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Reviews For: TRLog by N6TR

Category: Ham Logging Software

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Review Summary For : TRLog by N6TR
Reviews: 7MSRP: 75
Contest Software
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N7OR Rating: 2003-12-06
King of DOS Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Of all the MS-DOS contest programs (2) this one is the best.
NI6G Rating: 2002-12-16
The Standard of Excellence Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This software is elegant and well-designed. I especially appreciate that it runs in DOS. It is very simple to use. I've had the opportunity to try out other contest logging programs extensively. I prefer TR far and above the others.
K1RFD Rating: 2001-06-13
Right on target Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
TRLog is an excellent example of the software-design philosophy, "do one thing, and do it well".

There's not much "eye candy". TRLog is completely focused on contest logging, and it seems to serve this purpose almost perfectly. As a DOS program, it foregoes icons and menus in favor of single-keystroke commands, making efficient use of machine resources. On the sliding scale of easy-to-learn versus easy-to-use, it favors easy-to-use, which is the right place to be, especially for experienced contesters. Contesting is all about efficiency, and so is TRLog.

I've found that the Simulated Contest mode is great way to warm up before a CW weekend.

This is clearly a mature package which seems be the reflection of ongoing suggestions from its users. I strongly recommend it, both for serious contestors and occasional contestors (like me) who appreciate well-designed software.
G3CWI Rating: 2001-04-05
Worth the effort Time Owned: more than 12 months.
TRLog is not the easiest software to set up (by a long way) but it is incredibly flexible and well featured. It's well worth the pain of setting it up to have lots of really nice features to hand. I have used it in SO2R mode - brilliant!
W6LSN Rating: 2001-01-06
Awesome Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I chose this program based on the reviews I read here and elsewhere. This is a great program that makes contesting fun. I have not used other contesting software so I can't provide any comparative information.

I like the fact that this runs on DOS. I can use an old 486/25 laptop to contest with in my limited space operating setup. As I upgrade the station, I'm certain the program will more than keep up with me.

I received my copy just a couple of days before the CQWW. (They can e-mail it to you which is what I did to expedite delivery) While not a serious contender, It was a lot of fun, and EASY to get going. I've used it in a couple of other contests now and the flexibility is phenomenal! The manual is available on-line in Portable Document Format (PDF) which is what I used to get setup. The printed manual arrived about a week later.

The user interface being DOS is not as sexy as windows. All of the information is extremely useful and completely legible on a B&W LCD display (told you it was an old laptop). Takes some getting used to. For my first contest, I made a cheat sheet of commands that I thought I might need to use. By the end of the contest, there was no need.

The various export formats are useful and make electronic log submission to CQ and ARRL a breeze.

For $60 it is well worth it!

N5OT Rating: 2000-02-13
There is no comparison Time Owned: unknown months.
TRlog is serious software for serious contest operators. I have operated contests using a computer since 1986, and nothing beats TRlog if your goal is to maximize your potential. If this is not your goal then maybe TRlog is not for you. TRlog has for years been likened to a Formula One race car. This is a good analogy (except that the software support for it is more like an Indy crew). Some people prefer the plush ride of a Chevrolet, but the race car will get across the line first. Here are a couple examples of the differences between TRlog and any other program. FIRST: TRlog is smart enough to figure out what you are telling it. Other programs require you to move your cursor to each field to fill it in, in order. Going backwards can get very exciting. SECOND: TRlog is smart enough to know where you are in the steps of making a contest QSO and sends context-sensitive messages; other programs basically act like a programmable keyer. THIRD: TRlog is the only program which understands the difference between calling CQ and Searching and Pouncing. These are not the only things TRlog has going for it - I point them out as good examples of the program's superiority. SUMMARY: When you add up the keystrokes, TRlog is the most efficient contest operating package you can get. Yes, it is harder to use for some people than other programs, because other programs are more like database software, while TRlog is a contest operating SYSTEM. Still, if reaching your full potential is your goal, you should try it. The ONLY time I EVER use anything else is when I am a guest and have to be polite, or part of a multi-op where other ops or the owner have not seen The Light. Thank God for my laptop!
K2UA Rating: 1999-09-07
Best program, best support, best features Time Owned: unknown months.
My particular brand of contesting is two-radio single-op, mostly on HF CW, although I use a K1EA DVP for SSB contests as well. I also operate VHF contests seriously. I started computer-logging using CT in the late 1980s and loved it. When TR came along I had no real reason to switch--for a while. After all, the CT user interface is really nice in my opinion, and TR is very different.

I've been using two radios for all of the 1990s in HF and VHF contests. When I decided to fully automate my antenna and filter-switching control for HF contests, I had outgrown CT. TR has such well-thought-out features for two-radio contesting that I had to make the switch. Because the computer needs to control two radios, perhaps a TNC, and all the band-output and radio-selection functions for both radios, I opted to use all the capabilities available on the serial and parallel ports. These include a paddle input, a foot-switch input that TR can use in almost any way you choose (including swapping radios), PTT output for keying the amplifiers in advance of the CW keying, and radio A/B selection for external switching control. I use them all, and they all work as advertised.

Contests are a real joy to operate with TR when all these features are enabled. TR includes DVP support, which I use in voice contests, as well as country files compatible with the other software that's out there. The program also can generate a variety of reports that are valuable for analyzing your efforts.

The user interface leaves something to be desired. There are no windows or bordered areas on the screen, and because the program displays so much information (all of it valuable), it can be difficult to get used to using the program. So many user-configurable options exist that the program definitely takes some work to master, but it's well worth the effort. N7DR does a great job on the manual, which is the best I've seen for Amateur Radio logging software. N6TR's support, both on the reflector ( and in terms of supporting wish-list items with his frequent program updates, is second-to-none. TR updates in zipped format are available via email distribution, and the program has very reasonable annual dues, given the dollar value of the support and features of this program. If you like to operate a particular contest, however obscure, TR probably already supports it.

For one-radio contesters with no station-automation desires, and if the user interface is the most important thing to you, you can choose most any contest-logging program that looks good to you. But if you want to step into the two-radio game seriously, or automate your station and get a lot of really great features beyond these, TR is a great way to go. TR added about 10 dB to my enjoyment of operating most contests--especially the Sprints.