Logging Software for Field Day and Contests

Many people still use paper logs, both for every day use and for contests. Most, however, have found that computer logs are much more efficient and offer a wealth of benefits. Simply type the contact information into the logging screen and you have a permanent copy of your log that you can use to keep track of your WAS and DXCC status, upload to various QSL sites and produce many other listings, depending on the software used. If you set up CAT control, the computer can input the time and frequency for you making logging as simple as typing in the callsign. Following a contest, you can upload a Cabrillo formatted log to the contest website to “officially” enter in the contest and see you score along with others after the scores have been tabulated.

There are many software loggers available. Asking which is the best is like asking which is the best automobile.

N1MM Logger Plus – The most popular contest logger is N1MM Logger Plus, which is free to download (https://n1mmwp.hamdocs.com/).  It is the most powerful and, therefore, most complicated. In addition to logging, it has CW macros and can decode RTTY with the aid of MMTTY or 2Tone. There are many YouTube videos and other tutorials on how to use it. N1MM+ is not designed to be an everyday log, although some hams do use it that way.

N3FJP Logging Software – Also very popular is a group of loggers from N3FJP (http://www.n3fjp.com/index.html). This is the logger used by TARS when we do a group Field Day. It is easy to install and easy to use. The Field Day logger is a one-time $8.99. Each separate logger for different contests is also $8.99. However, for $49.99 you can get all the contest loggers, plus the every-day ACLog (a $24.99 value), with free life-time updates. This is a real value. ACLog is very useful for daily use with many listings available and the ability to automatically upload your log to Logbook of the World (LoTW), eQSL and ClubLog.

There are a number of other logs that you may use. A few popular logs include:

DXKeeper – DX Labs has a suite of free software for managing an amateur radio station. DXKeeper (http://www.dxlabsuite.com/dxkeeper/) is the logging module. (Modules may be installed independently). It is very easy to use and is useful for daily use as well as contests.

WriteLog – WriteLog for Windows (https://writelog.com/) is very powerful contest logging software for CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK31. Registration is $30. There is a free demo copy. It is for contest use only.

Win-Test – Win-Test (http://www.win-test.com/) is another very powerful contest logger. It also has CW macros and a RTTY decoder as well as an integrated voice keyer. It costs 50 Euros (converted to dollars by PayPal) and has a free demo copy. It is for contest use only.

DXLog – DXLog (http://www.dxlog.net/) is a full-featured contest logger. It is free and is for contest use only.

FDLog – FDLog (http://www.fdlog.info/more-about) is a free set of software programs for logging contacts during Amateur Radio Field Day operations. This program cohesively ties together the stations in the Field Day activity, maintaining copies of all data on all computers via a wireless network. It has several features for managing the Field Day activity. It is capable of preparing nearly the whole FD Entry form for ARRL submission, making it much easier to actually send in the results.

See the N5PA Website (https://www.n5pa.com/contest.software.php) for a longer list of loggers with links to their websites.

*** Please send any questions or comments about this article to:  ***
*** Stan, K4SBZ at K4SBZ.Stan@gmail.com.                               ***

Field Day 2020

Field day is one of the main events each year for the club going back as far as anyone can remember.  Unfortunately COVID is causing us to change our plans.   Instead of operating as a club in Tom Brown Park we will operate individually from our homes or other places that insure social distancing.  

How will this work you might ask?  Well the first thing is you will operate using your own callsign.  You can operate at your normal station, in your backyard, in your car or wherever you want.  The way we operate as a club is by filling in “Tallahassee ARS” in the “Club or Group Name” field when you turn in your scores.  The ARRL is going to do a club aggregate tally for this year as a recognition of the challenges COVID brings supporting social distancing.

A few other things we will be doing as a club to help:

Field Day is a good time to ask questions and get help.   Take an opportunity during the scheduled nets to ask questions or for help.  Also feel free to send an email to: tallyamateurradio@gmail.com and ask questions.

There will be some more email sent to everyone from the club with tips & pointers.    One good presentation that points out the changes for this years field day is at: http://tiny.cc/fdsd

If you just operate for one hour or you operate all twenty-four Field day is a good opportunity to get on the air and make contacts.

Don 

KK4SIH

Testing

The Tallahassee Amateur Radio Society has restarted VE testing, under limited conditions, for all Amateur License classes.  Also because of the new Extra test that goes into effort on July 1st we want to give all amateurs the opportunity to take advantage of the current exam by holding extra exams during the period from June 27th through June 30th.  Exact dates and times will be determined by the number wishing to take advantage of this offer.

Test sessions for both June 2nd and for the morning of June 27th are filled.

Exams are limited to five (5) participants and pre-registration is mandatory.  

All participants are required to wear face masks that cover the nose and mouths.

For a complete list of requirements go to https://k4tlh.net/faq/license-testing/  

To register send an email to Norm, K4GFD at TALLYTARSVE@GMAIl.com

June 2020 TARS Meeting

June 2020 Club Meeting

TARS will be having or June Club Meeting on June 4th at 7:00.  We will be using the same format as May due to the COVID pandemic which seemed to work out well.  We will be conducting the first part of the meeting on the 147.030 repeater starting at 1900 and it will consist of the business portion of the meeting:

Approval of minutes

Committee Reports

Treasurer’s Report – Doug – KD4MOJ

Education – Phil  – N4IPH

Testing Coordinator – Norm – K4GFD

Repeater Committee – Randy – AG4UU

Old Business

Field Day

New  Business

*****

1930

Program using Zoom Teleconferencing

Theo Titus (K4MVL) will be presenting:

An overview of the critical performance parameters of your amateur transceiver. Emphasis will be on the receiver side with both FM and SSB operation covered. Topics will include receiver testing and the interpretation of the data as well as primary transmitter performance parameters. References to additional source materials and industry standards will be provided. 

April 2020 Meeting Cancelled

Due to the current pandemic situation the board has decided to cancel the April 2020 TARS meeting.  We will reschedule Tom’s (K4TB) talk on Using Amateur Radio Satellites for a later date.

We would encourage everyone to join in the Club Net at 2000 hours Thursdays on 146.910 MHz .  

In addition to the monthly meeting, other in-person TARS activities have been cancelled until further notice.  This includes but is not limited to :

License Testing

The Friday Lunch Bunch @ the Golden Corral

During this time of everyone should should keep your family, friends, neighbors and the country as a whole in their thoughts.  Please watch out for your neighbors and your neighborhood.  Luckily, the virus is not transmitted by radio waves so continue to join the nets, continue to make QSOs and stay connected.

March 2020 TARS Meeting – March 5, 2020

The March 2020 meeting will be held on March 5th It will be held at the normal time (7:00 PM) and the normal place (the American Red Cross on 1115 Easterwood Dr.)

Gerry Gross (WA6POZ) will present to the club on long distance propagation and bouncing radio waves off the ionosphere. 

February 2020 TARS Meeting. – Thursday February 8

The February 2020 meeting will be held on February 8th It will be held at the normal time (7:00 PM) and the normal place (the American Red Cross on 1115 Easterwood Dr.)

David Miner and Todd Clark will present on tactical communications. Todd will review the comms from the TLH Marathon and David will discuss best practices.

Tallahassee Marathon

The Tallahassee Amateur Radio Society (TARS) has agreed to provide communications support for the 2020 Tallahassee Marathon.  The race is scheduled for Sunday, February 2 from 7am to about 2pm.


You are not required to stay the whole time. Just let the coordinator know if you need to work early or work later.  You may even asked to be paired with an operator if this is an issue for you. All you really need is just time and a radio that can operate on the 146.91 repeater. 


To volunteer, just send an email to Todd Clark,  KN4FCC,  at KN4FCC@arrl.net and provide your name, call sign, and email address. 

January 2020 Meeting

The January 2020 meeting will be held on January 9th (the second Thursday) this month due to the holiday. It will be held at the normal time (7:00 PM) and the normal place (the American Red Cross on Easterwood Dr.) just on the second Thursday.


The speaker will be CPT Taylor Wagner from the Florida National Guard speaking on the communications capabilities and communications plans the Florida National Guard uses for emergencies including HF net, VHF net, SLERS and SATCOM.