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Unofficial FAQ on Logger 32

This FAQ is a work-in-progress.  The idea is to reproduce questions and answers that come up quite often on the  Logger32 support reflector, and to share further tips for those using Logger32.  Please email me your improvement suggestions.  In time, when there is enough content here to make it worthwhile, I will sort the entries and provide an index.


Q: I’m at version X of Logger 32.  Can I install version Z using the upgrade, or do I need to do a full install?

A : Why not try it and see?  Here’s how:

    1.  Whatever else you do, backup your log and Logger32 configuration files first , saving them to offline storage media such as a USB memory stick, CD-ROM or floppy.  Also extract your entire log to an ADIF file and store that safely offline too .  That way, if anything goes horribly wrong during the rest of this process, you haven’t lost everything.  [You should be doing this regularly in any case.  Trust me, it’s well worth it if you lose a hard drive or accidentally damage or delete your log file.]

    2.  Assuming you have done your backups, if X and Z are not radically different (in other words, if you have missed only a few interim upgrades) try the upgrade first: download the latest files from the Logger32 website, open the ZIP file, then unpack the enclosed zip files to your Logger32 program directory - usually C:\Program files\Logger32.  Run Logger32 and check if everything works OK.  Logger32 displays the version as it starts up, or you can check under Help > Version

    Find the current version

    3.  If you have missed some major upgrades, if step 2 didn’t work, if strange things are happening when Logger32 runs, or if you can’t be bothered to mess around with upgrades that might not work, simply try a full Logger32 installation on top of your existing version.  Download the latest full install zip file from the Logger32 website, open it and unpack the contents to your Logger32 program directory.  Run Logger32 and check it works OK.

Logger32 now has a built-in updater that checks automatically and prompts you if it finds an update.

 

 

Q: I installed Logger32 version now, it is 3.3417 version.  Did you test this version?  Has it any bugs?  Is DXCC counting ok?  I read your reviews about Logger32 that it has some bugs ...

A: Like ALL real-world software, Logger32 has bugs and flaws/limitations in every version, but some are resolved with each new release ... And unfortunately, new bugs appear and new requirements emerge!  On the whole, it works fine and we definitely get our money’s worth (it’s free!).  It's the everyday logger this keen DXer chose and continue to use, so it can’t be too bad.  To be fair, other logging programs, and in fact all other programs, also have bugs and flaws despite the best efforts of professional and amateur programmers, architects, designers, testers and support krew.

 

 

Q: I have paper log now, I would like to put 3,000 QSO from paper log to Logger32 manually.  But Logbookentry window has only 5 window.  Can I put DATE and TIME and other window on Logbookentry?

A: We have limited flexibility with the QSO entry window but I would advise using a completely different program to enter past QSOs rapidly into an ADIF file, then import that ADIF into Logger32.  I have used Fast Log Entry by DF3CB.  It is a basic tool to enter the minimal QSO info but it does that job well.

 

 

Q:  If I put right click on logbook page and Add QSO and Add QSO Manually window appears.  Can I change this window?  I don’t need COMMENT, ADDRESS, Primary or Secondary Admin but I'd like STATE and IOTA instead.

A: That window appears to be fixed and as far as I can tell is not reconfigurable, I'm afraid.   :-( 

 

 

Q: How can I enter STATE and IOTA data into Logger32 manually from my paper log?

A: If you use Fast Log Entry or some other program to create an ADIF, you have an option when you import it into Logger32 to “Add IOTA numbers to QSOs (where possible)”.  This presumably calculates and adds IOTA references for certain island stations whose prefixes unambiguously indicate their IOTA reference (e.g. VQ9anything is on Chagos Is. and so has the Chagos Is. IOTA reference).  However, Logger32 does not have a comprehensive database of calls and IOTA references to resolve more ambiguous ones.  You can probably figure them out from your old paper log, plus your QSLs, plus QRZ.com pages, plus Clublog, but it is a painstaking, manual job. 

Actually adding IOTA refs to your log is the easy bit provided you have the IOTA field selected to display in your logbook: simply edit the IOTA field for a QSO in the log, entering the complete reference in the specified IOTA format XX-NNN e.g. OC-036.  Logger32 insists on you entering the complete reference including the hyphen and leading zero because it is not quite smart enough to figure out that OC36 or OC-36 or OC036 are all OC-036.  It does check the format, and yet it lets us enter any valid IOTA reference on any continent, no problem, regardless of the station’s country as indicated by its prefix.

Adding states for Ws etc. is not so quick and easy because you can’t simply enter or directly edit the state abbreviations in the log as you can do when you are initially entering them through the log entry window.  Instead you need to right-click a QSO line in the log, go to Edit admin subdivision info , then look up and select the info from pick lists.

Those two situations are examples of the program trying hard to protect certain aspects of its data integrity, at the expense of making it more laborious for us users since we can’t take too may shortcuts.  You win some, you lose some. 

 

 

Q: I want these fields on the Logbook entry window like  my paper log: QSO Number, Callsign, Name, QTH, State, Date, Time, Frequency, Mode, Send report, Received report, QSL send, QSL received and IOTA.

That is possible in Logger32.  The logbook layout is quite flexible, although personally I find configuring it awkward.  Luckily, that is not something I have to do very often!  Right-click in the logbook window, then select Setup > Grid layout.  Tick all the fields you want to appear (and no more!), then painstakingly drag the fields into the sequence you prefer (drag the little arrows to the empty squares).   Exit the configurer to view your handiwork.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

Tip: you can alter the logbook field/column headings by overtyping the labels in Setup > Grid layout though this is not entirely obvious (there’s a hint in the help file).

 

 

Q: K5D comes up as Texas not Desecheo Island.  How do I fix it?

A : You could either wait until the Logger32 country database is next updated, or do a quick fix for now: go to Tools > Database maintenance > Country/Prefix maintenance

Country db maintenance option

This opens a window showing the DXCC prefixes:

Country db maintenance window

Scroll down the list to find the normal prefix for Desecheo, KP5, and click that line to bring up a database edit window:

Country db edit window

Now you need to get K5D into that empty box in the middle of the window.  Just click in the box and then type <K5D> (the angle brackets tell Logger32 it is a complete call not just a prefix):

Country db edit window

Now before you close the database edit window, click the Add button on the far left of the same line to save the change and add K5D to the prefix/country database.  Finally, click the red and white cross at top right to close the window and return to logging.

Note: if K5D is already explicitly defined elsewhere in the database, you will get a warning message as it has to be a unique database key value.

Note: DXpeditions to S. Cook Islands such as Rarotonga are granted callsigns with the same E5 prefix as the much rarer N. Cooks.  Logger32 unfortunately defaults to N. Cooks and exceptions have to be entered manually in the same way.

 

 

Q: How do I correct my PC’s clock?

A : Since version 7 (?), Windows has its own built-in capability to synchronize the clock to an Internet time server but it is quite lame.  There are better ways.

In Logger32, right-click the shack clock (on the left of the lower status bar) and click Get atomic clock time.  Logger32 finds a convenient reference clock on the Internet and sets the PC clock.  It gets within about 1 second on my system.

If accurate timing is quite important for you (e.g. for WSPR), other software makes an even better job of it.  The best I’ve found is Meinberg’s time server utility, synchronising to a local laboratory’s NTP service backed by their atomic clock and configured to resynchronise itself regularly and automatically in the background.  It is accurate to within a few milliseconds on my PC, as far as I can tell.  If configuring the Meinberg software is too hard for you, try About Time or Dimension4

If highly accurate timing is critical, you’ll probably be looking at a local rubidium standard that is synchronised to atomic clocks orbiting in the GPS satellites.

 

Q: My PC clock is correct so why are so many DX QSLs arriving with the wrong times?

A : If, like me, you sometimes spend ages calling some rare or weak DX before finally making a QSO, make sure the log records the actual time of the QSO, rather than the time you started calling the DX.  There’s an option in Logger32 to log the time of QSOs either when the callsign field loses focus (i.e. when you tab to input the RST etc.) or when you hit enter to complete and log the QSO.  The second option is often more accurate than the first.  To do this, right click in the log entry panel, then select Setup > QSO Start time > When QSO entered in log:

L32 QSO time

 

Q: Why are there red and blue arrows on the band map?

A: Because you have chosen to see the frequency markers for both your VFOs on the band map under Config > Appearance

Band map markers

 

Band map bumpMost modern radios (apart from Icoms anyway) will periodically report the frequencies of VFOs A and B to Logger32 through the serial connection.  The frequency of VFO A is marked on the band map with a red arrow and VFO B in blue.  You can choose to see the blue VFO B marker only when the rig is in split mode, or all the time (in which case you can temporarily hide the blue marker by moving VFO B out of band).

The arrows are useful to keep an eye on where you are transmitting, for example in case you are moving out of band or clash with another spotted station, as in this example.

I could tell from the DX spot with a blue background on the band map that 4W/G3ZEM would be a new one for me this year on 20m, so I was keen to work him.

He was working split.  I was listening to him on my K3’s subreceiver (VFO B) in both ears, shown by the blue arrow.  At the same time, in order to find a good frequency to call him, I was also listening on the main K3 receiver (VFO A) in one ear, moving the VFO and the red arrow gradually up the band as I heard him working through his pile. 

At the instant the screenshot was taken, I almost bumped into ZK3E.  I could hear him in the pile but he was quite weak, our beams being side-to -side.  Luckily I noticed the red arrow approaching ZK3E on the band map and the red line linking to the spot, so I realized I would be QRMing him if I transmitted there.

As it happened, the spot for ZK3E had a green background, telling me he would have been a new mode-band slot-filler (I’ve worked ZK on this band but not yet on CW).  It’s definitely not good practice to QRM your new ones!

 

 

Q:  How do I do <whatever> in Logger32?

A : First try right-clicking in the relevant place.  Many additional options lurk behind the right click, provided your cursor is in the relevant part of the screen at the time (e.g. hovering over a data entry/input field to change data entry defaults; hovering over a report/output area to reformat the outputs or choose new report fields).  As Jim W5IFP put it: “When all else fails try a ‘Right click’. You might be surprised at all the stuff you can find there.”

Next read the help inside Logger32.  There is a lot of good content in there but quite often users evidently either forget to look things up or can’t find what they are looking for, sometimes because items are tucked away under headings you might not have considered checking.  Try the search function in help.

If that’s not working, try searching the archives of the Logger32 reflector/online discussion forum on Yahoo! Groups, which for historical reasons is still named Hamlogger.

Finally, ask your question on the support forum but be prepared to be told either you shouldn’t really be doing whatever you want to do, or else it’s in the help file!

 

 

Q: How do I get Logger32 to connect to the DXcluster network through VE7CC’s Cluster User program?

A: VE7CC’s program is very useful for the additional control if gives you over the DX spots (it makes it simple to configure the cluster filters to send you HF spots but block VHF spots, for example).  Here’s how to use it with Logger32:

  1. Download and run VE7CC's excellent, free Cluster User program (also known as AR).  Get it to connect to a DXcluster (such as VE7CC's own DXcluster) and get that running sweetly first.  Get the filtering and all that jazz set up how you like it.
  2. Configure the Cluster User program to serve spots on the local machine (like having your very own cluster in the shack).  The setting is under Configuration --> Ports/logging program.  Select Enable telnet and port 7300 (or another if you prefer).
  3. In Logger32's cluster settings, tell it to connect to 127.0.0.1:7300 , where 127.0.0.1 is the same PC and 7300 is the telnet port to which Cluster User is sending the spots.  I call mine "Local".  I think you can set this directly by right-clicking in the Logger32 telnet window --> Setup --> Setup remote hosts and enter the info I've just said.  Alternatively, you can add this info to the cluster hosts file in the Logger32 directory: on my machine, the file is called TelnetAddresses.INI which contains the single line   Local~127.0.0.1|7300
  4. Get Logger32 to connect to the “Local” cluster.  It is now talking to your Cluster User program, which in turn is connected to a real DXcluster.  Configure the login script in Logger32 to send a show/DX/20, show/WWV or whatever you normally do when you startup.
  5. Play with the config settings in Cluster User and/or Logger32 at your leisure e.g. filtering spots , showing only needed countries, dinging the alarm bell when a new one shows up, showing automatic Skimmer spots from the Reverse Beacon Network, auto-reconnecting to the cluster if it drops out, or whatever.
  6. For extra clever-clogs bonus marks, run a second instance of Cluster User connected to a different DXcluster (e.g. one of the private members-only DX club clusters) and connect the two together by selecting "Enable linking" to receive and merge even more juicy spots.
  7. Now, work your socks off to find, work and spot that juicy DX before it appears on the DXcluster network!

Skimmer spots from the Reverse Beacon Network significantly increase the number of raw spots while VE7CC’s software and Logger32 together separate the wheat (such as new band/mode countries) from the chaff (countries I have already worked and confirmed).  I have filled numerous slots and bagged several new ones thanks to the RBN spots plus Logger32’s audio visual alerting.

 

 

Q: How do I get Logger32 to ding the bell when I’m spotted, or when someone else I am hunting is spotted?

A: Use the audio alerts in the DXcluster window.  Right click in the DXcluster window, select Setup > Audio alerts >  Enable audio alerts [‘Enable’ really means ‘Configure’!].  Click to select the Alert for callsigns option at the top and enter the relevant callsign/s in the box beneath.

L32 Audio alerts

 

You might be interested to know when I am spotted but you probably want to add your own call to the alert list instead of ZL2iFB!  If you have been CQing for a while without much response and are thinking of QSYing or going QRT but then get spotted, carry on CQing for a few minutes more and you may be in luck.  Check the comments too to see what people are saying about you - something like “Stone deaf!  No RX!” is a subtle hint that you’re not listening hard enough.  Hams sometimes arrange skeds with me via fake DXcluster spots when they see me spotting beacons on 10m - they should really use talk messages but I don’t monitor talkies in real time, so fake spots work.  Email is better.

You’ll see from the screenshot that I also like the PC to remind me with the Windows online.wav noise whenever a new country is spotted (of course) and with the subtler recycle.wav noise whenever someone spots a new “band country” (a new country for me on that particular band).  If you don’t like any of the sound effects on your PC or available on the Web, it’s not too hard to record and save your own, but be careful with the audio levels.  Frequent loud reminders can get quite annoying, unless you are already in or nearing DXCC Honor Roll when you probably don’t want to miss those really rare new ones.

 

 

Q: Why does Logger32 sometimes wipe the log data I am currently entering before I have hit enter to save it?

A: Details such as the reports, name and QTH info are sometimes lost from the log entry window, which can catch you by surprise.  This happens deliberately (by design) under at least four known circumstances:

  1. If you correct the callsign of a station you are working, Logger32 automatically erases any information it retrieved and entered automatically for the original callsign, as it is no longer relevant for the corrected callsign.
  2. The control-W (wipe) and control-C (clear) commands both erase all data from the log entry panel.
  3. Clicking in the area down the left hand side of the log entry panel (where it says call, sent, received etc.) also erases all data from the log entry panel.
  4. Clicking a callsign in the DXcluster windows will replace any current data in the log entry panel with the callsign you have clicked plus any related information (e.g. default reports, name and other info from previous QSOs with that station, and any other info taken from that station’s QRZ.com, HamQTH or callbook lookup).

There have been reports from users that the fields are mysteriously cleared at other times too but if this is happening at all, it is hard to reproduce the behaviour on demand.  One user noted that the wipe occurred during very long QSOs.  I’ve occasionally noticed disappearing user-entered (not default or system retrieved) data when correcting the station’s callsign, and suspect there might possibly be a bug in the process of doing callsign lookups ... but again I can’t reproduce this so it could well just be operator error.

 

 

Q:  Can I QSY the rig to an arbitrary frequency directly using Logger32?

A:   Yes, this is easier than using the direct frequency keypad on the rig.  Simply enter the frequency  as if it were a callsign into the log entry panel.  Enter it in kHz (e.g. 28020.3) or MHz (e.g. 28.0203), depending on whether you have configured Logger32 to display frequencies in kHz or MHz under Setup > Frequency.  Logger32 knows a string of numbers is not a callsign so when you hit <Enter> it QSYs the rig and erases the numbers from the log entry panel.  This only works, of course, if your rig is connected to a serial port to which Logger32 can send the command.  Loggers32 also changes the rig to the appropriate mode for the band segment (as configured in setup bands and modes) if it is configured to do so under Setup > Radio.

I find this function useful when someone asks me to try a different band.  With automatic antenna switching and a no-tune amplifier, I can QSY instantly, check the band map for spots on/near the new frequency, listen briefly and send “QRL?” to check if the frequency is clear, and then start calling the other station while he is still pondering which buttons to press next.

 

 

Q: Why doesn’t help work in Logger32?

A: Most likely, your oh-so-helpful PC is blocking access to Logger32.chm, the compiled HTML help file for Logger32, which is a security risk.  Just like other executable stuff you download from the Internet, it could be a Trojan horse.  Provided you are willing to look gift horses in the mouth (and you are running Logger32.exe after all), unblock the file by finding Logger32.chm in the Logger32 program directory using Windows Explorer, then right-click the file, pull up the file’s properties and there at the bottom is the magic option to unblock it:

L32 help file unblock

 

 

Q:  I have other questions about Logger32.  Can you help, Gary?

A:   Possibly - I’ll do my best.  But please do your bit by checking in three places first:

1)  Check the Logger32 help file, accessed from the menu in Logger32.  A lot of effort over many years has gone into hiding many answers deep within the help file.  Your task is to find them.  The index/contents function is very unforgiving, meaning that if you don’t look for exactly what the authors of the help file called something, you may not find it.  This is tricky, of course, if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for.  There are three solutions: (1) Keep trying in the hope that you’ll strike lucky.  (2) Read the entire help file so you will find whatever you are looking for if it is in there somewhere, and you’ll also learn how the help authors phrase things.  (3) Use the help search function in the hope of eventually homing-in on your answer.

2)  Check the Logger32 support reflector on Yahoo!  Search the group’s archives.  By all means send your query to the forum for answers from Bob and the merry band of elves.

3)  Check this FAQ and the Logger32 page here on my website.

If you’ve done all three but still have questions, as a last resort please email me but be aware that I am very busy, so I may take a while to respond.  Also, I don’t know much about Logger32’s inner workings.  I’m just a ham who has been a heavy user of the program for most of a decade and a beta tester for a few years but I’ll do my best, and I’ll probably update this FAQ accordingly.

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39o 39’ South x 176o 37’ East

Locator RF80HL

260m ASL

IOTA OC-036

CQ zone 32

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