SWLog - Shortwave & Amateur Radio Log
Shortwave & Amateur Radio Log (SWLog) is a suite of applications for logging radio broadcasts and controlling receivers. Since both types of logs have fundamentally different characteristics, each is handled separately. Elements like listening posts (QTHs on the amateur side) or radios are shared. However, the logs, reports, and utilities for each type of log are separate.
SWLog started back in 1988 as an MS-DOS application just for shortwave. Today SWLog also is suited for any type of broadcast, beacon, or utility logging as well as for amateur radio logs. The particular twist for SWLog with regard to amateur radio logs is that it is data-centric. While other programs are tailored for specific tasks, SWLog focuses on the data and is intended to be the logbook of record. Other programs can be used to create the shortwave or amateur logs, while SWLog can then import the logs and have all logs centralized.
A key differentiator of the SWLog suite is that it is written with a current technology stack. SWLog can be deployed all on one computer or scale to work in a home lab or in a cloud provider. Logging is supported both through the application itself or via RESTful API calls. This is particularly useful for having many computers contribute to a single log over the network as there is no need to manually copy or export logs from each computer.
This shows a view of recent logs in a traditional grid view as well as a time line view plus a sunrise/sunset utility.
Supported Data Sources
The following data sources are integrated into SWLog.
- Amateur Radio
- Club Log
- FCC Amateur Database (i.e. ULS system)
- Radio Amateurs of Canada Database
- Shortwave, Broadcast, and Utility
- Association of German DX Listeners (ADDX)
- AOKI/Nagoya DXers Circle Frequency List
- ClassAxe Non-Directional Beacon List
- DRM Schedules
- EIBI Comprehensive Shortwave Broadcasting Schedule
- FCC AM Engineering Database
- FCC FM Engineering Database
- FCC HF Seasonal Operating Schedule
- ILGRadio Frequency Tables
- Mesa Mike's List of USA AM Band Radio Stations
- Shortwave Log Community
- SWSkeds Shortwave Schedules
- Wikipedia List of European Mediumwave Stations
In addition to the traditional program schedules, logs can be optionally shared with the community of SWLog users. The latest log can either be uploaded in real-time or in batch. SWLog is also privacy-focused. Log information can be partially obfuscated where a pseudonym can be used and the location is randomized to an area approximately 30 miles from the true location. This essentially puts the location in the general metropolitan area rather than at an individual's residence.
The latest logs submitted by SWLog users.
Amateur Radio Logging
The logging of Amateur Radio QSOs starkly differs from shortwave, broadcast, or utility logs in that amateur radio logs are extremely data-driven with significant reporting requirements. Real-time integration with QRZ.com is leveraged to provide instant lookups of name and address data for a given call sign. While lookups with QRZ do require a subscription, SWLog also integrates the free amateur radio databases from the FCC and the Radio Amateurs of Canada.
The Nimble (Compact) mode to quickly and simply add QSOs. This is integrated with QRZ.com and the FCC and Canadian amateur databases. PII data has been obscured.
With direct, native code for the Lowe HF-250E, several Icom and Yaesu receivers, WiNRADiO DDC receivers, and integration with the Hamlib radio control library, the Radio Control programs (one for the traditional desktop and one web-based) provide for direct control of receivers. Integrated into the Radio Control programs is the ability to directly query the database for program schedules, aiding in identification of those elusive DX signals!
The Radio Control (Desktop) application tuning the AM band.
Gray, Colorless, and Drab
Is this really a feature to promote? Evidentially the answer is yes as this has been the most requested feature, to provide what has to be the most pathetic theme that makes everything (the application and all images) grayscale. This is arguably (and your humble author would argue against this!) the most monumental addition to the program in 34+ years. Note that there also is a dark theme; however, it is this gray, colorless, and drab mode that is getting the buzz.
This is simply evidence of the author being completely wrong and the users being correct. When your humble author showed a beta version to several folks, never having mentioned the gray, colorless, and drab mode, the comments were swift and immediate - "I love the gray theme!" C'est la vie.
The Nimble (Full) form for adding QSOs. This builds upon the Compact form with several additional fields. PII data has been obscured.
Logging for 35 years!
The original MS-DOS version was released in 1988! The software at the time was distributed on BBS systems. It was a shareware program where registration would be sent over the US Mail to a physical post office box. SWLog was the de facto name at the time because MS-DOS filenames were limited to the 8.3 format. For the classic computer aficionados, The first version of SWLog was coded under MS-DOS 3.30 on a Tandy 1000 SX with Turbo C and used Paradox as its database engine. SWLog still runs today under MS-DOS or even DosBox/DOSBox-X, although with a Y2K bug for the year!
For retro-PC enthusiasts, version 1.21 of the MS-DOS program can be downloaded. Please note that this is only for fun and experimentation. There currently is no process to import the logs from the MS-DOS program into the current version. There was a process at one time, but it was deprecated twenty years ago. (The slightly older 1.20 version was published on the Simtel MS-DOS site and can be found on mirror copies of that archive. Back in the day, one used FTP to download the ZIP file! Look in the hamradio folder on the Simtel mirror sites; however, 1.21 is recommended as it has several bug fixes.)
Glorious MS-DOS! Note the Y2K bug, although it has no ill effects. SWLog 1.21 runs just fine under emulation.