Soon after operating CW on a regular basis, I wanted to start sending QSL cards to the people that I worked. More than anything, I wanted to send them as a thank you for helping me learn the code. So far, I have sent out a few dozen cards.
If you take a look at my QRZ logbook, you’ll see that these few dozen people that I have QSL’d represent only a sliver of everyone that I have worked. To date, I have worked some 240 people. The backlog at this point is substantial.
With the blog and the QSLing, I had turned the hobby that I love into a chore. An unfortunate side effect of wanting to QSL 100% and having some 200 cards to send out en masse has meant that I had all but stopped operating at home in order to not create more work.
In order to alleviate the work of QSLing, I decided to look for a logging program that would import the addresses of those I contacted. After doing my research, I ended up going with N3FJP and KA3SEQs Amateur Contact Log. Having test driven a few, the N3FJP logger is intuitive, powerful, and configurable.
After installing it, the first thing that I did was test out its ability to query QRZ for operators. It works better than I could have imagined and is well worth the $30 for the logging program plus the $30 for QRZ xml data access.
For now, the software will be helping me work through my backlog of QSL cards but the program is not limited to this. It can upload your contacts to Logbook of the World (LoTW). As soon as I get my key in the mail, I’ll upload my contacts to LoTW and QRZ.com automatically.
Since the eventual log mishap is inevitable, I used the built in backup function to send a copy of the log to my Dropbox folder every time I close the program.
The program also can interface via CAT (computer aided transceiver) control to the new-to-me FT-818, which is something that I will contemplate integrating once I have my QSL chores done. The more that I use the software, the more I’ll find more to like.
Updating the station is a double-edged sword. There’s always something to make better somehow, make more efficient, make more user-friendly. This also creates more work initially, which requires time. In the end, I’m glad I chose to upgrade this long neglected administrative aspect of my station.