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I'm part of a small team that runs 3AB with a few Kx3 radios. We've been struggling a bit with logging. First year was all paper and that was messy. Next couple of years one of the guys put together something that runs on RaspPi and the operators use tablets for logging.

Maybe I'm an old dog but I just cannot jump back and forth between a CW contact and a log on a tablet. I can't type quickly on a tablet and I feel like I lose the rhythm. I'd prefer to do it by paper but then we lose the dupe checking. I'm also concerned that we'll lose contacts on the home grown solution.

I love N1MM but I guess that's out. I think if there were windows laptops that lasted 12-24+ hours on a charge we'd be OK. I can run my old surface pro off a 12v marine battery for days but I guess most laptops can't do this.

So the question, what do multi-transmitter battery stations do for logging. Has it been successful for you or are you also looking for something better?

73, Kev N4TT

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You can get an inverter that will run a 35W, or even a 65W 120V laptop charger from a 12V source for around $25 at any auto parts store. That won't get you internet, but it will get you all-day operation fairly cheaply.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is something I'll check into. Possibly something we can work on for next FD. $\endgroup$ – Kevin d. Jun 17 at 18:37
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I built a voltage booster using a LT1270A for this purpose: https://www.qsl.net/ve3lny/booster.html

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  • $\begingroup$ I've been thinking about building one of those myself, thanks for sharing! $\endgroup$ – rclocher3 Jun 17 at 19:47
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Personally I'd go with an inverter to power a laptop running N1MM Logger. But there's also the way that contesters did it for decades before computer logging was practical, and continue to do it when needed: the paper dupe sheet. Below is an example from K4CHE.

The basic idea is that there is a sheet for every band/mode combination, such as 40m SSB. When a contact is logged, the data is written on a regular log sheet, but the call sign is also written on the dupe sheet. The dupe sheet has a grid of boxes. To look up which box to write the call sign in, pick the row corresponding to the number in the call sign, and pick the row corresponding to the first letter of the suffix.

When a call sign is heard on the air, the call sign is quickly searched for on the dupe sheet: if found, you know that station has already been worked. It's almost as fast as computer logging.

The ARRL has published a blank dupe sheet for Field Day that you can print out.

paper dupe sheet example

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  • $\begingroup$ This would be my preference but it's too old fashioned for the team. We did it all manually the first year and I thought it worked out very well. $\endgroup$ – Kevin d. Jun 17 at 18:41

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