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A plea to activators using handwritten logs


Details, details…:grinning:


The fact is that mistakes WILL happen. We are human beings often operating in adverse conditions, it is all too easy to mishear a callsign whilst struggling with QRM, QRN, exhaustion, wind, rain, snow, comfortless locations and above all, cold. I’ve had to scrape snow off the log to enter details on wet flapping paper whilst even with headphones on the wind roars like a passing express train. Nobody who is prepared to put themselves through that much discomfort is going to take a cavalier attitude to errors but errors will happen despite our efforts.


To some degree, that depends on where you are finding your chasers. ANY (SOTA legal) contact is a good contact, but if you had to seek out operators who were not specifically looking for a SOTA activator, your odds of a chase log being entered to the database decrease.

We no longer see an asterisk for a matching chase entry (I never concerned myself with that anyhow), but I do personally keep track of which of my chasers have logged the contact. I seek out contacts only through SOTA alerts and spots (but obviously work any callsign that I can hear). Of my 225 contacts from W3, about 80% have been logged. Many of those who have not logged are only in my SOTA logbook ONE TIME. Of the 18 contacts from my last activation two weeks ago, only 66% logged. I would imagine my numbers are fairly typical.



Well I have to put my hand up here, Glenn. I keep a paper log. Uploading this line by line into the database is far from my favourite task as I am a peck and hunt typist. To be brutally honest, it is a pain in the situpon that I delay until I have a full page to transcribe, and then delay again until I feel up to the job. Every SOTA contact that I make, chasing or activating, eventually goes into the database, but it may take weeks.


Why dont you use a program like Saisie_Sota from F6ENO.
I can log 50 Sota QSO in less than 10mn and uplod that in a few seconds!
It is free an multi language.




Logging is my least favorite part of this fb pursuit, but a nice logging program does make it go much quicker (though you do still have to put in the correct date).


Firstly because I can write very much faster than I can type, and secondly because being an OM I prefer the feel of a book - I have half a shelf of old logbooks that I am not about to peck and hunt into a computer!


Best thing that ever happened to me was acquiring a laptop with a German AZERTY keyboard. I’m not sure how many keys are the same as a UK QWERTY keyboard (well 4 at least) but enough were different that looking didn’t help. Hit A get a Q! You soon learned where the keys where when looking didn’t help! That made the best improvement. Covering the keyboard with a cloth so you can’t see your hands has the same effect, you feel about and after a few days your muscle memory cuts in and you start typing without needing to look.


I thought AZERTY was French!


Could be. It wasn’t QWERTY and the programming symbols {}[]$^&* etc. where all over the shop replaced with umlauts and stuff.


I spent much of my working life moving from keyboard to keyboard. Sometimes life was like the film “If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium” - AZERTY Monday, QWERTZ Tuesday … and so on.


I never learned to touch type, I did try, but like Morse Code it just didn’t take. My first typewriter, nearly 60 years ago, was a huge old Remington from a junk shop. In those days I did the newsletter for the astronomical society and remember having to really wallop the keys without the ribbon to cut the skins for the Roneo, using many bottles of Tippex! Years later I got one of the early stand-alone word processors and had a heck of a job learning to control my touch so that I didn’t get strings of repeated lettersssssssss. I still have to take care! If you are brought up to clog dancing, ballet just doesn’t take!


Hi Glen,
I logged 31 QSOs in my last activation and after checking the SHOW WHO CHASED ME, I found 16 chasers only have so far logged our QSO. Most of my QSOs on 40m were with non regular chasers Spanish stations and I guess they won’t upload the QSO to SOTA DB.
Some others who have the chaser log upload still pending are regular chasers, so I’m pretty sure they will do it sooner or later.
There’s no rush. Each one, please, take your time. This is just our hobby.