Packet Radio, WINLINK, and APRS 

The Anchorage Amateur Radio Club supports an extensive network of packet radio nodes, a full service BBS, and an internet gateway server (JNOS). The system is open for use by any properly licensed amateur. The network supports 1200 bps operation in both AX.25 and TCP/IP protocols. The AARC operates packet nodes on 145.01, 145.05, 147.96, 440.05, and 3.605 Mhz. Contact Doug Dickinson, KL7IKX, at 346-1822 for further information.

Portable Packet Station #1
Portable Packet Station #2
Portable Packet Station #2
Eagle Digipeater: Located in the Valley

145.01 and

147.96 Mhz

Anchorage AARC BBS
Portable Digipeater #1


Winlink VHF RMS
Portable APRS #1
Portable APRS #2
CCV APRS (Motor home)
National Weather Service Packet Station (Sand Lake Road)
CCV Packet Station


The KL7AA-2 (Eagle) operates on 145.01 and Valley is at 147.96 Mhz. 

These are Chat and mailbox systems.  There are Digipeaters on JBER as well 
at 145.01 (connect via ears or connect to kl7air-2 and then connect to Eagle) and at 147.96 
(connect via ears or connect to KL7AIR-2 and then connect to Valley).


Alaska hosts several WINLINK systems.  Winlink 2000 (WL2K) is a worldwide system of volunteer resources supporting e-mail by radio, with non-commercial links to internet e-mail. These resources come from Amateur Radio, the Military Auxilary Radio Systems (MARS), and other volunteer organizations. The system provides valuable service to emergency communicators, and to licensed radio operators without access to the internet. For more information contact Ron Keech, KL7YK.

WINLINK Callsign Frequency
 Anchorage VHF RMS
WL7CVG-10 144.90
Anchorage VHF RMS
KL7AA-10 144.98
Palmer VHF RMS KL7JFT-10 145.19
Fairbanks VHF RMS KL7EDK-10 147.96
Valdez VHF RMS AL4O-10 145.100
Central VHF RMS KL2GS-10 147.96

 In addition to these VHF RMS systems we have an HF RMS in Anchorage as well.  
This system scans predefined frequencies over 4 bands for incoming connections.  

Information can be found on the web at WINLINK.ORG.

Call Sign  Grid Locator Frequency Scanned Mode
BP51CE 7,075.900 KHz Pactor I,II
BP51CE 3,589.000 KHz Pactor I,II,III
BP51CE 14,096.200 KHz Pactor III
BP51CE 14,065.900 KHz Pactor I,II
BP51CE 10,143.700 KHz Pactor I,II,III

Interested in hosting your own VHF RMS?

Basics:  First and foremost, a decent location is a must. If you're having trouble connecting to other VHF based stuff in Anchorage your going to have the same problem with operating a VHF RMS from your location.  Have a good location?  Great, then lets talk basic hardware: VHF Radio of course, a decent omni VHF antenna mounted high enough to be accessable from elsewhere in the area.  A Terminal Node Controller is a must have as well.  For best capabilities you need a modern TNC like the Kantronics 3+ or 9612+.   Reason being those are 100% supported and have enough memory built in to be able to handle large messages.  A computer running at least Windows XP, and not so old it's too slow.  If you hate using it becuase its slow that is a good indication that it will be a choke point in handling messages in and out.  Lastly you need a reliable internet access point.  Can be DSL, Cable or even WIFI.  That said if your dialing up to a provider your going to find thats just too slow as a general rule.

What will not work- Most of the early TNC's will not work. Just because it works for Packet does not mean it will work for Winlink.
Winlink keeps the list of supported TNC hardware short to keep the reliability factor high.  If you have one of the early Kantronics or AEA TNC's and your not sure if it will work, ask before you get too far along in the setup process.

So you have everything you need to go for it eh?  Last thing you will have to do is coordinate a frequency to use and then contact Winlink for authorization to operate the RMS.

Looking at the current Band Plan you will see that 144.90-145.10 is set aside as Weak signal and FM simplex (145.01,03,05,07,09 are widely used for packet).  145.50-145.80 is for miscellaneous and experimental modes but here in South Central there isnt a lot of this type of operation going on.  Listen for traffic before you commit to a given freq just in case someone else is using it already.

In use at this time are VHF RMS's at 144.90 and 144.98, the Valley VHF RMS is at 145.19.  There are several Packet systems using 145.01, 03, 05 etc...

At the top of the band there is some space but remember that the Valley Packet Node sits at 147.97.  Look at the Simplex areas but avoid 146.43 or 146.52 as they are Simplex Calling frequencies.  There are a couple of IRLP Nodes scattered around as well to be avoided if possible.

Highly encourage you to think about at least 5-8 kc's of separation between systems.  
This should allow for use without causing interference to others.
You can see why coordination is important.

Automated Position Reporting System


AARC also operates on APRS (Automated Position Reporting System) and supports
APRS as a 
local APRS I-GATE in the South Central Alaska Region. 
APRS Beacon operates on 144.390 MHz.

Also in the immediate area are I-Gates at KL7AIR-10 on Elmendorf AFB and KL5E-10 in Eagle River.

An I-Gate relays APRS position data to the various websites like APRS.FI or FINDU.COM.
You can also send short ACSII messages over APRS.
Almost every APRS Client system digi-peats position data.