By Steve Ford, WB8IMY, Managing Editor,
Reprinted From Page 45 of the August 2005 QST
In the software business five year's is an eternity. Back in the ancient days, the year 2000 to be precise, I reviewed ProLog2K version 3 in these pages. Half a decade later, ProLog2K has reached Version 5.76 and is still going strong.
Numerous changes have taken place in ProLog2K but the first to catch my eye in 2005 is the addition of ARRL Logbook of the World (LoTW) support. ProLog2K can export file compatible with the LoTW Trusted QSL software but mor importantly, it automatically keeps itself in harmony with Logbook. You simply grab the latest QSL Report from Logbook and ProLog2K will update your log according to the LoTW QSL Status. If you have uploaded a generous number of contacts to LoTW this ProLog2K feature is a huge benefit, saving you the tedious headache of synchronizing your log manually.
Another nifty feature is the MixW and DigiPan interfaces. For those not savvy with the world of HF Digital, DigiPan is a popular PSK31/PSk63 application and MixW is a favorite for everything from PSK31 to Hellschreiber. Both programs include a logging function. With ProLog2K's interface however, any QSO you log in MixW or DigiPan will be instantly exported to ProLog2K. I run MixW myself and it is annoying to have to manually export the MixW log to whatever centralized logging application I am using at the moment. Thanks to this feature, I can rest assured that every contact I log in MixW will automatically become part of ProLog2K.
Another new item is the ability to call up Web Pages within ProLog2K. Assuming your computer is connected to the Internet, you can click, for example, on a link to see a map of the current day/night gray-line position. Better yet, you can add your favorit web links to ProLog2K so they are always handy whenever you need them.
The Best of All Worlds
I was pleased to see that ProLog2K has maintained its smooth PacketCluster/Internet Interface. As I pointed out in 2000, this is a delight when you're just too busy to sit down in front of the radio and cruise the bands looking for a "New One". You can configure ProLog2K to grab everything coming from an on-air PacketCluster, a WebCluster or via TelNet. Just set up the Band and Mode filters and ProLog2K will alert you when a spot meets your criteria. If North Korea pops up on RTTY (In My Dreams!), ProLog2K will let me know.
Prolog2K still includes transceiver control for a broad selection of radios. The frequency and mode information changes automatically as you tune your transceiver. Alternatively, you can tune you transceiver from within ProLog2K.
Perhaps one of the greatest features of ProLog2K when I reviewed it in 2000 was its extraordinary flexibility. This is still the case in Version 5.76. You can set up more logs than any ham is ever likely to need, print QSL Labels, track your progress towad numberous awards (And add new awards yourself), control you antenna rotator, and even change ProLog2K's color schemes to suit your fancy.
For this review, I also used the optional QSL route and Call Sign look-up databases. I is pure pleasure to type in a call sign and instantly see the location, address and QSL Manager (In Any).
The only itme on my wish list for future versions of ProLog2K is the addition of BROWSE buttons for operations that require you to enter a file name and location. As it is now, you have to enter the complete path (such as C:\My Documents). A BROWSE button would allow you to quickly navigate to the proper destination on you hard drive and select the file you need. (From Ed W5VP: "We Listened to you Steve; this enhancement has been made in V6")
ProLog2K runs on PC's using Windows 95/98/2000/NT/XP. The main program and manual are supplied on CDROM. The optional QSL Route Database requires 13 MBytes of hard disk space and the optional CallMaster database requies an additional 150 MBytes
Steve Ford QST Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
By Steve Ford, WB8IMY, Managing Editor,
Reprinted From Page 58 of the July 2000 QST
"ProLog2K represents the new generation of programs that extend beyond mere data handling"
In the good old days logs consisted of pen or pencil renderings in spiral-bound journals. When personal computers invaded amateur radio 20 years ago, the paper logs gradually gave way to software databases. At the time most people assumed that logging software would always stay in the database mold---sort, display, print and so on.
Most people were wrong.
ProLog2K represents the new generation of programs that extend beyond mere data handling. It's probably more accurate to call ProLog2K "station automation" software. Some hams blanch at the idea of anything that would automate a station in any way, but reserve your judgment until you've read the full story.
If you want ProLog2K to simply log contacts it will do that. But ProLog2K does much more than store data. When you enter a contact, ProLog2K immediately serves up a wealth of information. Unfamiliar with the callsign? ProLog2K will tell you which DXCC entity the call sign represents, the distance to the target, the short and long-path bearings, (for those with rotatable antennas), the DX station's CQ zone and ITU zone. If you've worked this station before, ProLog2K will tell you instantly. You'll also know instantly whether you need the station for DXCC, WAC or other awards. If you've purchased the QSL Manager Database option, ProLog2K will flash up the callsign of the DX station's QSL manager (I was particularly impressed with this feature).
ProLog2K provides fields for you to enter frequency, band, mode (including PSK31, bless their hearts!) and other information. You can indicate whether you are QSL'ing direct or via the bureau and, when the coveted card arrives, you have the pleasure of marking it as "received". Of course with its extensive report-generating capabilities ProLog2K gives you the ability to review the status of your award pursuits, QSL's sent and received and more. Printing QSL Labels is a snap.
You can create up to 36 different logs in ProLog2K depending on your preferences. You can cross-merge one log with another. You can even merge contest logs created by other software into ProLog2K. This is particularly handy if you enjoy using contests to glean contacts for your DXCC or other awards.
I don't know about you, but I'm a busy guy in the home front. Between parenting a 6-year-old daughter and doing endless household chores, I have to squeeze Amateur Radio into whatever free moments I can find. Thanks to ProLog2K, I can hunt DX and still keep my child from applying duct tape to the cat. With remarkably little effort you can set up ProLog2K to function as a watchdog for your packet TNC or on-line Web cluster. Depending on how you configure the program, ProLog2K will dutifully watch the incoming DX data and continually compare it to your log. Since ProLog2K "knows" the status of your various awards, it will alert you with an insistent audio beep when a must-have contact is spotted on the air.
If you have ProLog2K configured to control your radio, the next step is easy. You examine the nature of the "alert", scratch your chin a bit, then say to yourself "Yes, I want that contact." With a keystroke your rig zips to the necessary frequency and mode. You're ready for action.
ProLog2K supports computerized rig control for most popular transceivers. Datamatrix also markets the LCU-3, a hardware control interface that directly replaces ICOM's CT-17, Kenwood's IF-232C and Yaesu's FIF-232C at a fraction of the cost.
ProLog2K runs on PC's using Windows 95/98/2000/NT. The main program and manual are supplied on CD-ROM, so you'll need a CD drive (and a 3.5" floppy drive for the validation diskette).
Manufacturer: Datamatrix, 5560 Jackson Loop NE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124-1504. tel/fax 505-892-5669 (information and tech support); 800-373-6564 (orders); http://www.qth.com/prolog. ProLog2K Logging Program $49.95; w/QSL Route Database $64; Upgrade package for existing DOS ProLog users $25. QSL Database Update Subscription (6) (Sent Via e-mail) $36. QSL Database Update Subscription (6) (First Class Mail) $42; IOTA Database $15. Shipping is additional.
------- QST July 2000 -------
By Karl T. Thurber Jr., W8FX
Reprinted From Page 96 of the July 2000 CQ Magazine
ProLog2K For Windows
Ed Longhi, W5VP, has a long tradition of producing high-quality Datamatrix QSL route management and logging software which we have profiled in our column several times over the years. He publishes the ProLog QSL Route Management System, ProLog Logging Program and ProLog98 for Windows Logging System (See "Digital Dipole" August 1998).
Ed's latest opus is the new ProLog2K for Windows Logging Program for Windows 95/98/2000. It's 36 logbooks offer plenty of room for multi-operator families and special event logs. The program's PacketCluster support makes working DX almost effortless by providing an audible alert whenever a DX spot arrives for a new prefix, zone or continent. Rig control also is supported to automatically log the band and mode as you tune.
ProLog2K monitors and tracks DXCC, WAC, WAS, CQZ, ITUZ and IOTA using all modes including the increasingly popular PSK31 mode. The program lets you customize 16 additional awards of your choice. It also supports all callsign CDROM databases as well as its own popular QSL route database (sold separately or in combination) which lists the routes for over 71,000 DX stations.
ProLog2K is $49.95; including the QSL Route Database, it's $64. Various upgrade, subscription, and CDROM database combination deals are also available. For more information contact Ed at Datamatrix, 5560 Jackson Loop NE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124. (1-505-892-5669); email email@example.com; web: http://www.prologsystems.com.
Tech Support and FAX -- 1-505-892-5669
Postal Address -- 5560 Jackson Loop NE -- Rio Rancho, NM 87144
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