APRSLink

APRSLink provides a link between the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) and the Winlink global radio email system. APRSLink monitors all APRS traffic gated to the internet, worldwide, and watches for special commands that allow APRS users to:

  • read short email messages sent to their callsign@winlink.org account (only the base callsign, no SSID)
  • send short email messages to any valid email address or Winlink 2000 user
  • perform email related maintenance (see commands below)
  • be notified of pending Winlink email via APRS message
  • query APRSLink for information of the closest Winlink RMS packet station

APRSLink provides a very special capability for the Kenwood TH-D7, TM-D700 and TM-D710 Radios for sending and receiving email from the radio front Panel without any need for a PC.

Properly licensed Amateur Radio operators are automatically registered in the Winlink system the first time they send a message through the system. For someone to send email to you, you must first become registered by sending a message through the system. Your Winlink account cannot be established using APRSLink -- you must first create your Winlink email account before you can use APRSLink. See this page for more information. Additionally, your APRS station must have sent at least one APRS position report (beacon) prior to attempting to access this service. In that way, APRSLink can know your Amateur callsign, location, and station type for use with some commands.

Command Reference

Command Description
H or ? Return brief Help. Help is also returned whenever APRSLink does
not understand a command. Use "?" followed by a command
letter for detailed help for that command.
Example: "?L" for help with the List command.
L Return a List of pending messages (a maximum of 5 are returned). The List
command queries the Winlink e-mail server and builds a list of up to 5 recent messages.
Other commands operate on this list of messages using the message number (#).
R# Read message number # (# is one of the numbered messages returned via the
List command).
Example: "R2"
Y# replY to message. Reply to message number # (# is one of the numbered messages
returned via the List command).
Example: "Y2"
SP This is a replacement for the "W" command (deprecated). It simplifies the sending of
messages from APRS devices considerably. Here's the format:
SP

Then, anything you send to WLNK-1 other than /EX or the (P)layback command makes
up the body of your message. If you mess up and need to start over, just issue a
new SP command.

Here's an example (all sent to WLNK-1):

SP sam@iam.com Test Message

Some text for the body of the message.

Some more text for the message.

/EX

Each line is a separate APRS message, but the need for entering specific commands
for each line/message has been removed. You type and send as much text as
necessary and then send /EX as a separate APRS message to complete your email.

/EX Complete and send the composed message.
You should receive a confirmation message.
P Playback message. Play back message lines for the message being written.
SMS Send short message (one line). Syntax: SMS

Example: SMS sam@iam.com A short message to Sam

A
AL
Create/update an alias for an e-mail address.

Example: A sam=sam@somelongdomainname.net
Then use "SP sam" instead of "W sam@somelongdomainname.net"
To delete an alias omit the part after the equal sign. "A sam=" will delete the sam alias
To get a list of all your aliases send "AL"

F# Forward message number # to address or callsign following F# (# is 1 to 5)(#
is one of the numbered messages returned via the List command).

Example: "F2 youraddr@home.net"

K# Kill (mark as deleted) message number #(# is one of the numbered messages
returned via the List command).
Example: "K3"
G# Return information about closest active RMS Packet Gateway. # is a number indicating how many "close" stations are returned. The default (no #) is 1.
I Return Information about APRSLink
TELNET No
TELNET No

Here's how it works: You send an APRS message using WLNK-1 as the destination callsign with one of the above commands as the message text. APRSLink responds by sending APRS messages back to you via your IGate. Of course, your IGate must be configured to gate those messages back to RF - it should be.

APRSLink will detect if your request is from a Kenwood TH-D7 or TM-D700/710, and attempt to format retrieved messages to fit the display of those devices. For a TH-D7, this means you are limited to receiving a maximum of 48 characters per APRS message, and a maximum of 64 characters for the TM-D700/710. When you request to read an e-mail from the Winlink system, APRSLink will send one or more APRS messages back to your station. Reading large messages (over a few lines) is not appropriate, and APRSLink limits the number of APRS messages it will send back to your station.

APRSLink is tailored to fit the needs of remote TH-D7 and TM D700/710 users, but is fully functional for other clients as well. To allow easy entry using the D7 or D700/710 keypads, you can use a keypad letter instead of a number for the second part of commands that require message line numbers. For example, to read message 3 you can send Rd instead of R3; use Rj for message 5, etc. Actually, any letter on the key will be interpreted as the number on that same key for any command that uses a number following the command character.

If you desire notification of pending Winlink email just add the callsign of the APRSLink server (WLNK-1) somewhere in your station's position comment (or status text) and you'll be notified with an APRS message whenever you have unread mail on the Winlink system. Notification is sent once per day (when it's detected that your station is on-line) but is reset whenever you use APRSLink to access your Winlink email. In that way, mail received after you have read the current batch of messages will trigger another notification.

The following text is inserted into messages sent through APRSLink to the Internet. Messages addressed to a ham callsign or to a callsign@winlink.org email address do not contain this disclaimer.
===================================================
This message was sent using a remote device which has
limited capacity. When replying use plain text, keep the
message as short as possible and include no attachments.
===================================================

APRS is a registered trademark of APRS Software and Bob Bruninga, WB4APR