VARA HF Winlink Express E-mail Over HF

VARA HF is faster than ARDOP. To get the full benefit of VARA  you will need to purchase the upgrade. I have not done that because the free version works FB. I’ll go over the installation, settings and use below. It is fully integrated into Winlink Express.

See my previous article on Winlink Express ARDOP E-Mail Over HF.

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VARA is a High Performance HF modem based on OFDM modulation. VARA Modem, brings  state of the  art Military  grade technology to  new  and  existing HF data.

Introduces a new  standard of technology available for Amateur and  Commercial use. Designed for operation within a SSB Bandwidth of 2400 Hz. – VARA Website


Even though it is integrated into Winlink, you will still have to install it. It is easy to do.

The download link is here: VARA Modem.


After installation, you will see it in the drop down list under “Open Session.”

The first time you open it you’ll have to do some setup. See my screen captures below:



TIP #1 Use “Slow AGC”

TIP #2 Receive bandwidth should be wide enough to extend outside of the red guide lines.

TIP #3 When sending an e-mail you can put “//WL2K” without the quotations as the first word in the subject line and it will bypass SPAM filtering in the Winlink system.

VARA Video.

Thank You

If you have any questions, comments or solutions, please comment below. I prefer the comment section here or in YouTube over e-mail because your comments and questions will help others as well.

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VARA HF Modem Page

VARA Software & Documentation

How To Manage Your Whitelist (SPAM Control) 


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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.

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Richard Boley
2 years ago

Aside from the 2 monthly costs there seems to be no others. I remember WINLINK modems being way overpriced and beyond practical justification. Other than the 2 subscription costs are there any additional other than the an existing “normal” ham station assembly? N3HKN

Don Frayer
1 year ago

How can I purchase VARA on an air gapped computer? ie: no connection to the Internet. I already have it installed.

Cleve Wheeler
1 year ago

Is Vara supposed to instantly install into winlink on download? All I still see in drop down is VARA winlink. v4.3.0 IS WHAT I DOWNLOADED TO REPLACE THE OLD VERSION. Cant drag it into the box either. ??? suggestions for filling in all settings?

4 months ago


I followed your settings above I am able to connect to a node but nothing in my outbox is being sent.
I have the ALC at about a third on the meter.
Any changes needed in the IC-7610 settings that I might be missing or other ideas to get me going?
Thanks for your help.

Bill Fults
1 month ago

I have been using Winlink with Ardop with the 7300 and decided to go over to Vara. Software is downloaded and settings set to what was on the video only I don’t have rig control. When I select a channel the rig does ‘t change like it does in Ardop nor does it key the rig. My TNC and radio settings are the same as I have with Ardop. Any suggestions on which setting I missed or messed p on? 73 N7RI

Last edited 1 month ago by Bill Fults
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