Using Paclink MP with AGWPE and TNC-X

TNC-X provides one of the simplest and most cost effective means for putting a WinLink 2K client on the air. The most recent client for WinLink 2K is Paclink MP. Paclink MP provides support for AGWPE, which provides support for a wide range of TNC's including TNC-X. Paclink MP, AGWPE and some email client (such as Outlook Express) are the only software packages you need to get on WinLink 2K, and all of these packages are available for free. In particular, the Paclink Post Office program that used to be needed is no longer required.

This section is designed to show you step by step how to set up Paclink MP to work with TNC-X. It assumes that you have already installed and configured AGWPE to run with TNC-X. The latest version of Paclink MP can be downloaded from the Yahoo Paclink MP user group.

Paclink MP comes as a .zip file. Unzip it into a directory and you will find a setup program which will automate the installation process. You will need to have a runtime version of the .NET framework installed on your PC if it is not already there. If it isn't, the Paclink installer will lead you through the .NET download and installation process. Before you run Paclink, it would be a good idea to start up AGWPE. You can tell if you have successfully done this by looking for the AGWPE icon in the taskbar at the bottom of your screen:

When you run Paclink for the first time the registration screen will come up:

Fill in the items on this screen (select a password) and press the update button to register your station (you will need an active internet connection to do this).

At this point the properties screen will come up:

You will need to fill in a password here, and if you are planning to use Outlook Express to access your WinLink Email check the "Add this account to Outlook Express" Box. Press the Update button.

You will now be taken to the main Paclink screen where the program will test to make sure you have an Internet connection. It will also look to see if there are any Paclink program updates. (Note: you do not need an Internet connection to use Paclink, but it is almost essential to have one during this initial setup and configuration phase). If you click on File, you will get the following menu:

Select "AGW Engine" from this menu and you will see the following:

Click on "Local Machine" and use the Browse button to locate your copy of the AGWPE executable. Then press Update. Now from the File menu on the main screen select "Packet AGW channels" (which will no longer be greyed out). You'll see the following:

Here you create a path to your local RMS site that will connect you by radio to the Internet. A map of these stations is available online. Specify the station's callsign (which will probably have an SSID of 10) in the Remote callsign box, give the channel a name and select your AGW port from the drop down box.

Press close to create the channel.

To send and receive email from the Internet over radio, you don't need to interact with Paclink at all... you just need to configure it and then you will send/receive email via a local email client... such as Outlook Express. But to have this happen automatically, you must set up Paclink to periodically check for incoming email. To do this, select "Polling Interval..." from the main screen File menu:

Check the top box to have the program automatically check for incoming email (you can also specify the interval). If you would like the program to not wait for the next polling interval to expire when it has email to send, also check the bottom box.

You must leave Paclink running in order for it to send and recieve email, but after it is configured you can minimize it and interact only with your email client. If you are using Outlook Express and asked Paclink to create an Paclink account in it, the only thing you will have to do when you next run Outlook is to specify your Paclink password (you will be prompted for it) the first time you check for email. More information on Paclink and Win2K is available at the Winlink website.