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General Logging Information


GenLog is a contest logger for the casual contester, logging more than more than 345 contests and activities. No attempt was made to interface to radios (CAT) or rotors, to use a PC network, or to use packet radio. GenLog can also be used as a logbook for SWL, County Hunting, State Hunting, etc. While logging, you can run the PREFIXES and COUNTIES applications, then <Alt + Tab> between the software. 

Important:
GenLog has a 5000 QSO limit. If you exceed the limit, GenLog will stop. At that point, the only option would be to start another log - the 2 Cabrillo files can be merged into one file using copy paste. Make a 5000 QSO GenLog log file by copy/pasting lines in an existing one - make sure your PC (and GenLog) has enough memory for that big contest effort.

Important:
Only the <Enter> and <Space> keys can be used to accept data inputs and move to the next field.  After all required fields are filled, use <Enter> or <Space> to accept the QSO into the log. Activating or mouse-clicking the {Save data to Log} button without first <entering> the data, may cause errors in the log. That button is provided just in case and is not required during normal logging.

You need some way to move around without using the mouse. Using the <Tab> key to input data will cause unpredictable results. Sub-routine code that is required for duping, string field splitting, QSO points and multiplier checking is only called when data is entered with the <Enter> and <Space> keys.

No configuration files are used. Most contests are setup automatically using personal data you enter in the setup screen. For just a few contests, you need to enter some information at the appropriate prompt. Read more on initial setup.

Call Signs:
The FCC has allowed hundreds state-side U.S. stations to apply for `DX type` callsigns. Lots of 2x1 KG4`s and 6`s, AL7 and KL7`s are state-side stations. GenLog uses the DXCC Exceptions file to look-up the exceptions.

Portable operation:
You cannot enter your callsign with a slash into the setup screen. Using the slash will cause an error when writing files, since PJ4/W3KM.log (for example) will cause an illegal filename in Windows. Use PJ4-W3KM or PJ4_W3KM as your callsign. Keep in mind that if you enter your portable call in a logger`s setup screen with a dash or underscore, you cannot use CW macros that send <yourCall> however - enter your portable call into a CW memory text instead.After writing the Cabrillo file, change the Operator: field, then change all instances of PJ4-W3KM to PJ4/W3KM using the `Find and Replace` function of any text editor.

Combined input fields:
Some input fields are pre-formatted for specific length inputs and some fields will be used to combine QSO information to make logging simpler and faster, as in the ARRL November SS, Helvetia Contest, NRAU Baltic Contest, EA-DX Contest, Commonwealth CW etc.

CQ zone tracking:
You can keep track of CQ zones worked. Selected log files can be added to build a CQ Zone totals file, [ cq_zones.ttl ]. Use the menu CQZones Add this log to build the file and add logs. Once built, you can view or print the CQ zone totals or by band. The total unique CQ zones is displayed in the CQ Zones total menu label, CQZones[23] for example. You can delete, re-name or move this totals file - if you want to generate a totals file for other logs. CQ WW DX, GACW and JA DX Contests have CQ zones as multipliers. See ITU Zones tracking.

Data files:
Hundreds of datafiles are use by GenLog. An easy way to view the *.txt, *.dat and *.dta files is to use the File View datafiles menu. Double-click a file to open it in NotePad.

The files {dxcc_pre.dat} and {DXCC_Exceptions.dat} are used by every contest in one way or another. At the bottom of each contest help page, the additional files used are displayed.

DXCC tracking:
Log files can be merged to build a DXCC totals file, [ dxcc_lst.ttl ]. Once built, you can view or print all the countries or totals by band. Use the menu DXCC Add this log to build the file and add logs. Once built, you can view or print all the DXCC totals or by band. The total unique DXCC countries is displayed in the DXCC total menu label, DXCC[310] for example. You can delete, re-name or move this totals file - if you want to generate a totals file for other logs. See Grid tracking.

The total countries or states worked in a contest can be viewed or printed for selected contests. Use the Mults menu to display or print. You can view the multiplier list, multipliers {Worked} and multipliers {To Work} in that contest. Also, the total grid squares worked can be viewed or printed for selected contests.

Stations operating in a QSO Party that is their state, and States/Provinces are multipliers, can select `States` or `St/Prov` from the combo-box on the right to show {Worked} and {To work} functions for these groups.

File Back-up:
For automatic back-up (append), select the back-up drive in the setup screen. Each QSO will be saved to the selected disk drive. Although the quick select combo box only shows drive letters, you can enter the drive\path of choice into this box - d:\temp for example - or f:\ on your USB flash drive. Do not save BU to the logging folder.

If you enter a drive\path that doesn`t exist, an error message is displayed. If you decide that you want to save to Auto BU after you start logging, exit the logger and setup the back-up path. When you restart GenLog and enter another QSO, an up-to-date back-up file will be written - to be current. Use the View BU file path:  menu to see if BU is selected and to what drive\path. The menu Log Manually Save BU file function is different than the Auto BU described above.

General logging mode (option 09):
Upon loading a general logging file, a window will show the total states worked per band. The total number of unique states worked is displayed in the green label to the left of this window.



GenLog has the `states worked` map display. You can display a US map that shows states worked in the current log file - highlighted in black. The map screen is printable. The map function is only available in selected contests and activities. Use the {View} pull-down menu or enter the shortcut [SM] into the callsign field to show the map.



You can edit the log file to reflect QSL cards received. This allows you to view or print the QSOs that were confirmed. Click the {Edit/Change Log} label in the middle of the screen. In the edit screen, find the QSO of interest by scrolling or using the search function. Click that QSO line. Enter `Y` into the QSL RX field. Save the changes.

Extra comments can be added manually to QSOs in the general log.

Grid squares:
Some contests use your 4 or 6-digit Maidenhead grid locator as the exchange. Simple map representations are used to show the grids worked in these contests. Use my SQUARES software to calculate your locator from Lat/Long data. SQUARES is free software supplied with VHFLOG, but can be downloaded at: http://www.qsl.net/w3km/squares.htm.

Some contests that use 6-digits also use the [vhf4k.adi] ADIF lookup file. General logger [09] is one that is setup. This file was initially developed by K9PW and edited by W3KM using NE U.S. VHF logs. Make your own or edit the file for your part of the world using my Cab2ADIF_Updater software found at http://www.qsl.net/w3km/w3km_sw.htm. The file format is specific.

Map datafiles required are here. If these map files don`t exist, the map display functions are ignored.

Grid tracking:
You can keep track of 4-digit grid squares (locators) worked, in selected contests. Use the General logging mode (option 09) to log everyday VHF/UHF contacts to increase your VUCC totals. Log files can be added to build a Grid totals file, [ grid_lst.ttl ]. Use the pull-down menu {Grid Total} {Add this log} to build the file and add logs. Once built, you can view or print all the grid squares by band. The total unique 4-digit grid squares is displayed in the Grid Total menu label, Grid Total[155] for example. You can delete, re-name or move this totals file - if you want to generate a totals file for other logs. See ITU Zones tracking.

Click the Grid Total View map menu selection to see the grid map for all bands in the totals file. The map displayed is the one you have selected in the Grids menu.

VHFLOG and KM Rover logger users:
You can add your *.lgg and *.rlg logfiles to the Grid totals file. Copy the logfiles of interest to the GenLog folder. Under the Grid Total menu, select {Add other Logs .lgg .rlg}. A window is displayed to select the files to be added.

In selected contests:
You can combine selected LOG files to get the States/Grids worked per band. Use the menu Log Merge Files and merge log files into existing General logging files {option 09}.

Also in selected contests, use the Access menu to select either the {Ant Tuner} or {Linear} control settings reminder. This eliminates paper notes and equipment front panel markings.

Import ADIF:
While in a General Logging {option 09}, County Hunting {option 19} or US Prefix Awards {option 225} log, you can import an ADIF file using the Log Import ADIF file menu. Use an existing log or make a new one by selecting one of the 3 contests listed above, then name a new filename. After that, you can import the ADIF file. After import, click the new filename in the files list-box to see the imported QSOs. Edit in NotePad as desired.

ITU zone tracking:
You can keep track of ITU zones worked. Selected log files can be added to build a Zone totals file, [ zone_lst.ttl ]. Use the menu Zone Total Add this log to build the file and add logs. Once built, you can view or print the zone totals or by band. The total unique ITU zones is displayed in the Zone Total menu label, Zone Total[34] for example. You can delete, re-name or move this totals file - if you want to generate a totals file for other logs. See CQ Zones tracking and DXCC tracking. 

Log editor:
GenLog`s log editor works for most contests, but there are some exceptions. Some log formats (columns) are non-normal and the complexity of editing these logs produces more problems that it is worth.

Changing a callsign to a dupe isn`t allowed (even though some contests allow dupes with different multipliers) - just too much extra code to write. Deleting QSOs when serial numbers are used is another issue. And - re-numbering the # new mults in some contests is disabled because of the scoring complexity. The sponsor will score your log anyway - the #new mults is only used within GenLog`s scoring routines.

These editing issues are best are dealt with manually by editing your log in NOTEPAD. Remember to maintain the format - <Spaces> between data columns, not <Tabs>. Save you changes and re-load into GenLog to see the updates.

Modes:
Unless specifically called out in the rules not requiring a Cabrillo log, always use PH as the voice mode designator for contesting. More on modes.

Multiple contests:
Since log file access is within the logging program, you can work multiple contests at the same time. 

Multipliers:
GenLog uses one or more datafiles when checking for a new multiplier. The DXCC look-up file [dxcc_pre.dat] is one of them and [DXCC_Exceptions.dat] is another, and these look-up files must reside in the GenLog folder. Note: This function is only enabled when the <Enter> and <Space> keys are used to input QSO data. Also, some exchange field splitting and QSO points calculations will not be performed if you don`t use <Enter> and <Space> to input data. <Tab> only moves between fields.

Option #:
The contest/logging option # is displayed just below the `KM` Icon. This # is used in all log files and is what GenLog keys on when a contest is loaded. When an existing log file is loaded, the option number sets up GenLog for that contest. This is how you are able to operate multiple contests at one time. The first 3 lines of a typical log file are shown below. The 144 on line 2 is the contest option number.

2003 Great Lakes QSO Party
01/08/03          W3KM              144
40m  CW  01/08/03  1919   K8DX      SCOTT     STAR-OH   1      2

Partial callsign search:
This function is described in the `Partial Search` topic and allows a datafile search of previously worked callsigns. After entering 2 or more characters, the matching callsigns (any part) are displayed. In the left window are the callsigns from the current log. On the right are callsigns from the search datafile that you are using. See the `Partial Search` topic for more details.

Power Level / Class:
In the setup screen, enter your power level / class abbreviation based on the contest rules. If you click the Power/Class input box, hints related to power levels are displayed. You can go to the contest Help page before leaving the setup screen and see what abbreviation is required for the contest you will be operating in. Click the blue `Contest HELP` label and search the `Index` for the contest.

Print a Manual:
You probably would not print this entire HELP file, since a page would be printed for each of more than 340 topics. It may be useful to just print an individual contest, to display the information while in that contest. Follow the contest rules on the sponsor`s web site, as the rules displayed in this HELP file are abbreviated.

Pull-down menus:
  • Some menu items are only enabled or visible when their function is related to the loaded contest. If a menu item is not available when a contest is first started, make a few contacts, then re-load the file to reset it.

    Roving ?
    See how to submit a ROVER log in a VHF/UHF Sprint, for example.

    Scoring contests:
    See how the bonus points and extra multipliers work.

    GenLog will handle about 98% of the scoring requirements for more than 345 contests and activities supported. Special functions are used to score many contests that simply could not be accommodated by user configured files or external .ini data. You will find that most contests are scored automatically and correctly. Only a few contests require some user editing or external calculations. These are relatively light participation contests, so no problem.

    For examples, the CCCC PSK and Anatolian PSK31/RTTY contests have rather complicated multiplier requirements: Multipliers are DXCC countries, plus each call area of W(0-9), VE(0-9), JA(0-9), VK(0-9) and TA(0-9). The first W, VE, JA, VK and TA count as two multipliers, one for the DXCC country and one for the call area, on each band. GenLog automatically and accurately scores these contests. Scoring these contests manually would be difficult at best.

    Rather than have the user setup each contest before hand, GenLog uses the information in the setup screen (and some external datafiles) to have all contests configured automatically (for both sides of the QSO). Functions to calculate QSO points and multipliers are hard coded into the logger, since the complicated scoring of many contests could never be handled with external - user edited modules. This allows operating multiple contests at the same time.

    Score text format:
    If the PC`s system `number format` is set to use a period separator (###.###) instead of a comma (###,###), the score text may not be displayed correctly. Use the View menu to change the format - "Score format ######". Re-load your log to see the change.

    State QSO Parties:
    See State QSO Parties for information on operating in State QSO Parties.

    SWL:
    SWLs can log in any contest. Just set the 599 check-box to Off, set TX Exchanges RST to 000 and member numbers to 0 etc. Serial numbers can remain as is. Type in the received RST if required. Write the Cabrillo file, change the category to SWL, submit your log and let the sponsor score your log.

    Tool-tips:
    Parking the mouse on some labels and boxes for a second or so will show the hint (or tip) on that function.

    UTC offset:
    The UTC offset should be automatic from the system clock, but verify this before running a contest. 
    In the PC`s system clock setup, you can setup an on-line clock synchronization sequence to make sure your clock is always set correctly.

    Writing files:
    Rather than having just a paper print-out, you can also write files to disk - then you can edit them for electronic submissions. File write selections are under the Log menu - including a secondary Write menu.  

    When you write the Cabrillo, ASCII, dupes, summary, ADIF, multiplier or text files, GenLog can auto-open that file for view/edit using NOTEPAD or EDITPAD. Copy either NOTEPAD or EDITPAD to your logging folder. This is useful since you must verify (and possibly edit) the electronic files that you submit to contest sponsors. Check your submission for correct category, power level etc.

    To use another editor program for auto-open - copy the program`s .exe to the logging folder and rename it NotePad.exe.

    Note:
    When you tell the logger to write a file, it overwrites the previous file without prompts. Be aware that files like the Cabrillo file [urCall.log] can reside in different folders on your PC, depending on whether you have other logging software installed. Although GenLog won`t let you name a normal log file as [urCall.log] at the beginning of a contest, make sure you don`t rename a normal log file or do {Save As} using [urCall.log] as the filename when editing in NOTEPAD. If you do, when you write a Cabrillo file, the contest log file will be overwritten.

    To view files in Microsoft`s Explorer, you need to uncheck the {Hide filename extensions} in the {Tools} {Folder options...} {View} option, so you can see the complete filename. Unless you do this, it is easy to get the files confused, since there can be up to 6 files starting with `urCall` in the same folder. Explorer shows only the filename (no extension) unless you change the {View} option.

    Some files are:
    ADIF - logfile.adi
    ASCII log - logfile.log
    Back-up - logfile.bak
    Back-up - logfile.bu1
    Cabrillo - urCall.log
    Cabrillo (selected) - urCall.cbr
    Clean Sweep - clean_sweep.txt
    CQ zones totals - cq_zones.ttl
    CW keyer ini - filename.kyr
    Dupes file - urCall.txt
    DXCC totals - dxcc_lst.ttl
    EDI - urCall.log
    Grid totals - grid_lst.ttl
    ITU zones totals - zone_lst.ttl 
    Multi/Bonus - contestname.ini
    Multiplier - urCall.mlt
    STF file - urCall.stf
    Summary - urCall.sum