Aug 21, 2019

CQRLOG

"CQRLOG is an advanced ham radio logger based on MySQL database. Provides radio control based on hamlib libraries (currently support of 140+ radio types and models), DX cluster connection, online callbook, a grayliner, internal QSL manager database support and a most accurate country resolution algorithm based on country tables created by OK1RR. CQRLOG is intended for daily general logging of HF, CW & SSB contacts and strongly focused to easy operation and maintenance." cqrlog.com


A couple years ago, I wrote about several Windows-based and web-based logging software systems for amateur radio enthusiasts. The web-based software provides users the option of using any OS, as all that is needed is a web browser, but on the downside, you also need an internet connection.

Long ago, while looking to get off the Windows bandwagon, I experimented with Linux, Redhat, and a few other OS's, but recently, I was introduced to Raspbian, a Debian-based / Linux-based OS designed for the Raspberry Pi computer. My opinion of Raspbian so far is very positive. The fact that the OS is free, and thousands of programs are available for free, helps my wallet recover from the ever-expanding money pit Windows based computers can be.

Currently, I have ten computers consisting of the following. Maybe this is more info than you really want to know, but this should give a bit of understanding regarding my OS and computer experience.

  • Windows laptop used exclusively for amateur radio WIRES-X
  • Former Windows tower now running Linux Mint
  • Former Windows tower now running Raspbian PC
  • Two Chromebox computers that run as good as new (4 years old)
  • Two Chromebook laptops as our primary laptops
  • Raspberry Pi Zero W running Pi-Star and a ZUMspot MMDVM hat
  • Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Raspbian with RPi official screen for experiments
  • Raspberry Pi 4 (2G) Raspbian now my primary desktop computer

The main window of CQRLOG for entering QSO's

Now let me jump forward to what I really want to talk about - the new Raspberry Pi 4 and CQRLOG. The CQRLOG software package is touted as the best Linux-based amateur radio log program on the planet, and I may just have to agree. The Raspberry Pi 4, on the other hand, may just change the way we currently look at desktop computers. This is good.

I am a big fan of Ham Radio Deluxe, a fantastic Windows-based program, but now it is quite expensive, initially $100, then $50 per year for maintenance. And if you still mail out QSL cards, the annual cost of the hobby can really eat into the household budget. More recently, I was using the Log4OM software, another fantastic Windows-based program that has most of the bells and whistles of HRD, but the best part is Log4OM is free, but please make a donation to their work if you like it.

Then there's CQRLOG, an open source software system that, when used with a few other Linux-based open source software packages, rivals anything out there, and it's free! CQRLOG integrates with LoTW, HRDlog.net, eQSL, and Clublog. It also provides live logbook support through HamQTH or QRZ. HamLib takes care of TRX controls so current radio configurations auto-populate in the QSO window.

The full log / QSO / QSL management window in CQRLOG

You can find all available software packages in the Raspbian/Debian repositories. In Raspbian OS, simply go to the Preferences menu and click on Add / Remove Software. Search Amateur Radio and select all the desired software packages. Easy as pi.

The DX Cluster window in CQRLOG
The Grayline map in CQRLOG

More later...

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