SARC Agrees to Trial aTelpac Station at W5SC for ARES

davidftx <davidftx@...>

On Saturday, April 28th, 2007, more than 20 Amateur Radio Emergency
Service (ARES) volunteers from Bexar, Kendall and Atascosa counties
participated in a VHF Airmail workshop presented by Bexar County
ARES and sponsored by the San Antonio Chapter of the American Red

South Texas Digital Emergency Coordinator Tom Whiteside N5TW was on
hand to talk about the basics of Winlink 2000, a system of software
and hardware maintained by hams across the world which allows for
the transmission of Internet email via ham radio. He also
demonstrated his portable packet stations which were built out of
some rather stout police-surplus GE Delta radios which had been
converted to ham use and outfitted with homebrew control heads and
internal terminal node controllers (TNCs).

Shane O'Neal NS5D walked participants through the installation and
usage of Airmail, a PC-based client software package which is used
to access the Winlink 2000 system via packet radio on VHF and Pactor
on HF. Each participant received a miniature CD-ROM containing
Airmail software and documentation.

After a hearty lunch, arranged by Grace Hernandez of the Red Cross,
workshop participants broke into groups and began working to get
their own packet stations up and running, and connecting to a
local "Telpac" station. The Telpac is used to forward messages via
the Internet to a participating mailbox station (PMBO). Many were
able to get their stations running and were sending and receiving

Those who did not have their own packet stations were still able to
participate thanks to several mentors who brought their own stations
in for others to use. Mentors included Jim Mastrogiovanni KK5RZ,
Mark Rosier KE5GL and Richard Kilman N5BBI of the Kendall Amateur
Radio Society (KARS) as well as Erik Rabe KD5YZU of the Radio
Operators of South Texas (ROOST), Milton Johnson KE5CLV and Barry
Hiddema W5BLH of the Alamo Area Radio Organization (AARO).

In addition to providing lunch and classroom facilities for the
event, the Red Cross also donated several used HP Vectra computers
to Bexar County ARES. Shane NS5D offered to give a computer to any
ham radio club in the area who wanted to build and maintain their
own Telpac station. Look for new Telpac stations from the San
Antonio Radio Club (SARC), the Southwest Research Amateur Radio Club
and KARS to be on the air in the near future.

More information about Airmail and Winlink 2000 can be found at

For information about Bexar County ARES, go to

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