Andrew OBrien

I know many of us here are well experienced with VARA.  I have been toying with the idea of trying VARA on FM but have been slowed trying to get my Icom 5100 to work with a Rigblaster while awaiting the release of the  Icom 705.  Well it looks like others are ahead of me with the idea of VARA on FM 2M, see this video link

Eric KJ4YZI shows how to use RMS Express with VARA FM AND already has Winlink server stations in his area on 2M.  Very interesting.

Andy K3UK 

Oliver K6OLI


you don't need a gateway to try out VARA FM. Only a buddy who is interested. Then set it up for P2P operations. 
I would argue it is a lot more fun that gateway operations, too.

Assuming that your Rigblaster is connected to your ID5100 via the RJ45 mic port?
If so, consider getting a A/B switch and plug in your mic in one port and the Rigblaster in the other.
That way you can coordinate traffic on the same frequency with the other station.
You will find that VARA FM Narrow will work nicely with this setup and deliver speeds about 8x Packet.

As a side note for others who may read this: Generally speaking rigs with 6 Pin Mini Din connectors are a better choice if you want to get serious about digital operations.
But if you want to just play around for a while make it work with what you have.  My first forays into digital were with a Baofeng, good outside antenna, Signalink and a friend.

Have fun experimenting!

73 de Oliver K6OLI 


On Wed, Jun 3, 2020 at 04:43 PM, Oliver K6OLI wrote:
Have fun experimenting

The  badge's   , FM and  HF are  a little  simplistic ,  
Vara  FM  is  intolerant of  frequency  displacement ,  having   no  AFC facility 
this  is inherent  in a  FM system , tx and recovered Rx tone's  are  always
identical [ frequency] . hence  AFC was not  provided.
But, out of the  box,  , could also  be  conveyed  via   Am or 
perhaps  pilot  carrier SSB  or  AM- vestigial sideband ? , 
9600  , Requires a greater bandwith , as provided  for  9600 packet
hence the  need  to  use the  9600  option  of the  Tx/Rx , 
but is still  essentially FM , with  zero off set capability . 
Vara HF is provided with AFC and is able to detect off sets, but 
Can also  be  used over  FM links , if the  link is very poor  or 
Narrow  bandwidth , 
During testing ,  I found  with a  local satation on 6 meters . 
who , had high 'solar panel' wide band noise , switching  from  SSB
to FM  tx/rx mode  provided a higher  maximum  rate , 

Take a  look at the  V-Sat  for  chat , that  has some  novel 
netting  and  measuring  functions  ..  based on the  HF modem 

Not the  inteded deployements ,  but room  for  experimentation -)

73 -Graham

Tammy Waggoner


Have you gotten the ID- 5100 to work with VARA FM? I have tried everything but can't get it to work.
Tammy KK4USM