Adding extra space after each element in the ADIF record to comply with ADIF standard
File transfer statistics (time and average speed)
Replacing emoji based buttons icons with ASCII for windows 7 users.
Slot slider - easily scan of all slots
Manual settings of QSO start & end times
QRZ lookup of your QSO partner
Time limit (5 min) for AWAY links on a calling frequency.
Replace "0" with "Ø" in the data stream (customize under appearance settings)
Show distance based on locators (Km/mi)
Additional gestures: FB! / COOL! / BYE! and 2 easter eggs sound based gestures I'll let you all find :)
Supporting Swisslog logger
Shortcut F-keys for canned messages (F1, F2, F3...)
CQ/Beacon through one or more digipeaters (for VARA-FM)
New tags to be used on canned messages. your partner (his/her) info : <HNAME> / <HQTH> / <HLOC>
When link is corrupted - providing a reason.
When trying to connect someone on a slot, if it fails, a QSY back popup will appear.
UTC Time more readable
Convenient ADIF directory selector
Increased send file size limit to 1M for 2300Hz bandwidth links
If frequencies list file does not exists, recreate with default frequencies
Adding antenna description to the user profile + <ANT> tag + reporting it to PSK Reporter.
Adding CB Calling frequency (27.195.000) to the hard-coded CF lists for the "QSY reminder" feature.
Faster loading of callsign history
Providing sound alert for incoming connection request.
Allow VARA-FM users to disable the Slot-based CQ mechanism.
Remove BW column from the last heard lists when using VaraFM/VaraSAT
Pinging 7 characters callsigns (mostly CBiers) will result with an extra T in the callsign.
When standing by on a slot and double clicking a CQ call without a slot, VarAC did not move to the CF.
QSY Reminder stopped working in 5.0.2. now fixed.
Double clicking a CQ/Beacon on a different band than where you are now, tried it connect it on the wrong band.
While on slot, if changing frequency from the drop down menu, it reset back to the slot frequency.
Frequency scheduler switch did not reset the slot parking.
On the mailbox, right clicking on email for qrz lookup - the FROM and TO were swapped.
New CQ Paradigm. Introducing: VarAC Slots! New QSY methodology - for better scale (conducting multiple parallel QSOs)
Support ADIF new Vara classification (Mode: DYNAMIC / SubMode: VARA HF / VARA SATTELITE / VARA FM 1200/9600)
Official support for Vara SAT modem
Frequency scheduler peeking - see what is the frequency schedule of your partner so you know where to hunt him.
Custom font size applies also to reading and writing vmails
"Leave a message" pop up will appear at the top of all windows.
Custom PSKReporter map - set it to your preferred layout.
Free form QSY now auto populates with the current frequency for faster QSY frequency settings
Auto QSO Log off reminder - Reminding you know the auto log is turned off once a QSO is over.
Shortening CQ calls to 2 cycles (instead of 3)
Every frequency change is now audible for better control.
Improved frequency change awareness: Every frequency change now highlights the frequency indicator.
Improved frequency change guidance for users with no RIG frequency control.
TO and FROM columns misplaced on the mailbox mail list.
When editing a canned message (Away/Welcome) in the middle of it, the cursor keeps "jumping" to the end
Upon <INFO> request, not sending empty tags for undefined elements.
When selecting "NONE" for Freq control under settings, also unchecking the "read freq" checkbox.
Mailbox! You can now leave a message when the other side is away (and even if he's not)
Supporting "/" callsigns. W/4Z1AC , 4Z1AC/P, 4Z1AC/QRP etc...
Create CAT macros: Add to the rig file your commands using commas, like after changing setting mode to put your RIG in your desired configuration. example: ModeUSB_D=FEFE94E02600010102FD,FEFE94E02600010103FD
Allow incoming Pings - now you can chose whether you allow incoming pings
Edit queued messages: Want to edit things you already queued? Hit the new "EDIT" button.
New <INFO> tag : get your partners' name/qth/locator/rig
Callsign history - See your spots, chats and QSO logs with a certain station.
Forcing main VARA modem on non-monitor upon startup up.
Adding indication for incoming PING upon connection
If one side reaches the idle time limit, the other side will be notified about the reason of disconnecting.
New limitations on Welcome/Away messages: not allowing <SNRR> & <LHR> tage + limit message size.
When leaving the ADIF file settings empty, the settings screen crashes.
IF PTT timeout occurs while in TUNE, reset the TUNE button.
Not cleaning previous a previous failing QSO log information and reporting it as part of the upcoming QSO.
if in "I'm away", send Away message even if it is a repetitive connection from the same callsign
Corruption with multibyte texts (3 bytes or more like Japanese, Chinese)
When getting the same image twice (file trasnfer) - it didn't show in the data stream.
When reconnecting the same station and there are DISCONNECT tags in queue, the station disconnected upon connecting.
One could type in characters the data stream directly.
PSKreporter integration! Upload every beacon, CQ and QSO to PSKreporter. Quick access to PSKReoprter map
Multiple configuration files - Load VarAC with different config files to support various rigs or settings. Ex: "VarAC.exe MyVarAC.ini"
My information screen - manage your info (Name/QTH/Locator/Rig) in one place and use tags to send it to others easily
New Tags to easily incorporate your information in a QSO or canned messages: <CALL> <QTH> <NAME> <LOC> <RIG>
Disable the "Go to Last Frequency upon startup" feature. Keep your rig VFO where it is upon VarAC startup. Set it in VarAC.ini: LastFrequencyLoadUponStartup=OFF
PING now exchange locators (both sides)
Direct access to user manuals from the new "Resources" menu.
Opening the frequency scheduler editor if turning it on while no rules are configured.
Safety mechanism for PTT staying keyed for over 20 seconds. initiating PTT OFF.
LHR sometimes does not work and may cause hangs on the other side.
I'm away kept turning off. Now fixed.
Frequency scheduler doesn't work with some European localications (storing frequency list in a format that is not readable by VarAC)
Suppressing the "Unable to open comport... retrying" message
Incoming file already exists - adding a random number to the incoming file name to avoid overwriting an existing file
Not killing a session due to idleness during file transfer
Preventing PINGing while already connected
When clicking "None" under the Frequency control menu, it disabled the CAT definition section even if PTT CAT was enabled.
When LHR (last hear request) is received and your list is empty, it did not send an LHE tag indicating to the other side that your list is empty.
If a corrupted frequency schedule entry exists and VarAC tries to move to it during a QSO, VarAC will try forever to QSY to it.
TUNE button - set your ALC level directly in VarAC (requires VARA 4.6.2 and a VARA license)
<VER> tag - check VarAC version of your QSO partner
QSY sniffer - Easily check if your QSY Up/Down destination is free by right-clicking & Holding the QSYU/D button.
Read RIG freq using CAT commands: Turning your VFO knob now reflects on the VarAC console.
Frequency Schedule - Tell VarAC when and where you want to QRV. Great for day/night frequency changes.
CAT Frequency control for the remaining Yaesu rigs (FT-817,818,847,857,897)
Fix for Frequency control of rigs that has 10Hz resolution
Ignore double QSY invitation - when both sides send QSY invitations together.
Supporting frequencies of 2.4GHz (VARA-SAT QO100 Operations) in Cat Freq change/read, Frequency file, Free form QSY and others. (Note: OmniRig does not support above 2.1GHz)
Enabling "Debug mode" from the settings screen
With DTR/RTS PTT - showing an error "'PortName' cannot be set while the port is open"
Exceptions when trying to write to VarAC_traffic.lof file
Right clicking on an empty space in the LH lists generated an error.
Up/Down buttons to manually skip +-750Hz
Free form QSY - select any frequency for a QSY invitation
Disable PTT - keep your VarAC in listening mode only.
Setting default outgoing files directory
Block lists - prevent those callsigns you don't like from connecting you and away from your last heard lists.
Sending QSO records to loggers such as N3FJP, DXKeeper, N1MM, Log4OM, HRD Logbook, using TCP/UDP.
Set your preferred ADIF file directory and file name
Beacon on demand - Zero the beacon timer when restarting it.
Amateur radio callsign structure validations - to avoid non-ham connections.
Manually override the frequency busy indicator in case of false detection
Not showing PING callsigns "YOURCALL-T" on the "connect to" dropdown
Right click on last heard callsign does not select the row
Adaptive row height for the last heard lists
Messages that are left in the queue are sent to the next connecting station
Last heard color coding. Identify new callsign easily.
Last heard history loaded upon startup. No more loosing your Beacons/CQ list upon VarAC restart
Adding FM-D mode
Disabling/Enabling "incoming connection request alerts" (New Vara.ini only parameter (IncomingConnectionRequestAlert=OFF)
New sound alert for QSY invitation and QSY Back.
Allowing DTR/RTS PTT & CAT control on the same COM port
Blocking a CQ call if the frequency is busy
Different sound for new/existing stations calling CQ
Slimmer LH PEAKING data transfer
Suppressing welcome/away messages if reconnecting with the same station.
Zero beacon timer upon Beacon restart
Updated Cat RIG file.
Warning when switching to 2300Hz
Allowing space in the CONNECT TO drop down for FM digipeater
When opening the ADIF file from the LOGS menu, if no application is associated with it, VarAC will try to open using NOTEPAD
Allow space in the "CONNECT TO" only if modem type is VaraFM (for digipeaters connect strings)
Suppressing the "PortName cannot be empty" alert when no comports are available
Frequency control using CAT commands.
Splitting PTT control from OmniRig. Example: You can KEY your PTT using CAT or RTS while managing frequency using OmniRig.
"QSY BACK": QSYed after connecting? VarAC will remind you to QSY back to the calling QRG when your QSO ends.
Set the color of info messages as you wish (under appearance)
Shorter PING cycle: Not sending Welcome/Away message.
Enhanced settings screen
QSY reminder is set to 5 min (previously 10 min)
Frequency revert back after a frequency change
Connecting to invalid callsign puts VarAC in unresponsive state that requires a modem reconnect.
Show "No luck" messages also in other situations except failing incoming connection requests.
Application is not restored from task bar when minimized
Last heard peeking - see the last heard beacons/CQ of others. Great for digipeating.
Idle connection timeout - Drop the link if no traffic is sent for a certain period of time.
PING - Connect only for the sake of getting a report followed by an auto disconnect.
Frequency BUSY indicator
SNR Request - you're in a QSO and want to know you current report? You now can.
Storing last heard CQ and Beacons into a log file. Access it from the Logs menu.
Canned message tags - add <SND> or <DISC> to your canned message to auto send them or auto disconnect.
Additional Calling QRGs for 80,30,17,12 & 6 meter bands.
25% Faster initial handshake & SNR exchange (3 data exchange cycles instead of 4)
FM mode - configure Omnirig to change your RIG mode to FM (for VaraFM)
Contentious SNR reporting - receive SNR reports contentiously from your partner. Not only upon connecting.
Adding 3 more canned messages
Last heard order - All last heard lists are now ordered from new to old.
Blocking 2300HZ calls on Calling QRGs
Adding "Clear" button to clear the new message text box.
Resize screen from all 4 edges.
Larger fonts for main elements and buttons for better visibility.
Tooltips for some less intuitive elements.
Low-resolution screens support - downsizing the VarAC application will eliminate some less-important elements so it could fit to your screen.
Multilingual chat! no more "????" signs. PLEASE NOTE: Both sides must be with V3.2.1 for this to work.
Showing CQ/Beacon bandwidth
Showing CQ/Beacon SNR level requires VARAHF 4.5.7 and above)
Auto QSY - auto frequency change by accepting QSY invitation.
Display UTC Clock in the UI
You can now resize VarAC window and VarAC will remember it.
Supporting AUX callsigns (ex: 4Z1AC-2)
Incoming file size limit (set by the receiving side)
CAT PTT support for almost all RIGs
Cat HEX command support
Log menu - easy access to all VarAC logs (ADIF, Chat history...) from one place
Showing frequency (instead of N/A) even if not using OmniRig with frequency control.
Adding support for 2m & 70cm bands
Under settings, check that the incoming file dir exists and VarAC has WRITE permissions to it.
If Disconnecting during a file transfer, delete the temporary GZIP file.
Limit send file size to 100K with VaraHF (not suitable)
If Clearing messages queue while it has SendFile tags, perform SendFileAbort
Remove the erroneous "upgrade to VaraHF 4.0.5+ message"
With multiple VarAC instances, closing one VarAC will only close the VARA modem that is attached to it.
Inline chat Pictures
Full VARA FM support
DTR/RTS PTT support
Auto pilot mode for "I'm away"
Clear log entry button
Keyboard language keeps going back to EN
QSO timer - showing the QSO duration
SNR (RST) support - show real-time SNR metrics of both sides
Fully automated SNR (RST) Exchange
Auto QSO log (upon disconnect)
Auto logging of NAME, QTH, LOCATOR using VarAC TAGs
Reset beacon timer when switching bands
Start VarAC on the last tuned QRG
Converting all times to UTC
Right-click -> Copy on Last heard CQ/Beacons
Place the cursor automatically on the new message dialog upon startup and when connection is established
Log QSO while still chatting - entering the current time as END TIME
Show Band for every record on the last heard CQ/BEACONS
New in this version:
Log QSO to ADIF! (can be automatically loaded now to LOG4OM, QRZ.COM etc...)
Right click words on data stream and set as Name/QTH/Locator
Disable/Enable all application sounds under settings
Allowing to change dropdown frequency while connected
Callsign QRZ.com Lookup - mark a callsign on the data stream and right click it
Finally an official VarAC Logo and app icon.
CALL ID – Sending “DE YOURCALL” periodically.
Keeping your last state of “Is typing” and “I’m away” checkbox.
New sounds: Is typing, Incoming/Outgoing messages
VarAC displays the current VFO frequency (when using OmniRig)
Beacons appear in the data stream
QSY Gesture. Using QSYU and QSYD – to signal your partner to QSY +-750Hz.
Clearing Queue when connected to another station (avoid sending messages from previous QSOs)
Right click to copy text from the Data stream
Clearing “Beacon/CQ last heard” or “data stream” by right-clicking them.
if screen position turns negative in VarAC.ini file, resetting it to default automatically
If AWAY/WELCOME messages has "Enters" (multiline message), it is sent and shown with "\\n" instead of newline. This does not affect other canned messages.
While using OmniRig, when opening the dropdown of the frequency selector, it always "jump" to top every second.
New in this version:
Custom font size & background color - set to your own preferences.
Beacon countdown - so you know when the next Beacon will be fired.
Spell check as you type
VARA-HF auto PORT config - Change the port in VarAC and VarAC will change the port in VARA-HF accordingly.
VarAC Last position - remember VarAC last position on screen and launch it in that exact position.
Bug fix: Application cuts off on the edges in low-res screens
Bug fix: Beacon timer show 1,5,10 min values that are not usable
Lots of good stuff in this version :
Canned messages - for welcome/away messages and for in-QSO messages
VARA CQFRAME support - Call CQ. No Audio files required.
Recently CQ calls - see who was on frequency and called CQ
Message aggregation - combine multiple messages in queue to a single broadcast
IS TYPING ! Let the other side know you are composing a new message
BEACONS - send a beacon periodically letting everyone know you are on frequency
Last heard beacons - see who was ONLINE recently.
Back to Queue - lost precious message due to link timeout during a QSO? Not anymore! if you disconnect while sending a message, the message goes back into the queue.
This version is a true gamechanger. Enjoy !
73's, DE 4Z1AC
New features in this version:
Alerts about incoming connection request
3 Emoji Gestures
Bigger font in the main data stream log
Color distinction between incoming and outgoing messages on the main data stream section
24 hours time format for all logging
Allow both "hit enter" to send message and "SEND" button simultaneously
"Connected to" show your own callsign when using lower letters in the "My callsign" field.
Fixing the log entry upon change of BW to 2300. Currently presenting 500Hz for all BW for both BW changes.
Have fun! and 73's
I have created VarAC as I believe Digital HF Chat can be easy and fun. After working with almost every Digital mode out there, I have come to a conclusion that the VARA protocol is the perfect platform for a chatting application.
This version is the first version to be release for the public. This Beta version may experience some glitches so I kindly ask you to report any issue through the contact page.
4Z1AC, Irad Deutsch