Radio logging and mapping tools that I use

My radio logging practices are pretty basic. I’m writing this post for two reasons. To share what I’m using now and works for me. To begin a conversation and hear from other radio amateurs how they log their contacts and what works for them.

Logging contacts at home

When I’m at home, I log my contacts on QRZ.

Diagram of logging flow showing user --> QRZ --> Logbook of the World

Here’s a screen-shot of my QRZ logbook taken March 27, 2024. I pay $35 per year for QRZ’s “XML Logbook Data” which provides access to the QRZ Logbook and unlimited XML lookups. The unlimited XML lookups help greatly when I’m in the field where I use the HAMRS logging app (more below) which connects to QRZ’s callsign lookup service.

I have signed up for an account with the The ARRL Logbook of the World (LOTW) and have configured my QRZ logbook so that it can connect to LOTW and import and export my logged contacts. I synchronize my QRZ logs with LOTW about once per week.

Logging contacts in the field

When I’m in the field, I use the HAMRS application on my mobile phone or I write in a field notebook.

I like HAMRS because it works on my phone and will export logs in a format ready to upload to the POTA site.

I will write logs by hand into a Moleskine notebook or a Rite in Rain notebook. I really like to use KURU TOGA mechanical pencils.

If I’m operating alone with a good cell signal, I’ll use HAMRS on my phone. Otherwise, I’ll just write in my notebook. When I’m operating with other people ( Scouts) handing them the book and having them help you log contacts is a great way to involve your friends in your radio fun.

Once I’m home I’ll review my handwritten logs and enter them into HAMRS to upload to the POTA site and import into QRZ. HAMRS has a browser based version that I can use at home.

Sharing my logs with others

I like to share my logs online. My QRZ logs and POTA activity are embedded on the homepage of this site using HTML and Javascript macros. The POTA activity is provided by WD4DAN POTA Stats and QRZ provides a Logbook Widget.

Both the POTA and QRZ logs show the latest info. When I’m at home I log each contact in QRZ as I make them so my website shows a real time feed.

What I like and don’t like

The logging practices I’ve walked through above are mostly a result of me using the easiest tool for me as I was getting started (about a year ago). I know that there is more sophisticated logging software that will connect to my radio controls so that I don’t have to enter my frequency, power and mode each time I log a contact.

I began using QRZ because it was available (I already had a QRZ account) and easy to use. It still works for me.

I began using HAMRS because I saw other POTA users recommending it, it exports in POTA format and it works on my phone.

There are lots of other logging tools that I should look into but haven’t yet. I learned about some on the HRCC YouTube channel.

Logging tools I should probably look into are:

I’d love to hear from other amateur radio operators. What logging tools do you use? Use the link at the bottom of the page to let me know via Mastodon.

What logging tools do you use? Use the link at the bottom of the page to let me know via Mastodon.

Other tools

Most of the maps I’ve show on this site are created using ADIF to Map Amateur Ham Radio Contacts by K2DSL

To create the image above, I export an ADIF file from QRZ and upload to the site above.