need to transmit any volume of information during an incident can be
critical. Accuracy and speed by which this information travels can certainly
become a factor in a positive resolution to the incident; lives and property
loss are paramount to the citizens of
gives us a tool to augment Orange County's extensive communications arsenal. This program allows email to be
transmitted via amateur radio in a compressed mode, saving crucial time.
This system has the ability to work from any point on the planet. Operation
of the Winlink system does not require extensive amateur radio knowledge to
Express is the preferred Winlink radio email client because it
supports all new system features, and it is the only client
supporting the Winlink Hybrid Network for email delivery with or
without the internet. Winlink Express is designed to be easily
used by single users with a single call sign, but it may also be
used to simultaneously send and receive mail with one or two
more tactical addresses or alternate Winlink accounts.
Attachments of photographs, spreadsheets, and Microsoft Word
documents are compatible with this system.
configuring a Winlink system for use at an Incident Command Post, a local
area network can easily be established with a router and personal laptops.
This system can be extended using other common network technologies such as
WiFi. Each laptop can be
operated by IC personnel without the need for an amateur radio license. The
only person requiring the license is the operator of the initial Winlink
system, consisting of a radio and modem. This initial laptop system is
therefore used as a bridge to a router, sharing e-mail access to the rest of
the IC personnel.
OCRACES established three
UHF Winlink internet gateways throughout Orange
County in 2005. Those gateways are currently off the air, pending network
modifications. Meanwhiile, several RACES units throughout Orange
County have established other VHF and UHF gateways.
The surrounding areas of Riverside, San Bernardino, and San
Diego Counties also participate in Winlink.
HF, VHF, and UHF Winlink stations are now in operation at the
Orange County EOC.
A list of other government agencies using Winlink is available online at