Ham Logging Programs - PowerPoint
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Ham Logging Programs A Brief Orientation For Beginners John MacFarlane VE7AXU / VA7PX April 2009 Why Keep A Log? • Hams are no longer required to keep a log • Its useful to keep a list of the details of contacts • For tracking awards progress, contests, for good memories • To solve RFI complaint cases • Submitting QSLs What’s Available? • There are many logging software packages available (some cost $ and others are free) We’ll look at these: – ACLog ($) – MixW ($) – DX Labs Suite (free) – N1MM (free) – Ham Radio Deluxe (free) ACLog by N3FJP.com • A suite of contest log applications and a general logging application. • Amateur Contact Log is the general program – the suite also contains dedicated packages for individual contests and other functions. ACLog by N3FJP.com PROS CONS • Easy to use and • Costs $49 but can be install purchased in • Can be downloaded individual modules as from the web low as $6 • There is a users’- • Seperate software for reflector modes required • Rig CAT control supported MixW • A versatile combination logging, contesting, digital software package • Interface can be user-configured to a limited extent • Can export logs to other logging software via “bridging” programs • Uploads to eQSL and LOTW MixW MixW • CAT system incorporated • Digital modes supported • - simultaneous receiving of up to 10 stations in separate RX windows. - regular and contest modes. - search and statistics. - more then 140 macros. - simple scripting language support. - scanning frequencies and bands. - auto CQ function. MixW Pros & Cons PROS CONS • Can be “tested” free • Costs US$50 for 30 days • Documentation is • There is a users’- complex and reflector sometimes difficult to • Rig CAT control locate supported • Fewer modes • Widely used supported than HRD • Licence supports two • Website not well callsigns supported DX Labs Suite • Suite includes logging, spotting, radio control & digital radio software • The DXLab Launcher automates the installation of new DXLab applications and the upgrading of already-installed DXLab applications. • records and manages QSOs • extracts name, address, and location information from callbook CDROMs • tracks progress towards DXing awards (DXCC, Challenge, VUCC, TopList, Marathon, WAS, WAC, WAZ, WPX, IOTA, Counties, Maidenhead Fields, Maidenhead Squares) • prints QSL cards and QSL Labels, addresses envelopes, and prints address labels • uploads QSOs to eQSL.cc and LotW and downloads QSLs from eQSL.cc and LotW, and automatically updates your log to reflect confirmations • identifies QSLs required for DXCC submission, and generates required documentation DX Labs Pros & Cons PROS CONS • Free • Beginners might be • Many hams use it and tempted to try too there is a reflector many features at group once • It is updated regularly • Documentation is • Rig CAT control complex supported N1MM • Designed for both logging and contest operation • RTTY support using MMTTY • Other digital modes like PSK31 and PSK63 support using the MMVARI engine • Automatic CW generation, CW sending from the keyboard N1MM Pros & Cons PROS CONS • Its free • It can be intimidating • Many hams use it and to configure there is a reflector • Documentation is group complex • It’s a popular contest software HRD (Ham Radio Deluxe) • Suite of free Windows programs (also works on a Mac) • Provides computer control for commonly used transceivers and receivers • mapping, satellite tracking and the digital mode program Digital Master 780 (DM780) • HRD is free for Radio Amateurs HRD Pros & Cons PROS CONS • Its free • Can be intimidating to • Many hams use it and configure fully there is a reflector • Documentation is group large When I Choose Am I Stuck? • No! You can run more than one package – sometimes simultaneously with “bridge” software • You can transfer the main part of the log in a special format (.adi) from log to log • This is also useful for making a backup • So if you start a log you usually aren’t “stuck” if you change your mind later on Moving Data Between Logs Which One Should I Choose? • There is no easy solution, so ask other hams and take a plunge. • Why not start with the free ones? • Ask lots of questions, download the free or trial software and try them out Summary 1. I use several of these programs, sometimes simultaneously, for different purposes. They are all good but inevitably you will end up preferring one or more them over the others. 2. Start simple and gradually invoke the more advanced features later on as you grow curious and more adventurous. 3. In any case keep your log backed up in a safe place because the software and/or the hardware will eventually fail. I’ve experienced both! 4. Use the built-in Logbook of the World (LOTW) or the e-QSL tools to confirm your contacts. 5. Get on the air and record your activity!