This review of Hamlog by Pignology was prompted after a three week trip to Arizona, and one heck of a lot of QSO’s all kept on paper. The entry time involved, and the possible loss of the little scraps of paper which I kept the log on convinced me that I needed a better mobile logging program. I looked for a decent logging program for mobile use. It had to be able to run on my phone. (Android Bionic), and my iPad, as well as be able to export the contacts via an ADIF file. I tried a few progrmas, then found “Hamlog” by Pignology LLC. Hamlog, runs on pretty much all platforms, (IOS, Android, and web interface), and generates the needed ADIF file. It is easy to use, and seems to work fine for my mobile uses. The user interface was important to me, it had to be easy to use, and have large type. Hamlog is simple enough to use, my wife will fill it in for me while driving, all I need to do is to tell her what to put in what field. During our trip I used an iPad 1 as the input device. When the battery on the iPad ran down, I used my Android phone… That feature is what sold me on Hamlog, the ability to have a cross platform logging program. Having the same log on iDevices, and on Android devices is wonderful. Best of all it is free!
When you start Hamlog for the first time you get a blank screen with the requisite “+” sign for entering a new contact. Once you touch the plus sign, a screen comes up with the time and date, (auto filled in by the application), and the following input fields:
- Call Sign
- My Grid
- Time Off
The input screen is well thought out, and auto populates what it can for you. It has all the fields I need for mobile operations, all I need to do is to touch the input field I want and the focus moves to that field. Some of the input fields auto-populate as I drive. I have used the iPad interface for all photos, the Android interface, looks a little rougher, things like square input boxes etc., but all of the same data is there.
The software allows for searching the mobile log, as well as a number of other tools:
On a full sized I pad, and on the Android Bionic I have there are a really decent set of tools which can be very useful. There are almost too many tools, it would be nice if there was a way to limit the number of tools which were displayed. See photo above. The list above does not show the total number of tools available, only about a third of them, you scroll to get to the remaining tools. The most important tool of all is the EXPORT ADIF tool. It allows you to export the current log held within your device to either a file or an email. I just make my contacts, save them in Hamlog, and then have Hamlog email me the ADIF, directly out of the application. I do not have to locate the file and attach it to an email, Hamlog does this for you. Once I get the ADIF on my home system, I then import it into N3FJP’s Amateur Contact Log. Once that is done I clear the log on the iDevice, and the Android device.
Cross Platform and cross device:
The software comes up on an iPhone, and an iPad correctly, not the X2 thing one finds on so many, the vendor is detecting which device you have, and adjusting the screen to match. A nice touch. The software runs essentially the same on the Android device I have, a Droid Bionic. I have not tested it on a Droid tablet yet.
The cloud sync is a good idea, but it does not work as I would like it too… It occurred to me that it would be nice to have my entire log available, so I could tell someone, “Oh yes we worked 12 years ago on 40 Meters CW”, while I was portable… So I got the idea to load my 11 K contacts log to the Cloud Sync tool. This failed; many times, and so far I have never been able to load my entire log to the Cloud Sync server. I can get about three or four thousand contacts into it before it dies. I have had communications with the author about it, and he has suggested loading the log in smaller parts. Beyond that single failure I can not really find anything I would change about the program, it is well written, well thought out, and works, as long as you don’t use Cloud Sync as I have. I am sure once my log gets loaded Cloud Sync will work, but as of now, I have been unable to really test it. This also brings up the point of backups etc. I don’t expect Hamlog to be my primary log, so I do not worry if Pignology looses the database, nor should you. As with any logging program, you should be keeping ADIF based backups yourself. If you use only a single copy of your logs and loose them, that is just your fault… Backup your logs to at least three places, as ADIF files.
- Works on Android, and Apple platforms
- Able to generate ADIF logs and email them to you
- Good support
- Easy to use
- Large type
- Autpopoulation of some input fields
- Cloud sync has so much potential is a shame it will not take a large log. Mine log is now 11K contacts, and at 3 or 4 K it dies using the Web interface to upload, it is not a pretty death either, the input just hangs. The author is going to try and import my log for me, while that is a very kind offer, it is not the right solution. Once cloud sync is working on large logs, (and I have faith that the author will fix this), this will become an almost perfect portable logging program. I intend on using it for Field Day this coming June.
- The Android implementation could look a bit nicer, but it works, and works well.
I would pay money for this application assuming Cloud Sync worked, I would pay money for it as it is now, but best of all it is free… For that I thank the author. He is available, and helpful with any question you might have. I would recommend you download it for your device and try it out.