There is a large gaping hole in my record of HF activities. That’s because we used to be required to keep a log and when the FCC announced one day that it was no longer a requirement, I took them seriously and ended the practice altogether.

It’s only been in the last ten years that I resumed actively logging and managed to patch together a few older records from a cache of paper logs I found. These days I use a main logging program though I also have some specialty applications for specific activities, but even these eventually filter into the main station log.

Even in electronic form it remains a lot of work, but the payoff being award credit. If I had no interest in awards of any kind would I maintain a log? I’m not sure. Though my current log is fairly detailed and much of it auto-populated, I’ve never been inclined to sit down and pore over the data in hopes of learning anything specific.

And then I read this on a mailing list this morning:

“I still maintain a log, including unanswered CQ calls and tests conducted because such distinguishes the genuine ham, the technical experimenter, from the crypto-CBer”

I guess some hams take logging a lot more seriously than me though the notion of more detailed data collection is an interesting one.

My handwritten logs from the old days did include more data points about my contacts though I haven’t logged failed CQ attempts since my Novice days. Recording things like the SFI or antenna used, etc. when making contacts might prove useful if I was ever on a serious log spelunking expedition.

I’m not certain such a logging application exists and creating a custom database might be the only way to do it. Then there is the matter of getting it to auto-populate fields from network sources and the radio. And the matter of one-click submissions to LoTW and Club Log…

It’s a tall order and one I’m inclined to pass on, for now.