Anyone use VARA HF while RV portable?

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by AA5ET, Sep 8, 2021.

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  1. AA5ET

    AA5ET Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just bought a license for VARA HF to use with Winlink. Seems to work better than Pactor 1 for staying in touch with the XYL while camping in remote locations. Haven't tried it in the camper van yet, but seems to have no trouble with about 10 watts into a dipole at home. A lot cheaper than a Pactor 3 modem. Anyone else here use it?
  2. AA5ET

    AA5ET Ham Member QRZ Page

    Guess not...
  3. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    No Way

    After my experience with Winlink/ used by Drug Cartels in Central and South America/ I will never use their old outdated system.

    N3AWS likes this.
  4. WD4ELG

    WD4ELG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow. I thought (seriously) that WinLink was all the rage these days?
  5. AA5ET

    AA5ET Ham Member QRZ Page

    So I guess if drug cartels use a Ford F-150 you won't use one of those either? Can you provide some more information? I never heard of cartels using it. Is it still going on?
  6. AA5ET

    AA5ET Ham Member QRZ Page

    In my experience Winlink works pretty well. I often find myself in some pretty remote areas with no cell/internet connectivity, so it works well for staying in touch with friends and family. K0UO what alternative do you suggest that doesn't cost an arm and a leg (e.g. satellite phone)?
    OE7FTJ likes this.
  7. N1ZZZ

    N1ZZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've used winlink at sea for about 20 years now; P1 through P3 and VARA. VARA works quite well with the distances you can expect to see and is reasonably priced. As long as you remember that all of your email is captured and displayed online for anyone to see (even more so than "regular" amateur contacts) it will work. No business deals either of course.

    If you need/want secure and/or work comms, you are going to have to look at satellites.

    73 Jeremy
    AA5ET likes this.
  8. K7OFG

    K7OFG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a radio friend that uses VARA for emergency communications in northern California suggested I upgrade to it as it's speed is superior to the ARDOP mode I use while mobile in my RV and boat. I use Winlink to download weather to re-broadcast to boats traveling in Mexican waters. I wonder if the cartels are using my weather reports?
    AA5ET likes this.
  9. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use it with winlink I like it.
    AA5ET likes this.
  10. AA5ET

    AA5ET Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just used VARA for the first time while camped in a remote location this weekend (Gila Mountains in New Mexico). It worked very well. Quick to connect and send/receive messages. Used it on 40 meters on Thursday and Friday, but had to use 30 meters thereafter due to the WW RTTY contest.

    About 20 watts into an EFHW antenna at 10 ft.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2021

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