In reply to MM0XXP and others:
Fascinating stuff, this! I think it shows that SOTA, just like amateur radio generally, has different facets for different people.
I was out of amateur radio for considerably longer than Richard G4ERP’s couple of years, and am still using my original (A5 notebook) log book, though I’ll need to get a new one soon since I’m doing a lot more operating that I used to - and I’ll try to find one that matches ;-). Since practically all my operating is /P it goes with me, and sometimes, yes, the writing is done very shakily with frozen hands, whether it’s SOTA or a contest or just sitting by the sea operating HF. I don’t bother with a “fair copy” - it’s a notebook that tells it as it was.
Having spent much of my working life in front of computers I certainly don’t consider myself a novice - but for the moment haven’t got an IT solution for logging /P that would not in itself be an encumbrance. Once I have working voice recognition on the phone/PDA that can produce the logs, then maybe. I did try putting Linux on a Palm PDA and tried logging with a spreadsheet, but that experience made me realise I’d be better sticking to paper and pencil for the moment.
For SOTA, I hadn’t even considered the possibility of .csv entry, I use the web page and transcribe entries from the log book.
I haven’t even decided on a logging program for the (Linux) computer yet, either; once I have then I will download my activations from the SOTA site to save retyping. Really, I wouldn’t want to use .csv as a data interchange medium anyway in the long term, and think it would be much better to use XML, which makes it much easier to re-use the data for other purposes.
On the submission of activation details front, I certainly wouldn’t want to see a deadline. For me, amateur radio is a fun activity, SOTA operating is fun (if I get the contacts and the point/s, great, but it’s no big deal if I don’t - it’s part of an enjoyable day out on the hills), hilltop contest operating is fun (and if it isn’t when the rain comes down, I stop). Many of my qualifying QSOs have been with people who are not SOTA chasers. I’m very happy to get the details into the database, and usually do as soon as I can after an activation, but like Brian G8ADD says, there are other things that come first!
So it’s interesting to see that I’m actually a real dinosaur when it comes to logging. Happy to join the others though …