CERO: Coronado Emergency Radio Operators 



CERO VHF-Winlink Go-kits in
MTM Case-Guard SPUD7-35 cases

 VHF WINLINK ON CERO GO-KIT #1

SET UP AND OPERATION

 

The CERO Go-Kit #1 has Winlink2000 installed and is intended for use in either operator training or EmComm communications in an emergency. The kit is packaged in a "standard" CERO "orange case" as shown in Figure #1.

 

           

 

Figure #1.  CERO Go-Kit #1 with Case Lid Open

 

In Figure #1, the lid of the case is open.  The Transceiver and TNC (terminal node controller) may be seen at the upper left, the Astron Power supply is at the middle right and the Dell Computer is below the black divider in the case.  The computer power supply is also in the case but is not shown in Figure #1.  (The 12 vdc to 110 vac "Inverter" shown above the Astron Power Supply is not used in this application.)

 

Note the three cables running out of the case in the Figure.  The cable to the included 2M/70CM antenna is at the top left; it is already connected to the Transceiver inside the case.   The cable that will be connected to the computer is below the antenna cable; it is already connected to the terminal node controller (TNC) inside the case.  The cable to be connected to a standard 110 volt A.C. outlet is at the right; it is already connected to the Astron Power supply inside the case.


SET UP

 

Place the Radio Case on a table near a window.   Open up the Radio Case by releasing the two toggle clips on the front of the case.  The antenna is stored in the case with the whip portion separated from the base.  Remove the base from the case and screw the whip antenna into the connector at the center of the base.  Place the antenna at or near a window.

 

Remove the computer and from the case and place it on the table as shown in Figure #2.

 

 

 

Figure #2.  CERO Go-Kit #1 with Dell Computer shown in front of the Case.

 

The cable that connects the TNC to the computer is visible in this figure between the case and the computer.  Plug it into the USB socket on the back of the computer labeled "to/from TNC."

 

Check to be sure that the On/Off switch on the 115 VAC power strip located inside the Radio Case is in the Off position.   Then attach the gray colored system power cable to a standard 110 vac electrical outlet. 

 

Locate the computer power supply block which is stored in the case.  Plug the computer end terminal from the block into the matching socket on the computer and insert the 110 vac plug on the cable from the other end of the block into the standard 110 vac electrical outlet.

 

WINLINK2000 OPERATION

 

Observe the stack of two units at the left side of the Radio Case:

 

            Top =     Kenwood TM-G707A transceiver

 

            Bottom = Kantronics KPC3+ TNC

 

As delivered, the transceiver and TNC are already set up for Winlink2000 operation.  Please do not change the buttons or controls on these units.

 

Observe the Astron Power supply at the right side of the case.

 

Turn on the Astron Power supply by pressing the "-" side of the rocker switch located on the unit front left.  The transceiver and TNC should come "on."

 

The display screen on the transceiver should now show "145.010" and the LED labeled "Power" on the TNC should now be lighted.   If either of those displays are not seen, "STOP," and call W3NRG for advice.

 

Next, turn on the computer by pressing the "silver" power button at the upper right of the laptop keyboard.

 

The CERO computer is slow in starting up so be patient.  Give the computer a few minutes to complete its start up tasks.

 

Your Winlink2000 address in the form of "(Your Call)@Winlink.org"  will be already programmed into the Go-Kit before it is transferred to you.

 

Now you will see two icons at the center of the screen.   One is labeled "Paclink.exe" and one is labeled "Outlook Express."

 

 

Note: It takes two "applications" working together to access or send messages on Winlink2000.  The new user will find this function a little different from his or her experience with the regular wired internet.

 

The Paclink application communicates with the Winlink2000 RMS (radio message server) to send and receives the messages but does not either create or display them.

 

The "Outlook Express" application creates or displays the Winlink2000 messages but does not either send or receive them. 

 

The two applications communicate with each other within the computer in normal operation but certain steps are required to enable them to do so, as will be noted in the following instructions.

 

Double left click on the Paclink.exe icon.  This will bring up a screen "Paclink - Your Call."  All actions relating to communicating with Winlink2000 are done from that screen.

 

Note: You will also see a warning: "No CMS Connection" as this screen comes up.  You can ignore it.  "CMS" is the wired Winlink2000 connection and is not used in the CERO Go-Kit Winlink2000 set up.

 

Now single left click on "minimize" (the "dash" box on the upper right side of the Paclink screen) which will put that application down into the Windows task bar at the bottom of the screen (to the right of the word "START") leaving the computer screen clear for the next step.

 

Double left click on the "Outlook Express" icon.  This will bring up the screen where you can compose messages to send via Winlink2000; this is also where messages you receive via Winlink2000 will be displayed.

 

Before composing a message for the first time, single left click on the "minimize" box on the upper right side of the Outlook Express screen which will put that application down into the Windows task bar at the bottom of the screen.

 

Next, test the ability of the CERO Go-Kit #2 to access the San Diego Yacht Club Radio Mail System (SDYC RMS) from your location.

 

To do this, single left click on the words "Paclink - Your Call" down in the Windows task bar at the bottom of the computer screen which will bring that application back up on the computer screen.

 

Look at the menu bar at the top of the screen for the word "Connect" and single left click on it.

 

Then single left click on the words "Connect to..."

 

Then single left click on the words "SDYC RMS."

 

You should see a sequence of actions and reports on the computer screen something like the following:

 

            Serial port COM2 opened

            Configuring the TNC - Please wait...

            TNC Configuration complete

            Calling W6IM-1

            CONNECTED to W6IM-1

            [WL2K - 2.4.0.4 - B2FIHJM$]

            San Diego CMS via W6IM-1

            FY: (your call) W6MLI W6OGC

            [Paclink - 4.2.0.0 - N 00B2FIHJM$]

            ;W6IM-1 DE (your call) (your grid locator) QTC 0...

            FF

            FQ

            ...Closing SDYC RMS at (date) (time)

 

Don't worry if some of the lines are different.  The details change with the specific exchange.

 

If you see something like the sequence above, then you have successfully connected with the San Diego Winlink2000 RMS at the San Diego Yacht Club and are ready to send and receive messages.

 

If you do not see that sequence, "STOP," and call W3NRG, 619-522-0285.

 

 

TO SEND A MESSAGE:

 

Put the "Paclink-Your Call" screen back down into the computer Windows task bar by one left click on the "minimize" box per instructions above.

 

Do one left click on the words "Outlook Express" in the Windows task bar to bring that application back up on to the computer screen.   Observe the icons in the menu at the top.

 

One left click on the "Create Mail" icon in the Outlook Express menu and see a conventional internet message screen.

 

Note: In the unlikely event that you receive a message asking whether you want to work off line or on line, select "on line."

 

Fill in the "To: address," add CC's if desired (you can not use BCC's with Paclink), put in a "Subject" that will help identify your message and then write your message in the box below identified for that purpose.  .

 

When you are satisfied that all of the information entered is correct, do one left click on "Send."

 

Note: As noted above, this action does not send the message to the addresee(s).   It only makes it available for Paclink to send it.

 

Now put the Outlook Express application back down in the computer Windows task bar by left clicking on the "minimize" button and bring the Paclink application back up on to the screen by left clicking that applications down in the Windows task bar.

 

If you have successfully made your message available for Paclink to send to the Winlink2000 system, you will see the "Subject" of your message in the "window pane" at the right of the Paclink screen. 

 

Note: If you do not see it there, then you may have done something wrong and need to go back and redo the creation of the message. 

 

Now, proceed to one left click on "Connect" and then "Connect to: and finally on SDYC RMS.

 

Watching the left hand part of the Paclink screen, you should see the system connect to W6IM-1 and then proceed to send the message you have authored in Outlook Express.

 

RECEIVING MESSAGES

 

If you have messages on the Winlink2000 system addressed (or copied) to your Winlink address, they will be automatically downloaded by Paclink any time you access the SDYC RMS per the instructions above.

 

Note: After this download, these messages are saved in Paclink, ready to be transferred tp Outlook Express for review.  As noted above, they are not transferred to Outlook Express until you execute the next steps.

 

After messages are downloaded via  Paclink access, move "Paclink - Your Call" down to the computer Windows task bar using "minimize" and move the Outlook Express application back up on to the screen by left clicking on the application down in the Windows task bar.. 

 

Now, single left click on "Send/Receive" in the Outlook Express menu and the messages downloaded to Paclink will be transferred to the Outlook Express "In Box" where you can read them, reply to them, save them or delete them using the same commands that are familiar in wired internet mail systems.

 

EAS

09-28-10