POTA logging tips

Welcome to another post in my “reprint” series! As a kick off to the newly updated blog, I wanted to start by republishing some of my most visited posts, but in the new format, and with updated material where it makes sense to do so.


POTA Logging Tips

First Published 1/25/2019

As anyone who has checked in with me regularly could tell you, I help support the database and website for the Parks on the Air program. I have really been enjoying this for 2 reasons:

  • It gives me a practical application for my freshly printed (the ink might not even be dry yet) Information Systems degree
  • It keeps me involved in the hobby, even during times when getting on the air is challenging because of the family commitments involved with having 3 little kids while doing some traveling for work.

In that role, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about logging, quite often around Park to Park contacts. If you’re into that type of thing, I put together this video to give a high level overview of how it works. I’ll admit I have very little video-editing foo, so consider this informative, if not well polished:-) If you don’t dig taking the 25 minutes to watch it, here’s the TL;DW…

  • We follow the guidelines of the ADIF format
  • We only store “valid” QSOs in the database, that meet the program rules (1 contact per call, per day, per band, per mode, per park)
  • Make sure you log yourself the way you announce yourself on the air (i.e. N3VEM, or N3VEM/P etc.) (ed. and make sure any variants of your callsign that you use are listed in your profile)
  • Make sure you are accurate with time in your log - there is a 15 minute window that the system uses to match park to park contacts
  • Best practice is to log the other operators park in a park to park contact. The system usually finds the matches if you don’t, but there is a very specific scenario where it won’t, so consider yourself warned if you like to play it loose :-)

Lastly, even though this video is about logging at a macro level, if you are interested in my take on a good logging program to use in the field, check out my post on hamlog.

For those of you that have the time to kill, and enjoy an educational video, albeit of questionable quality, here you go!