The SWCRS now has a winlink gateway operating on Pinal Peak. We worked through some tough conditions to clean up an existing tower, and in the process installed this new system, which provides digital VARA FM connectivity on the Amateur 70CM band. Weather on site consisted of 30-40mph sustained winds within cloud-cover with freezing conditions – an early start for winter weather in Southern Arizona. Some photos are included below; volunteers on site consisted of:
- David WQVS960-1 / K6DSA
- Owen WQVS960-3
- Bill WQXE928 / KG7HHG
- Cory WRXR306 / K7RRR
Winlink can be used for sending emails (both within the system and to the public internet) and other structured messages to other users of the system, VARA also allows for digipeating across sites to establish data communications without the use of IP networking. An additional site is currently planned for Mt. Lemmon and will operate under N7GMR-1, providing wide coverage high-speed (25kbps) messaging and file transfer capabilities to the Phoenix and Tucson areas.
Stay tuned while we author more information on this project, in the mean-time, the gateway is operating on 434.000Mhz with the callsign N7GMR-2 for those familiar with Winlink & VARA FM. For more information, see: https://winlink.org