VK Contest Log

 

The home of VK Contest Log (VKCL)

specializing in Australasian contests

but also covering some international ones too.

 

11th November 2019

 

The rules for the 2019 Spring Field Day have now been released, with basically no change to logging compared to the Winter field day. Hence the current VKCL Ver 4.8 can still be used for logging, but ignore any reference to "Div 1" and submit log(s) only for "Div 2".

The rules for the 2019 Spring field day are here on the WIA web site.

The promised Have Your Say consultancy survey has not been forgotten but is still to come. The notes for review of the field day previously written have been revised and can be seen here. Depending how the survey is conducted, they may be useful to prepare your input.

 

VKCL Version 4.8

4th June 2019

The rules for the 2019 Winter Field Day have now been released, and while there is a significant change in that there is no longer the two divisions, no change is required in logging except to use "Div 2" option only in VKCL.

The rules for the 2019 Winter field day are here on the WIA web site.

 


The following enhancements based on user feedback are repeated from the previous VKCL release (these are primarily intended for the VHF-UHF field days):

It is very common for a pair of stations to work each other consecutively on a number of bands, and previously it was necessary to enter the call sign on each band, which then recalled the corresponding worked locator. Function key F3 has been programmed to recall the last call sign in the database, but unlike F2, the database is not modified. If the F3 key is pressed before the band is changed, all entry fields background colour will change to red implying a duplicate contact, but ignore that, change to required band and the red background should clear. If you log a contact with another station before QSYing, you will have to re-enter the previous call sign as normal after you QSY, since F3 only recalls the last call sign in the database and that would no longer be the right one.

The are still occasions when there are large discrepancies in time stamps at each end for the same contact, and it has been suggested that it could be because some operators have so much time on their hands and that they start chatting about other things, forgetting to complete the logging of the contact. The Log QSO button does blink green as a reminder, but that is only when all information has been entered. The blinking of the Log QSO button has been revised to start blinking in a light colour as soon as entering a call sign begins, changing to green when all information has been entered. Hopefully that will remind the operator to log the contact while chatting about poor propagation conditions, weather, etc. You do not have to wait for the Log QSO button to blink green before logging the contact. If the worked locator is not available for example, you can log the contact without it (and add it later, otherwise the contact will not ne worth many points). (You can turn off this blinking on Config page.)

Paper logs are still in use by many people, and it is easy to skip or duplicate serial numbers. Neither is a problem for log checking (although using the same number every time could be) and if you are using VKCL in Post-Contest Entry Mode, there is a facility to set the next serial number to use so you can skip or repeat serial numbers. Also you may find it easier to use separate log sheets and serial number sequences for each band. Again if you are using VKCL to create your log, enter all the contacts from one band, then reset the serial number and wind back the time to enter the contacts from another band, etc. (confirming that you want to continue even though the next date/time is earlier than a previous entry- if you select 'Cancel', further checking is disabled). No "cover sheet" is required when logs created by VKCL are submitted.

 

Always check for updates for all contests close to the contest date.


VHF-UHF Field Day Log Uploads

(For other contests, follow instructions given in the rules for the contest, but submission of logs direct from VKCL also implemented for most.)

Thanks to Marc, VK3OHM (yes, he is on the cover of the 2017 Call Book, and yes, he is also on the cover of the March 2017 Amateur Radio magazine), who wrote and installed the necessary software at the WIA web site, VKCL can now directly upload your log(s) to the WIA web site without you having to find the log files on your computer.

After creating a log and returning to the Contest Log Output dialog window, a large button on bottom left appears labeled Upload Existing Log. Pressing that button opens the following upload dialog;

After entering a description of the log being uploaded (optional), press the UPLOAD button to perform the upload. More information is available in the help files. Please use this facility, and if you do not care about the results, just describe your log as a 'Check Log' as in the example above. It will help in cross-checking other logs and give the contest manager a better overview of what happened during the field day. (Add "No report" if you do not wish to receive a Log Check Report either.)

Please submit your logs! You didn't really participate if you didn't submit your log!


VKCL Version 4 Installation

The installation process for Version 4 is identical to the previous versions but the new version must be installed into a different folder, C:\VKCL4 by default, and a shortcut labeled VKCL4 appears on your desktop. Both versions can co-exist in the same computer, and if necessary, run at the same time without interference to each other. (The shortcut image is the same as before, only with a new label. To avoid confusion it may be useful to delete the VKCL3 shortcut. You can always activate Ver 3 by navigating to the installation folder C:\VKCL3 and double clicking on the VKCL3.exe there.)

The help files for Ver 4 are reasonably complete and should be perused as time permits or when in doubt how to proceed. If a satisfactory answer is not found, email to the author as above. Suggestions as to what else should be included in the help files, or what parts could be elaborated, are welcome. (No promise that every suggestion will be implemented, but it will be appreciated.)

After several requests, a very simple "station log" has been implemented in VKCL. The page here describes what was implemented in VKCL3, but it has been extended in VKCL4 and better described in the help files.

As always, please report any problems in installation or use of VKCL.


Voice and CW keying for VKCL

Currently an omission from VKCL is any form of voice or CW keying facilities. Many transceivers have such facilities built-in, but for those that do not, Greg, VK3VT, has developed a comprehensive keying system for both voice and CW using additional free utilities.

The setup of the keying is written specifically for the Remembrance Day contest, but can be adapted for any other contest. You can download the setup instructions and the required scripts from the NERG web site. (According to the web site, "It has been tested with Version 4 of VKCL and it works great.".)


Contest Radar

The ContestRadar web site has been upgraded to accept 8-char locators. Distance calculations in VKCL are always made using 6-char locators, but use and exchange of higher accuracy locators is useful to give better accuracy for where to point your antennas.

Contest radar may be updated from VKCL when configuring the VHF-UHF Field Day, or directly at ContestRadar map before the contest.


Transverters

There has been some interest in the use of transverters with VKCL. Since it is no longer possible to determine the band from OmniRig input, additional input is required to VKCL for that purpose. The page here (revised Aug 2016) describes what will be implemented in the next major version of VKCL, Ver.4, that will be 'released' when the rules for the VHF-UHF Field Days are finalised and implemented.

Among other enhancements, Ver. 4 will use a much more reliable, albeit a bit slower, database, SQLLite3, which can be fully networked so that multi-operator stations can log all contacts to one database.


A slash-0 font is distributed with VKCL which is easy to install and differentiates letter-O and digit-0 more unambiguously. (The font file is also distributed withVKCL4.)


 

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D O W N L O A D

Click on following link to download:

VKCL Version 4.8

Check for viruses, and run the file to start the installation.

NOTE: It is always a good idea to create the database with the version of VKCL you will be using, in case there was a change in database structure. That is, DO NOT use any existing empty database created by a previous version.

 

Please email comments, suggestions, and problems to

(You can check for new versions of VKCL from the 'About' page if connected to the Internet.)

  Notices

1. Ver 4 supports all contests supported by the previous Ver 3 of VKCL. There should be no need to use Ver 3 for any future contest.

However, all versions of VKCL support only the current rules for a contest. So if you want to look at a previous contest for which the rules have changed, you will need to use the same version as used when logging, otherwise the log would be interpreted according to the current rules, if it can be viewed at all.

Contact the author for any previous VKCL versions.

2. It is an ACMA requirement that if you are operating away from your registered address for your license, then you should sign as a portable station, and for good logging practice, portable stations should be logged as portable. In VKCL, a /P is sufficient if the portable station is within their home State or the portable location is not important, but when it is and if visiting another State, then the prefix of that state should be used after the call sign. For example, /VK2 for a non-VK2 station visiting NSW. A /2 is ignored and /P2 puts the portable station in Papua-New Guinea. (These portable logging rules apply in all contests supported by VKCL, with State replaced by call sign area as appropriate.)

 

73, Mike, VK3AVV

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