Read Setting Up My Ham Shack for a bit of background, in case you missed it.
Twice I’ve complained (in some capacity) about CQRLOG on this blog which, to be honest, isn’t fair to this application (or it’s authors). My complaints (if you want to call them that) around CQRLOG had to do with its limitations. But getting back to that aforementioned honesty — it isn’t CQRLOG’s fault. I was simply trying to use the application on platforms or in situations for which it was not designed.
As far as Linux is concerned, it’s actually quite a nice and capable application. So in defense of CQRLOG (as if it needed it), here are the features which I most enjoy:
In not particular order (of importance):
- I love how, given the callsign of the other station you’re communicating with, CQRLOG will auto-populate your QSO details with information scraped from QRZ.com. Obviously you’ll want to validate this information with the other party. Especially if you typed their callsign wrong. I’m sure most mainstream loggers do the same thing — but I don’t have experience with many (any?) of them, so everything is new and exciting to me. 🙂
- CQRLOG will also display the distance between you and the other station. While not exactly a deal-breaker, it’s often fun to know. Especially if you usually operate low power like I do. (I hope they’ll actually provide an option to change it from km to mi in a future release!)
- I love the transceiver control integration with hamlib. Especially the ability for CQRLOG to start hamlib at startup thereby not forcing me to do it manually beforehand.
- Multiple QTH profiles. As a SOTA activator, I want to be able to accurately log where my QSOs occur.
- Entering a log by pressing ENTER. What a novel idea? (Xlog required you to use CTRL-W.)
- Automatically reading logs from fldigi. Nice.
- A great DXCC (and WAS) Statistics display!
- Ability to import/export QSLs directly with Logbook Of The World. I could write an entire blog on how useful this feature is.
- Built-in DXCluster: The ability to double-click on someone’s spot and have my radio directly tune to that frequency AND auto-populate my QSO with all the relevant information is MONEY. That alone is worth a donation! (In fact, I just went to PayPal and sent them $25.)
Items I’d like to see fixed:
- CQRLOG can’t read the current signal report from the other station. I really got used to how Xlog handled this and wish there were a more “automated” way to do it. Yeah, it’s easy to type two digits into your log, but when the application can already do just about everything else…
- I’m not sure if it’s a limitation of CQRLOG or hamlib, so let’s blame both: It would be nice if it could read the current power output from my radio. I change it on occasion (especially with distant stations) and I sometimes don’t recall to reflect that in my log.
And that’s about a brief a summary as I can make about this Linux logging application. If you’re a ham radio operator and Linux user, I’d highly recommend you give CQRLOG a look to see if it fits your logging needs.