The Constant Updates of VaraHF

I get it. Really I do. You’re eager to take the dive into HF APRS and you want to use VaraHF. You get things setup and working (hopefully because of this blog) and the next thing you know, there’s an update to VaraHF. OK, fine, update and back up and running again

And then there’s another update a few hours later.

….and another one…

The truth is, this is all new for all of us. The updates have been for many reasons: better packet handling, better DXing, bug fixes… the list goes on.

The important thing to know is that the various versions of VaraHF are not compatible with each other. You can see in the top image that the older version doesn’t even recognize that there is an incoming packet. There is a change to the handling of the AX.25 packet that means one version of Vara will not know what to do with the other version.

Above is what my screen looked like at one point today. Four different versions of VaraHF. 4.8.4 was released about a week ago, but needed some help with the TOCALL portion of the APRS packet. 4.8.5 was released, unofficially, that resolved that TOCALL issue. It was posted to the VARA APRS group on FB. Some people installed it (me included) and some were scared away by Windows suggesting it was a virus. It was almost humorous that Mountain and Pacific Timezones 90% on 4.8.5 and 90% of stations in Central and Eastern time were still on 4.8.4. I had both installed so I could run the iGate thoroughly, but I was only transmitting on the newer version

Then came a couple more updates. I spent a lot of time testing on VaraHF this weekend.

The official version comes out 19 February. Be sure to update. Personally, I don’t mind the updates, it means the software I paid for is getting attention.






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