Re: vARIM Messaging Program for VARA HF Modem - version 1.1


Andrew O'Brien
 

VARA , a good move . 

Andy


On Jul 5, 2020, at 11:01 AM, Bob NW8L <nw8l@...> wrote:


Hello,
 
Introducing a new member of the ARIM family, vARIM, adapted to use the VARA HF modem. Version 1.0 is available here:
 
https://www.whitemesa.net/varim/varim.html
 
on the vARIM Help page.
 
Files are also available in the Files area at the arim-ham Groups.io group:
 
https://groups.io/g/arim-ham/files
 
vARIM is a peer-to-peer messaging and file transfer for HF bands. It's similar to gARIM, but with a reduced feature set because VARA doesn't support "unconnected" transmissions like ARDOP does. For instance, there is no beaconing. All vARIM data transfers are made during an ARQ session. It will run on Linux, Raspberry Pi, Cygwin/X on Windows and also Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) on Windows 10. The VARA modem runs only on Windows computers, but vARIM can run in Cygwin/X or WSL on the Windows computer, which is convenient. Alternatively, you can run vARIM on a Linux or RPi computer and attach it to a VARA modem instance running on a Windows computer in the same local area network.
 
For Linux OS, the binary distributions are for Ubuntu 18.04 and derivatives like Linux Mint 19.x only. It's best to compile vARIM from source code to avoid library versioning problems. It's easy, instructions are found in the INSTALL file included in the source distribution (with instructions for Fedora 28 and derivatives, and for Cygwin/X too).
 
Be aware of some differences in the configuration file format - an existing gARIM config file (garim.ini) can't be used without modification. The details are found in the Help document linked above.
 
vARIM works with new VARA HF version 4 which introduces a robust 500Hz ARQ bandwidth option. vARIM allows you to specify which bandwidth to use in the .ini file, or as a choice in the "ARQ Connect" dialog (500 or 2300 Hz).
 
To key the rig, if VOX isn't suitable, vARIM supports hardware PTT using serial port RTS or DTR signals. This works on Linux, RPi, Cygwin/X and WSL using built in serial ports or USB-to-Serial converter cables. PTT setup details are found in the Help page. 
 
I have a station running VARA HF version 4.0.3 on (dial) 7.085 MHz that's available for testing. The station call sign is NW8L and it will be configured for operation at the 500Hz bandwidth. It might be QRT from time to time if thunderstorms are in the area (near Albuquerque, NM). At NW8L vARIM is running in WSL on the same Windows 10 laptop that hosts the VARA HF modem. The audio interface is a USB sound card connected to line in and line out jacks on the rig. The rig is keyed using vARIM's hardware PTT (DTS) over a USB-to-Serial converter cable between computer and rig.
 
If anyone using VARA HF has time to test vARIM I would be interested in your results and bug reports. If you install vARIM, try connecting to NW8L on (dial) 7.085MHz and sending me a message!
 
73,
Bob NW8L
 

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