Wednesday, November 15, 2023

A new PC and a move to the LOG4OM logging programme - Nov 2023

After putting it off for several years, I finally bought a new PC! It wasn't so much the cost of changing but I just kept putting it off with the thought of all the hassle of setting up a new PC and the transferring all of the files and programmes. However, it got to a stage where the old PC was getting so slow that I had to change it and now that I have, it's super fast compared to the old one.

One of the long term things on my 'to do' list was to update my logging programme. I said that I'd do it when I got a new PC instead of putting yet more software on the old PC. It didn't help that I was off the radio for several years and I didn't have any interest in doing it but now that I have a new PC, that has changed.

I used to use the VQLog logging programme for all of my contacts before but I hadn't used it in many years and it was installed on an even earlier PC. 

VQLog... VQLog is quite an old logging programme as can be seen from the image above but it looks as if it is still being updated. It's obvious most people have moved onto other programmes but I thought it might be easier to relearn how to use VQLog than to start with a completely new logging programme.

I went to the DXMaps website and I downloaded the most up to date version... VQLog 3.1 - 717

During the stall, it was initially stopped by my anti-virus software. After allowing access, I eventually got this message...

When I checked the FAQ section on the website, I read the following...

When installing the program I get the following error "C:\WINDOWS\ST6UNST.EXE C:\WINDOWS\  the file could not be installed"
This is a rare error that seems to be related to a missing or corrupted cabinet.dll file. (That should normally be located in C:\Windows\System32).  You have to restore the original cabinet.dll file. You can also download it

If I got this message on my old PC then this might seem valid but my PC is only 3-weeks old! If I'm getting this message then anyone else with a new PC trying to install it is probably getting it as well.

My conclusion is that the problem lies with VQlog and not on my side.

One of the major factors in any logging programme is the amount of time it takes you to input data and keep it up to date. The cost of the programme is really a secondary factor. Getting error messages trying to install a programme on a new PC doesn't inspire confidence and I decided it was time to move on to another logging programme.

... There seems to be plenty of logging programmes out there but which one to choose?

My criteria were...
1) Must be popular so that it has a large user base
2) Must be current

I had heard of the LOG4OM logging programme before but it didn't really stand out compared to the rest. Sometimes it's the small little things that push you in a certain direction. I had watched a video presentation by South Dublin Radio Club about the LOG4OM programme and the participants seemed happy with it.

I checked the LOG4OM forum and there were plenty of current messages which meant a lot of people are currently using it. So I downloaded it and installed it without any error messages or the like. It was a very easy process unlike VQLog.

Like any new programme, there is a steep learning curve but I'm now a week into using it and getting used to it.

I should also note that LOG4OM is a free programme which is a plus but as I've mentioned already, it wouldn't be the primary factor for me.

LOTW... Now that I have restarted with a new logging programme, I decided to check my Logbook of the World (LOTW) account on the ARRL website.

My last upload was way back in January of 2009! I have 22,448 QSO's up there with 4,053 QSL records.

From what I can see, it's possible to download all of the confirmed QSO's as an ADIF file from the LOTW site but not all of the QSO's that you uploaded originally. I did this and imported the 4,053 records into my LOG4OM programme.

In conclusion... The plan now is to start inputting QSOs manually from my paper logs from Jan 2009 onwards to the present day into LOG4OM... about 2,500 contacts. When I finish, I plan to upload these and I will then  have all of my 25,000 or so contacts up on the LOTW website.

1 comment:

DK5EW said...

The problem you have with VQLog I explored also once 3 years ago but got in contact with Gabriel and it was solved in a short time. VQLog is running without problems on 2 Win11 machines.

Log4OM: I tried this new version. What I can say: this software looks nice on the first look BUT it is made for shortwave guys not really for VHF as VQLog. At VQLog you have the analyzing for propagation and else. You cant easily look for your opening QSO like ES/MS ec. You can look for your EME inits. Implementation for the VHF database and mni more.

All this is impossible with Log4OM.

So I still stay with VQLog. It may not have a modern interface like Log4OM but it has all the needs for VHF operation - Log4OM not.

73`s Wini/DK5EW