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Author Topic: Best Log for QSL Mangement/ award tracking  (Read 101590 times)
WA3MD
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« on: August 31, 2013, 11:28:33 AM »

So I am looking to maybe try new logging software. I have used XM Log for the past 12 years and really like its simplicity but I was looking for something to incorporate both LOTW QSL records and regular paper QSL records a little easier.  What does everyone find the best log program for this? I use N1MM for contests.
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2013, 03:13:57 PM »

So I am looking to maybe try new logging software.

What does everyone find the best log program for this? I use N1MM for contests.

There is a TON of discussion on what is the Best Logger in  this forum. It seems every week someone starts yet another Best Logger discussion.

Try using search.

FWIW Commcat is the Best Logger for Dxers, Award Tracking and LOTW.
 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
Stan K9IUQ
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WA3MD
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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2013, 06:50:20 PM »

Hmm. I read through some threads on logging software but didn't seem to see much specific to the question I asked. That's why I made a NEW topic.  My goal is for easier QSL managing software i.e tracking cards sent/received/LOTW  and award tracking.  Just want some feedback from others as to what they use and like and why. I feel XMLOG is a little "clunky" and not user friendly for my liking when it comes to QSL tasks. Its a great general logger but want to see if there is something better for my needs.

I thought this was a forum to discuss software???
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N7DC
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2013, 07:42:03 PM »

Well, it appears each piece of software has its backers, and those who don't like it.  As for me, after some 16 years of keeping electronic logs, I have wound up with the DXLab suite of programs.  It has thousands of users, with more coming aboard daily.  The author, Dave, is absolutely the best "support squad" of them all.  He has been recognized by major publications, and dx clubs for his programs and his almost instant support, from just answering a quick question, to actually sitting down and adding to, or correcting errors that have cropped up.  Those, by the way, are few and far between.  You can take it easy, just activating one or two of the suite programs, at first, is a good idea, until you are comfortable with what you have, and then add the others as you go along.  Oh, and did I mention that the suite is FREE, and Dave does put in hundreds of hour a month in support of his baby.
Danny
N7DC
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KC2TN
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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2013, 08:09:36 PM »

  Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy
DXLab suite is the most comprehensive logger available. If you want to make operating a joy you've got to try this program. It will do ALL that you want and beyond. If it doesn't Dave will probably add it. I've been using his program for the past 12-13 years, almost from its infancy. I have seen it grow in features. It has also been reliable from the beginning. It's modular structure lets you use the features you want and can be used with most rigs available from yesterday and today. AND you can't beat FREE along with outstanding support! Join the email reflector and you usually get a response to a question within the hour if not minutes.
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W6SA
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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2013, 08:21:23 PM »

I agree 1000% with the comments on DXLab Suite.  It makes operating remotely much easier than it was using WriteLog, from a tuning standpoint as well as having all the options that can be set and adjusted.  HRD may have a prettier GUI but DXLab does most everything I want it to and you can't beat the price.  Dave offers fantastic support along with several others who assist with sticky issues which are few and far between.

There are regular updates to applications and databases which are brought to your attention as they become available.

You can't go wrong with DXLab.

73 de Walt, W6SA
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W6DE
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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2013, 09:35:11 PM »

DXLab already has a few responses here. I'll try to hit your Questions about QSLing.  DXLab's logbook is DXKeeper and it has an associated app DXView.  DXKeeper integrates QSLing via LoTW and via Cards.  The LoTW function is all operated from within DXKeeper, just click a few buttons is all it takes.  

Today I worked TZ6BB on 17 meters CW.  Tonight, I clicked a few buttons to 1) check how many QSOs needed uploading to LoTW and 2) to then send those QSOs to LoTW.  About 15 minutes later I clicked another few buttons and received notice that TZ6BB had confirmed my QSO via LoTW.  

When I get a larger bunch of confirmations waiting on LoTW, I'll go to the Check Progress function within DXKeeper and click a few more buttons to generate a DXCC submission list, go to LoTW and from the list select those pending confirmations I need, pay my money to ARRL and wait for the ARRL's notice of processing.  Then I'll go back to Check Progress and with a few more clicks, automatically mark all those LoTW confirmations I needed from that list as Verified.

I have about 100 Card confirmations that DXKeeper can build an application for too. I'll go to the Check Progress and it'll will build me a list of those cards to get checked (or send to the ARRL) and DXKeeper will build me an adif file to up-load to DXCC online that matches the cards (keeping me from hand entering those 100 or so cards by hand). Then after I get the card list signed off by my local card checker, I'll send that signed list and my money to ARRL and wait for the ARRL's notice of processing.  Then I'll go back to Check Progress and with a few more clicks, mark all those Card confirmations as Verified. [Confirmed is when you have the QSO's QSL card and/or a QSO match on LoTW, Verified is when the ARRL agrees you have made the contact and notes it in your DXCC records.]

In addition, DXKeeper will build a printable progress report for your complete DXCC records.  
If I want to know my DXCC status for Mali, TZ6BB who I just worked, I'll click the DXKeeper log book entry for TX6BB and my entire TZ status shows up in DXView all modes, all bands, and status (i.e., unworked, worked, confirmed, verified).
Just starting to match up your Log Book with the ARRL records?  DXKeeper will get your records from the ARRL (via LoTW) and tell you the mismatches.

I have been using DXLab since I got back on the air in January 2011 and I find it great for my managing my DXCC records.  There are a lot of features, take your time to get familiar by using just a few of the functions/apps at the start--go ahead and install them, just don't try to learn them all at the same time.

Regards,
Dave w6de
« Last Edit: August 31, 2013, 09:37:46 PM by W6DE » Logged
KW4G
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2013, 02:58:36 AM »

Like asking what is the best car to buy, you will likely get several responses that xyzlogger is the absolute best. I have tried LOGic, Ham Radio Deluxe, XMLog, FLDigi, and even some Linux loggers, like CQRLog. The logger that I use is called DXLabsuite. It is a suite of programs that includes rig control, logging, spotting, path lookups, propagation prediction, and some other features that I have probably overlooked. It is a modular program that allows you to use just the parts you are interested in. It includes integrated support for LOTW, eQSL, Clublog, as well as paper QSL'ing. While it is not the simplest program to learn, the modular design means you can start with one module, learn the ropes with it, then move on to add the next module. The best thing about the program is the online support. There is a mailing list on Yahoo! Groups where the author, and a number of support experts answer questions. Unlike a lot of other lists, you will not be called names or have your lineage questioned if you ask a question. Usually questions are answered within a matter of minutes. The documentation is extensive, and there is an online wiki to complement the mailing list. Point your web browser to http://www.dxlabsuite.com for more information. 73 and good luck.

Roy KW4G
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2013, 05:01:11 AM »

I thought this was a forum to discuss software???

It is and Logging software has been discussed over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

Why not just try the Logger demos out yourself and make your own decision on what logger is the greatest. They all have trial periods. Do you really need someone else telling you what to use?

Stan K9IUQ
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2013, 05:04:31 AM »

I feel XMLOG is a little "clunky" and not user friendly for my liking

Clunky and not user friendly? You just described DXLabs....

Stan K9IUQ
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KU1T
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2013, 05:20:40 AM »

Started with HRD, used also fldigi/Genlog. Finally settled on DXlab.

pros: - full automation of eQSL/LOTW/award tracking. Focused on DX work, with superb filtering of DXclusters. Extensive array of auxiliary programs - will interact/log with N1MM,  fldigi, SpotSpy, DXAtlas. Will do real time tracking of progress for paper hunter; is designed to support QSL-ing. Still under active development, with very vibrant user community and author very responsive to questions.

cons - runs natively on Windows, and I cannot convince David to port it to Mac...  It is a large suite; it is not a 15 minutes start, but one is well rewarded with features and functionality.

Yep, the software suite was critical in helping to accomplish my objectives and keep track of my on the air activity. 

vy 73, de KU1T.
_zjt
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F1MQJ
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2013, 06:04:46 AM »

DXlab user for about 10 years and appréciate it :
For dxkeeper (logger)
+full automated electronic qsl Lotw eQsl
+ good qsl card sélection and printing (It´s not global qsl but why Maud some think That already exists) + you CAN easily export adif for IT
+ very good award help (runing with spotCollector=cluster client which tell you d'Henri a missing préfix or dxcc is on the cluster)
= Dave is fully behind his product with better service (based on yahoogroups) than professionnal software
With some other helpers for support and also some ADD-on (spot spy to improve spot collectif Search for iota or russian Island ...
+ for those who want automatisation commander with pathfinder do the job (cat command for TX, and rotor command
+ very often ADD-on interface for leader produits to work with DXlab data for exemple FLDigi which i préfer to winwarbler for Numeric modes
The only minus i CAN see is the need to learn some function (so Many function need a littoral learning)
Very often on yahoo group you ask a question on a probaly new feature and the answer is : IT s already In giving the wiki page to set IT Up
Remi F1MQJ
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W2LK
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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2013, 07:32:46 AM »

I started a with a DOS program called microlog which I converted to DX4WIN years ago. For many reasons I began trying other loggers and then I switched to DXLab Suite about 5-6 years ago and have never looked back. Here's why. As has been mentioned, Dave's support is second to none and the user group is friendly and extremely helpful. If you have a problem, you usually will get a supportive answer in minutes from a number of people in the group if not from Dave himself. If there is a real issue that seems hard to solve with an email dialog, Dave will often ask you to do certain things and send him certain files to analyze. It doesn't get better than that.

There are a suite of programs, each with different, but closely aligned functions that all automatically communicate with each other. You can use one or more by simply installing them and they each know the others are there. Other posters have mentioned functionality but I'll try to give you a quick overview.

DXKeeper is the log. It can track lots of awards in realtime, the status of QSLs for every QSO by LoTW, card or eQSL, if you prefer, and a boatload of other information. Uploading to LoTW is a two or three click process that is completely automated. Updating your log for QSLs received via LoTW is one click. You can print QSL labels or cards or export the data to another QSL label or card maker. Entering QSOs while on the air is easy. One of the best things is a report that compares your DXCC status with what the ARRL has and details differences so you can fix them. The list of capabilities goes on and on.

Commander interfaces with your radio so when you log a QSO, the frequency and mode are automatically entered correctly.

SpotCollector connects to the internet and receives spots and can tell you which of those you need for a new band mode or country or other award. Click on the spot and Commander automatically puts your radio on that frequency. DXKeeper simultaneously opens an entry to log the QSO. You fill in name, qth, etc and click the log button when done.

DXView will show your status for the country of the spot you just clicked. How many bands and modes you worked it on and if each of the band/mode combinations has been QSLed, confirmed or accepted by DXCC. If you see that you worked a band/mode but never QSLed, click on the box and DXKeeper will give you the list of all the QSOs for that band mode so you can tell it what to do for QSLing.

There are more QSO/QSL related programs in the suite like automatic propagation prediction, etc. but there is also WinWarbler which runs RTTY, PSK and CW. You make a QSO with WW and the logging into DXKeeper is automatic with frequency, mode, QSO details, etc.

All of this is controlled with DXLab Launcher which you click to start or close any or all of the other applications. It also notifies you of program or database updates that need to be done. Again, a simple few clicks to update anything.

I've only scratched the surface and the rub is there is so much that it can be overwhelming to start but everything is well documented, the support is there and you don't have to master it all at once. You can start with DXKeeper and go from there as you get comfortable.

By the way, converting from another log to DXLab is a piece of cake too. Create an ADIF file from the other program and import it to DXKeeper. It's worth trying.

GL. 73, Les W2LK
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AI4PF
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2013, 09:39:25 AM »

I am not by training or education what you might call a "technical guy". As a result, I stumbled around the world of Ham Radio like the proverbial blind squirrel looking for an acorn, but I persevered. One day, by chance, I came upon DXKeeper. That led to the rest of the DXLab suite. One by one I took them on, and the world of Ham Radio gradually opened up to me for the first time.

For a non-technical guy like me, no program for logging, DXing, etc., no matter how worthy otherwise, is worth using if there is little no real support. Dave provides prompt, informed answers to all inquiries. That is the "jewell in the crown".

Bill, Ai4PF
 
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K4KGG
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2013, 10:44:44 AM »

   DXLab's DXKeeper is great for QSL management and award tracking. It has every feature you could possibly want, but is user friendly for those choosing to ignore some features. Documentation is outstanding. If you can follow directions, you can make this software do what you want it to do. It's primary author, Dave, AA6YQ, constantly answers questions on the related Yahoo group. The software is being continually improved with programming help from many DXers. This program has the kind of wide-based support that suggests it will be around for the long haul. Freeware doesn't get better than this.   K4KGG, Larry
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