When I am chasing activations from home, increasingly the Activator is coming back with my name. As I have not previously worked quite a number of these Activators, I got to wondering how they obtained the information. Is it just a case of logging a phone or tablet into QRZ.com or is there some other wizardry that quickly supplies the information? If the information has to be web based, then it obviously won’t work on all summits.
Some logging programs pop up the name of the station calling - as you say these “normally” need internet connectivity to the phon/tablet/PC but some can hold a local list of contacts (this is often done for contest logging programs).
It was a bit painful at first… but I’ve now got used to typing on my smartphone screen keyboard while working stations in realtime.
Once the basics are set up for each activation (callsign in use, eg F/M0WML/P; summit reference) you then go to the logging screen.
Then you can “slide left” and see spots.
Click on a spot and all their details go into the logging screen, all you have to add is the two signal reports.
Once you are ready to activate just enter your chosen freq, mode and power.
Slide right to self spot with two taps of the screen.
Once the QSOs start coming all you need to key is their callsign and both signal reports (plus their summit ref if s2s).
As soon as you enter their callsign the name pops up.
I’m using an offline names file with 15,000 chaser names.
The best bit is that once you are finished the combined activator/chaser/s2s list can be uploaded to the database in a few clicks. Job done.
When is it a problem? When I can’t shade the screen (rare), when I forget the usb battery bank (rarer still!), when it is raining and can’t keep the screen dry (fairly rare -more common on 2m fm handheld only activations due to bad weather). I revert to paper if needed.
I’ve logged this way for the majority of my activations. Certainly 99% of several hundred during the last 6-7 years.
Just to repeat… it definately feels mega fiddly to begin with… but once proficient I’d suggest you would never go back to paper.
I make less errors as the names that pop up help confirm I’ve keyed the callsign correctly.
I wouldn’t have the time to look up any names during a pile up, so I made a list on an index card that I can look at. Now I have a good many of them memorized, but I’m sure I’ve called Martha Gary and Gary Martha at some point.
As I began learning the callsigns of the regular chasers I wanted to know their names, too. At first I would pick up names hearing while waiting in a chase queue or reading posts. When Portalog became my logging method of choice adding the names became standard practice. My main source has been QRZ.COM. It is a bit labor intensive to log in, look up the callsign and get the name, then add it to a current log to update the phone Names file. I am sure there is an easier way. Time to learn.
I do enjoy being able to refer to the caller by name. Seems a nice touch.
There is a uniqueness to each chaser. CW fist, speed, spacing, timing, passband location, typical signal strength all add to that individual signature.
72, David N6AN
Since I’m logging with paper and pencil I try to remember the names of my chasers. In addition, I keep a list of approx. 80 call signs of frequent chasers which I update from time to time.
It works quite well, but sometimes it’s hard to quickly scan through the list
Some call signs give a hint of the owner’s name: G4OIG must belong to someone with a name starting with G