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I'm a new operator (since Thursday) and I'm just curious how folks here log participation in a net. There is a twice a day social net here I've been participating in occasionally. Do I log everyone who participates, just the operator, or just the repeater it happens on?

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  • $\begingroup$ This question will have different answers depending on which country is being talked about. Not all countries have relaxed the logging requirements, and the FCC (see all the answers below) only applies in the USA $\endgroup$ – Scott Earle Oct 15 '15 at 6:20
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Logging is not required by the FCC, but there are several reasons to do it anyway:

  • Keeping a personal record, like a diary, of your activity on the air. You can include other things like weather, equipment conditions, etc.

  • You need a log to submit for most contests.

  • You need a log if you want to exchange QSLs with the other operator, to confirm date, time, frequency, etc. You might get a QSL request from the other fellow and need to confirm the contact using your log.

  • A log and QSLs (paper or electronic like Logbook of the World or eQSL) are needed if you want to get an award like Worked All States, DXCC, etc.

  • If you have an RFI (interference) problem with neighbors, it's helpful to have a log of your operation. That way, you can often say that the neighbor's problems happened when you were not on the air -- or at least you will know what bands and modes are causing trouble.

So typically for a local net, you're not likely to need a log, although you might want to keep some record of the people you've talked to, just to remember names if nothing else. And, if the other guy is not logging the contact, there's no great need for you to do it either. (No QSL is likely.)

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[Assuming US Rules] Since the FCC relaxed the rules regarding logging -- that is -- you do not have to maintain a log -- you can choose to develop and use your own practice.

I am part of a CW traffic net and I once asked the group how many log the nightly fifteen minute net QSOs. Answer, only one other person besides myself. One other out of about 12 other individuals.

As for me, I log everything just because it is something to do in between my time with the paddle. I am very rarely on with SSB so in a CW net you are often sitting there merely listening. But, I only log the contact between myself and the net control operator. If I take traffic then I log the traffic handled and the destination. If I pass traffic I do the same and the operator's call sign who took the traffic.

Sometimes while mobile I am involved in a simplex 2-meter QSO. Often, answering questions about traffic or asking such questions. I never log these. I also do a lot of portable work, CW on my KX3 or KX1, and I log those using a digital voice recorder and then transcribe to log later.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! This is very helpful. I couldn't find anything searching Google, so it's good to have you answer this. $\endgroup$ – murraycs Oct 11 '15 at 21:17
  • $\begingroup$ Upvote for specifically mentioning the assumption of US rules :) $\endgroup$ – Scott Earle Oct 15 '15 at 6:21

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