Auto-QSY has transformed the way we work with VarAC. The CF (Calling Frequency) is now more available for CQs and Beacons while QSOs and VMails exchange are happening mostly on slots.
But I always felt there was a missing part in that mechanism. Sometimes your partner doesn't QSY along with you (for various reasons) and the link is dropped. So...
📢 Introducing: QSY Recovery
VarAC will now wait to receive an "I am alive" signal after the QSY sequence. If that does not happen in 20-25 seconds, it will fall back to the previous frequency so the link remains (Both sides need to run the latest version for this to work)
But that's not all...
let's talk about alert tags. They are super useful, BUT not useful enough... at least not until today.
📢 Introducing: Granular alert tags
V7.1.4 extends the coverage of alert tags and so they cover all incoming data channels : Data stream, Beacons, Broadcasts and CQs. So you can now set a callsign as an alert tag and VarAC will alert you (with sound and visual) that it has just called CQ or beaconed.
But hey - that's still not all.
VarAC lets you move between frequencies... and the missing piece in that puzzle was always the antenna tuner.
📢 Introducing: Auto Antenna Tuning
VarAC can now trigger your RIG antenna tuner every time it moves between frequencies or only between bands (band-skip). This only works with supported rigs that has a CAT command that triggers the tuner.
you will need to deploy the new VarAC_cat_commands.ini file in the VarAC ZIP file to enjoy this.
And no, its still not all there is in V7.1.4.
Here is the full list of features and improvements.
A list of fixed bugs can be found in toward the end of this email.
Auto QSY recovery: in case one of the sides failed to QSY both sides will return the me main frequency. This is done by new QSY accept / reject tags. Both sides need to be on the latest version for this to work.
Extended Alert tags: now searched in all broadcasts elements (FROM/TO/MSG), CQs and Beacons. You can now get alert for specific prefixes calling CQ/Beacon, set a Broadcast alert group etc.
Granular Alert tags: Enabling/Disabling alert tags per element (Beacon / CQ / Broadcast / DataStream)
Auto antenna tune upon frequency change. You can set to always or only during band skip. (works with CAT & FLrig with and only with supported rigs).
TCP based CAT control (For all those modern SDRs)
Frequency offset calibration - for those rigs with a drifted VFO
VarAC Start CAT command. CAT file now has a new parameter you can customize "VarACStartCmd=". This CAT command will be executed upon VarAC startup incase you want to put your rig in a certain state prior to start using VarAC.
"In QSO with" now shows the name of your QSO partner if already had a QSO with him in the past.
For Developers - New SQLite tables (Find more info HERE)
- "qso" - all VarAC QSOs.
- "contact" - all callsigns you ever connected with.
New VarAC.ini parameters (Only available by manually editing the INI file)
- ShowNoCatQSYPopup: Suppress QSY popups when no CAT control is available
- FrequencyListCustomFilePath: Set a custom frequency list file using a new VarAC.ini parameter
- SafetyPTTOffEveryMinute: enable/disable the safety mechanism of PTT OFF every minutes while idle
- VarACLogFileRetentionDays: How many days to keep entries in the VarAC.log file (default 30 days)
- PTTDisableAfterFreqChangeSeconds: Temporarily disable PTT for X seconds after frequency change (for those antennas that need a long tune cycle before TX)
QSY Back now also prompts for user confirmation with Auto selection with a countdown timer.
Incoming ping is narrated as "Ping from..." Instead of "Connected to..."
Detecting misconfiguration where VarAC VARA modem type is not the same as the actual connected VARA modem.
Changing "DISCO" gesture to "RING!" which will create a long phone ring to drag an op attention.
"DING" gesture is now "DING!"
Keeping Broadcast windows always on top while open.
Forcing the use of VARA V4.7.3 or higher.
"Callsign block list" feature not also applied to incoming broadcasts.
"Callsign block list" now perform upper-case to all callsigns.
Reducing the max time for QSO on CF to 4 minutes (now with auto-QSY there is no need for CF Long links)
Disabled manual typing into the QSO-Log dropdowns RST-S, RST-R, BAND
Disabling VARA monitor for VARA-FM.
To upgrade from an existing VarAC version:
Download the VarAC Zip file.
Unpack to a temporary directory.
Copy ONLY the VarAC.exe file to your existing VarAC installation directory.
As always - we are always there for you on our Forum, our Facebook group, and also on our new Telegram group.
I would like to thank our Beta team for investing their dedication in contentiously testing and bug-reporting so you can gave a smooth VarAC journey. TU guys 🙏🙏
Irad 4Z1AC & the VarAC team.
Here are some screenshots of the new stuff in V7.1.4