Try CSL (Compact SOTA log)

Hi from DL4OCE,

in case you’re interested in trying my new log format and converter, please have a look at my CSL (Compact SOTA Log Processor) and especially at the template log file to see how it works.

There are only two rules:

  1. One line per QSO. Separate fields with commas.
  2. Only note stuff when something has changed compared to the line before. When the whole rest of the line is unchanged, drop it.

Most of the time, you will only need to note things like:

Upload your log to the web page and download the converted data for SOTAwatch2 upload and ADIF v3 logbook import (for HamRadio Deluxe, for example).

There is no easier way to log on SOTA and do the rework.

This is bloody beta!! Please send me your comments!

Best 73 de Arne, DL4OCE …-.-

Tried it with a normal SOTA CSV file: it produced garbled results.

Think I’ll continue to use my own file converter at which is a lot more user-friendly. YMMV as usual…


Nice. Worked fine here for a quick test.

1 Like

@dm1cm: What did your uploaded log file look like? Did you use the template file?

@dm1cm: I can see that you uploaded a SOTA CSV file. That’s not how it works, please have a look at the description and the template log file.

Hi Arne,
I did not try your tool yet, but it looks a lot like “Fast Log Entry” by DF3CB, which I use frequently.
I pasted your template into that program … alas, it does not work :frowning:
It would be nice if you could follow the same syntax rules as that program, please have a look into it:

tnx es 73

Hi Luc,

are you telling me that I invented the same thing a second time? Oh no! :joy: :grin: :joy:

Ok, let’s see… Good to see it’s similar but not quite the same.

For CSL, you don’t need a Windows PC but you can do the whole logging on the summit using a bluetooth keyboard and your Android, Windows or iOS smartphone or tablet. I know that FLE can also import files, but it’s not an online service. Furthermore, CSL can directly export to the TSV files needed for SOTAwatch DB.

I guess these are slightly different tools. CSL is highly SOTA-specialized.

You have to use the syntax from the template file.

73 de Arne, DL4OCE …-.-

Oh I see! My bad to try to upload a CSV file :blush:

Oh no, please… I (and probably others?) have difficulty enough writing times, callsigns etc. onto paper with a pen or pencil while conducting a QSO - the very idea of battling with a smartphone virtual keyboard to do it sends me into a cold sweat of terror! It’s simply not on!!!

But I also see that the user is required to write some kind of file in a text editor, and remember which field goes where in a record. Since I’m far too disorganized to figure out which field goes where, I still have to say I prefer to use my own, user-friendly, online “app” where little thought is required, I just fill in the form from my paper log entries, and everything is managed for me automagically. Also - even if the browser or PC crashes, the app remembers all my inputs up to that moment, so when I start the app in the browser again, it asks me whether I want to populate the table with my previous entries: that’s user-friendliness in action. When I’m finished, I press a button and a SOTA CSV file is created. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy, or YMMV…

Of course, there’s also the very fine PC program from Stewart G0LGS for those who wish to do stuff offline.


Hi Rob,

I didn’t write about the smartphone’s virtual keyboard but a blutooth one… You even quoted it above :wink: The smartphone can safely stay in your waterproof case… Of course you can also write it all down on paper and later write it into a text file, it’s your decision.

During SOTA action, it’s impossible to enter data into a form, selecting it’s several fields, waiting for the keyboard to pop-up etc. … So you’ll have to do it later at home. Entering 100 QSOs after a SOTA activation to a logbook program like HRD or yours is a real PITA.

There’s so much work that CSL can save you…

Assuming of course Rob that you can see the screen on your smartphone! It is difficult enough peering at the screen in bright conditions to put a self spot on. It doesn’t have to be sunny to make it difficult. The worst that can happen with hand written logs on waterproof paper is that your pencil can break, but many people sharpen them at both ends. I find it difficult enough juggling a pencil and a morse key. Logging on my phone would take it to another level.

BTW my pencil log might read 16 RQL 7 2 on one line which equates to say 10:16UTC G0RQL 57 52. It was Pete G4ISJ that put me onto minimal logging, for example where a CW report of 549 gets abbreviated to 4 and only those that are not R5 and T9 get additional figures. Things can get a little more complicated on 2m FM when names, QTHs, make of breakfast cereals, etc get exchanged… :wink:

73, Gerald G4OIG


The advantage I see is I don’t need any specific software installing, as long as I get an internet connection I can do things. Is it easier than typing into the DB? Yes.
Is it easier than typing into Excel/OO? Yes.
Is it easier than typing a CSV into a text editor? Yes.
Is it easier than typing into a logging program? Pass, I don’t use any.

I’ll be doing some activations at FN (en route and on Sunday) and I’d normally use the DB and type in a paper log live. I’ll try it and see how it works.

However, this is the important bit. Having another method is plus rather than a minus whether anyone uses it or not. So you can use any of the logging programs or editors or just the DB or a home made solution. Use what you like. Don’t use what you don’t like.