POTA specific logging program - PyLogJam

Discussion in 'Logbooks & Logging Programs' started by KE4ET, Feb 17, 2021.

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  1. KE4ET

    KE4ET XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello everyone,

    I've been writing a logging program specifically for POTA activations. It is called PyLogJam, and is released under the GPL license. The current version is 0.3. I have not previously made a real announcement of the project. It has been in the works for a while now, and I have used it myself on 37 activations to date.

    The program is written in Python so it should be runnable on most anything. You'll just have to have Python installed. I'm a Software Engineer and writing this program gave me a chance to play with Python on a small program. Usually I have worked on large systems with thousands of source files and decade(s) of development effort.

    On some OS's Python is natively installed. I've been running PyLogJam on Linux laptops as that is what I have, but Linux is not required.

    PyLogJam produces an ADIF file with the current naming convention for POTA log submittal. The files are ready to upload to your POTA coordinator, and to LoTW via tQSL, etc. Thanks to the POTA people for assisting in testing!

    The program is very minimalistic. If you want lots of fields and lots of options, this is not the program you are looking for!

    However if you want to run pileups very quickly without having to think about your logger, as fast as you can type the callsigns, this just might be what you are looking for. The interface is intuitive and should require almost no learning curve. A few minutes getting familiar with it is all you need to be ready to run pileups. There are no configurable options.

    It only does one thing - POTA.

    Though the version is currently 0.3, it is more mature than most 1.0 versions of software. There have been only a few minor changes in the last several months of usage.

    Still to do:

    1) Print the count of total contacts and P-P contacts when the program closes. I'll add that today; the counts are already internally available.

    2) Not much in the way of instructions is needed, or written. I should make the instructions a little nicer. But they should get the job done.

    3) Add a sanity check warning if the operator has specified a frequency and a mode which are not compatible with the band plan. An example would be SSB mode for 7.0355. The odds are very high the operator just moved down to CW land and forgot to change the mode. I've done that a couple times now so I'd appreciate the logger letting me know. I figure you might want that as well. Once this update is present, I'll up-rev to 1.0.

    Anyone interested can find screenshots on my KE4ET QRZ page along with pictures and probably too much text from my activations. If interested, send me an email and I'll send you back the program and instructions. It's just a few hundred lines of Python code. Feel free to read it!

    Until I've completed the updates mentioned above, and taken that version out to the field, I only want to release to about a dozen people. The initial group I figure to send updates to directly. After 1.0 I'll post it somewhere so anyone can grab it.

    Please note that the program does enforce the US band boundaries. It will not allow a contact to be logged to a frequency which is not allowed by a US license. Sometime in the future I may make versions for other countries if there is demand.

    Gerald KE4ET
  2. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sounds interesting. I don't normally take a laptop on activations, but I have a Chromebook with Linux that is nice and light, so I'm game to give it a try.

    Email inbound...

  3. WA2LK

    WA2LK XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    running a mac?
  4. KE4ET

    KE4ET XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would think it would work. IIRC, you may need to add Python 3 as I think the mac might be on a version of 2 by default. Not sure though. I haven't used macs in many years! I would not expect any issues. Python is one of the most common languages and the program is essentially just a text file containing the code. Any platform that can run Python 3, which should be nearly any platform, should work. If you want to give it a try, drop me an email.

    Gerald KE4ET
  5. N3KAE

    N3KAE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm interested. I will be getting back out in a few weeks as the winter begins to fade here in PA. I only used VLSLogger or ACLog for my 23 activations 2020. More on my QRZ.com page.
  6. KE4ET

    KE4ET XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Alfred, you should expect an email shortly with PyLogJam.

    Others who have contacted me already have the program. I've received feedback that it works fine on Chrome OS. I'm happy if people post feedback/observations/comments/questions/etc here but I'll take it however I can get it! I won't quote feedback received by email without permission.

    PyLogJam could use more testers. So far there are no testers for Windows OSs. BTW, if you request the program it helps me to know what OS(s) you might be running. That way I know what is being tested! And therefore what is not!


    Gerald KE4ET
  7. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm assuming that ChromeOS user is me. :)

    To be clear, I haven't run it under ChromeOS directly, but under the Linux(Beta) feature. It's a bit "different" than native Linux installed on a separate partition (some hardware features aren't available and not everything you'd expect in Linux is installed by default).

    Playing around with it at my desk, the app works great and is blissfully simple compared to many of the logging apps out there.

    I'll give it a try in the field once the weather improves a bit and I can get out there.

  8. KE4ET

    KE4ET XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It looks like the ipad is probably out of the running as a possible platorm for PyLogJam at this time.

    Details for coders - PyLogJam uses the de-facto standard gui support module tkinter, which is NOT supported on the ipad. I would have to do a major rewrite to support something ipad specific. And I chose Python specifically to try to avoid such issues... Though it is possible someone has a Python implementation for the ipad which supports tkinter sufficiently. I don't know, and don't have an ipad.

    For Android, the situation might be better. https://learning-python.com/using-tkinter-programs-on-android.html I don't have a setup to test with though, and so far don't have a volunteer tester for Android.

    But as of now I'm thinking that anything which can run a laptop can run PyLogJam. In some cases it will require installation of Python 3 and possibly tkinter which is the default GUI module for Python if it isn't already bundled.

    Gerald KE4ET
  9. KE4ET

    KE4ET XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I could still use about four more volunteer testers. Any platform except ipad where it is known to not work at this time.

    Gerald KE4ET
  10. KE4ET

    KE4ET XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    PyLogJam Version 0.4.0 should be available in a few days. This upcoming release will incorporate the mode vs frequency compatibility check and warning (including band edge proximity due to bandwidth), and a minor bug fix to disallow the 219 - 222MHz range that is not usable for POTA. In essence 0.4.0 is the Beta for full public release of PyLogJam.

    I'm still accepting testers if any more POTA activators or potential POTA activators are interested in trying what should be the simplest logging program to use of them all.

    I also wouldn't mind more feedback from those who have already used PyLogJam.

    Gerald KE4ET
    AI5DD likes this.

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