District 5 ARES – WinLink Information

Some useful information on using Winlink in the Virginia Beach / Chesapeake area.


Chesapeake Location: WinLink Vara FM Peer to Peer node on Wednesdays on 145.550

A local user (Blair Gillam – NS1H) has shared information on a local Chesapeake Peer to Peer node.

  • This node is using an Alinco DR-135 with a RIM-9600 USB interface and supports Vara FM Narrow and Wide.
  • This is the same equipment we plan to transition to the Chesapeake Public Safety Operations Center as a permanent Vara FM gateway in the future.
  • If any hams want to try sending a Winlink P2P message over 2m Vara FM, they can create a Winlink message to NS1H and set the “send as” type to “Peer-to-Peer Message”.
  • Once the P2P message is posted to the outbox, select Vara FM P2P from the main Winlink Express window. Ensure your 2M radio is set to 145.550, set the direct connection callsign to NS1H, and click Start.

Virginia Beach Location: WinLink Vara FM & VHF Packet Gateway on 145.090

A local user (Frank Stapanowich) has shared information on a local Va Beach Digipeater.

  • The KN4DUF-10 Winlink Gateway has been upgraded to the latest version of VARA FM 4. This version offers the following improvements:
    ** The addition of a digipeater capability to extend the effective range similar to AX.25 Packet but without collision protection. Up to two digipeaters are supported.
    ** Significantly improved weak signal operation through the addition of a lower data rate speed level.
    ** Improvements for operation with inexpensive HT radios and through voice repeaters.
    ** Various performance enhancements.
    ** VARA FM callsign sign display displays station IDs currently using the channel
    **New Ping feature showing VU readings and Signal to Noise Ratios
  • New version can be downloaded at https://rosmodem.wordpress.com/
    There are several user/setup guides available at this web site.
    *** Important: Version 4 is not backwards compatible with version 3. You must upgrade to version 4 if you are trying to connect to a gateway running version 4. ***
    As always, there is a free low speed license and a fast paid license available. There is no additional license fee for upgrades to version 4 if you already have a paid version.
    Please test Both VARA FM and VHF packet ports on this gateway as much as possible. Frequency is 145.090 MHz.
  • Advise me of any problems at kn4duf@gmail.com


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