FRLogger is a Windows software logging and management system designed specifically for Flex 6000 Series radios.
This page will take you through the basics to get started with FRLogger and will show you some of its features. If you want to jump to usage guides click the link below.
The latest FRLogger installers can be downloaded from FRLogger Downloads
FRLogger requires at minimum a Windows computer running Windows 7 or higher.
I highly suggest, not only for FRLogger, but for SmartSDR as well that your computer have sufficient RAM. 8GB is really the minimum for Windows 10. Windows 7 can use less but you will start to see some issues trying to run with too little memory.
While I do not expect anyone to go out and replace their computer just to run logging software I highly recommend at minimum a core i5 processor and preferably a core i7. SmartSDR and FRLogger will perform much better when given ample resources to work with.
Please be aware that Windows may warn you that FRLogger installer is dangerous and will ask you if you want to keep the file. This is very common with files that are not often downloaded. FRLogger has about 100 users so we are not big enough to look like a safe and regularly downloaded piece of software.
Ultimately the choice is yours as to whether you want to continue. I personally build and test each installer so I know it is safe.
Even after you have downloaded the installer, when you try to run it, Windows will likely tell you that it is unsafe and warn you not to install it. Again, I test each one but the choice is always yours.
By default, when you install FRLogger it will be placed in a directory on your C: drive called WS7MApps. (C\WS7MApps)
Within this directory FRLogger resides in a directory called FlexLogger. (C:\WS7MApps\FlexLogger). At one point in time FRLogger was called FlexLogger and there were users with the software installed. When Flex asked me to change the name I did so but left the directory structure in place so as to no mess up early users.
Within C:\WS7MApps\FlexLogger you will see a number of directories:
- AlertAudio - This contains audio clips you can use for any alerts that FRLogger generates
- Audio - This directory holds audio you record from your radio using FRLogger
- bin - This is the software binary directory. FRLogger lives here.
- Data - This is the data directory for all things that FRLogger needs. This is an important directory and if you can, back it up periodically.
- Logs - When FRLogger runs it saves a log file. These help me to debug issues and I may ask you to send me a file from here if you are having issues.
- Scripts - FRLogger has a very powerful scripting language built in. Scripts are generally stored in this directory.
When you run FRLogger for the first time the screen will look very much like it does in the image below.
The welcome dialog which is shown over the main window lists changes and important information for the current version. It also contains prior change list for reference.
The welcome dialog will continue to appear until you check the box located near the close button to not show it again. You can always redisplay the welcome dialog by going to the help menu. When you install a new version of FRLogger the welcome dialog will show again the first time you run the new version.
After you have closed the welcome dialog the main FRLogger window will appear as shown below.
In this section and in images below I will highly and discuss important parts of the software.
The title bar will always show you the version, GMT Date/Time and any current operator. In the image below no operator has been defined but it will appear in this red rectangle area.
Below the title bar is the main menu. This menu only appears in the main FRLogger window. This menu will look different once things have been configured like station, operator and radio. The menu items from left to right are:
- Program configuration (gear) - Many program settings can be changed in here
- Station - FRLogger allows you to define different stations. This menu is where you add, edit and select a station.
- Operator - FRLogger allows you to define different operators. This menu is where you add, edit and select an operator.
- Radio Definition - FRLogger allows you to use multiple Flex Radios by defining radio defintions for them.
- Database - FRLogger allows you to use multiple databases to store your logs in. This menu allows you to create, select and administer databases
- Panels - FRLogger presents information to you in what are called panels. Each display is a panel. More on this below.
- Layouts - How panels are arranged is up to you. The layouts menu allows you to save and restore different panel layouts
- Spot Sources - FRLogger can bring spot data in from the spot networks. You can define and update spot sources from this menu.
- Scripts - FRLogger has a powerful scripting language. This menu allows you to create and run scripts.
- Devices - In a future version FRLogger will allow you to define devices you wish to communicate with. You will manage them in this menu.
- Controls - This menu allows you to manage various functions within FRLogger, particularly the data queues.
- Debug - The debug menu has tools to allow logging of various functions. I may instruct you to use these tools. There is no harm if you want to try them out.
- Help - Gets you some help. Of importance on this menu are the options to go to the website and to submit an issue report.
Below the main menu you will see a list of tabs. These are the various panels that FRLogger can present information to you in.
The initial layout you see before any arranging has been done is that every panel is just a tab. You can totally use FRLogger in this way if you wish. You just click on the tab you want to use to select it.
However, FRLogger allows you to totally customize how you want to view your log data and controls. A section below will cover just how you achieve the customization. For now we will list what the various tabs/panels are and what they do.
- KAT Tuner - FRLogger can talk to and control the Elecraft KAT tuner. This panel provides those controls.
- KPA Amp - FRLogger can talk to and control the Elecraft KPA 500 and 1500 amps. This panel provides those controls.
- SPE Amp - FRLogger can talk to and control the SPE 1K, 1.3K, 1.5K, and 2K amps. This panel provides those controls.
- Spots - FRLogger can bring spots in from the spotting network. This panel lists spots and allows you to control how spots are used.
- WSJT - FRLogger can listen to and interface with WSJT-X and JTDX. This panel provides the interface and controls.
- Audio - FRLogger can use your SmartSDR DAX system to record and playback audio from/to the radio. This panel provides audio controls.
- Macros - FRLogger can run scripts as "macros" to perform various duties. This panel provides a list of assignable macro buttons.
- CW - FRLogger has a very powerful CW panel that provides all the features of CWX and more. This panel provides the CW interface.
- Radio Controls - FRLogger presents radio information to you on this panel. This panel is still being built out.
- Clock - Map - FRLogger can show you a world map. On this map you can plot recent QSOs, WSJT stations, spots and you can use your mouse to measure distances and get grid information.
- Lookup - FRLogger can lookup stations from QRZ or HamQTH. The look up panel provides a place to lookup station data that you may not want to log.
- Alerts - FRLogger contains a very powerful alerting system that can send you alerts for stations, grids, countries or just about anything you are interested in.
- W2 Watt Meter - FRLogger can interface with and display information from the Elecraft W2 Watt Meter if you have one.
- Archive - FRLogger provides a database that can archive spot data so you can review it later.
- FRLogger Chat - FRLogger provides two way chat between other FRLogger users on this panel. Chats are also shown at the bottom of the main window.
- FRLogger Message - FRLogger allows you to send private messages to other FRLogger users on this panel. Messages for you are shown at the bottom of the main window.
- Slice A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H - FRLogger can present a slice control panel for each slice that your Flex Radio offers
Please note that depending upon your monitor size, not all panels may be displayed in this initial view. The panels menu lists all available panels.
At the bottom of the main window is a status bar. The status bar shows various status information about your radio, FRLogger, chats, messages, and updates. At the far right of the status bar is resize handle for making the window larger or smaller.
The items in the status bar are as follows:
- Radio network - This is the Flex Radio report on how good your network is
- Queues - FRLogger places information in lots of queues to be worked on when time permits. These indicators show you how much data is queued in your system.
- Layout - This shows you the name of your current panel layout file
- Chats - This will show you the number of active chats going on between FRLogger users
- Msgs - This will show you if you have any private messages to you from FRLogger users
- Update status - At the far right, just before the resize handle is a hidden control that will show you if a new update to FRLogger is available.
In general the queues shown in the task bar should always be at zero. During busy times like a contest they may show small positive numbers. If you see large numbers in the queues then generally something is wrong and I would recommend a restart of FRLogger. You can also use the controls menu to purge data from queues. Queues mean the following:
- AQ - Archive data waiting to be written to the archive database
- Q1 - Priority lookup data waiting for lookups from QRZ or HamQTH
- Q2 - Lower priority lookup data waiting for lookups from QRZ or HamQTH
- PQ - Post data. Data waiting to be posted to online logbooks
- SQ - Spot data waiting to be processed
After installing FRLogger there are a few minimum steps needed to get FRLogger working for you. This section will cover those minimum steps.
Program Configuration - Click on the gear icon and the configuration editor will appear.
- Preferences - Initially there is nothing you need to do on this tab.
- Logging - Initially there is nothing you need to do on this tab.
- Radio - If you wish check on "Auto connect to my radio". This will cause FRLogger to automatically connect to your radio when it starts.
- Devices - Initially there is nothing you need to do on this tab. Connection of your various devices can be done later.
- QSL - If you are a LOTW user you will need to fill out this section.
- Online & Lookup - If you want to retrieve station data from QRZ or HamQTH you will need to fill out those sections.
- Post Online - If you want to post log entries to any online logbook you need to fill out this section. Warning eQSL post is not functional.
At this point you can press the "Save & Close" button to save your configuration changes. You can come back to this dialog at any time to make changes or add/remove functionality.
FRLogger allows you to define as many "stations" as you wish. A station defines some details about your station such as location, latitude, longitude etc.
To create your first station click on the station menu and then click "New station...". The following empty dialog should appear:
- Name or Id - Your station must have a name. Most use "Home" or even their call sign.
- Callsign - Some really serious hams have special stations with differnt callsigns. Most will put their callsign here.
- Remaining fields - Fill out as much data as you can. Lookup your callsign on QRZ and use the data from that page if you need to.
Now click the Save button and your station will be saved. It will be come the default station and load automatically when you run FRLogger. You can edit this station at any time by using the "Edit station..." menu item.
FRLogger allows you to define as many "operators" as you wish. Some people are luckly enough to have wives, sons, daughters all as hams. You can create an operator record for each. When that person is going to operate simply load their operator record.
To create your first operator click on the station menu and then click "New operator...". The following empty dialog should appear:
Fill out as many fields as you can, at minimum the call sign field should be populated as it will be used as the filename for the operator entry.
Now click the Save button and your operator will be saved. It will be come the default operator and load automatically when you run FRLogger. You can edit operators at any time by using the "Edit operator..." menu item.
FRLogger allows you to define multiple radios that you can quickly switch to and use with FRLogger. The radios must be Flex Series 6000 radios.
To create your first radio definition click on the station menu and then click "New radio definition...". The following empty dialog should appear:
There are three important fields that should be filled out for radio communication to work properly:
- Radio Name - This is a user friendly name for your radio like: WS7M 6600.
- Radio Serial Number - Having the radio serial number helps FRLogger to find and connect to the correct radio.
- Radio Connection Type - This defines how FRLogger will find your radio. More on this below.
FRLogger as of V19 does not support SmartLink. Support for SmartLink is coming and will occur in a future version.
The two kinds of local connections, meaning on the same LAN, that are currently supported are:
Find will look for the radio UDP broadcast and use that to locate the radio by serial number and connect to it. This is why entering the serial number will help you with radio connection.
Address will connect to a specific IP address that you supply in "Radio Local Connection Address". This is useful if your radio is set to a static IP on your LAN.
For the vast majority of users the local radio connection options will be sufficient. However for some operators, like myself, I want to be able to run FRLogger remotely, say when I am at my office. This is what "Remote Radio Connection Type" is for. Currently the following options are available for remote connection type:
- SmartLink - This is not currently implemented or working yet
- Address - This allows you to enter an IP address where your radio resides
Even through SmartLink is not yet alive, you can connect to and fully control your radio with FRLogger using the remove connection address type. It requires that you open two ports in your firewall and point them at your radio IP. The ports are:
Like in the station and operator menus once you save your radio definiton it becomes the current definition and will automatically be loaded when FRLogger starts.
FRLogger stores QSO data and other data in SQLite databases. FRLogger allows you to have as many QSO databases as you wish. For example, you might not want to put contest data into your ragchew database. So the solution is to create a database for contests, switch to it and use it during contests. And create a separate database for use in storing non-contest QSOs. The option and decision is totally your. For many people a single database will do.
To create your first database click on the datbase menu and then click "New database...". Give the database a valid filename and click "Save".
The last database you used will automatically be reopened by FRLogger when it starts.
At this point FRLogger is pretty much ready to run for you in its intended fashion. By default, unless you turned it on in program configuration, FRLogger does not connect to your radio. Select the radio menu and select "Connect".
Assuming you've entered things correctly, your radio is on and you have an active slice, you should see things happen. Most notibly the slice window should populate with data from your slice:
Please continue to the page on using FRLogger for a deeper dive into the functionality and features: FRLogger Usage