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PMBO WinLink 2000 WEB-based Installation

Read-me Notes And Quick Start Guide


Created Mar 26, 2000 by Rick Muething KN6KB   rmuething@cfl.rr.com

Updated August 22, 2000 by Hans Kessler N8PGR   N8PGR@WinLink.org



IMPORTANT!  READ THESE NOTES CAREFULLY BEFORE TRYING TO INSTALL OR OPERATE THE WinLink 2000 SYSTEM. These are meant to provide you with installation and startup instructions. Please report any errors with this document or where there is confusion to one of the E-mail addresses above.



Installation Requirements


This is an intelligent Internet WEB-based installation. An active Internet connection is required during the installation process.

The very first time you run a WinLink2000 installation you need to be connected to the Internet for quite some time. The total connect time depends on your IP connection speed, the current version of your operating system and your current version of WinLink 2000. A first time installation of WinLink 2000 with an IP rate in the 30KB/s range may require up to 4 hours of Internet connect time to download and complete the installation.

Subsequent installations/updates will only load and install what has actually changed since your last WinLink 2000 installation.



Minimum System Requirements


Before you proceed with a WinLink 2000 installation make sure to check your system configuration. WinLink 2000 is a machine demanding product. If you run WinLink 2000 in an environment that does meet these minimum requirements you will experience all sorts of problems, none of which we can help you with.


CPU:        Pentium 220 or faster

Memory:      64 MB for Windows 9x and 128 MB for Windows NT and 2000

Disk:       5 GB of free space. A UDMA capable IDE Disk and motherboard

yield the best performance.

Monitor:      15” Color VGA with 800x600 resolution or better

NIC:        Ethernet 10 Base-T for Windows 9x (not required for

Windows NT or 2000)

Modem:      56K

Phoneline:      Required for PMBO operation

Serial Number: Each and every WinLink 2000 installation requires a worldwide

unique serial number. The Network CMBO operator assigns

serial numbers as PMBO systems come on-line.



Network Discussion


Before we go into installation and setup issues we need to discuss some network basics. This document addresses only a typical PMBO single user environment, although much more complex configurations are possible. For a more in-depth discussion on network assignments and how IP is used in the greater scheme of WinLink 2000 please refer to document Network Addressing. We suggest that your network is set up and configured before you install and run WinLink 2000.


WinLink 2000 uses TCP/IP protocol and UDP protocol (IP in general) to communicate between the various modules, the CMBO and the Internet.

In order for any application to use IP the TCP protocol needs to be installed in your system. The caveat is that under Windows 9x one cannot install TCP without also having a physical network board installed (NIC card). This board can either be a 10 base-T or 100 base-T Ethernet card, neither of which are expensive any longer (around $20). It is NOT necessary to be actually connected to a Local Area Network (LAN) but the card and appropriate drivers and protocols must be installed. 


Depending on which operating system you are running, there are two different scenarios:


Windows 9x systems


-          Install the physical network card

-          Bind the TCP protocol to the card

-          Assign a Fixed IP address to the TCP protocol


After you installed the NIC card and start Windows back up, it will automatically detect the new card and install the correct driver for it. If Windows failed to detect the card you can manually install the driver by choosing the Add New Hardware option from the control panel.


Once the driver is installed you need to bind and configure the TCP protocol. To do so right-click on the Network Neighborhood icon on your desktop. Scroll down the list of components and look for the “TCP/IP -> (your NIC card)” entry. If it is not there click on “Add”, select Protocol and Add, choose Microsoft and then TCP/IP from the right hand window.


Now select the TCP protocol for your NIC card and select Properties. Choose “Specify IP address” and enter the following values in the next two fields labeled IP Address and Subnet Mask:


Then OK all the screens. Windows needs to restart to make the settings active.

Your WinLink 2000 IP address is now Remember that for the discussion of the Profile Editor.

FYI: Certain groups of IP Addresses are used by convention for intra LAN such as those starting with or  The class B, C and D values are not critical for as long as the chosen address does not conflict with any other computer on the network. For more information on this subject please refer to document Network Addressing.


Windows NT and Windows 2000 systems


With these operating systems you do NOT need a special NIC card to bind TCP to. Instead you should install the Loopback Adapter from Microsoft. That is a software emulator that functions just like a NIC card.


In your Control Panel select Add New Hardware. Windows will first be looking for new Plug-and-Play devices and should not find any. Choose the “No, I want to select the hardware from a list” option. Select Network adapters, Manufacturer = Microsoft and model = Loopback Adapter.

Now go to your desktop and right click on the Network Neighborhood. You will see a network connection. Select its properties. Choose TCP and define the IP address in the same manner as described above for Windows 9x.


Issues independent of the operating system


If you are connected to an existing LAN then the unique address for the computer should already be set up if the network is using TCP/IP Protocol. If an existing network is not using TCP/IP Protocol you must add that protocol and bind it to the network card as discussed above.  This should not disrupt normal operation of the network.


If you have a "semi permanent" connection like with a cable modem or ASDL then TCP has probably already been set up to obtain the address dynamically using DHCP. If the computer is left on 24x7 then ICP addresses assigned by DHCP will typically not change.


Once the network installation is complete and the network card has either a fixed or a dynamic address assigned you are ready to run the WinLink 2000 Profile.

If you have made any changes to the Windows Network settings or parameters reboot the system and make sure the network is operating correctly before proceeding.





WinLink 2000 Installation (Setup)


In the installation directory you will find 2 setup programs:


   WL2KPMBOSetup.exe    Installs or updates a full WinLink 2000 System

   ScanSetup.exe           Installs WinLink Scanner v2.2, if needed



To start the installation you execute the respective EXE file.


In order to run the WL2KPMBOSetup.exe you need to be connected to the Internet. This is a WEB based installation, which loads the required modules from the WinLink WEB site. Each installation may load and install different modules, depending on your particular Windows and WL2K version. Some installations may fly right through if all your modules are current while others may run for several hours.


Note the any subsequent installation will never replace your database or your customized text files.


Look at the end of this document how to keep your WinLink 2000 system current and updated.



Important note regarding first time installations


When you install WinLink 2000 the very first time you need to have your assigned Serial Number (password) handy. Do not attempt to install WinLink 2000 without that number, you will not succeed.


If you have not been assigned a serial number yet contact the

WinLink 2000 CMBO sysop. That is currently Steve Waterman (K4CJX@WinLink.org)


Depending on your Windows version the installation may automatically update your Microsoft Data Access Services (MDAC). This happens only once with the first installation. When MDAC is being updated you may be asked to re-start your machine, after which the installation will automatically resume.


Windows NT and 2000 users beware to be logged on as a user with Administrative rights during the installation process.


After WL2KPMBOSetup has finished make sure you run the WinLink 2000 Parameters option from the new WinLink 2000 Program Group. That is where you declare all the important operating parameters.


If you had operated WinLink version 3 before you can convert all your data and messages by running the conversion program from the WinLink 2000 program group. That program converts everything, including your users and routing tables.



Before your station becomes a WinLink 2000 network node you need to contact

the CMBO sysop. There are a number of easy steps to get your station

synchronized with the network. When you run WinLink 2000 without having been authorized by the CMBO you will receive a respective warning each time you start the Communications Controller.




Here is a typical sequence of installation events:


It is suggested that you shut down all your Windows programs currently running before you start the first installation. Subsequent installations do not care about running programs, including WinLink 2000 itself.


Insert the PMBO Installation CD or point to and start the downloaded file WL2KPMBOSetup.exe.


If for some reason your Windows registry entries have become corrupted and need to be reset for WinLink 2000, you can run a special install by passing an additional parameter to the RUN command: WL2KPMBOSetup.EXE CLEARSERIAL.  Note to pass the parameter in capital letters.


When you install WinLink 2000 the very first time on your machine you may notice that a system restart is requested. On some systems, depending on the particular version of Windows, that may be up to three times. Always restart the system at that point. When the system comes back, the installation will automatically continue.



1. You run WL2KPMBOSetup

   Install asks you the usual setup questions and a password

      >> Enter your assigned serial number where the password is asked.

      On Windows 98 and NT systems

         >> Begins to install MDAC

            >> Asks you to re-start the machine. Do so now.


2. WinLink 2000 Setup automatically continues after your system starts up.

   Install asks you the usual setup questions and the password again. Any future installations will never ask you for your password again, unless you do the special install with the parameter CLEARSERIAL.

>> Reply to the installation questions as appropriate. Unless you have a good reason, we suggest to accept all defaults.


Choice of Install paths: The default installation places the entire system on drive C: in directory WL2K with a series of subdirectories underneath. During the installation you are asked the path (drive and directory) where you wish to place WinLink 2000. You may choose to place the installation elsewhere (other drives), however you may not move the installation after it has been installed. There are several system pointers that remember where you installed the system. Whenever you start WinLink 2000 it will always look there for the programs and more importantly for the data.








After a successful installation there are important parameters which must be set prior to running WinLink 2000.  This section deals with that setup.




Running PROFILE:


Profile is the WinLink 2000 program that sets/stores critical parameters in the WinLink 2000 database. This one database holds EVERYTHING about the system (settings, messages, users, attachments inquiry tables etc). There are only 3 exceptions to this:

A series of text files are in the data directory.

·         BANNER.TXT is the log on banner.

·         HELP and INFO are the reply messages to the HELP and INFO commands which are the only two keyboard commands supported by the system. They should contain brief mention that a WinLink 2000 compliant Client like AirMail is necessary to use most functions and where it can be obtained.

The installation program has placed prototype message files already there for you. Please check each text file and change its contents as appropriate for your system.


Start the PROFILE program from the WinLink 2000 program group.


1.      Setting up System Parameters

The Profile program should open with the System tab active. If it is not shown, click on the system tab to make it active. On the system tab you declare the basic station parameters:

·         Enter your call sign without any pre or suffixes

·         Select the MBO Type (Normally PMBO).

·         Enter the H Route normally used in Packet.  E.g. #NCA.CA.USA.NA.

·         Select the number of days you wish to retain delivered messages. We suggest that initially you set this parameter to 7 days so that you have a chance to recall older, read messages for diagnostics purposes.

·         Check self register if you wish to allow users to self register. Note that although this option may be checked, users cannot really self-register over the air until your PMBO has synchronized its station table with the CMBO first.

·         Bulletin forwarding: If your station ever receives bulletins over HF and if you have a Packet outlet (either over VHF/UHF or Telnet) you may select a Packet BBS to route those to. All Bulletins received will be sent to that station. WL2K does not deal with Bulletins.

·         Uncheck (default) the Auto Assign check box

·         Uncheck the Support Remote Transmitter Site check box

·         Enter the fixed IP address you declared during the TCP installation in both fields labeled Internal and External Network. If the network card and protocol are operational, that address is already listed in those fields – there is nothing you must do.

·         You will need the fixed IP address of the CMBO to communicate via the Internet with the CMBO. The current IP address is

·         You cannot change the module or desktop base port numbers.

Now press the Update button



2.      Setting port parameters for HF and Packet

Click on the Ports tab.

This sets up the communication ports. WinLink 2000 supports up to 999 devices (TNCs) per PMBO. At this time only the SCS PTC-II is supported, as seen in the physical device pull-down.

Each like TNC (same brand and model) you have connected is considered an “instance”. Typically you may only have one TNC, therefore you only have one instance: instance 1. For larger installations with radio farms there will be many like TNCs, usually one per radio.


Important note: The SCS PTC-II may house up to three modems in the same box: 1 HF port and up to 2 packet ports. These ports are NOT considered instances. They are members of the device. WinLink 2000 treats them internally like a separate device and you do not need to count them as instances.


To run packet you will need the optional plug in packet modules installed in the PTC-II. If you have only one packet module make sure to install it in socket #1 of the PTC-II.


Port Parameters Tab


·         Select module instance 1 (default)

·         Select the Com-port where that TNC is connected to your computer

·         Select the baudrate you wish to use to communicate to that TNC

·         Leave external Network unchecked

·         The IP address shown should be the same as defined on the System Tab. If for some reason it is not the same, click the checkbox next to it and manually and enter the IP address, then uncheck the checkbox again.

·         Leave the TCP timeout at 15 seconds

·         Press the Update button

Upon pressing the Update button you will receive a message that port parameters have changed. Make sure you answer YES to the question about saving them. If you press the Update button and do not get this question you need to make any change on the form and change it back, then click Update again.



IP Connection Tab


For WinLink 2000 to access the Internet requires one of the following connection types:

1)    Full time Internet connection via a LAN, Cable modem or ASDL type connection.

2)    Dial up connection via standard or ISDN dial up lines.


If you are using a dial up connection it must be configured to automatically dial and log onto your Internet Service Provider (ISP.) This has probably been set up before and should be available as connection in Dial up networking. It is necessary to have the “save password” checked so the program can automatically dial in using this connection setup. You may have multiple dial up connections set up and you will pick one of these later.  If your computer is not set up for internet dial up you must set this up first (usually part of the installation of the ISP provider setup).


On the IP Connection Tab you will select one of three possible connection methods:

1)    Dial up only. Use this if you are using a dial up. You should have a list of available phone book entries (connection settings from dial up network). You must highlight one of the phone book entries if you select dial up. The selected connection will be the one used by WinLink 2000 to communicate with the CMBO and other IP points over the Internet.

2)    Full time connection. This is if you have a full time setup like a network, cable modem or ASDL.

3)    Once full-time is checked you get another option labeled Multihomed Selection. That serves to select the proper network when your machine is connected to more than one network. This should never apply to a typical PMBO installation.

4)    Both Full time and Dialup as a backup. If you have both connections available you may check both. In that case the full time is used unless it does not find an active IP connection then the dial up is tried.



You should normally also check the Ping Verify checkbox and enter a domain to use for ping verification. This can be any valid IP address but it is best if it is an IP domain not local to your local network or hosted on your ISP. Using winlink.org will Ping winlink.org once an IP connection is established.


Now press the Update button again and your settings are saved.



Telnet Tab


There is a separate document describing Telnet operations and the parameters on this tab. The document is located on http://winlink.org/wl2k/PMBO_Docs. The document name is Telnet Client Module Users Guide.rtf.





You may now close the Profile Editor and configure Scheduler




Setting up the Scheduler


Start the Scheduler from your WinLink 2000 program group. This program will automatically minimize itself when started. Click on the icon on the task bar to make it visible.


Go to the main Scheduler menu and Click Schedules from the Menu bar at the top. The CMBO Schedule tab will come up. Default values have already been chosen for you, but you may wish to change them as follows:


There are three values which may be entered. The blind call interval sets the number of minutes you will wait between polls of the CMBO. For normal dial ups this should be in the range of 30 –120 minutes. If you are charged by your ISP for each connection or if you must share the phone line with other voice or fax services you may wish to choose a longer interval. By using a longer interval you will increase the message latency period and you will increase the connection time at each connection since there may be more messages to exchange.


If you have a full time connection you can set the time shorter but less than 15 minutes is not recommended as it will increase overhead at the CMBO.


The time for call CMBO with QTC may be shorter or the same as the normal polling interval. This sets the calling time when you have outbound messages for the CMBO.  The interval numbers shown are approximate, as there is some randomization done to reduce the likelihood several PMBOs will try and connect at the same time. The CMBO can however handle simultaneous connections.


Finally the Retry interval is the wait period for a retry if the connection failed. This can be a short period (say 5 minutes).


The other (currently the only other active) tab is the Maintenance tab. This allows setting the times (all UTC) for resetting usage counts and backing up the WinLink database. The default values should be adequate for initial operation.


When finished Close the scheduler setup and then Close the Scheduler program.


Once you have completed these steps make a backup copy of file winlink.mdb in the data directory. This file and the text files mentioned above determine the total "state or profile" at any point in time of your station.




How to test your parameters and IP communication


There is one very simple way to test your entire setup:


1.                Start the Scheduler

2.                Start the SCS module with the TNC connected and in AUTOBAUD standby. You should hear the Beep in the TNC and it should go into STBY just as in old WinLink. Looking on your SCS screen you should see a number of yellow module squares show up, one for each module installed in the TNC. There will always be an HF module plus 1 or 2 Packet modules.

If the TNC fails to start up check all the parameters using the Tools menu option. Make sure you have the correct Com port selected and no other Windows application is using that Com port.


3.                Start the Communications Controller. It should come up on the screen with one yellow module showing the CMBO. If that module does not show up (eventually you will also receive an error message) it indicates that IP is not working in your machine. You need to go back and confirm your Network setup and the parameters selected in Profile.


Within a few seconds you should also see the SCS modules show up in green. The same number of modules shown on the SCS screen must also appear on CC. Furthermore, on the SCS screen you need to see a handshake icon on the top right hand corner of the screen.


If any of the above is not happening you need to re-check your network settings and parameters in Profile.


4.                Check the connection to the CMBO. Note: you will not be able to exchange any data with the CMBO. That feature is protected until such time as the CMBO Sysop enters your registration in its database. This test will communicate with the CMBO on a lover level to ensure your communication path is working.


First check the Diagnostics option on CC. Then enlarge the CC window by dragging the lower end of its screen down some. You will notice 2 empty windows showing up.


Next, click on the yellow CMBO module in CC and confirm that you want to call the CMBO. You will hear the modem dial and after a short period of time you will see a message in the left-hand debug window stating NOT_REGISTERED. When you see this you have confirmed that all is working perfectly between your PMBO and the CMBO.

After 30 seconds a message window will appear telling you that the CMBO has not responded. That is normal because you are not registered yet.


You are now ready to contact the CMBO operator and schedule for database synchronization.


Important: Database synchronization is required in order for your HF and Packet users to be able to connect to or self-register themselves with your system. Although you may have the self registration option checked in Profile, self registration is not allowed until after you have synchronized the users with the CMBO.



5.                While you have all these programs on the screen you may also wish to arrange their position and size to your liking. All modules remember their position after they close down and come back in that same position.







Running the PMBO Modules



When you install WinLink 2000 you will notice that program Startup is placed in your startup folder. This program is responsible to sequence the startup of all required WinLink 2000 programs in order. No other entries are needed in your Startup folder.


When the startup program is activated with parameter AUTOSTART, such as from the startup folder, it will automatically sequence all WinLink 2000 programs for that station type and then exit without notification. When activated normally, via the WinLink 2000 program group, the program performs no action unless so directed by the user.


There are 6 program modules which should be running to operate the basic WinLink 2000 PMBO station. Each of these modules interacts with the WinLink database to run the system. All data processing tasks are handled through the database but there are a few important synchronization tasks handled by intermodule IP messages. The following summarizes each of these modules and how they are used and set up.





This module has several functions and serves to schedule and co-ordinate such things as calling the CMBO, connecting to the Internet, backing up the database and maintaining user accounts and usage timing. Scheduler also is the one module that manages the Internet connections required by the CC module and the IQDaemon module. The scheduler module must be the first module started.



The Queue Processor is the “engine” that processes all inbound and outbound messages. It must be running to have messages flow through the system. No settings are required to run the QueueProcessor.


Communication Controller (CC):

The CC handles all traffic in and out of the PMBO. It communicates with all TNCs (Radio users) as well as the CMBO. It uses the common FBB protocol with extension B2 which allows binary transfer of attachments. All communication amongst all modules has been standardized using IP communication.



This module handles all request for bulletins. This includes lists of available bulletins, lists of current users (last 24 hours) and list of mobile users and last reported positions. Bulletins for which there is not a current (fresh) cached version are requested from the Internet.


SCS Module:

This module sets and runs the PTC-II controller. Multiple SCS instances including remote connections via IP may be running. The SCS module contains menus for setting all parameters for the PTC-II, both for HF and Packet (if installed). Press the Tools menu option to access the parameters.



There is a special 2.2 version for use with WinLink 2000. Later the scanner functions will be incorporated into the scheduler. The scanner 2.2 will use the same setup parameters as were used in a prior WinLink installation.




Converting from a WinLink MBO to a WinLink 2000 PMBO.


VERY IMPORTANT!!!! If you are converting from an existing WinLink MBO to a WinLink 2000 PMBO you must follow the following procedure before accepting any incoming messages to the new system.


First make sure the WinLink 2000 installation has been done above, confirm that all appears to be working and the required 6 modules can be run.


Then, if you are running Netlink, contact Deni (WB0TAX) and arrange with him a specific time for him to forward any incoming Netlink mail to WinLink 2000.  Have Deni send you an email confirming that forwarding is on.  Your incoming email to the Netlink address e.g. Call@mlb.win-net.org will then be forwarded to Call@winlink.org.


After you have received confirmation that forwarding is on. Connect using Netlink and retrieve what should be the last incoming messages to your win-net.org address.


Now shut down all old WinLink programs.  Run the Old2New WinLink 2000 program. This program may take up to 1 hr to run depending on CPU speed and the size of your old WinLink database. It will bring all messages and bulletins into the new WinLink 2000 system. When it is complete you should be able to view the messages using the WinLink 2000 Message administrator program.


In your sign on banner advise all mobile AirMail users to be sure and set their parameters with the OPTIONS message. Critical parameters are their mobile status and their attachment limit. The defaults upon conversion are not mobile and attachments = 0. This will mean that incoming messages are NOT mirrored to all PMBOs and no attachments will be sent.




Updates to WinLink 2000


In your WinLink 2000 program group is a module named Check for WinLink 2000 updates. This is an automated update wizard that will go to the WinLink WEB site and look for updates. It will automatically install any updates if they are present or it will tell you if your installation is current. You may place this program in your startup directory so that it automatically checks for updates whenever your start your computer. Note that there is a 5 day latency built in with the automatic update. This means that when you run the update wizard in silent mode from the startup group it actually only looks for updates once a week.


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