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SWCRS Winlink Network

SWCRS has begun building out a Winlink network with the goal of providing reliable emergency communications to the southwest region of the United States.

Winlink Express
SWCRS recommends the Winlink Express client. Winlink Express is actively maintained by the Winlink development team and integrates seamlessly into the Winlink system. It auto-updates and offers full support of both Vara FM & Vara HF. Winlink express can be downloaded here.

Vara FM and Vara HF are the only Winlink protocols (software modems) supported by the SWCRS Winlink network. We have chosen Vara due to its low cost, higher speed, and ability to monitor for existing traffic before transmitting. We feel that the inclusion of older technology such as packet would lead to undesirable inefficiencies both due to much longer transmission times, as well as more frequent disruptions of active transmissions due to its inability to monitor for existing traffic. Vara software modems can be downloaded here.

Vara free vs paid versions
SWCRS highly recommends purchasing a license ($70) for Vara which allows for much faster speeds. A single license covers both VARA FM & VARA HF for use by a single callsign on unlimited computers. Usage of unlicensed versions of Vara may be suspended during periods of high network congestion.

Winlink NET
SWCRS operates the Southwest Weekly Winlink Net every Sunday from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM MST. Send a winlink message to K6DSA to be added to the distribution list.

Winlink Hybrid Network
The Winlink Hybrid network allows for emergency communications beyond the SouthWest regional winlink network. For more information please visit the Winlink Hybrid Network page.

SWCRS maintained Winlink Gateways:

Primary StationsGrid SquareServicesFrequencyAntennaHeight
N7GMR (future)tbdHF Hybrid Gateway
N7GMR-1 (Spring ’24)FM42ok (Mt Lemmon)UHF Gateway / Digipeater
434.000Omni9,170 ft
N7GMR-2DM43og (Pinal Peak)UHF Gateway / Digipeater434.000Omni7,840 ft

Secondary StationsGrid SquareAccesable viaServicesFrequencyAntennaHeight
K7RRRDM43chK7RRR-10 (vhf/uhf)HF Hybrid Gateway80m, 40m, 20m, 15mEnd Fed, NVIS20 ft AGL
K7RRR-10DM43chN7GMR-2UHF Gateway / Digipeater434.000Yagi, 90°30 ft AGL
K7RRR-10DM43chdirect onlyVHF Gateway / Digipeater144.930Yagi, 305°30 ft AGL

Winlink Global Radio Email is a network of amateur radio and authorized government stations that provide worldwide radio email using radio pathways where the internet is not present. The system is built, operated and administered entirely by licensed “Ham” volunteers. It supports email with attachments, position reporting, weather and information bulletins, and is well-known for its role in interoperable emergency and disaster relief communications. It is capable of operating completely without the internet–automatically–using smart-network radio relays. Licensed Winlink operators/stations use both amateur radio and government radio frequencies worldwide. Support for the system is provided by the Amateur Radio Safety Foundation, Inc., a US 501(c)(3) non-profit, public-benefit entity. Winlink Global Radio Email® is a US registered trademark of the Amateur Radio Safety Foundation, Inc. For more information visit