New VK port-a-log version

Yesterday I released the latest version of my android logging app VK port-a-log.

The new version is V20160430_03 and contains some changes and some new features;

  • SOTAwatch spots are no longer cached at = faster delivery of new spots
  • ParksnPeaks spots are no longer cached at = faster delivery of new spots
  • Option to choose white on black or black on white colours for most screens
  • Option to use different call sign on air
  • RF power is now an optional mandatory field in log entry
  • New buttons for adding / /P and /M to call sign
  • Long press first call sign hot key (VK1) to change keys to numbers
  • Option to allow non-numeric RST values e.g. 59 +20
  • Options to include SOTA and WWFF references in ADIF QTH field
  • Option to include activation QTH in ADIF comments field
  • Option to copy operator’s name directly to SOTAwatch and ParksnPeaks POST info
  • QSO summary for current activation
  • Auto completion of contacted station’s name via a names.csv file

VK port-a-log can be downloaded from the  files section of the vk3zpf_logger Yahoo group.
Joining the vk3zpf_logger Yahoo group allows you to email bug reports and suggestion direct to the developer (me) and share your ideas with other users.

Posted in Amateur Radio, Android, KRMNPA, Radio awards, SOTA, WWFF | Leave a comment

Upcoming ‘Show and Tell’ day – Sunday 17 April 2016

Amateur Radio Victoria will be sponsoring a “Show and Tell” to help prospective portable operators do just that. The Show and Tell event will commence at 10:00 am at the Boar Gully Camping Area in the Brisbane Ranges National Park and will be closely followed by a free Sausage Sizzle BBQ where everyone can have a friendly get together.

Assisting with equipment demos and discussions will be Peter VK3ZPF, Allen VK3ARH, Joe VK3YSP, Julie VK3FOWL and Tony VK3VTH.
Everyone is welcome and there will be an opportunity to activate the Brisbane Ranges National Park to get you going (or perhaps even add a new Park for you?)

If you would like more details or would like to Register (to assist catering) please contact [email protected].

This is a great opportunity to learn some of the tricks or just to drop by for a Chat!

Map –

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DSC04049IMG_30382013-12-08 05.41.56

Posted in Amateur Radio, KRMNPA, Radio awards, WWFF | 2 Comments

My first CW SOTA activations

Today, thanks to the patience of some local SOTA chasers, I was able to qualify two SOTA summits on CW.

At Mt Donna Buang – VK3/VC-002, I made four CW QSOs with VK4HA, VK2IO, VK3CAT and VK3BYD. I was operating from the comfort of a picnic table.

At Mt Little Joe – VK3/VC-027, I made seven CW QSOs with VK2AOH, VK3BYD, VK2IO, VK2YW, VK7CW, VK3AFW and VK3MEG. I was operating from a big log with the FT817 and paddle sitting beside me.


View from the lookout tower toward my operating position

Thanks to those who kindly slowed down and resent multiple times when asked and to Steve ZL2KE for his effort in teaching me Morse Code over the past 8 weeks.

I highly recommend CW Academy for those wishing to learn CW.


Posted in Amateur Radio, CW, SOTA | 1 Comment

Learning Morse code

I’ve have had my Amateur Radio licence since 1985 and had little to no interest in Morse code. When I was first licenced there were three choices available;

  • Full – Advanced Theory, Regulations and 10 wpm Morse
  • Novice – Elementary Theory, Regulations and 5 wpm Morse
  • Limited – Advanced Theory, Regulations, no Morse.

Having no interest in Morse Code I studied hard and got my Limited Licence.

Fast forward many years and I now have an interest in Morse Code. Why? It seems the propagation on HF is getting worse and lower power contacts are getting harder and harder. Those who should know always suggest CW is a better mode than SSB for weak signals, so it seems only reasonable that it’s time now to learn Morse and start using CW for SOTA and other QRP operations.

I’ve been ‘attending’ the CW Academy via Skype for the past 7 weeks and, with the help of a fantastic tutor Steve ZL2KE, I am making good progress.

I’ve purchased a Palm Single paddle and I am very pleased with the construction and operation of the paddle.

All going well I should be able to log my first CW contact soon.




Posted in Amateur Radio, SOTA | 3 Comments

VK port-a-log launched

After working on it off and on for the past 8 months I am pleased to have finally released VK port-a-log. VK port-a-log is an Android logging app for phones and tablets, primarily for logging contacts in the field.

It is compatible with the following radio award programs;

VK port-a-log provides compatible ADIF files for logging programs such as Log4OM as well as files for uploading to WWFF and SOTA databases.

VK port-a-log also receives spots from SOTAwatch and ParksnPeaks. Registered users of those sites can also post spots from VK port-a-log.

For more details, screenshots and info on getting VK port-a-log click here.


Posted in Amateur Radio, Android, KRMNPA, SOTA,, WWFF | Leave a comment