Been working hard at getting my rig and workflow all set up – finally feeling pretty good about how things have come together! My Yaesu FT-450 has been a champ, since getting it all hooked up a couple weeks ago, I’ve snagged 74 entries into LOTW, most of it DX. This last week has been pretty frustrating though, the bands have been crud so it’s been difficult to get through the mud.
You can see I’ve got a 2-monitor workflow going, using the fantastic (and FREE) software called DX Lab. It makes hunting for contacts and logging everything a breeze. If you look at the top screen you’ll see the spot collection window, it shows me contacts that have been logged recently, where they originated from and where they connected to. Below that is sort of the same info, but show graphically.
On my laptop screen you will see the logbook and capture window. Hidden behind that is the control interface to my radio. It’s a really neat setup – if I see someone in the spot list that I want to try and call, I double-click the listing and it automatically tunes my radio to the frequency listed (and even sets up the split if they are working split) and then prefills my logbook with their callsign and QTH. If I hit the ‘Lookup’ button – it pulls their data down from QRZ.com, and pulls up any past QSL’s I have had with them. Isn’t that handy??
Also in the screen next to the map, there is a table showing my the different bands and my status for each for the specific region. So for example if I’m attempting to contact someone in Spain, the table will show my which bands I have worked with Spain, and whether I have just worked the band/country combo, or if that particular combo is also confirmed. Handy to be sure you’re hitting up locations that you haven’t worked on a particular band.
Another nice feature of the software is that it automatically uploads all your QSO’s to eQSL every time you log a contact, and it automates batch uploads and synchronization to LOTW. If you’re a paper QSL kind of person, it also automates printing QSL cards, envelopes, labels, etc., so you can simplify your QSL card process. I’ve got a stack of about 50 QSL cards waiting for stamps and greenbacks!