I'm just about to get on the air for the first time as a ham. It's been my understanding that it's good to log contacts with call sign, frequency, signal quality, and time of contact. However, for some time (until I finish repairs on the "technician special" multiband transceiver and have an antenna up for it) I'll be "on air" only via a 2m, 1.25m, and 70cm handie-talkie.

Is there a practical way to log contacts while using a mobile transceiver, or any strong reason to make the effort?


In the USA there is no longer any legal requirement to keep a log. Many HAMs log HF contacts often for use in contests or applying for various awards. There are a few contests and awards for VHF / UHF so some HAMs will keep a log for these types of contacts, but most don't.

You can always use paper logs, there are even small notebooks specifically for this purpose. You can also find some apps for you phone or tablet.

Another alternative is to use a small recorder, what used to be called tape recorders, and transcribe the contacts later.


I don't know for the rest of the world, but in Russia strictly speaking every ham is obligated to keep a log and store it at least one year after the last logged QSO. The other question is that no one ever needed these logs :) Also from what I know there are no strict rules on the format these logs supposed to be in.

Try to use a portable recorder. I would also recommend to keep a digital log, just for yourself.

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    $\begingroup$ The material I studied for my license exam says it's "a good idea" -- but even if the FCC asks, will mostly serve to verify when you were and weren't on the air (likely relative to interference complaints or similar). AFAIK, there's no legal requirement in the US in general (other than 60m due to the restricted nature fo that band). $\endgroup$ – Zeiss Ikon Mar 19 '19 at 15:41

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