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VHFLOG Hints / FAQs

The latest major version of VHFLOG that supports Win8 is v4.0, which requires a new installation regardless of your OS. After installing v4.0, you can get the latest revision at any time.

Windows 7 and earlier:
The new v4.0 install will upgrade your logger to the new software. Select the option to keep your newer files if prompted. VHFLOG is installed to the same folder as earlier versions of the software - C:\vhflog32 - so all your logs can be accessed as before.

Windows 8:
Select the option to keep your newer files if prompted. If Windows 8 sets the `install to folder` path to the "C:\Program Files" folder, you should change it to the default "C:\vhflog32" folder. The software will run from the `Program files` folder - BUT - when you download VHFLOG updates in the future, the update files will certainly extract to my default folder if you don`t change it.

Hint: making shortcuts:
Do not drag the logger`s exe icon to the desktop - this will cause problems. The logger will use the desktop as the startup folder and no files exist in that folder. Right-mouse click the vhflog32.exe filename and select `Create shortcut`. Drag that shortcut to the desktop.

Or - right-mouse click an empty spot on the desktop. Select New, Shortcut. Browse to the logging folder and find the executable file. Click it and click OK. Rename the shortcut if you wish. Make a folder in the same manner, that you can place all your logging shortcuts into, if you wish. This will unclutter your desktop.

In any case, the shortcut properties should show the Start In: folder as c:\vhflog32 - or wherever you installed the software. The files generated by the logger should not show up on your desktop!

More hints are below.

If another software package was installed:
Q: When I downloaded the VHFLOG installation file and ran it, another software package was opened for installation - maybe the last program that was downloaded. Why?
A: If not using IE, this is a browser problem that runs the setup file from another application, possibly the last one you downloaded. Users report that this problem goes away when using IE.

When you use the logger`s shortcut and it runs another software application, then the installation is incorrect. You should uninstall the program first, then try again.

If your PC has a `Download` folder, delete all setup .exe files that you find in that folder. Running all software installations explicitly from a known folder is recommended.

Do `Save` at the download prompt and put the VHFLOG install file in a temporary folder where you know how to get to it - c:\temp for example. Then do Start, Run and browse to that folder. Select the installation file and run it. Installing the logger to the default folder will make future updates easier, since the WinZip archive will extract to the same logging folder. You may also need to run the install file `as an administrator` as well.

If having problems installing the logger:
1) The VB installer is old and not forward compatible with new OS in every respect. Try ignoring the sharing errors and select keeping your current files during the install. Then, look to see if VHFLog32.exe was installed anyway.
2) Try installing the Microsoft VB6 run-time files first - then try to install VHF LOG again.
3) Or - go to the c:\temp or c:\windows\temp folder and delete all the files. Then try running the logger`s install file again. You may also need to run the install file `as an administrator` as well.

Q: What happened to the VHFLOG shortcut and program icons?
A: Microsoft Win8 doesn`t support developer icons, so I just used the Visual Basic 6 default icon.
Non-Windows8 - Do right-mouse on a desktop shortcut and select `Properties`, select `Change Icon` and change the icon to vhflog.ico, which resides in the VHFLOG32 folder.

Windows8 Metro desktop: Right-mouse click a shortcut and select `Open File Location` from the yellow taskbar. Do right-mouse on the shortcut and select `Properties`, `Change Icon` and change the icon to vhflog.ico, which resides in the VHFLOG32 folder.

Windows8 Classic desktop: In MyComputer, in the VHFLOG32 folder, right-mouse click on VHFLOG32.exe and select `Create shortcut`. Find the shortcut in the list and drag it to the desktop. Do right-mouse on the shortcut and select `Properties`, select `Change Icon` and change the icon to vhflog.ico, which resides in the VHFLOG32 folder. You can drag that icon to the taskbar if you wish. Delete the desktop shortcut if you wish.

Q: Why can`t I click one of the download links on your web page, even though the cursor turns to the `hand` pointer?
A: Users that have Google Chrome installed report this issue. Upgrade to IE8 or stop using Chrome.

Q: VHFLOG won`t run under Windows 7 or Vista OS. This message may be displayed `The requested operation requires elevation`. Why?
A: You may need to right-click the executable and select "Run as Administrator" explicitly. Even though your account is an administrator, by default Windows Vista UAC will not run some programs under the administrator account for security. Read this and this.

Q: I have Windows 7 OS or a 64-bit OS on my PC and the software won`t run (or install). Why?
A: There are some compatibility issues with 32-bit programs on x64 series OS. Read this and this.

Q: When I continue from the setup screen, I get an `Error 50003` or similar - why?
A: Error 50003 is an installation problem with dll/ocx files. Try installing the VB5 run-time files from Microsoft`s site. If installing the Windows 8 version, you might try installing the VB6 run-time files first. Then see if the logger will run. Make sure you have a valid shortcut, so the logger finds all the support files in the logging folder, not your desktop folder.

Q: The logger does not find the station band, station grid or grid square map lookup datafiles {cklist.dat, ck2list.dat, vhf4k.adi etc.} Why?
A: If are running the logger from an .exe shortcut that you dragged to the desktop - this is the problem. The logger uses the application startup folder (where the .exe resides) for all files. When you make a shortcut by dragging the .exe to the desktop, the logger uses the desktop folder as the startup folder. No datafiles are found in the desktop folder.

Find VHFLog32.exe and do right-mouse click on the filename, select `Create shortcut`, then drag that shortcut to the desktop. You can delete the datafile icons that appeared on your desktop as the result of the previous invalid shortcut. Try running the logger from a valid Start, Program files shortcut. Or run it by double-clicking vhflog32.exe in Explorer.

Q: Will VHFLOG run in Linux?
A: No, not the normal version of the logger. But yes, this VHFLOG32 without the third party video re-sizing control runs fine in Linux using the Wine application. First copy all the c:\vhflog32 files to a Linux VHFLOG folder. Then extract this .exe to the Linux folder and change the shortcut if used.

Q: Why can I enter a dupe QSO?
A: Dupe QSOs in the log are just 0-pointers when the sponsor scores the log. Make sure you enter rover callsigns as call/R - the Q will not be a dupe if you enter a different exchange. With the increased use of sponsor log cross-checking, it is advisable to work a dupe station when requested. Also, it is easier to just continue and work that station. Do not remove dupe QSOs from your log.

Q: When I enter a QSO, I get a `Run-time error 70 - permission denied` Why?
A: Is your log file set to read only? In Explorer, right-mouse the log file and Select Properties and change it. Re-load the file into VHFLog to try again. If you burn a CD-ROM to install the logger on a non-networked PC, you may need to change the read-only properties of folders or files.

Q: Why am I getting the `Can`t load or register custom control threed32.ocx’ or similar error ?
A: VB5 loggers: VB`s custom controls can get corrupted or changed by software (and Win98SE is old if using that OS). You can re-`register` the file by doing: Start, Run, regsvr32 filename <Enter>. If registration problems still exist, get the Microsoft VB5 run-time files and see if that corrects the problems.

Hints:
Logger memory set for 2500 QSOs:
This logger has a 2500 QSO limit, which should be sufficient. If more space is needed for multi-op log merging, let me know.

Callsign information lookup:
When you enter a callsign, if that station is in any lookup datafile, the information is displayed - bands used, grid square, name etc. See question below.

Q: I made the {StationBands.txt} file and have tried selecting both options in the {View} menu, why doesn`t the `Bands Needed` list fill when I enter a callsign?
A: The `Bands Needed` data comes from the {LOGSORT.dat} lookup file. This file comes with the VHFLOG32 installation file, but you may have deleted/re-named it. You make your own file from your past VHFLOG logs using the supplied application {LOGSORT.exe}. If you live in the N.E. part of the US, you are welcome to use my datafiles, which are updated periodically from high scoring PackRat logs. Extract the file(s) that you want to the c:\vhflog32 folder. To see the changes, run the logger after getting the update.

Quick band change:
Enter the new band in the callsign input - first 2 numerals works - 14, 43, 23.

Entering QSOs into the log:
All of my loggers use the <Enter> and <Space> keys to accept QSO data in all fields. You need a way to move from field to field without using the mouse. The <Tab> key is used to move between fields.

Changing the last QSO in the log:
If you just <Entered> a QSO into the log on the wrong band for example, make a mental note of the station`s grid first. <Enter> `DL` to delete the last QSO. Change to the correct band. <Enter> `L` for last, and continue. `DL` and `L` are commands you will use often.

Working the last station(s) in the log:
As you work stations up the bands, use `S` for same call. When working a station and tailgaters up the bands use `L/L1`, `L2`, `L3` and `L4` to recall the last, next to the last, 3rd and 4th callsigns respectively. This is a great time saver.

To open the HELP file in newer OS:
Microsoft no longer ships WinHelp with newer OS - so my help file may not open from the {Help} menu. I recommend you get the WinHlp32.exe file from Microsoft`s WinHlp32 page. Or - Select the HTML help format from the {Help} menu. My older WinHelp file `looks nicer` and is much easier to navigate than the newer HTML help.

Microsoft`s WinHlp32 page. Or - Select the HTML help format from the {Help} menu. My older WinHelp files look nicer and are easier to navigate.

On new OS (XP to Win8) the HTML version may not open. This is a Microsoft security issue. Do right-mouse, Properties on the Cab_Eval.chm file and select `unblock`. Unfortunately, you may need to `unblock` the .chm file after downloading an updated version.

Or - read the HTML help file here and search for a topic using <Ctrl> + F.

Files auto-open:
Copy (not move) NotePad or EditPad to the logging folder to allow `auto-open` of files written by the logger.

Don`t forget to log the QSO:
Forgetting to enter a QSO can cause NIL for the other station ! You can set the logger to accept the QSO into the log after you enter the grid. Don`t <Enter> the grid until you hear QSL from the other station. This option is purposely not saved to the Ini file.

Q: Can I delete the first QSO (a test QSO) at the beginning of a contest, then continue without program problems or errors?
A: In versions v3.53 and later you can, no problem.

Q: Is there an easier way to see what bands I worked stations on besides entering the callsign?
A: Yes.
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.
2) Pack Rat members can Select the View, Checklist menu.

Q: Why do Num Lock and Caps Lock change states when I am logging?
A: Something in Microsoft`s VB code. Fix: Turn off Num Lock and Caps Lock before running the logger and it works OK.

Q: How can I back-up my LOG files during a contest?
A: There is no reason why you should ever lose contest LOG data. You can have several files available that contain your QSOs.
[file.LGG] is the normal logging file. Each QSO saved immediately after entering it.
[file.BAK] is the manually saved BU file. It only has the QSOs up to that point however
[file.BU1] is the logging file saved before editing in VHFLOG. It only has the QSOs up to that point.
The auto-saved file [file.LGG] is written to the back-up drive you selected in the set-up screen (or under the {File} menu while logging). USB flash drives are OK too. If a glitch erases or corrupts your normal LOG file, you should have no problem using a back-up file or re-naming a file and reloading it into VHFLOG. Know how to use the back-up files before contesting.

Q: When I click a log file in the setup screen, why is a {file/path error 75} or similar error displayed ?
A: If the log file somehow gets set to `Read Only` - or the path to the file is changed - this causes an error to be generated. Exit the logger. Make sure you are using a valid shortcut to the logger. Then right-mouse the log file in Explorer and Select Properties, check for read-only and change it if necessary.

Q: How do I see/edit the Log, the Cabrillo Log and summary files?
A: You can edit the log file while in VHFLOG by clicking the {Edit LOG} button. In Explorer, log files have the extension .lgg and summary files have the .sum extension. Double-click the file in Explorer to open it. The log files are in space delimited format with columns and must be in the same format after editing/saving the file. Alternately, VHFLOG will open the Cabrillo [urCall.log] and summary [urCall.sum] files when you write them, if you have either NotePad or EditPad copied to your VHFLOG folder.
Note: The log editor does not re-calculate QSOs per band or re-calculate the distance when a grid is changed in a Sprint Contest. The editor is simply an editor. However, it will re-count the number of new multipliers when a multiplier is changed.

Q: I downloaded the latest VHFLOG revision file and extracted the files, but I still have a previous version - Why?
A: The default folder to VHFLOG is c:\vhflog32, but you may have installed it elsewhere. So, if you extracted the update files to the correct folder and have this version problem - this is why.

The new OS`s save temporary Internet download files and web pages so they can be re-used for faster screen displays. Unfortunately this process often re-uses the older VHFLOG update file as well. Go to the c:\windows(or c:\winnt)\Temporary Internet Files folder and delete the files - which sometimes works.

Also - Using a desktop shortcut that you made by dragging the .exe to the desktop can cause this problem. Make a proper shortcut.

Q: Can I re-size the Windows to full screen video?
A: Yes. Microsoft`s VB doesn`t allow re-sizing Windows, but I use a third party re-sizing control that allows this - not sure about Win98/98SE. The size/position settings are saved on most screens. Grid square maps also have a font change feature. I found the third-party ActiveResize control FAQ and modified the main form so all graphics cards should produce the expected screen re-sizing.

Q: Why is the grids worked grid square map blank?
A: A blank grid square map means the datafile is missing (or has 0 bytes). VHFLOG uses the EastGrid.map, NrthAmer.map, MidGrid.map and WestGrid.map datafiles - which are available in the VHFLOG update file - or in this zipped archive. Select by `Type` and extract the file(s) you want to the logger`s folder.

Also - Using a desktop shortcut that you made by dragging the .exe to the desktop can certainly cause this problem. Make a proper shortcut.

Q: I did not have the UTC hour offset set correctly. All the QSOs in my log are off by 1 hour. Is there an easy way to edit the times?
A: Yes. Use the supplied application UTCTime post contest to adjust the log by X hours, either plus or minus. Sorry only the hour can be changed (and NOT THE DATES around UTC midnite - requires manual edit in NotePad).

My loggers have an auto UTC offset function that looks at the PC`s system clock. In the system clock setup, sychronize your PC`s clock to the correct time automatically by setting the Internet Time setup to `time-a.nist.gov` or `time.windows.com`. Verify the UTC time and UTC offset each time you run the logger.

Q: The logging screen flickers every second when the UTC time label is updated. What can I do?
A: Use the `Option` menu and select HH:MM instead.

Q: It seems that the UTC time display update makes the CW timing fluctuate. What can I do?
A: Use the `Option` menu and select to `turn off` the UTC time update during CW.

Q: Can I use VHFLOG in the Multi-Op category?
A: 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. Read about this in the Help file.

Q: 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. A BCD band decoder is connected to the LPT port of the computer, that `switches in` the transverter of choice. When you change bands in VHFLOG, the decoder`s output will also change. This type of switching is used by HF contesters to automatically switch antennas when changing bands. VHFLOG will control all bands with the appropriate decoder/switchbox.

Note: Damage can occur if you hot-switch your equipment without proper sequencing. Read this about hot-switching (#4).

I tested the band-switching function with the Top Ten Devices band decoder [for a Yaesu rig]. For another more flexible BCD decoder/interface that you can build, see N3FTI`s LPT interface.

Q: Why can`t I get the band switching decoder to work?
A: 1) Verify that LPT pin 18 is used for ground.
2) Apply +5V to the BCD inputs to see if the decoder works.
3) Turn on the encoder in the logger under the {Bands} menu.
4) The DLPORTIO driver software is required. If you need the DLPORTIO driver software [port95nt.exe], get it here: here
5) USB/LPT converters only work with `printer class` devices.
6) When having problems using CW/PTT or LPT1 band switching on 64-bit PCs, an easy fix is use dual booting or Virtual PC and run the 32-bit logger on XP 32-bit.

Q: Is there an HF logger available?
A: Yes, use GenLog to log in >350 HF contests and activities.

Q: Is there a Rover category version of VHFLOG?
A: Yes, use KM Rover.

Q: Do you have log scoring software for contest sponsors?
A: See Cabrillo Evaluator that scores Cabrillo logs for more than 550 contests.

Q: How can I delete the temporary/dummy log files that I don`t want?
A: File maintenance is best done in the file manager, Microsoft Explorer (My Computer). In Explorer, View | Folder options | View tab, uncheck `Hide file extensions` so you can view the file extensions. Then click [OK]. You can also delete the log files with .BU1 and .BAK extensions when you are finished with them. Deleted files are put in the Recycle Bin. If you want them back, open the Recycle Bin, click the file(s) you want restored and do `Undo Delete` or `Restore`. Files that could be deleted within VHFLOG are not `restorable`.

Q: What is a Cabrillo file and when is it used?
A: The ARRL requires computer generated LOGs to be submitted electronically instead of on paper. The file must be the Cabrillo format. The Cabrillo file contains both a summary and the log file. VHFLOG writes the Cabrillo LOG file and uses [urCall.log] as the filename. 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 mults were worked. Using this file, the log checkers figure out the points/QSO, add up the grid multipliers and cross check logs for accuracy.

File write error? When operating portable, you cannot enter a slash in your callsign in the setup form. The callsign is used to name files written by the logger. Using W3KM as an example, W3KM/5.log is an illegal Windows filename. Use W3KM-5 (or W3KM_5) in the setup screen. Keep in mind that you cannot use CW macros that call <yourCall> however - enter your portable call into a CW memory as text instead. After writing the Cabrillo, verify the log. VHFLOG usually changes the OPERATOR: field. VHFLOG changes the dash (or underscore) to a slash in the rest of the log.

Hint: Using VHFLOG`s default grid from datafiles:
VHFLOG uses several data files to bring up the default grid square. It is up to you to <Enter> the correct exchange. When you QSL a message, it is understood that you received the correct grid square, not just <Entered> the default. If you <Enter> the wrong grid the first time you work a station, VHFLOG will continue to use that grid on other bands.

Q: Can I use long log filenames in the logger?
A: Yes - but keep them simple so the text fits in the existing display fields. Using names that tell you what the contest is {2011janvhfss.lgg} {arrl_sept_qso.lgg} is helpful.

Q: Can I select a different sound card when using the DVK?
A: There isn`t any setup in the logger to do this. To select a different sound card, use the Windows device selector. Right-mouse on the Speaker/volume control in the taskbar and select Properties, Audio, Default device.

Hint: COM port wiring connections:
RTS/DTR for CW/PTT: these lines are software reversible in the COM port setup.

The VB MSComm control is used for USB CW/PTT. For now, the third party DLPORTIO driver is required only when using real COM ports in the upper `Real COM ports` section. Or - use the lower `USB and other COM ports` setup. If you must use the top section of the setup, DLPORTIO driver software [port95nt.exe] is here: here

For newer PCs, you would use the lower `USB and other COM ports` setup. This can be USB interfaces, USB to COM serial adapters or real COM ports. Select USB from the combo-box and select or enter the COM port number. Select the RTS/DTR reversal switch as necessary.

XP and earlier: VHFLOG supports the use of added internal PCI/external COM and LPT cards. For PCI cards or external COM cards, select the combo-box port address for the card being used. Since USB I/O is supported, PCI add-on cards are not necessary for CW/PTT.

Q: Why is the CW irratic and garbled.
A: 1) Other applications and firewalls can cause timing problems. I disconnect from the Internet and turn off other programs when necessary.
2) Do you have the keying weight set near 1.00 - it does not need to be set too far from 1.00 to work correctly. I use 1.10.
3) RF can get into the PC and keyboard via the connecting cables, which will trash the CW keying.
4) On some PCs, the UTC clock update can cause timing changes in CW. In the Options menu, select the option to turn off the time update during CW. After clicking the selection, click the Options menu name again to see your selection.
5) Some USB to serial adapters do not work properly. Known to work properly are interfaces with the FTDI chips like the VScom USB to serial port adapters.

Interface ports:
1) Use a USB port for USB CW/PTT interfaces.
2) Use a USB to Serial COM port converter for COM port CW/PTT interfaces via a USB port.
3) If using an older PC with a real COM port, standard serial interfaces still work.
4) XP and earlier: The internal/external add-on PCI COM and LPT cards do work in VHFLOG.
5) When having problems using CW/PTT on 64-bit PCs, an easy fix is use dual booting or Virtual PC and run the 32-bit logger on XP 32-bit.

COM port DB-9 connections are:
CW - DB9-7
PTT - DB9-4
Common/Grnd - DB9-5
CW/PTT (DTR and RTS) connections are software reversible in the COM port setup.

LPT1 connection (no longer required with USB I/O support):
CW - LPT1-17 and ground LPT1-18.

Questions, comments or problems: w3km at verizon dot net