Hand written logbook to digital HELP!

Discussion in 'Logbooks & Logging Programs' started by N8VKX, Apr 8, 2017.

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  1. N8VKX

    N8VKX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is there a way to scan a hand written logbook and make it digital so I can upload the information to Logbook of the world? Otherwise I'll need to do it manually and I'm cringing the thought of doing that.
  2. K3UJ

    K3UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sure, get a scanner and some OCR software (which might be included with the scanner). Be prepared for a lot of editing. You will have to go through it line by line to make sure it's correct before uploading.
    Overall hand copy might be easier, just do a batch at a time.
  3. KW4EK

    KW4EK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Unless one has perfect and highly consistent handwriting it is generally easiest to just go ahead and manually enter the data, just tackle a few pages each day until you are done (or whatever threshold works for you). If you do happen to have highly consistent handwriting and used a formal logbook with well defined rows and columns that separate each field in a well defined cell then it is potentially possible to do scanning, but you will only obtain good results after many, many, hours of training it to your specific handwriting in most cases.

    OCR software is generally designed to work most reliably with machine printed fonts rather than human handwriting, so results can vary widely depending upon the OCR, but the best quality OCR apps do not tend to come cheap (one of my OCR apps costs about $700-800, and even that is not considered expensive for good OCR). To help understand the breadth of the challenges involved in OCR, consider that "1”, "l", "i", and "I" as well as "0”, "O", "o", "Q", and null (there are other examples as well) all look remarkably similar and appear frequently in callsigns and OCR software has no foreknowledge of the rules governing callsign formatting.
  4. AA6YQ

    AA6YQ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This free application has been used by many ops to enter QSO data from handwritten logbooks and generate an ADIF file that can be submitted to LoTW using TQSL, or imported into a logging application that will then submit your QSOs to LoTW:

    Fast Log Entry by DF3CB


    Dave, AA6YQ
  5. N8VKX

    N8VKX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for all the info. Looks like it'll be one entry at a time.
  6. N8SEM

    N8SEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm late to reply, but wanted to put in a good word for Fast Log Entry, mentioned earlier. It minimizes the typing you need to do because it uses the previous entry for unchanged data. For example, you don't need to re-enter the band, and you can enter partial values for certain items, such as signal reports. For time, for example, you can change from 1602 to 1607 by entering 7.
  7. N4BBQ

    N4BBQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'd find a family member or friend that could type fast and pay them to enter it.
  8. G3YRO

    G3YRO Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is one of the reasons I've never changed over to a computer-based Log Book !

    I can see there would be some benefits . . . but unless it could show all the contacts I've had with people in the past, all the countries I've worked, etc, there seems little point . . .

    Typing up the details from 48 years worth of Log Books would probably take months!

    I actually also quite like using a paper Log Book . . . same as I still use a proper paper diary for all my appointments, notes etc.

    Roger G3YRO
  9. K3DCW

    K3DCW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's precisely what a computer logbook can do, simply by typing in a call sign, or by viewing your entire log.

    Likely true, but as mentioned above, there are tools to help speed that up.

    I've never used a paper logbook, but there is indeed something magical about using paper and pen for some things. I just don't think logbooks these days are one of those things.
  10. KP4SX

    KP4SX Subscriber QRZ Page

    Its easy enough to be selective when typing in old logbooks. When I did mine I went thru my old logs going back to 1997 and typed in the good stuff that might count as a new country or band. Many of them were highlighted already on the pages. Amazingly I got a few LoTW matches from the effort with QSOs 10-15 years ago.
    Not much point in going back 48 years. Most of those people are dead and aren't going to confirm on LoTW anyway :(

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