eHam

eHam Forums => Elmers => Topic started by: N0SOY on September 21, 2012, 10:22:59 AM



Title: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: N0SOY on September 21, 2012, 10:22:59 AM
I remember hearing as a teenager in the long dark past that log books were required by the FCC.  Is that still a requirment?(assuming that it really ever was)  If so What are your preferences for books?

thanks


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: K1WJ on September 21, 2012, 10:44:41 AM
No they are not required. ARRL website is where I get mine. I still keep paper log book for all HF contacts. Nice to look back on over the years 73 K1WJ


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: KH6AQ on September 21, 2012, 10:54:04 AM
It used to be an FCC requirement but was dropped many years ago.


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: WB6BYU on September 21, 2012, 12:41:17 PM
Logging each individual contact is no longer required.  But the FCC does
still require that certain station records be maintained, for example, when
someone else acts as control operator of your station.  You don't have to
call those records a logbook.


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: W5FYI on September 21, 2012, 06:19:36 PM
I like K1WJ's answer--they're no longer required, but they're nice to have and look through from time to time. Many years ago I operated air mobile, but I left that job and began a new career in a different town. One day, thumbing through an old log, I saw that one of my AM contacts was with a lady ham in a neighboring town. I found out that she had become an SK, and that her son was keeping up the family hobby. We became good friends.

I also keep copies of my license grants in the log, as well as a copy of the mandatory RF exposure survey, and any other pertinent station data. For example, when I installed my last two antennas, I recorded the Rr, Z and SWR of each, and the tuner settings that produced best matching, so that if anything goes wrong in the future I can refer back to my installation notes. I've also got the serial numbers of all my equipment in there as well.

I may be wrong, but I think you still need to keep records of any third-party traffic. Current FCC rules are available online, and I'll have to check to be sure, but I do it anyway.


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: TANAKASAN on September 22, 2012, 12:06:55 AM
If you don't keep a log and somebody accuses you of interference then how can you prove you were not on air?

Tanakasan


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: KB5ZSM on September 22, 2012, 12:30:37 AM
"If you don't keep a log and somebody accuses you of interference then how can you prove you were not on air?"

How is a log book going to prove that you were not on the air???  I could talk to a dozen people and not log it! Guess I wasn't on the air....


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: K5MF on September 22, 2012, 12:33:41 AM
If you don't keep a log and somebody accuses you of interference then how can you prove you were not on air?

Tanakasan

You can't prove you weren't on the air.  No more so than having a log entry proves you were on the air.  I know it is tough to believe and this is getting to be less true everyday, but in the US we are presumed innocent until proven guilty.  The burden of proof is on the person making the charges, not the accused. Just because you have no written logs does not make you guilty of causing interference.  Similar to the old joke, "When did you quit beating your wife."   


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: K8AXW on September 22, 2012, 08:46:20 AM
I've maintained a log for HF operation for my entire ham career, even when the FCC mandated that it was no longer necessary.  By this time my logbook had become part of my station..... a record of past fun, failures and even frustrations.  Looking back through them, especially my first log of 1956, never fails to stir long forgotten memories of people that I became friends with.

As for the logbook proving that I was on or off the air at the time of alleged interference..... it can't.  But I've always felt that a neat logbook can be a stumbling block for someone accusing you of a problem.  As one said, "you're innocent until proven guilty."

My argument is, "My logbook, in which All of my contacts are recorded, says that I wasn't on the air.  You prove that I was!" 

Then again, if I was on the air, then we might have a problem and so let's solve it.  It works both ways.



Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: TANAKASAN on September 22, 2012, 10:54:04 AM
"My argument is, "My logbook, in which all of my contacts are recorded, says that I wasn't on the air.  You prove that I was!""

Exactly, and if the visiting inspector walks into your shack and sees a row of log books going back thirty years they're more likely to believe your side of the tale, especially if those log books show monthly tests of your transmitter for accurate frequency readings and clean output.

Then whilst he's drinking his coffee you show him the rest of the shack.

Tanakasan


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: NA0AA on September 22, 2012, 12:54:27 PM
I log all HF contacts, because keeping a log is a tradition and one I support.  If someone send me a QSL card, I want them in the log.

I don't log VHF or UHF contacts unless it is something notable.

But it is no longer required, as noted.


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: WA8UEG on September 22, 2012, 07:06:57 PM
Not sure how you confirm a QSL received without a log. Guess if you never intend to QSL, never intend to go for any awards, never intend to contest, etc. then a log is not needed. That type of op would be sad, just my opinion. Of course if you don't operate hf just 2 meter repeaters then no log would be needed.


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: M5AEO on September 23, 2012, 02:42:18 AM
Here in the UK we had to keep a log until relatively recently (a few years ago).  Now we don't have to but like others, I think it's nice to have a record of contacts made, not just for nostalgic reasons, but for technical information too: how does this new antenna compare with my old one etc.  But I'm old-fashioned: I still like real QSL cards!

Jonathan, M5AEO, London.



Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: N3QVB on September 23, 2012, 07:09:06 AM
When I was a kid originally licensed in 1970, I kept a paper log and would often look through it.  I wish I still had it.  Now it's electronic although not required.  I like to know what bands I need certain entities on and especially like knowing the operator's name ahead of time.  it makes for a more personal QSO.


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: VE4TTH on September 23, 2012, 04:54:29 PM
a few reasons I can think of to keep a log:

1) To aid in the exchange of QSL cards. Both in sending out and verifying incoming cards.

2) For personal reference and gratification. It's nice to see how many DX stations you have already worked, or maybe you made contact with someone who has similar interests outside of Ham Radio, and your log includes that information.

3) To accurately respond to interference complaints. Although not a legal document in the strictest sense of the word, it gives YOU the information you need to determine if in fact you were operating at the time the interference was reported. What course of action is taken can be influenced by the log.

4) Lets not forget....for bragging rights! Your log shows just how many countries, DXpeditions, IOTA stations, Moon Bounces, Satellite contacts, and so on you have worked, and your Ham Buddies will just have to step up and get on with it if they too want those bragging rights too!


73


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: AD0AE on September 28, 2012, 01:05:05 PM
I haven't read through all of the posts, so I may be covering ground already covered, but the Practical Amateur Radio Podcast does a nice job discussing logs.  http://myamateurradio.com/parp-49/

Basically the bottom line I got was you don't need one, but it is good practice to have one.  The podcast also explains, in a better way than I can right now, that a logbook is a good way to cover your butt.

73s,
Steve
AD0AE


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: N3JJT on September 28, 2012, 05:35:52 PM
Well said by all!  I still have my paper logs, but now I update an electronic log.  With a quick search you can see if you have worked a call before, or not.  If so, how many times.  I use Winlog, and I have multiple logs for various contacts..ie:  SKCC, FISTS, general, portable, etc and so on.  Makes it easy to see if you sent cards or received them.  Although not required, it is nice to have on hand, whether paper or plastic..

73..de ..Scott  N3JJT


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: KC9TNH on September 29, 2012, 12:04:10 PM
a few reasons I can think of to keep a log:
....
One more. If you test a new antenna over a sufficient period of time and want to get a real feel for how it "plays" in the real world (real obstructions, real earth, etc.) get good signal reports, info about what the distant-end has for an antenna, and you can keep the bearing/distance. If you do a diligent review this can tell you much some things your 'model' may not.


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on September 30, 2012, 02:56:34 PM
I mainly keep a log as a handy reminder notepad.
When I put a new station in the callsign window, the logger gives the name, city, and any notes I made about the station.
This helps to personalise the qso and jogs my memory about our last qso.
Usually, this gives enough of a cue to give some talking points and perhaps make it into a ragchew.

Of course, with a lot of DX, it does not matter at all, since you will still be given the "599 tnx nice qso" treatment.
But for that small percentage who are willing to talk, it is a handy memory jogger.

Also, when using CW, especially if you are the object of a pileup, it is a handy place to type in the callsign.
It may as well be put in a logger window as in a text file or a pad of paper.

73 - Rob


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: W5DQ on October 02, 2012, 12:01:48 PM
"If you don't keep a log and somebody accuses you of interference then how can you prove you were not on air?"

How is a log book going to prove that you were not on the air???  I could talk to a dozen people and not log it! Guess I wasn't on the air....

Sure if you keep no log then guess that make it a moot point. On the other hand, being able to show when you ARE on the air and not having any complaints filed could be used to indicate that your station is NOT the culprit in any interference issues. It's highly doubtful you would generate interference at one time and not another if you used the SAME gear/antennas. Now if it is band/mode related (different rig/antenna), then additional analysis may be required.

Personally I have always kept a log from the first contact as a Novice on Aug 18, 1976 until 23:59Z 9/30/2012 at the end of the CQWW RTTY contest. I use my logbook data for many things such as award tracking, analysis on my station performance and plotting antenna radiation patterns. So far I haven't had the need to use to support any interference analysis from my station.

Gene W5DQ


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: W9GB on October 02, 2012, 12:11:53 PM
Quote from: N0SOY
I remember hearing as a teenager in the long dark past that log books were required by the FCC.  Is that still a requirement? (assuming that it really ever was).
If so, what are your preferences for books?
YES, there was a requirement to keep an operational log book for radio amateur QSOs through the 1970s.  Some of us even kept maintenance records, like the commercial stations.

IF you were ANY radio broadcast station (AM, FM, TV), you were required to keep operational logs (Disk jockeys were FCC licensed a Third-Class Operators), the Engineers for these stations had to keep both transmitter operational AND maintenance logs.

The radio mfg. regularly provided free logbooks as part of their product marketing.
The Federal Aviation Admin. (FAA) still has much of this structure for aviation (for your safety in flying).  

By the time the Reagan Administration started in 1980s, significant changes to FCC occurred -- not all positive after 32 years of hind-sight.


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: KA5N on October 02, 2012, 01:47:54 PM
All you have to do is consider all the old logs that were uploaded into LOTW and all the
confirmations that resulted.  Several times I have gone back over my logs and found that
I had made a contact for which I needed confirmation, I then mailed a QSL and most of the
time I received a QSL in response.  Without a logbook you don't have any REAL information
on which countries, zones, grids, etc. youve worked.

Allen KA5N


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: G3RZP on October 03, 2012, 04:08:07 AM
I still keep a paper log, even though I don't need to anymore. But I don't use a computer for logging, either.


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: K8AXW on October 03, 2012, 09:15:33 AM
Peter: 
Quote
But I don't use a computer for logging, either

I decided back in 1998 to convert all of my paper logs to a computer logging program.

I spent an estimated 100+ hours typing in all of the information and when I was finished I was quite please with myself and the incredible speed with which I could search for old and or previous contacts.  I was "amongst" them.... you know, the guys who tells you your name and location before you have a change to use that information in a conversation.....

When the year 2000 rolled around my logging software got caught up in the Y2K fiasco and my computer logging and 100+ hours of my life went down the crapper in a heartbeat.  The only way to retain the information was to reset my computer clock to a time prior to 2000, which wasn't going to happen.

At that time I was very thankful for my paper logs and I no longer considered wasting my now short life expectancy transferring my extensive logging to a computer again.


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: W5DQ on October 03, 2012, 09:18:06 AM
But I don't use a computer for logging, either.

Neither did I ..... until I tried it and quickly realized what I was missing in the ability to 'analyze' my log data and find 'holes' in my QSL count, needed countries, etc.

If you choose to not use a computer because of fear of or not knowing about them, it really isn't hard to setup and use. I know I would be lost without my computer logging. BTW, in case you or anyone reading is interested, I've tried and used many, many different loggers available of the years and have found DX Lab Suite is the best one for me. I highly recommend it. Do a google for "DX Lab Suite" and check it out for yourself if you're considering ever going to a computerized logger.

73 Gene W5DQ


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: W5DQ on October 03, 2012, 09:27:12 AM

At that time I was very thankful for my paper logs and I no longer considered wasting my now short life expectancy transferring my extensive logging to a computer again.

I feel it is important to keep both an electronic copy and PAPER printout backup of my logs. I have all my paper logs back to 1976 when I started and I also have transferred all over to electronic logging. I keep daily (or at every use session) electronic backups and rotate 2 BU copies. I also keep paper printout in a binder for that 'OMG' event that may be lurking!!!

Quote
my computer logging and 100+ hours of my life went down the crapper in a heartbeat.

Unless I am way off base here, I believe ADIF format was around in 2000 and you should have been able to reset the clock to before Y2K and convert everthing to ADIF and then import that into any Y2K compliant logger? If not, there were ways to retrieve the data and update it as it was only the date formats that were afffected, not the data itself. Hopefully you, as I know I would have, investigated ALL possible avenues to retreive your data before throwing in the towel. 100+ hours of typing is alot of sore fingers.

73 Gene W5DQ


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: G3RZP on October 04, 2012, 02:52:08 AM
I don't type fast enough for contest computer logging, and everything else happens slow enough that reference to my latest DXCC print out from the League is adequate for data retrieval.

And for the all time DXCC countries I need, that's easy to remember - KP1!


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: WA3SKN on October 04, 2012, 07:27:00 AM
Tradition??? It was the law... International law!  All transmitters required a log.
However, times change.  It is no longer required.  And most don't log VHF/UHF contacts. just HF.
73s.

-Mike.


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: K8AXW on October 04, 2012, 09:41:54 AM
DQ: Gene, After Y2K and the data going down the crapper and after pulling my own head out of the crapper, I researched salvaging the date for over a month.  I no longer recall the program Gene, but they went out of business before Y2K (!) and the data format was, as I recall, a bastard format that wasn't recoverable at the time.

I finally compared it to a poker game gone bad; licked my wounds and walked away.  I've since tried a couple other computer logging programs, starting with a modern date and not typing in all of my old logbooks.  While I did find them interesting I simply lost interest.

Some things old people just need to stay away from.   ::)


Title: RE: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition
Post by: G3RZP on October 05, 2012, 04:32:02 AM
To err is human. But to really foul things up, you need a computer.