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Author Topic: VARA on Winlink?  (Read 1093 times)
LYFAN
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Posts: 53




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« on: January 23, 2019, 12:19:26 PM »

I'm told that there is a "new" (early 2017 released) digital mode called VARA which was designed as a rival to Pactor. It is apparently free to try but heavily throttled down, the full speed version (which is still something like 6500bps pushed into 300 baud through coding) a $70 licensing fee, and the protocol proprietary.

For high seas users, that might be a nice option against a $1500-2500 Pactor modem setup.

But I've never heard anyone using VARA, and the system depends on having coastal stations especially set up and running it 24x7 if it is going to replace the Pactor HF mail system.

Has anyone heard of VARA? Had any experience with it?
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W4KYR
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Posts: 1803




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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2019, 01:33:49 AM »

I'm told that there is a "new" (early 2017 released) digital mode called VARA which was designed as a rival to Pactor. It is apparently free to try but heavily throttled down, the full speed version (which is still something like 6500bps pushed into 300 baud through coding) a $70 licensing fee, and the protocol proprietary.

For high seas users, that might be a nice option against a $1500-2500 Pactor modem setup.

But I've never heard anyone using VARA, and the system depends on having coastal stations especially set up and running it 24x7 if it is going to replace the Pactor HF mail system.

Has anyone heard of VARA? Had any experience with it?

There are a few videos of VARA on YouTube, it's purported to be as equivalent to Pactor III. I don't know anyone who uses it.
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The internet and cellphone networks are great until they go down, what then? Find out here. 
https://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,111948.0.html

Using Windows 98 For Packet...
NA4IT
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Posts: 194


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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2019, 07:42:39 AM »

https://www.winlink.org/tags/vara
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N9AOP
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Posts: 1174




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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2019, 11:39:16 AM »

If you own a boat that can travel the high seas, you can afford the high priced German modem and probably a sat phone too.
Art
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W7ASA
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Posts: 548




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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2019, 07:01:26 PM »

Lyfan de Ray

In WINLINK Express, you can select WINMOR, ARDOP or VARA, but VARA is a separate download. I hear VARA quite commonly from my location by the Chesapeake Bay. VARA I have downloaded (the trial version) but have not used it yet.  The list of VARA capable shore stations is large. I'm not living aboard any more, but ARDOP works very well for me, with faster and more reliable transfer than the older WINMOR.  

73 & bon vojage de Ray ..._ ._

-...-

Really Art?

Come-on, he's posting as a ham and can have his ham station in his home, which in this case is a boat.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 07:11:17 PM by W7ASA » Logged
N5BLP
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Posts: 47




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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2019, 01:06:19 PM »

I've used VARA.  Its speed adjusts to band conditions.  If conditions are reasonably good, it is really fast, but it will get the message through in really bad conditions, too.  I've had it work even with another station transmitting another digital mode right over the top of it.

I think it's well worth the license fee.

Bart N5BLP
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ND6M
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Posts: 848




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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2019, 04:53:03 PM »

...edit...
Really Art?

Come-on, he's posting as a ham and can have his ham station in his home, which in this case is a boat.
I guess I can then use it for all my e-mail at my terrestrial home too then.

... and so can thousands and thousands of other Amateurs too.
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N1ZZZ
Member

Posts: 213




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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2019, 10:07:36 PM »

I've used VARA, and also commonly use PACTOR 3 with Winlink.  VARA is right up there with Pactor 3 speed under moderate to excellent conditions.  It is superior to the other soundcard modes to move data quickly.  Under poor conditions Pactor 3 is superior.  The choice depends on budget and expected conditions.  If you are reasonably near a RMS station (on land or coastal) the added robustness of Pactor 3 might not be worth the price of admission.  If you are mid-Ocean it is another matter.

For the price of VARA, I would recommend it as its superior speed reduces band congestion.

On the flip side, I've also used VARA-FM to move traffic on an VHF-FM circuit (same license).  That is crazy fast and much easier to use than high-baud packet; which is the only thing that compares to it.  P4 on the same VHF channel would probably do as well, but again, at much greater cost and I can't say that I've tried it.

73
Jeremy N1ZZZ
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