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POTA specific logging program - PyLogJam

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

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  1. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I tried to use it in anger yesterday at Conway Robinson State Forest, but I was using a short whip on my KX2 and didn't get any love. If the weather holds out today, I may try again.

    I like the basic idea of the app, but would love a proper cellphone version so I don't have to take a laptop out in the field.

  2. KE4ET

    KE4ET XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I nearly went to Conway yesterday! But couldn't get away. If we end up intersecting there or elsewhere, I carry a full set of transmit bandpass filters in my trunk so we can set up on different bands and not interfere with each other. Works VERY well.

    Conway absorbs a little RF with the trees, and since the moisture is high it absorbs a bit more than usual now. When I went there a few days ago, low power, I barely got activated. I worked almost all DX as no US stations were answering. The bands seem to be a bit unsettled.

    Anyway, all OT. But I had to reply!

    As for Android cell phone, perhaps this may be of use: There is a chance the program will work. For Apple cell phones, no dice at the moment I think. Not sure really. tkinter may be a problem. I may try sometime after 1.0.0 is public.

    So far the only platform I'm sure doesn't work in the ipad. PyLogJam works on Linux, MacOS on linux subsystem and should work directly on MacOS with Python 3 and tkinter installed. It should work on Windows once Python 3 is installed (tkinter is bundled in the Python 3 installation for Windows).

  3. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Probably better you didn't. Conway is a swamp right now. Unlike a reasonable person who would set up at one of the picnic tables, I decided to try to take the trail around to the back end of the park and set up in the woods. I ended up cutting my walk short and just setting up a hundred yards off the trail due to the trail conditions.

    While nobody came back to me (what? a 4' whip on 20m isn't an efficient antenna?), I did hear a few people comment that the band conditions were poor. I heard the same thing yesterday.

    I'll see what I can do with that site. I'm not a developer and don't know Python, but I did a fair bit of shell scripting in both Windows and Linux a few years ago, so maybe I can muddle through it.

  4. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page


    I tried Termux the other day and could not get it to work. However, Using tkinter Programs on Android: Provisional Guide ( referenced Python3 in the Android Play Store, so I tried it on my ChromeBook (which can run Android apps for those who aren't aware). The script ran find there, but a bit distorted. I then installed Python3 on my phone, a Moto x4, and loaded the script. This time the gui issue was even worse, but I was able to enter a dummy activation and write a log file. I went into the script to see what dimensional settings were available, saw the font and button adjustments, tweaked those, and ran it again. This time it displayed more or less properly, though the X to close the app doesn't appear as it does under Linux.

    Screen shots below:


  5. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I fixed the display problem further. Go into the Settings, then System, then scroll down to the two Tkinter settings.
    Change these:
    Tkinter: Screen DPI (default is Auto, I used 400)
    Tkinter: maximize first window (default is Enabled, I disabled this)

    The screen shot doesn't show it, but the keyboard is entirely under the app rather than overlapping it as before. I find this much easier to use (great for one thumbed driving).

    Screen Shot:

  6. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Heads up...The Python3 app automatically converts to a subscription after 3 days. I don't know if it will warn you or ask permission, so I'm going to look for alternatives. The fully unlocked permanent license is only $10, but I'm not happy with the apparent sneakiness of the auto-subscription. :rolleyes:

  7. KE4ET

    KE4ET XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Chris, very good getting it to work on Andriod! I thought it would! If it's alright with you, I'll add your info to the installation notes.

    I'm neck deep in updates for 0.4.0. It is being a little more work than I expected. I probably have a couple more evenings of coding and testing before it is ready to go out to testers. It won't look any different overall. But it will color the frequency background yellow when there is a problem with the mode selected and the frequency entered not being compatible. This includes proximity to band edge based on normal bandwidths. I've completed and nominally tested that part of the update for SSB, and am working on FM now. There are also a couple of bugs fixed where I allowed contacts on frequency ranges which should not be allowed but which most amateurs probably don't think about. They are some reserved ranges for special purposes. I think I have another bug where Python 3 is being nice so it works correctly even though perhaps it shouldn't. Not sure yet! There is also a bit of cleanup to do. And lots more testing! For such a simple GUI, there is a lot to test! Anyway here are the release notes for the upcoming version, so far:


    Added sanity check and operator warning if selected mode is imcompatible with entered frequency
    based on Band Plan.

    Renamed some routines to better match what they now do.

    Bug Fix:

    Removed frequency range 219MHz to 222MHz from allowed frequency entry. 219MHz to 220MHz is for fixed
    digital message forwarding services, so not applicable to POTA. And we lost 220MHz to 222MHz.

    Removed frequency range 50.79MHz to 50.99MHz from allowed frequency entry. This range is allocated
    to RC aircraft usage in a series of channels, so is not allowed for POTA.

    I'll send 0.4.0 out to the testers when it is ready. I'm also still accepting more testers if I can get them. I don't think anyone is using Windows OSs so far. I could sure use a tester for Windows 10 at least.

    After 0.4.0 I'm going to check into whether there is any way for PyLogJam to detect the platform, so I can resize the GUI appropriately. It would be nice for users if that was automatic. Perhaps 0.5.0 if I figure out a good approach. I haven't researched it yet.

    In the mean time I've also got to get the batch of portable vertical bases completed so I can offer them for sale. If there isn't much interest, it will be the only batch. They are way too much work to make when making them right. Too much tied up in that project for me to not release them. The biggest thing left is weather sealing. Anyone interested can look on my QRZ page though it isn't up to date.

    As for Conway - yes, it's a swamp. I'm convinced that's why it is a park - no developers wanted it! I've learned not to go back down the trails if it has rained recently. It gets a bit soupy and slick. Nowdays when I'm there I just sit in my car and run a coax out to the field by the parking area.

    Gerald KE4ET
    KI4POT likes this.
  8. KE4ET

    KE4ET XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think PyLogJam 0.4.0 is done. I want to do a little more testing but everything I intended to be in this release seems to be working. I've put in probably 20 hours coding and testing these last three days, and some work before then. I need a break!

    The GUI doesn't look any different and the program generally operates the same, except if you make a bad entry it will now color it yellow. Internally the update is extensive. I plan to send out the new version to the testers either late tonight or tomorrow night.

    The biggest operational difference between this version and the previous version is this version enforces the Band Plan. As all of you probably know, the Band Plan is a wee bit complex with special cases. Now if you try to operate on a mode and frequecy combination that would be a problem, the frequency entry field will be given a yellow background. In many cases PyLogJam will still allow logging the contact, but in others such as on 60m, it will not. It all depends on the nature of the special case. Yellow in the frequency entry field means you really ought not to be operating there in the mode you selected.

    Internally there has been code cleanup and restructuring. The quality is higher now.

    If you have 0.3.1, go ahead and use it! It works quite well. Just save it off and switch to 0.4.0 once you get it.

    If you are not a tester and want to become one, drop me an email and I'll send you 0.4.0.

    Gerald KE4ET
  9. KE4ET

    KE4ET XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm sending 0.4.0 out to the Testers now. Thanks everyone!
  10. KE4ET

    KE4ET XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    All the testers should have received the new version by now. If any did not, please let me know! It's hard to know what spam blockers will do sometimes.

    Gerald KE4ET

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