TMD-700 for Winlink


George Miller W3GWM
 

I am considering using my D700 as a VHF Winlink Node with Vara VHF. Is anybody else doing this? I have been using it for APRS but I’m in an area where a Winlink Node for VHF/UHF would be more useful for ARES. Does anybody have a setup? Help appreciated. If someone has a solution, I’d hate to waste time reinventing the wheel.

George W3GWM


David Ranch
 


Hello George,

There is quite a bit of documentation and videos out there setting up VARA-FM and it should work fine with the D700.  From the D700's perspective, this would be no different than using an external TNC.  Do you have specific requirements for your setup?  What kind of computer?  What kind of sound card?   Setting up on a X86 Windows PC will be the easiest path.  You CAN get VARA running on Linux under WINE but it takes some work.  You can even get VARA running under emulation on say a Raspberry Pi but there are some additional hoops to go through.

--David
KI6ZHD


On 07/02/2022 09:07 AM, George Miller W3GWM via groups.io wrote:
I am considering using my D700 as a VHF Winlink Node with Vara VHF. Is anybody else doing this? I have been using it for APRS but I’m in an area where a Winlink Node for VHF/UHF would be more useful for ARES. Does anybody have a setup? Help appreciated. If someone has a solution, I’d hate to waste time reinventing the wheel.

George W3GWM


 

I am using my D710A as a Packet/VARA FM node.  I am using the internal TNC on the left side of the radio on a 2M frequency for packet, and the Data connector connected to a Masters Communications DRA-50 on the right side using a different 2M frequency.  I am using the 9600 baud pin on the Data connector with the data port speed set to 9600.  I needed the DRA-50 because the output of the D710A in 9600 baud mode requires the extra amplification that the DRA-50 provides.  For software I am using BPQ32 on a Windows 10 laptop.  My goal is to move this to Linux so I can run LinBPQ as a service and avoid the Windows updates.  The setup works nicely, has been very stable, and runs VARA FM Wide at very high speeds.  There is a learning curve for BPQ32 but I found the Winlink Trimode / Winlink Packet to require an equivalent but different learning curve.  

Bob AF9W


David Ranch
 


Hello Bob,

As a side note, it's interesting to hear you needed the higher audio output to drive the D710's 9600bps input.  I'm curious if you ever tried changing the internal "echolink" audio settings using the Kenwood MCP program and if that was enough to not need the very high audio drive level.

--David
KI6ZHD


On 07/03/2022 07:25 AM, Bob AF9W wrote:
I am using my D710A as a Packet/VARA FM node.  I am using the internal TNC on the left side of the radio on a 2M frequency for packet, and the Data connector connected to a Masters Communications DRA-50 on the right side using a different 2M frequency.  I am using the 9600 baud pin on the Data connector with the data port speed set to 9600.  I needed the DRA-50 because the output of the D710A in 9600 baud mode requires the extra amplification that the DRA-50 provides.  For software I am using BPQ32 on a Windows 10 laptop.  My goal is to move this to Linux so I can run LinBPQ as a service and avoid the Windows updates.  The setup works nicely, has been very stable, and runs VARA FM Wide at very high speeds.  There is a learning curve for BPQ32 but I found the Winlink Trimode / Winlink Packet to require an equivalent but different learning curve.  

Bob AF9W


 

Hello Geirge, I use my 700 on APRS and WINLINK RMS mode, by using an external Kantronics KPC3PLUS plugged into the "data" port on the back of the radio. APRS uses tge internal TNC. Works great, I also use an external keyboard (PS2) through the D700 keyboard adapter. I am trying to remember who sold the adapter which is no longer made I believe, but maybe available on EBAY etc.
Good luck,

Ron K1VSC


 

I have not tried the "echolink" audio settings.  I'll look at it.