Contest Log File Conversion Utilities


The Challenge

At the end of a contest, do you like to import your contest log data into your everyday logbook? If the answer is yes, please read on as I have constructed a summary of my findings about contest log conversion utilities. 

While some everyday logging programs (i.e. DX4WIN) include log import or conversion utilities there is a key element missing within the process -- the ability to identify your imported contest specific entries. By this I mean the ability to add a common note to an entire contest log (i.e., 2002 ARRL 10m Contest). This note would then appear in your "Notes for this QSO" field within DX4WIN for example. In so doing, you'll never find yourself in the awkward position of faking the memory of a contest QSO when the DX-operator says it was nice to have worked you during the such-an-such contest. Rather you'll have the contest log data in front of you and see that you worked the operator in a specific contest.

Without question, some contest logging programs and their corresponding log conversion utilities work far better than others. In my experience, the absolute best DOS conversion utility (even though it's TR Log specific) is TRADIF written by Martin, OK1RR. One the other hand, the best Windows-based utility is LogConv written by Robert Barron, KA5WSS. In each case, the conversion output is in ADIF format. Once in ADIF format, you'll be able to import you contest data into your everyday logging program -- regardless of brand name. 

The Options

 Here are a few notes about the three mainstream log conversion utilities that all share one thing in common -- they're ham- ware which means a thank you note to the author would be a nice follow-up if you find the program useful. To download a copy of a particular program, click on the program name in the left column. 



TRADIF is a slick but simple utility that converts log files from TR Log to the ADIF format and is independent of the contest type. The file you wish to convert must be in the same directory as TRADIF!

This DOS program is driven by an F-key menu system. While there are different ways to run the program, only the F3 method produces an output that seamlessly allows for the inclusion of the all important "Notes for this QSO" field. The F3 method will import data up to RST Rcvd field and permit you to add the name of the contest which will be added to the *.adi file in the comments field. After conversion always check the number of converted QSOs is the same as the number of QSOs in the original TR Log file.  To read an edited version of the MS Word file release notes for the program click Notes



LogConv is a free log conversion program that supports a wide variety of file formats. LogConv allows you to move log data to a format supported by programs that can perform the type of operations that you want. You can convert old contest logs to be readable by your latest software. You can export log data to dBase format (also readable by Excel) and perform a wide variety of analysis on the file. LogConv has been compiled to run smoothly under both DOS and Windows (a full-screen DOS window under Win '98SE works very well)

In starting the file conversion process, you will be presented with this box:

From both the "Convert Log From" and Convert Log To" drop-down boxes the user is presented with a variety of log file options -- just select the combination that suits needs. If you select the Options menu, you'll be presented with this box: 

While the "Optional comment for notes field" in the bottom left corner appears to allow the user to enter a note -- in this case I've entered 2002 ARRL 10m Contest, this note does not appear when imported to a program like DX4WIN. Nor did the comment appear when a log was imported to the freeware program Logger written to 9K2ZZ. 

While the program appears to convert a seemingly endless variety of log types, it has been my experience that it did not import the "Optional comment for notes field" into my logs. Using Excel, I have examined the raw *.adi file and can not see the text entered in the comment for notes field -- perhaps in your particular setup it may produce a different result. I think the comment field issue has something to do with the non-standard / standard ADIF standard.



C2A is a simple DOS program converts binary logs from the K1EA "CT" logging program to ADIF. The current version is 1.14 released on 1 December 2001. Given the program must find the *.bin file in the same directory as the program you should extract the zipped C2A.EXE file directly into your CT directory. 

The syntax for use is very straightforward. Assuming you have a file for conversion called cq01cw.bin in your CT directory (called c:\CT9), you would type the following at the command prompt:

C:\CT9> c2a cq01cw <enter>
This will create the output file cq01cw.adi  

The full command usage is as follows:

c2a [-6] [-ss] <log>[.BIN]

Optional arguments:
-6   output DXped as 6m
-ss   write SS received exchange to COMMENT field

A Final Word

While the contest log file conversion process comes in many flavors -- depending upon your given circumstances, the one thing you should always do is test the converted log before importing it into your squeaky-clean general logging program. I speak from experience when I suggest there is no feeling quite like seeing 600 contest QSO's with an error in the Notes field. To the best of my knowledge, there's not a utility in any general logging program on the market today that allows for the reversal of an import file or a blanket delete of a block of QSO's. It's a tedious one-by-one process, so test the converted log first and then merge the file when you know the conversion is clean and to your expectations. 

Last modified May 25, 2005 by Paul B. Peters, Show contact information
Copyright 2000 -2002 Paul B. Peters, VE7AVV. All rights reserved.