Really unhappy with logging software...

Hi All!

There is one aspect of Ham Radio in general and portable ops/SOTA in particular that I have yet to find a good solution (for me!) for is logging software. So I really would appreciate some hints in the right direction.

As I only operate portable and do not even have a shack I realize that my requirement are quite different from the majority of amateur radio operators and that there might just not be an ideal solution for me.

What I would like:

  • A lightweight logging software that allows to include a different operating postion (qth) for each log entry (grid square or SOTA reference).
  • With lightweight I mean no rig control, no contest focus and most importantly no bloated GUI with dozens of functions
  • A GUI that looks like it’s from the 21st century not from 1990
  • Export at least to ADIF
  • Dare I ask: iPhone support for data entry
  • sync (backup) to cloud service

In short: logging for the portable operator

Now of course I’ve looked at what is available, the best that I found are:

  • UcxLog: fast and lightweight but very much focused on contesting (and not SOTA)
  • Log4OM: great and free logging sw but way to much for my taste
  • Cloudlog: looks really neat but requires to set up (and maintain!) a server - a lot of work for my logging volume

The best solution (for me!) that I have found so far is Fast Log Entry – FLE and then upload the logs to Clublog. However that is very bare bones with no infos about callsigns, prior QSOs, distances, etc.
But if nothing else comes up that will be it.

I have looked at older threads in this forum of course but it seems a lot of the information is quite old, a lot of it pre 2013 with suggestions like Logger32…

Any ideas were else to look?


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Perhaps you should consider writing a logging program that meets your specific requirements and runs on the hardware of your choice?


Perhaps these threads could be useful:


I thought of that, but I don’t think my coding skills are up to the task to be honest…

That looks really promising, I will try it out.

Thanks for the hint!

Dare I ask: iPhone support for data entry

You didn’t mention Sue VK5AYL’s app.
More details here:

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wow!!! this is so cool! I didnt know about it!

Don’t bother logging at all. It’s amazingly liberating.


Radical concept! :wink:

Unfortunatly I am sentimental and like to remember my „adventures“ and QSOs …

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KISS logging system.



Yes, I use that one but uploading to the SOTA database is time consuming - unless the new one will allow some sort of direct transfer :wink:

Learn to type faster? The keys have been in the same place for about 120 years now, so there isn’t even a need to look where your fingers are located. :wink:


+1 for VK-portalog. It’s great. It checks a lot of your boxes, you should give it a shot.

Doesn’t work on iOS, but it runs beautifully for me on a 7" Fire tablet, which cost about $20.

Most of the time I log on my waterproof pad with a pencil, but on multi-summit days I use the tablet. Saves a lot of boring data entry work!!

Good luck - hope you find something that works for you.




It is under development and it has some spanish words even if you setuo english languaje, but it is simple and clean…

Try it…

Rick EA4M

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This is exactly what I use in the field!

Maybe a misunderstanding: I don‘t mind to use pen and paper and am looking for a software to enter that information at home into the digital realm. Hence my preference for FLE so far.

However a little bit more functionality would be really nice - without being as huge as those full blown logging solutions for the shack.

As I said it would be a bonus to be able to enter data into that system with an iOS app but this is by no means a requirement.


Those two things seem kinda diametrically opposed. A “no bloated GUI with dozens of functions” interface seems like “text” to me.

I don‘t think I agree. There are applications that have tidy and minimal GUI. This forum is a great example!

Also there is logging software that has a nice GUI but they all seem to have to many features for my taste, esp. rig control. (Maybe I need to be looking at software that is very configureable, so I can customize which features are present/enabled?)

But text is also fine by me. As long as it is used in a sensible way. A few classics come to mind: emacs, mutt, lynx …

Fair enough. Since phone access is also something desirable, would kludging something together via Google Forms work? All data would end up in a spreadsheet, which could then be exported as a .csv file?

Yes, that could work. I was also considering using some kind of spreadsheet. But as I would like to be able to sort and search the data (Have I had a QSO with this callsign before? Who did I work in this country before?) a database would be the better tool I think. Would make it easier to export to specific (custom) formats with a bit of Perl magic as well (and not just .csv).

But I have to admit: I am too lazy to write something, I would much rather spend the time outside with a radio… Like many I spend my days sitting in front of a computer…

You have 2 requirements then:

  • a mobile log recording application probably for a phone
  • an amateur radio specific database application for use in the shack

Both exist but you are being unreasonably sniffy about the UI or the fact the programs do many more things than you require (or think you require). So either use the current software and accept the UI fails to meet your standards and the program is bloaty. Or write your own and share it with us and we can amazed and in awe of your 1337 haxor skills at crafting a slick UI that does only what we need and nothing more: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Sorry but I can only see a binary choice: use what exists or write your own.

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