Contest logging software
Contest logging software refers to specialized computer software programs designed for use by competitors in amateur radio contesting. Most contest logging software is written by individual programmers who are active radio contesters.
The primary purpose of contest logging software is to record the details of two-way radio contacts made during amateur radio contests. At a minimum, these details include the time, band or frequency of operation, the call sign of the other station, and the received "exchange" data. This log data is recorded in a binary or ASCII format. Most contest logging software packages will also compute a running score for the contest during operation and will help track which multipliers have been "worked" and which have not. Typical contest logging software includes features for post-contest processing of the log to prepare it for submission to the contest sponsor. There is great variation in the features offered and their specific implementation, which can lead to passionate debates among the supporters of specific software packages.
Many programs offer advanced features for controlling external devices; this can include controlling the frequency of a radio, sending Morse code over a serial port or parallel port interface, interfacing with sound cards used for the transmission and reception of digital modes such as RTTY, or controlling antenna or amplifier hardware. Some software programs include specific features for single operator two radios (SO2R) operations. A related market exists for software designed to analyze, convert, or manipulate log data recorded during radio contests.
Contest logging software, whether free or commercial, is available for DOS, Linux, and Windows platforms. Some contesters dedicate older computers specifically to running their favorite contest logging software.
Available software packages
The following contest logging software packages are widely used and available. Some are offered for sale, and others are available without charge under various licenses.
Contest Loggers - Current
- HamRacer Uses synthesized voice keyer
- N1MM Logger
- QARTest Only in Italian
- SD by EI5DI
- VK Contest Log Mostly Australasian contests with some international events
- TLF by PA0R, now maintained by DL1JBE Linux
- DXLog - free since 2019
Free - VHF-Only
- MINOS by G0GJV For European VHF/UHF contests
- RoverLog by N1MU Multiplatform, VHF/UHF for fixed stations and rovers - Not updated since 2017
- Tucnak by OK1ZIA Linux Multiplatform, VHF (Limited HF support)
Legacy Contest Loggers - not in Development
- CQ/X de NO5W GPS Enabled for Mobile Contesting
- KLog Linux
- MobileLog by N0HR PocketPC/Windows Mobile PDA
- NA by K8CC DOS
- TR Log by N6TR DOS
- VHFCONT by KC6TEU
- VHFCTest4Win by S52AA VHF Reg1Test
- VHFTEST by WG3E
Post-contest log analysis and conversion software
- Contest LogChecker by UU0JC
- LM contestsoftware by DL8WAA - Legacy, not updated since 2013
- JARL eLog Maker - Legacy, not updated in many years
- LogConv by KA5WSS
- LogView by EI8IC - Legacy, not updated since 2011]
- QScope online log analyzer for statistics and charts by XV4Y
- SH5 log analyzer