Paclink e-mail Program
Paclink is a radio e-mail client program that interfaces with most popular e-mail client programs, like Microsoft Outlook Express and Mozilla Thunderbird. Paclink supports telnet, VHF/UHF packet radio, and HF Pactor radio connections to WL2K servers. The program is easy to install and the interface to e-mail programs makes operation very much like internet e-mail.
The program requires a Windows 2000, XP, or Vista computer with the .net versions 1 and 2 installed. Paclink and .net will not run on any earlier operating system. You do not have to connect a TNC to start the program, but you should be connected to the internet.
Go to the web page www.winlink.org. Go to the Software tab and User Software. On the top of the page is Paclink. Download file Paclink Setup. Zip. Unzip the file and run setup.exe. The program will load and leave an icon on the desktop.
First, start Outlook Express. You can use Outlook express for both an e-mail account and Paclink mail.
Next, start the Paclink program. A site properties window may start automatically. Enter your callsign, then in the third box enter a password that is used along with your mail program. Next enter your grid square. On the top right, the computer IP address will be displayed. If you have a home network, this should be something like 192.168.0.X. If you do not have a home network, you may have to set up your computer with a fixed IP address like 192.168.0.1. Last, check the top and bottom boxes to allow program updates and to transfer an account to Outlook express. Chose update.
Then select file and polling interval. Enter 30 minutes and check both boxes. Chose
Go to file and telnet channels. In the channel name window, enter Telnet. The local IP address should be present and be sure the channel enabled box is checked.
You will see two sides to the Paclink window. The left side is the connection to Winlink via either telnet, packet, or pactor. The right side is the connection to Outlook Express. This window is almost never accessed except to make parameter changes. It runs in the background.
You may see data on both sides. If not, go to the connect menu and select auto connect. You should see a telnet connect to a Winlink RMS station on the left side.. If not, your internet connection is not working. If nothing on the right side, go to Outlook Express and click on ‘Get mail’. You should see a pop session on the right side of the paclink window.
Packet connections are not possible in Minnesota as we do not have any Winlink RMS packet stations. Pactor is possible on HF frequencies but is beyond the scope of this article.