For the last couple days I have been playing around with a new program that I have installed that eventually will replace the popular Winlink Global Radio Email system that I wrote an article about last month in Episode 20 of my Sensible Prepping Series entitled Worldwide Email via HF Radio
This new system is called ARDOP, or the Amateur Radio Digital Open Protocol. ARDOP is a joint venture between the people that created Winlink along with other amateur radio developers.
While Winlink is great for sending and receiving email globally through HF radio in situations where there is no internet access available, it has its limitations and drawbacks. Hence the need for a replacement.
Another program that has been developed with the ARDOP system is ARIM or Amateur Radio Instant Messaging. ARIM is a very sophisticated instant messaging system that is designed to run on the Linux system that takes advantage of the connectionless forward error correction (FEC) offered in the ARDOP system.
With ARIM it is possible to send live text messages directly from your computer keyboard across the HF radio that will appear on the other operators computer screen, very similar to how you would use a cellphone to send text messages to someone else.
The ARIM system is much more robust than fldigi. It is able to be used when the bands are less than desirable, as they are now, where I am not able to send or receive any messages to the mainland US using fldigi. I was able to use ARIM to send and receive messages with three stations in various parts of the Continental US today. When we switched over to try fldigi, no messages were able to be received from any of them.
The new systems will allow you to be able to securely go into the computer of the distant radio station and retrieve files or messages that are left for you, basically using a password handshake between the two computers that has been setup beforehand. This password can be changed at anytime to prevent future access to the file directory if you so choose.
Right now, changes to the beta test versions of the new system are taking place quite frequently. We went through three versions within a week making various changes and tweaks to the system and identifying and resolving any bugs that come up. I have not encountered any of the issues myself but I am keeping an eye open as I play around with the new programs.
I think what they are putting together with the ARDOP and ARIM systems is extraordinary and has the potential to be a game changer in the future with EmComms.
As I continue to test these new systems out and learn more about their capabilities and limitations, I will bring you updates from time to time.
Until next time, 73
Worldwide Communications via EchoLink
In upcoming episodes we will take a look at Morse Code, Antennas, Handheld UHF/VHF Radios, Mobile UHF/VHF Radios and Emergency Communication (Emcomms)