SOTA Logging

Pencil is mightier than the keyboard…discuss

I’m a pen and paper kind of guy at heart but thought I’d try and find an electronic solution, just in case my pencil breaks and my phone is the only workable solution.

Bet you’ve never heard that before.

Well after a lot of scratching around I found VK Port-a-log. It is an android solution so tough luck fruit based phone users. A really easy to use solution for those who carry a phone. The screenshot below is pretty neat and from the original website. Well worth checking out. To get it you need to be able to install the .apk from the Yahoo Group. Thats a bit of a pain but hey ho no big deal really.

But I still like a pencil!!

Of course you do, it is the most versatile solution. But adding the data into the SOTA databse can be a slow process. So here is another Windows tool that is really very good. I’ll run through the idea.

Log as normal with a pencil and pen. Instead of getting home and logging via the website. Use Fast Log Entry (FLE) instead. This uber geeky method by DF3CB allows you to type the information as you need and then export a SOTA compatible csv file ready for upload. I found it really quick and easy to use. Here is a screen shot from the authors website so you get the idea.

Type in the left using the tags to identify what it is you are saying. Press F5 and hey presto the log appears on the right of the screen. There is a sample file to crib from.

So thats me sorted for this years mini adventures into the fells. Once again, very happy to use these great tools. Thanks to both the developers for making stuff that works just as we want it.

Alex Hill, G7KSE, is a regular contributor to and writes from Cumbria, UK. Contact him at [email protected].

6 Responses to “SOTA Logging”

  • Kevin G6UCY:

    Hello Alex

    I tried the same tuner as yourself when I heard about them on Tim’s site and agree they are a great way to try out SDR on the cheap before getting too involved i.e. spending money or building kits.

    One of the issues I have noticed though is that as the tuners are so wide band they can benefit from additional band pass filters/pre amps to help reduce out of band signals/increase sensitivity depending on local conditions.

    The other issue was as you found was that I needed to use my main PC as my netbook really did not want to play despite running HRD ok. so something to bear in mind of one wants to try this approach to SDR.



  • Hans (BX2ABT):

    I had one too, but it gave up on me after only a few weeks. Definitely “cheap” quality.

  • I’m not expecting it to last that long. Perhaps a few weeks is all they can take. That will be a shame but give me an excuse to buy a funcube dongle and new PC!

    I popped mine open and there really isn’t much to them. Putting the case back on again was a one of those ‘don’t squeeze too hard’ moments

  • I agree Kevin, they aren’t much more than a bit of fun and judging by Hans’s comments may not last that long either

  • Tim G4VXE:

    Hi Alex,

    Glad you got it going ok! It’s fun to get going and to play with the software. One day I’ll try a more professional device!


  • Alex G7KSE:

    Likewise Tim, I think I need to invest in a new PC as well. Not sure the XYL sees the benefits just yet!

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