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W6LVP
Dec 24, 2022
In Bugs - Archive
I just now received this broadcast and I am not - KJ7GI. 20m 00:22 WR9R KJ7GI Followed you the whole way! Take care es 73 Larry W6LVP
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W6LVP
Dec 14, 2022
In Bugs - Fixed
When attempting to respond to a CQ call, BUSY on the calling frequency prevents responding to the CQ on a slot which is off the calling frequency, i.e. BUSY test is made before the QSY instead of after. Larry W6LVP
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W6LVP
Dec 04, 2022
In Bugs - Fixed
When calling CQ and the calling freq is busy, seems that the auto QSY will happen even if the CQ message is never sent. Larry W6LVP
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W6LVP
Nov 27, 2022
In Bugs - Fixed
It seems that if the CQ timer times out in the middle of an attempted connection from a caller, the timer will override and QSY back to calling frequency. Larry W6LVP
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W6LVP
Nov 25, 2022
In Bugs - Archive
I didn't repeat this but I think there is a situation that will get two stations on different frequencies. Here is how this happened for me. I sent a QSY request and also a text explanation of the motivation for the QSY in the same message. The other station saw the QSY request before the message was completely sent and immediately did the QSY. Since he QSY'd, my message never completed and I never saw my own QSY request. We were stranded on different frequencies. Larry W6LVP
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W6LVP
Nov 19, 2022
In VarAC - HF discussion forum
As a longtime user of many conversational digital modes, VarAC addresses many of the shortcomings of those other modes. For me, the single calling frequency per band now followed by an automatic QSY is a powerful feature of the system architecture. However, this unique feature brings with it a challenge. I have been sitting here for an hour (maybe I need to get a life) watching the 20 meters VarAC calling frequency on my SDR radio. I am hoping to be able to either hear or send a CQ that will start a QSO. However, there is a 2 kHz wide digital signal running S9+ centered on 14.107 that obliterates the VarAC 500 Hz wide 20 meter calling frequency. There are lots of open frequencies above and below but a QSO can't be started because the calling frequency is clogged. Maybe Irad or somebody smarter than me has a suggestion for a work around. Larry W6LVP
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W6LVP
Oct 25, 2022
In VarAC - HF discussion forum
I have witnessed a curious behavior and have had other users in QSOs report similar experience. It goes like this. I call CQ, I get a reasonably strong response which I can see on my SDR panadapter, but no connect. I have also been on the other side. I respond to a CQ and no connect. Anybody else see this?
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W6LVP
Sep 11, 2022
In VarAC - HF discussion forum
I recently had a VarAC QSO with a ham that was using speech to text instead of a keyboard. If he had not told me, I would never have known. I am not familiar with this area but it worked well in this case. He was using a program called VoiceTyper. I have not personally used this or any similar program but my experience on the other end was great. https://www.voicetyper.com Larry W6LVP
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W6LVP
Sep 07, 2022
In VarAC - HF discussion forum
There were two issues associated with connecting and ANAN radio running with either Thetis or PowerSDR software using VAC to a VARA modem. One was a very isolated corner case when SNRs are high which enable high VARA speeds and VARA enters an IDLE state where neither station is transmitting. With high speeds and in the IDLE state, ANAN VAC timing would cause the connection to drop after one minute. Special thanks to Jose for posting an update to VARA on his website that addresses this issue. This new VARA update does not change the version number. You just need to copy this new version of VARA.exe into your VARA folder. The second issue is more complex. I won't try to rehash it here. Check this Apache Labs ANAN forum thread for more info. Be prepared to have your eyes glaze over. https://community.apache-labs.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3901 With both forward error correction and ARQ, the VARA modem is very robust and handles errors caused by digital audio sample rate differences between the radio and computer. I just turn off the resampler without any degradation to packet error rate or bit rate for small chat messages and larger file transfers. Larry W6LVP
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W6LVP
Aug 06, 2022
In Feature requests - Archive
Many of my VarAC QSOs are with fellow converts from other digital modes. It would be nice to display the mode in the Callsign History showing Previous QSOs from .adi records so that I can see what modes were used for prior QSOs. As requested previously, it would be nice to be able to see the Callsign History for any call not just those in the beacon, CQ, or active QSO boxes. Larry W6LVP
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W6LVP
Jul 31, 2022
In Feature requests - Archive
I am a strong supporter and user of VarAC which I believe to be the right solution at the right time. I have been a user of conversations digital modes like Olivia for a long time. As a retired electronics engineer, I am particularly attracted to the intersection of personal computers and radio which has drawn me to digital modes and SDR radios. Many of my VarAC QSOs have been with first timers and/or younger hams. Many are FT-8 users looking for more than a log entry. Using other digital modes can be challenging for new users. What mode am I hearing? What mode should I use to make a contact? What frequency should I use? VarAC takes away a lot of the guesswork and answers all of those questions. Using a single calling frequency per band is a key feature but care must be taken to protect that frequency. Adding the automatic QSY after CQ feature in the last release is an excellent example of addressing this issue. I suggest a modification to the beacon procedure for two reasons. First, as the use of VarAC continues to gain momentum, repetitive beacons will make finding an opening on the calling frequency more challenging. If you do the math, the number of beacons sent with a 15 minute repetition to completely block the calling frequency is not a large number. Second, HF propagation changes rapidly. Posted results of a beacon sent in the past don't indicate current propagation. Sorry for the long setup to a very simple suggestion. Remove the repetitive option for a beacon. Allow only one beacon to be manually triggered.
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W6LVP
Jul 30, 2022
In Feature requests - Released
It would be nice to be able to embed the other person's name in a canned message. For example, "Nice to meet you <THEIR NAME>".
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W6LVP
Jul 27, 2022
In Feature requests - Archive
Thanks to Irad and everyone else involved in the VarAC project for providing such a great communications mechanism. The combination of technical functionality and user experience is excellent. I like to operate portable and since my CW skills have long since atrophied, digital modes, and now VarAC as my favorite for portable operation, are a great alternative to CW to enable running lower power with simple antennas. At home where I run an SDR radio, I have two large monitors with one allocated to the SDR display and the other to VARA and VarAC. I tend to focus on the SDR display when not connected and the VARA display after connecting. Although my laptop used for portable operation supports 1920 x 1080 HD and my portable radio doesn't require an SDR display, fitting the VarAC and VARA windows onto a laptop monitor makes for challenging reading for my old eyes. Based on the popularity of laptops as a primary computer, this issue is not limited to portable use. For many laptops without an HD display, simultaneous display of VarAC and VARA is not possible Since Windows enables everything on a monitor to be scaled, it is possible to increase the size of both the VARA and VarAC windows. However, whether the VARA and VarAC windows are placed side-by-side or one on top of the other, the two windows extend to the vertical or horizontal limits on an HD monitor Is it possible for VarAC to replicate some of all of the VARA information? If only needing to display a VarAC window containing VARA information, the size of the VarAC window could be scaled to better fit a monitor or laptop display. If the VARA waterfall can't be replicated, the VarAC window could overlay most of the VARA window but still expose the VARA waterfall at the bottom of the VARA window.
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W6LVP
Jul 22, 2022
In VarAC - HF discussion forum
I run VarAC with different radios and different computers. I point all instances of VarAC to a common log file located on Dropbox. That way, I have only one log regardless of the radio or computer. It would be nice to have the ability to specify the directory for the VarAC_traffic file. That way, I could also locate it in a common Dropbox directory that could be accessed from all instances of VarAC. I would then be able to view the common Callsign history from all computers. Since the radios, audio ports, and CAT serial ports are different, I can't just put the VarAC directory on Dropbox and use the same files for everything. I suppose the same request would apply to other files such as VarAC_frequencies.conf. One approach would be to enable selection of a specific VarAC.ini file, i.e. have more than one VarAC.ini file.
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W6LVP
Jul 20, 2022
In Bugs - Archive
Running new version of VarAC with an Icom IC-7300. Sometimes, CAT PTT drop signal is not properly received by the 7300 which stays in keyed mode with no audio input.
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W6LVP
Jul 16, 2022
In Feature requests - Archive
Many SDR radios have relatively long latency in their transmit and receive audio paths. It would be ideal if the transmit to receive and receive to transmit times were a little longer to accommodate SDR latencies.
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W6LVP
Jul 16, 2022
In Feature requests - Released
It would be nice to be able to display the callsign history for all stations and not just those in the in QSO with, beacon or CQ list.
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W6LVP
Jul 14, 2022
In Feature requests - Archive
I like to have VarAC running while I am doing other things. I listen for a CQ audio alert and then look to see if I should respond. I get a lot of CQ alerts with the SNR being too low for a real QSO. It would be nice if I could set a threshold SNR that would be the minimum CQ SNR that would trigger the audible alert. The received CQ would populate regardless.
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W6LVP
Jul 09, 2022
In Bug reports
Seems that VarAC .adi data format requires data labels to be in lower case. That requires that ADIF Master be configured to use lower case. However, ADIF Master inserts a space following each data block within a record which VarAC will not accept. Since ADIF Master has been around longer and is in wider use, it would be great if VarAC would also accept an embedded space following each data block. The data block size indicator does not include the space. I have a lot of digital QSOs logged by FLDIGI which also adds a space after each data block. I was able to adjust my log file so that the block headers are lower case and trailing spaces are removed. I can now access my full digital QSO history with VarAC. The "worked before" color coding applies to my full log and in Callsign History, I can see all digital QSOs including those made using FLDIGI. It would be really nice if I didn't have to manually manipulate the .adi log file.
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W6LVP
Jun 29, 2022
In VarAC - HF discussion forum
I use ADIF Master to view and edit .adi log files. After I save a log file that was initially created by VarAC using ADIF Master(with or without making any changes), QSOs no longer appear in the contact history.
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