I'm trying to get this working for the first time on a vhf/uhf radio. PTT is working and it seems to be transmitting, but neither I nor the program can hear any response. I' ve tuned the radio to the correct frequency manually (i've tried a few gateways to be sure) and it's transmitting on the correct band.

So far I've only used winlink on a IC-7300, so I'm not sure what all might be different for this setup. What else should I check?


I'm not quite sure why things worked in today's testing, possibly I was just in a dead zone yesterday. Here's the setup that's working though:

DRA-50 is plugged into radio's "Data" port (on main body) and into laptop. This is the port for using an external TNC, which is indicated by a plain 'D' next to the power level indicator on whichever band it's set to. (The internal TNC's band is indicated by a black square with a light 'D' in it.) Tuning must be done manually.

Windows configuration:

Note: I renamed the input and output devices of the DRA-50 for easy identification. By default they show up as "USB PnP Sound Device". After connecting the first time, Windows may make both sides the default audio input/output devices. You do not want this. Make sure to change the default devices back to the built-in speakers and microphone or whatever else you want to use.

Sound control panel, DRA-50

  • Speaker Level: 100
  • Microphone Level: 50
  • AGC: off (unchecked)
  • Disable all enhancements
  • Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device: checked
  • Give exclusive mode applications priority: checked
  • Spatial sound format: Off

Vara FM configuration:

Settings -> VARA Setup...

  • Command: 8300
  • Data: 8301
  • FM System: Narrow
  • Digipeater:
  • Retries: 2
  • callsign and registration key also filled in

Settings -> SoundCard...

  • Device Input: DRA-50
  • Device Output: DRA-50
  • PTT: RA-Board
  • Drive level: -5 dB

Settings -> PTT...

  • PTT Via: RA-Board

Kenwood D-710G settings:

  • internal TNC off
  • set band to be used by external TNC in menu 918 (AUX -> EXT. DATA BAND)
  • manually tune to desired winlink frequency
  • adjust squelch just high enough to ignore background static
  • power level medium -- I've heard running data modes on high may be too much duty cycle for the radio, and also distort your outgoing signal.
  • 919 (AUX -> EXT. DATA SPEED): 1200 bps

VARA FM - Settings - VARA Setup VARA FM - Settings - SoundCard VARA FM - Settings - PTT


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