Welcome to the M1CRO TACLog FAQ

This resource does not pretend to be all embracing but covers a number of 'Frequently Asked Questions' received from group members and others using TACLog.
You may find the answer to your problem here but there is a wealth of information in the program documentation and particularly in the program itself!
Are you aware of the 'Context Sensitive HELP' available by pressing the 'F1' key?
These help files are available everywhere you need to enter data, either for Set-up purposes or while using the program in the field - there are also Help files for the Menus, would you believe? I have not yet found a help file for the help files, however. Perhaps THIS is it!
The FAQ is organised under a series of headings and for ease of compilation is contained on only one Web 'page'. It contains no external links (use your 'Back' button), so, if you wish to do so, you may SAVE the page to your computer and view and review off-line.

Here are the headings - Click to jump straight to that section:


Band Specific Queries

6 Metres (50MHz)

Q: How can I enter the UKSMG Member number into the Log? Can TACLog calculate the multiplier too?

A: Imaginative use of the "OE" feature is required here - see the section(s) on "OEs" in Logging for more info.
And YES! it does calculate your multiplier if TACLog is set up properly!

See G1OGY.com for a screen shot of the setup.


4 Metres (70MHz)

Q: How can I get the QTH Information into the Log?

A: There is a "Notes" facility in TACLog but the notes do not automatically conjoin the QSO record and cannot be further assigned. Consequently, use paper - VHF Logsheet - to longhand the QTH with a note of the Call for safety.

After the contest: run the 'Post contest data work' and create the logs & etc using RSGB FORMAT. Copy and rename the TL######.EDI file and open it in NOTEPAD or EDIT (don't want any risk of adding formatting).
At the default start position (1st char - 1st word) Key 'END' - this will position the cursor EXACTLY at the correct place on this first line to begin entering the QTH info (correct spaces are embedded). After keying the appropriate info for the 1st QSO - KEY 'Down Arrow' (not Enter or otherwise), this will put you back in the same, end-of-line, position as before on the next line. Using this method I can do 30 contacts in 3-5 minutes. Not arduous and can be done while the blower is cooling the final.


3 cms (10GHz)

Q: TACLog does not support output in RSGB format for 3 cms contests! What can I do?

A: Easy way out is to output in REG1TEST format. RSGB VHFCC will accept this. Indeed REG1TEST is the ~only~ valid format now (2006) for Region 1 Contest Entries.
Otherwise... Create and log the contest in the 'K' band as you would expect. After the contest make sure that you have the 'F' band available - 902MHZ - in the setup and filesystem. COPY the TL folder from the 'TL_K_10' band folder to the TL_F_902 band folder. Run the 'Log and Print' from there. Now open the TL[date].EDI file in NOTEPAD or other TEXT editor and use 'search and replace', if available, to change the "902" band designator to "10G". Move/Cut & Paste the TL[date] folder back to the TL_K_10 folder and work on from there.


Contest 'Paperwork'

Q: My TACLog does not produce the nice report that others publish to the web or the reflector. Is it broken or am I doing something wrong?

A: Probably NOT broken and NOT (quite) 'wrong'...
TACLog, like most software has to be told what to do! If, in 'Post Contest Data Work', you are selecting ' 2: EDI files ' rather than ' 1: Log and print ' then EDI files are only what you will get. Now, given you are using version v1,98 or later, in Main Menu (MM) ' 5: Change set-up ' there are two "new" settings:

    Default EDI file type, 0..4 ................ > 3
    Default EDI file naming, 0..2 .............. > 0

If you navigate to the data for these and press F1 there is context sensitive help for the settings (same for all setup items). The option 3 & 0 above are for RSGB Format & Standard Naming. Set these and you can now
     +-- Post contest menu ---------+
                                   
          Please select number     
                                   
        1: Log and print           
                                   
        2: EDI files               

use: MM#4, then 1 (rather than 2)[above] and then 1 again [below] and ALL the files will be produced automatically.
     +-- Log and print ----------------------+
                                            
              Please select number          
                                            
        1: Make log, dupe, raw and report   
                                            
        2: Print log sheets                 

See Files and Folders for more info.



Q: The contest manager wants only a 'cover page' with my electronic log. I have entered the 'Summary Sheet' information but the Report file (.RPT) is not in the right format. I can't find a Summary Sheet!

A: The Summary Sheet is the first page of the .LOG file. Open the .LOG file in NOTEPAD or other TEXT editor. Scroll down the first page to find the the words 'reponsible operator'. Delete all after these words and save the resulting summary sheet to a NEW FILE ie:Y0URCALL.TXT. Further editing of this new file will produce a perfect 'Cover Page' that any contest manager will be pleased to accept.


Files and Folders (directories)

Q: I installed TACLog as instructed and it has created what looks like hundreds of files and folders on my hard disk. Are they neccessary? What are they for?

A: TACLog has a (mostly) logical way of laying out its folders (directories) on your hard disk.
Under the 'TACLOG' parent directory there will be folders created to hold logfiles for each band on which you are QRV. Note here that on a first-time install TACLog creates folders for EVERY V/U/SHF band available to Amateurs, worldwide, up to and including 144 GHz. The user can customise which bands he wishes to retain in the program by using the Main Menu item ' 5: Change set-up ' followed by ' 1: Change custom settings '.
By removing band letters here in
'Bands where QRV, A..P ...................... > ABCEFGHKP'
the extra folders may be ignored and are safely deleted by the program. Later, should you become QRV on a new band, you may add band letters back in to the list and the program will create the folder for the new band automatically. Inside each band folder there will be two files created which will contain your customised band information once you have set this up.
When you log a contest for a particular band a new folder inside the band folder will be created. It is named, by convention, TL[date] where date is in the form "YYMMDD". Inside this folder will be stored all the files related to this particular contest. [ Note to contest addicts: This effectivly prevents you participating in two contests on the same band on the same day - without some jiggery-pokery renaming folders in the file system. ]
So, for a contest held on 1st January 2000 on 144 MHz you will finally have:

    \TACLOG
    
    

    =

    
    
    +---TL_C_144
          TACLOG_C.BND
          TACLOG_C.DEF
          TACLOG_C.SSI
       
       +---TL000101
              TL000101.DAT
              TL000100.CHK
              TL000101.EDI
              TL000101.HTM
              TL000101.LOG
              TL000101.RAW
              TL000101.RPT
              TL000101.SRT
              TL000101.SSI
       

Before you create the sumary sheet and copy and rename the .EDI file (Electronic Log) to send it to the contest manager.


Q: I logged the contest with TACLog and followed the menus to 'Make log, dupe, raw and report'. Where are the log files? What are they called?

A: See the previous Question for the file System layout.
Note that all the files in the TL[date] directories are Text files (incl the .HTM, really) and can be opened in Notepad (or your favouite TEXT editor). This is what the main ones are: (see TACLog.Doc Doumentation for FULL List)


Hardware

More Coming Soon....


Logging

Q: What are 'OEs'? How do I use them?

A: Optional Exchanges are the extra bits of information exchanged in certain contests over and above the standard Report, QSO Number and Locator. They tend to be used by National Society contests or Special Interest Groups (UKSMG, WAB, etc) and often carry a multiplier or bonus with them. Examples include GB Postal District Codes (No! Not ROPOCO!!), Russian Oblasts, Dutch Regios, French Departments and such. The OE column in the log allows you to enter the special codes used in these special contests and hence automatically calculate your multiplied score! Very Useful!

To help prevent mistakes, you can make TACLog check a file containing only the codes allowed and perform 'Verification' on what you enter. There are many of these files available for download from the TACLog 'Web' site. These files are called .VOE files and should reside in the 'Database' folder. There are two files for each OE set, the .VOE and a text file. This allows the user to modify the OE file if changes come about. See the documentation for information on how to make .VOE files from .TXT files using VOE.EXE.


Q: TACLog seems to score some contacts better than my old software. Is it legal - I don't want to be accused of over-claiming?

A: TACLog uses the distance calculation fomula (algorithm) endorsed by the IARU Region 1 (Europe) VHF Contest Committee. This formula allows for what is known as "commenced kilometre rounding" [CKR] ie: rounding 389.4 km with CKR equates to 390 km. Traditionally, UK originated contest scoring programs have rounded mathematically to the lower whole number - a remnant of the old 'Radial Ring' scoring method, perhaps. So - Yes, its legal but you might find that the RSGB VHFCC will rescore your logs as a matter of course! Complain! I do.


Q: How on earth do you set up Multiband contests!?

A: To set up multiband...

  1. Run v1,98 (or later)
  2. Start contest from scratch, select band, fill in details and complete to the log screen.
  3. ALT+F2
  4. Enter the date of the contest - Backwards! - Universal style [YYYYMMDD]
  5. Repeat for the remaining bands
** Note that this can be done beforehand in the comfort of the shack on the night/week before setting up gear on a hillside near Altnaharra.
On the day of the contest(s): it is 13:45. all the gear has been setup and working an hour ago, you have a nice (cold/hot) drink by your side, your on-site geisha is soothing that knot in the muscles at the back of your neck ......
  1. Check the date/time on the PC - put it RIGHT!
  2. Multiband contest - if its been used it before you will have the previous dates in the list - navigate to each date and key F3 [Clear Entry]
  3. once clear ...
  4. navigate to the first item in the list, select [Band Letter] - the lowest band in question for 'today' - key 'Enter' - select 'today' from the file browser
  5. repeat for all appropriate bands
  6. once complete - navigate to the OK and 'Enter'
  7. Choose your STARTING band from the list presented (use the band letter) - the log window for that band will appear - check the display.
      --- Band ------
         10 GHz     
      ----------------
    
  8. to change band - (one you prepared earlier) - key CTRL+[Band Letter]
  9. Once you enter your first contact (in each band) a 'Dire Warning' will appear telling you that you are about to overwrite an existing contest! (Horror!)
    So... As long as you are SURE that you have selected the date correctly in 2) and 3) above - carry on!
    (Well - you do have a copy in your archive back home in the shack - don't you?
    Don't You!?)

Q: I'm into Microwaves. Does it do Half-points, one-way contacts?

A: Not yet! So you'll have to enter 'both' sides of the exchange. Read the section on OEs and think about how to use this facility to 'flag' Half-point contacts for later editing.


Operating Systems (DOS/Windows etc)

Q: They say that TACLog is a DOS program. I have a Windows 9X system. Do I have to have a special 'Boot Disk' like I do for a DOS Game?

A: No, no need for that. Taclog will install (from a DOS Box) and run on a Windows 95/98 computer without having to change your setup in any way. You can choose to run it by 'Starting your Computer in MSDOS Mode' or from the Windows Desktop - TACLog doesn't mind (but see later). It also runs in Windows NT4 but 'NT' will only allow it to control the PTT and prevents the Keyers from working. (No 'WVK', either, on NT - I'm sorry to say.)
TACLog's install program does not create a 'Start Menu' shortcut so you will have to do that yourself but there is a special icon in the TACLog folder you can use for it. TACLog will run full screen or in a window but you might need to experiment with the window size to get it right for your setup.
Note that computers without a REAL SoundBlaster card will not be able to run the Voice Keyer direct from TACLog (in MSDos). There is a companion 'Windows Voice Keyer' (WVK) available though which runs as a separate program (you run it and TACLog together) and this solves the problem nicely for 'Win 9X' users. See the Hardware section for more information.


Q: Any Special Tips for Windows NT?

A: No. Not really. TACLog runs quite happliy on an NT v4 box BUT neither the CW nor Voice Keyer (or WVK!) will work. The PPT (Tab) key does function via your TACBox1 though. I use a Shortcut so that I can edit its parameters and select my preferred Window Size and type face.



Hints & Tips

Did you know that keying a ',' (comma) on the (Red) input line after a callsign, automatically adds '/P' ? (by default - can be changed in the SetUp)

Quick Edits such as replacing the suffix of a call miskeyed [M1COR] AFTER pressing [Enter] can be changed simply by keying the correct suffix [CRO] on the (Red) input line ?
Similarly, you can add /P or /A to a correct call by keying it by itself on the (Red) Input Line, followd by [Enter]!

Did you know that TACLog can "guess" the WWL Field if you key only the Square number and Sub-Square? This is controlled (per band) in 'Band Settings'. Set

 Foreign WWL default prefix, AA..RR/AUTO  > AUTO 
like this.
eg: I work a new DL station in JO44DL - I am in JO01 so I can key only '44DL' and TACLog will add the 'JO' automatically!

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