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Amateur radio (ham) operators have many modes of operation available to them: voice is the most common, followed by several digital types that encode voice and data, and finally Morse code. They just need the right gear to match the mode.

Hams generally are restricted to conversing only with other licensed operators on amateur frequencies. This can present a problem when you need to communicate with family or group members who are not licensed or don’t have access to their radio and, due to the situation, all you have available is your amateur radio. Although FCC regulations prohibit non-licensed persons from transmitting on amateur frequencies (except in life-or-death emergencies), reaching those you need using ham radio is as easy as sending an email.


The Winlink Global Radio Email system is a hybrid email service created by and for amateur radio operators. Due to the system’s ability to work with or without Internet connectivity, it is a tremendous benefit to emergency response and disaster recovery communications, as exhibited during the recovery efforts following the devastating hurricanes that struck Puerto Rico in 2017. Massive amounts of information, much of it sensitive in nature, was conveyed back and forth, without any physical connection to the US mainland, in the form of email originating from ham stations on the island to emergency coordinators and relief agencies in the United States.

Winlink supports different modes of operation including conventional Internet-based traffic (telnet); peer-to-peer (P2P) for direct radio-to-radio messages; and radio only, wherein messages are stored at one primary (and one alternate, if desired) radio station for pickup.

In their own words, 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. Winlink Global Radio Email® is a US registered trademark of the Amateur Radio Safety Foundation, Inc.”


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About American Survival Guide

American Survival Guide August 2019, How To : Coastal Survival Guide, Adapting to the AfterMath, Versatile Sharpeners + Mobile Medic, And More....