When i activated my first SOTA summit it took me some time to prepare my log for submission. I logged QSO’s using paper and pen, typed them into RUMlog when i got home (increasing the chance of mistakes), exported the log to CSV and then edited the CSV by hand to match the format expected and of course i had to resubmit it several times due to validation issues… i thought to myself there had to be an easier way for us Mac users…
There is and I’ll show you what i now do to make life easier when i get back into the warm shack after an activation.
Note: This guide will work regardless of your choice of logging software as long as you can export to the ADIF format.
I’m currently logging summit QSO’s on my iPad using RUMlog2Go and i also use RUMLog on my Mac. I find logging on the iPad easier than using a paper log and saves me time by not having to enter your log when I get back home.
Steps to Prepare Your Log
Preparing your log is important as RUMlog->SOTA expects a standardized format, the details of this can be found here. If RUMlog->SOTA appears to do nothing when you try and import a log it usually means your format is not correct.
Here are the steps i follow to ensure a valid SOTA log, once you’ve done this once it’s easy to repeat after each activation.
Note: If you’re not importing a log and are entering your log straight into RUMlog then skip to Step 4.
Step 1. Import your QSO’s into RUMlog by clicking on the Log > Import ADIF, select the log to import and then you’ll see this screen:
There are two things i do here, i first set the Power default to ‘QRP’ as all my activations are QRP and then i set the Note default field.
This is the really important one as this is what RUMlog->SOTA is going to be looking for to know which summit you activated.
The format is ‘SOTA <summit reference>’ so for my Ditchling Beacon activation i added ‘SOTA G/CE-006’.
Step 2. Now click the Import button. If all goes well you will see no errors and confirmation of the QSO’s imported:
Step 3. Now have a look at the QSO’s imported, do they look correct? Any obvious errors? Now is the time to fix the log and make sure both you and the chasers get their points.
Step 4. Once I’m happy i select the QSO’s i wish to export. To do this i click the first QSO and then while holding down the shift key i click the last one. This selects all the QSO’s in between:
Step 5. To export the log i click the Log > Export to ADIF… menu option:
Now save the file to a location of your choosing.
Step 6. Now it’s time to open the exported log in RUMlog->SOTA, so find the ADIF you have just saved and right click it, then go to Open With… and if you’ve installed it you will see RUMlog->SOTA program in the list:
Just click this and your log will be opened in the program.
Step 7. RUMlog->SOTA will now prompt you to select which type of SOTA log (Activator/Chaser) you wish to create, of course we’re submitting an Activator log:
Press Ok to continue…
Step 8. If all goes well you will see a CSV file created in the same location as the log you just processed (if you don’t see this then i find i need to check that my initial log follows the Standardized Format RUMlog->SOTA is expecting).
Don’t expect RUMlog->SOTA to give you any feedback, it either creates the CSV (if all is well) or it doesn’t (normally caused by not following the format it is expecting!).
Step 9. That’s it, you have your SOTA log! Now upload it to the SOTA Data website, selecting ‘Import Activator TSV/CSV’
Step 10. The website will let you know if there’s any issues, but usually i just see confirmation of my uploaded logs:
Step 11. To finish just hit the Submit Entry button and you’re done – time to grab a beer!
If you’re using Mac OS X then this is the easiest way preparing your SOTA activator log that i know of, it saves me a bunch time and takes the risk out of editing your raw log by hand. If you know of an easier way then please let me know in the comments, but this approach has worked well for me on my last 3 activations and has saved me time.