N3FJP’s Amateur Contact Log (N3FJP ACLog) combined with WSJT-X and JTAlert are a powerful combination for the digital mode operator. I admittedly have favored Ham Radio Deluxe Logbook in the past, but this combination of software works very well together. Also, I don’t like the way JTAlert and HRD quit supporting each other. This version of JTAlert (v2.10.1) supports HRD 6 logging and the next version won’t.
N3FJP’s ACLog has some nice features and I especially like the callbook lookup function with photo. I have used and liked ACLog in the past, but was completely surprised this time around. It is easy to setup, easy to operate and works as advertised. You can try it out for free and if purchasing, I find it vey reasonable. N3FJP has other software equally as good. The creator, Scott, is knowledgable and responsive on the support side also. Here is his YouTube video list.
Unlink From Remote – Two Cables As Usual
For my operation I am using two cables as usual. The CI-V cable for rig control and the USB cable for digital modes. The CI-V is used with ACLog and the USB is used with WSJT-X. Important: Unlink from [REMOTE] in the Icom 7300 menu. As explained in the manual:
Unlink from [REMOTE]:
The [USB] and [REMOTE] CI-V ports are not internally connected.
Each port functions independently.
(duplex communication can be made.)
With the connections unlinked both software programs (WSJT-X and ACLog) have control over the radio. So while operating and watching for a JT65 station if I see a DX spot in ACLog, I can click on it and ACLog will take me to that frequency and mode. After that, I can use WSJT-X and select the band and digital mode I was operating on.
Note: There are other uses for “Unlink From [REMOTE]” also. I leave that set in my Icom 7300, because it doesn’t affect my other software programs and operating.
N3FJP ACLog Video
The basics are covered:
- Icom 7300 menu and settings
- WSJT-X rig setup
- N3FJP ACLog rig setup
- Enabling TCP API in ACLog
- JTAlert settings to use ACLog
- Net-Time, time sync application
- Making an FT8 contact
One thing worth noting is ACLogs Callbook function. Similar to MacloggerDX and RUMLogNG (for the Mac) AClog will bring up callbook data of the station in the “Call” field and a photo. I really like that. When using QRZ.com for the callbook, ACLog will bring up a photo from QRZ.com. You also see the operators name and location among other things. It’s just a good way to see the operator you’re talking with (See near the end of the video above).
To enable it, in ACLog go to the menu and look for “CallBook”. Select it and from the drop down menu you’ll have a selection (5 to choose from) of callbooks to use. Pick you’re favorite!
I hope you find this useful and informative. If you’re looking to try a log, N3FJP ACLog is a fine choice. Thanks for stopping by and if you have comments or questions, please make them below. 73 and good DX – Rich, K0PIR
The cables I use:
Alternative CI-V cable with FTDI chip (A better, yet more expensive, all around cable)
USB Device/Hub (If you want to split your USB cable between two computers)