Winlink VARA FM and Winlink packet FM
Paul Butzi (W7PFB)
Since a number of us have gotten VARA FM working for local winlink on our stations, I thought I’d describe how I have my radios configured to do both VARA FM and packet FM (which is what all of you were using before VARA FM came along).
There are several software TNC programs that will do packet stuff through soundcards. I spent some time evaluating options before settling on UZ5HO Soundmodem. And I spent some time struggling through the various setup issues, and in the end I had a computer, DRA-36 or DRA-50 sound card, and a radio where if I started a packet session in Winlink Express, it would all work and connect using FM packet radio, and if I started a VARA FM packet session in Winlink Express, it would instead make the connection using VARA FM, and everything was just fine.
Naturally immediately AFTER I did all that work I found an excellent article that describes exactly how to do the setup. It is at
Note especially that one of the authors, Scott Currie, NS7C, is a very FB guy, and has been very helpful to me with Winlink and packet radio questions in the past. I suspect anything you find online that has his name associated with it is trustworthy and worth reading.
73, Don’t forget to smile and have fun!