Many, if not most Amateur radio nets today are using Netlogger to track check-ins and allow
information passing through a chat window. If you particiapate in many Nets I am sure you have heard your net control op speak to the benefits of this app.
Take a minute to check it out! (Read the Overview below)
More info and a link to download the program:
Also, check out the Netlogger viewer by K3CLR: https://www.k3clr.com/
Net Logger Overview
Post#1 » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:21 pm
NetLogger combines the features of three different types of programs into one. The features from each of these three areas are integrated so that they enhance the features in the other areas. The following paragraphs give further details on each of these three areas and how they interact. Note that this is only an overview of features. More details can be found by reading details provided via other entries that can be found in the Help Contents and Help Index.
Networked Net Check-ins List
NetLogger allows a logger to create a check-ins list for a net that can be shared with others who are monitoring the net using NetLogger. NetLogger has features for looking up data associated with a callsign, including both Net specific data like Member Id's (using a club profile file), and more general data via an online callbook (QRZ XML lookups).
NetLogger has features that make it easy to maintain the check-ins list, e.g. the ability to add and delete entries, the ability to change the order or entries, etc. The logger can also save the check-ins list for later reference or for sharing with others. A check-ins list can also be reloaded into NetLogger (possibly as a template for check-ins, or to be used in standalone mode to update the club profile file). Saving and Restoring a check-ins list might also be used to recover a net if it was closed by mistake.
NetLogger also provides the ability to keep track of the status of check-ins, e.g. whether or not someone is not responding, or has checked out.
The logger has the ability to maintain a Station Highlighter which allows those monitoring to know whose turn it is or who is currently speaking (depending on the type of net in progress).
There is also interaction with the contacts logging features of NetLogger. NetLogger also maintains local status, e.g. it can search entries in a users contacts database to determine whether or not a particular station in the check-ins list has been previously worked. NetLogger also makes it easier to log contacts by using the data provided by the logger when logging a contact. Typically the only data that needs to be entered by the individual user when logging a contact are the signal reports (sent and received).
NetLogger provides the functions of a contacts logging program. It allows contacts to be added and deleted from a contacts database. Contacts already in the database can also be edited. Contacts can be imported and exported in both ADIF and CSV format. Contacts can be directly uploaded to eQSL.
Integration with the Check-ins list features makes it easier for a user to determine whether they have already worked others who are currently checked into a net, including whether they have been worked at any time, or whether they have been worked on this particular net. When logging a contact, the name of the net in progress is stored in the contacts database, so contacts can be filtered based on that information. A variety of filters are available for filtering data in the contacts database, including a custom filter that provides a lot of flexibility for searching and filtering the contacts database.
NetLogger provides a messaging feature called Almost Instant Messages (AIM). This allows the NCS/logger and those monitoring the net with NetLogger to communicate over the internet, similar to other online chat programs. The reason that Almost is used in the feature description is that NetLogger only polls the server once every 20 seconds, so it may take up to 20 seconds to see a message that someone else has sent.
This feature can be used to help with net operations, e.g. relays can provide check-in information to the NCS when propagation is poor. Also, users can communicate check-in status, e.g. when they might be temporarily unavailable, or when they want to check out without having to interrupt the net in progress.
This feature can also just be used as a way of socializing and building community. This might be especially true in the case of a WAS/DX contact assistance net, where a user may only get one turn every 30-60 minutes, and the on-air communications might be restricted to the exchange of signal reports and a short greeting.
The AIM window provides information regarding when people start or stop monitoring the net (this feature can be disabled). Text in the AIM window is colored to help highlight messages that you have typed, or messages that have come from the NCS.
NetLogger is a tool. Be careful not to let it become a crutch.
Tutorial that goes through setting it up: