Winlink is...

...a worldwide radio email service that uses radio pathways where the internet is not present, and is capable of operating completely without the internet--automatically--using smart-network radio relays. Winlink provides its users email with attachments, position reporting, weather and information bulletins, and is well-known for its role in emergency and disaster relief communications. Licensed Winlink operators/stations use both amateur radio and government radio frequencies worldwide. The system is built, operated and administered entirely by licensed volunteers. Support for the system is provided by the Amateur Radio Safety Foundation, Inc., a US 501(c)(3) non-profit, public-benefit entity. (

The State of Texas Emergency Management has accepted and made part of its SOP to use Winlink as a secondary means of communication. The ARES and Rapid Response Task Force (RRTF) regularily perform Simulated Emergency Tests (SETs) to train and exercise their equipment.

Winlink may be performed on VHF, UHF, and HF through the use of TNCs, sound cards, signal processors, and radios. This form of communication is much slower than commercial communication, but is reliable when regular communications need to be replaced or supplemented.

CollinARES Packet Stations

CollinARES has 24/7 packet stations that will pass local traffic via a gateway to its intended party.

Texas RMS Packet Station Uptimes - Active packet stations

Nodes in Collin County:

Packet Station Frequency Location

K5PRK-10 145.090 Allen

K5YX-10 144.970 Frisco

ICS 213-NIMS-RTF (Edit in Notepad)

WinLink Wednesdays

North Texas has a home for WinLink Wednesdays.

Each week is given a new assignment on how you check in. Join in the exercise. Help out a ham.

WinLink Proficiency Goals

Like any most any other task or skill we encounter day-to-day, it is best to exercise our equipment and our skill, stay current with the latest technology, terminology or expectation that is asked of us when called on to participate as we support a served agency.

WinLink may be tested at any time. As a matter of fact, you could use your WinLink address to support your day-to-day ham radio communications.

The document attached to this section is entitled: "WinLink Proficiency Goals for Radio Operators Supporting American Red Cross. Each Ham should familiarize themselves with this and have a good working understanding of their equipment.

They should also work on creating a portable package that could be relocated to a shelter if needed.

Winlink Proficiency Goals, Basic.pdf