Latest News

April 5, 2013
Updated the PREFIXES.TXT and OQP.DAT file with new DXCC multipliers of: PJ2, PJ4, PJ5 and PJ6, PJ7, and Z8. The prefixes.txt file is for information only and is not used by the programs. Users who have the 1.07.1 version of the programs do not need to download the .zip file again.
April 3, 2007
Version 1.07.1 is now available for download. The changes are only in the post processing program. The export function creates a single output file when exporting multiple log files. The summary sheets show the day of the month on which a clean sweep was achieved in addition to the time.

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Introduction

This site is for information on a logging program I have written specifically for the Ontario QSO Party contest held yearly near the end of April. The programs may be used by radio listeners (SWL's) as well as by amateur radio operators.

I first started to create a logging program for the OQP at the beginning of April, 2000 and was able to get a useable version ready by the OQP contest weekend at the end of that month (about three weeks later).

System Requirements

The programs have been written with the intention of being run on DOS machines with a colour screen. I have been running them on a Pentium II with lots of RAM and on a Pentium laptop. The programs should run on 286 or better computers with at least 512k of RAM (640k is preferred).

Non-DOS Usage

The programs can be run in an environment other than one that is pure DOS. I have run the programs in a DOS window under Windows '95 and ME and they seem to work. I have also been told that the programs have been run successfully in Windows XP using a DOS window, and under Linux using dosemu.

I received the following bit of information from a user named Martin:

I downloaded your software and I'm running under FreeDos (http://www.freedos.org/) emulation on the Windows CE operating system on a pocket sized Jornada 580 (http://www.pocketpcmag.com/_archives/Jan02/jornada.asp).

Because you use a polling architecture where you are always polling the OS for the time, one can actually switch the pocket PC off between logging contacts to save power! Works great!

Also, because the Jornada clock runs in UTC time as far as syscalls are concerned but adds the timezone offset at the application layer, there was no need to reset the clock, it was automatically in UTC time!

Oh - lastly since I installed Pocket DOS (with FreeDOS) (http://www.pocketdos.com/) on the compact flash card, and since your software flushes the files to disk regularly I am protected against battery failure!

Getting started

The first thing to do is download the .ZIP file and extract the files it contains. The name of the directory in which the files are stored does not matter. If you want to rename the directory containing the files or move the directory to some other part of your hard drive, feel free to do so as long as you keep all the files from the .ZIP file together in one directory.

After extracting all the files in the .ZIP file you will have four executable programs. These are the configuration, logging, post processing, and log fixing programs.

In order to run any of these programs, you must first change to the directory containing the programs and associated files. The first program that all users must run is the configuration program.

Setting the clock

Contacts made during contests are typically recorded using the UTC date and time. If your computers clock is set to local time then a simple command can be used to make the logging program correct the adjust to UTC without the need to alter the clock of your computer.

In order for the logging program to record contacts using UTC time while leaving your computers clock set to local time you need to set the TZ (timezone) environment variable before you run the logging program. Once this variable has been set, the dates and times displayed and those recorded in the log files will be automatically adjusted to the UTC date and time without the need to alter the clock of your computer.

If you are in the eastern time zone (ie. most of Ontario) and want to set the TZ environment variable you would use the command:
set TZ=EST5EDT

If you add the command to your computers autoexec.bat startup file you won't need to remember to enter it just before you start logging contacts.

Running the programs

None of the programs delete log files so you don't have to worry that you might accidentally hitting the wrong key and lose a log file. If you exit a program and restart it, the program will pick up where you left off. In the case of the logging program, any new contacts you make in a given location will automatically be added to the end of any previously created log file.

Information on the purpose and operation of each of the programs included in the .ZIP file along with some additional useful information can be found by following these links:

Known problems

  1. The CW generated by the logging program is rather choppy when it is run in a multi-tasking environment (ie. using a DOS box under Windows, or when using dosemu in Linux).

    If you intend to run the logging program under Windows ME, I suggest you run the program with the DOS box in full screen mode, or consider the use of an external CW keyer.
  2. The printing features of the post processing program may not work properly when used while the program is run from a DOS box under Windows instead of from native DOS, and also, when the printer is not a dot-matrix type.
  3. A call of the form VE/K0XYZ is treated as DXCC but it should be rejected as invalid.

The first item in the list above is beyond my control as it is related to the way Windows 'ME multi-tasks DOS windows.

Memory usage

The program uses 101 bytes of internal memory per station to keep track of all QSOs with that station. This allows the programs to very quickly check for duplicate contacts and provides quick access to the details of a previous contact.

The memory overhead of the logging program and its data is currently about 110K. If you allow for a combined memory overhead (logging program and DOS) of about 200K, the logging program would still be able to handle around 3,163 unique STATIONS (not QSO's). With a maximum possible 17 contacts per station (based on band and mode) this means a maximum of around 53,775 QSO's. With 640k of RAM, the limits go up to around 4,460 stations and the programs current limit of 65,535 QSO's. A unique station is based on both the callsign and the multiplier. If you work a mobile or rover and they change county, they will be considered a new station the next time you work them.

And finally...

The programs are available free of charge although any donations you wish to make would be gratefully accepted. Donations will encourage me to continue development on the programs. I am currently thinking about creating versions for Windows and/or Linux and/or Palm based PDA's.

That said, whether you feel like sending a donation or not, I would greatly appreciate receiving your QSL card (or a postcard no larger than 4"x6") with your name, station call (if any), and the name of the city or region in which you reside.

The cards (and particularly, donations) provide me with motivation to continue development, give me an idea how many people are using the programs, and in which parts of the world they are being used.

Cards can be sent to me (Kevin Cozens, VE3SYB) via the QSL bureau or direct (using the address listed in the RAC database, or in qrz.com).

The usual disclaimers apply to this program. Use it at your own risk/discretion and all that. They work for me but your mileage may vary.

See you in April during the Ontario QSO Party.