VK Portalog, Idiots guide??

That is flipping amazing!! ive always used the “sota activator” app, but this is brilliant having it all in 1 place!

Does it put the phone number to send it too in aswell? never used the SMS spotter, but it could be useful in more remote parts!

Thanks all!



Yes. You can select the country respectiv sms gateway in the Sotawatch options menu.

See page 9 in the manual


yea, i found that but am not registered with any of them, so need to look into that!

thanks - Alan

1 Like

Any thoughts about making this app available to apple users? I need something that shows the activator name without further clicks, unlike sotagoat and sotamat.

Elliott, K6EL

1 Like

Unfortunately I don’t have Apple products and the learning curve scares me a lot.

Sue, VK5AYL, has released an iOS app called ParksnPeaks. Info is at https://vk5ayl.com/
It works for SOTA WWFF and a few other award programs as well.


Sue’s app is VK/ZL only, Peter. Wish it were otherwise, 'cause it looks nice.


1 Like

I’ve had the reverse thought on so many other apps. I totally get why developers stick to their own platform of choice though!

1 Like

Oh my goodness! I’ve been using this App for years and never noticed that!

I use the spotter section, but just let the App go direct to SOTAWatch via the API. Having SMS as a backup for low signal areas where mobile data is poor is fantastic.

How in the world has that passed me by!

I’m clearly going to have to read the manual again to see what else I’m missing. You get used to using a subset of parts of software… sometimes missing out on new or additional features :confused:



Peter… just hijacking this thread to say a massive thank you for building and maintaining this App. It’s saved me so much time keying logs back home and resolved my awful handwriting problems.

Probably my favourite things are the way it picks up names from previous contacts (or the file provided). The ease of spotting. The ease of getting S2S info from spots.

It just hits the sweet spot of doing all the basics really well, without over complexity.



+1! Thanks from me too Peter, it’s been my primary way of logging SOTA activations for years now. When coming off my last summit of the day I’ll often fire up sotadata and submit the csv right there and then. Great for sending and monitoring spots too. Awesome work!


Running the app on a tablet that has no SIM card makes this function unavailable, at least to me. And running the app on a phone would require very good eyesight, better than I have. So my Samsung 8” tablet is fine for legibility but it cannot send SMS. Has never been a problem. I would use the iPhone for an SMS spot. I’ve also used the app on a 7” Lenovo tablet, which was only $85aud. 73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2DA


I’m an iPhone user, and been that way for too long, meaning switching to VK-port-a-log and Android means a second device on summit. Not sure yet.

I’ve been using ‘HamRS’ recently as a logging tool, following advice here and it has been a massive help once I have understood how to use it. It’s good, but only a logging tool - do it properly and uploads are simple.

From what I understand, Where VK-port-a-log wins is with integration to generate spots, browsing spots and S2S QSO integration. Nothing on iPhone does this in one app……. It would be nice, but is it worth a second device ???

For me a clear yes. But this is a personal preference.
Cheers, Markus

1 Like

You can still send spots via the SOTAWatch direct integration in the App, as long as you tether your tablet to your phone wifi hotspot.

Obviously this would impact your phone battery.


based on my experience so far, i would say YES! im going to properly use it in the field tomorrow on Billinge in the afternoon, so well see then!

you would pick up a cheap phone/tablet for logging quite easily and hotspot to your existing device. or chuck a cheap data only PAYG SIM card in it!

Cheers - Alan


can you do one for sotlas aswell please or maybe the management team could get a you tube how to do things on sota website for computer dummies like me.

Thanks Brian

1 Like

Here’s a thoughtful article about the good and bad involved in switching to Android

Elliott, K6EL

1 Like

From the article “exclusive perks like an animation of birthday confetti”.

I never knew I was missing something so essential to my life. I have broken open the piggy bank and am just about to get the train into Edinburgh so I can slap down £1099 ($1388US) in the Apple Shop for an iPhone 15 as without that my life will be empty and worthless.

Sorry I’ve spent the last 17 years working with cellphone manufacturers helping them produce their cellphone chips. I know how much the tech costs to make and develop and £1099 is an obscene price and markup.


Well i managed an activation with VK Portalog today… its REVOLUTIONISED my activations! How the hell I ever managed without this app is beyond me! hahaha

Once you have the presets sorted out, the logging is nothing more than a callsign and a signal report! (and a name if you havent worked that station already). its a revalation! when you want to change band and take a breather, just swap the presets, do a new spot and off you go again! it even pre-fills the spot for you! I dont think ill ever use anything again for SOTA logging, I just wish it would do POTA aswell!!

Cheers all



Yup. It does that.
Just carry a small pad and pencil for when it rains. Water drops on your phone screen can create all sorts of exotic callsigns!