Today we are QRP portable testing the Winlink RMS Packet gateway, recently set up on 2 meters. The Gateway runs Vara FM Wide & Narrow on a Kenwood TM-D700, Chuwi Mini PC and vertical antenna mounted about 42ft on a tower standoff.. You can find a link to read about that project below.
In this video we’re out QRP portable with the Icom ic-705. I used the tri-band antenna from the Yaesu ft-817 and ft-818, since the 705 doesn’t come with its own VHF/UHF antenna. The point of using this tiny less than efficient antenna is mobility and fast deployment.
Normally my Winlink deployments are done on HF. Dipoles, loops and verticals are used quite effectively. Unfortunately, there isn’t always the desire to carry these antennas, or take the time required to set them up. An alternative to HF is VHF. It could be 50mhz, 144Mhz or 70cm. All have pros and cons, the main one being limited range. The range problem can be defeated by a having a higher density of V/UHF RMS Packet gateways to bounce off of. V/UHF requires more infrastructure, and there is no way to get around that! For this reason I have set up the first phase of my own RMS Packet gateway. Hopefully it will inspire others to do the same. OK, on to the video.
My portable station is based on my “Goodbye Raspberry Pi” video. In that video I propose using Windows tablets like the Microsoft Surface series, since support for emergency communications related ham radio apps is EXTREMELY LIMITED on Linux and the Raspberry Pi. So, The Icom IC-705 (or Yaesu FT-818 with Digirig), the Microsoft Surface with a wireless connection to the IC-705, and an antenna. That is it! No wiremess, no external battery, nothing extra! It is about as minimal of a station as we can get, provided we are operating on V/UHF.
If you like these short practical videos of Snapper and I doing portable Winlink, try this next video.
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Related blog post, RMS Packet station: