We seek to understand and document all radio transmissions, legal and otherwise, as part of the radio listening hobby. We do not encourage any radio operations contrary to regulations. Always consult with the appropriate authorities if you have questions concerning what is permissable in your locale.

Author Topic: eQSL Factory  (Read 6650 times)

Offline ChrisSmolinski

  • Administrator
  • Marconi Class DXer
  • *****
  • Posts: 21554
    • View Profile
    • Black Cat Systems
eQSL Factory
« on: July 12, 2015, 1833 UTC »
I suspect that a lot of eQSLs are made with graphics editing apps, which may not be ideal for the purpose.  I've released a beta version of eQSL Factory, and app that I hope will eventually make this task a little easier.

There's an example file that comes with the download, aptly enough named "Test File". You can load it to see an example of what the app can presently do.

To create an eQSL template, first make a new one by selecting New from the File menu.

Next, use Set Background Image from the Edit menu to load the background picture you want to use. Your resulting eQSL images will be the same size as this image, so use your favorite image editing app to scale it, if necessary.

Now to add some text to the image. Add Text Object in the Edit menu lets you do this. Type some text into the field named "Text", it will appear on the image, in the upper left corner, with a white background. You can also give this text field a name for your own use. You can drag the text around on the image, as well as change the font and size, color, make it bold, etc.

Make a few more text objects, one for each field you want to appear on your eQSL.

You can click on a text object in the list box to select it, if you want to edit it or reposition it. The currently selected text object will have a white background, to help identify it.

To customize each eQSL for the recipient, select each text object you want to edit, and change the text as necessary.

Once you're done, use Copy Image from the Edit menu to place the image into your clipboard/pasteboard, then you can paste it into an email, word processing file, etc.

You can save your image template using Save from the File menu, so you can use it later.

A few features I hope to add:
• Directly saving images in JPG, PNG, etc formats.
• An integrated logbook, so you can just enter in the pertinent information, and have the corresponding text objects update in the eQSL file.
• Automatic importing of logs from reception reports. This would be a real time saver. If we can get people to use a standardized format for their loggings (ha ha yes, you can stop laughing now), the app should be able to parse this information, extracting the pertinent information and updating the corresponding text fields. No need to type anything in, just copy and paste the text, and you are done and have created an eQSL in seconds!

Again, note that this is a beta, and the very first release, so it can be rough around the edges. Please let me know if there's any other features you'd like to see, and certainly point out any bugs or other problems, either by a reply here or a private message.

eQSL Factory is free to download and use, here are the download links:

Mac  download: http://www.blackcatsystems.com/download/eQSLFactoryMac.zip

Windows download: http://www.blackcatsystems.com/download/eQSLFactoryWindows.zip
« Last Edit: July 12, 2015, 2340 UTC by ChrisSmolinski »
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
NRD 545 / netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 270 ft west-south-west beverage / 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop

Offline jFarley

  • Global Moderator
  • DX Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 5733
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: eQSL Factory
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2015, 2136 UTC »
Very easy and intuitive!  Seems to work just fine on Win 7.

Joe Farley, Near Chicago
SDR-IQ / R8 / R7
Remote Resonant Loops for HF and LF / ALA 1530
Active 60" Whip / PA0RDT
QSLS appreciated to:    jfarley44@att.net

Offline ChrisSmolinski

  • Administrator
  • Marconi Class DXer
  • *****
  • Posts: 21554
    • View Profile
    • Black Cat Systems
Re: eQSL Factory
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2015, 2301 UTC »
I've updated eQSL Factory to version 0.2.0b1. This adds a few new neat features:

• Directly saving images in GIF, JPEG, and PNG formats
• Remembering and incrementing QSL number
• importing user information from a report. No need to type everything in, just copy and paste some text, and the eQSL is finished in seconds.

I also wrote up some documentation that explains how to use the app, it is included with the download, and I will add it to the end of this message, to explain the new features.

Here are the download links:

Mac  download: http://www.blackcatsystems.com/download/eQSLFactoryMac.zip

Windows download: http://www.blackcatsystems.com/download/eQSLFactoryWindows.zip


eQSL Factory helps automate the production of electronic QSL cards (eQSLs).  Load in the background image file, position your text fields, and you’re all set to go!

eQSL factory can import in reporter details from the clipboard and, using special field definition text, automatically paste those details into the correct text fields on the eQSL. You can even keep track of the QSL number and increment it.

The best way to understand how to use the app is to load a sample file. I’d suggest loading “Test File” first.   Start the app and open this file from the File menu, or drag and drop this file on top of the eQSL Factory app to launch the app and open the file.

You’ll see the sample eQSL, with several text fields already filed out. There’s a list box in the lower left part of the window, with an entry for each text field. Click on each field, and it will be highlighted in the eQSL image, and the various fields in the upper left part of the window will be filled in with the details for that entry. You can edit the entry using them. Most of the settings should be self explanatory.  The “Name” field is what appears in the list box, it does not appear anywhere on the eQSL itself.

You can customize the eQSL by editing the text for each field.

Once your eQSL is done, you can select Copy Image from the Export menu to copy it to your clipboard, then you can paste it into an email or text file. 

You can also save the image as a GIF, JPEG, or PNG file by using the other items in the Export menu.

Be sure to save your eQSL information by using Save from the File menu, it won’t be automatically saved when you quit the app or close the file, if you have made any changes.

Now for the real power of eQSL Factory - the ability to quickly produce eQSLs by automating the process!

Request that your reporters include their pertinent information (name, date, frequency, time, SIO, etc) in a specific format.

Below is a sample of that format:

$$Name: Doctor DX
$$Date: 7/8/2015
$$Time: 0100-0135 UTC
$$Freq: 6955 kHz USB
$$SIO: 533

This text needs to be in their email to you, or posting on a message board, such as http://www.hfunderground.com

There are several lines of information. Each is preceded by the field name, which always starts with two dollar signs, and ends with a colon. Then following the colon is the actual text. Your eQSL template then includes these field names in the various text fields. When you copy the above text from a report, and import it into eQSL Factory, the text will be automatically placed in the correct fields.

The best way to see how this works is to look at an example. Load the Text File 3 onto eQSL Factory. You’ll see the eQSL image, along with he text fields, many of which contain $$ field names. This is where the text from a report will go. Now select the above report, all five lines beginning with $$ and then select Import Report from the Import menu in eQSL Factory. The report information should be automatically added to the correct text fields. Now instead of it taking many minutes to make a custom eQSL, it only took seconds!

The five fields used here are just an example, there is no limit to the fields that can be used. Your reporters however need to know what fields to provide data for, so it is suggested to use a standard like this.

QSL numbers can auto be automated. If the text $$NUM appears in a field, it will be replaced with whatever is in the QSL Number text entry field in the app. Clicking on the increment button will advance this number by one. You can also directly edit the field to change it. Be sure to save your template file if you have changed the QSL number (or anything else).

Note for Windows users: eQSL Factory needs the DLLs in the eQSL Factory Libs folder, so be sure to keep it in the same directory as the app itself.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
NRD 545 / netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 270 ft west-south-west beverage / 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop

Offline uhf35

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
Re: eQSL Factory
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2015, 0004 UTC »

Thanks!  ;D

Offline ChrisSmolinski

  • Administrator
  • Marconi Class DXer
  • *****
  • Posts: 21554
    • View Profile
    • Black Cat Systems
Re: eQSL Factory
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2016, 2256 UTC »
Version 0.2.2 has been released, since version 0.2.1 expired  ;D

http://www.blackcatsystems.com/software/eQSL_factory_qsl_design_software.html
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
NRD 545 / netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 270 ft west-south-west beverage / 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop

Offline pascal62

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: eQSL Factory
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2017, 1122 UTC »
Thank you  :)