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 HF 4.6.5 (VARA FM 4.2.5)
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. (VARA HF 4.6.5 (VARA FM 4.2.5))
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 (VARA HF 4.6.5 (VARA FM 4.2.5))
Highlights to some of the new features:
Broadcasts & Clear VARA Buffer
Enabling Linux compatible mode & Block Vmail parking
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
73, Irad 4Z1AC and the VarAC team.
Important note: if you upgrade from an older VarAC version then:
YOU MUST Upgrade your VARA version to VARA HF 4.6.5 (VARA FM 4.2.5)
Download the VarAC Zip file.
Unpack to a temporary directory.
Copy ONLY the VarAC.exe file to your existing VarAC installation directory.