WorkedGrids
Ham Log Mapping software
Freeware  for Windows

Par/by: Bertrand Zauhar, VE2ZAZ
 

DESCRIPTION

WorkedGrids is a Windows application that displays a map showing the amateur radio grid squares contacted and logged in using a third-party logging program. WorkedGrids uses colors to display information on a per-band basis. Up to four bands can be displayed concurrently.

This project was initiated because I could not find a logging program that provided the level of detail and mapping quality that I wanted. The software is directed towards the VHF and above operators who collect grid squares for contesting or award purpose. For that purpose, WorkedGrids also calculates the number of grid square worked for each band. It is designed to supplement a logging program and it replaces the pen and paper technique.

For its input, the program reads the plain-text (ASCII) log files generated by most logging programs. The file is read at a set interval and the worked grid squares on the map are updated in a dynamic way as the contest progresses and the log file is periodically saved.

A world map is implemented so any area of the world can be shown. The maximum map window size is 1440 x 1200 pixels.This provides a fixed-resolution continental viewpoint typical of a VHF grid square chase. Note: The  picture to the right shows an example of a 415 x 350 pixels window with just a few QSO's. A zoom-in feature provides a closer look at at a specific area. Support for printing and copying to clipboard is also provided.

Examination of the log file with a plain text editor may be necessary depending on the log file format selected. This allows to identify the type of log file format used by your logging software. WorkedGrids supports 4 types of plain text log book file:
  • Fixed-width fields text file: This file presents the amateur radio band and grid square information in a constant position (column-like) for each log entry. For example, the band (432, 2m, 144) strings could be position starting in position (column) 1 and the grid squares starting in position 58. One line represents one log entry. Another example is:
1296    VE2ZAZ     FN36 .....
2m      VE0MAT     FO44bk .....
52      W3CA       EN32 .....
  • Character-delimited text file: This log file has all of its log entry fields separated by a single character, for example a comma (,) sign. The band and grid square fields for each log entry will always show up in the same spot. For example, the band string may be located in the third field and the grid square in the sixth field. One line represents one log entry. An example is:
1296,59,VE2ZAZ,FN36, .....
144,599,VE0MAT,FO44bk, .....
52,559,W3CAZ,EN32, .....
  • ADIF import/export format: This is a text file format generated by most logging programs to import/export the log data. This is usually not the native file format of the logging program, but a standard format so that the data can be easily transferred from one program to another. A log entry can be spread over more than one line. An example is:
<QSO_DATE:8>20080119 <TIME_ON:4>1906 <CALL:6>VE3CVG <BAND:3>146   
<MODE:3>USB <RST_SENT:1>0 <GRIDSQUARE:4>fn25 <EOR>
  • Cabrillo format (VHF contests template): This is a text file format generated by several logging programs to import/export the log data into the ARRL Logbook Of The World. This is usually not the native file format of the logging program. One line represents one log entry. An example is (some space characters were removed to fit in this help page width):

    QSO:    52 PH 2007-08-04 1803 VE2ZAZ       FN25   WA3PTV      FM08
    QSO:   222 PH 2007-08-04 1804 VE2ZAZ       FN25   W3SZ        FN20
    QSO:   1.2 PH 2007-08-04 1806 VE2ZAZ       FN25   VE3ZX       FN20
All settings (text file, path, type of log file, colors, fields, window map window position, etc) are saved to the hard drive directory upon program exit.  These settings are restored at program launch.

This program uses a non-invasive installation; it does not modify the registry nor install DLLs. All files are installed within the same directory.


REQUIREMENTS

Operating System: Any 32-bit version of Windows from Windows 95 to Windows Vista. Most likely 64-bit versions of XP and Vista as well, but untested so far.
Minimum CPU Hardware: Pentium-Class CPU, preferably Pentium-II or faster for quicker map refresh.
Display: 640x480 or higher resolution, 256 colors or more.
Disk usage: 1MB
Typical RAM usage: < 10MB, varies as a function of Map window size.


RELEASE HISTORY

(29/04/2010)
ATTENTION: Several users have reported that the various Norton Antivirus programs detected a Trojan Horse issue with the WorkedGrids install file. This is a false positive alert. With the intent of eliminating this annoyance though, I recreated the installer file with the latest version of Install Creator. This resolved the Trojan Horse alert. As before, enjoy this clean program :-)

Current Version

v7 (August 2010): This is a minor release. This will be the stable version for a while:
  • Now allows to stretch the window size to a maximum of 1440 x 1200 pixels, a much larger window for newer wide screens.
  • Fixes the file scanning algorithm to properly pick up grid squares on a .CSV file.
Your feedback is very welcome! Please send me feedback and comments regarding this program via email.

Previous Versions

v6 (15/03/2008): This was a major release with several feature additions and fixes:
  • Adds a zoom-in feature with 1X (Default), 1.25X, 1.5X and 2X zoom-in factors,
  • Adds support to the Cabrillo format,
  • Adds Band String Auto-Detection for the ADIF and Cabrillo formats. This allows setup without having to examine the log files for these formats.
  • Updates the help file with the added feature coverage,
  • Fixes a few minor bugs.
v5 (06/03/2008): This was a release with several feature additions and fixes:
  • Adds map centering to a specific grid square,
  • Adds printing of the Map window on any installed printer,
  • Adds copying of the Map window to the Windows clipboard,
  • Adds a filter that will skip the periodic map update if the log file is not modified,
  • Replaces individual buttons with a right-click pop-up menu,
  • Fixes the totals calculation to include all grid squares regardless of if they are visible or not in the Map window,
  • Updates the help file with added FAQ section,
  • Adds a startup splash screen.
v4 (01/03/2008): Expands to 5-character strings for the bands to allow "1.25M" or similar length band strings. Allows for lowercase characters in the band strings. Updates the help file.
 

v3 (28/02/2008): Adds a "Totals" button that displays the number of grids worked for each band. Removes a spurious "Label1" text in the Map window. Updates the help file.

v2 (27/02/2008): Fixes the horizontal scrollbar partly hidden problem when using the XP theme. Updates the help file.

v1
(27/02/2008): Initial Release.


DOWNLOAD


WorkedGrids v7_Install.exe


This software is freeware. But if you would like to support me for past or future development, your contribution is welcome! Just click on the PayPal logo. Thanks!