Topics

If I Created a POTA Log?


Scott Davis
 


Hi All,

While I've had lots of great reports from folks who have configured AC Log for POTA as detailed here:


http://www.n3fjp.com/faq.html#q107

I continue to receive requests for a dedicated POTA logger.

When I create contest specific applications, I know exactly what I want them to do, but I've not operated POTA much, I don't know what you would like to see and what a stand alone application built on a contest software template would do, that would be superior to how AC Log supports POTA already.

If you all can collectively brainstorm a clear and specific vision of what that would look like, if time and tide allow, I will consider a POTA specific application.  The main caveat is that I must be able to adapt an existing contest template (at least in terms of states / sections worked and / or any lists, such as the ARRL DX software format).  

In short, if you can nail down and agree on something clear and specific, that is obtainable from my existing templates and is superior to how AC Log supports POTA, while I can't promise, I will try.

I am looking forward to seeing what emerges from the consensus of your brainstorming!

73, Scott
N3FJP

Serving the Amateur Radio community with contesting and general logging software since 1997.

1 Peter 3 vs 15: Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect...


Michael WA7SKG
 

Please keep in mind that World Wide Flora and Fauna (WWFF) and Parks On The Air (POTA) are two distinctly different programs with different requirements and park numbers.

Michael WA7SKG

Scott Davis via groups.io wrote on 2/23/21 8:01 AM:

Hi All,
While I've had lots of great reports from folks who have configured AC Log for POTA as detailed here:
How do I configure AC Log for proper ADIF output for WWFF Parks on the Air (POTA)? <http://www.n3fjp.com/faq.html#q107>
http://www.n3fjp.com/faq.html#q107
I continue to receive requests for a dedicated POTA logger.
When I create contest specific applications, I know exactly what I want them to do, but I've not operated POTA much, I don't know what you would like to see and what a stand alone application built on a contest software template would do, that would be superior to how AC Log supports POTA already.
If you all can collectively brainstorm a clear and specific vision of what that would look like, if time and tide allow, I will consider a POTA specific application.  The main caveat is that I must be able to adapt an existing contest template (at least in terms of states / sections worked and / or any lists, such as the ARRL DX software format).
In short, if you can nail down and agree on something clear and specific, that is obtainable from my existing templates and is superior to how AC Log supports POTA, while I can't promise, I will try.
I am looking forward to seeing what emerges from the consensus of your brainstorming!
73, Scott
N3FJP
_http://www.n3fjp.com_ <http://www.n3fjp.com/>


Van Herridge
 

I would keep the QRZ connection and lookup.  I modified AC Log and it is working fine.
Van  N4VGE


Jim Shorney
 

Thanks for considering this, Scott!

What needs to be in the log is pretty much the same between the two programs.

Mandatory fields are Date, Time, Band, Mode, and Callsign worked.

Not mandatory at this time but strongly encouraged:

OPERATOR callsign
STATION_CALLSIGN (if different than OPERATOR)
MY_SIG_INFO reference number of the entity activated
SIG_INFO reference number of a entity worked for park-to-park contacts

Nice to have for various reasons:

MY_STATE, MY_CNTY, and MY_GRIDSQUARE (allows direct upload with correct station location to LoTW)
SIG and MY_SIG (program name, i.e. POTA, WWFF, SOTA, etc., helpful for operator data crunching)
FREQ (many ops like to log frequency)
Other fields like name, state/province, and country of the station worked as well as Comments.

There may be other fields that some ops would like to have. I'm not familiar with the requirements of the various programs but there may be enough crossover with SOTA, Lighthouses, and other programs that would make a generic special interest group/special event logger practical. It might be helpful to have a look at Genlog to see how it handles all of this.

IMO I think what bothers some ops is the arcane names of some of the fields, particularly the SIG (special interest group) fields. The differentiation between OPERATOR and STATION_CALLSIGN is another bit of slightly advanced knowledge. Although either or both may be used (or not) for generic operations it should be clear what special situations they are desirable for.

Of course CAT control and integration with ACL probably goes without saying. :)

I would love to see some of the special interest activators weigh in on this, Speak up guys!

73 & 44,

-Jim
NU0C

Zero District POTA Area Coordinator
http://www.parksontheair.com/
Zero and Seven Districts WWFF-KFF Log Manager
https://wwffkff.wordpress.com/




On Tue, 23 Feb 2021 08:11:53 -0800
"Michael WA7SKG" <wa7skg@wa7skg.com> wrote:

Please keep in mind that World Wide Flora and Fauna (WWFF) and Parks On
The Air (POTA) are two distinctly different programs with different
requirements and park numbers.

Michael WA7SKG

Scott Davis via groups.io wrote on 2/23/21 8:01 AM:

Hi All,

While I've had lots of great reports from folks who have configured AC
Log for POTA as detailed here:

How do I configure AC Log for proper ADIF output for WWFF Parks on the
Air (POTA)? <http://www.n3fjp.com/faq.html#q107>

http://www.n3fjp.com/faq.html#q107

I continue to receive requests for a dedicated POTA logger.

When I create contest specific applications, I know exactly what I want
them to do, but I've not operated POTA much, I don't know what you would
like to see and what a stand alone application built on a contest
software template would do, that would be superior to how AC Log
supports POTA already.

If you all can collectively brainstorm a clear and specific vision of
what that would look like, if time and tide allow, I will consider a
POTA specific application.  The main caveat is that I must be able to
adapt an existing contest template (at least in terms of states /
sections worked and / or any lists, such as the ARRL DX software format).

In short, if you can nail down and agree on something clear and
specific, that is obtainable from my existing templates and is superior
to how AC Log supports POTA, while I can't promise, I will try.

I am looking forward to seeing what emerges from the consensus of your
brainstorming!

73, Scott
N3FJP
_http://www.n3fjp.com_ <http://www.n3fjp.com/>




Charlie Pitchford
 

Greeting,

I am somewhat new with POTA. I've been hunting for a couple of months and have one activation with more in my future plans.

I have found that ACLog works just fine for POTA activations. Trust me, as an activator, if I can figure out how to tweak ACLog to log POTA contacts, including Park-2-Park, and upload to the POTA website at the end of the day then anybody can.

Not sure I see the need for a special POTA logging program.

Charlie, N4QET

On Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 09:31:27 PM EST, Jim Shorney <jshorney@...> wrote:


Thanks for considering this, Scott!

What needs to be in the log is pretty much the same between the two programs.

Mandatory fields are Date, Time, Band, Mode, and Callsign worked.

Not mandatory at this time but strongly encouraged:

OPERATOR callsign
STATION_CALLSIGN (if different than OPERATOR)
MY_SIG_INFO reference number of the entity activated
SIG_INFO reference number of a entity worked for park-to-park contacts

Nice to have for various reasons:

MY_STATE, MY_CNTY, and MY_GRIDSQUARE (allows direct upload with correct station location to LoTW)
SIG and MY_SIG (program name, i.e. POTA, WWFF, SOTA, etc., helpful for operator data crunching)
FREQ (many ops like to log frequency)
Other fields like name, state/province, and country of the station worked as well as Comments.

There may be other fields that some ops would like to have. I'm not familiar with the requirements of the various programs but there may be enough crossover with SOTA, Lighthouses, and other programs that would make a generic special interest group/special event logger practical. It might be helpful to have a look at Genlog to see how it handles all of this.

IMO I think what bothers some ops is the arcane names of some of the fields, particularly the SIG (special interest group) fields. The differentiation between OPERATOR and STATION_CALLSIGN is another bit of slightly advanced knowledge. Although either or both may be used (or not) for generic operations it should be clear what special situations they are desirable for.

Of course CAT control and integration with ACL probably goes without saying. :)

I would love to see some of the special interest activators weigh in on this, Speak up guys!

73 & 44,

-Jim
NU0C

Zero District POTA Area Coordinator
http://www.parksontheair.com/
Zero and Seven Districts WWFF-KFF Log Manager
https://wwffkff.wordpress.com/




On Tue, 23 Feb 2021 08:11:53 -0800
"Michael WA7SKG" <wa7skg@...> wrote:

> Please keep in mind that World Wide Flora and Fauna (WWFF) and Parks On
> The Air (POTA) are two distinctly different programs with different
> requirements and park numbers.
>
> Michael WA7SKG
>
> Scott Davis via groups.io wrote on 2/23/21 8:01 AM:
> >
> > Hi All,
> >
> > While I've had lots of great reports from folks who have configured AC
> > Log for POTA as detailed here:
> >
> > How do I configure AC Log for proper ADIF output for WWFF Parks on the
> > Air (POTA)? <http://www.n3fjp.com/faq.html#q107>
> >
> > http://www.n3fjp.com/faq.html#q107
> >
> > I continue to receive requests for a dedicated POTA logger.
> >
> > When I create contest specific applications, I know exactly what I want
> > them to do, but I've not operated POTA much, I don't know what you would
> > like to see and what a stand alone application built on a contest
> > software template would do, that would be superior to how AC Log
> > supports POTA already.
> >
> > If you all can collectively brainstorm a clear and specific vision of
> > what that would look like, if time and tide allow, I will consider a
> > POTA specific application.  The main caveat is that I must be able to
> > adapt an existing contest template (at least in terms of states /
> > sections worked and / or any lists, such as the ARRL DX software format).
> >
> > In short, if you can nail down and agree on something clear and
> > specific, that is obtainable from my existing templates and is superior
> > to how AC Log supports POTA, while I can't promise, I will try.
> >
> > I am looking forward to seeing what emerges from the consensus of your
> > brainstorming!
> >
> > 73, Scott
> > N3FJP
> > _http://www.n3fjp.com_ <http://www.n3fjp.com/>
>
>
>
>
>







Jim Shorney
 

Agreed that ACL can be customized to work very well for POTA. But it is worth considering that a percentage of activators want a clean and simple (relatively) lightweight logger that they can just load and go. Also there is a subset who are simply not computer savvy and configuring a program like ACL is like rocket science to them. Somme of them have never logged a contact in their life before POTA. As a log manager for two programs I have seen it all. In the end it is up to Scott if he wants to do this and he will decide what's best for his business.

73 & 44,

-Jim
NU0C

Zero District POTA Area Coordinator
http://www.parksontheair.com/
Zero and Seven Districts WWFF-KFF Log Manager
https://wwffkff.wordpress.com/


On Wed, 24 Feb 2021 03:39:12 +0000 (UTC)
"Charlie Pitchford via groups.io" <cpitchford3=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Greeting,
I am somewhat new with POTA. I've been hunting for a couple of months and have one activation with more in my future plans.
I have found that ACLog works just fine for POTA activations. Trust me, as an activator, if I can figure out how to tweak ACLog to log POTA contacts, including Park-2-Park, and upload to the POTA website at the end of the day then anybody can.
Not sure I see the need for a special POTA logging program.
Charlie, N4QET
On Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 09:31:27 PM EST, Jim Shorney <jshorney@inebraska.com> wrote:

Thanks for considering this, Scott!

What needs to be in the log is pretty much the same between the two programs.

Mandatory fields are Date, Time, Band, Mode, and Callsign worked.

Not mandatory at this time but strongly encouraged:

OPERATOR callsign
STATION_CALLSIGN (if different than OPERATOR)
MY_SIG_INFO reference number of the entity activated
SIG_INFO reference number of a entity worked for park-to-park contacts

Nice to have for various reasons:

MY_STATE, MY_CNTY, and MY_GRIDSQUARE (allows direct upload with correct station location to LoTW)
SIG and MY_SIG (program name, i.e. POTA, WWFF, SOTA, etc., helpful for operator data crunching)
FREQ (many ops like to log frequency)
Other fields like name, state/province, and country of the station worked as well as Comments.

There may be other fields that some ops would like to have. I'm not familiar with the requirements of the various programs but there may be enough crossover with SOTA, Lighthouses, and other programs that would make a generic special interest group/special event logger practical. It might be helpful to have a look at Genlog to see how it handles all of this.

IMO I think what bothers some ops is the arcane names of some of the fields, particularly the SIG (special interest group) fields. The differentiation between OPERATOR and STATION_CALLSIGN is another bit of slightly advanced knowledge. Although either or both may be used (or not) for generic operations it should be clear what special situations they are desirable for.

Of course CAT control and integration with ACL probably goes without saying. :)

I would love to see some of the special interest activators weigh in on this, Speak up guys!

73 & 44,

-Jim
NU0C

Zero District POTA Area Coordinator
http://www.parksontheair.com/
Zero and Seven Districts WWFF-KFF Log Manager
https://wwffkff.wordpress.com/




On Tue, 23 Feb 2021 08:11:53 -0800
"Michael WA7SKG" <wa7skg@wa7skg.com> wrote:

Please keep in mind that World Wide Flora and Fauna (WWFF) and Parks On
The Air (POTA) are two distinctly different programs with different
requirements and park numbers.

Michael WA7SKG

Scott Davis via groups.io wrote on 2/23/21 8:01 AM:

Hi All,

While I've had lots of great reports from folks who have configured AC
Log for POTA as detailed here:

How do I configure AC Log for proper ADIF output for WWFF Parks on the
Air (POTA)? <http://www.n3fjp.com/faq.html#q107>

http://www.n3fjp.com/faq.html#q107

I continue to receive requests for a dedicated POTA logger.

When I create contest specific applications, I know exactly what I want
them to do, but I've not operated POTA much, I don't know what you would
like to see and what a stand alone application built on a contest
software template would do, that would be superior to how AC Log
supports POTA already.

If you all can collectively brainstorm a clear and specific vision of
what that would look like, if time and tide allow, I will consider a
POTA specific application.  The main caveat is that I must be able to
adapt an existing contest template (at least in terms of states /
sections worked and / or any lists, such as the ARRL DX software format).

In short, if you can nail down and agree on something clear and
specific, that is obtainable from my existing templates and is superior
to how AC Log supports POTA, while I can't promise, I will try.

I am looking forward to seeing what emerges from the consensus of your
brainstorming!

73, Scott
N3FJP
_http://www.n3fjp.com_ <http://www.n3fjp.com/>














WA7WS
 

I'm certainly no guru on this.  I've modified the template according to Matt Heere's video with one exception.  I added an "other" that is labelled "My Park" only because when i go thru my logs I don't have to wonder "what park is K-2233"..  Now, when I look at my log with thousands of park entries I know that Park K-2233 is Eagle Island SP.  While not necessary, it is very helpful and will be more so as I branch out from my local area and into other states.

If a clean, lightweight logger is created.. it would be nice to be able to add an "other" or two to personalize it for something like My Park.  Honestly, I don't care about Power, Sent/Rec or Operator as it's always myself.  I would guess if there were multiple operators such as a club event, that could be added as an "Other" with the proper label such as "Operator"

Bill
WA7WS


Mel - N7GCO - Cheney, WA
 

I would really love to have a separate POTA Log, built on one of the contest logs. They work excellent and it would sure be simpler to have a dedicated separate log.
Scott, hope you will consider developing one. I would really appreciate it.

Mel
N7GCO


Matt Heere
 

Hi Scott,

It's an interesting question.  I have no real problems using ACLog for POTA, but there are things that could be better:

  1. The required customization is relatively easy, but could be eliminated with a dedicated program.
  2. Handling of "multiples" could be streamlined.  It is possible to be at multiple park designators simultaneously, but there is no good way to account for this inside of ACLog.  It means manual "search and replace" work in the exported ADIF before submitting to POTA.
  3. Likewise when you hunt a multiple it counts as two (or more) QSOs.  Since everything except the park designator is identical it would be nice to speed up the entry process rather than having to log everything more than once from scratch.
  4. Duplicate QSO detection that followed the rules of POTA.  Right now when I enter a callsign, if I've worked them before I see the QSO pop up in the top of the window, but if I changed bands or modes I have to scour that record to see if it's a duplicate or not.  A POTA logger could, if CAT connected to the rig, determine that for me and color code appropriately.
  5. Options to easily export just the set of contacts that were from a park on a UTC day would save a manual selection step or having to create new log DB for each activation
  6. Ultimately we're going to get "self-service" log uploads for POTA.  Direct integration with this so that the ADIF step isn't really visible to the user would be awesome.
  7. There's a CSV file available to us that includes a complete listing of the park designators.  Being able to import this and use it both to select my park, as well as validate any park designators I receive, would be handy.
  8. I know this isn't your bag, but in case any other developers are reading - iOS support.  Honestly our #1 POTA logging problem at the moment is the lack of a good iOS app.  A way to import CSV into your POTA app and use it to generate the required ADIF (or direct upload) would at least give the iOS crowd the option of using a spreadsheet for data entry.
  9. Automatic check for Internet connectivity and corresponding auto-switch between QRZ and local call data lookup would save me a lot of "oh crud - I forgot to...." moments when trying to enter the 1st QSO.  It seems to be a crap shoot whether I'll have cell service (and so hotspot) at any given park.
  10. Not POTA specific, but I wanted to have 10 things :)  A partial callsign "helper" would be, well - helpful.  I pick pieces of a callsign out of the pileup all the time.  Would be great to be able to enter them and see what calls in the DB match what I have.  

I'm sure there's more if I put some thought into it or ask around for ideas.  As always - happy to help however I can.

73's - Matt - N3NWV


WA7WS
 

I just found out that many of my contacts have been deleted when doing the Search for Duplicates.  This is a real bummer when logging POTA.. 
Why are they being deleted?
The reason is.. I frequently log two parks at one time.. therefore the individual contacts for one are exactly the same as those of the second park.
The only thing that changes are the Park Designator.. and in my case.. the Park Name.

I now understand why it has been recommended by many to change the TIME of the contacts in the 2nd park by a minute.

This is troublesome in that I make, say 150 to 250 (or more) contacts in a day.  On these dual or triple activations.. That is a LOT of work

This would be a non issue of there was a single modifier one could add that would eliminate this horror.  I now have to go thru thousands of contacts to verify all are in place as I hope to upload these to LoTW, etc and the hunters would love to have that credit as available.

Is this something that is easily put in place?.. Or am I missing something?  In the past, I've been told to simply rename the two fields (my sig and and in my case, my park name)


Scott Davis
 

Hi Bill,

Thanks for your e-mail. When you click File > Remove Duplicates, AC Log presents you with a complete list of all the fields evaluated to determine whether the QSO record is a duplicate or not.

File.JPG

As you can see the Other fields are not part of the Duplicate evaluation criteria so you should not expect QSO records where that is the only difference to be preserved.

I'm sorry that we did not have the answer you were hoping for.

Be well and enjoy!

73, Kimberly, KA3SEQ

Serving the Amateur Radio community with contesting and general logging software since 1997.

1 Peter 3 vs 15: Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect...


-----Original Message-----
From: WA7WS <chipz40@...>
To: N3FJPSoftwareUsers@groups.io
Sent: Sun, Feb 28, 2021 12:45 pm
Subject: Re: [N3FJPSoftwareUsers] If I Created a POTA Log?

I just found out that many of my contacts have been deleted when doing the Search for Duplicates.  This is a real bummer when logging POTA.. 
Why are they being deleted?
The reason is.. I frequently log two parks at one time.. therefore the individual contacts for one are exactly the same as those of the second park.
The only thing that changes are the Park Designator.. and in my case.. the Park Name.

I now understand why it has been recommended by many to change the TIME of the contacts in the 2nd park by a minute.

This is troublesome in that I make, say 150 to 250 (or more) contacts in a day.  On these dual or triple activations.. That is a LOT of work

This would be a non issue of there was a single modifier one could add that would eliminate this horror.  I now have to go thru thousands of contacts to verify all are in place as I hope to upload these to LoTW, etc and the hunters would love to have that credit as available.

Is this something that is easily put in place?.. Or am I missing something?  In the past, I've been told to simply rename the two fields (my sig and and in my case, my park name)


Jim Shorney
 

Aside from what Scott said, the duplicate contacts are really a non-issue for LoTW. The log matching follows a very narrow set of parameters and "duplicate" contacts that match within those criteria will not be logged by LoTW as a new contact.

https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help/frequently-asked-questions/#datamatch

IOW, after your log has been sent to POTA you don't need the dupes anyway. If you want to keep them in your log for data tracking that is a separate issue.

73

-Jim
NU0C

On Sun, 28 Feb 2021 09:45:44 -0800
"WA7WS" <chipz40@hotmail.com> wrote:

I now have to go thru thousands of contacts to verify all are in place as I hope to upload these to LoTW, etc and the hunters would love to have that credit as available.


Michael WA7SKG
 

Part of the issue is, for everything other than POTA, all those contacts are dupes and don't count for anything and will be subsequently rejected or ignored. I would put them all in your logs with the primary park and not worry about the second park other than your POTA submission. There is nothing in any of the on-line logging systems that I know of that care a whit about the park numbers.

Doing a bulk edit of the adi file for the second park number is trivial for POTA submission. IMHO, does not really warrant the degree of complicated programming of a mainstream logging program to accommodate two-fers. For your own record, I would suggest putting the second park in the COMMENTS section, or utilize an OTHER box if one is available.

My $.0002

Michael WA7SKG

WA7WS wrote on 2/28/21 9:45 AM:

I just found out that many of my contacts have been deleted when doing the Search for Duplicates.  This is a real bummer when logging POTA..
Why are they being deleted?
The reason is.. I frequently log two parks at one time.. therefore the individual contacts for one are exactly the same as those of the second park.
The only thing that changes are the Park Designator.. and in my case.. the Park Name.
I now understand why it has been recommended by many to change the TIME of the contacts in the 2nd park by a minute.
This is troublesome in that I make, say 150 to 250 (or more) contacts in a day.  On these dual or triple activations.. That is a LOT of work
This would be a non issue of there was a single modifier one could add that would eliminate this horror.  I now have to go thru thousands of contacts to verify all are in place as I hope to upload these to LoTW, etc and the hunters would love to have that credit as available.
Is this something that is easily put in place?.. Or am I missing something?  In the past, I've been told to simply rename the two fields (my sig and and in my case, my park name)


Scott Davis
 

Hi All,

Thanks for all of your thoughtful input on the features that you would like to see in a POTA log.  With two different POTA groups requiring different fields, requests for various field layouts, desires for callbook lookup, LoTW upload and other features not in the contest software, requests for the ability of user customizations, etc., it quickly became clear that building a POTA log off of my contest software template would never suffice.  

Since all those features are already available in AC Log, it's been very encouraging to hear many folks comment that AC Log already supports POTA really well now.  With that in mind, to help support POTA even more easily using AC Log, I've been working on the ability to save and load any number of data entry configurations, that you can customize in AC Log, any way that you like.  That way, you can save one configuration for your POTA activations, one for home, etc.  I think I have it working well and I would really appreciate it if you would give it a try!

Now, when you click Settings > Edit Fields Displayed and check the check box to configure, you will be prompted for a file name.  Then go ahead and customize as you like.

To load a previously saved configuration, either from the main form, click Settings > Edit Fields Displayed > Load Configuration, or click the command button on the configuration form to do so.

You can install 6.8.6 Beta from this link here (no need to uninstall the previous version):


Please let me know how you make out!

73, Scott
N3FJP

Serving the Amateur Radio community with contesting and general logging software since 1997.

1 Peter 3 vs 15: Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect...



KD8VRX@...
 

Hi Scott,

This is probably the best approach and it will solve other layout issues as well.
Keep up the great work!

73,
Jocelyn.
KD8VRX/VA2VRX


Claude Ray - AC4SH
 

Matt, I think you got all the points i was thinking of. I especially like the partial call lookup. Scott already has this feature in the field day logger.
73 de AC4SH