Connecticut Amateur Radio Emergency Service® Current status: Level 0 – All is quiet!
Connecticut Amateur Radio Emergency Service® Current status: Level 0 – All is quiet!

Data Comms (Winlink/Packet)

Data Comms

This page is dedicated to providing the most current information on data communications in use in Connecticut.  Packet radio is a vital communication technique for data communication.  The current Flexnet/FBB system is the only 100% RF system we have today.  It provides coverage of much of Connecticut.  The Flexnet/FBB system can handle text-only messages, NTS traffic, and bulletins.

The WinLink system is more e-mail based, allowing for attachments of status reports and other small attachments.  Today, all state Regional offices can access the WinLink server on Box Mountain through 100% RF links.   This means they can exchange messages with each other, even if all Internet connections are down.  This means that all the State offices will have two 100% RF systems for exchanging digital messages, each system providing digital communications support and serving as a backup to the other.

If a user station is configured for Flexnet/FBB they can use WinLink.   If a user station is configured for WinLink they can use Flexnet/FBB.   While the two systems work somewhat differently, the underlying user technology is the same.  We encourage users to become familiar with both.

And, finally, Winlink Express is a Winlink radio email client.  It is intended to be used for applications that need to support only a single user and call sign but it may also be used to access one or two preset tactical addresses or alternate call signs.  WinLink Express includes support for other methods including direct Telnet to WinLink Common Message Servers (CMS).

    A. Why Winlink?
    It allows a ham to send email from any location within contact range of a WinLink Hub.

    B. Why email?
    Because, in today's world, almost everybody seems to know how to write an email message.  It allows the receiver to get the message EXACTLY as the sender intended.  There is no mispronunciation, no misinterpretation, no mistakes that frequently happen with voice messages.   (There's also that old adage, “If it ain't on paper – it never happened!”).  You can send email to ANY valid email address,,,,

    C. Security?
    It is relatively secure.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not permit encryption on amateur radio frequencies.  On the other hand, WinLink uses a compression technique that doesn't allow the frequency watcher to read the message – it looks like garbage.  (The local WinLink guru has, for years, offered a substantial prize to anyone who could intercept and read a message – no one has claimed it.)

There are some recommendations on digital voice for VHF, UHF and up.  Read more about it on the recommendations page

CT ARES Digital/Data Comms Standard

Recommendations for hardware and software and more

Recommended SSID Assignments

Winlink VHF packet coverage charts



Call Sign SSID Frequency Area Town County Notes
K1CRC -7 145.07 3 Burlington Hartford Solar powered
K1IKE -3 145.09 3 East Haddam Middlesex available 24 hours at EOC
W1EDH -4 145.09 3 Glastonbury Hartford Full Service BBS
WA1ARC -1 145.09 3 Farmington Hartford CT Red Cross HQ mailbox
-7 KA Node
N1NW -4 145.03 4 Norwich New London  
K1YON -2 145.07 5 East Hartland Hartford Flex
-3 IGate NCT via K1YON-2
-4 Full Service BBS
-10 RMS Gateway
KD1RY -2 145.03 5 Bethel Fairfield UNDER RECONSTRUCTION
-4 BBS


Winlink Packet Gateway

Call Sign Frequency Location Region Emerg. Power Notes
W1AW-10 145.51 Newington 3 ?  
N1OTW-10 145.03 Rocky Hill 3 ?  
KB1AEV-10 145.53 Tolland 3 ? Very wide coverage
KB1NUM-10 145.03 Colchester 4 ?  
W1GTT-10 145.03 East Lyme 4 ?  
K1VSC-10 145.03 Pomfret 4 ?  
W1EOM-10 145.03 East Lyme 4 ?  
K1YON-10 145.07 East Hartland 5 Y  
KX1EOC-10 145.03 Danbury 5 ?  

WinLink Packet Gateways – W1SP Gateways

The following WinLink Packet Gateways are now available for use.  It is suggested that if you are not already a user of WinLink Packet that you check out to learn how to activate your own email address.  The site has valuable information as well.

Software recommended is WinLink Express to use the system.

The project is a joint venture between CT DEMHS, the CT State Police Radio Club (W1SP) and CT ARES.

W1GTT worked for many years to get the project completed.

Please use it and report any problems you encounter.


WinLink Packet Gateways

Call Sign County Location Frequency Grid Square Region Emerg. Power
W1SP-1 TOLLCT Tolland 145.65 FN31UV 3 Y
W1SP-2 WINDCT Brooklyn 145.61 FN41AT 4 Y
W1SP-3 NLONCT Ledyard 145.63 FN31XK 4 Y
W1SP-4 HARTCT Avon 145.69 FN31OT 3 Y
W1SP-5 MIDDCT Haddam 145.69 FN31RK 2 Y
W1SP-6 LITCCT Litchfield 145.65 FN31JR 5 Y
W1SP-7 NHAVCT Oxford 145.63 FN31JK 5 Y
W1SP-8 FAIRCT Bridgeport 145.69 FN31JE 1 Y