VARA is a soundcard-based software TNC written by EA5HVK. See
The driver supports PTT control via a serial port, using the DTR and/or RTS control lines, or via CAT commands.
The driver is defined to BPQ32 as an External port and needs a CONFIG
section. The first line defines the IP address and Port of the VARA
TNC, an optional PTT paameter, and an optional PATH to the VARA exe
If PTT is omitted, VOX operation is assumed. If PATH is omitted, bpq32
won't start the TNC, and you will have to run it before starting bpq32.
Typical first lines are:
ADDR 127.0.0.1 8300 ADDR 127.0.0.1 8300 PTT DTR ADDR 127.0.0.1 8300 PTT CI-V (or PTT CAT) ADDR 127.0.0.1 8300 PATH C:\VARA\VARA v1.5.0.exe ADDR 127.0.0.1 8300 PTT CI-V PATH C:\VARA\VARA v1.5.0.exe Other PTT options are PTT RTS, PTT DTRRTS, PTT CM108, PTT HAMLIB
If you are running the TNC on a different machine to the Node, you can use program WinmorControl.exe to start or stop the TNC on that machine. To enable this mode, run WinmorControl.exe on the remote machine and enter REMOTE: before the path to the TNC, eg
ADDR 192.168.1.2 8300 PATH REMOTE:C:\VARA\VARA v1.5.0.exe
If you are using the
Rig Control feature, either for PTT or scanning, add the
RIGCONTROL command next.
The VARA TNC has a busy a busy channel detector. The following command controls how long the program will wait if the channel is busy when a connect request is made.
This changes the time the software will wait for a clear channel before failing a connect request.
You can set a limit to the maximum time of a session
Time is in minutes, and setting to zero or omitting statement sets no limit.
Normally VARA is configured to respond to the Node Call (or Port Call) and any Application Callsigns. But you can override this using the MYCALLS command.
MYCALLS G8BPQ G8BPQ-10.
These set the default mode. The TNC will intially be set to this mode, and it will be reset after each connection
Sample Config for an VARA Port
PORT ID=VARA DRIVER=VARA CONFIG ADDR 127.0.0.1 8300 PTT CI-V PATH C:\VARATNC\VARA.exe BW2300 RIGCONTROL COM2 19200 ICOM IC7000 70 10,14.103,USB,F1 10,7.045,USB,F1 **** ENDPORT
You can have more that one VARA port. Install a second copy of VARA into another directory. Set a different pair of TCP Ports in each VARA config and the bpq32.cfg port config.
The software will append the BPQ32 Port Number to the TNC Window title, so you can tell which TNC corresponds to each port.
As the TNC only supports a single connection (unlike ax.25 packet), a VARA port must be allocated to a user before making connects. This is done using the ATTACH command. So if your VARA port is BPQ32 port 3, enter
Possible responses are:
#BPQ11:GM8BPQ-2} Error - Invalid Port // Port is not an VARA port.
#BPQ11:GM8BPQ-2} Error - Port in use // Port is in use.
Once attached to a port, you can change the TNC operation mode using the BW500 BW2300 or BW2750 commands. Use the "C" command to connect and the "D" command to disconnect and release the TNC.
The remote VARA TNC can have a password set to restrict access. If this is the case you can add the password after the callsign in the C command, eg
C G8BPQ PASSWORD
The VARA module creates a status window, so you can keep an eye on your connection to the VARA TNC.
If you are using Rig Control, the Frequency, Mode, etc will be shown.