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Author Topic: ANY LOGGING SOFTWARE RECOMMENDATIONS????  (Read 25720 times)
W4SCW
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« on: August 17, 2013, 01:37:01 PM »

Well I'm finally tired of paper logs and it's time to transfer all my info onto a logging software and just use the new software for when i make future contacts. Can anyone recommend a good software that's very easy to use but that has alot of features for serious DX'ers as well such as QRZ look up, Beam headings, LotW, Award tracking, eQSL's and all the other bells and whistles at the click of a finger

Thanks
Shane W4SCW
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N0IU
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2013, 02:24:59 PM »

There are a few programs out there that fill the bill and you are likely to hear from proponents of each of them...

My vote is for Ham Radio Deluxe aka HRD: http://www.hrdsoftwarellc.com/

I like it because its not just a log. It is actually a suite of programs with a powerful log being just one of them.

At the heart of program is HRD itself which is rig control module. This allows your PC to interface with your radio which will allow the logging program to pick up that band and mode data from your radio and automatically plug that information into your log. It will also allow the logging program to talk back to your radio. There is a DX Cluster section that is part of the log book and if you see a spot for a station you want to work, all you have to do is click on the spot and it will put your radio on that frequency. Cool, huh?

Then there is the logbook itself. The uploads to eQSL can be set up to be 100% totally automatic so that they are sent as soon as a contact has been entered into the log. Uploading to LoTW is done by highlighting the entry or entries in your log and clicking the option to upload them to LoTW.

The other extremely powerful module of HRD is called DM780 and is the digital mode interface. With it, you can almost every digital mode known to man! It also interfaces with the rig control and logbook modules so that you can populate the logbook fields by simply clicking on the text on the screen.

The free (and unsupported) version is still out there, but the latest version is $99.95. There is a 30 free trial. It is 100% functional and this will allow you to "kick the tires" and see if you like it.

I like it!
 
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K3DCW
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2013, 04:34:24 PM »

There are a wide variety of options; the best advice I can offer is to try as many as possible and find the one you like.

HRD is very good if you are looking for an all-in-one suite. You already have the link below.

DXLabs, by AA6YQ (frequently on these boards), is also very good, and you can start with just the logbook and add capability as you go by adding various modules (rig control, propagation analysis, digital modes, etc).   The link is www.dxlabsuite.com

Log4OM is a GREAT new program that focuses on being a Logbook first and foremost.  It has rig control and DXCluster support, but that is secondary to the primary function of being the best Logbook around. It supports everything you have asked for and is simple to setup, but can also grow with you.  I have really grown to like Log4OM and it is now my primary logbook and I think the best on Windows.   Log4OM can be found at http://www.pisto.it/wordpress/log4om-en/ and the latest version (v1.15) was just released today!


However, I can't stress this enough...try a variety of them and find one that fits your style.

73,

Dave
K3DCW
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2013, 05:47:50 PM »

Can anyone recommend a good software that's very easy to use but that has alot of features for serious DX'ers as well such as QRZ look up, Beam headings, LotW, Award tracking, eQSL's and all the other bells and whistles at the click of a finger

Thanks
Shane W4SCW

This question is easy to answer. If you are a DXer get CommCat. The best software I have found for a DXer. It has everything a Dxer can dream off and then some. There is a free trial, give it a try.

I have tried and owned many loggers. Every logger that it is free or has a free trial I have tried. Some more than once. Yep and that is a lot of loggers. This is what you should do. Test drive the loggers. All of them and figure out what works best for you.. Forget our opinions as everyone is going to recommend the logger they use.

Stan K9IUQ
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2013, 07:14:46 PM »

Well I'm finally tired of paper logs and it's time to transfer all my info onto a logging software and just use the new software for when i make future contacts. Can anyone recommend a good software that's very easy to use but that has alot of features for serious DX'ers as well such as QRZ look up, Beam headings, LotW, Award tracking, eQSL's and all the other bells and whistles at the click of a finger

DXLab provides callbook lookups, award tracking, and synchronization with both LotW and eQSL. Note that synchronization is more than just uploading your QSOs. With LotW, for example, DXLab updates each logged QSO with information from LoTW to indicate that
•   the QSO has been accepted by LoTW
•   the QSO's DXCC entity has been confirmed for DXCC
•   the QSO's US State has been confirmed for Mixed WAS
•   the QSO's US State has been confirmed for a WAS mode endorsement, which requires an exact mode match, not just a mode group match
•   the QSO's gridsquares -- up to 4 can be specified -- are confirmed for VUCC

Your QSO partner may fail to include his or her US State or gridsquare in the "Station Location" used to upload your QSO to LoTW, preventing the LoTW confirmation from counting towards your WAS or VUCC objectives. DXLab highlights such absences, enabling you to contact your QSO partner and request that your QSO be re-uploaded with the required information.

DXLab provides strong support for DXing; it

•   accepts DX spots from multiple sources, including from the excellent Reverse Beacon Network

•   uses incoming DX spots create a local database of active DX stations that is simultaneously conveyed to the user
    •   as a table, with one entry per active DX station, with "needed" DX stations highlighted
    •   on a world map, like Google Earth or DX Atlas, showing DX stations linked to spotting stations to illustrate actual propagation
    •   in a bandspread display (bandmap) that tracks the transceiver's frequency
    •   in a propagation display that illustrates actual band openings with specific stations or to specific regions over the course of a UTC day
    •   via audible announcements of "needed" DX stations
    •   via email or text message announcements of "needed" DX stations

•   automates the "paperwork" that would otherwise consume time better spent DXing
    •   generates outgoing QSL cards/labels to request confirmation of QSOs needed to advance progress towards DXing awards
    •   chooses confirmed QSOs for submission, and generates the submission paperwork required by DXing awards
    •   downloads DXCC award credits, and updates logged QSOs to reflect the granting of DXCC credit

Displaying raw DX spots from a single cluster puts the burden on the user to extract information from multiple spots of the same DX station, many of which are redundant. But a spot originated by a DX cluster near a needed DX station can arrive a minute or two before spots relayed by the worldwide spotting network. Thus obtaining DX spots from multiple clusters can confer a critical advantage: the ability to QSY before the cluster hordes arrive and make a QSO far more difficult. DXLab uses the information from up to six DX spot sources to populate a local database that tracks each active DX station, providing the DXer with the far more actionable set of views listed above. DXLab enables you to
•   quickly QSY to a split DX station's TX and last-reported RX frequencies while rotating your antenna to the correct short-path heading
•   generate a graphical propagation forecast to assess potential changes in signal strength and identify likely new openings
•   visualize when and where other DXers in your area have reported working stations near a needed DX station
•   review a DX station's short-term and long-term operating patterns

DXLab is free, and has been under aggressive development for the past 13 years: there are typically more than 4 new feature-bearing releases each month. Reported defects are usually corrected within 24 hours; the backlog of reported but uncorrected defects is 0.

DXLab supports all phases of DXing: planning, listening, making the QSO, confirming the QSO, and obtaining award credit. Better DXing Through Software!

     73,

           Dave, AA6YQ
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 07:22:11 PM by AA6YQ » Logged
K9IUQ
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2013, 06:03:39 AM »

73,

           Dave, AA6YQ

Somehow we all knew you were going to give your typical advertisement for DX Labs. eham really should charge you advertising rates for your posts especially since you constantly promote DX Labs on the forums.

Many other Loggers do the same as DX Labs, some even do more, and do it more intuitively. As a ham who has tried DX Labs countless times over the years I can say it was worth exactly what I paid for it......  Smiley

My advice was to try DX Labs and try all the others too.

Stan K9IUQ
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2013, 11:14:46 AM »

73,

           Dave, AA6YQ

Somehow we all knew you were going to give your typical advertisement for DX Labs. eham really should charge you advertising rates for your posts especially since you constantly promote DX Labs on the forums.

Many other Loggers do the same as DX Labs, some even do more, and do it more intuitively. As a ham who has tried DX Labs countless times over the years I can say it was worth exactly what I paid for it......  Smiley

My advice was to try DX Labs and try all the others too.

Stan K9IUQ

When someone asks for a recommendation, why would I not provide one?

Which other station automation applications maintain a local database of active DX stations that the user can simultaneously view in tabular, map, bandspread, and propagation display format?

    73,

         Dave, AA6YQ

     
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N5MOA
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2013, 10:58:08 AM »

As a ham who has tried DX Labs countless times over the years I can say it was worth exactly what I paid for it......  Smiley
Stan K9IUQ

It is worth considerably more than I paid for it.................but Dave doesn't accept any donations. Just "thanks" for, imo, the best logging software available, at any price.

To the op, as mentioned, try 'em all and see which you prefer. I don't know anyone who only tried one before settling the one they use now.
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WB4M
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2013, 07:26:53 PM »

I have used darn near every logging/digital program out there, many of which no longer exist.   I will whole-heartedly advise you to go with DXLabs; it will do everything you want and more.  Read the reviews here in eHam.   I guarantee you will not find better support for any ham radio program available today.   It is a totally free set of programs that inter-operate with each other and even other software programs.  I don't understand why some people will pay 50 to 100 bucks for a program, then pay an annual "support fee" when the best of the best is free.   If you are looking for a pretty program you might not like DXLabs, but if you want total functionality with almost instant support, go with DXLabs.
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2013, 05:37:39 AM »

I have used darn near every logging/digital program out there, many of which no longer exist.

 I don't understand why some people will pay 50 to 100 bucks for a program, then pay an annual "support fee" when the best of the best is free.   If you are looking for a pretty program you might not like DXLabs, but if you want total functionality with almost instant support, go with DXLabs.

Here is my problem with DX LABS and I have tried to like it many times. It "ain't pretty" as you say (and that is being kind) and to me it does not look like a Windows program. There are entirely too many windows to keep track with all those different programs. And the learning curve is S T E E P. DX LABS is a long way from being intuitive.

IMO DxLabs is free because it can not compete with well designed, intuitive programs like Logic, Commcat, HRD and several others.  DxLabs is popular, no doubt. It is free and hams like free. Being popular does not make it a great program. Start charging $50 for Dx Labs and all of a sudden it is not popular as it once was. Ask HRD about that.  Wink

I realize that I will probably get flamed and AA6YQ will try to disprove me but this is the truth as I and many others see it.

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 05:44:50 AM by K9IUQ » Logged
AA6YQ
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2013, 07:37:02 AM »

I have used darn near every logging/digital program out there, many of which no longer exist.

 I don't understand why some people will pay 50 to 100 bucks for a program, then pay an annual "support fee" when the best of the best is free.   If you are looking for a pretty program you might not like DXLabs, but if you want total functionality with almost instant support, go with DXLabs.

Here is my problem with DX LABS and I have tried to like it many times. It "ain't pretty" as you say (and that is being kind) and to me it does not look like a Windows program. There are entirely too many windows to keep track with all those different programs. And the learning curve is S T E E P. DX LABS is a long way from being intuitive.

IMO DxLabs is free because it can not compete with well designed, intuitive programs like Logic, Commcat, HRD and several others.  DxLabs is popular, no doubt. It is free and hams like free. Being popular does not make it a great program. Start charging $50 for Dx Labs and all of a sudden it is not popular as it once was. Ask HRD about that.  Wink

I realize that I will probably get flamed and AA6YQ will try to disprove me but this is the truth as I and many others see it.


Stan, I understand that DXLab won't appeal to everyone. DXLab provides many capabilities not present in any other station automation software. For example, it maintains a local database of active DX stations that the user can simultaneously view in tabular, map, bandspread, and propagation display format; "needed" DX stations are automatically highlighted and announced. This is enormously useful to the DXer who has taken the time to understand and become comfortable with it, just as taking the time to learn jet aircraft allows a pilot to fly more rapidly than in a piper cub. If you're not a DXer, not interested in HF propagation, and have few QSLs to manage, there are plenty of applications with a more modest learning curve. Readers interested in hearing more from DXLab users should consult the reviews; you're also welcome to join the DXLab Yahoo Group and ask directly.

       73,

            Dave, AA6YQ
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2013, 08:53:35 AM »

Stan, I understand that DXLab won't appeal to everyone.

If you're not a DXer, not interested in HF propagation, and have few QSLs to manage, there are plenty of applications with a more modest learning curve.

       73,

            Dave, AA6YQ

Dave, You are correct ,DXLabs does not appeal to everyone. There are many ham programs out there that have users just as enthusiastic as DxLabs. There is a reason there are so many logger programs. and I use the term "Logger" loosely as almost all loggers provide much more than just logging.

I am an avid Dxer, am very interested in propagation, and do my fair share of QSLing.  Cheesy

I have software other than DXLabs that provides me with exactly what I need and I did not have to take a college course to learn how to use it. Some of my software I willingly paid $$$.

I think providing DXLabs free is fantastic on your part. There is a need for cheap or free software for hams especially since HRD is no longer free. I also appreciate your work on MMTTY/MMVARI, two programs that I use a lot. As the previous poster noted "some" Loggers want big $$$ AND support $$ every year. Most hams do not want to pay $$ every year just to get a updated program.

Since 1991 up until a couple of years ago, I used Logic logger (a really good logger),  When Logic 9 came out I tried it (I had Logic 8 ) and found very little to get excited about. When I found out the upgrade price was $89 I stopped using it and went to HRD. HRD is a good program (even the Free Version) but IMO the HRD 6.0 it is not worth $100 and every year you have to pay more $$$ to get upgrades.

For the last year I am using Commcat which I really like. At $50 and free upgrades it is a huge bargain. Support from Howard W6HN is second to nobody.

What it all comes down to is what you personally like. This is why I suggest hams try all the loggers. Just about all of them have a free trial. They are all different and each has it own personality. Only then can a ham decide what is right for them.

Stan K9IUQ
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AK7V
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« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2013, 10:32:15 AM »

I use Logic 9 for logging and rig control.  It's not cheap but it is a good program.  I have not tried DXLabs.  If I were in the market for a new logging program, I'd certainly try it out.
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W4PC
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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2013, 01:20:25 PM »

I have used darn near every logging/digital program out there, many of which no longer exist.

 I don't understand why some people will pay 50 to 100 bucks for a program, then pay an annual "support fee" when the best of the best is free.   If you are looking for a pretty program you might not like DXLabs, but if you want total functionality with almost instant support, go with DXLabs.

Here is my problem with DX LABS and I have tried to like it many times. It "ain't pretty" as you say (and that is being kind) and to me it does not look like a Windows program. There are entirely too many windows to keep track with all those different programs. And the learning curve is S T E E P. DX LABS is a long way from being intuitive.

IMO DxLabs is free because it can not compete with well designed, intuitive programs like Logic, Commcat, HRD and several others.  DxLabs is popular, no doubt. It is free and hams like free. Being popular does not make it a great program. Start charging $50 for Dx Labs and all of a sudden it is not popular as it once was. Ask HRD about that.  Wink

I realize that I will probably get flamed and AA6YQ will try to disprove me but this is the truth as I and many others see it.

Stan K9IUQ


Stan, we've been able to hire 9 people with the revenue from HRD sales.. It is still VERY popular and we have the revenue to continue development.  6.1 hits soon and everyone who puchased 6 gets 6.1 for free.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 01:23:34 PM by W4PC » Logged
K9IUQ
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« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2013, 06:02:42 PM »

Stan, we've been able to hire 9 people with the revenue from HRD sales.. It is still VERY popular and we have the revenue to continue development.  6.1 hits soon and everyone who puchased 6 gets 6.1 for free.

It is popular because it is a very good program that does many thing well. I have tried the Version 6.0 trial and I liked it. However I had 2 problems with it.

1. It did not support FSK - a must for me.
2. The paid version costs $100 plus $$ every year to get updates.

I understand that FSK is being or has been implemented in later paid versions of 6.0. The second problem is I do not feel HRD is worth that much $$$. IMO a price of $60 or $70 would be maybe reasonable. At that price more hams would buy it and maybe you could hire even more people to support it.

Many hams are old, retired and have a Fixed Income. These hams go to the freebie loggers like HRD 5.XX and DXLabs.

Unlike many hams I have no problem paying for software I like and want. Also I do not pirate software. $100 and $$ a year is just too much $$.

Stan K9IUQ
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