VarAC V6.2.4 is here! With Broadcasts (Group chat), Linux/Pi compatibility, SNR graphs, VarAC RIG profiles, Chat translate and more!

Walter Holmes K5WH






From: VarAC Updates <iradirad@...>
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2022 2:57 AM
To: K5WH Walter Holmes <walterh@...>
Subject: [Norton AntiSpam]VarAC V6.2.4 is here! With Broadcasts (Group chat), Linux/Pi compatibility, SNR graphs, VarAC RIG profiles, Chat translate and more!


Hi VarACiers! I thought we would take some time off from developing after the launch of V6 which was a true game changer. But I must admit i‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 

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 VarAC V6.2.4 is here

With Broadcasts (group chat), Linux/Pi compatibility, SNR graphs, VarAC RIG profiles, Chat translate and more!

Hi VarACiers!


I thought we would take some time off from developing after the launch of V6 which was a true game changer. But I must admit it was hard to keep our hands off the keyboard 😉


This is by far the richest VarAC release ever. Lots of new features, enhancements and also huge infrastructure upgrade for future scale.


BUT one of the game changers in this version is the BROADCAST features which allows you to send asynchronous (non ARQ) messages to one or to ALL. This allows for the first time a GROUP CHAT! Broadcasts are using the same good old protocol that is used by packet radio and APRS - the X25 protocol.


In addition, beyond the many other new features we developed (see list below), we also implemented a SQL based database (Sqlite) for Vmails (first), and soon for other features. Upon startup, VarAC will convert your existing mailbox from the VarAC_mailbox.mbx file into the new VarAC.db SqLite DB file.

This opens up huge opportunities, for software developers who want to integrate their software with VarAC and extend the echo-system. More features will soon utilize this SqLite DB.



1. This version requires VARA 4.6.5!

2. Relay notifications only works between VarAC 6.2.4 version.


Now lets dig in:


New features in V6.2.4

·         VarAC Broadcasts - Sending an asynchronous message to a user or to ALL. (Requires VARA 4.6.5)

·         SNR Live graph - see SNR reports of you and your QSO partner on a live graph.

·         Pi/Linux compatible mode - Full support of VarAC on Linux/Raspberry using WINE. Read THIS for more details.

·         Translation - "right click text -> Translate" in the data stream and it will show a google translate result.

·         Edit VMails - that are waiting in your outbox

·         VarAC profiles - easily switch between different VarAC configurations for different RIGs. (Settings -> Switch profile)

·         VarAC Cluster - run multiple VarACs with different ini & rigs while sharing resources. Great for VMail relays across different bands. Read THIS tutorial for more details.

·         QSO Summary - showing summary data upon disconnection.

·         Clean VARA buffer - clear a message that is already in the VARA buffer but yet to be sent. Requires a VARA license (requires VARA 4.6.5)

Highlights to some of the new features:


Broadcasts & Clear VARA Buffer

SNR graphs

Enabling Linux compatible mode & Block Vmail parking

Profile switch

But that's not all. There are many more things that we have changed / improved in VarAC V6.2.4:



·         Block VMail parking - Prevent your VarAC from receiving 3rd party VMails (under settings)

·         Removing personalized away messages to save traffic.

·         Closing com ports upon VARA modem disconnect.

·         Reported ADIF Mode is no longer controlled by the user. It's now hard coded as DYNAMIC.

·         Showing a warning if trying to start a connection on a busy frequency.

·         Showing a warning if setting a callsign that is too long under "My information" screen.

·         Small arrows above the frequency indicator are now tied to the slot system and will move you between slots.

·         Change in 17m Calling frequency. Moved from 18.106 to 18.107.

·         Allowing the use of <LOC> tags in welcome messages.

·         Reducing welcome message to 50 characters.

·         Reducing max Vmail message size to 300 characters.

·         Mailbox is now implemented using a SqLite DB (VarAC.db file). This opens new opportunities for software integrations for developers.

·         Not showing non-500Hz CQ/Beacons if intercepted on a calling frequency.

·         Disable VarAC <-> VARA KISS connection with VarAC.ini parameter: VarahfEnableKissInterface

Have fun!

73, Irad 4Z1AC and the VarAC team.

Important note: if you upgrade from an older VarAC version then:

1.   YOU MUST Upgrade your VARA version to 4.6.5

2.   Download the VarAC Zip file.

3.   Unpack to a temporary directory.

4.   Copy ONLY the VarAC.exe file to your existing VarAC installation directory.

P.S: With great features, come great bugs... so we did a lot of cleanup on some very annoying bugs you've reported:


Bug fixes

·         Locking field on the call-history screen for read-only.

·         VARA-FM - closing the modem screen upon VarAC Closing.

·         VARA-FM - changing the VARA ports automatically based on port numbers selected in the VarAC settings screen.

·         VARA-FM - Fixing the "WRONG" message on the VARA command log upon VarAC Startup

·         Mailbox rows where too tight. Extended their height for better viewability.

·         Added 500ms wait time before queueing up a new message to be sent to overcome some VARA modem dead locks.

·         Not sending relay notification with callsigns that are longer than 6 characters (AX25 protocol limit)

·         Using the mouse wheel on the slot selector slider now moves one slot at a time

·         When receiving a VMail with a full callsign (Like 4Z1AC/P) it ended up in parking and not in inbox.

·         Free form QSY ("#") did not allow a sniffing or QSY to a manually inserted frequency.

·         Pausing beacon while sniffing another non-CF frequency.

·         When a corrupted packet is received, performing a clean disconnection.

·         While invited to QSY, and when not using frequency control through cat (but manually) your VarAC kept showing you are on the CF and killed your link when CF time limit exceeded.

·         When the CF is busy, and trying to connect on a slot, VarAC didn't let you continue with the connect sequence.

·         When disabling Vmail relay notifications, VarAC still changed the VARA.ini kiss port number.


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