Winlink email continues to be a highly-used system in incident management and disaster response operations. However, the primary client software, Winlink Express, runs only in the Windows OS, which poses problems for operators who primarily run other operating systems.
Inspired by Mark Griffith KD0QYN's PiGate concept and hardware, PiPat combines a Raspberry Pi computer, TNC-Pi 2 board and the Pat web-based Winlink client to deliver an integrated, modern solution for Winlink operation.
PiPat is usable with smartphones and tablets and works for a variety of use cases. In addition to being an economical AX.25 packet and Winlink station, it can also serve in emergency response roles. For example, it could be deployed at an emergency shelter to allow laypeople to send and receive emails to loved ones via Winlink from their own devices while still giving the ham operator control over transmission. It can be attached to an existing WiFi network or establish itself as an independent WiFi access point. The system supports UHF, VHF and HF transceivers and protocols.