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Author Topic: What's easiest to use in adding QSOs from a paper log?  (Read 2874 times)
W9FI
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« on: August 15, 2012, 07:55:04 PM »

I'm looking to going back to my old paper logs, entering QSOs into some logging software, and then exporting them to LOTW and eQSL.  Once I get these Q's into an electronic record form I next want to export them to other logging programs, so I can choose the best one that meets my operating style going forward.

I'm looking in two specific areas.

1.  Which logging programs have the quickest and easiest data entry requirements for non-contest DX QSOs where I'll be changing dates, times, calls, bands, and modes frequently?

2. Of this group, which programs allow me to easily export the QSO file in a standard HR electronic record format, like ADIF or Cabrillo?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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K2QB
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 07:24:34 AM »

Regarding your second question all logging programs allow you to export your log file in ADIF format as that is the standard. Most will also do Cabrillo and if not there are many programs out there that will do the ADIF to Cabrillo conversion for you.
Regarding your first question, I have tried many logging programs and in my opinion none of them allow easy input of paper logs as they are designed to log contacts on the fly. There is a program called Fast Log Entry (link below) created by DF3CN that makes it much easier to do. It creates an ADIF file that can then be imported by your logging software of choice.
http://www.df3cb.com/fle/
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W5DQ
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2012, 09:50:50 AM »

As to entering old paper logs, I really haven't heard of any loggers that are superior to any others WRT that function. They all will require multiple mouse clicks and/or keystrokes to get EACH QSO into the log. Personally I use DX Lab's suite of apps and in the logging program, DX Keeper, and it can be tailored to optimize paper log entry but still it is somewhat labor intensive, especially if the data is not sequential, i.e. large deltas for time, freq, etc from one Q to the next will require a lot of manipulation of data fields.

Nice thing is once it is all entered into the computer logger, the time required work with the data to determine facts about the it is makes up for the data entry time in a hurry. Also managing the log becomes a simple task and you will actually find you probably have more DX counts than you thought.

Good Luck,

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
AA6YQ
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 01:06:37 PM »

As to entering old paper logs, I really haven't heard of any loggers that are superior to any others WRT that function. They all will require multiple mouse clicks and/or keystrokes to get EACH QSO into the log. Personally I use DX Lab's suite of apps and in the logging program, DX Keeper, and it can be tailored to optimize paper log entry but still it is somewhat labor intensive, especially if the data is not sequential, i.e. large deltas for time, freq, etc from one Q to the next will require a lot of manipulation of data fields.

Nice thing is once it is all entered into the computer logger, the time required work with the data to determine facts about the it is makes up for the data entry time in a hurry. Also managing the log becomes a simple task and you will actually find you probably have more DX counts than you thought.

When you're logging a QSO in "real time", your logging application should initialize the QSO's frequency and mode from your transceiver's current settings, set the QSO's start time to "now" when you indicate that the QSO has begun, and set the QSO's end time to "now" when you indicate that the QSO has ended, or when you record the QSO. When you're logging a QSO from a paper logbook, your logging application should initialize the QSO's frequency and mode from the frequency and mode of the last QSO entered from your paper logbook. This won't always be correct - as Gene points out above, you must manually enter the frequency or mode when either changes from the last-logged QSO -- but it does save a lot of keystrokes. When you're logging a QSO from a paper logbook, setting a QSO's start time to the end time of the previously-logged QSO will also require adjustment, but providing buttons or keystrokes that add hours, minutes, or seconds to start time can save time and keystrokes compared to requiring the user to type a full date and time for each QSO. These optimizations do let you fly through runs of QSOs made seconds apart on the same frequency and mode.

Not all logging applications can be configured to optimize for entering QSOs from a paper logbook.

There's a free application called Fast Log Entry that is dedicated to logging QSOs from a paper logbook using techniques similar to those described above. It generates an ADIF file that you can import into most logging applications.

    73,

        Dave, AA6YQ
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 01:12:23 PM »

Regarding your second question all logging programs allow you to export your log file in ADIF format as that is the standard. Most will also do Cabrillo and if not there are many programs out there that will do the ADIF to Cabrillo conversion for you.
Regarding your first question, I have tried many logging programs and in my opinion none of them allow easy input of paper logs as they are designed to log contacts on the fly.


DXKeeper, the logging component of the freeware DXLab Suite, can be optimized for logging QSOs from a paper logbook; see Logging Completed QSOs.

    73,

        Dave, AA6YQ
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W9FI
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2012, 07:47:27 PM »

Thanks for the advice, guys.  Now I have a couple of options.

I had checked out several of the many loggers out there, and wasn't too happy with the results.  You've identified two of the programs that I hadn't gotten to yet.  You saved me some time.

73, Jim
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