Release updates

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New features

  • 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>

Enhancements

  • 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.

Bug fixes

  • 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.

New Features

  • 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.

Enhancements

  • 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

Bug Fixes

  • 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.

New features

  • 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

Enhancements

  • 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

Bug Fixes

  • 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

New features

  • 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.

Enhancements

  • 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

Bug Fixes

  • 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

New Features

  • 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.

Enhancements

  • 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)

Bug Fixes

  • 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

New features

  • 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.

Enhancements

  • 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.

New Features

  • Multilingual chat! no more "????" signs. PLEASE NOTE: Both sides must be with V3.2.1 for this to work.

  • QSY Reminder

  • 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

Enhancements

  • 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

Bug fixes

  • 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.

New features:

  • File transfer

  • Inline chat Pictures

  • Full VARA FM support

  • Dark mode

  • DTR/RTS PTT support

  • VOX support

  • Auto pilot mode for "I'm away"

Enhancements:

  • Clear log entry button

Bug fixes:

  • Keyboard language keeps going back to EN

New features:

  • 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​

Enhancements:

  • 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.


Bug fixes:

  • 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

Bug Fixes:

  • "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

Irad 4Z1AC

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