Have just set up the 6500. What is a good logging program and how does one configure it with the Flex?

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Logging Program set up
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Bob K4RLC

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Posted 3 years ago

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Jay / NO5J

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Bob
What logger are you using now? There may be no reason to change it.
A good logger, is one that your comfortable using. 
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Winston VK7WH

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I'd like to tag along here Bob, if that's OK with you. I am in a similar situation, as I have not yet hooked up a logging programme to my 6700. I have been using Logic 9 with my PROIII for many years now, and I really like it. It does everything I need, and more. From what I hear, most Flex users seem to use N1MM. I've had a look at N1MM and for my style of operating I would prefer to stay with Logic 9.

Has any one had Logic9 operating with the Flex 6xxx series, and if so have you experienced any limitations, particularly with split operation?

Winston VK7WH
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Ray Andrews, K9DUR, Elmer

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Winston, remember that N1MM+ is a contest logging program and not really suitable for general logging.  I use N1MM+ for contests & use DX Labs as my main log. If you like Logic 9, then there should be no reason that you cannot continue to use it. simply connect Logic 9 to the serial port specified by SmartCAT -- 73, Ray, K9DUR.
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Winston VK7WH

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Thanks Ray. Yes, I will continue using Logic as it is a very comprehensive programme, very stable, and I am very comfortable with it. Somehow I was under the impression that N1MM plus was the ONLY programme that would fully utilise the capability of the Flex 6xxx series rigs. Are there any limitations with programmes other than N1MM plus that you are aware of?

73 Winston VK7WH
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Ray Andrews, K9DUR, Elmer

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Winston,

 Flex is initially working with N1MM+ for implementing SO2R in a contesting environment.  General logging is a different story.

73, Ray, K9DUR

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Winston VK7WH

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Thanks, Ray. Problem solved for me. As I'm not into contesting, and will never be operating SO2R, I'm happy to stick with Logic9.

73 Winston
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Barry Meltzer

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"LOG4OM"
FREE and sophisticated in a simple configuration.
73 K3my  Barry
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W5XZ - dan

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DXKeeper in DXLab works very well for me.  almost effortless to set up, also.

73, w5xz, dan
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Ray Andrews, K9DUR, Elmer

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Bob,

Of course, asking what logging program to use is like asking which is better, Ford or Chevy? 

However, I will go along with NM9P and heartily recommend the DX Labs suite of program.  It is free & will do absolutely everything.  There is a fabulous user community on Yahoo where you question will more than likely be answered by the author.  The logging portion is called "DXKeeper".

Interfacing is very simple.  Open the SmartCAT  control panel & select the "Main" tab.  Write down the port shown in the box labeled "Connect 3rd Party Program To Port".  In DX Labs, open Commander & click on "Config".  On the "Ports" tab, set the "Primary CAT Serial Port" to the value specified by SmartCAT.  That is ALL that you have to do to interface with DX Labs to SmartSDR. It took me longer to write how to do it than it took to actually do it....hi..hi.

73, Ray, K9DUR

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Burt Fisher

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Is there a simple logging program? I do need tons of crap, I like the QRZ log, SIMPLE but resident on the "Cloud."
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John n0snx

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You are so right Ray... I tried various logging programs before I found the one that worked best for me.... What is good for one does not mean it's good for everyone....They all have pluses and minuses sooooo....
Best advice is to try various logging programs until you find what works best for yourself...
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Good suggestions here so far.  The ones I have experience with:

N1MM+ is one of the best for contests, I love it.  But it is not good for day-to-day logging.
Log4OM is free, powerful, versatile, and interfaces well to the 6000 series. 
Many people swear by HRD, a very complex suite of programs, but it is about $100 US.
DXLabs has a great suite of programs that are freeware.

I have used N3FJP's ACLog for about 15 years, so it is my go-to logger.  As some have said, if you have one you really kike, use it.  ACLog is simple, logical, and works well.  But it doesn't implement multiple Slices, it only logs "A" Slice.  It also doesn't interface with DAX Channels for voice keyer, or send CW via CWX or CAT.  (At least I haven't figured it out yet.)  You can get ACLog for just a few Dollars.

If I needed to start from scratch, I might begin with Log4OM or DXLabs.  I just haven't gotten around to making the switch yet.


Ken - NM9P
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Walt - KZ1F

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I am rather partial to HRD-Logger. It is a respectable logger in it's own right and well integrated into the HRD family of cooperating apps. But, if you are, say, a contester, N1MM is nice. I believe, however, that even though everything should ultimately become ADIF format, once you pick a horse to ride, you pretty much have to stay on it. I suppose you could push everything up to LOTW and download it from that into a different logger. The thing that concerns me is if in the conversion entries were dropped.
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Ray Andrews, K9DUR, Elmer

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Walt,

An ADIF file is not a database but a text file.  It was designed as a standard for moving log data between different programs that use different database structures. 

From a programmer's viewpoint, a text file is okay for small amounts of data, but it is not a good choice for large amounts of data -- for example, a log with several hundreds or thousands of contacts. (I have over 16,000 contacts in my log.)  To modify a single contact, you have to search the entire file to find the desired contact, modify it, & then write the entire file back to disk.  It gets much, much worse if you need to work with groups of contacts, for example to upload to LoTW, print QSL labels, etc.

Database files on the other hand are designed to easily access a single record (contact) or a group of records.

This is why programmers do not use an ADIF file directly for log data storage.  It would be cumbersome, inefficient, & REALLY ugly to program.

DX Labs uses a Microsoft Access database as do several others.  However, many logging programs use proprietary databases.

73, Ray, K9DUR

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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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This is one of my reasons for hesitating switching loggers.
I have used a call NOTE as a flag to make station notes and comments re: antenna and rig changes, location changes, etc.

Many logging programs import/export do not always transfer contact comment entries completely, either.

Once I can be assured that everything will transfer, I may change loggers.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Hi Ray, yes, I understand that. In the not windows world there is JAXB which binds XML (or json) to a class. And now there is Odata. Just as there is ORM (object relational mapping) there is also now a OGM (object grid mapping). The former maps to an RDBMS and the later maps to an NSQL data store. In either case, you program is dealing with an object that can be transformed into a persistable state, i.e ADIF.  Consequently, once one has the schema for ADIF there is not really any incentive to invent one's one persistable facsimile. Well unless, of course, one captures elements not represented in ADIF 1, or 2 or 3.

I do realize .NET provides the same sort of ORM. I don't believe they do OGM.
(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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@Ray, here is a link to the ADIF 3.04 schema definition. http://www.adif.org/304/adx304.xsd, there are also schemas for v1 and v2.

That, in turn, is used to generate an object definition which annotates the elements and permissibles. Certainly this works with Java, I suspect it can generate .NET artifacts as well.

My premise was, where ADIF is the transfer format for log files, there is no reason not to persist them in that format. For instance, to move my new log entries from HRDLog to QRZ I first have to export them to, yep, adif files and then import them into QRZ. Where QRZ knows ADIF, I will just send it to them directly, avoiding the export to disk, import from disk. I researched this before and, to my recollection, LOTW also uses ADIF that has been encrypted with your end user certificate. My code will do this also. I haven't researched eQSL yet. So on 'the other' SSDR on an Android each contact can be whisked away to the  designated endpoints, either individually, or in bulk. It'll be part of the program. HRD makes it easier, this will make it seamless.

Programmaticallly, it will be incredibly clean.
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Walt - KZ1F

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So now you have a LogEntry class instance that you merely tell JPA (or the .NET facsimile) to persist(). Where callsign clearly won't work as a primary key, use a synthetic primary key and build a secondary index on callsign. Doing queries against that via the 'like' predicate which takes a regex for missing middle characters. easy peezy
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I like HRD-Logger also, for me it is just about right for things I do.
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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If we're voting, I vote for DX Keeper, part of the DX Labs suite of programs.  Its reliable, comprehensive, and the support is the best software support for any product I've ever seen. Seriously.
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Luke Reynolds

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I want a logger that can call up short path/long path beam headings and allow me to launch the qrz page or auto fill from QRZ. I want to get away from HRD logger.. can any of these do this?
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Luke Reynolds

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Jon I downloaded it but didn't see the beam headings do you have to use the rotator program? My rotator box is too old to be controlled via the PC
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Jon - KF2E

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Luke,

Dxlab has several modules you can choose to install to get more functionality. DXView is the one that provides rotor control. You can use the program without actual rotor control to show you headings, distances and a host of other info.

Jon...kf2e
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Jon - KF2E

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Luke,

Not sure what your rotor is but this device will likely work with your rotor to allow automated control.

http://easy-rotor-control.com/

I use one with my old Yaesu g800sa.

Jon...kf2e
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Luke Reynolds

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Jon is there a forum for dxlab/dxkeeper. I consider myself computer savy and I am hung. When I open dxkeeper it wants me to add a "tx band" but it wont accept anything or let me precede past it
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Jon - KF2E

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Luke,

Yes, there is an excellent forum on yahoo.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/dxlab/info

The author is very active answering questions.

Jon...kf2e
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Bob K4RLC

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Thanks to all who have replies. As I mentioned, just set up the 6500 last night and looks like a steep learning curve. All replies are helpful.

Like Winston, I upgraded from a 756Pro3 to the 6500. Have not been on HF for about 2 years. Old logging program is Win-EQF. Installed new version on new computer used for 6500. Strange file incompatibility issue...so wondered if there was a built-in logger or one favored by the community. Anyone else use Win-EQF (now a "donationware" program) but worked well for many years.

Tnx es 73 de K4RLC

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DK1EY

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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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I have been using HamRadioDeluxe for a long time with a lot
of different TRX. My IC756PRO works just as easily with HRD
Log as my 6500. Add to this that it connects to WSJT-X through
JTAlert and is able to upload to LoTW, eQSL and ClubLog.
HRDLog uses MS Access databank format.
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Gary Wise

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+1 for DX Labs Suite (DX Keeper). Take your time and learn each module one at a time. Great Yahoo Group and an online help wiki.

73,

Gary W8EEY

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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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Setup for HRD programs:

1. Start SmartSDR
2. Start MiniDeluxe, setup to SmartCat com port
3. Start the HRD programs

You can also use DDUtil to connect the HRD programs.
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Mike - W8MM

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I like everything about DX Labs Suite EXCEPT their steadfast refusal to include 1.25 m (220 MHz) in any way, now or in the future.  So my continuing question: If I am active 160m-70cm INCLUDING 1.25M, what logging program should I use with my 6700 and transverters?????
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Jay / NO5J

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When I first started logging with a PC, I'd already installed HRD mostly because of DM780 or whatever it was called at the time. I initially used HRD's logger becaue it was already installed.
I was comfortable wth the HRD logger. I wasn't comfortable with the rest of the HRD suite, I didn't need PC control of my radio, PowerSDR did that. DM780, and the logger were all I had any use for.
Then I started using Fldigi, which then and now can do almost any digital mode. Fldigi led me to DXLabs and DXkeeper so I had to learn a whole other method, I'm still learning it. There is almost always another useful feature to learn, configure, and then wonder why I hadn't learned to use sooner. Compared with HRD, DXLabs is a better fit. Fldigi is a better fit too, and it interacts with DXKeeper so well that I've never used Fldigi's internal logger at all.  I don't believe that anything
deserves the title of BEST, best so far in MY experience, is all I can attest to. I haven't really tried the other possibilities, and who knows what the future may bring. I tend to learn and use whatever works,
and works for ME. I tend to avoid abandon-ware, when even it's creator no longer supports it and no one else has stepped in, it's time to upgrade, that said I still like my SDR1000, and PowerSDR, enough that I made sure that the PC I put together would and could still support firewire and parallel port device's even though hardware manufacturers and Microsoft have largely abandoned them.
The only recommendation I'd make is, use whatever works, and works for you. That wll be the BEST solution for you. If someone else recommends it, then it likely works for them and might work for you too. There may actually be a BEST something, I just haven't upgraded to it yet. Maybe someday.

Jay - NO5J      
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Walt - KZ1F

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Yeah Jay, 'copy that'! Same here, I kinda like DM-780 and really like their logger. I never fire up HRD proper. What is nice and a huge plus is that it all (HRD suite) works together seamlessly. How many other things in our shacks do that!

Walt - kz1f
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Jay / NO5J

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Walt
I don't want to dicourage anyone from using HRD, I just think everyone should explore all the other possibilities. Before commiting, to any of them. Part of the fun is trying the fun. Should it turn out to be no fun at all, you have learned something, which is part of the fun too.

Jay - NO5J 
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Walt - KZ1F

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That's Zen, isn't it???
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Jay / NO5J

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Maybe. Maybe Zen needs some more of my personal attention, It's been on my bucket list for a long time. To quote something I heard from another ham.  "Ain't never been there, they tell me it's nice".

Jay - NO5J 
(Edited)
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Carl Jón Denbow N8VZ

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Two I'd recommend looking at are LOGic9 and CommCat 4.7.  You can download trial/demo versions here:

http://www.hosenose.com/demo.aspx

http://www.commcat.com/ccldownloads.php
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Lee, Elmer

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Luke

download the entire DXLab suite and install  The entire suite is easily downloaded and configured  using DX launcher

http://www.dxlabsuite.com/download.htm

Once installed you can turn on only the modules you like, or tell launcher to turn on any of the programs you like automatically.  to get freq and mode data into DXLab you need to reun Commander, one of the modules and connect that via CAT to either the radio or I use DDUTIL v3 as an intermediary.  

73  W9OY
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WA2SQQ

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At one point or another I've tried most of those mentioned. Each has their strong and weak points. I was a dedicated HRD user, but since they went to a subscription based service I decided that's not for me. I tried Log4OM and quickly got hooked! I had previously converted my paper logs (dating back to 1971) into an old DOS program that used the ADIF format. While the points that Ray pointed out might be true (from a programmers standpoint) functionality and backward compatibility speak loudly for me. Log4OM is very easy to use, it integrates with the DX Cluster easily (best I've seen) and their on line forum / support is every bit as good as Flex's! QSL management is both flexible and easy with all of the major e-QSL methods including LOTW. Using their YouTube videos the setup with my 6500 took about 5 minutes. Best of all, it's FREE! You owe it to yourself to at least try it.
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Steve Gw0gei

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I have over 85000 logged qsos in free software Logger32 - I have flex 6300 set up as radio 1 and my Icom 7400 set up as radio 2 and can switch between them instantly, and as it supports transverter operation I can see 70200.00 4m freq whilst using my 4m transverter with the flex 6300 and then switch to the ic7400 with a mouse click to get on 2m ssb. I use n1mmplus for all of my Hf and VHF contesting and then import the adif file after each contest into logger32 which handles all of the usual awards and qsl chores. Outside of contests I sit on logger32 watching the cluster and spots appearing in the slice a bandmap and click on a spot to qsy the flex to the freq. I like the grey line tracking and other optional windows and it's very customisable to get the layout that suits you. Strong rotor and antenna switching facilities if you need them and logbook of the world integration and uploading. Both program's work well for me and are free!
73

Steve gw0gei