Not much doing today

Today was a good day to be indoors. We had some snow today, but not nearly as much as was originally forecast. The weathermen were calling for 3 to 6 inches of the white stuff, but we ended getting around maybe an inch. Just slightly more than a dusting.

I did get on the radio for a bit after handling some house chores. But my radio efforts ended up not being fruitful at all. I called CQ for quite a while on 15, 17, 20 and 30 Meters. The Reverse Beacon Network told me that my signal was getting out just fine, but there were no answers to my calls.  Perhaps every body was busy with the RAC contest.

So I entertained myself by investigating logging programs. The new version of Ham Radio Deluxe is out, but the program went from free to $80. I suppose that given the sophistication of the software that it’s worth it, but I can’t imagine spending that right now. I did sell my K2 and PFR3A recently, but those funds are earmarked for something else. So I will maintain the last free version on my computer. I also noticed that Version 6 is recommended to be run on a Windows 7 machine with dual core processors. Hardly what my netbook is set up for.

Now that computers are becoming such a fixture in our shacks, it almost seems like we are replacing them at faster rates than our radios. There are many Hams out there using boatanchors, but I would venture to guess that most everyone’s computers are not as old. Can’t get away with antiques when it comes to computing power in the shack!

Tomorrow should be less busy as far as chores go. Maybe I’ll bet to spend more time twiddling the dial.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

3 Responses to “Not much doing today”

  • Bruce W1RJ:

    Hi Larry-

    I’ve been away from the hobby for over 10 years (2 boys, ages 11 and 13 should explain it…) Just last week I was able to get some wire up in the trees and a rig out of mothballs to start playing again.

    I’ve been very excited to get back on the air but have been a little overwhelmed with the logging aspect of it. Been trying different flavors of software for the last week and haven’t settled in on one I really like yet. So far HRD seems fine enough, but I agree, I don’t really feel like shelling out the $79 just yet. I am using an older free version.

    Back in the day, I used Log-EQF which did everything I needed just fine. It has since gone extinct, not that I would want to be using a DOS based program these days anyway, but HRD seems overly complicated compared to EQF. MM Logger is much simpler and straight to the point for operating but is contest focused. I love contests but need an everyday tool, too.

    Seems like there is opportunity out there for a middle of the road compromise with software. I can see it is a difficult task with everything we expect the software to do these days and so many variables, but still.

    I’d be interested in hearing more about what software you settle on and why. Maybe a future post? ;)

    Thanks and 73,
    Bruce W1RJ

  • Dave K1THP:

    I use XLOG which runs on Linux. It’s Free! There is also CQRLOG for Linux, and is more complex similar to HRD. It is also free! And they run on my Pentium 4 which still works ,,, so why ditch it for some bloated Windows software?

  • Steve WI2W:

    Hi Larry,

    RE: Ham Radio Deluxe

    Not only is Ham Radio Deluxe $79.95 USD but that is for a “Support Subscription.” That entitles the purchaser to one year of support and upgrades. The way I read that is that if you want to have future upgrades beyond the first year you will need to buy a new “Support Subscription” every year! A complete non-starter for me.

    I’m currently running DXBase but several of my radio club members have been urging me to try the DXLab suite of software. It is highly regarded, mature, upgraded frequently, and is free.

    Larry, thank you for your blog posts; I enjoy reading them.

    Kind regards and Happy New Year!

    Steve, WI2W

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