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Author Topic: Grid collecting software  (Read 2108 times)
WY3X
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Posts: 768




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« on: August 29, 2010, 07:47:03 PM »

If you collect VHF grid squares, what software do you use to keep track of the ones you've worked?

I'm thinking there must be a better way to track them than by hand, but don't want anything overly complex. All I want is to see a map on my PC, is to leave it as an outline map background with superimposed grids. I'm imagining clicking on a grid once to turn it red (for contact made), while a second would turn the same grid green for confirmed. I don't want logbook, rig control, or any other type of operating aid written into the program. I don't want to keep track of callsigns or exact frequency (although band tracking is necessary). Date/time tracking would be welcome, but unnecessary. Does such a thing exist?

Ideally, when you first start the software, a map would be selected by choosing one of the seven continents. Then click once on a square to note that contact was made, and twice to indicate a QSL card had been received from "anyone" in that grid. And if you click it a third time, it would restore the color to the map background (if an error was made). If a contact was made outside of one of the seven continents, an optional selection would steer you towards entry on that page.

Nothing overly complex, just a simple way to keep track of the grids you've worked. Maybe tabs at the bottom of the screen to keep up with running totals for each band.

Does such a thing exist? I looked at VQ log, but it has too many additional features. It's close, but no banana.

I'm no programmer, just a passionate VHF/UHF operator with a need and an idea.

Thanks, -WY3X
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N4NYY
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Posts: 5058




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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2010, 08:05:44 PM »

I have HRD 5.0. I just checked the awards section, and there is a section for Major and Minor. In Major, I have 294 worked and 164 confirmed. For Minor, I have 419/188.

I have no idea that the hell that means as I am trying for DXCC using HF, but is that what you are looking for?

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WY3X
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Posts: 768




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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2010, 08:25:31 PM »

Thanks for the reply. I looked at HRD some time ago. If you need all those features, that's fine. I don't need or want them. It just clutters up and complicates what I want to do. Think "basic" and "simple". No fluff added.

Thanks, -WY3X
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WY3X
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Posts: 768




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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2010, 08:32:35 PM »

N4NYY, I failed to answer your question. DXCC is an HF award in which you collect countries. On VHF/UHF, you don't collect countries. Well- to be truthful, I guess you -COULD-, but it's not normally done that way. The earth is divided up into little itty-bitty squares, called "grids" by VHF ops, and each time you work a station in one of those squares, it counts towards various awards. Think of me as a "little square collector" as opposed to a "country" or "state" collector.

I see I'm not the only one looking for such software: http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php?topic=63716.0
and I also see that someone sent the other fellow to a website. I'm going to look there, and will post my findings in this
thread.

Here's a U.S. grid square collecting map: http://www.oema.us/files/Amateur_Radio_US_Grid_Square_Map.pdf
If all the squares were white (until clicked on) and changed color, and the outline of the U.S. map showed through,
it would be an ideal start for the program idea I have. Then all the other continents would have to be done likewise.

73, -WY3X
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KA9CCH
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Posts: 93




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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2010, 10:25:14 PM »

DXkeeper logging will tracks grids.
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K3GM
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Posts: 2414




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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2010, 04:33:49 AM »

.............Nothing overly complex, just a simple way to keep track of the grids you've worked. Maybe tabs at the bottom of the screen to keep up with running totals for each band..............

Check out the W3KM GenLog.  It's free, relatively simple to use, and does a pretty good job.  It will graphically show your grids on a rudimentary map.
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N4NYY
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2010, 06:51:39 AM »

WY3X,

I don't know which HRD you used, but if you did not check 5.0, I highly suggest it. I only use the logger portion, which in turn fills in the award categories. You are right about the fluff. While I connect to the radio, I still use my radio's control. I am really using only yht logger and awards section.

If you want, I can send a screen shot of the grip section, to your email. The program is free and doesn't hurt to try it out.

Vinnie
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NR4C
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Posts: 490




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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2010, 08:33:07 AM »

I fail to see your need for total simplicity.  If you are going to all the trouble to keep track of grids, you must be looking to apply for some award or other.  If so, won't you need to provide some documentation other than a map of 'green' grids?  Information like CALL, Date, Time, Freq, etc?  Otherwise, why to effort?


...bc
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WY3X
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Posts: 768




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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2010, 09:55:24 AM »

NR4C, I'm not planning to use the information for awards, only for tracking purposes and personal contentment. I already have attained VUCC. I may at some point in the future file an update if/when I break 300 grids (I'm now at 270+), but it will be hand-filed on paper, not a computer generated report. My theory is, while I'm listening to others call CQ on the band, and I hear them identify their grid square, I can quickly reference my PC screen and see if I have a confirmed contact in that grid square by simply looking at the on-screen map. If I already have confirmed it, I'll continue to spin the dial and give others the chance to work them. If I haven't, then I would take pause and attempt to work the station. A simple go/no-go program, nothing more, nothing less. I could do it on paper, and have been, but sometimes my map of grids gets lost on my desk full-o-papers. (Messy shack syndrome.) I only keep a station log when contesting (it's no longer legally required by the FCC to maintain a log for casual contacts). Sometimes I log contacts, sometimes not. I normally fill out QSL cards immediately after a contact and mail them off shortly thereafter, and have no prevailing reason to maintain a log of the data written on the card.

So- as stated in my original request, still looking for a grid tracking software that doesn't log contacts, doesn't feature rig control, or any other (what I consider) "fluff".

Thanks, -WY3X
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K3GM
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Posts: 2414




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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2010, 09:37:47 AM »

www.arrl.org/files/file/FFMA/FFMA%20TRACKER-MAP%20V2_nz3m.xls

I found this that looks pretty interesting.  This will merely show the US grid worked, and confirmed.
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