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Author Topic: Are log books required by the FCC or is that just a tradition  (Read 9662 times)
AD0AE
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Posts: 79




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« Reply #15 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
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N3JJT
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Posts: 31




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« Reply #16 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
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KC9TNH
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Posts: 304




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« Reply #17 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.
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73
Wes -KC9TNH
"Don't get treed by a chihuahua." - Pete
STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 875




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« Reply #18 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
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W5DQ
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Posts: 1209


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« Reply #19 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
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
W9GB
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Posts: 2659




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« Reply #20 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.
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KA5N
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Posts: 4380




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« Reply #21 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
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G3RZP
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Posts: 4959




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« Reply #22 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.
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K8AXW
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Posts: 4002




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« Reply #23 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.
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W5DQ
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« Reply #24 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
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
W5DQ
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« Reply #25 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
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
G3RZP
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Posts: 4959




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« Reply #26 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!
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WA3SKN
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Posts: 5558




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« Reply #27 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.
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K8AXW
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Posts: 4002




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« Reply #28 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.   Roll Eyes
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G3RZP
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« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2012, 04:32:02 AM »

To err is human. But to really foul things up, you need a computer.
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