Along with my ICOM IC-7610 purchase, I decided to try a new logging program, Ham Radio Deluxe. Now that I have made all of my DXCC goals – and my LOTW and Clublog records are in perfect order, its time to go back and update my logbook – so that its awards tracking and spot cluster “needs” reporting matches.
Reconciling my log against my LOTW records . . .
Ham Radio Deluxe is hands down the best logging program I have ever used. Way back when – I used to like DXBase, but that has been defunct for years. Apparently a fellow was going to keep updating it – but as far as I can tell – its the old version. I also used Commcat for a while, and until now – I think MacLoggerDX was about the nicest interface of them all.
I was badly burned my Apple – they do not support their own OS past a certain date on a wonderful MacTower that I spent a pretty penny on – and worse yet – its not hardware I can load Linux on. This reminds me of other past Apple products – where I swear they plan obsolescence as a marketing tool to force you to not just upgrade – but buy completely new hardware. Screw that and I’ll never buy another Apple product because of that.
I like Windows 10 – I feel its as good as the MacOS now – actually better even. Since Bash is possible on Windows 10 – and because I am writing this on a really unbelievably great laptop (Asus that only cost $500 and has everything I need port wise, performance wise and screen resolution and size wise), there is just no comparison.
But I digress. Ham Radio Deluxe was originally designed by a brilliant British fellow named Simon – who lived in Switzerland and had a Swiss call – I think it is HB9DRV and his UK call is G4ELI. He switched over to writing SDR software SDR-Radio.com. He is a very talented software engineer and I think the best as the User Interface.
Anyway, Ham Radio Deluxe is now owned by a company in Texas, and while they had some controversy regarding their support policies and some stuff about reviews and whatnot (with the usual crabby old ham comments that made me realize that cheap hams always complain when they have to purchase software but somehow have oodles of cash for rigs and amps and antennas) – I decided to try it out – and I absolutely love it. The main reason is that it is intuitive to use – and you can drill down into many features and configurations and set it up as you like. At first its best to just see what the defaults are – then you layer in your changes and get things tuned the way you like.
I’ve decided to chase DXCC Challenge again – but ONLY LOTW credit wise. I will NOT pay one penny for another DXCC Challenge QSL or QSO – I felt I was held hostage for several of my last DXCC 160M (9BDXCC) QSL’s – where I paid $3 for one and never got any credit or QSL and then another where I paid $10 Euro’s and I had to bug the guy just to upload to LOTW. I waited months with that malarky – so that’s when I decided enough is enough.
But the fun DXCC “game” I can play is to try to get to 2000 (I’m at 1973 – the year I got my Ham License – WN2QHN), and I will only bother with FREE LOTW QSO’s and QSL’s.
To do this, I need a decent spotting tool integrated with my log. Commcat was great at this – but I like Ham Radio Deluxe even better – its a nicer interface. I have played with all of the other interfaces in HRD – and they are all consistent and very well done.
HRD is going to force me to clean up my log – I really only did enough logging before to upload to LOTW and Clublog – and I was very lazy about filling in the details.
Besides reminiscing with the DXCC Sleuth blog, I can use my new “post DXCC” station and HRD to continue being a DX-er – albeit just for the fun of it. I can’t tell you how freeing it is NOT to be worrying about some award – 17 years of that was enough.