It’s not over until the (electronic) paperwork is done, is it? WriteLog makes this job pretty easy. And, as ham radio sponsors more fully automate the submission process through email and Cabrillo file formats, it should get even easier.
WriteLog makes changes to the submissions based upon the contest you select at the start. So if your contest requires separate multipliers by ham radio band, WriteLog performs that action for you as a menu item. If you just need a Cabrillo file, that’s all that WriteLog will show you as needing.
This section will show you how electronic files are produced using a ham radio contest example. We’ll cover:
Check the rules with the contest sponsors. This will tell you how to submit your ham radio logs, what information is needed to be included in the email, and where to send the logs.
The Post Contest information for sending in your ham radio log to the sponsor is found on the WriteLog toolbar under ‘Contest.’ For most contests, Cabrillo files are needed for submission. Select it as follows:
Not every contest matches this outline on the screen because each contest has different rules for log submission. But this is the area to look for the information needed to submit the log.
Knowing what is needed for the log submission based upon the contest rules, here’s what would be needed to be done to create a Cabrillo file….
As shown in the screen print above, click on ‘Cabrillo file’ to begin the process of creating the log submission. Follow the screen instructions with each dialog box (some contests will require multiple dialog boxes).
At some point, the equivalent of a summary sheet is provided for you to fill out. It looks like this:
WriteLog defaults all of the information it can from previous information. For example, your address is displayed (mine is not, because this is, after all, the Internet…). Select all of your correct information from the drop down menus (such as ‘Mode’, and ‘Band,’ etc.).
Note at the bottom that there is a check box for ‘Display when done.’ I always check this box just to make sure the Cabrillo file was created.
Once you have all of your information filled out, click on the ‘OK’ button. Upon clicking ‘OK,’ you will then receive a standard Windows save dialog box that looks like this:
Make sure you save the file in the same location as your ham radio contest subdirectory where you are saving all of your files for this contest. The name of the Cabrillo file defaults to ‘yourcall.log’ for submission.
Click on the ‘Save’ button (you don’t have to worry about the ‘Save as type’ being blank) and your Cabrillo text file is saved in your specified subdirectory. Since you checked ‘Display when done’ as part of the process, Notepad, the text editing tool in Windows, shows you the completed file. My test contest looks like this:
If you’re a big gun and the file size is too big for Notepad, WordPad will come up. Just insure that if you save the file in ANY other program other than Notepad that you save it in pure text (.TXT) format because that is what the Cabrillo sponsors expect in the file.
Email your file according to the log submission rules…and you’re done!
But, what if your contest doesn’t have the Cabrillo format yet and you need to create the specific files to be submitted. That takes us to the next section….
Non-Cabrillo files are located in two locations in WriteLog. From the toolbar, they are located under ‘Contest’ and also under ‘File|Export.’ This section will look at both areas using our illustrative rules.
You will find this process more difficult than the Cabrillo submission, so if the contest sponsor offers a Cabrillo alternative (most are), take it. But, for illustrative purposes, assume that Cabrillo was not available. Check the contest submission rules; often four files need to be produced, all typical of many contests and used for our illustration rules here:
“Submit and name your files as follows:
Summary Sheet: yourcall.sum
Chronological log: yourcall.log
Prefix list: yourcall.wpx”
Let’s go find the files.
Summary sheets are created by selecting the ‘Create Summary Sheet’ as shown above in the ‘Contest|Create Summary Sheet’ selection from the WriteLog toolbar. Doing so produces the following dialog window:
Remember when setting up your ham radio contest files that I suggested placing your specific contest in it’s own subdirectory so you could have all the ham radio contest file information in one place? Here’s why. You’ll end up placing all of your log submission files and reports in this same subdirectory.
Name the file so that it matches the rules. These illustrative rules want ‘yourcall.sum.’ WriteLog will default to a file name, but that does not necessarily match the rules. So change the name to ‘K9JY.sum.’ The click on Save.
Once the Summary sheet is completed, continue to work in this section to create the rest of the files necessary to submit the log.
Now we need a chronological log. WriteLog, when allowing you to export files, also uses the export function for ham radio contests. For our illustrative example, the files are located here:
Note the ‘File version of dupe sheet’ and just below ‘File version of print chronological.’ These are the two needed. Note the ASCII versions; some ham radio contests require these specific file types, so check the rules.
Click on the appropriate file type and save the files to your ham radio contest folder. Follow this process for each type of file you need for the contest. You will find all that you need under the ‘File’ or ‘Contest’ sections of the WriteLog toolbar.
Now all the files are saved for this non-Cabrillo log submission. Again, checking the rules, get the email address for the log submission including what is required on the ‘Subject’ line of the email. Follow the instructions and attach file required to the email and send.
This step is why it is important to save all your files associated with a ham radio contest to ONE subdirectory. There are many examples of wrong files being attached and the score is viewed as no entry. Some log checkers will ask, but there are no guarantees. Make sure you are sending the correct files!
As ham radio contest sponsors move to a Cabrillo format, log submittal will become easier and easier for contestants. In the meantime, WriteLog will offer you the options you need to produce the correct log files for the contest that you have selected.