This is a very useful and popular option. It has many choices (methods) for free and subscription-based access to callsign databases. This feature enables users to lookup a callsign in various callsign databases to obtain information about that callsign's owner such as - name, address/QTH, email address, locator/grid, age, ham club membership, CQ and ITU zones.
Enabling Callsign Lookup Methods
- NOTE: It's important to understand the way this feature works.
- The Enabled (selected) methods are shown on the left. The Disabled (unselected) methods are on the right.
- The Enabled methods work in the order in which they are displayed. Using the example above as a point of reference, when the Add Logbook Entry (ALE) form is displayed and a callsign is entered in the ALE, the user may then invoke the callsign lookup process by using the TAB key or by clicking the Lookupbutton. Then, the process would work as follows:
- The callsign will be looked up in the active logbook. If that call exists in the log, all empty fields will be populated with the data from the data from that QSO.
- Regardless if found by a previous method, the callsign will then be looked up in QRZ.com. All remaining empty fields will be populated with the data from that QSO.
- Regardless if found by a previous method, the callsign will then be looked up in the HRD Country File. All remaining empty fields will be populated with the data from that QSO. (Though the HRD Country List will only populate the Country field.)
- This process continues through as many selected methods that are included.
- UCSDB: The Unique Callsign Database (UCSDB) is a list of callsigns that would not lookup normally by using only the prefix as a search. The Public UCSDB is created and managed by HRD Software. It is updated when the HRD Country List is downloaded. Operators can creat their own UCSDB - called "Private." These sources have always been searched first. With Ham Radio Deluxe v 6.7, we began displaying this in the list. The position and priority of the UCSDB cannot be changed without causing inaccuracies in the lookup results.
Optional Enabled Methods: Operators can enable any of the optional ("Disabled") methods on the right into the callsign lookup logic. Empty fields in the ALE are populated in the order in which they are displayed in the "Enabled Methods" window. In other words - you can enable them all. But the first source to fill a field wins.
Country List: The HRD Country list is the "source of last resort." The software is configured to use it only after other methods have failed to find a match. For that reason, it is pinned to the bottom of the list. This cannot be changed without causing inaccuracies in the lookup results.
- RECOMMENDATION: We strongly recommend using the logbook as the first enabled method and the HRD Country List as the last enabled method. In other words - use them in the order from most specific content to less specific content.
- Using the logbook as the first enabled method enables the log to become a de facto UCSDB. Once the user gets a callsign correctly entered into their log, that same information will be used for subsequent callsign lookups. This is helpful for cases where a DXpedition announces a callsign on the first day of operation and is active before the call is available in the UCSDB or on QRZ.com.
- Because the HRD Country List will only populate the Country field based on the callsign's prefix, it should be used as a last resort. All other sources of information will be more specific and accurate.
- This form is used for (a) entering the username and password for enabled methods, (b) configuring Logbook to use data from a CD, and (c) testing these methods.
- The entry of username and password for these methods is self-explanatory.
- Data from a CD can be used from the CDROM drive or the data can be copied to a local disk and specified there for faster access.
- The testing mechanism is a very useful tool for investigating cases where the callsign lookup is either not working or rendering odd results. Simply put a call into the field and click Lookup and the enabled methods will be used to bring back an XML file with the data in it. That information can be used to investigate the results.