on 26th October 1979, when Alistair made contact with two yachts coming from Mauritius. The next day another two joined in and a sked was arranged for 06h30z the following morning when [...]
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South African Maritime Mobile Net, SA MM Net, SAMMNET.CO.ZA, SAMMNET.COM

Who: Graham, Sam
Port: Durban