Re: Need Better Field Day Logging Method


From: Marshall Emm (
Date: Sun Jun 01 1997 - 09:07:22 EDT

Hi, Bill--

>>Has anyone come up with a sure-fire, quick and cheap
method to avoid duplicate contacts while maintaining an
accurate log?

I don't know if this is different from the ARRL dupe sheets, which I
have never seen) or not-- if it is the same, then I don't think
there's a better way. If it's better, please feel free to use it (I
didn't invent it, just learned it years ago).

I use manilla folders for duping-- depending on the size of the event
and anticipated number of contacts, I use either one side of the
unfolded folder for each band and mode, or half of each side (in
which case one folder can dupe four bands or band/modes).

The "page" is divided into grids-- five horizontal lines and five
vertical lines provide for 25 squares which are labelled with
the letters of the alphabet A-Z (either Q and R or Y and Z occupy a
single square).

As I make each contact, I write the entire callsign
into the square corresponding to the first letter of the SUFFIX of
the callsign. This gives a fairly even distribution over time, so
you don't have 500 calls listed in the W, K and N squares and 1 in
the X square). If it is a smaller contest, I might dupe both SSB and
CW on the same sheet, adding -S or -C to the callsign when I write it
in the square. In a complicated contest (e.g., in a VHF contest
where you can re-contact after elapsed time, or where a station might
be roving), I append the QSO time so I can quickly
refer back to the full log entry if necessary.

Usually at the end of a big contest I'll have maybe
20 calls in the more populated squares and can still check them fast
enough to avoid losing time.

I admit this worked a lot better in Australia, where ALL calls
started with VK so you didn't have to write the whole thing down, but
it works ok here too.

In field day I usually work with a logger, or log for an operator,
and it's easy to keep up. In fact, I can't recall ever discovering
a logged dupe when operating with two people. On my own, the
system works fine when I am hunting/pouncing, but
when calling CQ I occasionally let the duping slip during a run and
catch up later (ticking them off on the log sheet to show they've
been duped).

By the way-- computers aren't always perfect, either. I've seen
many an occasion where with an "old and slow" computer and 1000 Q's
in the log you can work them faster than the machine can dupe them!

Marshall Emm

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