St. Lawrence County



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RACES/ARES in St Lawrence County

RACES/ARES in St Lawrence County is one organization. All members belong to both RACES and ARES. It is open to all licensed radio amateurs and has no fee for membership. If you are interested in joining, please contact the SLC Radio Officer .

If you would like more information about SLC RACES/ARES, see

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Why should I want to become an Amateur Radio Operator?

Amateur Radio is a hobby that contains many features.

First, it is a hobby. It should be fun. Fun has different meanings for people. Some like the thrill of winning, other enjoy the pleasure of making friends. Others take pleasure in learning about technology or seeing how far around the world they can communicate. Still others know that they can help during emergencies and feel the delight in connecting people who have lost touch with family and friends.

Does the fact that the title is “Amateur” mean that it is somehow less than professional?

The only reason it is called amateur Radio is that it is an all-volunteer pursuit. There are many radio operators that are very professional in what they do. Many spend hours of time and invest their resources to acquire the skill to do an excellent job.

What is in it for me?

When you study and pass the license exam, you will experience the joy of learning exciting new things from getting on the air and from other more experienced radio amateurs. Whether it is during a training exercise or an actual event, the successful completion of a critical communication will bring you the satisfaction that all your effort is worth it.
The license you acquire will open up the broader world of Amateur Radio. It involves the emergency communications, but also so much more. There are clubs, contests, experimentation in radio technology, long distance communication and plain old conversation with strangers from around the world who become friends.
If you get involved in emergency communications, you will help others in your community. If you have ever been involved in helping others during an emergency, you already know the good feeling you get when a friend or stranger with a problem has a good outcome because of your assistance. If you have not been involved like that, here is your opportunity.

There is a whole group of people just like you who want to get to know others in this way. This will be a chance to forge new relationships and make new friends.

For more information contact or visit

For information on licensing tests contact .

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Information about Winlink

Winlink Global Radio Email®️ is a network of amateur radio and authorized government stations that provide worldwide radio email using radio pathways where the internet is not present.

This doesn't sound quite correct.

It may sound strange because the RMS Gateway stations are all connected to the internet. You can even use Winlink Express without a radio - over the internet.
Winlink does operate using the internet but the purpose of using the internet has 2 functions:

  1. To communicate by email when part of the internet is down. If you can connect by radio to a station outside the "internet down" impacted area, that relay station will send your email to recipients who are both radio operators and plain folk who just want regular email. Think of this as an impact when a fiber cable is accidentally cut. This is also effective when institutions are "hacked" by cyber threats, such as hospitals or EOCs.
  2. The internet helps us learn how to use Winlink in an orderly way from very easy to increasingly difficult.

Winlink is also helpful without the internet. Email can be sent from radio to radio (Peer to Peer or P2P) with no need for the internet. Relay stations can also use the store and forward technique to reach the recipient without the internet.

So how do I get involved?

  1. Go to and read about how to start.
  2. Visit YouTube sites to get more information. Here are some I found (but there are many others).
  3. Participate in Winlink Thursdays brought to you by the EmComm Training Organization. For more information go to - These folks are very responsive. Reach out to the team with your questions.
  4. Reach out to other operators in your area for help.

But I am a Technician class. It looks like Winlink is for HF. St Lawrence County has a Winlink Gateway station located in Canton NY at the EOC. It operates on 145.070 simplex using FM VARA. All license classes can connect here. Give it a try.

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Information about Fldigi and associated programs

Fldigi (short for Fast light digital) is a free and open-source program which allows an ordinary computer's sound card to be used as a simple two-way data modem. The software is mostly used by amateur radio operators who connect the microphone and headphone connections of an amateur radio SSB or FM transceiver to the computer's headphone and microphone connections, respectively.

For more details see

TMI - I just want to get started. How do I do that?

You Tube will have what you need. I found that K4REF has a good series of videos that I thought had everything I needed to get started.
The first in the series is His are a little out of date but very good for the basics. There are many others as well.

You can download the Fldigi Suite from either or
I like the w1hkj site better.

Some other opinions
The system can work "through the air" by keying the mic on the radio when the computer speaker sends information and letting the radio speaker use the computer microphone "thru the air". This method is highly dependent on the dexterity of the operator for successful operation. A SignaLink or similar device used as a sound card interface between the radio and the computer will give more uniform performance. If your radio has an internal sound card you will not need an external interface.

An option for receiving messages formatted as Flmsg is to use AndFlmsg on your Android phone. It is a "thru the air" application that works well. It can be downloaded at the Play Store.

The most used parts of the suite are Fldigi and Flmsg. Flamp should also be downloaded and configured. It is handy on HF. Flnet is also useful.

If you have both a VHF and HF radio but only one computer, the Fldigi suite can be configured to work on both radios.

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NetLogger is a logging program for net operations. It can be used over the internet or as a stand-alone. It can be very useful for all nets, especially during compromised conditions. It is used for the NNY HF Digital (Fldigi) Net on the 2nd Monday of the month (2000L).

You can download NetLogger at