Logging Software

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W7MP, Nov 18, 2019.

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  1. W7MP

    W7MP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm on a Mac and I realize this is a loaded question, but what are some top logging programs that I should try?

    Yes I realize that I can run Windoze on Parallels and then launch a virtual client and then launch PC programs inside of that, but it seems ...less than optimal.

    I tried MacLoggerDX and whoa - so many bells and whistles and choices to make and custom settings to tweak! I was able to successfully connect my 7300 to my MacBook Pro, but I seem to now learn what I can DO with it other than log QSOs. This feels like I just got dropped into the cockpit of a 757.

    I plan to do more reading about MacLoggerDX and hopefully watch some video tutorials about the differences between Contest Mode and DX Mode and at some point learn how to "do" data contacts (which are new to me); but for now - what else is out there that I should be looking at?

    I'm not an avid contester, but having something with a contest mode might be good since we have a CW contest coming up next weekend. Would prefer that it play nicely with OS X Catalina. Most of the apps I'm coming across were built for really old legacy versions of Mac OS X, which is frustrating.

    Is it THAT worthwhile for me to run N1MM software in a virtual Windoze client or is there a Mac app I'm missing?

    Thanks in advance!

    Adam W7MP
  2. K7GQ

    K7GQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    You really don't have to run Parallels to have good logging alternatives for the Mac. Programs that are designed for contesting are, for the most part, unsuitable for general purpose logging, and clearly vice-versa. Once you try a bit of "speedy" contesting, you'll immediately recognize the need for a specialized contest program.

    The premier (and free) logging program for the Mac is "skookumlogger" from W1GQ. It has wide and various capabilities for the contester, supporting certain amplifiers and rotor systems, the K1EL keyer, Cabrillo and ADIF file formats. Having used both N1MM and skookumlogger, don't think N1MM has anything on it,

    The significant Mac general purpose logging programs in wide use are: RumLog (DL2RUM), Aether (AC7CF), and MacLoggerDX. Each in their own way perform general purpose logging with rig control, the general file interchange format (ADIF), and support uploading to LoTW (ARRL) and eQSL. With ADIF-compatible file formats, you can try one program, then import your log data in ADIF format to one fo the other log programs. After a contest, I export the skookumlogger log in ADIF format and import it to my logging program which contains both contests and regular QSOs.

    There is a dedicated Mac sub-forum under "Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems" where you'll likely find more useful information.
  3. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are Computer, and "Logging Software" threads in the Technical Forum Section here on QRZ. You may want to check them out.
  4. K4EI

    K4EI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    As an inveterate Unix user, my biggest disappointment with ham radio-related software is how PC-centric it usually is. It's kinda like stepping back in time 20 years.

    And like you, Adam, I'm not much a fan of running a virtual Windows instance if I can avoid it. I much prefer the native Mac OS environment, with a distant second going to one of several Linux distros that I keep handy.

    The good news is that MacLoggerDX is a terrific general-purpose logging program. Pretty much any program is going to require a modicum of setup to get CAT control working. But once done, it's a pretty seamless and intuitive program. And, as you've discovered, you can try it out for free.
  5. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are some decent Mac loggers, but there's no denying the top software is for the PC, or at least mostly aimed at that machine.

    It depends on what you want. If you want everything but the kitchen sink, I'd recommend Ham Radio Deluxe (I haven't tried it on a Mac via emulation, but don't know that it wouldn't work).

    If you don't want all that, but want a program that's mainly a general use logger with some rig control, my choice is N3FJP.

    If you want a contest log that can be used as a general purpose logger, the best (and maybe the best ham radio software of any kind) is N1MM logger.

    Frankly... I know you likely love your Macintosh, but think about making it easy on yourself in the shack and getting an inexpensive (but fairly recent) PC to use there.
    N3AWS and K8BZ like this.
  6. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Maybe it is as far as choice of machines to run on. Not as far as capabilities, however...take N1MM for example. ;)
  7. W4ZD

    W4ZD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back in the day I used the ARRL paper log and a pencil. No rig control capabilities, but pretty good otherwise. :D
    WA9SVD, WZ7U and WD0BCT like this.
  8. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was in your predicament also Adam. I finally bit the bullet and acquired a PC dedicated to the shack.
    It simplified my choice of a logger (N3FJP works great and is simple...with free contest add ons if you need them).
    Contest add ons and acquisition of digital communication software was simplified with the PC. Although I'm not a dedicated contester, it helps to have a logger made for the contest when dabbling amongst the contesters.

    This is made obvious when you start looking at ham software help groups on the net. PC help groups were extensive and helpful although the Window 7 and 10 groups take pot shot at each other occasionally!

    I found MAC help groups to be sparse and snarky. I'm happy I went the shack PC route.

    All my other hardware, phone, laptop, and tablet are Apple. I abandoned PCs for home use after I retired.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
    N3AWS likes this.
  9. WT4W

    WT4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've got plenty of experience with that very same logging system. For one thing, once you get past a few hundred entries you'll notice that it's sorely missing sort capabilities. It also crashes when you try uploading to LOTW.
    WD0BCT likes this.
  10. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Try uploading it to LOTW. :p

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