Stop Doing FT8 And Try This!

VarAC is a relatively new program for digital communications and I just upgraded to the latest version that has some nice new improvements. The latest VarAC update is officially here, and let me tell you, it's a game-changer.

varac newest

I am using one USB cable.

Why you need to upgrade to the latest VarAC update

The upgrade is as easy as double-clicking the installation file. No more creating directories and copying files.

New features

  • Vmails now include the original compose time and 3rd party station that relayed it.
  • Indication of what part of the message being sent was received already by the other side.
  • Hoovering mouse on CQ/Beacons shows known name & QTH.
  • Callsign-history now allows contact details edits and adding comments.

Many more features since the last time I used VarAC.


  • Adding "Path find" menu item to the right-click menu on Parked/Outbox section in the Vmail Mailbox to find paths for best Vmail relay.
  • Path finder response waits for a random of 5-50 seconds before sent to reduce the likelyhood of broadcast collisions by many responding stations.
  • Extending the wait time for a message to be sent after the last message was sent from 300ms to 1000ms to reduce collisions
  • Removing BW column from Last heard CQ/Beacon on Simple UI mode

The coolest features of VarAC

Since my last post, VarAC Like FT8 Only Better! the guys working on VarAC have done a terrific job.

  • I especially like auto QSO logging, to save contacts to my favorite logbook.
  • "Is typing" - See if your partner is currently typing.
  • Chat gestures - Having fun while chatting with sounds & emojis.
  • Message queue - Type as many messages as you'd like.
  • Speller - No more typos. Spell check as you type.
  • Customized look - Chose the colors/fonts you like. Use dark mode.


VARA-HF 4.7.2 or higher / VARA-FM 4.2.7 - See the prerequisites on the download page.

VarAC Upgrade and Tips!

YouTube player

Thank you

I am on my way home from Neosho Missouri and camping in the Ozarks. There will be much more on Ham Radio Deluxe coming up when I get home.

Stay tuned for an upcoming comparison video, where we'll dive into the IC-7610 and Elecraft K3S transceivers' performance. Together, we'll assess their audio quality and signal strength on a specific band, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation. Don't forget to subscribe and you'll be notified when the video is released!

To stay up to date with Mr. B and I on our travels, follow us at TwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube. If you have any questions or comments about our journey, we invite you to join the conversation in our comment section here or at YouTube–it not only helps you but other readers as well! We’re incredibly thankful for all of our subscribers–their support makes this website possible. So please stay in touch and warmest regards & best 73s! – Rich, K0PIR

SILVER Subscription Membership (Remove Google Ads)

With a $4.95 donation I'll make you a login that will bypass Google Advertisements. It will be good for three months. Just for now, please consider it as a small one-time donation.

You get access to for 3 months without any Google Advertisements.

Price: $4.95 for 3 months.


VarAC Installation and Configuration With VARA HF

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


I'm an Amateur Radio enthusiast. I love the hobby and experimenting with radios, antennas and software. On my YouTube channel I upload videos on the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 along with Ham radio software programs. I hope to inspire people to try new things in Amateur Radio.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Richard Hill
8 months ago

I agree with you about VaRac it’s an excellent mode with great potential and improving all the time. However there is a problem and that is FT8 users switching over and treating it like FT8 where they don’t actually want to have a QSO.

Instead they treat it like FT8 and put up a Beacon, often unattended. Whenever I go on VaRaC the majority of activity is beacons with only a few putting out CQs. This is a real shame. I am all for more people coming onto the mode but please use it for what it was intended. If you want to treat it like FT8 stay on FT8.

Translate »
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x