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RODLOG HAM RADIO LOGGING SYSTEM (version 2.6.1) By Rod G4TUG

Please note that if you have an older version of rodlog already installed, there is an option to retain your existing data

Requirements:

Windows 98 or later, Microsoft Access 2000 or later, 800 X 600 display but 1024 X 768 is used by the authors as better display size.

To show that which may be expected from the system and to enable some sort of assessment as to whether it may suit other amateurs, the following images (1024 X 768) depict some of it's display functions and may also serve as a short operating manual:

The above menu screen permits selection and display of the many windows that may be viewed. Key features of the program include:

            To run the EuroCall Callbook or DX Atlas, it will be necessary to have bona fide copies installed on the computer.  To run RodLog one will need Windows 98 or later and Microsoft Access 2000 or later with preferably 1024 x 768 display but 800 x 600 will suffice although it will look a little different.  One may download and run the RodLog Install from the Internet.  The default install path is C:\RodLog. An icon will be placed on the desktop for your convenience. After RodLog has been executed the program is ready to accept entries. 

            RodLog utilises related tables thus vastly reducing the number of key strokes needed to enter a QSO record. It does so by retrieving matching callsign details from previous QSO's in the database and displaying them automatically.

            The following series of pictures (1024 x 768) should be self-explanatory and are selected from the menu screen depicted above.  Each screen may be displayed full screen or as sized by the user.  The screens, in default size, may also be displayed singly or in any combination, including the various query screens which contain a lot of useful information.  The operator should be able to ascertain the information wanted whilst operating the transceiver e.g. has the callsign been worked before? If so which band and mode? And how often?  Or which countries are required (for country-collectors). Dexterous operators will be able to update the foregoing whilst in QSO.  Others may prefer to make notes on scrap paper and then transfer them to the computer afterwards, like the author does, to minimize mistakes and typographical errors to which G4TUG is very prone these days.

            The above display is actually two screens (LOG TABLE with the green background and CONTACTS TABLE with the grey background) electronically coupled together; a relational database.  The top (green background) part of the screen is used to enter the contact's callsign and QSO information. As soon as the frequency is typed in, the band will automatically be entered in the next space.  Similarly, when the power in watts is entered, the power in dBW will be calculated and inserted automatically in the next space.  Working conditions may have changed since the last QSO so updates may be entered. Hitting the 'New Entry' button will present a new blank form to be filled in and then saved. Saving a blank form will do no harm and will still present the next New Entry form. In the bottom (grey background) portion of the screen the details of the contact may be entered.  However, if the contact has been worked before, the computer will automatically fill in the entries.  Edits are still possible. The buttons along the bottom permit searches of the database.

            Sometimes there will be requirements to make entries that are not actual QSOs eg tuning up or testing a transmitter, recording a diary event such as erecting an antenna or adding new equipment. All these events may be recorded without corrupting the statistical information so long as the optional yellow box is ticked. For convenience, the author complies with the mandatory entry in the Mode box by entering a zero. You may have your own preference for entry. The number of QSOs will be accurately recorded and displayed in the Menu window but diary entries will not be added. The latter will, however, be included in the Total Record entries displayed in the Menu window.

            The field island and ref (number) has been added for statistical purposes. One may use them as desired. The author enters islands as duplicates of countries if they have a callsign belonging to their parent country eg IT9xxx that refers to Italy but is actually Sicily. Thus islands will be counted in the total for islands but not as a new country total if Ixxxx (Italy) has already been worked. If the island has its own callsign, then I still enter it in both fields so that it will be counted as a new country and as a new island. The counts in the menu window will correct the statistics automatically eg countries minus islands with parent countries.

           

IMPORTANT NOTE

Many users will wish to enter records from their older as well as newer logbooks. The older method was to log a visited country identifier after the callsign thus: G6***/EI. The new method is to log the country identifier first, then the full callsign including any suffix thus: EI/G6***. Either format may be entered for all callsigns but it is recommended that the same method is used throughout.

            The above is all one needs to know and do in order to use RodLog.

            To download a copy of the program, click on the link below.

Click here to Download RodLog Software version 2.6.1
Please note that if you have rodlog already installed, there is an option to retain your existing data

Or email me for more info: g4tug@talktalk.net


The following describes some of the features and facilities available which provide much statistical versatility very quickly.

            When typing a contact’s callsign into the Search box on the above screen, the entire history of that individual is displayed. Also the number of times this callsign has been contacted is shown at the 'QSO's with this contact' box indicated by the black arrow above.

            Here is an extremely useful screen that permits searches of almost all fields.  For example, suppose one wants the details of Lorenzo but cannot remember anything else about him.  Just type the name Lorenzo in the name field, click the binoculars and all contacts and information details with that name will be displayed.  One may then recognize the desired contact. An example may be that one wishes to know the last date when a QSO was had with a certain person on a given band:

  1. Type the wanted callsign into the Callsign field.
  2. Click on the filter (funnel) button.
  3. Type the band number in the Band field (in metres)
  4. Click on the binoculars button.
  5. The top entry shows the last QSO on the band specified
  6. Clicking the “Remove Filter” button at the top right of the window will remove the filter; ready for the next use. Forgetting to click the "Remove Filter" button will not cause any loss of information because the computer will, by default, restore the filtered information fully when next loaded.

            Another example could be looking back to see who one worked yesterday, last week, last month or whenever.  Just click the binoculars over the date field, nothing more than that, and the log will automatically display all contacts ever made in reverse chronological order, latest contact at the top of the list and first contact ever made at the bottom.

            When in ‘Data Search’ window, pressing ‘View Daily Log’ button will open the Daily Log window for any callsign where the far left arrow is pointing.  No scrolling necessary.  These are very useful timesaving features that are very easy to use and obviate any necessity to rummage in the two relational tables that are working in the background.  One of Neil’s many good ideas.

            Above is an example of numerous screens on display simultaneously, three in this instance.  Any of the screens may be brought to the front by means of a simple mouse click anywhere on the required screen or on the menu above.

            Here is the menu of queries available.  This is where a valuable selection of statistics may be obtained.  Click on the queries down arrow to display the menus on offer (no typing necessary) and then click on the desired title.

            Two screens have been selected in the above display.  The left hand screen shows which bands have been worked for each country; the right hand screen showing which countries have been worked on each band.

            In this display, Total Number of Countries Worked on Each Band, the window depicted here only shows the bands operated by G4TUG; other bands will appear as and when entered in the users Daily Log.

            The total number of countries worked is displayed in the Country Callsign Count, as shown by the black arrow above. That number should always agree with the one shown in the Menu display of Country Count; if not a mistake has been made in an entry.

            Sometimes it is desirable to know which modes one has worked; the above screen shows this for all modes of operation entered into the daily log. Older QSO logs did not require power level entries to be made, hence the blank spaces in the 'Power' field.

            For collectors of Islands, the above display may be very useful to quickly isolate Islands from all other stations worked.

            For collectors of USA states, the above query has been provided.

            On occasions it may be necessary to edit an incorrectly entered callsign, even if it may have gone unnoticed for some length of time and then inadvertently come to light. The problem here is that because we are working with a relational database the correction must be made in two tables. In order to accomplish the foregoing, Neil came up with the idea of presenting both tables in the same window, as shown above; where entries in both tables may be edited or deleted. Note that the grey and green tables conform with the colours used in the Daily Log window.

Some of the requirements in running a net are that the controller:

The controller may need to view all contacts made that particular day. He/she may be asked the time that a certain operator signed out or if a certain operator had been on at all that day. The forgoing may be accomplished by simply selecting "All Todays Calls" upon which the total and entire QSOs so far will be displayed.

The controllers page permits all of the above and much more.

All the controller has to do to log out a contact is to click the appropriate button under the heading and the information will disappear from view but will remain stored in the data base.

Upon typing the callsign of a contact, any previous information held in the database will be presented on screen. If none held, all new information will be added to the database when entered.

 

            If one’s computer has a bona fide copy of ‘DX Atlas’ installed on it; the atlas may be launched directly from the RodLog menu.  A time saving facility when one is looking for DX grey-line propagation, for example.

            It may also be useful at times to look up a certain callsign for QTH information, etc. Again, providing that one has a bona fide copy of the 'Eurocall' callsign directory, one may launch it directly from the RodLog menu; this can be achieved whilst in QSO and without closing RodLog.

            It would not be practicable for me to cover all the possible aspects of RodLog due to its versatility.  Besides, I do not believe that I am aware of everything that is achievable. It certainly meets all my requirements (over the past three years, although entries include those made from 1983) and I sincerely hope that it meets all of yours.  Good luck, good DX. Enjoy the hobby and the program.

The above description of the RodLog system could be downloaded and used as an owners manual.

Click here to Download RodLog Software version 2.6.1
Please note that if you have rodlog already installed, there is an option to retain your existing data


LINKS TO G4TUG SUBJECTS
About Me (index) Ham Radio Cars
Hobbies RodLog Ham Radio Logging System Software Reading
My Diet Magnetic Loop Antenna Sailing
Computers Noise Figure of Receivers and Pre-amps Gardening
Links to other sites Experimental HF All Band Aerial Classic Films