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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL

Mike Carper (WA9PIE) on March 4, 2009
View comments about this article!

Long-standing is the debate about whether the ARRL should accept eQSL confirmations as DXCC credit. CQ has recently adopted eQSL as an accepted platform for WAZ credit. Can DXCC be far behind?

According to the "ARRL Electronic QSL Policy" statement from May 7, 2002 - "...there has been no change in League policy regarding e-QSLs. ARRL does not accept QSLs that have been transmitted to the recipient via electronic means for its awards".

The policy goes on to provide for QSL managers to receive their logs electronically for the stations they manage.

The policy statment concludes by stating, "For its awards, the ARRL does not accept electronically transmitted QSLs that are printed by the recipient. There is no restriction placed on how log information is conveyed to an authorized QSL manager, however."

Bingo! Here's the solution.

The objection is that the QSLs are "printed by the recipient" and QSL managers are not restricted as to "how log information is conveyed to" them.

Therefore...

Stations could designate eQSL as their "QSL Manager". The station could transmit their log (in the same format they would transmit it to traditional QSL managers) to eQSL. Those who use eQSL would make a request to have printed copies of selected QSO in the eQSL system sent to them via traditional mail (covering the fees associated with printing and mailing the cards).

Done! The debate is over. As demonstrated, receiving QSL cards in this manner is fully compliant with the ARRL policy.

Mike, WA9PIE

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KB9CRY on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
there has been no change in League policy

Sounds to me like there is no debate. What you've described is LOTW.
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W8ZNX on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
E QSL are not real

what would you do if we let you go home
and the plastic is all melted and so has the chrome

who are the brain police
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KB2DHG on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I personally like the old school paper QSL's BUT wether paper or electronic, the bottom line is a confermation that said contact has been accomplshed.
No debate here!
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by VK4TZA on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I enjoy eQSL, it has improved significantly over the years and is quite clever. The personal computer is a very useful tool for the ham radio operator. The purist can continue with the QSL bureau, but lets be real about this. Congratulations CQ. Cmon ARRL, catch up.

Iva de VK4HG
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KG4RUL on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I don't use either one.
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by NU4B on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
E QSL will print and mail you the QSL's you request now.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N7YA on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
If you dont chase ARRL awards, then either one should be fine. If you just like to exchange pleasantries and the qso matches up...why not eQsl? Why not email for that matter. Both are about the same except for the graphics.

If you chase awards, LOTW or hard card is the only acceptable way...pretty common knowledge by now. Eqsl will never be valid as long as the league doesnt own it. I still prefer hard cards, myself. I used to use eQsl quite a bit but have stopped now for some reason. I have yet to get started on LOTW, but i will.

Its all about what you are using it for and how much you care about the ARRL's version of validity. If you KNOW you made the contact, and you get any corespondance from them and it matches, sounds good. Otherwise, i would suggest you go the valid route, since you may want to cash those in for some wallpaper one day.

73...Adam, N7YA
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N4CQR on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
100% satisfied with eQSL and conventional paper QSLs.
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by K4IQT on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I understand the ARRL's concern with eQSL, having received several eQSL's in the last few years from hams I've never worked.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by K4QE on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
How is receiving eQSLs for QSOs that never happened any different from receiving paper QSLs for QSOs that never happened?
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by K4QE on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
The ARRL is not (nor should they be) obliged to accept eQSLs. DXCC is their program, and they are entitled to run it as they see fit. If you want DXCC, then you must become a user of LOTW or get paper QSLs. Plain and simple.

eQSL has their own "DXCC" program. They aren't obliged to accept LOTW confirmations. Same logic as above.

The ARRL is the "American Idol" of DX award programs. They are the best known and most respected. That didn't come easily, and it didn't happen overnight.

eQSL is like another TV program trying to do the "American Idol" thing. The existence of the second dilutes the first, but, unless the public decides the first is no longer worth it, the first will continue to be top dog.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by NI0C on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
ARRL's LoTW is superior to both paper QSL's and eQSL's as a confirmation that a claimed two way QSO has indeed taken place. This is because, in LoTW, a "QSL" is generated by a blind matching of QSO records in logs submitted by both participants in a QSO.

Both eQSL and (to a lesser degree), paper QSL's suffer from the "busted call" problem. For example, NI0K could possibly receive eQSL's and paper QSL's for CW QSO's that were attempted (and probably not even logged) by NI0C.

According to the Editorial on page 8 of March 2209 CQ, the CQ awards managers have apparently gotten around this problem with eQSL by gaining access to the log data of both parties. Although ARRL could potentially obtain such access to eQSL, it would lead to much more workload for them. Since they already have solved the verification problem by creating LoTW, I wouldn't hold my breath for acceptance of eQSL's for DXCC credit.

I do think, however, ARRL should allow other awards programs (such as CQ's) access to LoTW credits. This would enhance the value of LoTW.

I am a participant in both LotW and eQSL. They both have their place. I particularly like to download images of eQSL's I have earned and display them (along with scanned images of paper QSL's) on an 8 inch digital picture frame on my operating desk. This is very cool. However, as stated above, my LoTW confirmations are the surest, most accurate, confirmations I have, even though they don't result in pretty images to display in the shack.

73,
Chuck NI0C

 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by AA4PB on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
How is receiving eQSLs for QSOs that never happened any different from receiving paper QSLs for QSOs that never happened?
------------------------------------------------------
Its easier for someone to generate a false eQSL than it is to create a false paper QSL - although that's not too difficult any more.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KY6R on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
The DXCC program has kept me on the air and interested. LOTW is now worth its weight in gold because of its reporting. I love their online reports - especially for something as "intense" as tracking over 1500 band / mode fills towards DXCC Challenge.

I was active in middle school and high school (1973 - 1977), then inactive until 2001, but more active than ever since the DX bug bit me and got me back into ham radio. DXCC and LOTW has been the glue for me.

YMMV.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W3WN on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Well Mike, if that were "the objection", then your solution would work right now.

When you sign up for eQSL today (and this has been true the last few years) you agree in the fine print to appoint them you non-exclusive QSL manager (and you don't have an opt-out clause), and this is what allows them to print and mail e-cards to people.

There are many other issues involved, especially one over security of the data. It's just too danged easy to fake an e-card (or more accurately, a log entry); I have several in my Inbox and Archive box, including my all-time favorite, P5SLIM. Some of these have been well known for years, yet they remain.

The bottom line remains that the two systems, LotW and eQSL, serve different purposes and perform different functions, even with some overlap.

Why make such a fuss about it now?

 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W2BLC on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I recently migrated to a new computer. eQSL was up and running in just a couple of minutes. Now, several days later, I am still having problems with LOTW and have been getting "help" via email from ARRL.

If LOTW is not up and running today, I will be eQSL forever!
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by WW5AA on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I use both and love it, My logger logs to both eQSL and LoTW. eQSL for instant gratification and LoTW for paper chasing. And yes, eQSL requires a little honesty which is lacking in a lot of the ham community these days. I prefer the eQSL cards for wall hanging because most of the paper guys are cheap (:-)

73 de Lindy
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by K0BG on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I believe verification is important, no matter how it is done.

For example, I regularly receive cards through the bureau for contacts I did not make. Most of them are CW contacts. I suspect the operator in question has a lousy fist, and the station on the other end is getting the call wrong. Some of the cards are rather exotic, and there isn't any way to dispute the contact if I were to turn them in. (For the record, I've never requested any award from the ARRL)

Whatever electronic means is used, there will be (are) lots of operators who don't, or won't, use them. So the same rule (verification ) should apply, with 'how to do so' the only question.

In the final analysis, the only one who really cares (or counts) is the one who made the contact. Publishing the contacts isn't much more than notoriety, which for some is the only justification.

Alan, KBG
www.k0bg.com
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by AI2IA on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
It is all in your head.

What do you do after you get an "award"? You hang it in your shack and you look at it - sometimes. Somebody else looks at it for a second or two - sometimes. It is pure, one hundred percent verified, certified, signed and sealed, and some fine day when you are gone, it will be sought by collectors - garbage collectors.

If you know that you did it, and did it honestly, what do you "need" the award for? If you cheat and hang a phoney award, you know it is a fraud and nobody cares for more than a minuet anyway, so what good is it?

Ham radio is what you make it for yourself, and if you're smart you will make it for yourself with operationg skill, fun in experimenting, helping others as an Elmer and a VE, and giving back as an emcomm operator. When you do these things you will get "awards" and certificates anyway.

You see? It's all in your head! - AI2IA
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by NG1I on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Personally, I thought LoTW was an easy setup but one needed time to read every word of each step.....so i love receiving the paper QSL from the ARRL buro but LoTW help a lot especially after a contest.

As for e-QSL's, to stop using it when I'd get them from people I never worked on several occasions after after a check of my log twice.

Hence, LoTW to me is more secure, has been on the money each and every time, and was worth the extra time to read and understand what they were saying in setting it up.

Most people don't save their elctronic certificate to a different drive. I've had a hard drive crash, put in a new one, and when it came to relaoding LoTW, I followed the direction BUT whta helped 1000% was having my certificate backed up somewhere else and it was just a matter of inserting that file.

LoTW? Works for me.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KB9BIT on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Hey Mike, WA9PIE. Remember me? I was your roommate at Purdue in 1986 when we lived in Young Grad House? Thanks to you, I got my start in ham radio back then. I was just an SWL when you invited me to come up to the Purdue Club station for November Sweeps one weekend and it sparked my interest. Now 20+ years later I'm as active as ever.

I have no problem at all with ARRL not accepting eQSLs. The DXCC program is their show and their's to run however they see fit. eQSLs and LoTW are two very different methods of confirming contacts and neither one is truly a copy of the other. Personally, electronic QSLs do nothing for me. I guess I'm old school in that I prefer paper over all other methods. I do, however, upload all my logs to both eQSL and LoTW monthly for those who prefer confirmations by either or both methods. There is nothing exciting at all to me about getting an electronic QSL either via LoTW or eQSL. I have received several eQSLs for contacts I never made and have had several eQSLs rejected for the reason of "Not In Log", even though I have paper QSLs or LoTW matches for those contacts. But it's not much of a problem. Paper or electronic? Paper!

Tom KB9BIT
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N3OX on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Allowing the printing of eQSLs presents a particular verification problem.

Right now, a card checker in Newington will see multiple cards from even a rare, fairly inactive ham, that are all filled out in a similar style (even if they have labels on them.... the labels will come from the same program, the dates will be in the same style, the card might list band or frequency)

To make a fake one of those, one would have to lay hands on a *real* one and study it, at least briefly, to make a convincing counterfeit.

Handwritten cards are much, much harder.

If ARRL & other awards accepted printed eQSLs, they'd basically have to say that all eQSL.cc cards in the default style were invalid to avoid this problem, just because someone with Photoshop would have a trivial time duplicating an exact copy of the eQSL default and printing it.

73
Dan







 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W9WHE-II on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
arrl has a serrious case of NIH. (Not Invented Here).
So, if arrl did not invent it (or can't make $$ on it) they don't recognize it.

Forget about the fact that EQSL was first. arrl does not care. The Newington Boys Club is not going to recognize E qsl.

BESIDES. WHO NEEDS arrl TO TELL YOU YOUR CARDS ARE GOOD?
I DON'T.

W9WHE
Proud to have CANCELLED my arrl membership!
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by AI2IA on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"W9WHE
Proud to have CANCELLED my arrl membership!"

Tell us about your ARRL awards, if you ever had any, and if you did, what you did with them. Are they still hanging up in your shack?

Your comments would add a little interest to your otherwise routine, humdrum posts of "Proud to have cancelled my arrl membership!"
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by K8YZK on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I use all 3(LoTW/eQSL/Paper) and find that eQSL is the easiest. Someone said LoTW is superior to Paper or eQSL, I would like to know how LoTW is superior to paper myself. Yes cards can be forged, but if it does not meet what you have in your log book then it's not valid. There are ways to cheat all 3 systems, if you wanted to, and if getting the DXCC from ARRL or eQSL or being top on the dx list(big deal...yeah right) is that important, then it is going to happen.

I think the ARRL has a hair up their's you know what and don't want to accept eQSL, yet they are a member of eQSL, so is it do as I say not as I do?

Good going CQ for taking a progressive step forward and going with eQSL instead of going backwards and LoTW.

Kurt



 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W4XKE on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
LoTW and eQSL are different programs. It would be akin to asking "Top Value" to accept "Green Stamps" for their prizes. The sponsors have nothing to gain.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by K2MEN on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Personal integrity lies beneath every award. Anyone can cheat, no matter what system is used. You can even print your own awards on a personal computer and wallpaper the shack if you like.

Electronic QSLs which have been cross matched at eqsl or lotw by both station logs should be just as good a QSO confirmation as paper QSLs. enuf said.....
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by NG1I on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I'd like to see how a LoTW entry can have the capaicity to fix or cheat on....it's too secure, no images or text to manipulate. No I am still a member of ARRL and have my wallpaper up from some years ago (90's) but it's interesting how many DX and US stations send LoTW's....now I KNOW at least they're genuine.

Just my 2 cents...."enough of the negative waves, Moriarty" (from a 70's Clint Eastwood Movie most have probably not seen).
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by AL7GA on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Perhaps some of the comments above are coming from the wrong point of view. I respond to ALL paper QSLs, by whatever means I receive them (Bureau and direct, returning the money if enclosed). I also upload all contacts (went back to the "olden days" in ND & North Pole as well) to both E-QSL & LoTW. But, I do not collect cards or chase awards. My reason for these efforts is simple: It is a courtesy to my fellow hams, period. As to the computer difficulties experienced with both electronic methods, I overcame them and viewed them as a small distraction, like chasing down an intermittent in a rig.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W3WN on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
K8YZK said:
< snip >"I think the ARRL has a hair up their's you know what and don't want to accept eQSL, yet they are a member of eQSL, so is it do as I say not as I do?" < snip >

Sorry Kurt, that is not accurate.

Yes, some W1AW logs are posted on eQSL. That was a decision made by the W1AW station manager himself, which I personally verified with him. THAT is a far cry from claiming that the League as an organization is a "member" of eQSL, whatever that means.

Also, now that I see the "LotW vs eQSL" arguments have reignited... be aware that the ARRL has had the same stance against electronically reproduced QSL confirmations dating back to the era of the first experimental SSTV transmissions & thermal paper mechanical fax's; circa the late 1960's & early 1970's, long before the advent of the personal computer. This is nothing new.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by NI0C on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
K2MEN wrote:

"Electronic QSLs which have been cross matched at eqsl or lotw by both station logs should be just as good a QSO confirmation as paper QSLs."


This is true; however in the case of LoTW, the cross matching is done systematically, such that only QSO's that match up in both logs are reported as "QSL's."

With eQSL, all uploaded QSO's are sent as "QSL's," thus leaving the matching to be performed by the user.

73,
Chuck NI0C
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by K5END on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"nobody cares for more than a minuet anyway"

If not a "minuet" then perhaps an overture, symphony or an opera?
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by NI0C on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
K8YZK wrote:

"I use all 3(LoTW/eQSL/Paper) and find that eQSL is the easiest. Someone said LoTW is superior to Paper or eQSL, I would like to know how LoTW is superior to paper myself."

I believe you were referring to my post. I provided a careful explanation why LoTW is a superior verification of a QSO.

K8YZK also wrote:

"Good going CQ for taking a progressive step forward and going with eQSL instead of going backwards and LoTW."

It's not either/or, and it's not "progressive" versus
"backwards." In their March editorial, CQ says it will continue to work with ARRL to eventually use LoTW credits as well as verified eQSL's and paper QSL's in the CQ awards programs. I hope they succeed.

73,
Chuck NI0C
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by VE6TL on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with AI2IA. There will always be ways to cheat the system, so those who get awards by dishonest means can have them and cherish them for what they're not. Yet for others, life is full of goals with some harder to achieve than others. By having a set of rules and requirements, it makes obtaining a certain award that much more satisfying.

So what are the important differences in LOTW and eQSL? Both systems have methods in place that attempt to establish the integrity of the QSO. One system allows for printing out of QSL cards via download, while the other does not. As one who uses both systems routinely, I quickly discovered there was little reason to print out eQSLs - espcially since I have thousands of them in cyberspace. Moreover, the majority of eQSLers use default card formats, so forget the originality/creativity aspect to these cards. The good news is that both systems provide a way of saving money and time by confirming contacts without costly postage, green stamps, IRCs, etc. For those who still prefer the traditional method of exchanging real cards, you can still do that too. I do all three.

The bottom line is that there are many different organizations that offer their own awards and you simply have to meet their requirements if you want them. I don't understand why all awards should come from one place. And now that CQ is accepting eQSL confirmations (AG) for their awards, it makes things even more interesting. So why all the fuss?
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by AB7E on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
To WA9PIE:

1. Since the eQSL system is not electronically compatible with LoTW, your proposal would require eQSL to print hard copy confirmations. The eQSL mission is to eliminate the need to print and mail hard copy confirmations, so what makes you think they'd want to change?

2. eQSL is, as far as the ARRL is concerned, essentially an anonymous system. There is no verification process to assure that anyone who uses it actually exists. A normal QSL manager, on the other hand, is a unique individual who vouches for the integrity of each confirmation. You calling eQSL a QSL manager doesn't make it so.

3. Can you explain for me the advantage you would expect even if your proposal was accepted by both ARRL and eQSL? What is gained that LoTW doesn't already offer?


Methinks you patted yourself on the back a bit prematurely.

Dave AB7E

 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KR4EY on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with most everyone LoTW + Paper QSL's are the only way to go. If your using your computer for logging, for Windows use DXLab's DXKeeper or for Linux use CQRLOG they make it so much easier. I have abandoned eQSL altogether.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W7ETA on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"Done! The debate is over. As demonstrated, receiving QSL cards in this manner is fully compliant with the ARRL policy."

Huuuuum?

I wonder if the ARRL was part of this debate?
And, I wonder if the ARRL gets to decide if eQSL is acceptable to them?

Maybe if enough people on eHam post in favor of eQSL The League will conclude that eHamers understand the concepts and tradations of DXCC better than The League and therefor embrace eHamers replacing The League's board of directors?

73
Bo
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N1WBD on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
How ironic, did anyone notice that W1AW is now AG on the Eqsl system. I know I got a eqsl from them!! Yet they won't accept Eqsl's for awards
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W4KVW on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Eqsl's are USELESS.I have 499 waiting for me NOW that will NEVER get looked at or answered.I put this information in my QRZ.com & eham bio's but people still send the eqsl's that they will NEVER get one back for.I pay my own QSL fees & NEVER ask for an SASE from ANYWHERE in the WORLD via the bureau or direct is fine with me.I want the REAL QSL CARD & NO I do NOT use Log Book Of The World either just as it says in my bio as well.That's my choice & my preference & YOU can do it YOUR WAY as well & NOBODY can do a thing about it.ENJOY the HOBBY! }:>)

Clayton
W4KVW
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W4KVW on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Almost forgot:As for QSL's for contacts that did NOT happen,I do NOT respond to ANY QSL's that are NOT in my log books.SIMPLE as that! It's NOT BRAIN SURGERY after all.

Clayton
W4KVW
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by WB4M on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I believe LOTW is much more secure than eQSL. I get many contacts from eQSL that are not in my log, and I keep very accurate logs. I also had eQSL tell me CW is not a valid mode. I've uploaded to eQSL contacts that I know for a fact were valid, only to have them rejected as no match. I've never had this happen with LOTW.
LOTW is getting better all the time because more and more people have discovered how good it is and are using it more. LOTW recently confirmed a ZK3 QSO on 40 meters for me that I had forgotten about! Most of the anti-LOTW comments are from anti-ARRL people anyway, ie the W9***. I upload to both every month, but eQSL is of no interest to me, however I upload to them out of consideration of others who do use it. LOTW and a hard card is my favorite.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by AB7E on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
To W4KVW:

If you're that grouchy on the air I'd be surprised if you have that many QSL requests to worry about unless you do a lot of contesting.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by WI7B on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!

"According to the Editorial on page 8 of March 2209 CQ, the CQ awards managers have apparently gotten around this problem with eQSL by gaining access to the log data of both parties. Although ARRL could potentially obtain such access to eQSL, it would lead to much more workload for them. Since they already have solved the verification problem by creating LoTW, I wouldn't hold my breath for acceptance of eQSL's for DXCC credit." - NI0C

NI0C nailed it.

What's described i the article is LoTW. Do we really need two LoTWs???

73,

---* Ken
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by AB8AL on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
N3OX,

Are you serious? You honestly think ARRL checkers are performing handwritting analysis on Every checked card? What about the checkers in the field, do you honestly think everyone of them have seen Every card made? I have cards that are over ten years old and have had enough for DXCC for years. Do you think they will remember every card I have to identify if it is forged? I would be willing to bet at least 1 on the honor roll is a cheat and more then 1 with DXCC for 160 Meters are cheats. I could care less they have to live with themselves. Only so much can be done to TRY and keep things honest but anything can be forged.

Sorry to burst your bubble but come back to reality and remember it is a hobby you get no bigh cash price for DXCC.

Terry
AB8AL
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KE6AEE on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
First off lets get real. The way its set up now either ARRL and eQSL arent really authenticating anything, their just trying to make it look as if they are. Unless your standing face to face with someone and they have some sort of photo ID like a drivers liscense or passport you dont know who someone is.
Why would a non Ham go through the trouble to get some certificate or award from ARRL, that ARRL would need to authenticate?

Richard

 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by WB2LCW on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
It's OK to have the contact confirmed vis LOTW and eQSL! That is a good way to have official confirmation
for awards and certificates in a timely manner! The ARRL wants LOTW as the standard so they can make Big Bucks on awards!
LOTW is not cheap!

For nice Qsl's that I can display; How about creating a Qsl PDF file with nice pictures of our stations and
antennas plus our contact info,1010 numbers etc.and we use that in lieu of mailing cards(It costs a dollar per domestic
QSL with postage and sase!).And a lot more than that for DX cards that don't go thru the bureau.

You can print the pdf ,either on a color laser printer
,inkjet or download them to the pharmacy photo center
for a photographic certificate on glossy photo paper
for less than a dollar each fora 8 by 10 inch print,for our albums1 Also we may be able to load them into LCD photo frames!Or just view them on our PC's. You can carry hundreds or thousands of pdf's in a pen drive!

All we have to do is email the pdf to each other and also to maybe eQsl, also!

Maybe some one who is a good programmer can create a program that takes ADIF info from our logging programs!
And automatically creates the pdf and then emails it,From our logging programs!
That way you could have a great Qso certificate/Qsl
almost instantaneously! Cost "$ Zero", Priceless!

73
Mike
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by AF3Y on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
NEITHER! Paper QSL's ONLY for me. I love the feel of a southern long leaf pine tree in my fingers. Just think, several million QSL cards might actually take a tree or two! hi hi (Just JOKING, but I do only use paper QSLs.) No electronic QSLs for this old boy. 73, Gene
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N6AJR on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I too prefer paper the best,





But if you want an ARRL award you need either paper or LOTW






But if you want a CQ award, you need either paper or EQSL.




If you don't do awards, you need neither. but cards are always nice...






it's all a matter of your choice, what do YOU want?????
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W7ETA on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Some people think that the ARRL is a non-profit. If that is true, then they run more on cash-flow than a business. As a result, if there is more cash taken in than expended via their award programs, the excess of BIG Buck$, if any, goes to functions without cash in flow, like, well, code practice, electricity at HQ etc.

Ultimately, if one thinks an award is too expensive, don't file for it.

If you don't like the conditions you have to satisfy to receive a certificate, don't file for it.

If you like eQSLs, file for awards that accept eQSLs.

If you don't like the racket that RTTY makes, don't listen to it.

If ya don't like cheese, don't order pizza.

If ya dona like fan dipoles, buy traps!

73
Bob
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by AF6IT on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I'm another who agrees with AI2IA. I use eQSL as a courtesy to the other hams I have QSO's with, and it is mildly interesting for me- but I couldn't care less about all the awards. Rather be melting solder, building antennas, & just having fun playing radio. Have no room for the 'wallpaper' anyway.

Stu AF6IT
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by K4FX on March 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
LOTW has saved me a ton of time and money, just about every major dxpedition I have worked in the past 10 years or so has been confirmed by LOTW. And I notice the percentages on my QSO's seem to be on the rise as far as the number of LOTW users.

As far as the person who got a new PC and had such a hard time with LOTW, I have had a hard drive failure and gotten my LOTW back up in a couple of minutes after installing windows on the new drive. The ARRL tells you to backup your certificates. Once you back them up, all you gotta do is re-install your log program and TrustedQSL and click import cert and viola, you are back up and running. Also once a friends PC crashed without a backup and the ARRL sent him his cert via email about 1 day later, so I think you have issues other than LOTW. The biggest pain with LOTW is the initial sending in your info and waiting for the postcard to come in about 2 weeks later, once you get that, you are good to go. And that is for the security of the system.

EQSL is OK, I use it. But it's not in the same league as LOTW (no pun intended) and we won't ever see EQSLs confirming any awards except EQSL awards.

K4FX
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N2EIK on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
And you can reject them if they are not in your log.
I have received paper snail mail QSLs that were not in my log. So whats the issue?
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N2EIK on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
An opinion. Now try and back it up with fact.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N2EIK on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
And its just as easy to reject the eqsl if its not in your log!
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N2EIK on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
And I have over 1500 LOTW that are not answered.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W4KVW on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
TO AB7E:I do it "MY WAY" & if that does NOT work for the other station that's just FINE with me!I have THOUSANDS of QSL's & get several hundred a year through the bureau & even more DIRECT.PLEASE keep yours since we already have PLENTY of tissue in the bathrooms NOW! }:>) STILL doing it MY WAY! I QSL 100% "ANYWHERE" in the world via the BUREAU or DIRECT "ONLY" & NO SASE WANTED or NEEDED!THANKS for the offer but save the SASE for those who NEED or REQUEST them.Glad I could CLEAR it up just for YOU.

Clayton
W4KVW
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N2UGB on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I use e-QSL as a strictly howdie and thanks. Nothing more. I have looked up "cards waiting" for dx stations. When I see hundreds backloged, I don't expect to hear from them. Sometimes make an entry, sometimes not.

I do initiate paper QSLs direct for two-way QRP contacts. Frequenly get one back.

Maybe it's a QRP thing.
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KC2TLH on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"enough of the negative waves, Moriarty" (from a 70's Clint Eastwood Movie most have probably not seen). "

Kelly's Heroes - 1970



 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by WW5AA on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"I'd like to see how a LoTW entry can have the capaicity to fix or cheat on....it's too secure, no images or text to manipulate"

It is done every day. If I call you or email you with my LoTW info and you submit the same info we have beat the system easily. I know several folks that do it all the time.....so I guess it still boils down to honesty!

73 de Lindy
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by NA7CS on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I prefer the real card, but eQSL works fine for me as well. I personally could care less what the ARRL thinks, and have no desire to apply for their awards. I know what I did, and that is good enough for me. But I guess some need the ARRL to tell them their contact is now valid, because the ARRL has verified it.

I also find it amusing that I have a much higher QSL return rate with real paper and eQSL than with lotw. Close to 90% with real cards, WITHOUT sending or asking for SASE's, close to 75% with eQSL, and less than 50% with lotw. If it is so easy and the best thing since sliced bread, then why is the confirmation rate with lotw so low?

Curt
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KG8JF on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I have been going through grevious process of trying to get up and running with lotw. There are so many hoops that one has to jump through. At the moment i am at a point where I think I am uploading records to lotw but ARRL says that my file is empty

The point is that it has to be more user friendly.....
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by AB7E on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
To W4KVW:

Oh, I have nothing against your stance on QSLs ... that's your choice and lots of other people feel the same way about. I just think your overly emphatic bluster paints you as a person that wouldn't be much fun to talk to anyway. But what do I know, right?

Dave AB7E
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N3OX on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"It is done every day. If I call you or email you with my LoTW info and you submit the same info we have beat the system easily. I know several folks that do it all the time.....so I guess it still boils down to honesty! "

Yes, but that requires collusion between two parties.

There is never, ever, ever anything you can do if some rare DX station agrees, for money or fun, to "confirm contacts" that never existed.

That doesn't mean you can't nearly eliminate one-sided cheating in certain ways. Double-blind submission of encrypted logs that are signed with a certificate that is associated with a real, physical address on a license is pretty good at that.

73
Dan

 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by K2MEN on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
NIOC - thanks for the clarification on QSLs being cross checked systematically on lotw but not on eqsl. I thought they were systematically cross checked by both. Learn something new every day....

73
Sheldon
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W3WN on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
by N1WBD wrote:
How ironic, did anyone notice that W1AW is now AG on the Eqsl system. I know I got a eqsl from them!! Yet they won't accept Eqsl's for awards
----------------------------------
Didn't we just answer this one yesterday?

Once again...

Selected W1AW logs are available on eQSL due to the actions of the W1AW station manager, acting on his own authority as the station manager. If you don't believe that, just ask him (I did).

That has absolutely nothing to do with the decision, by those in Membership Services, to not accept eQSL's electronic "e-cards" for awards purposes. A decision that is based on prior decisions from the ARRL Board and other parts of the Hq organization that predate the personal computer, let alone eQSL.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KB2FCV on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I prefer real QSL's. Sure, you can print out the electronic QSL's but it's not the same. Every real QSL is different. They are printed on different materials. Some are magnificent photo QSL's printed on high quality cardstock. It actually makes the trip to the mailbox enjoyable when most times you only receive bills or junk mail. I send a QSL for every logged QSO that I make.
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N3QE on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Don't get the debate, myself.

LOTW has grown so much in terms of participation especially among contesters that I think it's a moot point. After the last Sweepstakes it was completely freaky how many people had already uploaded their log to LOTW before me, and I did mine the same night the sweepstakes ended. Wow. Shazam. This is like the food materializer on Star Trek in terms of immediateness.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W7CF on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I understand and appreciate we're all individuals and prefer our own ways of QSL-ing, either in paper or electronically, or both (or not at all). I'm still amazed though how touchy some of us are on the question electronic vs paper. Oh well.

But independent on where each of us lands in the "paper or plastic" (oops, wrong analogy), paper vs electronic QSL: I consider it as my courtesy to fellow hams to QSL in paper, if requested, but I also always QSL via LoTW *and* eQSL.
While I personally prefer LoTW for it's simplicity and more reliable blind-matching, I'd like to support those who track their QSLs via eQSL or paper. It doesn't cost me anything (other than a few internet electrons) to upload e.g. my contest logs to both LoTW and eQSL. And it doesn't matter if or which awards I might chase, I want to assist the other ham in whatever chase he/she chooses to.

73 de Dave W7CF
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KL7IPV on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I have been a member of ARRL for 40 years and on this one thing I really disagree with them. The eQSL site was up and running while the ARRL was still talking about doing something like it. It is a NIH thing for the ARRL I think. If I want a paper card, I just print one out. If I get a QSL for a QSO I did not have I don't respond to them. I see no difference in that or getting a bad card in the mail. LoTW is still a problem for them to get up and running quickly. Why bother? eQSL does all I need to have done. I still respond to ALL that I get whether by eQSL or the snail mail.
Frank
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W6FG on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
If they were to accept eQSLs then what would be the point of all the tight security measures that ARRL has instituted? An award is only as good as it's integrity and that's why DXCC is a prestigious award sought after world-wide.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by VE3LXL on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Until I read this thread I would have never have thought that the faking of QSLs was such a problem that it requires bank vault levels of security to guard against. This is just a hobby, after all. I just don't see why there's this fear that there are legions of dishonest hams out there just waiting for a chance to forge their way to DXCC.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by VE3LXL on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
W4KVW: I, like many eQSL users, just upload all my logs to eQSL. I don't cherrypick which ones to enter, and I certainly don't have time to go read every ham's QRZ.COM page to see if he wants an eQSL or not. So if I work someone, he'll have an eQSL waiting from me. I figure if he doesn't want eQSLs, he can just ignore it.
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KB9YGD on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I use both LOTW & Eqsl and like them both but LOTW is far superior for several reason`s.Eqsl is fine if all the other hams were honest and serious about it but far to many never become ``AG`` so their Eqsl is a nice gesture on their part but simply useless to me for an Eqsl award and many hams join Eqsl get hundreds of cards and never go back again.
LOTW is amazing as you sign your qsl records from your general log in *.adi with the A.R.R.L. software which encripts them and then upload them to the lOTW website and as long as you and the other op paid attention with times/dates,etc when you get a match a qsl record is generated with a qsl number and record ID number as well.
The real sad part is that as with many things in life some people want everything but dont want to do anything and start saying aw this is to hard etc when infact it is their own shortcommings that are hindering them.I am of the opinion if you want something you need to earn it and amateur radio is no exception.So if a person cant or is unwilling to master the things required for this he or she will not get the results they want.
The bottom line here is that LOTW is the best between the 2 and is the future for sending qsl`s.
Norman/Kb9ygd
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by NG1I on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Folks, this is a HOBBY....ususally this means means hobbies are to be enjoyed...FUN! If so many people have boiling vented opinions, and some do have serious mental issues here, perhaps they are not experiencing many of the full benefits that ham radio offers. I don't use e-QSL but that's my choice and I leave it be.

PLEASE asserting an allegation that someone "could" call a DX station phone number to colude info so an LoTW can be gained.....Sir, you should NOT be in this hobby...very bad for your mental health........ and does not do much for us either.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KA3JLW on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
My simple solution:

Have eQSL and LOTW team up. LOTW acts as the confirming "house" while eQSL acts as the printing "house".

I know it'll never happen - but it would eliminate the issues. LOTW would happen first, and eQSL would be for those who want the nice card as a souvenier from their LOTW confirmed contact.

eQSL could then focus on quality images for the QSL prints, acting as a QSL manager (mailing real cards, etc) but ultimately not worry about verification, as LOTW would only feed verified contacts and hams.

Just a thought. I wish my eQSLs were "valid" and I wish my LOTW contacts could be "printed".
 
Totally out of your minds.  
by AI2IA on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"....and that's why DXCC is a prestigious award sought after world-wide."

Look, I picked this fraction of a post, it could have been any quote, because we need to clear the air here.

The DXCC is not a "prestigious award." YOU ARE YOUR OWN PRESTIGIOUS AWARD.

Ham radio is what you make it for yourself! I have said this so many, many times. Don't get carried away with awards, atta boys, etc. Yes, for the normal mind they offer a small sense of satisfaction and then you move on. OTHERWISE THEY BECOME INSANE HOOPS FOR THE UNREALISTIC TO JUMP THROUGH.

A ham license is not a degree, it is not a title of nobility, neither are awards. If you captured the rarest contact on earth it does not make you anything. You make it something.

THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN HAM RADIO IS THE OTHER HAM ON THE RECEIVING END OF YOUR ANTENNA AND HOW YOU TREAT HIM ON THE AIR.

THE FINEST ACHIEVEMENTS OF HAM RADIO ARE THE ONES THAT YOU DO FOR YOUR OWN PERSONAL PLEASURE HOWSOEVER LEGALLY YOU DO THEM.

Put all of this fluff in its proper perspective and live.



 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W5DQ on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
A couple of observations from the discussions so far...

1) I didn't see any mention of the fact that you can have a full DXCC list of confirmed QSL's on LOTW but until you pay the additional fees to obtain 'credit' for those QSL's they don't count for anything. So all those matching QSLs that pop up in your LOTW account after a weekend contest are nice but just remember, you have to pay to use them.

2) I did see some mention about how hard LOTW is to use. I find that somewhat amusing as I recently 'inherited' my fathers paper / electronic logs, none of which were uploaded to LOTW. Working with the LOTW folks at ARRL, I had the entire lot (nearly 10,000 QSO's for 4 callsigns) uploaded and linked together in a matter of minutes once I had obtained the certificates, which only took a day of processing time at ARRL.

3) An important and seemingly much overlooked fact by some would be the necessity to backup the certificate as a .p12 file. Using the TQSLCert program, it is as simple as a couple of keystrokes. Save to a seperate disk, thumbdrive or floppy and you're safe. I have all of my logs, my father's logs and all of our cert backups on large thumbdrive with room to grow as well as one my home network backup storage.

4) As many have mentioned, I too have gotten a few errorenous QSLs from eQSL. A reply 'Not in Log' msg fixes that. Never had any errors with LOTW as they don't show up if they don't match.

Just my $0.02 input!

Gene W5DQ
ARRL Life Member
ARRL W6 Incoming DX Buro - "L" Segment Mgr
I use LoTW, eQSL and enjoy paper QSLs
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KA3JLW on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Gene W5DQ - an observation from your observation:

Thank you for your buro work. I love paper qsls and you (and the others who run the buros) make them really happen.

My best piece of mail - an envelope from the buro!
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by K8QV on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I personally don't care about "awards" from the ARRL. I know who I worked and don't need to prove anything.

The only QSLs I seek are from the DXpeditions that have some excellent cards printed on fold-outs with photos, maps, and station information.

Why anyone would care what the ARRL "allows" escapes me. Besides, almost anyone can work 100 "countries" in a contest weekend, so what's the big deal? Now, if you can do it all QRP on 160 meters, by all means, get some QSL cards, 'cause your buddies aren't going to believe it!
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by WB4M on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!

"It is done every day. If I call you or email you with my LoTW info and you submit the same info we have beat the system easily. I know several folks that do it all the time....."

If you know this for a fact, you should notify the ARRL as they request you do for this type of activity. If you know this is going on and ignore it, you are just part of the cheating problem as well.
Do you care to tell who the "several folks" are? I rather doubt it.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N4KC on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe I missed it, but is it not obvious that eQSL and LOTW are two entirely different things, created for different purposes?

eQSL is a cheap (free unless you opt for extras) way to send and receive and print out a simple QSL card. That is why it exists.

LOTW is a system designed to confirm contacts by comparing log files from both parties involved. It exists to give stations the chance to officially confirm contacts for ARRL-sponsored awards.

Why should the ARRL want to take submissions from eQSL when it has already invested in LOTW for that purpose?

Oh, and I still like paper cards with handwritten notes and pictures of stations and local scenery, pets and children, and antennas. Especially antennas.

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
www.n4kc.blogspot.com


 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by WO8L on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
E-QSL is a much easier site to use than LOTW. As a result, I get daily responses on E-QSL while months go by with no activity on LOTW.

The ARRL understandably wants to main the integrity (not to mention CONTROL) of awards, but their site needs redesigned into a "real time," web based site.
I suppose they have a lot of money invested in it but it sure is a pain to use.

I gave up on LOTW a long time ago and collect paper for the ARRL awards.

73s,

WO8L

 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by NZ4O on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I use paper QSL's, ARRL LOTW and eQSL. I have awards via all three methods and value all three equally.

I too have gotten eQSL's from hams that I haven't worked but that does not cheapen the value of eQSL in my opinion. I just reject them end of story.

Recently I have seen a big increase in received LOTW confirmations and a minor reduction in eQSL confirmations. I primarily work the digital modes and digital ops are big into LOTW.

73,
Thomas F. Giella, NZ4O
Lakeland, FL, USA
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W5ER on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
QSL card cheating, it's been going on for decades. I am presently unable to shake the cobwebs from my memory for the details BUT i do recall that there was a married couple, world travelers and darlings of the ham community, that sent out QSL cards from rare entities, in return for monetary value, without ever having been at those entities. They sat on their behinds, in a comfy resort, claiming to be hundreds of miles away.

I do believe that the holders of those cards did NOT loose their worked credit either.

So I do believe that were there is a will, someone will find a way. For some it's almost a challenge.

73
Ed w3ere
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W8KQE on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
LMAO K5END!!! HILARIOUS!!!

<<<If not a "minuet" then perhaps an overture, symphony or an opera?>>>
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N0AH on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Since all of this e-Qsl stuff, I have sent maybe three paper QSL's in the last 6 years. To me, it has killed the motivation and fun of sending and receiving a card. Too much politics as described here-
 
SIMPLE  
by PLANKEYE on March 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I don't know about all the Electronic QSL stuff.

But I will tell ya this.

The coolest thing is to send something you hand wrote, and get something hand wrote back.

It has meaning.

As far as all those awards, they mean nothing to anyone.

BUT YOU.

As far as a handwritten QSL after a nice QSO with someone.

That means something.

Some of you fellers are missing the best thing about this Hobby.

OTHER PEOPLE!!

PLANKEYE
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N3QT on March 6, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
My thoughts...

I love paper QSL's. It's a large part of why I got into the hobby allowing closure and satisfaction for proof of contact. Attempting to work the ARRL WAS Award, I have a 20% return rate ...even WITH SASE, GREEN STAMPs, BEGGING PLeading...etc. DX is worse.

Using Electronic QSL's, I need 4 more states.

It would appear the HAM community prefers EASY and Cheap...hmmm. Bully for me. I learned something old, AGAIN!

TKS ES 73, John de N3QT
 
Card Cheating  
by W3WN on March 6, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
W3ERE Said:
QSL card cheating, it's been going on for decades. I am presently unable to shake the cobwebs from my memory for the details BUT i do recall that there was a married couple, world travelers and darlings of the ham community, that sent out QSL cards from rare entities, in return for monetary value, without ever having been at those entities. They sat on their behinds, in a comfy resort, claiming to be hundreds of miles away.

I do believe that the holders of those cards did NOT loose their worked credit either.

So I do believe that were there is a will, someone will find a way. For some it's almost a challenge.

73 Ed w3ere
---------------------------------------------------
Ed, I do believe you're getting your DXpeditioner's mixed up.

The "married couple" sounds like Lloyd & Iris Colvin. And as I recall, they never got any "monetary value", as all QSL'ing was handled through the Yasme Foundation. I don't recall any complaints about them not operating from any DX location where they said they were.

It was Dr. Don Miller who was accused of claiming to be operating from rare DX locations, but was accused to actual have been QRV from the mainland hundreds or thousands of miles away. He eventually admitted (at Dayton a few years back) to the truth of many of these accusations.
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by WA9PIE on March 6, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Wow, what a dialog!

First, let me say this - without a doubt, I LOVE paper QSL cards. For DX stations that have stateside QSL managers, I'll send an SASE for the card almost every time.

In my opinion, electronic QSO confirmation (eQSL or LOTW) was created for two primary reasons. One, this provides a way to avoid the cost of postage; and two, we've become a society where we crave instant gratification. To that end, both eQSL and LOTW are useful in that they serve these purposes.

I was recently informed that the purpose for LOTW is for "award credit, but that LOTW is not DXCC". Well, aside from the recent addition of WAS to the awards that LOTW can provide credit for, I would functionally disagree. Clearly, the primary use for LOTW is for ARRL DXCC credit and therefore they are essentially one-in-the-same.

Clearly, not everyone covets the ARRL or its DXCC award. No problem. There's plenty of room in this hobby for award-chasers, contesters, rag-chewers... and so on. For me - and to the point that one ham made in the responses - the DXCC Award has been the glue that's kept me stuck on ham radio. But everyone has their own glue.

I've observed that ARRL-bashing is often second to Microsoft-bashing. It's okay to be proud of being unassociated with the ARRL or their DXCC Award program... there's a lot to be said for the personal satisfaction and enjoyment of the hobby regardless.

My overall point of the article was to point out that, for stations that use eQSL as their QSL Manager, there's no difference between this model and what traditional QSL Managers do. The QSL Manager (eQSL) gets an electronic copy of the log, receives requests to confirm a QSO, validates that the entry is in the log, and mails the card to the requestor via the USPS. (Note to AB7E - eQSL already does offer a service where they will mail you a paper QSL. Again, that's my point. Go back to eQSL.cc and read about that on the main dashboard where it says "Get a card in the mail". The benefit gained that those who DO use LOTW can benefit from the cost savings of electronic confirmations when confirming a QSO for stations who don't use LOTW. And by the way, the K5D expedition is offering the same basic service of mailing you a card for $5 with an online request. I'm sure they'll accept that.)

My point is - this method is already conforming to the ARRL DXCC Award policy. Why don't we use it? (My point was not to satisfy any need that anyone had for bashing the ARRL, the DXCC Award... or about which is better or more useful... or whether paper cards (which I love) are better.) But the target audience of the article was participants in the ARRL DXCC program.

Finally, here's a quote from the LOTW FAQ page:

"Can LoTW support "our" award?

Yes, although initially it will focus on ARRL awards. If you represent an award-issuing organization and would like to discuss having LoTW support your award, contact <us>."

Well heck, the ARRL doesn't even support all of its own awards through LOTW (VUCC, for example). So there's certainly a good distance to go before anyone (including me) will give up on the good old paper card. I'm guessing my kids (who are hams) may see the end of paper mail in their lifetime; at which point, I'm sure the debate would still continue.

Mike, WA9PIE

(Hey Tom (KB9BIT), it's good to see you here and that you're enjoying the hobby! Look up my email on QRZ and send me a note sometime. Go Boilers!!)
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by NG3J on March 6, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I've been licensed since '86 and have been chasing DX since then. I'm horrible at keeping track of QSL cards and for a long period didn't even have any printed. I recently purchased a home 3 years ago where I could put a tower up with a few yagi's on it. Personally, I knew I worked DXCC througout the years and particuarly in the past 3 years alone with the yagi. However, I thought I'd never get DXCC "officially" and was fine with it. Then enter LOTW. Fortunatly for me, I've logged all DX contacts since putting the tower up. It takes a bit to get the digital signatures setup but it's worth it. Send in the logs and get confirmations. Only downside is that the other DX station would need to use LOTW. After sending my first set of logs into LOTW, I was halfway there to mixed DXCC. Now I can see myself getting 5BDXCC "officially" because of LOTW.

Fred NG3J
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N9AVY on March 6, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I'm very disappointed when I work a new band/mode/country/state and the guy QSLs via eQSL and NOT LoTW. It's sort of like getting a hamburger and finding a dead mouse in it ....
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N7YA on March 6, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Just send him a paper card with an SASE...simple as that. All this fuss is really not worth the stress...eQsl is just another option, like LOTW or paper.

But, im not here to ruin the party.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N2UGB on March 6, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
If, during a QSO, the other operator mentioned that a paper QSL from my state or county was needed, I wouldn't hesitite getting a QSL out to him or her. Wouldn't even wait for their own.

Gotta let me know and not assume I QSL every conversation...that's all.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W7ETA on March 6, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"It's sort of like getting a hamburger and finding a dead mouse in it ...."

Well...........you can work on WAS dead rodent award.

I've got about 30 log entries toward my Slim DXCC. So far, I only have one slim confirmed, but its for North Korea!

73
Bob







 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by K7AAB on March 7, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
eQSL- in one year I received about 12 bogus unsolicited eqsl cards. It's to easy and puts the burden on the receiver to pay for printing etc. I already pay for my own cards to be printed. I wish this service would dissapear altogether.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N7YA on March 7, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I actually DID get a card from a "pirate"...9Q5MO, Otto, is unlicensed...but he is actually IN the Congo and even HE sent me a card. Ya just never know what will be in the mailbox.

I rather enjoyed the card and the qso, i know he is over there and nobody was calling him because the cluster said he was a pirate...so i called him and logged it. Nice guy, he has verbal permission to operate from local authorities in Kivu, but not governmental permission and thats not good enough for the DXCC commitee...so he is chastised for it.

True, he is operating without a valid license and i didnt know that when i worked him, i was just puzzled why there was no pileup for a 9Q, and was happy to hear my call come back, WFWL. He has a valid German call, and he operated with respect and kindness...but most DXers are ruled by the mighty award. What we end up with is conversations like the one were having now.

I will send Otto a card back and thank him for the nice QSO, i will not count it for DXCC...it will just go into my "interesting card" file.

We will all die, i will not let my life become consumed with trivial things...its too short.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by K6TPL on March 7, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
eQSL came up with this idea...The ARRL stole the idea and charges for what the eQSL service did for free. I will stay with eQSL! And if I want a award there are other places that I can get them from. It is a shame that the ARRL steals a concept and then charges for it. Shame on the ARRL And any of you that allow them to get away with this evil. 73 and have a good day!
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KG4TKC on March 7, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
There seems to be a lot of confusion about LOTW and eQSL. This has created a lot of misinformation. I have done a little cut and paste from the websites of both. As you can see the comparison between snail-mail QSL cards,electronic QSL cards,and LoTW is like comparing apples,pine trees and a quart of moonshine. You just can't do it,,:) Just to clear the air a bit I have cut from the eQSL page their stated purpose:

" Purpose eQSL.cc is the first and only global electronic QSL card exchange for amateur radio operators and SWLs. It is designed to be the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to exchange QSO confirmations, eliminating the cost and time that regular QSL cards have required for the past half century."

Now,from the FAQ of LOTW is a bit about it.

"How much does it cost to use Logbook of the World?

There is no charge for digital certificates or for submitting log data to the LoTW system. A charge is levied only when you apply for an award using QSL matches obtained via LoTW. (Note that there's a charge for awards no matter how you apply for them).

The specific fees charged for using Logbook data for awards vary depending on how many credits you buy at one time. See the Fees page for details.

Return to top

Is LoTW going to produce QSLs like EQSL.cc?

No. Logbook of the World is initially designed to create awards credit, that is to say, that if your QSO matches that of another station, either you or the other operator may be able to apply that confirmed QSO to various awards. Creating an image based in-part on the QSO information for the purpose of making a file that can be printed, or creating a QSL card, is not presently part of LoTW. There are other services available that can do that. LoTW goes a step or two beyond the conception of a QSL card (which is essentially a one-sided request for a confirmation from the other side of the QSO) by verifying that a QSO occurred between two stations, based on the 'signed' data submitted by each.


Hope this helps some.

I fear there is no help for anyone who claims that an eQSL is not 'Real',,lol. That is the kind of thinking of the witch doctor who smashed the Polaroid camera for 'stealing his soul'


 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by NI0C on March 9, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"I fear there is no help for anyone who claims that an eQSL is not 'Real',,lol."

Well, it all depends on what you mean by a "real" QSL. If you're looking for (as many hams are) a confirmation that will count for DXCC or WAS, then an eQSL is indeed not real. Nothing superstitious about this, it's a fact.

73,
Chuck NI0C



 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KB5YLG on March 9, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I really enjoy the eQSL system. I don't find much merit in the LOTW...it's just a log digester with no personality, unnecessarily complicated, and feature- deprived.

(1) With eQSL I can log directly in the website using no other logging software, if I choose.

(2) I receive creative and interesting QSL card images that make a terrific screen saver for my shack PC.

(3) I can post my own creative eQSL card and easily dispatch it to any recipient that has email or web access.

(4) No postage fee!

(5) No printer fee!

(6) No IRC needed, no green stamp required!

(7) I can log into it from the office, the ham club meeting, my friend's house, or anywhere to brag and show off my cool eQSL collection.

(8) No strange encrypted certificate and all that hassle related to it.

(9) eQSL has their own awards programs and are recognized by many other awards programs. Are ARRL awards really that relevant anymore?

(10) eQSL site has an online community with chat room, schedule requests facility, see who's online, and all that.

(11) Most loggers that you use for LOTW support ADIF format. Guess what? You can upload your ADIF log to eQSL even easier than you can with LOTW.

(12) You can download your ADIF log from eQSL, too.

So you could admit...eQSL is quite a nice suite of tools for the hams that are in it for the fun and friendship, and LOTW...well (yawn)....whatever, man.

Certainly, LOTW is a response to the fact that there are a handful of overly invested underly moral losers that would lie and cheat to get recognition in an amateur hobby for contacts they didn't legitimately make and confirm. LOTW is pretty good for that digitally encrypted security.

So I use LOTW, I exchange paper QSL cards, but I *enjoy* eQSL.

This hobby is great, contests are fun, and the best part about it is the sense of COMMUNITY. eQSL is a furtherance of that good side of ham radio, not a reaction to a few boring morons that cheat for whatever reason.

'nuff said.


David
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by NI0C on March 9, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
" eQSL has their own awards programs and are recognized by many other awards programs. Are ARRL awards really that relevant anymore? "

The ARRL DXCC program (as well as CQ's WAZ program) began prior to World War 2, and continue to hold the interest of tens of thousands of DX'ers worldwide. eQSL awards are mere cheesey imitations.

73,
Chuck NI0C
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W2WP on March 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I would have to say YES to LoTW and NO to eQsl. To many times I get requests for a bogus QSO on a band or mode with eQsl that I have not worked.
Mark / W2WP
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N2UGB on March 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Imagine an amateur radio world without awards of any kind, nothing, rien, nada.

Would e-QSL be so unatractive?

 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N7WS on March 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I've been using LoTW for several years. At our last DX club meeting we had a presentation on this and eQSL. I decided to, as a favor to some, put my log on eQSL, although I have zero interest in using the program.

I've already gotten email telling me that my log is in error and suggesting that I delete the "bad" entry. This was from a station operating Field Day in class 22A! Do you suppose that one of those 22 inexperienced ops made the mistake?

I'm ready to delete the whole damn log.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W3WN on March 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
K6TPL Said:
eQSL came up with this idea...The ARRL stole the idea and charges for what the eQSL service did for free. I will stay with eQSL! And if I want a award there are other places that I can get them from. It is a shame that the ARRL steals a concept and then charges for it. Shame on the ARRL And any of you that allow them to get away with this evil. 73 and have a good day!
------------------------
Pity that you're letting ideaology get in the way of the facts.

And clearly you don't understand when there is a charge related to LotW, and why... and when there is a charge related to eQSL, and why. [Yes, Virginia, eQSL is NOT free all of the time]

But, you know what? If you don't understand that the two systems serve different functions (even if a few of their functions overlap); and that despite the premise that started this thread, there IS no problem between the two systems comfortably co-existing... I can type until I'm blue in the face, and it will do no good. So I won't bother.

Have a nice day.
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by AB9SO on March 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I work with computers and software for a living. I setup LOTW, and I have to say that if I delivered a program like that to my employer, I would be fired! Any program that has 19 pages of instructions just to get it setup and going is completely ridiculous in this day and age. I felt it was a program written by some high schooler that was never finished.

Is eQSL perfect? No, but at least it does not take 4 days and lots of reading to get it up and running. At this point I use eQSL, or if I get a paper QSL then I return a paper QSL.

I am not big on awards, I know what stations I have worked, my log shows it. QSL's are nice to have, but to me not a must have. Once I work a station, they get logged. I upload my log to eQSL and if I get one back from them, then that is fine. If not, that is fine too.

I do not need a piece of paper on the wall to tell me that I have accomplished DXCC or whatever. I am in this for the fun and fellowship!

AB9SO

 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by VE3CX on March 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
It is quite possible you have ALSO received QSLs via LOTW as well from folks you have never worked. That information is hidden, so you don't see it/are not aware of it.

That said, this can happen quite easily. In a contest, someone copies your call incorrectly, or types it into their computer incorrectly (a typo). They upload their logs to either LOTW or EQSL, and presto - there is a "claimed QSO with a station you never worked". Does not happen often, but is certainly not unheard of. Same thing can happen with paper QSL's.

When I upload my logs to eQSL, and a person says "No QSO", wrong band/mode/whatever, I just delete the QSO and move on. I am NOT trying to claim any QSO's that never happened, just that there seems to be some disparity on both ends about who/when/where. I justmove on, and work another station...

Tom
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by NI0C on March 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"It is quite possible you have ALSO received QSLs via LOTW as well from folks you have never worked. That information is hidden, so you don't see it/are not aware of it."

What you mean is that people may have uploaded a log that contains QSO's that do not match other logs. By definition, though, a LoTW QSL (unlike an eQSL) only results from a match.

73,
Chuck NI0C
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N2OGK on March 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
If you worked 100 countries and you have confirmed them then who cares what the ARRL says. Make yourself a nice plaque. You are the final judge not the ARRL which is just a club. Congratulations!
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N2JHZ on March 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Shortly after I signed up with eQSL, I received an eQSL from someone I never spoke with, confirming a QSO on a mode I don't use: SSB (I only have a CW rig on HF).
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by WA9PIE on March 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
The replies I enjoy the most are the ones that sound like this:

"If you worked 100 countries and you have confirmed them then who cares what the ARRL says".

Using the same logic...

"If you studied for your license exam and you have passed it online then who cares what the FCC says". Just get on the air anyway and have a wonderful time.

Or...

"If you can go to a grocery and buy a fish, what's the point in fishing."

Again, like I've said, the audience for this article was really "hams who enjoy the ARRL DXCC Program".
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W6FG on March 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Yes Mike, you have it right!

w6fg
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by VE3OIJ on March 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I will not use LotW. There are three reasons for this.

First and foremost, I prefer paper cards. I simply like sending and receiving the mail, and since I have a collection of postcards, adding QSL cards is an extension of that.

Because I mostly work digital modes, I always have the computer on when I'm at the radio. My default, my logs are automatically uploaded to eQSL. There is no compelling reason to upload them to LotW as well. If ARRL fans want contacts with me to count toward their awards, the onus should be on them to get ARRL to take eQSL, not to get me to join LotW. My logs already get uploaded, that's enough.

And finally, I think the whole public-key infrastructure angle of LotW to be awkward (I use many callsigns and would require a boatload of keys) and unnecessary. This is amateur radio, not nuclear weapons research. The LotW authentication system is not significantly stronger than eQSL's authentication system, and the cryptography used by LotW really only protects the QSL in transit. As a person who works in security, I'd assess the risk of someone modifying your log submissions in transit to be very, very, very low, bordering on 0. Because the authentication for certificate issuance is not significantly stronger than eQSL's AG authentication, the trust that you should assign to an LotW certificate is no higher than that of an eQSL AG certification. It doesn't magically become secure because it's fancy cryptography.

As a VE3, I'm certain that no LotW folks desperately need my QSL for an award, so I there's not even a "guilt" angle to convince me that LotW is the way to go. eQSL serves as an effective backup of my logs so if my computer gets wiped I can download the ADIF and I'm good to go again. LotW offers nothing for me.

To be fair, if I'd gone with LotW first, I could say that eQSL offers essentially nothing (although I'd still whinge about LotW's "pretend" security). There's no compelling reason to use both.

73 de VE3OIJ
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KR4EY on March 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"Shortly after I signed up with eQSL, I received an eQSL from someone I never spoke with, confirming a QSO on a mode I don't use: SSB (I only have a CW rig on HF)."

That is at least one reason I will never use eQSL ever again!!!
I get emails from contacts that are listed on eQSL even now I don't use them anymore saying I'm not in there log, when I already have there paper QSL from the Buro and I have already used toward DXCC.
After having lived in 5 different places eQSL is a nightmare to set up.
LoTW is much easier.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KG4TKC on March 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I fear there is no help for anyone who claims that an eQSL is not 'Real',,lol."

Well, it all depends on what you mean by a "real" QSL. If you're looking for (as many hams are) a confirmation that will count for DXCC or WAS, then an eQSL is indeed not real. Nothing superstitious about this, it's a fact.

73,
Chuck NI0C

What I meant by 'Real' was a generic look at digital qsl,digital ecards,and ebooks as not being 'real' when compared to paper qsl,greeting cards and books. I have no bias concerning paper qsl,eqsl,and LoTW. I have a homebrew qsl card for those who want one. I have an account at eqsl for those who choose that. I am preparing to upload my log to LoTW,it has just taken some time as I am moving everything,including my log, to Linux,and then setting up LoTW on Linux.

I still must respectfully disagree with this statement. "If you're looking for (as many hams are) a confirmation that will count for DXCC or WAS, then an eQSL is indeed not real. Nothing superstitious about this, it's a fact." I assume you mean the ARRL awards. ARRL has every right to insist that its confirmation process be used for its awards. This however does not render all other forms of confirmation 'not real',it just makes them 'not applicable'. The server that houses eqsl's database is just as real as the server that houses the LoTW database. The eqsl database is just as real as the LoTW database. The QSO's that were confirmed by either process were just as real to the operators who had those QSO's. A confirmation process does not render them 'not real'. It is not a fact that because you cannot apply an eqsl to an award that it is indeed not real,what is a fact is that because you cannot apply it to an award it is indeed not applicable. In order to apply it to an ARRL award you need to get the other party to your QSO to upload that qso to LoTW so that you will have a confirmation that is applicable. Some awards use eQSL for confirmation. This does not make LoTW confirmations not real,it just makes it not applicable for that award. I may someday be able to get an award that uses neither eqsl nor LoTW.It is just a small little award from a small group. The confirmation is done in house. That certainly would not make QSO's confirmed by eQSL or LoTW suddenly not real,just not applicable.

 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by NI0C on March 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"The eqsl database is just as real as the LoTW database. The QSO's that were confirmed by either process were just as real to the operators who had those QSO's. A confirmation process does not render them 'not real'. It is not a fact that because you cannot apply an eqsl to an award that it is indeed not real"

The subject of the article was acceptance of LoTW and eQSL confirmations by awards sponsors. If you prefer the term "not applicable" to "not real," for a non accepted "confirmation," that's fine with me. However it boils down to "won't work."

73,
Chuck NI0C

 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W7NUW on March 15, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
On the air after 48 years QRT, and now with 100 watts, low wire antennas, no sun spots, and a poor suburban location, I've worked 91 countries in 15 months. Occasionally in a pile-up I'm not sure the DX has my call right (too many operators don't seem to understand what "up" means) and then I'm pleased to see my call show up on eQSL or the on-line log of a DXpedition (e.g., VP6DX, K5D). In most of the other cases I KNOW I've made the contact. What else matters? To whom?

Ref the authenticity argument, after 1400 QSOs I have received one eQSL and one paper QSL listing contacts not actually made. Big deal.

I am an ARRL member and appreciate their work on behalf of the hobby. I did start setting up LOTW, but it's tedious. I'd rather work on my DX total.
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by AB0JM on March 15, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I have been considering applying for ARRL Life Membership, but the eQSL Vs. LOTW spat keeps me from sending my check.

Most of my DX and North American contacts prefer eQSL much more than LOTW. The ARRL needs to get to understand and react to the long term implications of that fact. ARRL needs to get its head out of the sand and discover how a majority of the rest of the world is liking the eQSL experience.

Meeting the authentic QSL needs of the ARRL membership should come first before it is too late. In these financially strained times, people want low cost, efficiency, and results - are you listening ARRL?

Many DX stations use eQSL. CQ now accepts eQSL. See the trend ARRL?
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N4KC on March 15, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
OK. Let me try one more time:

1. eQSL and LoTW are not trying to do the same thing.

2. eQSL is a nice site that allows you to upload contact info so you can exchange "electronic QSL cards" with each other...and now submit for CQ Magazine-sponsored contests.

3. LoTW is a nice site that allows you to upload contact info for verification of contacts for ARRL-sponsored awards...and to maintain an online record of your confirmed contacts.

4. Neither one costs you a thing...unless you want eQSL's premium service that allows more freedom in QSL design and printed cards, or if you want an award through LoTW.

5. You do not have to use either. You can print and mail QSL cards all you want. You can submit printed cards to confirm contacts for ARRL awards all you want.

6. You can use both. They are free!

Withhold ARRL life membership if you want, because LoTW does not print QSL cards, ignoring all the other reasons for joining the League (and depending on your age, life membership can be a real bargain!).

Cuss the simplistic eQSL designs and proliferation of non-contacts if you like.

But you are not obligated to do either service and you can certainly use both. They are not mutually exclusive, nor are they really in competition with each other.

So what's the argument?

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
www.twitter/don_keith
www.n4kc.blogspot.com
(An open blog dedicated to rapid technological growth and its
effect on society, media, and amateur radio)
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N9AMI on March 15, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
The bottom line is eQSL beat ARRL to it and then of course they jumped on the bandwagon years later because people jumped ship. The ARRL has bad mouthed eQSL for the simple reason is they think they are the end all. I re-joined ARRL a year ago figuring I would give them another shot and I am sorry to say I have not and will not renew. As far as award chasing, eQsl is paring up with CQ Mag in some awards. My opinion is if you think you can't cheat to get an ARRL award you are wrong its been going on for years. I do not paper chase but do upload my logs to eQSL weekly. To all the folks doing the paper chase more power to you. Its just not my cup of tea.
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by NG1I on March 15, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Just to clear this up. If you use LoTW and use it fore an award, the ARRL CHARGES you .25 per LoTW contact made towards your award......paper cards sent in aren't charged.

I went for 40 CW DXCC with 25 LoTW credits and I paid a WHOPPING $40 for that wallpaper....needless to say, though I use LoTW to update my log, I don't want to pay big $ for all the other awards I can get now (SSB, RTTY on each band.)

I'll just be satisfied that I made these contacts, had enough the award, use LoTW, but NOT pay for using LoTW "cedits" for awards.

In a word? LoTW really isn't free UNTIL you use it for country credits for your ARRL awards.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W3WN on March 15, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
AB0JM Said:
I have been considering applying for ARRL Life Membership, but the eQSL Vs. LOTW spat keeps me from sending my check.

Most of my DX and North American contacts prefer eQSL much more than LOTW. The ARRL needs to get to understand and react to the long term implications of that fact. ARRL needs to get its head out of the sand and discover how a majority of the rest of the world is liking the eQSL experience.

Meeting the authentic QSL needs of the ARRL membership should come first before it is too late. In these financially strained times, people want low cost, efficiency, and results - are you listening ARRL?

Many DX stations use eQSL. CQ now accepts eQSL. See the trend ARRL?
-----------------------------
What spat?

There is no "spat." The two systems serve two different purposes. Always have.

Logbook of the World is NOT about generating QSL cards. Never has been. In fact, it's amazing at the number of people who WANT it to, to compete with eQSL -- which was never it's design or purpose.

LotW is designed to provide an electronic means to confirming contacts for awards purposes -- selected ARRL awards now, hopefully more ARRL & non-ARRL awards later. This dates back to... and you can check this out for yourself if you don't believe me... the ARRL DX contests of the late 1950's and early 1960's, when a submitted contest log was considered sufficient to confirm a contact.

This practice was dropped when the number of logs submitted exceeded the ability to provide the benefit. Membership demanded something like it return (and I sat in many a DX forum at Dayton in the 1980's and early '90's hearing just that), especially once personal computers became so prevalent.

Notice that this all pre-dates the notion, let alone the existance, of eQSL.

Look... if you don't want to join, or become a life member, of ARRL, that's your right. You don't have to justify it. But to jump in with such a lame reason... c'mon.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W3WN on March 15, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
N9AMI,

Please provide links to the proof that ARRL has "bad mouthed" eQSL over the years.

I'd like to read those. But I haven't been able to dig any of them up with Google yet, so clearly I'm using the wrong search criteria.

...you're not referring to the time about, oh, 10 years or so ago, when eQSL suddenly changed access to their site (making it almost impossible to get into), claiming that this was a requirement by the ARRL for getting it to work with LotW? And when the ARRL people involved said "Ah, no we didn't, this is news to us" the site got changed back? And then eQSL said they'd never have anything to do with the concept again?
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W3WN on March 15, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
NG1I Said:
Just to clear this up. If you use LoTW and use it fore an award, the ARRL CHARGES you .25 per LoTW contact made towards your award......paper cards sent in aren't charged.

I went for 40 CW DXCC with 25 LoTW credits and I paid a WHOPPING $40 for that wallpaper....needless to say, though I use LoTW to update my log, I don't want to pay big $ for all the other awards I can get now (SSB, RTTY on each band.)

I'll just be satisfied that I made these contacts, had enough the award, use LoTW, but NOT pay for using LoTW "cedits" for awards.

In a word? LoTW really isn't free UNTIL you use it for country credits for your ARRL awards.
------------------------------------------
OK. Let's look at this again.

What's the breakdown in the DXCC fees?
$12 for the application.
$12 for the certificate.

So over half of what you paid had nothing to do with LotW. And if this is your second or more app of the year, there's an additional fee as well, but since this is only March, that's probably not the case.

Was this your first ever DXCC app? If so, then there was also $12 for the general (mixed) DXCC certificate. Again, all before LotW fees.

Are these fees excessive? Maybe. But that's another story, that still has nothing to do with LotW.

So, the 25 LotW credits... at $.25 each... cost a whopping $6.25. Wow. Stop the presses, that's exorbitant!

So where'd the rest of the $40 go? Probably to mail you your cards back. Again, a fee that has nothing to do with LotW. (Should have had them field checked, but that's also another story that has nothing to do with LotW)

Now... for that $6.25, that's 25 DX cards that:
-- You DID NOT have to print a QSL for ($3 or $4 right there)
-- You DID NOT have to mail to the DX station or manager ($10.50 by today's rates if all were sent within the US, $23.50 if all were mailed overseas... the actual number falls somewhere in between)
-- You DID NOT have to include SASE's domestically (up to another $10.50) or an SASE with Green Stamps or IRC's (up to another $50).
-- You DID NOT have to buy envelopes (say, another $8 at WalMart depending on type and quantities involved)
-- You DID NOT have to resend for a card multiple times overseas due to mail theft or other loss in the mail.
-- You DID NOT have to worry about a log mismatch, or the wrong card being sent, or band handwriting that makes it uncertain as to what the call on the QSL card is)

Need I go on?

Sounds like you got quite a bargain for your $6.25.

Hey, if you don't like the DXCC program fees (I don't), that's fine. But don't pin them ALL on Logbook of the World.

Because if you actually examine the numbers, the small fee you pay to use your LotW credits significantly more than offsets the out of pocket cost you would have paid to get those physical QSL cards.

73
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by K3XLT on March 16, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I've never had a problem with eQSL. When I get so many qsl's, I print and laminate them and they fit in the photo album I keep my cards in. I also use LOTW some ops don't.

I have had QSO's with hams that send me eQSL's instead of a paper or LOTW. Why should that eQSL be less valuable to the ARRL than a paper or a "non-paper" LOTW entry.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by G8UBJ on March 16, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
The stages of change.

1 - This will never be
|
v
2 - maybe it would work
|
v
3 - lets try it out just for a while
|
v
4 - It seems to work
|
v
5 - How could it be otherwise?

Somewhere between 1 and 2 ????
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W3WN on March 16, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
K3XLT Said:
I've never had a problem with eQSL. When I get so many qsl's, I print and laminate them and they fit in the photo album I keep my cards in. I also use LOTW some ops don't.

I have had QSO's with hams that send me eQSL's instead of a paper or LOTW. Why should that eQSL be less valuable to the ARRL than a paper or a "non-paper" LOTW entry.
--------------------------------
Because the .jpg file created by eQSL when you view an "e-card" can be easily manipulated in a simple graphics editor, starting with Microsoft Paint on you PC (and equivalent program on the Mac).

That is why ARRL won't accept ANY electronically reproduced QSL "card" -- and hasn't going back to the days of early SSTV & thermal FAX machines. That is not an anti-eQSL stance, it's a policy that long pre-dates the web and personal computers.
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by VE3OIJ on March 16, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Does the ARRL realize that you can buy a piece of card stock and create a perfectly valid looking paper QSL card that is completely counterfeit? It's not like colour printers and cardboard are expensive.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by W3WN on March 16, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
VE3OIJ,

Oh? Try it. Counterfitting a physical card isn't as easy as it sounds. [Besides, you ever try to find glossy cardstock? Print on it if you can find it?]

But that's beside the point. If someone is truly determined to fake out the system, they'll no doubt find a way. That is not the issue.

Besides, there's a very simple way to get a printed eQSL "e-card" validated for ARRL awards purposes:

Get the station operator or QSL manager to sign it.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by NN3W on March 17, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Since we're talking statistics, let me throw mine in.

From eQSL, I have "QSL" cards for 12,220 QSOs from 147 different entities. Two of those entities are not "AG" marked, so they can't be used for eQSL or CQ awards.

From LoTW, I have "QSL" hits for 16,266 QSOs from 174 entities.

So, by a ratio of close to 3:2, LoTW outpaces eQSL on "QSLs" in total volume; LoTW also outpaces eQSL in terms of DXCC entities confirmed.

I think I can see which system is in the lead...
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by VE3OIJ on March 17, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
You must be a CW/SSB guy. My eQSL return is something like 80% but I work almost all digital modes. CW and SSB contacts have a notoriously poor return rate on eQSL. You claim a high return rate on LotW... that's awesome. Whatever works.

Which, incidentally, is much better than paper QSLs. Paper QSLs sent by the bureau are returning about 25%. Paper QSLs sent direct WITH SASE/greenstamps return about 50%, although a good third of those send the greenstamps back (for which I am grateful - if you are one of those guys, thanks!)

Of all QSLs, I am actually most disappointed with the number who take my QSL and the $1/$2/stamped envelope and don't even return "I don't QSL here's your money back". That's US stations doing it to, not just trans oceanic stations.

My package from the bureau arrived today so I had lots to sort this afternoon. Mostly US and Belgium, but still no elusive Idaho card.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by NN3W on March 18, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, I do exclusively SSB and CW....probably about 60/40 SSB to CW.

Digital mode users are very active participants in eQSL and LoTW. I can't tell you how many times I've read posts on QRZ or eHam or on the email reflectors where hams who have participated in RTTY contests noted that 50 or 75 percent of their QSOs were "QSO matched" just days after the conclusion of the contest.

As to bureau cards, I get about 150-200 a month.

My direct QSLing has about a 97% success rate. I keep a running tally on what QSLs are outstanding or still needed. Of the 546 that I've sent out since early 2006, I am still awaiting/needing 17. Most of that 17 was sent in December and November 2008. The oldest card that I'm still waiting for and care about dates to April 2007 to NH8/K3LP.
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by 5R8GQ on March 21, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Dick Allen, 1970, on playing baseball on Astro Turf:

"If a horse can't eat it, I don't want to play on it".

Similarly, my feelings on QSL cards:

"If it doesn't arrive in my mailbox (Buro or Direct) then I ain't replying to it!"

 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by KG4URW on March 21, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Sound reasonable to me!
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by VE3OIJ on March 21, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Of course, Dick Allen could say what he wanted, and his opinion, while somewhat humourous, is simply not important.

At the end of the day, the coach says "Astro turf is the way it is. Now get your butt out there and play ball or find a new way to spend your time."
 
RE: Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by N2UGB on March 22, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Visited an amateur's web site recently. He had many received e-QSLs on display.

Must say I was very impressed with the quality and originality of those illustrated.

I suspect they would have printed quite well on decent home printer card stock.
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by NG1I on March 22, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
At first just figuring out what had to be done was HARD as there's no "e-z read quick start" guide. I guess ARRL thinks you are a great computer power user or the setup instructions were written by a ARRL staff computer person and not by ARRL staff member user who uses it all the time. Once setting it up about 3 times (corrupt drive then when restored, it crashed)it got easy

Once running, I use it for every contact I make. A card is good too...seems contesters use it a lot and my casual QSO's in CW or SSB I always have received a card in the mail. Well it's OK with me. Just have a frustrated user who finally gets it running write the directions to set it up and make life for all easier.
As for e-Qsl's I was getting them from people with which I never had any QSO. Not good.
 
Electronic QSL -- LOTW vs. eQSL  
by K9SJB on March 23, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I got my first ticket in 1967 as WN9AXC later to become WB9AXC and now K9SJB. Anyway, in 1967 I would dash out to my mailbox to see what QSL cards I had received and from where. I still do that with the same zeal I did in 1967. Getting a QSL via an electronic post really has no "zing" to it. No stamps, no history.....it's just not the same. I've worked in the IT business for 30 years so you would think I would embrace it. NO WAY, I send good old post card QSL's.
 
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