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eHam Forums => Digital => Topic started by: N5PVL on February 06, 2009, 04:54:48 AM



Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: N5PVL on February 06, 2009, 04:54:48 AM
There is absolutely nothing "experimental" about WinLink, which uses a commercial modem to provide HF eMail service that has been available on commercial frequencies for a very long time.

Experimenting is when you try something new, with hopes that it will be beneficial. - Not when you insist upon using something old and inappropriate, ignoring the fact that it is detrimental and flouts the law.

We are specifically prohibited by the federal government in the PART97 regulations from providing, on a regular basis, communications which are available outside of amateur radio. WinLink is identical in almost every respect to SailMail, one of many commercial email over HF services, one which uses the exactly the same equipment and software as WinLink. - The differences between the two being that SailMail costs 20 bucks a month and operates PACTOR III on the channelized commercial spectrum it was designed and intended for, instead of polluting the ham bands and interfering with ham radio operators communications as WinLink does - for free.

The interference issues related to WinLink on HF are partly due to the commercial PACTOR III modem having no provision for detecting any kind of signal except other PACTOR signals, partly due to the WinLink administrator specifying that all automated WinLink servers on HF turn off the little bit of signal detection the modem does have, and partly due to the PACTOR III signal automatically causing itself to spread out wider in reaction to improved band conditions - the exact opposite of good operating practice within amateur radio's shared spectrum. Ham radio QSO's which are fortunate enough not to be overwhelmed by the initial PACTOR III transmissions are then enveloped when the signal widens, without the WinLink server operator's knowledge or intervention.

Because of these factors, PACTOR III interferes with legitimate, legal ham radio communications without operator intervention, simply by being utilized with amateur radios shared spectrum instead of the channelized commercial spectrum that it was designed for.

The WinLink administrator and the operators of the WinLink servers are aware of these issues but operate this inappropriate equipment on ham radio HF frequencies anyway, making the interference they cause every day "willful interference", which is specifically prohibited in the FCC's PART97 regulations that define and protect amateur radio.

These are not just Lids, but Lids who set up an automated system that interferes with legal amateur radio transmissions on HF all day, every day. It is literally impossible to operate the PACTOR III modem legally on the HF amateur radio bands, due to its design and operating characteristics.

73 DE Charles Brabham, N5PVL

http://www.uspacket.org


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: N5LRZ on February 06, 2009, 08:00:50 AM
People holding foreign licenses are not obligated to obey our rules and regs Charles.  In fact they do not have to even give a flying expeletive deleted weither you like it or not--or myself for that matter either.  They are governed by THEIR licensing countries (when there) and the ports of call whatever licensing rules and regs exist there.

So they can tell you to go get screwd and there is absoltuely NOTHING you can do to stop them.  Our FCC can request but host governments are NOT obligated to listen.  There is no law that says they have to kiss your happy azz.



Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: G0GQK on February 06, 2009, 11:54:26 AM
May I beg to differ ?  There is an organisation called the International Radio Amateur Union which is believed to make decisions for the use of the amateur radio frequencies with different bodies throughout the world.

Where is the Pactor III transmitting equipment located ? I always had the impression that it was somewhere in the United States of America. I also understand that the use of this equipment has been agreed by the ARRL, but I never could understand how they could agree to the use of equipment which is known to cause interference to radio amateurs and in the US, frequently does.

Where is the station located which is licenced to use this equipment ?

G0GQK


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: N5LRZ on February 07, 2009, 07:13:28 PM
Re the last poster...The below is to the best of my knoledge...

The international radio meetings that take place every so often to set band plans etc cannot force its decisions on constitutant members as a matter of law.

Case in point...The CW Requirement...

CW was reommended to be deleted or phased out by the meeting.  BUT HOWEVER the ultimate decision to do so was left to the individual countries radio governing bodies.  Those NOT wishing to delete code requirements did not have to do so.  AND perhaps there are still a few countries that require the code in some form as a requirement.

Another example: There are more than one country that allows phone operations on the band segment the US has allocated to CW and digital.  You hear them often in contests using phone/split operations in the US CW Band.  There is nothing the US CW/digi people can do to stop them from doing so.

Each country is ultimately free to govern itself when it comes to the details of operaion.  Hence a person licensed in say New Zeland does not have to even remotely care if is transmissions interfere with transmissions in say the UK as long as he does not violate the rules and regs of the territory where he is located and legally authorized to transmit.



Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: N5PVL on February 08, 2009, 08:44:14 AM
G0GQK:

Please ignore my rude, semi-literate countryman - He is one of the thoughtless Lids being discussed, you can see what kind of trash are attracted to the WinLink system.

I put together an explanation concerning ARRL involvement in inappropriate, illegal on the air behavior related to WinLink here:

http://www.rgvham.com/rgvforum/index.php/topic,38.0.html

Most of the PACTOR III stations are licensed in the United States due to the grant money corruption noted in the link above.

73 DE Charles Brabham, N5PVL






Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: N5LRZ on February 11, 2009, 01:51:55 PM
Re PVL...
Too bad you do not know what the hell you are talking about

I do not do use nor have I ever used either WinLink or Echo Link.  So I guess you dont know what the hell you are talking about.

BUT I DO support the use of WinLink as long as it is legal in the country of transmit.  Over there its THEIR RULES.  Over here its OUR RULES.
PERIOD...

BUT I will be fair, even though I think you definately do not deserve the courtesy, I will be fair ....

IF you can site any International Communications Treaty still in effect signed by the FCC Reps or  governmental reps of the US Government that clearly states world for word without any interpretation on your part (Preambles NOT acceptable) that someone in say hmmm New Zeland has to give a damn if his signal is annoying someone in another country, say the US.  Site the Treaty, Section, Page  etc so I can look it up.

And remember you are NOT allowed to interpret anything at all.  Your reference must be world for word, punctuation for punctuation.




Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: N5LRZ on February 11, 2009, 01:54:59 PM
You are cordially invited to also inform of any specific active International Treaty as mentioned above should you be able to find one.  Same terms of course, no interpretation allowed, and no preamble or statement of principles.

I will be more than glad to look up the treaty on the web and read your site of treaty content.


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: N5PVL on February 13, 2009, 07:54:43 PM
Goober:

Get someone who has basic reading skills to read my post for you. - Then ask them which regulatory agency I refer to.

N5PVL


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: KC5CSG on February 25, 2009, 07:11:29 AM
LOL...I guess this guy really doesn't like winlink. You should see his posts on other sites.

I guess I have to be fair though, if I were the one getting stomped on I guess I'd be pissed off for the amount of time it takes to turn that BIG knob on the front of my radio.

I guess all that static will be the next thing we complain about next huh?

73

KC5CSG


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: WA7NCL on February 25, 2009, 07:40:23 AM
Don't feed the troll.


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: N5PVL on February 25, 2009, 02:45:19 PM
You're right, replying to N5LRZ is a waste of time.

About WinLink:

SailMail and other commercial HF eMail outfits limit the size and number of eMail attachments, and charge extra for them... WinLink doesn't.

It's nice to know that the commercial outfits understand the value of THEIR spectrum... Too bad the ARRL lacks that attitude about OURS.

SailMail makes swapping porn and documents from their businesses at sea too expensive for them, I suppose.

WinLink does it for free! - On your and my HF spectrum.

Totally lacking in character, the WinLinkers insist upon using the ham bands to move their filth and business communications around.

If what they were doing were legitimate, it wouldn't be such a closely guarded secret. - So private.

The ARRL headquarters staff from Sumner on down are "A-OK" with this, they think it's great.

That's the ARRL's idea of representing the best interests of US hams.

73 DE Charles, N5PVL


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: KC5CSG on February 25, 2009, 10:13:15 PM
Sir,

Assuming that they're using our bands to move what you assume is filth based on the fact you can't intercept and review it is......well......just not cool man.

I would assume all the people using this "winlink" service, sorry I don't know much about it, are licensed operators correct? I don't see a problem with them using the spectrum. Back to the "filth" thing though........

I send email to my wife all the time from here in Iraq. I wouldn't want it read either by the people that run the web servers but I have to deal with the fact that it can be read by them if they really want to read it. If some hams have figured out a way send junk to each other and keep it private.....well....more power to them. If you suspect they're all sending porn well the crap can be intercepted at some server somewhere. Report your suspicions and leave it at that. After all, it does use the internet.......SOMEONE has to have the ability to intercept it and review it on their server.

Af far as being a bandwidth hog, I'll honestly say I've never encountered a problem with it. Really, not one problem. If the FCC thinks it's a non issue then I'm inclined to think it's a non issue too. I do have to adimire you for your stamina though and just think of what you could do if you put that amount of energy and time into a realistic project that could actually bear fruit...............

73

KC5CSG


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: N5PVL on February 26, 2009, 05:25:28 AM
KC5CSG:

I'm glad you stepped up to admit your basic lack of a clue about what's being discussed. It looks like you are not too familiar with PART97 either, or amateur radio in a general sense.

Kind of makes one wonder why you are hanging out on the digital forum, at a ham radio website.

There is a report that was put out in 2002 concerning terrorist communications via HF eMail. WinLink was specifically mentioned in the report. A few years later, there was an amateur who reported that kiddie porn was being transported over WinLink's 'private' system. Then a Dutch marina operator reported terrorist communications found in a WinLink-equipped boat there in the Netherlands.

Privacy has no place on the ham bands, period. Your apparent confusion between amateur radio and commercial carriers puts the reason for this into high relief.

We are specifically prohibited from transporting inappropriate material over the ham bands, and are expected to monitor each others transmissions ( self-police ) to ensure compliance with this.

Kind of hard to monitor WinLink's 'private' system. - That is one of many reasons it should be immediately shut down, and moved off to the commercial frequencies it was designed for.

When it is discovered that terrorists have utilized WinLink in order to arrange an attack upon the area where your family for example lives in the United States, in what way do you think this will reflect well upon amateur radio?

How do we know that WinLink is transporting terrorist commo and kiddie porn? - The real question for ham radio operators is, how do we know it is not?

73 DE Charles, N5PVL





Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: AA4PB on February 26, 2009, 05:43:53 AM
Heck Charles, we can all intercept the filth that goes on on 75M in the open every night and nobody does anything about that. It appears to me that it doesn't make much difference whether hams can "monitor" the traffic or not.


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: KB5WBH on February 26, 2009, 06:38:26 PM
Whats wrong Charles, didn't get enough of this over at the zed? How about another mindless poll?

73
mike kb5wbh
 


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: KB5WBH on February 26, 2009, 06:41:12 PM
Or better yet, file your concerns with the FCC and see what they tell you.

73
mike kb5wbh.


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: KC5CSG on February 26, 2009, 08:42:57 PM
Well sir,

I think the FCC is very well aware of all that you mentioned and guess what, they don't seem too concerned about it. Maybe it really is a non issue. Heck, you've had kiddie porn on the net for years. I've watched hams send porn to each other in the Fort Polk, LA area on SSTV and that isn't encrypted at all. This was before the internet made it easier to send this junk to each other.

Like someone else said, you can go to 75 meters on any given night and get your fill of filth and it's in glorious plain text........The FCC doesn't do anything. I agree with the FCC, if they think it's a non issue then it really is an non issue.

Oh, the reason I'm here is because I tested and got the license and I have an interest. Not to enforce rules but an interest in learning a "little" something and having fun. Hell with what I've read about winlink lately I just may give it a try myself. Thanks for pointing me in the direction.

73

KC5CSG


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: KB5WBH on February 27, 2009, 03:55:42 AM
Charles, likes to make outlandish claims then goes on long rants on "how it is" then can't understand when not everyone agrees with him. Then he plays the victim part because no one takes his word on it, he takes it personally and he starts the name calling..ect. If you have read any of his posts, you will continually see this routine.

It all boils down to this, some of these guys operate by his hf packet frequency. He doesn't like it, sometimes they clash. Happens all the time on HF, especially during a contest. If they operated where he didn't notice them, you would never hear a peep out of him, period.

73
mike kb5wbh




Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: AA6YQ on February 27, 2009, 05:14:53 PM
re "Heck Charles, we can all intercept the filth that goes on on 75M in the open every night and nobody does anything about that."

This kind of logic leads to ruination. "Because one set of operators flagrantly violate the amateur regulations without consequences, its okay for others to do so". If this takes hold, pretty soon, everyone will be QRMing everyone else, operating wherever they please, and generally creating chaos. The amateur community has always been expected to police itself. The buck stops here.

I believe that Charles posts these messages because he honestly believes that many ops don't understand just how flagrantly WinLink violates both the regulations (willfull interference is unquestionably illegal, and WinLink PMBOs unquestionably transmit on already-occupied frequencies). His assumption is that once educated, responsible amateurs would naturally avoid using WinLink until its technical problems were corrected.  Chastising Charles for this activity is like chastizing a good Samaritan for giving CPR to a stricken stranger -- he's doing the best he can in difficult circumstances.

The fact that the ARRL and FCC choose to look the other way doesn't make WinLink's behavior acceptable; it just reflects poorly on both organizations.

The good news is that WinMor, the new digital protocol being developed by the WinLink team to replace Pactor 3, includes logic to detect busy frequencies and thereby avoid QRMing ongoing QSOs. The WinLink team deployed busy detection logic in SCAMP -- a predecessor to WinMor that was beta tested but then abandoned for other reasons. SCAMP's busy detector was very effective; if WinMor's is at least as good, then WinLink's transition from Pactor 3 to WinMor should restore it to good amateur citizenship.

     73,

           Dave, AA6YQ


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: KB5WBH on February 27, 2009, 06:35:09 PM
Dave, Winlink will not stop using PIII because of Winmor. It will just add that capability to the pmbo or RMS Pactor systems.
Its still not AX25, so Charles will not be happy with it either :>
73
Mike kb5wbh



Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: AA6YQ on February 27, 2009, 06:51:35 PM
re "Dave, Winlink will not stop using PIII because of Winmor. It will just add that capability to the pmbo or RMS Pactor systems."

It will be very difficult for Winlink to continue the use of Pactor III without busy frequency detection if WinMor demonstrates the feasibility of effective busy frequency detection. As I have pointed out on numerous occasions, the SCAMP busy frequency detector could at any time be incorporated in the current PMBO design to prevent the QRMing of existing QSOs; the same is true of Winmor's busy frequency detector. If Winlink upgrades its PMBOs to use busy frequency detection to prevent Pactor III from QRMing QSOs, that would be fine.


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: G0GQK on February 28, 2009, 02:26:30 PM
Reading the comments it seems to me that there are many radio amateurs who are quite tolerant of a situation where what could be regarded as a not genuine amateur radio activity, is quite acceptable.

References to the activities of a number of users of 80 metres which the authorities are ignoring, so if the authorities don't make any objections, then its all OK. Yes ?

Perhaps many of those responding are not being affected by the QRM that this system creates, and if Winlink wandered around a little more and strayed into a few nets on SSB, the disturbance it creates would cause more than a few angry words from those who chat to their friends every day on the same frequency

G0GQK


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: AA4PB on February 28, 2009, 02:54:34 PM
I never made the assertion that lack of enforcement makes illegal content okay. I'm just making the point that being able to monitor WinLink content is not likely to curtail any illegal content any more than being able to monitor SSB has curtailed it on 75M.

If WinLink is keying up on top of ongoing QSO's that's one thing. Making unsubstantiated accusations that it is filled with porno and terrorist communications is quite another. You are more likely to get changes made if you stick to realistic facts that can be substantiated rather than making wild accusations.

I'm not a WinLink user so I have no dog in the fight.



Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: N5PVL on February 28, 2009, 07:04:05 PM
"If WinLink is keying up on top of ongoing QSO's that's one thing. Making unsubstantiated accusations that it is filled with porno and terrorist communications is quite another."

What makes you think they are unsubstantiated? WinLink's history as a vehicle for terrorist comms goes back to 2002, FYI.

The question is not how anybody knows that WinLink is being used for illegal purposes, but rather how do YOU know that it isn't?

Amateur radio communications are supposed to be in the clear, monitorable by all for the purpose of self-policing.

If there were no illegal communications over WinLink, them why the secrecy?

Try asking a WinLink administrator for a peek at the messages he transports... - You'll get a big, fat NO.

Think it through, if you're not just another mindless, characterless WinLink troll.

Charles Brabham, N5PVL


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: KC5CSG on February 28, 2009, 07:40:16 PM
Sir,

When you made the accusations without seeing the infractions yourself, your claims have then become unsubstantiated. What data do you have that proves terrorists have been using this as a tool since 2002? ASSUMING the worst doesn't mean the worst is happening. I like to think I live in a country where you're innocdent UNTIL proven guilty. Do you have any proof to back your claims of CHILD PORN and TERRORISTIC activities? Both of those claims are VERY serious indeed.

Yes, they're guilty of keying over QSO's that were in progress, big deal. There are tons of people on HF that invest huge sums of money in the antennas and amplifiers and most I've noticed have no problem with stomping all over my 20 Watt ass. I don't run around screaming Amps and very well made antennas are tools of perverts and terrorists. I just move on and find some place else I can enjoy myself. I have seen your posts on that "other" site and some of the stuff you have had to say about winlink users is quite insulting. You have brought this issue to the point that even if you wanted to work with them to find a peaceful solution they'll most likely tell you to go to hell. Your lame accusations of CHILD PORN would prompt even me to tell you where you can go.

So what if what they're doing is technically illegal. Hell, jumping on a repeater every night to jaw jack with a friend can be considered using ham radio for regular communications that can be reasonably be supplied by another service say for instance CB or telepone? You want to start a crusade against the regular rag chew groups that put the repeaters to use? Want to accuse them of TERRORIST activity? Want to make a signature that says, "If you too poor to own a cell phone don't get a friend"?

You have completely gone about solving this problem in the wrong way and the damage you've done to your reputation is beyond repair. Good luck in your efforts but I think you're just pissing into the wind.

73

KC5CSG


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: KB5WBH on March 01, 2009, 06:58:56 AM
Dave, this came from the website in the FAQ section.

"Q940 - When WINMOR is implemented, will I still be able to use my Pactor equipment?

A940 - Yes It is expected that the HF RMS stations will continue to service Pactor users, in addition to WINMOR users; same frequencies, same Connection procedures."

73
mike kb5wbh


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: AA4PB on March 01, 2009, 12:23:59 PM
Well, WinLink which uses PactorIII is NOT illegal - not even technically. The FCC has rules that permit PactorIII operation on the ham bands. It is not encrypted, it is encoded for purposes of improving the communications link and that is permitted by the FCC. There is no FCC rule that requires communications on the ham bands to be transmitted in a mannor that permits easy copy by everyone. The only rule prohibits encryption for the purpose obscuring the content.

So, the title of this whole thread "Why WinLink is illegal on HF" is totally false because the FCC has already ruled that it is NOT illegal.

If you do a little research I believe you'll find that Charles was once a part of WinLink. He had a falling out with them and ever since starts one of these "WinLink is illegal" threads from time to time.

I will agree that there is a QRM issue with remote operators triggering a PMBS on an occupied (or nearby) frequency. Some of that is I'm sure caused by operators not monitoring the frequency first but often its a matter of no propogation between the user station and the QRMed station.


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: AA6YQ on March 01, 2009, 01:12:40 PM
re "I will agree that there is a QRM issue with remote operators triggering a PMBS on an occupied (or nearby) frequency. Some of that is I'm sure caused by operators not monitoring the frequency first but often its a matter of no propogation between the user station and the QRMed station."

This behavior is what makes WinLink illegal; it directly violates §97.101(d), which states "No amateur operator shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio communication or signal."

When a WinLink PMBO is activated by a remote station and QRMs a local QSO already in progress, its actions are unquestionably willfull (as opposed to accidental).

Basically, WinLink sold both the ARRL and FCC a "bill of goods", claiming that the remote operator that activates the PMBO can ensure that the frequency is clear beforehand. This is completely bogus due to the hidden transmitter effect, which you acknowledge above.

Adding a competent busy frequency detector to the PMBO would eliminate this problem. The WinLink Development team has possessed the technology to do this for years. There is no excuse for their failure to do so, or for the ARRL's or FCC's failure to require them to do so.

The ARRL's "regulation by bandwidth" proposal would have significantly increased the range of frequencies on which unattended stations like WinLink could operate. Large numbers of comments to sent to the FCC highlighted both the hidden transmitter problem and the ARRL's failure to address it, projecting chaos if unattended stations were given a broader allocation. The ARRL ultimately withdrew its proposal before the FCC issued a ruling, citing "larger than expected opposition by the amateur community".

So we're now in an awkward period where its clear to all parties that unattended stations are toxic, but the "WinLink is critical to emergency response" positioning is evidently preventing the ARRL and FCC from banning unattended stations without busy frequency detectors. The ARRL created a "new protocol development" effort to supposedly address this problem, but the person leading it has since retired, and to my knowledge this effort never gained serious traction.

I'm hoping that the successful deployment of Winmor will allow peace with honor -- WinLink can shift to a less expensive and QRM-free protocol, and the existing PMBOs can either be retired or upgraded to include Winmor's busy frequency detector.

    73,

         Dave, AA6YQ


 


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: AA4PB on March 01, 2009, 04:17:46 PM
This behavior is what makes WinLink illegal; it directly violates §97.101(d), which states "No amateur operator shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio communication or signal."
------------------------------------------------------
I would argue that the majority of operators are NOT willfully or maliciously causing interferrence. Most of the time they are not aware of it. I agree with the idea of a busy frequency detector and I have always thought that restricting all automatic or semi-automtic station to specific frequency segments (except in a declared emergency) would be a good idea. That's not an FCC requirement at the moment however.

On the other side I've tried to have some PactorI keyboard to keyboard QSOs on a clear frequency and been deliberatly QRMed by people throwing carriers on my mark frequency. I know it was deliberate because when I moved, they moved to zero beat my mark again. I figure that they couldn't copy Pactor and assumed that I was a PMBO that they were trying to QRM.


Title: Why WinLInk is illegal on HF
Post by: N5PVL on March 02, 2009, 08:43:22 AM
The Win-Lids know what their equipment does - and put it on the air anyway. The interference they cause is willful at the very least.

Charles Brabham, N5PVL