This is a follow up to the post on Winlink that can be found  here  

This is a tutorial on how to set up and operate Winlink RMS express. You should have your computer, radio and TNC connected and turned on.


RMS Express Initial Setup:

  • Open RMS Express and Click on Files / RMS Express Setup…
  • My Callsign: Enter you call sign with a suffix.
  • Add callsign suffix … : Enter a suffix,. 9 is the usual suffix for Winlink clients.
  • My Grid Square: Enter the 6 character grid square of your locationClick Update.

RMS Express Session Setup:

  • In the drop down box next to Open Session: select Packet WL2K.
  • Click Open Session: The session popup window will open.Click Setup
    • There may be a delay as the session app attempts to initiate your TNC. it will either be successful or fail.
    • Packet TNC Type: Select the manufacturer of your TNC.
    • Packet TNC Model: Select the correct model of your TNC.
    • Serial Port: Select the computer serial port that you connected your TNC to.
    • Serial Port Baud: Select the baud rate that your computer will use to talk to the TNC. This is usually 9600. This is not the baud rate that you will be transmitting at.
    • AutoConnect Time: Select the time interval that you want your session to connect and send / receive messages.
    • TNC Parameters:Click Update.
      • Select the baud rate that you want to transmit at. For the N4SER-10 Gateway this is 1200 Baud
      • The rest of the parameters can be left at the defaults. Change these only if you know what you are doing.
  • The Session app will now try to initialize your TNC. After a few seconds the screen should show:

*** Standby …
*** Initialization complete

if this is displayed then you are set to go. Each time you open the Session app it will go through this initialization. If it does not show the above two lines you have to trouble shoot your connection.

  • Set up the Connection type:
    • Next to Connection Type pick Direct or Digipeater depending on how you are going to connect to the gateway.
    • Enter the call sign of the gateway in the left hand box, including the suffix. For the SERC gateway this is N4SER-10.
    • If you are using a digipeater then enter its call sign in the box to the right of Via including the suffix, if one is used.. For the SERC digi this is N4SER. A second digig can be add in the right most box. Be sure they are in the order that they will be accessed.
    • Note: The digi boxes will be grayed out if you picked Direct above.

Sending an e-mail with RMS Express:

Step 1: Create the e-mail:

  • In the RMS Express app click Message then New Message…
  • Fields:Write your message in the blank area at the bottom of the screen.Winlink Message should be checked and you can check Request read receipt if required.
    • From: Enter your Call sign without a suffix. Use the drop down list to pick one you used before.
    • To: Enter e-mail address(s) of the recipients of this e-mail.Cc: Same as the To: field.
      • Clicking on To: will display a list of previously used addresses. you can pick the ones you want to send to.
      • Separate multiple addresses with a semi-colon ( ; )
    • Subject: Enter the subject of the e-mail.
    • Attach: click to include any attachments.
      • This opens a new pop-up window where you can Add: a file from a folder browser.
      • Keep attachments short, remember this is 1200 baud. De-resolve images.
  • You can Save in Drafts Folder if you do not want to send the e-mail at this time or click Post to Outbox to have this e-=mail sent the next time you connect to a gateway.

Step 2: Send it to the Gateway:

This assumes you have RMS configured and it can connect to a gateway.

    • From the RMS Express application Click Open Session:
    • Allow the Session app to connect to your TNC as described above.
    • Make sure the Connection type is correct and the gateway / digi calls are correct (if applicable).
    • Click Start:
    • The first line you should see is: *** Opening serial port ….

Then something similar to this:

*** Opening serial port COM8; 9600 baud; AEA/Timewave
Red Cross WinLink gateway N4SER-10.
;PQ: 02472237
Halifax CMS via N4SER >
   ;FW: W2DEN
   [RMS Express-$]
   ;PR: 61945178
   ; N4SER-10 DE W2DEN/9 (EL87SD)
   FC EM OSCLI8BL45TA 152 147 0
   F> 96
*** Sending OSCLI8BL45TA…
*** Completed send of message OSCLI8BL45TA
*** Disconnecting.
*** Disconnected
*** Disconnect reported.

  • The Time to next Autoconnect: should start the count down and you are done!

Receiving e-mails:

  • Follow the steps to send and e-mails.
  • If the gateway has any e-mails for you they will be recieved during the connection and put into your Inbox.


One useful feature of the WinLink system is the ability to send e-mails between clients without using a gateway to the internet. This is called Peer to Peer (P2P). It is very useful for field operations, where there is no internet or if the internet is not available.

So, how do you do it?

  • Both stations must have RMS Express functioning correctly and be able to connect to each other, either direct or through one or more digipeater.
  • Compose an e-mail in RMS Express making sure to click the Peer-to-Peer Message choice at the top of the e-mail.
    • The ‘To:’ field
      • Enter call sign of the station you wish to send the e-mail to. This is the call sign that the receiving station uses for their RMS station (RMS Express Properties: My Callsign).
      • Only one recipient is allowed for a peer to peer message.
  • Post the P2P message to the Outbox.
  • Open a ‘Packet P2P’ Session.
  • Set the connection type to Direct or Digipeater.
  • Enter the call sign of the RMS Station you wish to connect P2P with. This will be the same callsign you addressed the e-mail to.
  • Enter any digipeaters if needed.
  • Click start to connect and send your e-mail.