(slow) Internet over Ham Radio; AI over HF (2024-03-09)

Today we are researching the possibility of using some form of Internet over Ham Radio.

Starlink is great! It did not work in the forest – tree cover was great (can never be too much when camping).

Can we use (slow) Internet over HF radio?

What options do we have?


  • WSJT and WSPR are special digital weak signal modes developed by ham radio’s own Nobel laureate, Joe Taylor, K1JT. WSJT (Weak Signal - Joe Taylor) mode provides several modes optimized for meteor scatter, troposcatter, or EME (Earth - Moon - Earth, moonbounce) communication. (source: Weak Signal Modes)
  • Email over HF with Winlink could work - “Winlink uses a worldwide HF system that can be used nearly anywhere in the world. By connecting a single sideband (SSB) radio to a computer with dedicated software and a modem interface, Winlink email messages can be sent throughout the system for endpoint delivery.”
  • AX.25 Packet Radio (over HF preferably)




Maybe this is it: Icom IC-7300 HF Radio Portable Operations - HF Radio Email

WinLink Activity

Winlink Message Activity (Worldwide) Feb 2024 Mar 2024
HF Activity
Pactor 1 0 0
Pactor 2 88 29
Pactor 3 884 392
Pactor 4 3,465 903
Robust Packet 34 14
ARDOP 200 0 0
ARDOP 500 97 42
ARDOP 1000 0 0
ARDOP 2000 67 35
VARA 10,197 4,030
VARA 500 5,108 1,571
VARA 2750 5,966 2,398
Total Connections 25,906 9,414
Total Messages Received 31,396 9,295
Total Messages Sent 37,584 11,081
Message Size Accumulation 364,542 KB 110,145 KB
Average Message Size 5,285 Bytes 5,406 Bytes
FM Activity
ARDOP 2000 FM 0 0
VARA FM 11,544 3,757
VARA FM WIDE 25,636 8,498
Packet Activity
Messages Received 8,460 2,729
Messages Sent 10,029 3,133
APRS Gateway Activity
Messages Received 149 26
Messages Sent 114 7
WebMail Activity
Messages Received 6,445 2,314
Messages Sent 888 1,734
Total Message Activity 95,065 30,319

Source: Live System Information | Winlink Global Radio Email

Protocols and their speed

Protocol Approximate Speed (bps)
WINMOR 500 to 1600
ARDOP 200 to 2400
VARA HF 500 to 7100 (with a premium license)

Transmission speeds (as per ChatGPT 4 – may be inaccurate)

Mode Description Speed (CPS)
FT-8 Designed for weak signal HF/VHF digital communications; emphasizes speed over message length. 15 CPS
JT65 Optimized for extremely weak signal conditions; used primarily for EME (moonbounce) and HF. ~1 CPS
JT9 Similar to JT65 but with narrower bandwidth, making it suitable for LF, MF, and HF bands. ~1 CPS
JT4 Intended for EME on the VHF/UHF bands with a variety of tone spacings to accommodate different needs. ~1 CPS
WSPR (Weak Signal Propagation Reporter) Designed for sending and receiving low-power transmissions to test propagation paths. ~0.14 CPS
Q65 Designed to enhance communication on the HF bands and for EME, with capabilities for very weak signals. Depends on configuration
FT4 Faster than FT-8 and used for radio contesting, offering quick turnaround for rapid contacts. 23 CPS
Mode Description Speed (CPS)
PSK31 A digital mode for keyboard-to-keyboard communication, known for its efficiency and low bandwidth. ~31 CPS
RTTY (Radioteletype) One of the oldest data modes, using a 5-bit Baudot code, commonly used in contests. 60-100 CPS (170 Hz shift)
Olivia A digital mode that is highly configurable and robust under varying conditions, with error correction. Varies with configuration
Contestia Similar to Olivia, but with different configurations optimized for contesting scenarios. Varies with configuration
Feld Hell A mode that uses a method called Hellschreiber, sending text as a series of vertical lines for visual decoding. ~17 CPS
MFSK (Multiple Frequency Shift-Keying) Offers various configurations, known for its robustness and ability to carry images (MFSK16, MFSK32, etc.). Varies with configuration
Thor A family of error-correcting modes similar to PSK but with a different waveform, offering robustness. Varies with configuration
Throb A slow mode designed for weak signal work, transmitting a single tone that throbs in pitch. ~4 CPS

More links

What if we used pure Voice ChatGPT over FM/SSB? So this would be AI over Ham Radio?

  • your home radio listens on 3.xxMhz
  • you dial into this frequency and ask it a question
  • chatGPT answers back

AI over HF

here is a reply. Would this be sent to you? Via email? Let’s try