What does a general logging program need to do for me?

What criteria can I come up with?

  • No fancy things like cluster and CAT, all my operating ‘on the air’ is done with N1MMLogger, either in contests or in DX mode.
  • Interact ‘full duplex’ with LotW and eQSL. This means send a batch of selected QSO to the online service and get the results back to see what contacts are confirmed.
  • Interact with GlobalQSL.
  • Easy procedure to process incoming ‘buro’ cards. Not too many keystrokes to confirm a contact and flag it to send a QSL. Either by printing a label the old way or upload a batch of flagged QSO to GlobalQSL.
  • Easy access to enter extra information like state for WAS and US County.
  • Possibility to print QSL labels.
  • Statistics for tracking awards and see scores for DXCC, WAS, WAZ, US Counties etc.
  • Follow standards like ADIF for import / export.
  • Don’t hide valuable information in a proprietary format but use open standards, preferably available like ASCII (ADIF) and XML.
  • Authors who are responsive to user input and are willing to listen and take advice if justified.
  • Authors who won’t quit and leave the users in the cold when the project gets too big and does not produce a fortune.
  • Authors who let their software evolve with current technology without too many compatibility and upgrade problems for the user.
  • It does not need to be free, but it should not cost an arm and a leg either. Normal updates and bug fixes need to be free.

What’s up with all this right now? Most of this is done by DX4WIN v6.04. But not everything.

  • Since I don’t use it to operate and log real time, things like CAT and WinKey don’t matter. This version should do LotW but I never bothered to try it. I do not have any idea right now what my total DXCC or WAS score is with paper QSL and LotW combined. It doesn’t do eQSL.
  • No GlobalQSL, it does not even export QSL managers to ADIF. V7 does that but I refuse to pay another fee. I can manage with my own software gadget to add QSL info to the ADIF before uploading to GlobalQSL.
  • The F2 key confirms a QSO and either flags for QSL or not (pick option in settings). That’s pretty cool.
  • Printing labels works once the formatting is done. Be sure to save your parameters (I took an image of the screen) once the label formatting is done. Not many EU standard formats for the sheets and labels.
  • Statistics: it works for me but I don’t know whether to grade it “it’s just working” or “good stuff”. No comparison with other software because I never tried anything else.
  • Not 100% compliant with ADIF standards (V6.04 at least) and both the log and the info are stored in their own format. Why on earth does it need to come to V7 to include the QSL manager in ADIF export? And why should that cost me 25$?
  • Authors on a mission to Mars??? And too many updates that have to be paid that were almost only bug fixes. I quit following the reflector or the website a few years ago so I don’t have a clue what’s up with DX4WIN.

I should now see if nGenLog handles this. And how. I think the program is still young and there are some things missing, but the author(s) seem(s) to follow the support forum closely. I’m not in a hurry…

My club’s president ON7GR, a happy user of DXLab, is probably right that I can only use the DXKeeper module which is freeware. Maybe I should give it another go? Not that the nGenLog license fee is too much, but I’m a big fan of free software.

ON7GR also sent me an interesting link to LA0FA’s website. I didn’t know this was possible but LA0FA seems to have included the VB source code in the ZIP file. I think I’m about to learn something new here!!!

While the DXLab Launcher is downloading and installing DXKeeper, I’ll be preparing the BBQ for this afternoon. First things first   ;o)

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