Connecting to SailMail via the Internet, using AirMail

If you have an internet connection into your computer (e.g. a Wi-fi or cell-phone connection in port, or an Iridium or Inmarsat sat-phone offshore) then you can use AirMail to directly retrieve your SailMail messages over the internet instead of connecting via HF-Radio. This is very handy when you are in a marina where internet access is available, and is handy offshore when propagation is poor.

If you are using a version of AirMail that is version 3.3.069 or later, it is easy. Just press the “internet” button on the message index window, which looks like a lightning bolt. In the window that then opens up, press the “connect” button, which looks like a green ball. If your internet access is working you will retrieve and send all of your SailMail messages just as if you had a (very fast) connection via radio.

To test your internet access to make sure it is working you can open www.google.com in your browser. If you can get to Google you should be able to send and retrieve your SailMail messages. (If not, see “Troubleshooting” below).


If you have a version of AirMail that is prior to 3.3.069, and you can’t upgrade now, then you can still retrieve your SailMail messages but the setup is slightly trickier. Read on…

Recent Airmail versions have the telnet window pre-configured to connect to Sailmail. Simply open Modules menu, Telnet-client. Select station WRD719 (the Palo Alto station), make sure you have an internet connection, and click the green “connect” button. Airmail will connect to the Sailmail server via internet and send/receive messages, the same as a radio connection except much faster. The same compression is also used, making this a much more efficient connection than a POP3/SMTP email connection- this is especially useful for cell-phones and sat-phones. There is no reason to use a compression service when connecting via Telnet.

The following details will allow you to set up earlier versions of Airmail, or to check your settings:

To set up Airmail’s telnet window, first select the Tools menu, Options window, Modules tab, and make sure that the box to the left of “Telnet Client” is checked. Click OK.
Then go to the “Modules” menu and select “Telnet Client”, this opens the Telnet window. Check the list of stations, both “WRD719” and “WHV382” should be listed.

Select “WRD719” and click the “Settings” button (or click “New” if there is no listing for WRD719). Check or enter the following settings:

Remote callsign: WRD719
Remote host: pop3.sailmail.com (see note **)
Port: 50 (or 50001)
Timeout: (leave blank)
Local callsign: (your Sailmail/marine callsign)
Password: (your Sailmail internet “POP3” password, Case-Sensitive!).
Check the box “Include in check-all” (unless this is checked for WHV382, below).

Click OK, then select “WHV382” (or click “New”), and check (or enter) the following:

Remote callsign: WHV382
Remote host: r7fh.no-ip.com
Port: 50 (or 50001)
TImeout: (leave blank)
Local callsign: (your Sailmail/marine callsign)
Password: (your Sailmail internet “POP3” password, Case-Sensitive!).
Check the box “Include in check-all” (unless this was checked for WRD719, above).

Click OK to save settings. (Note: Don’t change the “B2” selection)

To check mail, go to Airmail’s Modules/Telnet menu, make sure that WRD719 or WHV382 is selected in the callsign box and click the green “connect” button (or the “Check All” button).

** Note: For quicker access via Iridium, use WRD719, make sure the port is “50”, and enter the numeric IP-address “72.32.198.206” instead of “pop3.sailmail.com”– this saves a few seconds. Note that this address may change if we need to shift servers– so if it won’t connect then enter the “pop3.sailmail.com” and note the address which is shown when you connect. (Don’t include the quotes shown here).


Troubleshooting

If you get an error instead of connecting, then double-check your settings and try port 50 instead of 50001, or vice-versa. Also try opening a web page in a browser. If you cannot open a web page, then find out why your internet connection is not working.
If you can open a web page but cannot connect to Sailmail, then it is likely that the internet provider has blocked port 50 and 50001. Ask them to un-block port 50 (or 50001), or read on:

There is one other trick, and that is to use Airmail’s “mail client” window to access Sailmail’s POP3 server. This is unlikely to be blocked for receiving mail, but may be blocked for sending mail. Here’s the skinny:

Connecting to Sailmail via Airmail’s mail-client window:

Open Airmail’s Tools/Options window, click on Modules tab, make sure that “Mail (pop/smtp) Client” is checked (enabled). Click OK to save changes and close.

Now go to Airmail’s Modules menu, Mail-client. If you don’t already have a “Sailmail” tab, then click “New”, enter “Sailmail” as the account-name (without the quotes, for all this), and enter the following settings:

On the right side, under “POP3 connection”, enter the following:
—————————————————————-
Server address: pop3.sailmail.com
Login name: (your Sailmail callsign)
Password: (your Sailmail password, same as for telnet)
Leave mail on server: No check-mark
(no entry for “days” or “KB” box)
Timeout: 60
Port: 110
Tick the box “Include in check-all”.

On the left, under “SMTP connection” enter the following:
———————————————————
Server address: smtp.sailmail.com
From Name: (your name or boat name, used only for the return address)
Email address: (your complete Sailmail address– callsign@sailmail.com)
Authorization: Check the “Login” box
Login: (your Sailmail callsign, same as above)
Password: (your Sailmail password, same as above)
Timeout: 60
Port: 2525
Check the box “Include in check-all”.

Now click OK to save and close, and then click “Check all” on the mail-client window to check your mail.

This uses the standard POP3 connection (port 110), that will certainly not be blocked.
For sending mail, many providers want you to use their own SMTP server. That’s fine, ask them what the server-address and login info is.

If you want Airmail to also dial a telephone connection then check the
“First dial…” box and select the appropriate connection. (Note: earlier
versions of Airmail did not properly disconnect even when the “hang up” box
was selected, always make sure that the phone disconnects).

Note that Iridium has blocked most internet ports, as a result Sailmail
is currently supporting both port 50 and 50001 on both servers- use port-50 for Iridium connections, or if there is any problem connecting to port 5001- it may be a blocked port for the local connection.

More information:
=================
For more details on accessing Sailmail via an Iridium sat-phone, see the FAQ post IridiumPPP

Also, for HAMS, remember that Winlink also supports Telnet but the settings
are different. Check the Airmail help file and the MBO List (View menu) for
settings and server addresses, or contact k4cjx@comcast.net.

Cheers, Jim
support@sailmail.com

(revised 2015-06-24)