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What are your methods for waterproof logging, plea

Hi everybody,

I was testing laminated paper and permanent markers (felt tip) for logging during my last activations. Whilst the laminate was able to stand hard rain, the marker failed as soon as the tip got in contact with even small drops of water, so I finally returned to biro and paper. Some googling pointed me to a supplier who is offering a “space pen” which is claimed to be functional anytime anywhere, even under water. Since they take an arm and a leg for it I would like to ask if anybody here is using one of these and could recommend it. Grateful for any other suggestion as well of course!

73 Bernhard DL4CW

Use waterproof paper and pencil. It never fails. My local outdoors stores sell waterproof notepads, but the best ones are here:


I can recommend these; been using them for years. You could rub them out and re-use if you didn’t press on too hard in the first place, but at around £3 for a book that will accommodate around 2,500 logs, I don’t bother!


In reply to DL4CW:

If it’s dry I use ordinary paper and a pencil. If it’s wet I use notepads from these people.

I always use a pencil and not a biro. Pencil’s work when it is very cold and ink in biros has gone thick and doesn’t flow. The pencil is sharpened at both ends which means if I break it I can flip it over and continue writing. It’s easy to sharpen a pencil. The Aquascribe “paper” feels like plastic sheets. If you don’t press too hard with the pencil you can erase the writing and use it again. This makes the pad much cheaper as it lasts so long!


In reply to MM0FMF:
I use an acetate sheet over a template sealed in one of those encapculated plastic wallets and write with a chinagraph pencil. These pencil will write on wet surfaces and remain ledgible, just wipe with a tissue and a little spirit (Meths etc)to remove. I also put my maps into a plactic faced map folder and then using a chinagraph pencil I can mark the route etc without spoiling the map and be able to clean the route off when I next want to use the folder. Chinagraph pencil can be obtained from any good stationer for abuot £1 ea



In reply to DL4CW:

For winter/poor weather activations (seems like all the time, this year) I use an MP3 player in voice recording mode. I have it wired in so that it picks up both sides of the QSO, this also ensures that it doesn’t pick up any (extra) wind noise. I copy the files to PC and transcribe in the comfort of my home.


Gentlemen, many thanks indeed for all of your suggestions! I think I’ll go for the waterproof paper and a pencil. Could get a lifetime supply at the cost of a single “space pen” :slight_smile:

BTW: The idea of connecting an MP3 player/recorder to the radio is not bad at all.

thanks again and 73,
Bernhard DL4CW

In reply to DL4CW:

Hi, I realise I’m a little late posting, but just thought I’d add my thoughts. I have a spacepen made by Fisher as I’m a space enthusiast and I don’t use it! It will write upside down over grease/water etc, but I find a pencil and waterproof paper is a much more reliable system and cheaper too!

A problem with the spacepen is that the ink is under pressure and it tends to leak a little over time. This means that quite a sizeable blob of ink accumulates at the end of the pen, and a it is quite easy to make a large mess with it!

Don’t get me wrong, the spacepen is a fantastic piece of kit and the ‘blob problem’ probably wouldn’t appear under normal usage. My main fear of using the spacepen is losing it! I have the small ‘bullet’ pen which is only about 80mm long when closed up.

Conclusion - I would agree with the choice you have made -a pencil and waterproof paper is an ideal solution.

73 Colin

In reply to DL4CW:
Ich schreibe mal in deutsch, da sich die Quellen meines Materials auch in DL befinden. Zum Schreiben nutze ich seit Jahren einen SpacePen ST (www.spacepen.de). Bestellung, Lieferung und Bezahlung absolut unproblematisch. Wenn man einen guten Stift hat (im Winter kein Metall zu empfehlen), reicht auch eine entsprechende Mine. Papier normales SOTA-Logbuch, im Extremfall nutze ich einen wasserfesten Notizblock (Rite in the Rain Universal Ringbuch) von Globetrotter (www.globetrotter.de, Bestell-Nr. rit0902106001).

73 de Harald, DL2HSC

In reply to DL4CW:

A reporter’s notebook and a propelling pencil, inside a Weather Writer: http://www.wetwritesolutions.com/
I have the A4 portrait.
Definitely use pencil; it won’t run if soaked, unlike pen.

You can even fit the FT-817 in the Weather Writer, with the notebook on top, and still close it up.

And I find a golf umbrella makes a good mountaintop shelter, and a passable walking pole for the hike up.

Basically, my logs don’t get wet!

In reply to DL4CW:

Like a lot of others I have a waterproof paper logbook and a pencil, but I also use a cheap MP3 player with a record function to record the activation. I always start recording with a time and then when played back on the PC the time-line gives an accurate indication for the times. The MP3 player is worn under my waterproofs which cuts out wind noise and I have never had any trouble hearing both sides of the QSO.

73 Steve GW7AAV