[VHFcontesting] Advice for new VHF Logging Software

Les Rayburn les at highnoonfilm.com
Sat Jul 23 00:39:28 PDT 2011


I didn't mean for my remarks to sound critical, and I apologize if they did. 
I used RoverLog for several contests, when I was an active rover. I enjoyed 
many of the features (especially the ability to decode GPS receiver data to 
automatically fill my grid square)

What I did find daunting was the complexity of configuring the software. 
While there are some users that I'm sure can't live without the ability of 
the software to control band selection, point the rotor, etc. the vast 
majority of users for any VHF software are not going to be running anything 
that complex. For me, I found a lot of the additional features to be 
confusing, and simply made the software more difficult to configure.

There are a lot of negatives to Scott's (N3FJP) software, but the user 
interface is second to none. You can literally learn to use the software in 
minutes, and it's simplicity is it's strength. I'd highly encourage other 
software developers to follow that lead. Most VHF Men use very similar set 
ups, transverters, brick amps, and manual switching to get from band to 
band. I only know a handful who use computer controlled rotors.

Perhaps a "RoverLog Light" would make sense. Something that retained the 
essential features, but dropped everything else. A setup wizard that allowed 
you to select your "type" of VHF operation from some broad choices would 
also be great. I'll be happy to test any mods that you make, and offer 

For those considering RoverLog, let me close with some very positive 
attributes. I've never used any software that was faster and easier to "run 
the bands" with. If you make a mistake, it can be corrected with two 
keystrokes. It also does a masterful job with partials callsigns, helping 
you to avoid duplicates, and generating finished cab files for contests.


Les Rayburn, N1LF
121 Mayfair Park
Maylene, AL 35114

6M VUCC #1712
Grid Bandit #222
Life Member Central States VHF Society

-----Original Message----- 
From: Tom Mayo
Sent: Friday, July 22, 2011 6:27 PM
To: Les Rayburn
Cc: David All ; VHF Contesting Reflector
Subject: Re: [VHFcontesting] Advice for new VHF Logging Software

Les and other VHFers,

This is just the kind of feedback I want as a software author.

Can you give me the top 3 or top 10 reasons RoverLog is harder to use?

I can work with feedback.

Do you want less setup to do?
A setup wizard the walks you through it?
Fewer distractions on the screen that you're not using?
What else?

Please consider joinging the RoverLog user group and continue your feedback.


Tom, N1MU, RoverLog author.

On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 3:15 PM, Les Rayburn <les at highnoonfilm.com> wrote:
> First of all, thanks for the numerous responses that I've received to this
> inquiry off-list. I thought I'd respond to one of Dave's comments here. 
> The
> best software (of the ones I've tried) for running the bands is actually
> "Rover Log". When I operated rover, I used it because it would interface
> with my GPS receiver, and I didn't have to enter the grid square manually
> for each contact. It is also set up to very quickly "run the bands", and I
> used it all the way up to 10 GHz as fast as I could make the contacts
> themselves.
> Unfortunately, it terms of "ease of use", I'd have to give it poor marks.
> I've owned computers since the early 1980's, and would consider myself a
> "power user" thought not a programmer. I find the Rover Log software
> difficult to use, and set up properly. It's so powerful that I think it's
> also daunting, especially for fixed station use.
> The N3FJP suite of software is elegant in it's simplicity, but Scott 
> simply
> doesn't have time to keep it updated. I've tried twisting his arm, in a
> virtual sense to encourage attention to the VHF logs, but his bread and
> butter is on the HF side.
> As in so many areas, it seems that VHF Men either have to deal with being
> "shoe-horned" into HF contesting solutions, or deal with inferior products
> that are VHF specific.
> 73,
> Les Rayburn, N1LF
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David All
> Sent: Thursday, July 21, 2011 9:59 AM
> To: Les Rayburn
> Subject: Re: [VHFcontesting] Advice for new VHF Logging Software
> Les,
> In your contest software what makes it easy to run the bands?  I work with
> N3IQ/R and we run 10 bands so we paper log and would love to find a 
> program
> that allows for computer integrate with out slowing our rate of all 10 
> bands
> in 3 min.
> Thanks
> Dave N3XUD
> On Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 10:10 PM, Les Rayburn <les at highnoonfilm.com> 
> wrote:
> I'm both a casual VHF contester, and an avid DX'er. My primary pursuit is 
> to
> achieve VUCC on as many bands as possible, but I enjoy a good showing in 
> the
> contests too. I have nearly ZERO interest in HF contesting, and do very
> little HF operating since discovering the "World Above 50 MHz" four years
> ago. (To think I wasted nearly four decades on HF)
> To date, I've been using the N3FJP's Amateur Contact Log 3.0 has my main 
> logging software, and his "VHF Log 2.8" for VHF Contests. While the AC 3.0
> logs remains a great log for general DXing, and keeping track of grids
> worked/confirmed, the VHF Log 2.8 is in serious need of an update. I've
> contacted Scott and unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be enough 
> interest
> in the product for him to justify an update.
> That means I'm in the market for a new VHF Logging software program,
> especially for contests. Here are my primary requirements:
> 1.) Ease of use. I don't want to have to spend hours learning new 
> software.
> 2.) Must be able to accurately track the major VHF contests, and provide
> real-time feedback on scoring, grids worked, help to eliminate dupes, etc.
> "Running the bands" in the log has got to be fast and easy.
> 3.) Easy updating of Logbook of the World (LOTW) within the log software.
> 4.) Tracking progress towards VUCC awards would be a huge plus.
> 5.) Database of active stations and a callsign lookup feature of active 
> stations would be another huge plus.
> I'm open to recommendations from the group. Your advice has always been
> great and most welcome in the past. Thanks in advance.
> Les Rayburn, N1LF
> EM63nf
> 121 Mayfair Park
> Maylene, AL 35114
> 6M VUCC #1712
> Grid Bandit #222
> Life Member Central States VHF Society
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