Can you log a S2S when entering an activator log?

Is there a cheat code I can put in the comment field of an activator log when it’s a summit to summit contact, so I don’t have to log them seperately as a chase?

Something like %s2s I/LO-250 in the comment field?

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Are you uploading a CSV or ADIF?

No, I log on paper then transcribe it using the “submit activator entry” page.

I know I can do it with a CSV/ADIF, I didn’t know if there was a secret code I can use on the submit activator entry page because I’m lazy :slight_smile:


I’d suggest you type it in as a CSV as you can upload everything in one go. More importantly you can use the “manage uploads” along with editing the CSV to fix errors much more easily.


For minimal typing when entering paper logs I think its worth either using Fast log Entry (Windows):

Or if you are happy to use the command line, I highly recommend FLECli, which uses the same file format and runs on MacOS, Linux or Windows:

Both are free, are fast to use once familiar with the simple text format, and as Andy says its then much easier to fix errors.



I can’t more highly recommend it… you can adjust your paper log to be formatted in the same way as FLE and when you’re back hom transcribing your log, correcting mistaktes etc. on the computer is trivial.


This is what I’ve ended up doing. Once i figured out how to get going it was quite easy.
The only snag was that my QSOs weren’t all in time order so if i exported to CSV it caused errors even if i sirted the grid by time, however exporting to ADIF worked a treat.

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Fortunately, this is how I write my log anyway in my notebook.
I note the band/mode and what time I started calling CQ. Then each subsequent line starts with the time then callsign.


A feature I appreciate in FLE is that it fills the time record gaps: sometimes I forget (or don’t have time) to add a timestamp in my paper logbook; FLE will deal with those automatically and fill the gaps!

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Then we are already two, hi. I do it that way consciously. Why on earth?

On the one hand, I usually transcribe my paper log with the Android tablet.
Then enjoy the cumbersome entry to remind me of the activation again.

For the not infrequent typos, I use the downloaded csv file, modify it and upload it again.

Pure steampunk, I know.

73 Chris


I think from memory when you are entering directly to the data base your activation, there’s a question asked if the contact was an S2S then you tick it and enter their summit reference of the station you worked S2S.
I use
SOTA CSV Log Editor
By Stewart Wilkinson.
Not sure where you go to get it but its been my go to CSV editor for many years and it has provision to enter an S2S contact that uploads your score directly to the Summit to Summit log in the data base as well as the Activator log in the data base.
Ian vk5cz …

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Once upon a time I entered all my hand-written logs into the SOTA Database one contact at a time. I got very good at it, and I was stubborn. As SOTA expanded, my logs became larger and more complex, with many S2S contacts. Correcting mistakes became a stressful issue.

Around the time that the SOTA Database went to V2 CSV logs, a friend suggested I try the SOTA CSV Editor available for free from Stuart G0LGS. After a short learning curve, this program proved to be reliable and delightful to use. Stuart was very helpful about doing revisions when some minor bugs appeared, and I am grateful for his major contributions to many of us who submit large logs for SOTA. The idea of having saved, backed-up CSV files for use in case of changes or errors is nice, even though the Database is very secure now. I really like the CSV Editor!

About a week ago I did a log via G0LGS CSV Editor, same as usual, and some funny “QRG” data appeared in the comments, and “VLF”, instead of "12M " for just the 12m contacts. I was unable to correct the problem using the program, but I was able to correct my CSV file using Excel. I was careful, I submitted the corrected file, and it was accepted by the Database.

While I think I could enter an entire log as a CSV file using Excel, it would be stressful, especially with a large log, since the Database is very careful about what it will accept. My data entry skills are poor! I make many mistakes as I type my logs. Using a program like the CSV Editor is much more fun, and time is saved.

I suspected that the problem I saw with Stuart’s CSV Editor might just be that my version of the program was old, and Stuart has come out with a newer version. I tried to do the update from the program, and it failed. Then the program stopped working, and would not open. I uninstalled CSV Editor, using its Uninstaller, and I downloaded the newer version from G0LGS website. It installed normally, after I got my Avast Antivirus to ALLOW it. However, it failed to install the Summits Database, and the program would not run, even though seemed to installed, just like other prior revision I have used. I tried installing many times!!

I suspected that my Windows 7 computer or Antivirus might be at the root of the problem. I tried installing the current version of the G0LGS program on a Windows 7 Notebook computer I also have, and even though that computer also has Avast antivirus running, it accepted the program, it installed normally, with the summits database, and it runs! Unlike my 32 bit desktop machine, the notebook is running 64 bit Windows 7 !

Feeling secure that I’m able to still use my favorite logging program, with the new version installed on the notebook machine, I decided to look around to see what others are using. I spent a lot of time looking for Online Resources - and similar headings on the SOTA Website(s) - thinking surely the SOTA MT would provide links to various logging programs that are required for what we do after every activation. These links may exist, or maybe they existed once, but I was unable to find them, for whatever reason. Learning how to do logs efficiently is the largest obstacle that many new SOTA activators face - as well as really old guys like me! The Database itself is wonderful!!

I did find a very long thread on this Reflector, with many suggestions for logging tools, but the majority are apps for tablets and mobile phones, until I ran across a clear suggestion for FLE, available with a free download from DF3CB. The current version is only for 64 bits, but fortunately he still has a 32-bit download of an earlier version, for many of us running 32-bit Windows 7, etc.

I took the time to read the advice and tutorials offered by DF3CB - this was the hardest part for me! I have never seen a program like this! The way the data is entered is WAY different from G0LGS’s program !!!

I downloaded the 32-bit version of FLE, it installed quickly and professionally on my 32-bit Windows 7 desktop machine, and AVAST did not question it! It opened and set up perfectly. At first I felt like this was over my head, but I jumped in, and started trying to enter data, and gradually I got the idea of why some people actually like this kind of interface.

Here’s the Deal - FLE is full of shortcuts, and it’s sophisticated. There is a pane for data entry, and a larger pane for the spreadsheet, side-by-side. After you enter “Header” data, the interactive interface lets you mostly enter just the calls and other changes for each contact line, not the same stuff over and over. More than half the keystrokes can be skipped. Once you get the hang of that, you can concentrate on data entry, and not even look at the spreadsheet window until later! You can edit very easily, without having to undo much at all. Many kinds of corrections are somewhat global, like if you entered the wrong frequency, or forgot to change it during data entry, but you don’t have to change every log line! Just the line at the time of the QSY.

You can CUSTOMIZE the data entry fields with colors and various formats !! The defaults work fine, but changing the interface is easy. The program uses colors to great advantage, and errors are highlighted in yellow IMMEDIATELY if you type something that the program knows is wrong. The interface is context-sensitive, so it mostly knows when you type a call, a SOTA REF, a frequency, etc., and it shows in color. In many case you can even change the order of entries, and it will still work.

The most important thing is: One QSO per line of entry.

Eventually I did a big log just for practice. I saved the CSV and tried entering it into the SOTA Database - no problem, once I gave it a reasonable date that didn’t duplicate my existing log.

FLE is more general - it’s designed for WWFF and POTA, and it will export CSV and ADIF files, or even both from one session, if you select the right mode. It can be used for contests, or converting from paper contest logs, and it will generate a cabrillo file.

All I can say is - many SOTA activators will totally love this program, they NEED IT - if they can be made aware of it, and if they will just try it!

This is a GAME CHANGER. Data entry is the total opposite of Excel, yet the V2 CSV file is exported and saved just like what you’re familiar with.

FLE is not for everyone, and it takes some re-programming of your own brain to use the interface - however, there’s very little pain or frustration when mistakes occur. It has auto-save! File management is normal Windows style. You can do SAVE AS. When I first saw it, I thought maybe I should just forget it - it’s intimidating, only because it looks weird at first.

Give it a try -

Today I did an activation with almost 80 contacts and about 20 S2S contacts. It was a busy Saturday here in the USA. Later I’m going to type my paper log into FLE and export that CSV to the Database. This will be the first live log I’ve done this way. Let’s see how that goes …

Typing into the Database works well, but there’s another world out there…




Thanks George for your observations and commentary.

regards: Geoff vk3sq

FLE is very fast to log an activation and I love this program…but why there is not an application to use it on a tablet (or phone) where you don’t have a PC?

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There was a problem between versions and (where I introduced changes to cope with loading VK port-a-log files which store the working frequiency in the band column of the CSV) when opening logs with QSOs logged on certain frequencies caused the strange QRG information to added to the comments or mess with the logged band. In my tests I believe this was fixed at but if anyone still has issues and can send me sample logs I can look at it again.

(Edited: I found it was broken in a different way for 12m QSOs - hopefully V1.5.9.2/V1.5.9.3 will have fixed that too).

Some Anti-Virus programs are not very good when it comes to using niche market programs on your computer with them blocking access to web sites that they do not like or preventing the program from manipulating certain data (i.e converting the Summits CSV to MDB format that my CSV Editor uses).

Stewart G0LGS

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That is how to do it but the trick is not to enter your QSO as an activator but as a “Chaser/S2S”. If you choose this option in the menu you enter the summit details of the other operator first, as if chasing. Then check the S2S box and you can enter your summit details.

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Sorry that’s wrong.

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I don’t understand. I can’t see an option for making it an S2S if you choose the activator option from the menu. If you choose the next option on the menu, “Chaser/S2S” you can.

You need to log an S2S QSO twice. Once as a chaser QSO with the S2S option selected (and the additional data) and once as part of your activation. This happens automatically when logging with correctly formatted CSV files.

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I’ve tried numerous programs and workflows for logging. I’ve settled on the below (for now). I think it’s a pretty clean and organized method. Don’t get me wrong, the SOTA CSV Log Editor is great and FLE (Windows) and FLEcli (Mac) work fantastic as well. There are so many awesome tools offered by the community. For now though, I’m doing the below. Helps avoid duplicating efforts. It would be quicker (and avoid re-entry of paper logs) if I electronically logged on the summit, but I’ve determined I am definitely not a fan of doing that. Also, I do submit logs to both QRZ and LoTW so that might be a differentiating factor for most in terms of what they use.

  1. Paper Log on Summit
  2. Manual Entry into the Desktop version of HAMRS (Free) using the SOTA TEMPLATE when at home. Once you enter your basic activator information, it’s pretty easy and quick to move from one contact to the next. Is FLE entry quicker?..Possibly - but I wouldn’t say dramatically. Others may disagree, though.
  3. Export ADIF from HAMRS
  4. Import ADIF into the SOTA database. Captures everything including S2S, Comments, etc.
  5. Import the same ADIF log into N3FJP (my main logging program).
  6. Click one button from N3FJP to send all new QSO’s to LoTW.
  7. Every week or so I download all my LoTW QSO’s into QRZ with the click of a button on the QRZ logbook.

The QSO map on HAMRS is pretty cool. It lets you see visually where your contacts were that day.

I’ve also now made HAMRS my preferred logging program when chasing from the shack. I keep a running log for chases (daily/weekly, however you prefer). Then, I follow the same procedure above to enter my chasing logs.

I’m sure this method isn’t perfect but it sure works well for me.

73, Mike

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