Logging a QSO

Once you have set program options, configured a radio interface (if you have a radio connected), and opened a log file, you are ready to start adding QSOs to your log.

To open the Log Entry window, click the "Start Logging" button on the main window.

Many options and variables can affect how you use the Log Entry window and how the Log Entry reacts to your actions. Let's take a moment to look over the basic window and discuss the options available:

It is difficult to create a program that suits everyone's desires, but I have tried my best to be as flexible as possible.

When the Log Entry window is first opened, it should look much like the image below. Some minor differences between what you see and what is show below are:

A Quick Overview of the Log Entry Window

The first time you open the Log Entry window, you may be confused by all the buttons, labels, and text fields. Before you start making your first log entry, let's take a quick look at some of the fields and controls available.

Now, with these options in mind, let's look at logging a QSO.

For general logging, the program requires you to enter a minimum amount of information before it can be logged. This information includes:

Next, enter the callsign of the station being logged and press Tab (or ENTER). If you have checked the "Auto-Fill" checkbox, the program will auto-fill the following fields based on the SKCC membership information for the callsign entered:

After entering a callsign in the "Call" field, you can either tab out of the field or press the "Check" Pushbutton (Alt-M) to retrieve and auto-fill information retrieved from the membership list. At this time, any previously logged contacts with this station will be displayed in the list box. QSOs with the same station on the current band will be listed in bold font and labeled as "DUPE."

You may also press the "QRZ" Push Button (Alt-Z) to launch a small browser window containing the QRZ.Com webpage information for the callsign entered.

Alternatively, if you hear a SKCC number but missed the callsign, you can enter the SKCC number in the "SKCC" text field and press the "Check"pushbutton (Alt-N). There is no need to enter the "C" or "T" suffix with the SKCC number to find a match.

Note that the State/Country information is actually a best guess based on the information contained in the "SPC" field of the SKCC membership data file.

The "Key" field is necessary ONLY for the Triple Key Award - you can leave it blank if you have no interest in that operating award. There are four options available in the pull-down menu:

Partial Callsign Lookup

It is not uncommon to copy only a part of a callsign - maybe QRM, QSB, distraction, or some other reason. Say, for example, that K0FTC is calling CQ but all you got was "K0F". You can enter the "K0F" into the callsign field and click the "Check" button. IF any current member callsigns in the database match the partial entry, a listbox will pop-up displaying possible callsigns.

You can Double Click on any entry to have that callsign entered into the Log Entry Window.

Please note the following:

A Few Notes About the DXCC Field

Anytime that an Auto-Fill operation would enter data into a field that already is filled, the program will ask you how you want to handle those filled fields. You have three options:

Once all required fields (either General Logging or Sprint Logging) have been entered, the "Log It" button should be enabled. Clicking the "Log It" button will enter the QSO information into the Main Window log list, clear all fields (except for Date, Time, Freq, and Band), and place the cursor into the Callsign field.

Note: There are several buttons and text entry fields on the Log Entry window and there are (Alt + Key) shortcut combinations for the following buttons and text entry fields:

Note: Function Keys provide immediate access to key Log Entry data fields::

Next chapter: Logging Alternate/Past Call Signs