About VHF LOG Contest logger

Note: Hit <Enter> or <Space Bar> to accept input data. <Tab> is used to move fields.

Activity hours | Master Callsign Search
Alarm use | Mouse usage
Applications with VHFLOG | Moving the TX Windows
Bands to be worked | Open/view files
Band Switching | Printing a manual
Change Fonts | Program Exit
Changing Bands | QSO Rate
Club competition | Rovers calls
Club check list | Saving Back-up files        <<= Use this index - or use <Ctrl + F> to search a topic.
CW option | Search for call
Dupes | Six Digits
DVK option | SQUARES application
Export ADIF files | Start a new contest
Frequently asked question | Supported contests 
Grid maps | Transverter offsets
Keyboard shortcuts | TX Mode
Latest data files | UTC time
Load an existing log file | View score summary
Log submissions | Windows shortcuts
Logging without the mouse 

Use this software to log in ARRL and other VHF/UHF/Microwave contests. You can use this software to log other contests not in the list, just select a contest `like` the desired contest. The sponsor will re-score your log anyway. 

There is a 2500 QSO limit. Post contest logging is available also. Select {Post Contest} in the Log menu. You are prompted for the Date and Time of each QSO. To minimize the date entries, the previous date is entered by the software as the default and can be used by hitting <Enter> or the <OK> button.

Besides contest log entry and duping, other features are:
Normal logging without using the mouse. Bands worked, bands to be worked. Single key-stroke to move a station up the bands. Transverter/PLL/IF frequency offset. Beacon frequency display. 6-digit squares heading and distance. Grid maps and club member bands. Activity time and QSO rate display. Auto grid insert from file or manual grid input. Auto QSO Accept after entering the grid square. Memory/KB CW and DVK, both w/PTT control. Uses a `good calls` data file - shows grid and bands to work and a VHF master ADIF file consisting of callsigns and grids squares.

VHF/UHF/Microwave contests not supported (10-GHz+ Contest, EME Contest and many others) can be logged with my free GenLog software, available at: http://www.qsl.net/w3km

This software is not useful for participants entering in the Rover category while logging the `Big 4` ARRL VHF/UHF contests. Use my KM ROVER software, available at: http://www.qsl.net/w3km/#kmrover

To start a new contest:
You cannot enter your call sign with a slash into the setup screen. Using the slash will cause an error when writing files, since it will cause an illegal filename - W3KM/5.log - as an example. Enter W3KM-5 instead. 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 call <yourCall> however - enter your portable call into a CW memory text instead. After you write the Cabrillo log, first change the Operator: field. Then replace all instances of W3KM-5 with W3KM/5 using the `Find and Replace` function of any editor.

Make sure the computer clock / date / time zone and UTC offset are correct. See UTC time below.

Click on the [<Click> Enter filename] button and enter a filename, minus the extension. Long filenames are OK, but keep them simple so they fit in the display windows. Enter a filename that tells you what the contest is: w3km_2012jan  w3km_sept12. Then select the contest you want. Finally, click the [Continue] button.

Load or continue from existing log file:
Double-clicking an existing filename from the files box will re-load it, and continue.
Or - Single-Click an existing filename in the files box to see which contest it is. Then click [Continue] to re-load it.

Activity hours:
During contests, the January VHF SS in particular, participants in the NE part of the US follow an activity hour clock to get stations together on one band. The activity band is displayed in the activity hour window.

If you did not start logging QSOs on the 1st day of the contest, then you must change the {Start Date} in the Options menu to the correct UTC starting date of the contest, for this feature to work correctly.

Stations in other parts of the US may follow their own activity hours by changing the data file. Each line of the text file is the day of the contest 01, 02 or 03, followed by the UTC hour, followed by the activity.

Originally, this function was only activated in the January SS. Later versions of VHFLOG now display the activity hours in the `Big 4` contests. Separate datafiles are now used for each of the 4 contests.
January VHF SS - activity.dat (original file)
June QSO Party - June_activity.dat
Aug. UHF Contest - UHF_activity.dat
Sept. QSO Party - Sept_activity.dat

You can set one alarm time, as a sked reminder for example. A pop-up message indicates the sounding of the alarm. Need more than one alarm? Use the SKEDULER application, which is a multiple alarm clock that will set up to 20 alarms, useful for scheduling. If needed, you can download it at: http://www.qsl.net/w3km/w3km_sw.htm

Bands/Grid activity:
Band activity is displayed for the entered grid square. The data comes from [LOGSORT.dat]. Select {View} {Grid Activity} or use the [GA] keyboard shortcut.

Band checkbox:
The log is normally displayed sequentially as entered. Click the [Band] checkbox to display the log by band.

Bands to be worked:
When a callsign is entered, if that call exists in the `good calls` file [logsort.dat], the bands the station has are displayed in the `Needed` window. After working a band, that band is moved to the `Worked` window. Be sure to ask the station if he has other bands that you have. I update my `good calls` file each year and post it just before the January contest, on my web site at: http://www.qsl.net/w3km/updates.zip. You are welcome to use mine if you live in the NE part of the US.

By default, all the bands a station has are displayed in the `Needed` window. Use the View menu to select the `Use your bands needed` option - only the bands you have are displayed (less clutter). You need to save the bands you have to the [StationBands.txt] file. If a blank text file is in the logging folder, open it and enter the bands you have, ex:
Re-save the file and re-check it.

Bogus grids:
To help prevent you from entering bogus grids, VHFLOG will flag entries that appear in the [ckgrid.dat] file. In the Philadelphia area for example, FN29 can get typed in for FM29. If a grid you enter is in the data file, a message box will appear. You can still use the grid if it is correct (DX or water grid for example). Read more here.

Closing output windows:
Clicking inside a temporary text output window will close it, as will the <Esc> key.

Club check list:
During the Jan VHF SS, club members use a check list cklist.dat file to increase the possibility of working each other on all bands. When you enter a callsign that is saved in the check list datafile, the bands the station has and the operator`s name are displayed.

The `Check list` (stations to be worked) form can be viewed by selecting {View} {Check List} or by entering the `CL` shortcut into the callsign field.

Position the form off to the side of the logging screen, change the font and re-size the form as desired. Upper-right X saves this setup. As bands are worked, the band is removed from the display window. You may make your own regional check list file.

When a station is worked on all bands in the [cklist.dat] file, that call is placed in the `Clean sweep` form, which pops up when you display the `Check list` form.

Position and re-size it, then upper-right X it to save the position.

A second file [ck2list.dat] that contains the callsign and operator`s name can be used for a second group/club or frequently worked stations. Space delimited file format: Col 1: 6-character Callsign<Spaces>Col 8: Name.

Club competition:
If you are not submitting your score for a club or the contest does not have club competition, leave the {Club Affil.} field blank in the setup screen. Otherwise, you can always edit the E-file before E-mailing it. Read about Multi-Op log submissions.

CW and DVK under Win NT etc:
VHFLOG supports the CW, DVK and PTT functions under Win32.

CW and DVK TX windows:
You can move any of the 3 transmit windows to the desired location using the Windows drag mode. Grab the blue title bar with the mouse and drag the window. It will stay at the new location until you exit the program.
Disable your transceiver`s PTT line.
Hit [Ctrl] to move the keyboard CW TX window. 
Hit one of the CW F-keys to move the CW memory TX window.
Hit F12 and move the DVK TX window while in the RX segment of the repeating F12 message.

Exit program:
Exiting VHFLOG using the upper right [X] will save the current window position, in case you don`t want it in the middle. Otherwise use the File Exit menu.

Export ADIF:
VHFLOG exports the ADIF file, for import into other loggers. Use the Log menu to select this feature.

Keyboard CW:
Use <Ctrl> or <F8> to enter the `keyboard mode`. You can type ahead and hit <Enter> as part of the transmitted message. The CW speed can be changed while sending your message - using the `Up` & ` Down` arrow keys.

Keyboard shortcuts:
Many commands activated by the mouse are also available using keyboard shortcuts, entered in the callsign field.

Latest data files:
Users living in the NE part of the U.S. can download the latest `good callsigns`, six-digit, check list and operator name datafiles from my web site, which are logsort.dat, vhf4k.adi, cklist.dat and ck2list.dat respectively. Logsort contains the call, grid and bands used from high scoring Pack Rat logs from various years.

The check list file is a list of Pack Rats (or other local club members) that may be worked on various bands. The ck2list file is the callsign and operator`s name of frequently worked stations. Some files are built using applications software supplied with VHFLOG. See Applications software.

When working rovers {call/R}, the `/R` is stripped off the callsign entry before searching the datafiles.

Log Search:
Click the [Search] button to search through the log for a call sign. Also, after a possible dupe call is entered, clicking the [Search] button searches for that call sign. Entering [SC] will also activate the search call function. See Partial Calls for the old search function.

The mode entry is something users have asked for to help with QSL-ing. Change the mode if you wish. Since the mode is not required as part of the exchange and QSOs can be cross-mode on UHF/microwave, the mode can remain as PH throughout the contest. To keep your log accurate, you can change the SHF microwave and Laser contacts to CW.  Enter [PH] for phone and [CW] for CW. Use PH for SSB contacts since the Cabrillo file only has a 2-character mode field.

Open/View files:
VHFLOG writes several files that you need to view, verify and possibly edit, before sending them to the contest sponsor. Copy either NOTEPAD or EDITPAD.exe to your logging folder to have VHFLOG open the file automatically after writing it.

Print a Manual:
To print-out a VHFLOG help manual (~47 pages), select Contents.  Single-click each of the 3 main Book Menus and select Print.
Print the Keyboard shortcuts to aid you during the contest.   

After working more than 10 QSOs, the QSO rate will be displayed. Since the rate is only calculated using the whole minute times for the last 10 QSOs, the displayed rate is a rounded-off number. Note: When the UTC time changes to the 00 hour, the rate will be zero until enough QSOs are worked to make a meaningful calculation.

QSO Window Fonts:
Use the View menu to select the available size fonts and Normal or Bold.

Resizing forms:
A third-party resizing control allows full screen operation by resizing all controls, labels and text (except pull-down menus). Double-click the blue title bar or drag the lower right-hand corner of the logging window to set the size. Grab the blue title bar to move the position of the window. You may set the size of the secondary forms as well. The form`s size and placement is saved when you close them. When you open output windows with right-hand scroll bars, you may need to adjust the width of the main logging window slightly so the scroll bars are visible.

Running the logger under Linux and Wine emulator will work but the resizing control is not supported.

Rotator control software:
The PstRotator application software uses the typed in grid square to calculate the azimuth and sends beam heading data to your rotator. This requires no setup in VHFLOG.

At any time, you can see the results of each band during a contest. Click the summary box or click the score label.

SQUARES application:
The new grid look-up file is {vhf4k.adi}, which you can update.
The SQUARES calculator can still be used if you like.

New: While in the logging screen, if you have a station`s 6-digit, you can get the beam heading and distance by entering the 6-digit into the grid input field.

Typing while in CW or DVK TX:
The main window logging functions and mouse buttons are disabled during CW and DVK transmit. Windows takes control of the program while it completes playing the DVK wave file. During the DVK transmit, the keyboard buffer will allow you to enter a call sign if you have to. You won`t see the keyed input until the DVK function is completed. This will at least allow you to enter a call before you forget it.   

Using 6-digits, PLLs and LO/IF offsets:
If you take advantage of 6-digit squares and IF frequency offsets within VHFLOG, you can work microwave contacts much easier than without these tools.

UTC time:
See http://tycho.usno.navy.mil/cgi-bin/timer.pl for the correct NIST UTC time. Hit your browser`s `Refresh` button to update the time.

In case the video screen flickers at the UTC time update, use the Option menu to select HH:MM display.

If you had your computer clock or UTC offset set to the wrong hour, you can fix your log file post contest using the UTCTIME application software.

ADIF file export

ADIF = Amateur Data Information Format
VHFLOG exports the ADIF file, for import into other loggers or for upload to eQSL.cc, the on-line electronic QSL service. Use the Log menu to select this feature.

example file:
ADIF Export from VHF LOG v2.08

Log for station: W3KM
Operator: W3KM
Contest: 2002 432 Sprint

ASCII Log Source: 432_spr.lgg
Export date: 07-17-2002
Records exported: 21

<call:5>K1TEO <qso_date:8:d>20020425 <time_on:4>2300 <freq:3>432 <mode:3>SSB <gridsquare:4>FN31 <eor>
<call:5>K2MLB <qso_date:8:d>20020426 <time_on:4>2301 <freq:3>432 <mode:3>SSB <gridsquare:4>FN20 <eor>
<call:6>K1DS/R <qso_date:8:d>20020427 <time_on:4>2304 <freq:3>432 <mode:3>SSB <gridsquare:4>FN20 <eor>
<call:5>K2SMN <qso_date:8:d>20020428 <time_on:4>2307 <freq:3>432 <mode:3>SSB <gridsquare:4>FN20 <eor>

Applications software

Additional application .exe`s distributed with VHFLOG are support programs that can be used to evaluate your logs or produce data files used by VHFLOG. Make shortcuts for the ones you run.

CKLIST2 is used to create your own local area club member datafile. Although this application is not included with VHFLOG, you can download it from: http://www.qsl.net/w3km/cklist32.exe.

DXGRIDS is used to evaluate your log files from multiple contests, to produce station bands/grid activity data.

EQLIST allows you to input your station equipment into a file that you can printout.

LO is used to create a data file used by VHFLOG to display transverter offsets and IF frequencies when using PLL sources. Your `Favorite Beacon` frequencies and indicated dial readings can also be entered for printout. The beacon`s indicated dial frequency for the current band can be displayed in VHFLOG by entering [B] in the call sign field.

LOGSORT can be used to compile your own `good calls` data file from previous contest logs. I originally supplied the data file [logsort.dat] with the software. If you live in the NE part of the US, you can continue to use the one I generate if you wish. It is updated before each January SS (as are the Pack Rat check-list and 6-digit data files). The updated files are available just before the January SS at: http://www.qsl.net/w3km/updates.zip

New versions of this application will also load the KMRover {*.rlg} log files and your VHF Cabrillo log file - named {urCall.log}. This allows you to make use of your log files that you made before using VHFLOG.

MEMSWRKD is used to see the total club member QSOs you worked during a contest. This application uses the club member data file, [cklist.dat] that can be set-up with any club`s member information. The default file that comes with VHFLOG is the Mt. Airy VHF RC Pack Rat member data file.

SQUARES is a grid square calculator. It can be used during contests to get a beam heading from a 6-digit. Enter the 6-digit into the STOP box and hit <Enter>. When adding a Call Sign to the data file, return to VHFLOG and click <Refresh> to update the 6-digit data in memory. To use SQUARES or other application while logging: Run the software, then use the Windows function <Alt> + <Tab> to switch between them as required. The file used by VHFLOG for 6-digit look-up is [ sixdigit.dat ].
If you live outside the NE part of the US, you would want to make your own file.You can start by deleting the input file [sixdigit.dat]. Then run [SQUARES.exe] and enter you own data. 

SKEDULER is a multiple alarm that can be used to remind you of schedules throughout the contest period. Up to 20 alarms may be set using the UTC date and time.

TGRIDS is a QSL-ing and file evaluation tool. It outputs total grids worked in multiple contests.

UTCTIME can be used to adjust the UTC hour in your log file. If you had the UTC offset set wrong, you can fix your log file post contest. UTCTIME allows you to change the QSO times by X hours. Sorry, only the hour can be changed. UTCTIME can also be used as a general LOG viewer. A back-up file named [ logfile.bak ] is written before you make the changes.

Note: Don`t change the offset in mid-contest unless you first use UTCTIME to convert your current log to the correct hours. Then re-run the logger and change the offset. 


Under the Log menu, you can write a Cabrillo or ASCII file named [urCall.log] that can be edited (if necessary) and E-mailed to the contest sponsor. The menu selection(s) available are keyed on the contest you have loaded.

The Cabrillo file format is used for ARRL and other contests where the sponsor asks for a Cabrillo file.

VHF LOG v2.0 and higher have a new space delimited ASCII log data file instead of the sequential file that was used since 1983. This ASCII file can be E-mailed to contest sponsors not accepting a Cabrillo file.

Copy NOTEPAD or EDITPAD.exe to your logging folder to have VHFLOG open the file automatically after writing it.

Band change

Band change is easy, although it is also easy to forget to change bands in the logger. Get in the habit of changing bands in the logger before changing transverter bands or changing bands on a stand-alone radio. The most frequently asked question about band switching.

To change bands:
<Enter> the first 2-digits of the band you want to change to.

Or <Enter> the whole frequency of the band you are changing to.

50 to change to 50 MHz.
14 or 144 for 144 MHz.
22 or 222 for 222 MHz.
12 or 1296 for 1296 MHz.
10 or 10368 for 10368 MHz. etc.

Or, click a band in the band change box.

To make moving a station through the bands easier:

To recall the last Call Sign entered as part of this sequence, select the `Last Callsign` checkbox. If the Call Sign isn`t the one you want, just hit <Esc>.

If you are not using the DVK option, use F-Key <F12> to increment to the next band or <F11> to decrement down a band. <PageUp> and <PageDown> can also be used to increment/decrement thru the bands, in addition to recalling the last callsign. The F-key and Page functions are disabled when you are using the USB band switching encoder.

Also see the L1 thru L4 shortcuts to handle tailgaters while moving thru the bands.

Band Switching

Frequently asked question:
Why not have an interface between the station and VHFLOG to automatically change bands?
A: Done! Many stations have multiple radios and many use transverters with or without transverter switchboxes. Stations may have separate radios for FM or single band stand-alone radios that don`t get switched.

I decided to provide computer control in the direction that would get the widest usage, from the computer to the station. The easiest solution is to use a band decoder connected to the computer, that `switches in` the transverter of choice. When you change bands in VHFLOG or KM Rover, the decoder`s output will also change. This type of switching is used by HF operators to automatically switch to the proper antenna when changing bands. Important note: See #4.

Control in the other direction (radios change bands in the logger) is difficult because of all the station configuration possibilities and the fact that the loggers do not have CAT radio control.

If you have a transverter switch box that uses a wafer switch going to ground to activate each transverter, the output of the band decoder can provide the same ground. The decoder can be used in parallel with your existing switches. You just need an `auto position` added to your current setup, so the decoder can take control.

Win7 Win8 band switching is supported using a USB I/O controller board. The controller board also has 4 relays that can be set to any band and follows the band switching. More than 1 relay can be set to a particular band if needed. Remember to use a 12V/1A power supply and change jumper J1 to "B" when using relay switching.

The Top Ten decoder connects directly to the parallel port of your computer with a standard 25-pin printer cable, and receives BCD band data encoded by the logger. The decoder circuitry converts the 4-input lines to 9-NPN outputs that can sink 500mA (up to 50V) to ground. The output is also a 25-pin D connector. The 160-10m positions of the decoder are equivalent to the VHF/UHF bands from 50-10368. An output is encoded to LPT for all bands so an alternate decoder interface can be used.

Band switching data encoded to LPT is a four bit binary-coded decimal (BCD) word. Data Bit A = LSB and Data Bit D = MSB. See the truth table.

Hot switching your transverters can cause damage to equipment. Read this: http://www.qsl.net/w3km/decoder.htm#hotswitching

Steve, N3FTI designed the VHFLOG LPT interface that works on 10 bands. http://www.qsl.net/n3fti or email: n3fti at yahoo.com

Top Ten Devices, Inc. (N3RD & W2VJN)  http://www.qth.com/topten/bdecoder.htm

Band change lock out circuit
  • U1 Pins-4&13 need a pull-up from either the 2N2222A circuit or from a 10k-ohm resistor off of +5V if Pins 4&13 are pulled low by your equipment.

    Cabrillo file

    The ARRL requires computer generated LOGs to be submitted electronically instead of on paper. The Cabrillo file format contains both a summary and the log file. This means check sheet, summary and log print-outs are for your use only. Unlike other electronic LOG files, the Cabrillo file does not contain QSO points, nor indication of when multipliers were worked. Using the Cabrillo file, the log checkers figure out the points/QSO, add up the multipliers and cross check logs for accuracy using software written for just that purpose. 

    VHFLOG writes the Cabrillo LOG file for selected contests and uses [urCall.log] as the filename. Using this convention, log files named by callsign will be unique on the League`s server and will not be overwritten. Read about Multi-Op log submissions.

    Important Note:
    Each time you select {Log} {Write Cabrillo Log}, VHFLOG writes over the existing Cabrillo log file in your VHFLOG folder. Don`t rename a contest log file or copy a file to [urCall.log] - as it will be overwritten by the Cabrillo file and your log will be gone forever. I have been using the .log file extension in my software since 1983 and I don`t want to change it and all of my support applications.

    Do not enter your call sign with a slash into the setup screen. Using the slash will cause an error when writing files, since it will cause an illegal filename (W3KM/5.LOG). Using the portable 5 as an example: Post contest change your callsign in the header to `urCall/5` and use the `find & replace` function of an editor to change the rest of the Cabrillo file. Find `urCall and 2 spaces` and replace with `urCall/5`. This will maintain the columns in the file. Lastly, you can edit the Cabrillo filename to be `urCall-5.log` before submitting it to the sponsor. 

    This file can be E-mailed or snail-mailed to the sponsor. The file must be checked and possibly edited before you E-mail it. Check the rules for submissions for the contest in question.

    Unlike other electronic LOG files, the Cabrillo file does not contain QSO points, nor indication of when multipliers were worked. Using the Cabrillo file, the log checkers figure out the points/QSO, add up the multipliers and cross check logs for accuracy using software written for just that purpose. 

    Copy NOTEPAD.exe or EDITPAD.exe to your logging folder to have VHFLOG open the file automatically after writing it.

    Partial Cabrillo file:
    START-OF-LOG: Cabrillo v2.0
    CLAIMED-SCORE: 89255 
    CLUB: Mt. Airy VHF Radio Club, Inc.
    NAME: Dave Mascaro, W3KM
    ADDRESS: 1603 Mink Rd.
    ADDRESS: Ottsville, PA 18942
    SOAPBOX: Your comments go here. If you need more space,
    SOAPBOX: just insert more lines starting with SOAPBOX:
    QSO:    50 PH 2001-01-21 1901 W3KM     FN20   K3DNE     FM19
    QSO:    50 PH 2001-01-21 1907 W3KM     FN20   W0RSJ     FN20
    QSO:    50 PH 2001-01-21 1908 W3KM     FN20   K1DS/R    FN20
    QSO:    50 PH 2001-01-21 1910 W3KM     FN20   W3RJW     FN20

    Club competition:
    If you are not submitting your score for a club or the contest does not have club competition, leave the {Club Affil.} field blank in the setup screen. Otherwise, edit the file before E-mailing it.

    Make sure the above header information is correct before you E-mail your submission. Also, make sure all rovers callsigns are call/R in this file.

    The Band letter designators in the Cabrillo file are depreciated. Band numbers (50,144,1.2 etc.) are being used. Please obtain the latest version of VHFLOG.

    LOGSORT will merge a Cabrillo file - so you can make use of Cabrillo log data from VHF logging software other than VHFLOG.

    Call Sign Search

    Either click the [Search] button or enter [SC] in the callsign input field to search the log for a call. If you just typed in a possible dupe, the search mode searches for that callsign. Otherwise, an input box comes up and you enter the call to be searched.

    Check List

    A membership data file is used by VHFLOG to increase the possibility of club members working each other on all bands. This file is also used by other support applications. A data file of any club group could be used. Write a file in the format show below, using the appropriate number of spaces to replace the band not used.

    Sequential format for [cklist.dat]:
    "50-144-222-432-903-1.3-2.3-3.4     10.3"

    The `Check list` (stations to be worked) form can be viewed by selecting {View} {Check List} or by entering the `CL` shortcut into the callsign field. Position the form off to the side of the logging screen, change the font and re-size the form as desired. Upper-right X saves this setup. As bands are worked, the band is removed from the display window. You may make your own regional check list file.

    When a station is worked on all bands in the [cklist.dat] file, that call is placed in the `Clean sweep` form, which pops up when you display the `Check list` form. Position and re-size it, then upper-right X it to save the position.

    Anyone wishing the application software to create the above file can download it from:  http://www.qsl.net/w3km/cklist32.exe.

    A second file [ck2list.dat] that contains the callsign and operator`s name can be used for a second group/club or frequently worked stations. Space delimited file format: Col 1: 6-character Callsign <Spaces>Col 8: Name.

    COM ports

    USB interfaces, USB to Serial adapters and Real COM ports:
    The `Other` setup can be used for all interfaces.

    1. Select the `Other` port option.
    2. Enter the COM port for the interface.
    3. Select `USB` from the list (even if the interface is on a real COM port).
    4. Get the USB COM port number from the PC`s Device Manager.

    CW/PTT uses the RTS/DTR ports for keying. You can reverse DTR and RTS in the setup screen when required.

    Some USB to serial adapters may not work properly. Known to work properly are interfaces with the FTDI chips like the VScom USB to serial port adapters.

    Old computers:
    When using a normal COM1 thru COM4 port, the upper COM port setup can still be used as it was from day 1. If needed, the required third party driver software [port95nt.exe] is available here.

    PCI or external COM cards:

    If you use a PCI slot COM card or an external COM board, select the `Other` option and enter the COM port number and Hex Address. The address must be in the &Hxxx hex format. These boards automatically configure themselves to the next available COM id# and address. With USB support, these boards are probably not needed now.

    Checking changing the interface COM port:
    You can view or change the USB adapter`s COM port selection in the PC`s Device Manager. 
    Start | Settings | Control Panel | System | Hardware | Device Manager
    Double-click Ports (Com & LPT). Select the USB Serial Port. Right mouse, Properties. Port settings | Advanced.

    COM addresses are:
    Address COM Port
    &H3F8 COM 1
    &H2F8 COM 2
    &H3E8 COM 3
    &H2E8 COM 4

    Address Virtual Port
    &H2F0 COM 5
    &H3E0 COM 6
    &H2E0 COM 7
    &H260 COM 8

    COM1 example: range 03F8-03FF. The address would be &H3F8 (leading zero value not used).

    Contests supported

    ARRL January VHF SS
    ARRL June QSO Party
    ARRL August UHF Contest
    ARRL September QSO Party
    ARRL Sprints
    CQ VHF Contest 
    Generic Sprints *
    RVHFG Sprints
    Spring Sprints
    SVHFS Fall Sprints

    * Note: Future contest sponsors may use a different name for a Sprint. Change the name of the contest in your submission log file. You can edit the Q-points in the edit log form and edit the # new multipliers in Notepad - if you are interested in your claimed score.

    Contests not supported can be logged with my free GenLog logger or my free KMRover software. Google it.

    CW <F1> setup

    The <F1> key can be configured to:
    1. Send a normal <F1> message.

    2. Call the station entered in the call sign input field, followed by a keyboard message. Select the F1 Call+KB/Norm switch, then enter the keyword <CALL> into the <F1> message to send that station`s call followed by a keyboard CW sequence. After hitting <F1>, the message will be sent as soon as you begin typing your message. You can type ahead and hit <Enter> when finished. <Ctrl> and <F8> also apply to cancel messages. 
    <F1> Example: <CALL>

    3. Call a station followed by a predefined message.
    Select Call+Norm/Normal switch, then enter <CALL> into the <F1> message, followed by the message to be sent.
    <F1> Example: <CALL> DE W3KM FN20 FN20 BK 

    Unfortunately, entering <CALL> <CALL> does not send the callsign twice. I didn`t spend much time programming these memories - they are very specific, therefore they don`t act like other logger`s macros.

    If you don`t want to send a call, don`t enter one in the Call Sign input field. If no call is entered in the logging input field, none will be sent even if the <CALL> keyword is used.

    CW calibration

    Since the processing speed of each computer is different, on initial set-up, the speed calibration must be run before using CW. After running the cal, while listening to your transceiver`s sidetone/monitor, adjust the weight setting for best sounding CW at the speed you are using. While the weight range is 0.85-1.25, best keying usually occurs around 1.05-1.15, depending on the transceiver. Click the [Def] button for the default value.

    Save a configuration file for each contest. When you save a file, the current calibration values will also be saved.

    Since new PCs have real fast processors, a Speed Constant combo box was added to allow the user to change the starting Calibration Constant which may be required on PCs with processors >1GHz. Try the default value first.

    CW Interfaces

    Basic Interface

    Optional switching circuits:

    COM port:


    CW Option

    See CW interfaces topic.

    See the COM port setup.

    Click the [CW] option box to enable CW F-keys. Messages are sent with the F-keys, defined in the CW setup. <Space>, <Enter> or <Esc> are used to stop sending.

    When using the <F5> message, a selectable delay is used between each repeating transmission. If no pause is desired, enter 0 for the delay.

    Need a beacon mode for beacon ID? Use GenLog`s keyer. Or modify an MFJ keyer to do the job.

    CW/PTT uses RTS/DTR ports for keying. You can select a software switch to reverse these connections in the COM port setup screen if needed.

    If you select an illegal COM port or a port already in use, an error message is displayed.

    Note: You must run the CW calibration and save the set-up into a configuration file on initial setup. When saving another config file, the current calibration is also saved. After changing computer or motherboards, the calibration must be re-run and saved for each configuration file.

    Note: On older/slower PCs, if CW timing is affected by the UTC clock update, you can select the option to stop the clock update while CW is keying. Use the Option menu. Try it by selecting the clock disable mode by clicking the "Clock runs during CW" label - which check-marks that item and changes the menu text. View the option status by just clicking the Options menu label.

    Since new PCs have real fast processors, a Speed Constant combo box was added to allow the user to change the starting Calibration Constant which may be required on PCs with processors >1GHz. Try the default value first.

    Special characters:
    In the CW memory messages and keyboard CW, you can send combined characters like AR, BT, SK. Any 2 characters to be sent as one character are keyed in as \AR, \SK etc.

    CW Speed Control

    The CW TX speed can be set as follows:

    1. Change in CW Set-up, saved to a config file.
    2. While in the Transmit mode, use the up/down arrows.
    3. Hit <Ctrl> or <F8>, use the up/down arrows.
    4. <Enter> { S## } in the callsign input to change speed to ##.

    Delete Last QSO

    Enter [DL] to delete the last QSO in the LOG. A file named <filename.BU1> will be written before changes are made. In case you want to use this file, rename it using the extension .lgg.

    Before saving a QSO to the disk file, make sure it is correct. It is much easier to delete a QSO right away, rather than trying to edit the file. If you made a mistake and entered the QSO, just delete it and re-enter it again. Enter [L] for last, to retrieve the last callsign entered.

    Deleting Files

    As with any applications software, it is best to delete files from within a File Manager, MS Explorer for example. You would not be able to restore files if you deleted files from within VHFLOG.

    Start | Programs | Windows Explorer. View | Folder Options | View Tab. Uncheck the `Hide file extensions` box. Click Apply and OK. This will allow you to view filenames and their extension. Now find the VHFLOG folder and delete the file(s). These files (and others deleted within Explorer) can be restored by going to the Recycle bin, clicking the file and doing either the Undo or the Restore function.

    DVK <F12> setup

    The <F12> key can be configured to:

    1. Send the normal saved wave message for <F12>.

    2. The <F12> message is repeatable after a specified delay time. While in TX or delay modes, the repeating function is cancelled by hitting the <Space bar>. The message continues to the end. Use a PTT disable switch (S1 in schematics) to stop the transmission if required.

    In the RIGblaster mode, a DVK playing message and <F12> repeating message can be cancelled at any time using the <Esc> <Space> or <Enter> keys (the PTT disable switch is not needed). Read more about DVK over-ride.

    If you are using DVK PTT (and you will when using the RIGblaster), then you need to have a COM port selected and connected. Before using the DVK PTT, you need to setup and initialize the CW COM port if you are not using the CW feature. This is evident when you hit a DVK F-key, it doesn`t play (or the PTT line doesn`t work).

    When you start the logger, just click the CW check-box to initialize the DVK PTT. If you aren`t using the logger`s CW and want to disable the CW F-keys, click CW off.

    DVK <F9> setup

    The <F9> key can be configured to:
    1. Send the normal saved wave message for <F9>.

    2. Call the station entered in the call sign input field. The call sign is sent (using alpha.wav files) followed by the standard <F9> message. Select the [Send Call +] switch in the DVK.

    Using 36 sound card wave files {a.wav, b.wav, 5.wav, etc.}, VHFLOG calls the wave file corresponding to the letter/number in the call. Use the sound card software to record and save the 36 files.

    Then using the sound card software, remove all the pauses in each file, to make them as short as possible. The histogram portion of the sound card software will allow you to expand the leading and trailing portions of the file, so you can delete the `dead air` parts of the wave files.

    Also use the software to edit the volume of each file. Use the VU meter on a phone patch interface to set the same levels. To generate all the alpha/numeric files, recite the alphabet and numbers, then edit them into individual files.

    To make call signs sent by the DVK sound smoother, you can use prefix files. The {prefix.wav} files are sent followed by the rest of the call using the {alpha.wav} files. Record prefix files as explained above for the area you live in, {k3.wav, wa3.wav}. You can make as many (or none) of these files as you wish.

    You can make other wave files containing the whole call sign if you wish. The call signs could be members of your local club for example. VHFLOG will send the call, followed by the rest of the <F9> message. 

    You must write a file that tells the logger what prefix or callsign files you have. In notepad or WP, make a text file named [syllabls.ini] and enter the prefixes/callsigns, one to a line.

    example file:


    DVK Interface

    RIGblaster is the one I now use, and is an excellent interface: http://www.westmountainradio.com.

      Using the Heathkit HD-15 as an interface

      Basically the sound card audio is fed into the line input of the patch unit. The mic audio is taken from one of the outputs. Since the HD-15 has both 600-ohm and Hi-Z outputs, it will work with new radios and older types alike. So far, I have tried this interface on the Kenwood TS-180S, Icom IC-451A, IC-751 and Yaesu FT-221 radios. In order to use the interface with the station mic and logging software, you will want to add some impedance matching to the sound card output and switching of the audio and PTT line. If you don`t mind modifying the HD-15, you can put everything inside the box. 

      Audio from the sound card (8-ohm) is fed through an impedance matching transformer into the line input (600-ohm). This interface allows the audio level to be monitored on the VU meter and the TX mic gain can be adjusted using the front panel control. The sound card volume can be adjusted to match the station mic level when the `Trans gain` control is mid range. The sensitivity of the VU meter can be increased if necessary by reducing R1 (3600-ohm), which is connected between S1-A to S2-4. The VU meter allows you to set all your wave files to the same level. After recording your files, play each one into the DVK interface and reset/re-save the volume of each accordingly. 

      A small control relay switches the audio between the station mic and the DVK. The newer radios power the mic (8V) from the front panel connector. Unfortunately this power source is current limited to a few mA, so you can`t `steal` the voltage to drive a relay for example. Just the same, don`t forget the 2ufd dc blocking capacitor. Use the 600-ohm audio for new radios and the Hi-Z audio for older radios using a high impedance microphone. Needless to say, shielded audio cables are used for all mic connections. I used one of the RCA phono jacks for the mic output to the radio. 

      Another small control relay switches the PTT line. The control line from the pc interface (ground on TX) can be connected at the SPKR terminal for example. The wire going to this terminal can be removed. Connection to the radio`s PTT line can be made via the other RCA phono jack. I used a single DPDT relay to switch both the audio and the PTT line. 

      I connected to the 8-ohm speaker output of my sound card since the level of the line output was not high enough to drive the DVK interface. There is more than enough audio available. If you want to add an 8-ohm audio attenuator to make the volume adjustment less sensitive, attach a T-pad at the line terminals going into the 8-ohm/1K-ohm transformer. 

    10dB T-pad: 2 x 4.3-ohm series resistors and a 5.6-ohm shunt resistor to ground.
    20dB T-pad: 2 x 6.8-ohm series resistors and the shunt resistor is 1.5-ohms.

    Make your own sound card interface. See March 2002 QST, pg.31.

    DVK messages

    Create DVK messages with your sound card software. Save these .wav files to your VHFLOG folder. Select [DVK] option box to turn on DVK setup and F-Keys. 

    In the DVK Setup: click on message filename label, then click the file from the filename dialog box. Click a message label, then click [Test] to try that message. Or double-click a filename to test play that wave file. See more about DVK setup.

    Message repeat:
    The <F12> message can be selected to repeat after a specified delay. While in TX or delay modes, the repeating function is cancelled by hitting <Esc> or <Space> bar. The message continues to the end. Use a PTT disable switch (S1 in schematics) to stop the transmission if required. If you use a sound card interface with your transceiver in the VOX mode, you can wire the TX disable switch to drop out the interface control relay circuit. The PTT disable switch is not required in the newer 32-bit logger.

    DVK over-ride:
    There are 2 DVK modes available. I did not remove the original `Normal` DVK play mode since users may want to continue using this mode. In the 'RIGblaster` mode, the playing wave file and the repeating <F12> function can now be cancelled at any time - in several ways.

    1. Hitting the <Esc> <Space> or <Enter> key.
    2. Hitting another F-key immediately plays the new wave file.

    If not using the RIGblaster sound card interface, the <Esc> <Space> and <Enter> keys will still cancel a playing wave file in the `RIGblaster` mode.

    A dummy wave file [ stop.wav ] is used to stop a currently playing wave file when DVK cancel is requested in the RIGblaster mode. The file must be in the vhflog32 folder.

    If you are using DVK PTT (and you will when using the RIGblaster), then you need to have a COM port selected and connected. When selecting the DVK, the CW setup initializes the COM port momentarily. If CW PTT is not already ON, the DVK initializer turns it ON.

    If you select {Send Call +} to send the callsign of the working station in your own voice, you need to make the associated letter, number and syllable wave files (and syllabls.ini). In the `Normal` mode, missing wave files show up as a blank space being played.

    In the `RIGblaster` mode, missing files cause an error. In order for the logger to hold the DVK PTT line high during the playing duration, the length of the wave file being sent is calculated from information read from the wave file`s header. A non-exising wave file causes a divide by zero error - which is trapped by the logger, and the error message dialog box is displayed.

    Edit LOG file

    You can edit the LOG file in VHFLOG. Click the [ Edit Log ] label.

    Scroll the log for a QSO, or click [Search] to look for a callsign in the log, and [Next Call] to find the next occurrence of that call sign. 

    To add a QSO you forgot, click the QSO line that will follow the added QSO. Then click [Add QSO]. Enter the QSO information from left to right using the <Enter> or <Space> keys, as in normal logging. After entering all the data, click [Accept Add]. Click [Refresh] to view the updated Log Window. Click [Save Changes].

    To delete a QSO. Click that QSO line. Then click [Delete QSO]. Click [Refresh]. Click [Save Changes].

    To edit the log in `Notepad` or in a word processor, make sure you save a back-up file first. When editing the log, keep the same column format (with spaces between, not Tabs). If you move the data in columns, VHFLOG will not read in the log correctly. If you think you screwed it up, then exit the editor without saving the file.

    Entering Call Signs

    VHFLOG allows you to include dupe QSOs in the LOG, since there is no penalty for dupes. This insures that the QSO will be counted. Previously, you were never sure which QSO to remove from the log, when a dupe was worked. When a station insists on working you again, just log it with 0 points. It will be in the LOG but not counted in your score. The number of dupes is displayed in the menu label up top Dupes: #. Use the Write dupefile.txt menu, which is under the Dupes: # menu.

    Dupe QSOs are permitted in the Cabrillo file. The sponsor will not penalize you for dupes. See 2.4 of the Cabrillo FAQs at: www.kkn.net/~trey/cabrillo/faq.txt. For contest sponsors not taking a Cabrillo file, send them the ASCII format file.

    Rovers are logged as {call/R}. When you enter a rover {call/R} a second time, a dupe box comes up. Hit <Enter> if it is a dupe. Or <Tab> over to {Yes} if you want to count the QSO. If you enter a new grid square, the QSO will be logged. Otherwise it will be logged with zero points, just as it would be for a dupe QSO.

    You can select whether to show the /R dupe box. Use the Log menu to select Show /R dupe or Don`t show /R dupe. This will allow you to log Rovers faster by not having to deal with the prompts. Be aware that if you don`t enter a different grid on a band that the rover was previously worked, the software assumes a dupe and logs it as a zero-pointer. See Inserting the Last Rover Grid

    A display window appears when a rover callsign is entered. This will allow you to see when and where you previously worked the rover.

    You should always log a station`s callsign as the station signs it. Rover QSOs should be logged as {call/R} in your log submission. If you do not log Rovers correctly, some of your QSOs could be identified as dupes - a zero point value.

    Callsign shortcuts:
    When moving stations up the bands or quickly working the same tailgaters when moving a station through the bands, use the [L1] [L2] [L3] and [L4] shortcuts. Entering [S] will input the same QSO just entered. Double clicking a QSO line in the LOG window will also <Enter> that call sign.Obviously some of these functions are disabled when `by Band` is selected. The last Call Sign entered may not be displayed and double-clicking a QSO line has no meaning.

    File back-up

    For automatic append back-up:
    Select the back-up drive\path in the setup screen, before starting to LOG. Each QSO will be saved to the selected drive\path (even to a USB flash drive) and is appended (written) to the end of the back-up Log file. Use the File Backup\path: menu to see if back-up is selected and to what path. 

    If you try to save BU to the logging folder or enter a drive\path that doesn`t exist, an error message is displayed. If you decide that you want to save to BU after you started logging, use the View Backup\path: menu. When you continue logging, the back-up file will be updated.

    To use the auto back-up log file: It has the same name as the logfile being used and is located in the {Backup\path:}. First view it to make sure it is what you want, then copy it to the logging folder and re-load it.

    Manual back-up:
    LOG file back-up can be manually saved using the Log Manually Save BU file menu. The file is saved in the folder where VHFLOG resides. This is a different function than the Auto BU described above. As with any software, it is probably a good idea to save periodically. The file can be renamed and re-loaded into VHFLOG. ex: change .bak to .lgg.

    There is no reason why you should ever lose contest LOG data. You can have several files available that contain your QSOs. Make sure you know how to use the back-up file(s) and procedures BEFORE a contest! If a glitch erases or corrupts your normal LOG file, you should have no problem re-naming a file and reloading it into VHFLOG.

    These files are saved in your VHFLOG folder: 
    [file.lgg] is the normal space delimited ASCII logging file.
    [file.BAK] is the manually saved BU file, rename to [file.lgg] to re-load. 
    [file.BU1] is the logging file saved before editing in VHFLOG, rename to re-load. 
    [urCall.log] is a manually saved file, either in standard ASCII or in the Cabrillo format.

    If you associate the .BU1 .BAK and .LGG extensions with NOTEPAD (or EDITPAD), you can easily view or edit them.

    Grid squares

    Simple graphical representations of different parts of the country are selectable to show grids worked. The map of choice is selected via the pull down Grids menu. From then on, entering [G] in the call sign field will bring up that map.

    To print a map, turn `On` the Printer checkbox and use <F5>. Drag the screen to re-size it - don`t double-click the title bar to fill the screen - a VB quirk prevents printing the map.

    Hint - Keep the grid map on the screen - as you work new grids, they are updated on the map. Don`t close the grid map window, instead use <Alt> + <Tab> between the screens.

    Hint - a blank grid map screen means the map datafile is missing. Get the file(s) from the latest update file. 
    VHFLOG uses these 4 map files:

    The logger uses the {vhf4k.adi} ADIF file for grid, distance, heading and recip heading calculations. At one time, VHFLOG used the grid data file {sixdigit.dat}, but is discontinued now.

    VHFLOG checks to see that you entered the required 2 letters and 2 numbers for a valid grid.

    Inserting the last Rover Grid:
    When you are working Rovers up the bands, you can have the Rover`s last grid inserted into the logger`s grid field. From the Log menu, select Insert last Rover Grid to activate this function. Your menu selection is saved to the .ini file. Be careful if you also have the Don't show /R dupes menu option selected. After the Rover moves to another grid, the first time you enter his call, the previous grid will be displayed (and must be changed). If you enter a QSO with the same grid as a previous QSO on that band, the QSO is a dupe and will be saved in the log as a zero-pointer.

    You should always log a station`s callsign as the station signs it. Rover QSOs should be logged as {call/R} in your log submission. If you do not log Rovers as /R, some of your QSOs could be identified as dupes. Dupes have zero points value.

    Bogus grids:
    To help prevent you from entering bogus grids, VHFLOG will flag grid entries that appear in the [ckgrid.dat] file. In the Philadelphia area for example, FN29 can get typed in for FM29, FM20 for FN20, etc. If a grid you enter is in the data file, a message box will appear. You can still enter that grid if you want, if it happens to be correct.

    Edit/Write the [ckgrid.dat] data file in NOTEPAD for example, one grid per line, like this:


    Code used to calculate distances between six digit grid locators was taken from code written by J. Rautio, AJ3K in 1983. This software was available on the ARRL web site.

    IF Frequency

    Throw away your paper notes about dial and IF offsets.
    VHFLOG displays the radio and transverter IF frequencies on each band, due to LO offsets. When using PLL sources, an accurate VHF frequency counter is used to read the PLL frequency before making a microwave QSO. VHFLOG calculates and displays the IF frequency. The datafile is named [xtalx.dat].

    VHFLOG calculates an IF frequency:
    When a station skeds you on 1296.175 for example: In the call sign input field, enter F175. The IF frequency for 1296.175 will be displayed. If freq <.100, use the format F050, for example. No more calculating the offsets to figure out where you need to set the IF dial. This seems trivial, but some of us have purposely set our LOs to move the IF away from normal operating frequencies. My 2304.100 = 28.453 IF.

    Beacon dial frequencies.
    In the application LO.exe, you can enter your radio`s dial reading for beacons. To display the beacon list, use the View Beacon Frequency menu, or use the [B] keyboard shortcut. The beacon datafile is named [beacon.dat].

    Example LO datafile:
    Displayed or Dial or
    Calling Freq I.F. Freq Multiplier PLL (if used)
    50.150 50.150 * *
    144.200 144.201 * *
    432.100 28.099 * *
    5760.1 * 60 93.600012
    10368.1 * 100 103.681000

    Using PLL`s: Do you know where your microwave transverter is?

    First, your PLL reference crystal should be temperature compensated or ovenized for stability.The use of microwave PLL sources is denoted in LO by the * in the I.F. Freq field. Before working a microwave QSO, read the PLL frequency on an accurate VHF counter (90-110 MHz). Click `Enter PLL` to enter the new PLL frequency.

    The LO data is taken sequentially, so an entry must be made in the LO datafile for each band 50 to the highest one you use (in order), even though you might not have that band. Ignore the excess data.

    For PLLs, the * must be used and the multiplication factor must be entered as above.

    Make sure you also know the calibration of your IF radio.

    Key strokes / shortcuts

    Logging can be done without using the mouse.

    When a Button is highlighted,   <Space> or <Enter> will activate that button. This allows you to log and control all functions without using the mouse.

    Use the <Tab> key to move fields: Call - Grid. Although the <Tab> key will accept a call sign entered into the call field, don`t expect the <Tab> key to accept all the input data, just because some software packages do. You need some way to move around the different inputs without using the mouse. Use the <Tab> key to move from the <No> to <Yes> command buttons for example.

    Hit <Enter> or <Space Bar> to accept input data. At the last input field, hitting <Enter> or <Space> will save the QSO to file if you have Auto Accept selected. If you have <Enter> key selected, the QSO will be saved/entered when you hit <Enter> or <Space> again after both stations send QSL. Using `Auto Accept` saves one keystroke.

    Use F-Keys to send CW or DVK voice messages.
    <Ctrl> or <F8> to activate keyboard CW.
    <Esc> key clears all QSO inputs.

    Shortcuts <Entered> in the Call Sign input field:
    Enter the first 2 digits or the frequency of the band your are changing to. See band change.
    Enter [B] to display a beacon`s dial frequency
    Enter [CW] to change to the CW mode.
    Enter [CL] to toggle on/off the check list screen. 
    Enter [DL] to delete the last QSO. To re-enter the same QSO, enter [L] for last, to retrieve the last callsign entered.
    Enter [F###] to output the IF frequency, ex: [F125]
    Enter [G] to view last grid map viewed via the menu.
    Enter [GA] to view Grid Activity.
    Enter [GL] to input sixdigit to calculate heading, distance.
    Enter [~sixdigit] to calculate the heading, distance.
    Enter [KS] to view the keyboard shortcuts.
    Enter [L] for the last call sign entered. Useful when cancelling a QSO (wrong band), or when deleting the last QSO.
    Enter [L1] for the last call sign in the log, or bottom line of the log. Same as [S].
    Enter [L2] for the next-to-the last call sign in the log, or line 2 from the bottom
    Enter [L3] for line 3 from the bottom.
    Enter [L4] for line 4 from the bottom.
    Enter [MB] to toggle `Members worked` window.
    Enter [MM] to toggle `Members worked` window.
    Enter [PC] to togle `Partial` call check-box.
    Enter [PH] to change to the Phone mode.
    Enter [RF] to refresh log window, update external datafiles.
    Enter [S] for the same callsign as the QSO just entered, useful when moving a station through the bands.
    Enter [SC] to search the log for a callsign. 
    Enter [S##] to change the CW TX speed to ## wpm.
    Enter [SQ] to run the SQUARES.exe application.

    Clear/Cancel keys:
    <Esc> key clears all QSO inputs.
    <Esc> <Space> and <Enter> cancel CW.
    <Esc> <Space> and <Enter> cancel DVK play and <F12> repeat.

    The [L1] [L2] [L3] and [L4] shortcuts are useful when moving more than one station through the bands, especially when tailgating stations also move. You can also scroll the LOG window and double-click a QSO line to <Enter> that call sign.

    Obviously the [L#] shortcuts and double-clicking a QSO line are disabled when the `by Band` display is selected.

    Print the shortcuts cheat sheet to be used during the contest.

    Keyboard CW

    Use F-key <F8> or the <Ctrl> key to transmit CW from the keyboard. When finished sending, either hit <F8>, <Ctrl>, <Esc> or <Enter>, to go back to the RX mode.

    You can type ahead and hit <Enter> as part of the transmitted message. The CW speed can be changed while sending your message - using the `Up` & ` Down` arrow keys.

    The PTT feature can also be used and in the keyboard CW Mode.

    Master Callsign Search

    Besides searching the local datafiles {cklist.dat} {cklist2.dat} and {logsort.dat}, you can turn on a master callsign search in the View menu that will look-up the callsign in a master VHF/UHF ADIF datafile {vhf4k.adi} written by Pete, K9PW, edited/updated by W3KM.

    This ADIF file replaces the {sixdigit.dat} lookup file, which requires you to update only 1 grid look-up file. Local datafiles are those made for your local area. If you live in the NE US, you can use mine, otherwise make your own.

    Normally the entered callsign is checked for valid format - a numeral in the proper position. Turning on the `Partial callsign` checkbox bypasses this check function and allows full partial callsign entry. The checkbox can be toggled ON/Off from the keyboard by entering {PC}.

    Since 2 letter shortcuts are <Entered> in the callsign field (since 1987 versions), partial callsign check is only done on 3 or more characters entered. Also for this reason, partial search is not initiated on each keystroke. 

    When a 4 or 6-digit is found from lookup, the distance, heading and recip heading are calculated and displayed from your 6-digit (if you entered 6-digits in the setup screen). A heading displayed from a 4-digit grid will at least get you pointed in the general direction of the station, which is better than no heading at all. See #2 of the Six digits item.

    Note: Always <Enter> the grid that the station transmits.

    Note: You can also enter beacon callsigns into the logger to lookup the 6-digit and heading. <Esc> clears the fields after lookup.

    Note: Use Cab2ADIF_Updater.exe to update the { vhf4k.adi } lookup file using your ARRL VHF Cabrillo logs.

    MFJ beacon IDer

    by W3KM, 1995

    This modification was done to an MFJ Grand Master keyer, but could be used for other MFJ keyers also. A tune switch was added ahead of the memory circuits so a key-down could be programmed. 

    The simple mod uses a 330-ohm resistor and a miniature (normally open) push button switch. These components are connected in series between Pin 5 of U4 and ground.

    Pin 5:U4 ---- 330-ohm ------ PB switch --- ground.

    I soldered the resistor lead directly to the IC pin. The momentary PB switch was mounted on the rear panel.

    Mouse usage

    The mouse is not needed for normal logging functions. <Esc> <Tab> <Enter> and <Space> are used. <Enter> and <Space> are used to accept input data. <Tab> is used to move between fields. Windows double-click functions are used where applicable.

    Moving the mouse during CW TX can cause the CW speed to slow down as Windows completes the mouse move procedure. This doesn`t seem to be noticeable on the faster PCs (>200MHz).

    Click inside a temporary output window to close it, or use <Esc>.

    Click [Refresh] to update the log window or update the six digit data when returning from the SQUARES application where you made changes.

    The [L1] [L2] [L3] and [L4] shortcuts are useful when moving more than one station up the bands or working the same tailgaters while moving through the bands. Double clicking a QSO line in the LOG window will also <Enter> that call sign.

    Multi-Op stations

    If you are a multi-op station, enter that option in the personal data screen. Then list the operators. VHFLOG does not have networking capability, but you can merge several log files (from other PCs) post contest and submit a Multi-Op Cabrillo log to the contest sponsor.The PC`s were obviously used on different bands. 2500 QSO limit. I can increase this size if required. 

    VHFLOG`s log files must have the {.lgg} extension. Start with one log file. Copy it and re-name it to a new file, which will be file1 and will contain all the QSOs for the contest. See note below. Using NOTEPAD, copy the QSOs from file2, file3, etc. and paste them at the end of file1. File1 needs the original 2 line contest header. The header is not copied from the other files.

    When adding the QSOs to the end of file1, maintain the columar format, with one QSO per line. At the end of file1, there should be no blank spaces or lines. When the cursor is postioned at column 1 on the line after the last QSO, there should be nothing to the right or below the cursor. Delete any spaces or blank lines after the cursor. 

    File1 can be loaded into VHFLOG and a Cabrillo file written for log submission. Edit the Cabrillo file as needed to follow the Multi-Op category criteria for that contest.

    When you do `Save as` to create {file1.lgg}, Windows defaults to the text file extension {*.txt}. If you don`t change the {Save as type:} dialog box to be `All Files`, Windows will probably save the file as {file1.lgg.txt}, which will not load into VHFLOG.

    Also, unless you have Explorer setup to display the file extensions, you won`t see this when you try to find {file1.lgg} in Explorer. Do - {Tools} {Folder options} {View} - uncheck the `Hide file extensions` checkbox - {Apply} {OK} - done.

    Partial Calls

    This is an old function from the DOS logger. Use the Search call function that users asked for.

    Enter a partial call {K2U or YHO} for example. This feature is useful to see how a portable or rover call was entered. 3 to 5 characters can be entered. The Call Signs displayed come from the LOG as well as the data file [ LOGSORT.dat ]

    The routine that checks for correct Call formats is turned OFF when partials are used. Callsigns without numerals { WORSJ or ALIVE } will not be flagged, as they normally are.


    To use the CW PTT control, click [PTT] in the CW setup. The PTT line is connected thru the DTR connection of COM1 to COM4. To use the DVK PTT control, click [PTT] in the DVK setup. To use the PTT function during DVK operation, you need to have a Com port selected.

    A PTT bypass switch should be wired in the PTT control circuitry, in case the wrong DVK F-key is pressed for example. The switch, S1 in schematics, is not needed in new versions of the logger. Obviously, the transceiver must be set for PTT (not VOX) when using the bypass switch.

    The PTT option should definitely be used for transverter-amplifier operation. Problems due to sequencing and transients are eliminated by using the hard keying feature rather than semi break-in or VOX.

    DTR vs. RTS:
    CW is keyed thru the RTS port and PTT is keyed thru DTR of the COM Port, which is how my software has been configured since 1983. In newer versions of the logger you can select a software switch to reverse these connections in the COM port setup screen - required when using the RIGblaster interfaces.

    Search call

    Turn on the use of the `master lookup` in the View menu.
    In the callsign field, type the keyboard shortcut SC.
    Then enter the partial callsign - ex: 8GU, K1T.

    Or - use the keyboard shortcut in the callsign field, enter ! + partial, ex:  !8GU  !K1T

    Matches found in the log are displayed first, since those entries will have the current grid square, not one from another contest. Next, matches found in the {vhf4k.adi} master file are displayed.

    Alternate to checking for stations worked.
    Instead of entering a callsign to see if it was worked or on how many bands, use the `partials` search.
    1) Select the `Partials` check box to turn off the valid callsign checker. Then type in a partial call to check the bands worked. To check W3KM, enter more than 2 characters - like 3KM. The list of QSOs are displayed. If you enter the full call, the normal dupe checker takes over. Don`t forget, the valid callsigns checker is turned off when you select `Partials` - it will not flag W oh RSJ for example. The shortcut `PC` can be used to toggle the `Partials` check-box.<BR>
    2) Pack Rat members can select the View, Checklist menu.

    Shortcuts cheat sheet

    Print this to be used while logging.   [ ] are not typed in.

    <Esc> clears all.
    <Ctrl> TX switch for keyboard CW.
    <F8> TX switch for keyboard CW.

    [B] beacon`s dial frequency.
    [CW]  CW mode. 
    [CL]  selects the check list screen
    [DL] delete last QSO.
    [F###] output IF frequency, ex: [F125]
    [G] grid map.
    [GA] view Grid Activity.
    [GL]        to input sixdigit to calculate heading, distance.
    [~grid     ]    to calculate the heading, distance, recip.
    [Enter grid] to calculate the heading, distance, recip.
    [KS] view keyboard shortcuts.
    [L] last call sign entered. 
    [L1] last call sign in the log.
    [L2] next-to-the last call sign in the log.
    [L3] 3rd call sign from end of the log.
    [L4] 4th call sign from end of the log.
    [MB] selects the `Members worked` window.
    [MM] selects the `Members worked` window.
    [PC]           Toggle `Partial` calls check-box.
    [PH]  Phone mode.
    [RF]            Refresh log window.
    [S] same callsign as the QSO just entered.
    [SC] search the log for a callsign or partial.
    [!partial]      search the log and {vhf4k.adi} file for a partial call.
    [S##]  CW TX speed to ## wpm.
    [SQ] run the SQUARES.exe application.

    F11/F12 Decrement/Increment bands
    PageDown Decrement bands
    PageUp Increment bands
    These 3 functions are disabled when the USB Canakit is selected for band switching.

    Clear/Cancel keys:
    <Esc> key clears all QSO inputs.
    <Esc> <Space> and <Enter> cancel CW.
    <Esc> <Space> and <Enter> cancel DVK play and <F12> repeat.

    Six digits

    Two 6-digit calculation functions are available:
    1. The 6-digit square, beam heading/recip heading and distance from your 6-digit are displayed in the heading/distance window, after a call is entered, if that call appears in the new ADIF file [vhf4k.adi].

    Although the SQUARES app is included with the logger, the file {sixdigit.dat} written by this app is no longer used.

    2. You can calculate the beam/recip headings and distance from your 6-digit to another 4 or 6-digit grid from within the logger. First, your 6-digit must be entered in the setup screen.
    a. <Enter> the 4 or 6-digit in the normal grid square input field. This eliminates the need to go to the SQUARES calculator.
    Auto Accept mode Note: When you have Auto accept selected and <Enter> a 4 or 6-digit with a callsign <Entered>, the logger saves the QSO to the log. <Enter> `DL` to undo this Q.
    b. <Enter> GL into the callsign field, to input a grid square to calculate heading, distance.
    c. <Enter> tilda+grid into the callsign field, to calculate the heading, distance, ie: ~EN98KJ
    d. Always enter the grid the station transmits - only use the file look-up grid if correct.

    The 6-digit grid data is truncated to 4-digits when the logger determines multipliers.

    Check it out:
    Enter your 6-digit in the setup screen. Enter your 6-digit into grid input field in the logging screen. Ex: FN20jk and FN20jk - results should be zeros.

    To display the distance in kM. instead of Miles, change this in the setup screen. To display or not to display the reciprocal heading, use the menu View and make a selection.

    6-digit grid squares work !  Removing the antenna `pointing` variable can be quite significant. If you know the 6-digit and your rotor is calibrated properly, there is little reason for you to search for a station with your antenna. You might need to tweak a dish or big array when you do hear him. Forget the compass, forget magnetic north and forget paper notes. With your antenna on the other station, if you don`t hear him, you don`t have propagation or you`re not on the right frequency.

    6-digit grid squares are used by microwave operators to assist in aligning their antennas. If you align your antenna rotor against a beacon transmitter`s six digit, you can put your antenna on the station to be worked and it will be on him every time. After I set the rotor to the station`s heading, I generally don`t move the antenna while finding his frequency.

    The beam heading alone can be helpful. When a station is heard or heard being worked by someone else, you will know where to point your antenna.

    Use Cab2ADIF_Updater.exe to update the { vhf4k.adi } lookup file using your ARRL VHF Cabrillo logs.

    Submitting a log file

    This is how to send the Cabrillo file to the contest sponsor. Basically, you write the file and E-mail it as an attachment to the League`s E-address given for that contest. 

    Write the file using the Log Write Cabrillo Log menu. The file name is [urCall.log]. Check the file to make sure it contains everything that the rules require. If you are submitting your score for club competition, make sure it says so in the Club: section of the Cabrillo file. If this contest doesn`t have club competition, make the Club: line blank.

    Note: Each time you select {Log} {Write Cabrillo Log}, VHFLOG overwrites any existing file with the name [urCall.log] in the VHFLOG folder.

    You cannot enter your call sign with a slash into the setup screen. Using the slash will cause an error when writing files, since it will cause an illegal filename - W3KM/5.log - as an example. Enter W3KM-5 instead. After you write the Cabrillo log, first change the Operator: field. Then replace all instances of W3KM-5 with W3KM/5 using the `Find and Replace` function of any editor.

    If you copy NOTEPAD or EDITPAD into your logging folder, VHFLOG will open the log file after you write it.You can also view/edit the file using Microsoft`s Explorer. The file was saved in your VHFLOG folder. When you double-click the file, if you don`t have the *.log files associated with anything, a window will open asking what application to use to open the file. Select NOTEPAD from your WINDOWS folder. Edit the file and re-save it, if you made changes.

    To send the file to the ARRL:
    Go on-line and go to   http://www.arrl.org/log-submission

    Find the E-mail address for the contest you are entering and start an e-mail message. In the subject of your message put your callsign. Attach your log file - [urCall.log]. Send the message.
    You`ll get a reply message soon from the League`s robot server saying it got your log file. Fix any errors that are referenced in the response and re-submit.

    Support files

    This program uses the following files:

    *.CFG - CW transmit configuration and message files.
    *.LGG - Your contest log files.
    *.MAP - Grid map data files for grid printouts, optional.
    *.SQR - These are grid square files created by SQUARES.exe, optional.
    *.WAV - DVK message wave files, optional.
    *.ADI - ADIF format log export file. 
    ACTIVITY.dat - Pack Rat NE US activity clock data file, optional.
    BEACON.dat - Favorite beacons actual/dial frequencies, optional.
    CKGRID.dat - Bogus grid entry prevention file, optional.
    CKLIST.dat - Club checklist file for name/grid/bands used, optional.
    CK2LIST.dat - Frequently worked stations operator`s name, optional.
    EQUIP.dat - This is the data file for your equipment, optional.
    NAME.dat - This personal data file is required for all printouts, your call sign is used in the other applications also.
    LOGSORT.dat - `good calls` with grid/bands data file from several LOG files, optional.
    SYLLABLS.ini - list of syllables and partial/full calls used with the DVK, optional.
    URCALL.log - your Cabrillo log file.
    VHF4K.adi - 5600+ master calls data file - replaces the {sixdigit.dat} file.
    VHF32Control.ini - new format Ini file - replaces {Switchs.ini}.
    XTALX.dat - This is the data file written by LO.exe, optional.

    {Optional} means the logging program will run without the above files, but many features will not work without them.

    Viewing these files in Explorer:
    It is helpful if you setup Explorer to view the whole filename with the extension. Plus, if you associate the different extensions with NOTEPAD or EDITPAD, you can view them by double clicking the file.
    In Explorer, use the pull down menus to select viewing the file extensions. First, do View |  Select `Details`. Then do Tools |  Folder Options | Select  the `View` tab. Unclick the `Hide file extensions ....`. Click `Apply`, then `OK` to finish.

    The software uses several ASCII files for data lookup. The file [sixdigit.dat] is written by the SQUARES application and contains call signs and 6-digit squares of frequently worked stations in your area. Make a new one, or modify the one I supplied.

    The file [logsort.dat] contains `good calls` and bands the station has, taken from high scoring January SS logs. This file is searched each time you enter a call. The file is written by the LOGSORT application using VHFLOG format log files. The [logsort.dat] file that I supplied with the logger is from the Pack Rats in the NE part of the U.S.  If you don`t live in Pack Rat country, you should make a new file, or delete the one that I supplied.

    As with any of my applications software, it is best to use the application itself to edit/add data to the file. If you choose to edit/add data in NOTEPAD for example, it is easy to scramble the file format to a point where the file will no longer load into the application. Always make a back-up file before you start editing any file.

    UTC Time

    Set the PC`s time and date before logging !

    The PC`s system clock setup is used to set the UTC offset, so the PC`s system clock can remain in local time. Make sure the UTC offset is correct and click on the {UTC offset} label in the setup form to change it. If the UTC offset is different than what your PC system clock reports, you are prompted to address this issue. Clicking {Cancel} allows your offset to be used. Users in parts of Canada can set the offset in 0.5 hour increments if necessary.

    If you are going to start logging at the beginning of a contest, it only takes a few seconds to verify that your logger`s clock is set to the same UTC hour as what the contest rules specify as the beginning of the contest. If you have the wrong UTC offset set in the setup form, your QSO times will be wrong. Your log submission could be rejected by the contest sponsor if your first QSO is at 1800 UTC, when the contest actually started at 1900 UTC - for example.

    See http://www.k3dn.org/java/java%20clock/clock.htm for the correct UTC time. Local is East coast time. In the system clock setup, sychronize your PC`s clock automatically by setting the Internet Time setup to `time-a.nist.gov` in the combo-box.

    Screen flicker:
    The screen may flicker in Win7 and with some new video monitors. In the Option menu, select the hh:mm format.

    Set the wrong UTC offset?
    Use the application UTCTIME.exe to add or subtract X hours from all the times in your log. Sorry, no minutes adjustment! And the dates around midnight are not changed. You must verify and edit as necessary in NOTEPAD.

    Make sure you don`t reset the UTC offset mid-contest without first adjusting the QSO hour times in the log file, using UTCTIME. Make the adjustment to the log first. Re-run VHFLOG and set the correct UTC offset. Continue logging.

    UTCTIME can also be used as a log file viewer.

    Windows shortcuts

    In case you need the procedures to make Windows shortcuts, here they are.

    Desktop shortcuts:
    Right mouse on a blank space on the desktop.
    Select `New`. Select `Shortcut`.
    Browse to the logging folder. Select VHFLOG32.exe
    Change the title of the shortcut. Finish.
    If you make a logging folder for the desktop, you can drag all the logging shortcuts into that folder to unclutter your desktop.

    Program Menu shortcuts:
    Go thru the `Start` menu.
    Start | Settings | Taskbar & Start Menu
    Select the Start Menu Programs Tab.
    Select Advanced.
    Use the Explorer file system to locate where you want to put the shortcut. If you want it in the Programs Menu, then select the Programs folder, highlighting it.
    Select File | New | Shortcut. Then browse and continue making the shortcut as above.

    Taskbar/System tray shortcuts:
    A nice way to run your favorite software other than using the Program menu or desktop shortcuts is to use the `Quick Launch` function of the taskbar (system tray).

    Right mouse on a blank spot on the taskbar.
    Select `Toolbars`. 
    If `Quick Launch` is not checked, then check it to activate the `Quick Launch` function of the taskbar.
    From the desktop or any of the Start menus, right click on the program or shortcut that you want copied to the taskbar.
    Drag it to the taskbar (to the right of the `Quick Launch` separator bar).
    Release the mouse, and select `Copy Here` to copy the icon to the taskbar.