Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Checking of VQLog finished...

I started the long and arduous process of checking my logging program, VQLog against my paper logs back in mid-November 2008. Now 2 months and 23,039 qso's later, I'm finished at last!! At the beginning, it was really slow as I had to enter a lot of old contacts that I had never entered into my old Fastlog logging program. Originally, I had feared the whole process would take about 6 months but in the end, it took 'only' 2. With the exception of a small number of repeater and crossband contacts, I literally put everything into the logging program....towns, counties, Worked All Ireland squares, Worked All Britain squares, US states and so on. From the rare DX contacts to the local contacts accross town on 70 cms. Lots of data that can be used and searched.

And of course, lots of graphs! Here is a breakdown of all my contacts per band.

Some observations....
1) I found perhaps 20 mistakes where I had originally put the incorrect callsign into Fastlog. 20 out of 20,000 is only about 0.1% . Perhaps I missed a few more? but the logging program is now a lot more accurate. One typo was for R1FJL. I had entered the wrong suffix and VQLog recognised it as Russia. Corrected the call and I got one extra band country on 20m. I had entered the wrong date on several contacts....not much use if they end up getting used on Logbook of the World which looks for a date and time match.

2) When I imported all of the 20k or so contacts from Fastlog into VQLog, it did not always recognise the country correctly. An example was the prefix TO which was used in Martinique and Guadeloupe. VQLog had thought they were just French stations. Correcting these gave a few more band countries. Another more obvious one was for GB stations. These are used all over the UK. VQLog presumed that they were all in England but in a lot of cases, they were not. Lesson.....if you are importing data from one logbook into another...(or even data generated by a contest logging program)....you have to check the unusual prefixes to make sure that they are recognised properly. I'm sure that holds true for any logging program.

Next step.....
1) LoTW....I received the password from the ARRL back on the 5th of January. I now have to figure how to use this Logbook of The World. Uploading 23,000 qso's should get me a 'few' matches ;o)
2) QSL's.....I have several hundred cards that need to be checked. I had a quick look already at these and there are some nice DX ones in there. As well as updating VQLog, I will also need to reply to a lot of those cards. Hopefully, I'll be sending off a batch of qsl cards to the outgoing buro at the end of February .

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