Screenshot of LinBPQ and VARA FM

I’ve taken the plunge and started learning BPQ in earnest. It’s a hefty program, and it’s clear that it has grown organically over many years. Which is to say, it’s cantankerous to work with, but it does get the job done. I asked one of my Elmers, Willem AC0KQ, about how to mentally model it, and he basically laughed and told me that it’s fruitless to try and build a mental model. Just copy other people’s configuration files and modify them to your needs. Well, so be it.

Willem does have a script called bpq-config that is basically an installer and setup wizard for LinBPQ. It assumes you’re using a Raspberry Pi and I’m not, but it did get me a base to work from. Getting a working config means I finally have a working AX.25 and VARA FM Winlink RMS to test Pat against!

Unfortunately, that’s not the end of my problems for testing Pat+VARA. I’ve been using the radio interface I recently found and love so much, the Digirig Mobile, for one side of my connection. However, while it worked just fine for me on FT8, I’ve had some issues trying to get it to work for AX.25 and VARA FM. I think it’s “going deaf” briefly when switching from TX back to RX, just long enough to miss the reply in AX.25 and VARA FM. Maybe FT8’s turnaround time is just more forgiving? I need to do more investigation.