21 January 2008

Logs, Logs, and More Logs

Over the years I have utilized many different methods of logging my amateur radio contacts. I normally use a paper log, but I also often have used computer logs. In my early days as a ham, I used a software program that ran under DOS called "Hyperlog". In those days the computer had not become a major part of most ham shacks, but Hyperlog was a simple little logging database and I enjoyed using it.

As the years went by I stopped using Hyperlog, and tried a few other logging programs. In the meantime, the "ADIF" and "Cabrillo" standardized formats were developed, and Hyperlog's programmer discontinued the product. I currently use three different logging programs - they all have their strengths - and they all can produce compatible files. One is ACLog by N3FJP, which is very simple in its design; another is the logging module included in Ham Radio Deluxe, which has some nice integration to other sections of the software; and the third is Win1010, by K4HAV, which is designed to handle the many unique logging aspects of paperchasing for 10-10 International Net.

I recently discovered a diskette containing a backup of some of my Hyperlog data, from my days as KB5UEV and a few months of KI7RK. It was a challenge just to read the 3.5" floppy disk, which has already become obsolete; when I finally did, I realized that the data was in a unique ascii separated database file and I had no idea how to convert it. So I posted a request to the 10-10 e-mail reflector, and fortunately for me, Jim Hardy K4HAV stepped in and performed the conversion for me. The log turned out to be an incomplete record from those days, but it did have about 860 QSO's, including two special ones:

- 8/25/1992, with W5VIB - I checked into the Sandoval County RACES Net, and logged it as "My first QSO ever!"

-10/17/1992, with K4PSR - Bill, "10-10 #57564 will send info". Bill sent me a complete copy of the 10-10 News, and was encouraged me to join 10-10. Sadly, Bill is now a Silent Key, but I wonder if he noticed that I became Treasurer of 10-10.

It will take a very long time for me to get all of my past logs into the computer, if I ever do. I've got enough QSO's for many, many different awards but I've never organized them to claim more than a few. It's kind of fun to post 15-year old QSO's to LOTW and eQSL and discover that the other side of the contact has already QSL'd the contact!

I think that amateur radio logs were a requirement in years gone by; an FCC inspector could show up at your house and demand to see the log, and woe to anyone who could not produce it. I'm not sure they are actually required anymore, but it's hard to imagine not documenting your QSO's somehow. Some of my logs are simply copies of contest logs, which I used to prepare and score manually; others are fancy notebooks, and some are freebies given by manufacturers. It's always fun to look back and bring back some memories from the old logs.

1 comment:

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