Paper logs…and the good ole days

Also contained within the box hiding my recently-mentioned 160m QRP kit were the old logbooks from my Novice days.

Man, talk about a trip down Memory Lane…

I haven’t used paper logging since 1994. That’s when I bought DX4WIN and set about the tedious grunt-work of inputting all my old contacts into it.

I love the convenience of an electronic log – everything you might need to know is right there at my finger tips.

It’s also very sterile and completely lacking in the character that filled the pages of my old paper logs. Data is supposed to be that way, I reckon. At no point in the obscure future will I ever peruse my electronic log and think “I remember that QSO” due to the notes made in a side margin.

An old logbook provides us with a look at our younger selves. As I entered a contact into my log as a new Novice I never could have imagined that 35 years later I would chuckle at my naivete at comments like:

  • “Going too fast” at what most likely was a 6 or 7 wpm QSO.
  • “Lois in GA – has daughters 17 and 18 years old” That must have piqued my interest back then – enough to log it anyway…
  • Worked VE6OY and was excited to have “worked my 1st DX”.

In August of ’78, with the test for my General ticket looming, K4ZXJ told me to “have a positive attitude for the test” and I appreciated that encouragement from someone I’d never met, sent via slow CW.

I appreciated it enough to give it its own line in the logbook.









Thanks, Rainey – I made it.



  2 comments for “Paper logs…and the good ole days

  1. Larry W2LJ
    October 15, 2013 at 1:42 pm


    That’s why I loved LOG-EQF and used it for so many years. The comments box was almost unlimited (at least it seemed to be). I was able to put all kinds of personal notes in so that I would remember the QSOs later. I’d probably still be using it if they’d just update the product to look like something from the present day. Win-EQF kept the UNIX look, and for whatever reason, I hate that. Currently using HRD and that allows for some commenting, but not as much as Log-EQF. Unfortiunately, when I ADIFed over to HRD, I lost most of those comments, anyway.

    • October 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm

      DX4WIN allows comments too – I’m just less inclined to fill them in. My operating style has changed quite a bit from years ago…mostly chasing DX now as opposed to lengthy QSOs. Even so, I think the paper log lent itself to personalization more than any software-based logbook for some reason that’s tough to articulate.

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