Winlink Thursdays: How Do They Work?


Step One:  Find your Clearinghouse Tactical Winlink Address here...

Step Two: This Week's Winlink Thursday assignment:

[to find pre-2023 Winlink Thursdays, and their results, click here]

[Click on a ▶ link, to expand its contents]

General Notes on Frequently-Seen Mistakes... Please Read!:

General Notes:

We see many of the same mistakes being repeated week after week, across different exercise types, so we think it’s worthwhile to call these out.

Sending incorrect longitude and latitude data

We use the latitude and longitude data to plot you onto maps. Sometimes that map data is obviously incorrect. This occurs when folks in the Western Hemisphere omit the minus sign in front of longitude or when folks in the Southern Hemisphere omit the minus sign in front of latitude.
The use of a GPS dongle helps to mitigate against this. If you’re not using a GPS dongle, do take extra care in copying/pasting or entering those numbers

Incorrect format when answering a multiple choice question

When we ask a multiple choice question on a Winlink Check In message, we require the answer to be in a specific format: a single character, uppercase letter on the first line of the Comments field. We don’t want any punctuation before or after that single letter. We don’t want an explanation. We just want a single letter.
Here’s a partial list of answers that we consider “not valid”:
  • B is the answer
  • The answer is B
  • “B”
  • B.
Providing real-time tactical digital communications in conjunction with a map showing the locations of stations

Not sending to an ETO clearinghouse

We use a group of volunteers to act as the “Clearinghouses” for most exercises. The purpose of the Clearinghouses is to divide the work that we do to process your messages. Each Clearinghouse has a specific Winlink tactical address: ETO-01 through ETO-10 (corresponding to USA FEMA regions), plus ETO-DX for non-US participants and ETO-CAN for Canada.
If you don’t address your message to one of these tactical addresses, we won’t receive your message.
Even though some Winlink Templates, such as the Winlink Check In, allow you to address your message directly from the message itself, we strongly discourage this. Instead, we would strongly encourage you to create a Winlink “contact” for your clearinghouse.
Then, after you hit the [Submit] button on the template, click on the [To:] button and select your clearinghouse contact.
Yes, it’s a bit more work to set up, but once you have it correctly set up, you will not make an accidental mistake by entering “ETO-1”, or “ETO-O1” ( with a letter "O" next to the "1" ) when you meant to enter “ETO-01” ("eee-tee-ohh-dash-zero-one").

Results for April 13th "Weather Report":

4/13/2023 "Local Weather Report": Results Map

"How do I interpret the score I received from my submission?"

The table below contains the grading key that was used to grade the exercise.
You can compare your message to the table to determine which fields you may have missed.

Field NameGrading Criteria
Observer Name: Filled In
DateTime: Filled In
Location: Filled In
LAT: Filled In
LON: Filled In
City: Filled In
County: Filled In
State Filled In
Current Conditions Filled In
Temperature Filled In
Wind Speed: Number & Estimated selected
Notes: Filled In

Breakdown of Errors by Message Field
Field Number of Messages
With Errors
Percent of Messages
With Errors
Wind Speed: 87 15.62%
Location: 74 13.29%
Notes: 31 5.57%
State 12 2.15%
Current Conditions 12 2.15%
County: 9 1.62%
City: 3 0.54%

Example of Completed Local Weather Report

If you have questions please send email to:
The ETO team

"How do I find my Check-In on the Map?"

  1. In your Web Browser, with our Results Map displayed...
  2. On the left side, you'll see a list of the 11 ETO Clearinghouses.
  3. Click the  ∨  (down-pointing caret), and the list will expand vertically;
  4. Type a "Ctrl-F", to use the Browser's "Find On This Page" function;
  5. Type your Callsign;
  6. Your Browser will highlight your callsign, in the vertical list on the left.
  7. Click on your Callsign, and the Map will show you your "pushpin".
  8. Click on your Pushpin, and, on the left side of the screen, all of the information you sent in, will be listed.

[Click on the ▶ or the line of text above, to expand its contents]

WLT Weather Report for April 13th, 2023:

Summary: In this Exercise for Thursday, April 13th, 2023, you will:
  • Use the Beaufort scale to estimate wind speed at your location.
  • Use Winlink Express to create and send a Local Weather Report form.

Please send any questions about the Winlink Thursdays to:
Please send any questions about our group on to:

73's from the EmComm Training Team
===Information===>> Find YOUR Region's Clearinghouse Tactical Address HERE...

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