The log is saved into a text file. You can open, close and create logs as you need them. Xlog supports cabrillo, ADIF, trlog (format also used by tlf), and EDI (ARRL VHF/UHF contest format) and can import twlog, editest and OH1AA logbook files. QSO's can be entered with any date, because xlog can sort your log chronologically, provided you use the correct date format (see the MANUAL).
At this point, since Ubuntu is beginning to look like a really viable alternative OS, the next big issue is whether it will support the ham radio applications that we want to run. Fortunately, the answer to this question is — yes it will.
One of the nice features of Ubuntu is the Synaptic Package Manager. This system lets you search through thousands of programs for specific types of applications and once found, download and install them onto your PC. All of this is done in one simple operation. To help make life easier, the programs within the Package Manager are categorized by type, such as games, mathematics, network and science. There is even a separate category for Amateur Radio.
The ham radio applications include programs for Morse code training, APRS and packet programs, rig control, CW and digital mode terminal applications, satellite tracking, Smith Charts, logging, DX clusters and more. In most cases there are multiple programs available for each of these applications and there is also a logging program that interfaces with LoTW.
As an example, I use the program Xlog, shown in Figure 2, for my log. This program not only provides basic contact logging, but it also tracks your scoring for important awards and checks for previously worked stations. In addition to this, Xlog can also read your rig’s frequency, mode and power via the serial port. For contesters, there is a CW keyer mode that allows you to program the function keys with CW messages and, of course, it can also import and export log data in several common formats.
Xlog screenshot with some of my latest QSO's. See the screenshot section for user contributed xlog screenshots.
Xlog is able to do DXCC lookups and will display country information, CQ and ITU zone, location in latitude and longitude and distance and heading in kilometers or miles, both for short and long path. Locator distance and heading calculation for VHF logging is also supported if you enable the 'QTH Locator' field in the log with the log-editor (see below).
Xlog adds a scoring window, where your DXCC score is being kept for the most important shortwave bands. You can also add scoring for the most important awards, like WAS, WAZ and WAC. For people who like to keep track of locator scoring a world map has been added.
If your rig supports data retrieval over the serial line, you should have a look at the Hamradio Control Libraries (hamlib) project page, at http://hamlib.org.
Xlog can read your rig's frequency, mode and signal strength and power. You will get 2 dockable widgets on the statusbar.
At any given time, you can fire up the log-editor, to disable or enable fields in the log. The log-editor will also appear after creating a new log from the menu. Changes will be committed to the log after you have saved it.
There are several programs which can exchange logging data with xlog: gmfsk, marote, ktrack, twpsk, gpsk31, and kpsk.
Printing is done using the GTK+ library. Select log --> print from the menu. This will activate the print dialog.
Xlog print dialog
You have 2 different styles to choose from, landscape and portrait. Landscape prints 30 QSO's on a page and portrait will print 50. You must make sure the log will fit on the paper, by selecting the correct font and columns to print. Landscape is most suited for printing normal logs.
A new option added is printing of QSL labels. When you 'Save As' a 'TSV' (Tab Separated VAlue) file from the menu, you can import this file into glabels, using the provided template in the xlog data directory.
Xlog also adds a keyerwindow, opened from the 'Tools -> Keyer' menu. This is a simple interface to cwdaemon and will allow you to run a contest. It features programmable function keys, macro's, switch between CQ and S&P mode, an auto increment counter and short numbers.
Xlog is written with the GTK+-2.0 library. Current version is 2.0.5. You can have a look at the latest changelog if you are interested. Get the source here. You will need Hamlib and at least gtk+ version 2.18.0 development libraries and headers to compile xlog.