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Reviews For: Win-Test contest logging software

Category: Ham Logging Software

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Review Summary For : Win-Test contest logging software
Reviews: 27MSRP: 45.00 EU
Not only another contest software : A real tool to win !
Win-Test is the new contest software written by Olivier F5MZN, the author of Editest (a reference in French contests logging software, now deprecated), and of DXNet, an Open Source DX Cluster system. All major international and many other contests are supported. Its DOS-style QSO window navigation capability in this GUI application will ease your job during the pile-ups !
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
DL1IAO Rating: 2023-05-12
The Contest Logger Standard for almost 20 years Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Everybody who does programming knows the amount of dedication and time required to write a comprehensive piece of software like this which runs stable and still is maintained 20 years (or so) later.

As a matter of fact I have never lost a single QSO with Win-Test and I remember one particular contest where other participants struggled due to a bug in their software. Not so with Win-Test!

It is true that development has slowed down but for my type of operating I still find myself picking Win-Test over anything else. If you really need correct scoring for some of the less popular contests you may be better off with something else.

But you may find that you can tweak Win-Test using its powerful scripting language and the examples given by N6TV. Modifying these to your needs or even writing some new scripts is not awfully difficult if you have some basic programming skills.

I even find it very adequate for RTTY where you can run 2Tone in a secondary RX window and GRITTY in a stand-alone window if you wish.

Lately I have switched to Elecraft K4 radios and I find that the Win-Test / K4 combo just rocks. Using scripts the K4s DVK can be perfectly controlled and I use a variety of other scripts to keep the radios CW keyer in sync, clear the RIT, set filters/AGC/waterfall span and VFO counts upon band/mode change - to name just a few.

Considering what Win-Test has given me over the years I find the price a real bargain and I still recommend it if you are looking for a stable contest software.

Having said that I find it worthwhile to mention that there are many other excellent people spending a considerable amount of their time writing software for Ham Radio and Contesting in particular. Thank you!

73, Stefan DL1IAO
TA3RT Rating: 2023-02-19
Excellent program Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I used N1MM+ for a long time and tried many software. Then I got to know Win-test. I used the trial version and fell in love. It was different at first use, but I got used to it in a short time. Fast and reliable program. It provides fast and error-free work under contest conditions. It is extremely simple to print Adif and Cabrillo. Users group is active and helpful. It is constantly updated. The interface is easy to use and understand. I recommend it to those looking for powerful and trouble-free software such as a tank. You must try it.

Good luck.

G0VAX Rating: 2020-10-26
Great Software Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I used Wintest in anger for the first time this last weekend. I was quite unsure of how I would fair, however, after installing it and registering it on my new shack PC, I took my time to set it all up. It seemed quite daunting to begin with, however, in use, it is really simple to use.
I'd recommend this software.
MW0EDX Rating: 2014-01-19
Best Contest software so far Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I have tried N1MM but it would just not work for me. And i tried it at least on 3 different occasions.

I then was suggested the Win Test. I purchased the key for it. It started working for me from the outset. Yahoo group assistance, if needed, is literary within minutes.

The interface, colours and ease of use is amazing.

My first full-time effort in a major contest resulted in the World record and respectivy 1st place in the world.

Recording SSB contest messages can be done via the transceivers microphone - that saved me a lot of time.

Minor points. Not all the desidable contests are supported. One cannot also self-design a contest or amend the existing one. One cannot transfer log in ADIF format into Win Test. The Win Test log is brilliant for DX peditions or as a casual log. The only reason I am not using it as my everyday log is that i cannot merge my old log with Win Test.

Still i rate it as 5.

73 ! MW0EDX

N3MX Rating: 2011-03-22
Very Good Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Win-test is an excellent contest logger. I bounce back and forth between N1MM and Win-test and enjoy both immensely. It is solid and reliable and I have used it on Vista 64 bit and now Windows 7 64 bit. Support is good. Many contests are supported but not much for USA QSO parties.
K6CU Rating: 2011-02-05
Handles DX Peditions Too... Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Since upgrading to Windows 7 I could no longer use my old HamLog program. Time to upgrade! After reading some reviews, I decided on Win-Test.

Love it for contests, but it is also useful as a "home log" as well by using the DXpedition feature.

So far (after 6 months and three contests) I'm very pleased. Uploaded my home station log to LoTW with no problems. If you use CT in contests, this software is similar in appearance and function but with many more options (I especially like the gray line map).
KB2EOQ Rating: 2010-01-09
Nicely designed but limited Time Owned: more than 12 months.
An update to my initial review a couple of years ago....

The software is very nice in appearance and has some very useful features. Much better looking that N1MM Logger or Writelog . It is however limited in the number of contests it supports (when compared to N1MM Logger, for example) . Additionally, support is rather poor. The author does respond to questions but you are not likely to get responses as quickly as one can get responses from the larger group of hams that use N1MM Logger. There are 3-4 Wintest users that are responsive and helpful, but a question can go unanswered for a few days. With N1MM Logger most questions are answered within minutes.

I initially switched to Wintest because I was frustrated with N1MM Logger's rather old way of configuring things. I did find Wintest easier to set-up in terms of comm ports and RTTY settings. The method of setting up a link to a Dx Cluster was rather odd in Wintest, very confusing.

The Wintest method of issuing a license is annoying. If you need to install it to a different computer, you have to download the trial version and then get a license key re-issued for the new PC. While it does not take too long to get a new key, it can be a pain. I prefer other applications that let you use an existing key on any PC and you can re-enter a key yourself , not have to email for a new one.

Eventually my license was not valid for the latest version and I have not found the software useful enough to consider purchasing the latest version. This mainly due to limited support and many of the lesser contests not being included.

LA4RT Rating: 2009-10-26
Saved our a**es Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
First, don't pay too much attention to the '5' rating. I don't have enough experience with Win-Test. What I *can* say is that the peer to peer log synchronization really saved us when the network started acting up. It got knocked out by RF over and over, and one the computer wouldn't see the other's QSOs. Each time we got the network up again, the logs resynchronized. A huge relief.
W8JI Rating: 2009-03-02
Just get by software Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
If you want software you have to work around bugs or shortfalls on your own, this is the right software!

We needed to pick software for logging in a new contest station. Two multi-multi contesters recommended Win-test. Win-test was a breeze to network and seemed to be a good fit initially, but as time went on, we discovered it had several shortfalls.

The CW generation and interface looked OK initially. After we used it a while, I discovered it is marginally planned. The weight control is not even a weight control. Whoever wrote the code for CW probably did not know what weight really is, and the weight is actually a “ratio” control. We also had, on some computers, the common problem of erratic CW character generation using the printer port. Someone recommended we purchase USB Winkeyers, so we scrapped several hundred dollars worth of brand new keyers and switched to USB Winkeyers.

The K1EL WinKeyers when standing alone or with N1MM worked flawlessly, but Win-test has a very marginal interface to the K1EL Win keyers. Speed and weight does not interface correctly out of Win-test, but the WinKeyers did fully solve the erratic CW generation issues. The author of Win-test is clearly not going to fix the interface issues, so after spending $1000 on keyers we have a system that is cumbersome to adjust weight, compensation, or speed. We cannot use the full features of the excellent USB keyers, so we paid $1000 for a marginal system. If you never really want a weight control that works properly, and if you do not mind opening and closing programs to adjust weight, and if you do not want full speed control features you will not notice these problems.

It would be nice if Win-test had some features for two radios on one band, to allow better time-sharing while locking out transmitters to keep the system a legal single transmitter. We built an external buffer and lock out to cure that problem. It is not as smooth as could have been done in the logging software. I am puzzled why Win-test does not want to improve the interface since every station using two transmitters on the same band would benefit, but it becomes easier to understand since they are not interested in fixing obvious CW design errors or improving RTTY.

This problem extends to other issues, like covering state QSO parties. While there are far too many of them, the attitude “go buy something else” seems to be an unfriendly attitude.

Recently there was a suggestion for greatly improving the usefulness of Win-test in RTTY contests, and the answer was something along the typical response. “We will not change it. This is a part time project.”

In fairness, if you run a multi-multi and only operate standard CW and SSB contests this software is easy to use and interface.

If you want more advanced software that gives you an edge, or if you are outside the way the software is provided or need a weight adjustment to fine tune the CW signal, don’t look for any hope of improvements with Win-test. It is what it is. If you like it as is, you will like it. If you expect it to get better over time, do not hold your breath while waiting.
PA2V Rating: 2009-02-02
The one that works in a minute. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
For the Dutch PACC contest I used a very VERY old program that did not generate Cabrilio format.
So I looked for something new that could go with me for some time. Tried quite some freeware but that didn't really satisfy me. I am not a very regular contester. So when I need it, it should work without a lot of needed experience. This is for the new ones a easy to learn and a very good program. I can import and export the files I want. And, very happy about it, I can import the contacts in my "normal" logbook too. So QSL-ing want be a job of opening another program. Really worth the euro's.