Review of Logger32 Logging Program

 by Jim Pickett – K5LAD

Search keywords:  Logger32, logging, logbook, good logbook

Imagine with me, for just a moment, that you’re in a fancy restaurant and the waiter has just brought your gourmet hamburger and another waiter has just served the table beside you with a large steak with a nice baked potato, “loaded” as they say, and other wonderful trimmings (but no broccoli 'cause I don’t like broccoli).  Your hamburger looks, well…… OK, and it will do as good a job in satisfying your hunger as that sumptuous meal being enjoyed beside you but still…….   And then when the meals are finished and the waiters bring the checks, yours is plenty bucks but the guy who got the steak dinner gets his entire meal for nothing.   That’s right, FREE.

 Now lets bring this story a little closer to a ham’s heart.  Although the FCC has not required a ham to log their contacts for quite a few years, it’s still a worthwhile activity to keep track of particularly your low band contacts, if for no other reason than to be able to accurately provide a QSL card.  It’s also very interesting to be able to look back through the years and reminisce over the enjoyable friendships which you’ve experienced on the ham bands.  This might not seem like such a big deal now but after you have renewed your license a couple of times, it’s particularly nice to look back.

 Several groups have made available low cost blank paper logs used by hams for decades, however, with the coming of computers, that job became even easier.  Computerized logbooks can be used to, not only keep track of contacts but can be attached to transceivers to automatically log the contact including frequency, mode, plus date and time of the contact.  They can also be used to select different antennas, depending on the band chosen.  The computerized logbook can select which direction the beam needs to be headed and give the command to move the beam to that direction.

 There are many logging programs available for downloading from the Internet and they can be anything from a simple exercise in writing a program for one ham’s own use to a highly complex program with many “bells and whistles.”  Typically the simple programs are available as “Freeware,” i.e., it doesn’t cost you anything to use it.  The more involved programs, which provide many different features, will cost you for the privilege of using it.  Costs for the better logging programs vary from the $20 range all the way up to more than $100.

 Were you wondering why I started this article by discussing the restaurant visitors and the cost of their visits?   It is because the many logging programs available are similar to all the regular and fancy meals that you can order…. but wait --- the steak dinner was obviously a top-of-the-line meal and it was FREE.  I want to tell you about my favorite logging program, LOGGER32.  I would place it at the very top with those fancy programs which cost a lot, except LOGGER32, like the steak dinner, is FREE.

 Logger32 was written by Bob Furzer – K4CY now, but Bob has operated from around the globe for many years.   I worked him when he was A2CCY in Botswana, Africa in the 1970s and as 9K2ZZ in Kuwait in 2001.

 The example below is one of jillions of ways to configure your screen with Logger32, this just happens to be the way I’ve set up mine.  You can place all or only a few of the windows on your screen and they can be whatever size or position you’d like to place them.  The colors are your choice.  In the example below, those marked in yellow are contacts I’ve already QSLed, probably via ARRL’s LoTW.  The ones highlighted in pink are marked to be QSLed, either via LoTW, paper card or eQSL.  Those where only the call is highlighted in yellow have already been confirmed, again probably via LoTW.

K5LADs Logger32.jpg (239843 bytes)

 The nice thing about Logger32 is its ability to be changed and made to look just like you want it to look.   It is very adaptable.  To quote from the extensive documentation and helpfiles:

LOGGER32 has been developed to be a highly user-configurable, general-purpose amateur radio logbook with computer control support for many radios and antenna rotators. It is NOT a contesting log, although there is no real reason why it could not be used for such use, and does not contain some features that might be found in software specifically designed for this activity. The functionality that it DOES provide includes:

         Compatible with early ADIF specifications

         Logbook Page Window and Previous QSOs Window can each have up to 47 columns, all user configurable, including IOTA, Grid squares, satellite names, ten-ten etc.

         Logbook, Previous QSO, and Worked/Confirmed windows can have the columns presented in any order

         Seven user-definable log entry page items

         Logs more than 1.5M QSOs

         All Country, County, and IOTA databases are fully editable

         Displays sunrise/sunset, short path distance, long and short path beam headings, and local time for the distant end

         Comprehensive statistics tables for Awards and QSLs, which can be drawn into MS Excel files for further user presentations

         Real time satellite tracking using Keps from a local file or collected from a favored web site

         DX spot tables with input from packet or telnet sources (or both at once)

         User-definable worked/confirmed color scheme on incoming spots.

         Support for many radios including a debug window

         User-selectable frequency display in KHz or MHz down to 1 Hz resolution.

         CDROM support for commercial logbook lists

         Support for the use of QRZ.com and GoList via the Internet

         A facility to synchronize your computer's clock to an atomic standard

         All windows fully re-sizeable

         Supports multiple .INI files for different set-ups (normal, contest, etc.)

         Fully configurable fonts, background, and foreground colors

         Auto log-on scripts for telnet and cluster access

         Definable telnet and cluster shortcuts and scripts

         Personalize you own band plan

         Prefix statistics available on screen for up to 50 bands and 48 modes

         Previously worked callsigns automatically appear under the callsign entry window (Callsign preview)

         Support for a parallel port antenna selector that can operate automatically with your bandplan

         Log page can be sorted on QSO#, Callsign, Prefix, Frequency, Band, Mode, CQZ, DXCC, Grid Square, IOTA, State, Continent, and ITUZ.

         Logs can be output in either ADIF or CSV format.

         Supports both multiple user (One log for the family or Club station) and multiple logs (one for the main, one for contesting etc)

         Grid Square Calculator

         Support for eQSL and Logbook of the World (LoTW)

         Export QSOs flagged for QSLing

         QSLs waiting to be sent are highlighted in the log.

         Send DX spots to a VHF cluster or Telnet

         Built-in version of Zakanaka (the Soundcard Data window) for PSK31/PSK63 and RTTY, which includes:

Three independent, simultaneous receive channels in PSK31, Waterfall or spectral signal display.

Selectable colors for receive and transmit windows (Tx and Rx windows).

Selectable frequency markers

Built-in macros for use with a selectable number of programmable “buttons”

Capture his callsign and his name with a click.

Programmable default Rx (initial receive) frequencies

Independent AFC and squelch settings for each Rx window.

Selectable waterfall and spectrum display characteristics (color, brightness, smoothing).

IMD indication

Operate RTTY (including 23 Hz.) using MMTTY module written by Mako Mori.

Calibrate the sound card timing

Operate split using audio tones or using radio control.

Save operating parameters in RTTY mode in a “Profile

                                       Built in CW keyer (but NO decoder) with programmable buttons and a limited range of macros

         Support for automatic control of your antenna rotator

         Contest serial number counter – up to 999,999 contacts

         User-selectable highlighting for worked, confirmed, QSL send, QSL awaiting printing and general editing

         Single button compression and saving of back up log files

         Built in DVK (Digital Voice Keyer)

         Built in Data Terminal with programmable buttons and a range of macros

         Simple conversion utility (Deg. C -> F. etc.)

         DX Cluster spots can be displayed on a map

         Selective filtering of DX spots

         Synchronization of log to download LoTW and/or eQSL records

         Support for HamCap - a propagation prediction tool written by VE3ENA

         Support for a second CAT controlled radio

 

There are even more features but this should give you some idea of the completeness and adaptability of this program. 

Logger is available for download at:  www.logger32.net 

Support is provided by users and those of us on the Beta team on the www.yahoogroups.com reflector called “hamlogger”

Oh yes, did I mention that it’s FREE?

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Updated 12/01/07 01:31 PM

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