eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net



[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?

from Steve Miller, W6SDM on September 20, 2011
Website: http://w6sdm.net
View comments about this article!

LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?

The stamp: 98 cents. An IRC: $2.10 - and expect these both to go up next time the post office has a rate increase. Over three bucks and we haven’t included the cost of printing a QSL card and the cost of envelopes – both sending and return.

When I started in his hobby, stamps were a nickel, a gallon of gas was thirty-five cents and I never thought I would see either climb to over three bucks. But here we are and at least we can count on the price of gas going down if Michele Bachmann gets elected (snicker.) Not so for the price of sending a QSL card.

Getting a DXCC using cards through the mail is going to cost a minimum of $350 – not counting all the cards that are sent out for which there isn’t one returned. Plus, with cards, you have to have them checked and verified – a necessary step to insure the integrity of the awards program. Then there’s the wait – cards coming through the mail take forever. Cards coming through the bureau take longer than that. One of the reasons we have so many hams over 90 is that they refuse to go SK before they get their cards from the bureau.

Even QSLing direct has its risks in addition to the cost. In some areas the postal authority is less than efficient or less than honest. Mail to hams is targeted for theft because it has become common knowledge among postal thieves that these envelopes may contain money.

Because currency and IRCs can be stolen and possession of foreign currency in some countries is illegal, many hams use foreign postage stamps to cover the return shipping cost. Unless you want to take on a new hobby, stamp collecting, this is a cumbersome way to do business. What am I going to do, stock stamps for a papa five or a seven oscar just in case I ever work one?

So, as you sit there bleary eyed from reading paragraphs of QSL problems, you ask, “What’s the solution?” Logbook of the World. And no, contrary to what you may be thinking, I don’t fly an ARRL flag from my fifty foot tower or have a marble bust of Hiram Percy Maxim sitting on top of my linear.

First the downside: LotW is a pain in the butt to set up. I work with computers for a living and it took some time for me to understand what I had to do. The protocol seems more difficult than setting up a Swiss bank account. It’s as though the process was taken from a Tom Clancy novel – the only thing missing is dropping off a paper bag under a park bench at midnight. ARRL says it’s necessary to protect the integrity of the system so that an entity is identified and verified before they can compete for an award. I am okay with that. Plus, once you have your account set up it gets better. Really. It does.

Most of the logging software has the capability of uploading QSOs either one at a time or in batches straight to LotW. Nothing could be easier. Your contact gets his acknowledgement and you get yours in minutes instead of weeks or months. There are progress reports available to let you know how far away you are from each award.

For those who still want a paper QSL – and I am one of those because the walls of my shack are papered with them – you can still go the normal QSL route. And for those DX contacts who don’t use LotW, you can still combine those cards with LotW logs to get award credit.

In order for Logbook of the World to be more effective, more hams need to use it. I would love it if everyone did. I will do paper QSL cards no matter what. I like to have a card the first time I work a country. After that, if I can get LotW credit for additional bands, it’s so much more convenient.

So, what would encourage you to participate in LotW? What would the ARRL have to do now that they’re not doing?

73,

Steve Miller, W6SDM

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K2DC on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Steve,

I have been using LOTW for many years and appreciate the service and the convinience and cost savings. But I agree, the process is more than cumbersome. I understand the ARRL's interest in maintaining the security and integrity of the process. However, I can't believe there aren't security solutions that are much easier for the many less-than-sophisticated computer users. I'm a retired Engineer and a computer user for over 30 years, and the LOTW process is something of a pain in the cheeks to use even for me.

There are a number of encrypted email utilities out there (some of them freeware) that offer public keys for decryption sent under a separate email. Other forms of secure upload Web utilities are widely in use. There are many who use them to make secure credit cards purchases with ease that would have difficulty setting up and using LOTW.

I have a total of 14 DXCC Awards including Honor Roll and the paper cards have cost me a small fortune to receive over the years, not to mention the cost of processing the Awards. Hundreds of those Q's have processed been through LOTW, but the majotiry have been paper cards.

I'm sure there's a better way. However, the ARRL may see itself as too heavily entrenched and invested in the current process to make a change. I also have no ARRL flag or Maxim bust, but I do appreciate that at least the service exists and that I'm able to manage it. I guess I don't have a better answer until or unless the ARRL becomes convinced that technology has overrun them.

73,

Don, K2DC
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K0IC on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
It is the work involved to get LotW to work. I am set up for LotW but I have yet to input anyone. I wish it was easier for those of us who do not have a college degree in computers. There is another QSL program I have used a few times. I think it is eQSL. It is easier to do.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WS4E on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
LotW should have been created/presented as a programming interface, and promoted to logbook program writers.

Its very easy to use if you have a program that automatically supports it such as CQRLog or HRD Logbook etc.

If they would have put just a little effort, they could have hidden all the setup complexity behind the scenes and provided a way for logbook programmers to automate the setup stuff.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K3TN on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I think there are several improvements that could be made to increase LotW participation. Reducing the complexity a bit would certainly help.

But I think another, bigger factor is the lack of actual QSL cards in LotW, vs. how eQSL still actually has QSL card images you send and can print, etc. A lot of people like getting cards and will never do software QSLing but many like eQSL better than LotW for that reason.

John K3TN
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KE8G on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I've been using LoTW for about 3 years now and really like it.

Personally, I did not find the setup process to be overly cumbersome, other than waiting a few days for the password card to arrive. I occupied my time with another project until its arrival and then the installation was straight forward.

I understand that this application does not look/fit the up-to-date standards that folks are used to seeing on the Internet, but it functions very well.

LoTW is a time & money saver for QSLing. I can't begin to estimate how many thousands of dollars it has saved me in U.S. postage costs alone, since the bureau does not allow US-to-US QSLing. I have thousands of contest contacts uploaded to LoTW and it makes for easy award submission.

I still send QSL cards through the bureau or directly for new DXCC entities, as I like the "feel" of a paper QSL card also.

I, for one, am very happy with its performance and also that it's a FREE application. I really don't think a person could ask for more!

73 de Jim - KE8G
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by VK2GWK on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
LotW is the modern way of getting a DXCC. Present participation is such that you can get on the Honour Roll by LotW alone.
I announced on my QRZ.com site that I do NOT do buro QSL any more (although it is free for me, being a member of the WIA). I subscribe to LotW and eQSL. Above that I have a facility on my web site where those desperate for a paper QSL can generate their own from my on line logbook facility.
See: http://blog.tobbe.net.au/qsl_index.php

Paper QSL through the mail is really too old fashioned to contemplate. And if you are clever enough to get a license it shouldn't be too hard to understand the simple system of getting on LotW. But some people are just too lazy to use their brains and read a simple "How to".
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by M0EDY on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
hi this is why i use eqsl.cc easy to set up
to many hoops to jump through to start useing lotw
better return rate for qsl sent
but lotw and eqsl.cc a lot cheaper than post and irc;s
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N2EY on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I just got started with LotW. The setup was rather slow, but by following the Quick Start instructions it was no problem at all.

I wondered why it was so involved at first - and then I remembered the real reason: Don Miller, aka W9WNV.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by F5VDM on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I think LotW is a great idea. Do I use it? NO.

Why? Because unlike eqsl (which I do use), its a pain to set up. I have to send my details (by post as im in Europe) and to be honest, cant be bothered.

I guess I'm not the only one who can't be bothered either. Also the methodology for setting it up, with certs etc is quite complicated.

Until it gets easier to register and use, I wont be using it.

regards

Garry

F5VDM / G0IHB / K5XGB
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by TANAKASAN on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
No, because I prefer paper QSL cards that I can hang on the wall.

Tanakasan
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KG4RUL on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The unnecessarily complicated setup and maintenance of this program is an instant turn-off to many potential users. Additionally, part of the interest in QSL'ing is seeing another Ham's card in hand. After all, if this is not fun then WHY BOTHER at all??
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N4OI on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Quick answer: Yes! I log everything in HRD and regularly upload all my QSOs to LOTW (about 6,000 so far). Regarding eQSL, I also have HRD set up to automatically upload each QSO to eQSL as soon as it is entered.

So I use both; but in my opinion, the simple setup of eQSL, along with its pedestrian user interface, makes eQSL feel like a non-secure "toy," which could be open to fraud and abuse. On the other hand, LOTW feels "official" and just as secure as my online bank accounts. Sure, it has more steps requires following instructions exactly for initial setup, but since when do hams require an "Easy Button?"

Thank you HRD, ARRL and LOTW!
73 es God Bless de N4OI -- Ken
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KA2LIM on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
quote:
Quick answer: Yes! I log everything in HRD and regularly upload all my QSOs to LOTW (about 6,000 so far). Regarding eQSL, I also have HRD set up to automatically upload each QSO to eQSL as soon as it is entered.

So I use both; but in my opinion, the simple setup of eQSL, along with its pedestrian user interface, makes eQSL feel like a non-secure "toy," which could be open to fraud and abuse. On the other hand, LOTW feels "official" and just as secure as my online bank accounts. Sure, it has more steps requires following instructions exactly for initial setup, but since when do hams require an "Easy Button?"

Thank you HRD, ARRL and LOTW!
73 es God Bless de N4OI -- Ken

I normally do not reply to comments, but I will break my rule this time. Per the eQSL comment:, please tell me how to "abuse and fraud" eQSL. If YOU make an entry into the eQSL system that says you worked me, and that entry shows up in my inbox, Fisrt I check "MY PERSONAL LOG" to see if I worked you. If the contact is there in my log, I can then click on accept tab at eQSL. If you are not in "MY PERSONAL LOG" I simply click on reject tab at eQSL.
NO one else can enter data for me nor can I enter data for someone else. That is why there is a password that you create and use and only you should know.

Also, use the Authenticity Guaranteed feature, which you should.
And if you want that paper card, click on the display tab and view the card, put a sheet of card stock in your color printer, and print the card, pretty simple. And/or save the card image in a folder on your hard drive, pretty simple.

Lotw is data comparison only, no card involved, for the awards offered by ARRL, and it ain't free. You have to pay for the award. Read the fine print. The program may be free but the awards are not.

Ken
KA2LIM
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by NN4RH on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I use LOTW. Once it's set up, it's easy. A lot of logging programs let you upload/download LOTW with a mouse click.

What I don't like is the unnecessary gyrations and delays one has to go through to set it up in the first place, as well as having to get new certificates every time you get a different computer, or reinstall or upgrade software. It's even more of a hassle if you've got several prior callsigns.

As long as it's working, fine. But when it stops working, it can be months before I get around to feeling like dealing with it again.

There are lots of sophisticated, secure applications out there that are nowhere near the trouble that LOTW is. It's using 10 year old security methods. And really, requiring intervention by a live person to issue a certificate by email or a password by physical mail is insane. Seems like it should be automated and made more transparent to the user.


 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N4OI on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Regarding my earlier comment regarding eQSL's perceived lack of security: 'So I use both; but in my opinion, the simple setup of eQSL, along with its pedestrian user interface, makes eQSL feel like a non-secure "toy," which could be open to fraud and abuse. On the other hand, LOTW feels "official" and just as secure as my online bank accounts.'

Try this test -- compare the login screens for both eQSL and LOTW. Note which of the two Web pages has the padlock icon (indicating encrypted server connection) in your browser window. Defense rests...
73 de Ken - N4OI
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W4ETN on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
This is Amateur Radio not the CIA. If you want more people to use it make is easier to set up and use.

Bob
W4ETN
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W2BLC on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I suffered through setting up LoTW - several years ago. Didn't use it much, but it did work. Then I changed computers - what a pain to get going again. The most recent computer upgrade - no LoTW. More trouble than it is worth.

I do use eQSL and enjoy its ease of use and the system of contact verification.

If you want to cheat - it doesn't matter whether it is eQSL or LoTW. You can surely cheat.

Computer use is all about interface. The LoTW interface is terrible. But, there seems to be no interest in upgrading same.

Bill W2BLC

 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by VK4TJF on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
LOTW is painful to set up and eqsl is a whole lot easier
i don't gain anything from using LOTW. I don't do the DXCC with the ARRL for the same reason it is painful and burden with too much red tape and paperwork. besides I like the WIA dxcc program, and the certificates are nicer. so from a from a DX perspective eqsl is by far better.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by VK4TJF on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
ahh and one other matter on security
lets face it amature radio is a niche hobby
within that hobby is yet another niche hobby of paper chasing,
it is hard enough to find hams to put in for awards
let alone cheat for and award
i don't see the hams busting down the doors for awards and cheating for them and making phony qsl cards
many hams don't even have qsl cards
we need to encourage awards by making them easier to get
otherwise there wont be any awards. hams wont bother
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K5ML on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
“In order for Logbook of the World to be more effective, more hams need to use it. I would love it if everyone did.”

More hams will use LOTW when LOTW becomes more user friendly. It's that simple. For the record, I am a life member of ARRL.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by G6NJR on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
No several simple reasons .

It is windows only no linux support last time i looked
eQSL is easier to use setup
not into DXCC stuff
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KC2KCF on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I am not familiar with LotW, so maybe some of my concerns are unfounded. But I haven't seen them addressed in the FAQ. Maybe someone can provide answers?

1) Using conventional QSL methods, the involved radio stations are in control - they can choose which QSL information to share with third parties (such as the ARRL) or not. The matching mechanism of LotW seems to require essentially that everyone entrusts all their logs to the ARRL.

2) Conventional QSL cards are portable and not tied to any specific service provider. Would using LotW instead of conventional QSL cards result in any dependency (vendor lock-in)?

3) Related to point 1), I am free to submit QSL cards to any other party I wish. How is this handled using LotW? Do other parties (let's say an organisation in competition to the ARRL) have full access to the logs as well? If not, I would be penalising myself by using LotW. If yes, how could I control to whom my log information is released?

4) Does ARRL guarantee that I have full control over how my log data is used (the data base would have significant value for various statistical analyses that could be monetized).

5) For foreign amateurs, submitting their data to a US entity might significantly weaken their privacy and data protection rights. Similarly, why would foreigners want to effectively serve their complete communication profiles to US intelligence services on a silver platter?

 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KX2S on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I have been using LOTW since the beginning. May take getting used to but I find it great for DXCC.
Where else can I work 4 new countries and two days later have them credited to my DXCC account.
As for EQsl it works fine. For DXCC it is worthless.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KG4NEL on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
As I'm still working towards awards, I like seeing the actual card, and being able to flip through a binder of them. It's a reminder of what used to be the only way to do it :)

When I've "worked them all", then I'll probably go to electronic confirmations.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KC5GB on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The program is much easier to use than set up. Why is it so difficult to become a user? Look at everything ARRL does vis a vis computers. It appears that the organization is unwilling or ignorant as to how to aquire topnotch programming skills. Try navigating the 'new' ARRL website.
The ever increasing cost of QSL'ing is giving ARRL a wonderful opportunity. By simplifying LoTW while maintaining security, ARRL and the ham community would both benefit.
Perhaps in another ten years - no need to rush. Besides we have to get back to sending a few radiograms...
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KB3HG on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
LotW use it No, at least not yet. I had to call to get the Certificate sent to me. I got it yesterday afternoon. I'm game to give it a shot. I can't be much harder than registering on DSTAR.

I loved the cheap gas line. :)

Yes, we want all our logs processed by the intelligence community. Big Brother watches over us. Heard this argument on the DSTAR threads. If people don't want to be tracked don't use the service. They already know who and where we are via the ULS.

73,
Tom Kb3hg


 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KD5RGJ on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I COLLECT STAMPS!!!!
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KK5J on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Good grief some of you guys need to grab a hunk of cheese with that whine. LOTW is secure to keep out the cheaters. Please don't tell me they're not around. Yes, its slow and cumbersome for certification, but once setup up its easy to use. For those who want cards, fine, send a card too. Electronic logs take me about 3 minutes to load into LOTW in order for fellow hams to get an electronic QSL. Three minutes a week too much? Oh,and did I mention you can also send QSL cards through the mail at the same time? Give it a go and you'll probably end up liking it. Remember that YOU may want a paper card, but what about the guy on the other end of your QSO?
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WF0GMN on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I prefer eQSL and LOTW (didn't find the setup that bad... especially using HRD). But if someone sends paper, I think it's polite to send a paper QSL as well.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by G3RZP on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I don't use computer logging. I can't type fast enough for real contest work. Ergo, LOTW is not too much help, and I can't be bothered with the hassle of setting things up. I don't need it for DXCC, as I am only one QSO and 2 cards (the other is ST0R) away from #1 Honor Roll. (Please someone, put Navassa on!) the paper logs record some fun QSOs over the years. (If paper and pencil had just been invented, they would be hailed as the miracle new data storage mechanism!)

The other problem is for DXpeditions. QSL direct, and most people send a bit over - e.g a $5, $10 or even $20 bill to help cover the costs of the expedition, as well as a return addressed envelope - and these expeditions are definitely not cheap package tour jaunts, either. So given LOTW, how many people are going to make the donations, even if they can do it by credit card or paypal?

If expeditions use LOTW, I suspect a major drop in funding will result. Maye we'll get back to the Don Miller days - a suitable size donation in advance got you a QSO. No pay, no way to a QSO.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by NK2U on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I don't partake in anything that is fake nor eat fake foods like "chicken franks" and "turkey burgers." I want the REAL THING, otherwise, I won't touch it.

I don't do ham radio to COLLECT awards or points, I do ham radio to MAKE FRIENDS and have meaningful conversations; I want to get to know people. The Wham Bam, Thank You 'Mam/59-Goodby contacts are not ham radio to me.

Getting a REAL card in the mail is wonderful, from Brooklyn or Beijing, I get the same satisfaction-IF the QSO was MEANINGFUL. I love the artwork and personality it conveys and sometimes, the sender will even write a note!

So keep the FAKE, I'll stick to the REAL THING!

de NK2U
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KO4XJ on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Too hard to setup? Yes you do have to wait for your password and load a "key" and you do have to read the instructions, but put on your geek hats on for a few moments and figure it out. And if you can't figure it out, the ARRL will help you with the setup. Once you get past that 1st "hurdle" it's a breeze. I use a free logging program and every day I'm on the air (almost daily) I either upload or download LOTW. The logging program like most today will mark and export the QSO's for LOTW upload for automatically. This takes me almost 30 seconds. Really great the 1st week after a contest. Right now I'm sitting on 14,995 Q's in LOTW, 5446 QSL's and sitting at 212 countries confirmed by just using LOTW. Plus I have WAS, TRIPLE PLAY and DXCC RTTY all just using LOTW. I have several hundred paper cards but I hate paper work! If you want ARRL awards, LOTW is GREAT, if you want qsl cards, then send them, if you do care about ARRL awards use eQSL. But you're ham radio operators, you can figure out the setup. Yes it's been several years since the conception of LOTW but it works.

73
John
KO4XJ
 
LotW -- It DOESN"T WORK  
by N6DMR on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
This past field day I operated from AL with a lot of down time due to thunderstorms. I did manage to make 62 confirmed contacts.

Of the 62 LOTW entries, to date I have 4 confirmed.

System doesn't work, period!

Senseless to use a system that can't even confirm Field Day contacts.

Duane
K3AL
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K8QV on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
If I were just starting out in the hobby, I would use eQSL. As it is, I already have lots of real QSL cards and have no need to confirm every QSO, electronically or otherwise. Still, keeping an envelope with the QSL bureau has proven to be cheap and effective for me. I like getting occasional surprises in the mailbox.

All I actively pursue these days is the DXpedition or very rare card, for which I am willing to pay top dollar - there aren't that many occasions that arise.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W5DQ on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
First let me say that while I don't have a PhD in Computer Science but do have over 30 years experience in computer systems and networks in general including embedded systems. I don't understand why hams in general seem to have so many problems setting up LOTW. The steps laid out on the LOTW help pages are simple to follow and will guide even the most novice computer user through the process with little or no issues. The biggest issue I have observed in setting up several LOTW account for friends and relatives is the need to wait for a postcard to arrive via snailmail. I am sure that given today's security posture and modern crypto capabilities, a secure encrypted attachment to an email could be devised to deliver the verification key in a matter of seconds or minutes worst case.

As to eQSL.cc, while it seems many think that it is easier toinstall than LOTW, outside the post card issue, there isn't much difference in the complexity of installing either, in my humble opinion. One of the main issues I have with eQSl.cc is that fact that the confirmations are not allowable toward ARRL awards. Understandably so considering the number of false confirmation requests I recieve to QSOs I never had. Telling me that I have a confirmation to a null QSO is equivalent to a test proctor telling a student that answer 'A' is not right on the test but they should review answer 'B' instead and re-mark the question. There is no level of honesty in the resulting awards by giving the 'answers' to the effort. And yes, there are those that insist that 'Well you know you worked that number of contacts. Why do you need a piece of paper to confirm it'. Same as saying 'Well you know you could probably rebuild a car engine blindfolded, but can you prove it?' Saying something is true without proof is simply you word it is so. Having a 'document' to prove it adds credibility to the claim and eliminates any doubt. And besides it looks good on the wall of the shack ;)

I use LOTW almost daily for QSLing and have several DXCC awards, WAS awards and VUCC by way of hard cards and LOTW. I upload to eQSl.cc for those that wish to use that format, but I do not track any eQSl.cc confirmations or awards from them.

 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WY3X on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
1. I prefer paper cards to my mailbox. The excitement of seeing the envelope after waiting (perhaps) weeks for a QSL to arrive from a foreign country, and seeing the stamps on the envelope, and knowing that I'm touching something tangible that came from the country I spoke with is much like the excitement of actually traveling to that country. Electronic QSLing will never replace that feeling.

2. I collect stamps and give them to my grandkids. This is another benefit to paper QSLing- I get to give them geography lessons, and they also enjoy seeing the pretty stamps and actually seeing something that came from a country that Grandad talked to on his ham radio. The feeling of sharing that can never occur with electronic QSLing.

3. The process to get access is amazingly ridiculous. Getting a serialized post card and then re-visiting the website to enter the "code number" is much more like an experience in covert espionage rather than a satisfying means to an end in a personal hobby. We used to trust each other and there was honor and chivalry among us, at least when it came to presenting our identity. If I tell you my name and callsign at registration on a website, that should be enough proof that I'm who I say I am.

4. It's my personal opinion that electronic QSLing demeans the traditional spirit of the hobby, much like echolink users who won't wait until they take the next higher test and gain HF privileges. Part of the experience of being a ham is the excitement of waiting for things to occur and learning the material. Nobody is willing to wait for the buildup to a pinnacle event these days, like getting some type of award by actually having to wait and show your cards to an awards manager after waiting months. It much reminds me of the "instant gratification" today's youth have come to expect. Electronic QSLing does not teach patience, which used to be a virtue hams learned in this hobby. It reminds me of a DX station calling for 4's only, and some idiot without a 4 in his call continues to call over the pileup because he's so impatient he can't wait until his turn comes. It's sickening.

No thanks, I have no use for LOTW or eQSL, or any of the other variants. Paper only, thanks.

73, -WY3X
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WN0Y on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
For those of us who use HRD or other software packages, eQSL is nice because uploads to it can be done automatically (anything which goes in the electronic logbook also goes to eQSL once set up). This isn't always the case with LoTW. Even though there are tools to assist, it still requires another step. That said, I use both eQSL and LoTW. However, I only upload to LoTW every month or so because of the extra step(s) involved. I guess the trade-off is that LoTW is more secure and less likely to have false QSO's confirmed. But I'm not a serious award chaser so for me, simple is better. I'm not sure that this is the main reason more people don't use it, however. There are a lot of hams who just don't log contacts period.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W4HLN on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I use LOTW,

For a long time I didnt but figured out the LOTW program itself would NOT run on all computers! For example WIN XP had a lot of problems running LOTW software Win 7 64 bit had a lot of problems running LOTW software...not everyone mind you but certain setups it just wouldnt work.Wasnt the installer...not the user...the software is poorly written.

I use it...I get about a 28% return rate....The software though is trash. I'd rather sign in with my SSN or account number and password than use and install LOTW software.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N2EY on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
W5DQ: "do have over 30 years experience in computer systems and networks in general including embedded systems. I don't understand why hams in general seem to have so many problems setting up LOTW."

One reason is that they don't have your experience.

"The steps laid out on the LOTW help pages are simple to follow and will guide even the most novice computer user through the process with little or no issues."

IF the person takes the time to print out and read the instructions...

"The biggest issue I have observed in setting up several LOTW account for friends and relatives is the need to wait for a postcard to arrive via snailmail."

The postcard is sent to the licensee's FCC mailing address. This helps prevent the setup of false accounts by other than the licensee.

Am I the only one who remembers W9WNV?

73 de Jim, N2EY

 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by NI0C on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I've been using LoTW since it was first available. It's great for acquiring multi-band, multi-mode ARRL awards.

The security is necessary in order to maintain the integrity of the DXCC awards program.

Two improvements would make the system even better:

1. Allow other major radio societies (including CQ) to use LoTW credits for verifying their awards programs.
2. Provide the software necessary for users to print nice QSL's (like eQSL does).

73,
Chuck NI0C
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WN0Y on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I'm curious a bit about statistics for QSO confirmations. I just got back into the hobby about 15 months ago. In that time I have 1302 QSOs in the logbook (most on digital modes, but also some SSB). Here are the stats I have on those:

474 are confirmed in LoTW
893 are confirmed in eQSL
57 confirmed by paper (all unsolicited - but I return one for each received)
97 entered by others in QRZ logbook

I'm not exactly sure what this all tells me, but it is interesting. I haven't tried to determine how many of the LoTW QSLs overlap with eQSL. I'm guessing many do.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N4OI on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Jim, N2EY wrote: "...The postcard is sent to the licensee's FCC mailing address. This helps prevent the setup of false accounts by other than the licensee...."

I think Jim hit on one of the most significant differentiators for LOTW over eQSL from a security viewpoint. One can receive an e-mail anywhere in the world, but it is a bit more difficult to retrieve a card sent to a physical address on file with the FCC.

Reminds me of a security geek for a major bank who once told me, "If it's not a pain to use, it's probably not secure." Not sure I agree, given today's easy access to the eCommerce marketplace, but it just came to mind...

(And speaking of the CIA [way back up there]... my XYL and I recently visited the Spy Museum in WDC with friends -- certainly worth the time and cost of admission for anyone interested the history of HF radio in clandestine operations!)

73 de Ken N4OI


 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N8WRL on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Wow - lots of strong opinions. LoTW, like a lot of 'social things' depends on a critical mass to become useful. 2 out of 62 field day contacts confirmed is probably becuase

1. Not all 62 contacts are LoTW members
2. Of those that are, not all have uploaded yet.

You get similar results via the BURO - only slower.

LoTW was challenging to set up, but that's a one-time thing. I had to move to several different computers over the years, each time requiring key-help from ARRL. It was forthcoming very fast.

So, like most things, to each their own. I do it and like to see the accumulated confirmations over time as others upload their logs.

73!

-Brian n8wrl
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WB0CJB on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I'm set up for LoTW, eQSL, the bureau, and do QSL direct when needed. There are times where I have worked a DXpedition (BTW- still waiting for a LOTW veri for a VP8ORK QSO!!) or a new country only to find that they either don't use LOTW or it takes just as long for credit through LOTW as it does QSL'ing direct.Sometimes the direct way is even faster. I have always preferred getting cards in the mail as its a little like Christmas morning getting a batch of cards from the bureau or even a card from a new country. My XYL even enjoys looking at the colorful scenery cards that I get.Sometimes funds are tight and I have to postpone sending cards direct until later, not unlike a lot of older hams.

The increasing expense of sending cards direct, whether it is for a domestic or DX has not helped either. I can see the hesitation of spending over 3 bucks a card overseas only to have some lowlife pilfer the money or IRC and throw the rest in the trash. But in regards to sending a QSL to a stateside ham for 28 cents (if you don't use an envelope) is pretty cheap compared to the amount of money that people spend on the equipment and antennas.Many times I've heard people complain on the air over gas going up 3 or 4 cents but yet they go spent as much as $10,000-$12,000 on radios and have 3 or 4 different radios to use and don't wind up using 90% of the functions.

With the USPS fast running out of funds and even someday becoming extinct its only a matter of time until LOTW or eQSL will be the only way of getting verifications. Many hams nowadays prefer the instant gratification of getting a verification for a QSO and don't want to wait for a card that my take weeks to arrive. Those of us who grew up with sending cards direct are used to the wait and will always prefer the feel and enjoyment of a paper QSL. I know I certainly will.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by VE3CUI on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
No, I prefer to maintain a paper log book here, & to send out real paper QSL cards, & to receive real paper QSL cards back...

The world of instant gratification can stay out of the realm of MY Ham radio world, IMHO...still, having said that, I envision the day when QSL bureaus will shut down due to lack of use, & yet another great piece of Amateur Radio will go the way of mandatory CW testing.

And this, they say, is "progress"...?!
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N4KC on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
OK, LoTW is a bit of a hassle to set up (though most logging software makes it much easier), seems to be overkill on the security issue (yes, I remember W9WNV but don't know how LoTW would have prevented what he did...if the other station and I agree we worked each other on a certain band within a certain timespan, LoTW believes us without question), it won't print a card like eQSL (if you want any of those ugly "cards" they offer as choices), and I certainly do enjoy receiving paper QSLs (and do, regularly, often from the same folks who confirmed in LoTW).

However I use LoTW for the following reasons:

1) It keeps a backup record of my QSOs at a remote and reasonably safe location. This alone seems like a good enough reason to bother with it. I really don't worry about some international conspiracy absconding with my QSO info and using it to overthrow society. Nor about the possibility that the League will "monetize" my precious list of stations worked. If anybody wants to know if I worked 4W6A last night at 0238 on 12 meter CW, I'll be glad to share that with them. Heck, I'll even brag about it!

2) It makes tracking and applying for ARRL awards much easier. If you don't care about those awards, fine. They're not for everybody. That does remove one big reason for using the service, though.

3) It DOES save time and money, neither of which do I have in abundance. For that reason, I am an advocate for the service. The more stations worldwide who use it, the more time and money it saves ME. (And is there a single Cuban station using LoTW? I've worked scores of them and still haven't gotten it confirmed.)

3) But here is the real reason: I use it as a courtesy to other amateurs, just as I happily send paper cards when requested. There are some out there who need Shelby County, the state of Alabama, or even the USA confirmed. Or who simply want to verify as many contacts as they can for whatever reason. I'm happy to it for them, either through LoTW, eQSL, with a QSL card, or any other way they want.

I'm just happy the League gives me another option. And needlessly complicated or not, it works and, by the way, could not be any cheaper.

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
http://n4kc.blogspot.com



 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KG4ODX on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I have been using LotW for 2 years, it works great and I use it daily.
I also still QSL direct
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W8JI on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I don't use LotW for two reasons:

When I looked at it, I didn't have time to set it up.


I think if someone wants a QSL that badly, they can send a card and SAE. If they just send a card and envelope that is enough for me. I like to have a real card to show other people.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N0FPE on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I am not using it because i dont like it....plain and simple.

Dan/NØFPE
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KB4QAA on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I tried to set up LOTW four or five years ago. It was way too hard. Got the password from ARRL and the setup didn't work from there.

Decided to give it another chance this summer. It SEEMED a bit easier this time around but again the online stuff got futzed. Finally managed to get the online bit to send my request for a password and haven't gotten boo back from the ARRL.

I KNOW what User friendly is. I've written software specifications and functional testing. This process is USER HOSTILE. There is no excuse for for any program to be this difficult to use. This is ARRL and their programers fault, not mine!
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KB4QAA on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I tried to set up LOTW four or five years ago. It was way too hard. Got the password from ARRL and the setup didn't work from there.

Decided to give it another chance this summer. It SEEMED a bit easier this time around but again the online stuff got futzed. Finally managed to get the online bit to send my request for a password and haven't gotten boo back from the ARRL.

I KNOW what User friendly is. I've written software specifications and functional testing. This process is USER HOSTILE. There is no excuse for for any program to be this difficult to use. This is ARRL and their programers fault, not mine!
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W5DQ on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
W5DQ: "do have over 30 years experience in computer systems and networks in general including embedded systems. I don't understand why hams in general seem to have so many problems setting up LOTW."

N2EY: *** One reason is that they don't have your experience.

Perhaps but I have read where individuals with lots of experience have problems doing it. The point I was trying to make was it isn't rocket science to setup LOTW. In my opinion, to make it any simpler, the ARRL would come to your shack and do it for you.

"The steps laid out on the LOTW help pages are simple to follow and will guide even the most novice computer user through the process with little or no issues."

*** IF the person takes the time to print out and read the instructions...

I realize that some folks aren't wizard of the PC but if they have obtained a PC, have Windows running properly (if using Linux, experience is a moot point) and cannot print simple instructions from a webpage or are not able to download single files using a web browser, then following the LOTW directions may prove to be too difficult for them and perhaps instead of complaining about the process, head over to Barnes and Noble brick and mortar store (ordering a book from Amazon is lots harder than setting up LOTW) and pick up a 'PC for Dummies' (no insult intended by the title - very helpful series) and broaden their horizons and learn a thing or two about their PC and its usage.

"The biggest issue I have observed in setting up several LOTW account for friends and relatives is the need to wait for a postcard to arrive via snailmail."

*** The postcard is sent to the licensee's FCC mailing address. This helps prevent the setup of false accounts by other than the licensee.

I understand the reason it is done. I simply said in this day and age, if banks can transfer millions of dollars via electronic secure means, surely the ARRL can come up with an all electronic method and eliminate the postcard issue.

*** Am I the only one who remembers W9WNV?

I guess you got me there. Who is W9WNV and what was his crime against LOTW??

 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KC5AOS on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I have tried to load and use three times now and can't get the thing to work properly. It's such a PITA to set up, I gave up.
For those of you did figure it out, god bless ya. you are now part of an elite class of operators who can snub your nose at me and call me stupid.
I'm not dumb. I'm a Sr. Design ME and work with computers, design software, firmware for optical devices and automation equipment, and various other software programs. I just can't figure this damn thing out. Yes, I have read the instruction and viewed the demo. Not only is it not intuitive, it's junk. Good thing it is basically not for profit (or is it) or they would never make any $. If i designed products this crappy I'd be ashamed of myself.

Just sayin.

If any one can point me to a real set of instructions (not the ARRL provided junk) as to how to set up and use, I would really appreciate it. ARRL should be ashamed of themselves.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W5DQ on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Oh, ok. Don Miller. I didn't recognize the call but I have heard about Don's exploits. Not sure what this has to do with setting up LOTW however?

Gene W5DQ
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KC5AOS on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
LOTW help pages didn't help me. You must be a genious.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KC5AOS on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Yeah, I couldn't get it to work on XP or 7. i when the LOTW help and tutorioal didn't track at all with what was going on with my install, I figured it might be it didn't like my system. Agreed, poorly written software.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by VE3FMC on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
See the explanation below as to why I do not use LOTW. The ARRL makes foreign hams feel like criminals with the run around they give us to try and sign up.

EQSL for me, I am not chasing any ARRL awards. So a card I can print if I want from EQSL is fine by me.

Rick VE3FMC

by G0IHB on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I think LotW is a great idea. Do I use it? NO.

Why? Because unlike eqsl (which I do use), its a pain to set up. I have to send my details (by post as im in Europe) and to be honest, cant be bothered.

I guess I'm not the only one who can't be bothered either. Also the methodology for setting it up, with certs etc is quite complicated.

Until it gets easier to register and use, I wont be using it.

regards

Garry

F5VDM / G0IHB / K5XGB
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KC5AOS on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Again, the LOTW help pages aren't a lot of good if the software is written poorly and won't load on many systems.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N4NZM on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I tried it and then got a new computer and it was too big a hassle to switch over. Nobody else uses it anyway. I use eQSL. If someone wants to cheat for a certificate, I could care less. It isn't like there is any money for winning an award.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by AB4D on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I tried LOTW when it was first launched and found it was cumbersome at best. Secondly, I don't like the fact that it's propitiatory. The ARRL awards program and LOTW isn't the only game in town. I don't like the fact that the ARRL/LOTW does not give a printable confirmation in the form of a QSL card. I still like old school paper QSLs. That's probably the one thing where I believe that computers have negatively impacted ham radio. I really liked the neat QSLs from all over the world. Seems, that many have given up that part of the hobby to go paperless.

73
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W5DQ on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I'm definitely no genius but following the website and experience with previous loading, I have had it running on Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows XP and now Windows 7 x64 with no problems. I use DX Lab Suite and LOTW app to upload QSL info to LOTW. For me, it works flawlessly and only requires I pop in my password when uploading the current queue of QSLs from my log. I've uploaded over 1000 QSOs at a time and it took less than a minute to upload with no errors.

I'm sure there are issues with some systems as I have had my share of problems getting software to work on this version of Windows or that version of Windows from time to time.

All I am stating is that I must be one of the lucky ones with LOTW as I have never had a minutes problems with any use of it and I have 2 calls linked personally, I have setup 4 linked calls for my father whose is SK and a local buddy whom I helped go through the process with 2 linked calls with no problems at all. I find it hard to believe that I somehow stumbled on a 'gold mine of luck' to be able to do this and others can't.

I never singled out any individual as being dumb or stupid not insinuated that about people in general. I would not do that. I simply stated that if someone had the equipment and could not perform the processes, possibly they needed to brush up on their knowledge of the technology. If anyone is a so called expert and can't et it to work, I have no answer to help them. I simply did as directed and it worked for me.

For those that decided that LOTW wasn't for them, so be it. Your free to do what you desire in my book. It would be nice if everyone used LOTW simply because more confirmation would be available for everyone who has log entries uploaded. I personally choose not to use eQSL as I feel it isn't worth my time but like I said I do upload my logs to give those that do chose to use it a QSL if they happen to work me and upload that QSO to eQSL.

I wish everyone setting up LOTW success.

73

Gene W5DQ
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WW3QB on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I use it and love it. Tedious to set up, but not difficult. Once you have it set up it is easy to use. About 70% of the QSLs for my five DXCCs came via LoTW. And I still have many exotic QSL cards to fill my display area (about 200 cards). One really needs just one card per entity to display anyway.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KB9CRY on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I once was set up with it but then my key expired and I expired from the hassle to set it up again.

If it was more user friendly or at least had a decent How To Guide, I'd get on it.

I have over 335 worked but only have DXCC confirmed with the league!

To me, it's their loss not mine. I don't really care about the paper confirmations; I know what I have worked and can prove it with the cards and contacts.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K4KRW on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I've been using logbook of the world for over 5 years. I didn't have much trouble setting it up. I have since moved my logging software between PCs probably 3 times. I always manage to get it to work without too much difficulty.

LOTW has been great for me. I especially love getting the quick confirmations.

It is also nice to basically have an online backup of my log.

I have not spent much time using eQSL. I just haven't seen much point in it.

73,

Richard - K4KRW
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W5DPK on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
LotW is a lot like some of those early software programs back in the mid 90's. I think the word I used back then was crapware . LotW did not work for me. The help files suck. The live help was pathetic. E-QSL on the other hand worked right away and no problems. ARRL has to come up with a easier system to use. Of course they were the same people who came up with incentive licensing.

Dennis n5dpk
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N0ZLD on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
It's unnecessarily complex for something whose reward is not given monetarily.

Validating a contact between 2 amateur radio operators. For a piece of paper saying you did it the most. Big deal.

 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WB6DGN on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"When I started in his hobby, stamps were a nickel, a gallon of gas was thirty-five cents and I never thought I would see either climb to over three bucks."

And how much is that nickel worth in today's dollars? The reality is that the price of postage has NOT gone up; US currency has gone DOWN. As a percentage of average income, there is very little difference.
What HAS changed, however, is the fact that people want SOMEBODY ELSE to pay for their expenses. "If YOU want MY card, YOU pay the postage to send yours to me AND YOU PAY the postage to send MINE to YOU.
Enter any of the computer based QSL services. IF you want a printed card to put on your wall, YOU can bear the entire expense to print it yourself. The card stock (if you want a nice job), the printer ink and the wear and tear on YOUR printer. Uh uh! I, for one, am NOT playing that game whether I can afford it OR NOT!
IF there's going to be a card exchange (and I would hope there would be), YOU pay to send YOUR card to me AND I will pay to send MY card to YOU. Sounds fair to me just like it did before people became so SELF CENTERED and SELFISH!
So, for me, it's the principle of the thing. Ne equity in the exchange, NO CARD. Its that simple.
Tom DGN
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W0AEW on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Back in the olden times when I started in ham radio (standby for old timer rant), it was very exciting to receive a handwritten note from someone far away, especially if the QSL card had a photo or some interesting fact about the country. Although I didn't collect cards for an award, I did enjoy showing them to visitors who were curious about the technology. It just seemed magical to be able to contact someone thousands of miles away without having to use long-distance phone lines. The QSL exchange is now predominantly a process to be endured to check off one more tick on the way to some ego-stroking certificate, a process that fuels even more contests composed of 3-second contacts that jam the airwaves on weekends like mosquitos at an evening BBQ or old-timer rants on internet forums. Ahem. Over.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KC0BUS on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Hmm, first a national trunked relay system and now a world-wide log book system. You would think the "Jews" running the ARRL are trying to setup a one-world system or something.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KB2DHG on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The reason I don't use it is simple... IT IS A PAIN IN THE BEHIND TO SET UP!
Call me old fashioned, I still love getting and collecting QSL cards...
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KB2HSH on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I use it and prefer it. LoTW is admittedly, a bit tricky to set up. But, if you were ABLE to pass your written portion of your exam HONESTLY, then it should be as easy as following directions.

And for Mac users, Andrew Madsen's Aether logging program has LoTW support built right in. Make the contact, log it, sync it, and Aether sends the info to both eQSL AND LoTW. It is worth the effort.

 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N3YZ on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Good discussion.
LOTW:
+ Credits for DXCC, etc. (ARRL)
+ Blind submissions – both amateurs must submit an entry, thus ensuring QSO.
- Perceived difficult to implement.
- ARRL Membership required for US amateurs. Free to DX.
eQSL
+ Credits for WAZ etc. (CQ Magazine)
+ Reactionary – one submits, the respondent reacts, thus ensuring QSO. Similar to sending a QSL from the US to DX.
+ Minimal membership costs for awards.
- No DXCC credit.

I use both, starting approximately the same time. Have the following results:
LOTW: 1216 QSOs, 422 QSLs
eQSL: 1190 QSOs, 1185 QSLs.
Clearly I get better results with eQSL. More importantly, I have never initiated an eQSL QSO, and still have a greater number of QSLs.
Further, regarding savings and LOTW, I have noted several DX sites that, having received and confirmed the QSL card from me, then respond with the return card and a corresponding LOTW QSO. That negates any savings I may have obtained.
Use both until the ARRL agrees to credit WAZ and other awards, and makes the implementation process more streamlined.
73!
John, Annapolis, MD
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WS4E on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
>It is windows only no linux support last time i looked

Nope. One of the best logging programs I have ever usedf, CQRLog has full support for LOTW in Linux.

http://www.cqrlog.com/

There really is very little as a Ham you can't do in Linux these days.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KB2HSH on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
QUOTE: There really is very little as a Ham you can't do in Linux these days

I agree. It's us Mac-users that don't have many GOOD choices...although it's slowly changing as Mac gains market share.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N2EY on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
W5DQ: The connection to Don Miller, W9WNV is this:

Before his DXpedition hijinks in the 1960s, there was a lot of faith in a ham's word about contacts, locations, license legality, etc.

His activities destroyed that faith/trust. The attitude went from "We'll take your word for it until we have proof otherwise" to "Prove it to me".

That's why LotW is set up the way it is, with certificates, multiple passwords, etc.

IMHO

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by AA3EJ on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Not needed at all, ..try eQSL..it's FREE! and DX'ers have been using that service for years!!, so have I..73's Dave,aa3ej
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by G6NJR on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
<Nope. One of the best logging programs I have ever usedf, CQRLog has full support for LOTW in Linux. >

Yes just looked at that needs mysql server mysql client and a couple more Hamlib ok but mysql i hate it ad do everything i can to avoid it

like i said eQSL is just fine and a lot less bovver
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KW3U on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I don't use it simply because my basement station is all
1950/60 boatanchors and straight keys, no computer except
for an old win98 hosed up to a kpc for packet.
however I do use ARRL logbooks and crayons so i'm
halfway there.
I qsl 100% all qso's(a few each week).
Will give it a try in the future when my main
computer upstairs stops doing updates(may be a while).
73 jim
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KJ3N on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
As far as I know, you have to be an ARRL member (at least here in the USA) to participate in the awards program. Since I'm not a member, that kind of makes LoTW a moot point, doesn't it?
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by NQ4A on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Greetings to everyone from Virginia!

Well I too had issues in setting up LoTW but thanks to ARRL's help, I was able get over come the problems and now we are on a roll. I too enjoy the QSL cards and stamps. Many QSO's are confirmed on LoTW AND a Paper Card.

With so much corruption with the postal systems in some of these foreign countries, it looks like to me that LoTW is the answer if the operator has a computer and internet access. QSL managers can help with that upload as well.

Many comments on this subject are negative regarding LoTW.

ANYTHING in life that is worth having, you have to WORK FOR IT... Roll up your sleeves and get in there and get it. If you have some problems, Ask for some help. Call ARRL. Ask local hams and friends that have LoTW working.

I have many DXCC's and I had to work for them as you have. The day the DXCC comes in the mail, and when you open it, the rush of pride and satisfaction makes it all worth while. Right? ....and you worked for it. Same applies with LoTW!

Very best of 73's to everyone.
God Bless America.
Jon. Richmond,VA NQ4A
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KA8OCN on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
No I do not use it, I do use eQSL but there is no replacement for getting home from work and find a QSL in the mailbox from a DX contact.

I don't care about awards, Amateur Radio is not about that for me, but the awards are great for people that want them and I hope they stay for many years.

I myself have been using the online logbook on QSL.com it nice and simple and has the advantage of being available anywhere I have a internet connection. I can use it here at home or when I am at my cabin.

I must admit I have never tried LotW but with all the bad press I have just decided to avoid the grief.

 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by M0PRO on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Nice little article; exactly what I've been thinking for a while - I'm close to 8 band DXCC and DXCC Challenge all done within a couple of years so I know all about the costly and often unreliable business of chasing QSL cards!

Guys come on, yes LoTW might be a little more involved to set up than eQSL but the fact that it is and requires real checks prior to use only serves to uphold the integrity of it and the DXCC program in general.

We're supposed to be Radio Amateurs, ready to try new things and help each other, even if you're not an award chaser, uploading your logs to LoTW takes seconds once you're up and running and could really help save people money and hassle. There is a comprehensive help guide and the ARRL have always been quick to respond to my past requests for help.

Those people genuinely interested in exchanging a real paper QSL card will still continue to do so.

For the record I don't like eQSL, I think it's visually poor, easily fiddled and it's not valid for DXCC, BUT.. I also realise that plenty of people DO like it so I regularly upload my logs for those people!

Regarding DX stations and DXpeditions that refuse to use LoTW or will only upload your QSO's at a price, now that's a whole different story!

73, Jack G8DX
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N2EY on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I just got LotW fully operational, and I'm sold!

The setup wasn't all that hard. I simply printed out the QuickStart instructions and the certificate email, and kept them together with the postcard. One step at a time and done.

To get started, I uploaded my 2010 CW SS log, and asked for a QSO report. I now have 47 states confirmed towards WAS...

Sure it's great to exchange paper QSLs. But at current postage rates it's an expensive game, particularly for those with limited ham radio budgets, or in rare countries/states/counties/squares.

Now to upload more QSOs...

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KB9BIT on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I like both but prefer LoTW over eQSL. I have my entire log of 6238 QSOs (HF and satellite) uploaded to both LoTW and eQSL. My QSL rate is: eQSL 1011 QSLs for 16.2% and for LoTW it is 1712 QSLs for 27.4%

I upload to both services because I know there are hams who use one or the other or both and would appreciate a QSL. I personally don't do anything with my eQSLs other than look at them then move them to the Archive folder. I haven't made use of any LoTW credits yet since I'm not going to bother doing so until (if I ever) reach Honor Roll status.

I prefer real paper cards over either LoTW or eQSL and will reply to any requests there as well. So my order of preference: paper > LoTW > eQSL.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N9AMI on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I will not use it because I do not belong to the ARRL for many reason which I will not go into here. I am satisfied with EQSL or Direct.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K4EJQ on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Hello ALL: I don't want QSLS -paper or otherwise. 56 years of active hamming, two file cabinets and heaven knows how many cardboard boxes filled with the things. I still keep "paper logs" and if your call appears there, that's all I need/want. I'm not a "paper chaser". Enjoy the hobby!!! 73, Bunky, K4EJQ
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W3HKK on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
eQSLs still seem shaky to me.... and the comments are invariably nothing special. real paper cards tend to have sonmething meaningful written on them...for posterity I guess.

I looked at LOTW about 6 yrs ago and found it hard to understand. Later I found eQSL and found the process a lot easier, so I joined and have been satisfied. It's more of a service to those who want some kind of confirmation, for whatever reason.

Having eQSL, I just never got back around to looking at LOTW again.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N9NFB on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"It is windows only no linux support last time i looked"

I've never used LOTW other than on Debian Linux using xlog to log and tqsl to sign. Just works. No problemo. Free.

I guess there are windows and mac apps; have never tried them. windows is too hard to use with all the security problems, everyone wants like $50 for the simplest program that would be free on linux, and mac hardware is too expensive.

73 de Vince N9NFB EN53ua
 
RE: LotW -- It DOESN"T WORK  
by N9NFB on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"This past field day I operated from AL with a lot of down time due to thunderstorms. I did manage to make 62 confirmed contacts.

Of the 62 LOTW entries, to date I have 4 confirmed.

System doesn't work, period!"

LOL I "use" LOTW but I only update my electronic log and thus LOTW sporadically. I paper log live, and type them in later. Embarrassingly I'm a couple months behind... Conditions have been too good; I type when there's no one to talk to. Maybe I've improved my station "too much".

Also, the patterns are bizarre between different groups. The most exotic digital modes approach 100%, the digital macro button pusher modes have been about fifty fifty, the 6 meter SSB sporadic-E types are around one third to one half, and the local VHF/UHF contesting type people are maybe one in ten to one in twenty.

73 de Vince N9NFB EN53ua
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KU8F on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I Do, but a lot of Hams I know dont, because they say they tried and it was too difficult to figure out.

I like it, I use it. we encourage it on our nets I subscribe to as well. If only it could be made to be slightly more user friendly to use it, to sign up to verify, rather than all the passwords, the programs, the proof. If someone is in the FCC database, good, they should be allowed to be immediately authorized to simply log in and use LOTW, verifying a few simple things that absolutely assure LOTW that they are indeed who they say they are. QRZ.com and Eqsl are a lot easier to sign up for and use than LOTW. enough said.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N0AH on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
From what I know, a lot of hard work went into this- but I am just not a cyber-QSL'er. It is a generation ahead of me- but thx to the ARRL for making it hapen- some day, I might actually get a computer controlled rig, rotor, and hook into LotW, or is it LBotW?? Back to DX! (-: and going to post offce now to get stamps-
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KI4DTB on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I don't have a computer in my shack and don't use a logging program. LOTW is great for contesters and dxers who use these things. LOTW, however, hurts operators like me, who qsl the old fashioned paper way. I have worked states and countries during the past year from whom I will never get confirmation because "we only use LOTW -- if you don't have it, get it". I don't think ham radio needs another class of snobs, but I fear that that's what LOTW may have given us. Doug KI4DTB
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KL1JP on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I used it a lot until it came to renew my Cert. OMG - NEVER could get it to work again, even with some email support. I haven't given up - but its close.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WA6MJE on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
When I looked over LotW my first impression was that the Federal Government must have been involved. You have to work hard to make a simple application difficult, and the government typically has taken complexity to an art form. Yes I could figure it out, but so many cannot or will not, it is not now and never will be universally adopted. The concept of an eQsl system is now a fractured effort with no uniformity, and the ARRL refused to accept anything but there system. So, my reason for not using it is "why bother." The ARRL shot themselves in the foot. There really is no reason for so much security. The awards are for personal satisfaction, and are of no benefit to anyone who cheats for one. If someone cheats or lies, really who cares? A fisherman who stops off at the supermarket to buy a fish on the way home to lie to his family about what he caught is of no concern to me. It I wanted to cheat, I could use a printer, some card stock, and print up a bunch of different paper QSL cards. Are paper QSL cards which have been accepted for decades really fool proof? So I do the old fashioned paper QSL until the ARRL decides to make an easy system and accept the other eQsl systems. But, hell will freeze over before that happens.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by AC2RF on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Honestly last time I signed up for it under my old call sign I got an expired code on the post card so I never activated it. I'll try it again and maybe I'll get one that works this time. Otherwise I've been using eQSL.cc instead.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by AE6YB on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I haven't used Lotw so far and after reading all of these posts, I think I'll stay away from it. Like some others, I'm not interested in DXCC particularly and I like the real QSL card in my hand.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by AB7KT on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The simple answer is because it involves the use of a computer.

I hate computers. Don't get me wrong, I own several and use them on a daily basis. I have owned a computer since I bought a Commodore 128. But over the years they have driven me to the limits of frustration and agony. I have never really understood what I am doing with a computer. And, in my opinion, computers and computer software is not, and never has been user friendly. You see, I am a computer appliance operator. When I make a phone call, I don't need to understand how to build a phone, or how the phone system works, it is user friendly. It has a very simple human/machine interface. Most home electronics are the same. While I greatly enjoy trying to understand the electronics behind ham radio, I have absolutely no interest is devoting the time, energy, and endless frustration to learn the ins and outs of a computer. I want it to do what I want it to do with FAR less required of me than it presently requires. I also want reliability. I have been through computer crashes, data loss, viruses, hardware issues........ As I use my computers on a daily basis, I approach them with the idea that there is a significant chance that they won't work when I try to use them. No matter what I intend to do with a computer I fully expect to stuggle and end up failing to accomplish what I set out to do. One of the reasons I own several computers is that it increases the odds that if I really need to do something, at least one of them will do it. I realize this is probably far out of the norm. But, for some reason, this stuff just doesn't make sense to me. As an example of how stupid I am, I haven't had a printer for years. I just can't install one and keep it working. I have built many ham radio kits including stuff like an Elecraft KX1 with the internal auto tuner and the 30/80 meter module. Yet doing the most basic of things on a computer is beyond me.

So this brings us to the step before LOTW: computer logging. Despite, all the things I said above, I have actually looked into doing computer logging. I downloaded a couple programs over the years and was confronted with a 50 or more page instruction manual, 100s of options, dozens of check boxes: for EACH qso I might want to log. To me (a computer idiot), the options, buttons, check boxes were not self explanitory. I didn't know or understand what the majority of them did. They often used computer jargon instead of simple English for labels. I gave up before I ever attempted to log even one QSO. I could see that it would be FAR too much effort and frustration to even get started. Again, this is just me, but you asked why I didn't use it.

I went as far as to get everything I needed to do LOTW. But, I thought you had to do computer logging to enter the data for the QSO and I stopped right there.

Think about this: I can learn computer logging, get everything it takes to do LOTW, actually do the computer logging, then upload the data to LOTW. Then figure out how to use LOTW.

Or, I can spend about two minutes filling out a QSL card, addressing an envelope, and walking out to the mailbox. Now THAT is simple and easy.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by LA9XSA on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Yes I use LotW, and I also QSL direct.

Signing up is easy when you follow the step-by-step instructions - if you passed your ham license test you can figure this out. Honestly the only problem here is the ARRL's redesigned website, not the LotW program or the LotW site. I use it on both on Linux and Mac.

One neat thing about direct QSL cards is that short wave listeners can take part as well. My first QSL card exchange was with a ham in Serbia whose CW signal I heard on a short-wave radio.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by HB9DSU on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Computers are great, Internet is even greater, but both come with some necessary evils. For instance, if you do home banking, you have to put up with the pain of non-password-based verification systems (at least, I have to...).

When it comes to LOTW, though, I think we are dealing with UNNECESSARY EVILS. Somebody said "The unnecessarily complicated setup and maintenance of this program is an instant turn-off to many potential users". Couldn't agree more.

I know LOTW is not rocket science, I have signed up, but quickly stopped using it. I find it an insult to intelligence and common sense that it is easier to manage the investment account I have with an online broker than it is to manage QSO confirmations (ha, ha, ha...) with LOTW.

73 Pete


 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W8CQU on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I began using LoTW about a year ago and am very pleased with it. I did have a little trouble setting it up at first but one quick phone call for support and some help from a friend (w8btd) had it working in no time. LoTW is really all I use for logging any more. I use a logging program and at the end of each day I back up the log and upload all new contacts to LoTW, takes 10 seconds. In the morning I download from LoTW, another 10 seconds and I’m good to go for another day.

I also have a lot of paper cards around but really do not feel the need for any more. If someone sends me a paper card I always return one.

I am presently working on DXCC and WAS with QSL’s on LoTW only. It’s not easy as you can tell from all of the previous posts. Not a lot of hams use it. So far all I have heard is its all about ME. Earlier KK5J’s comment was “Remember that YOU may want a paper card, but what about the guy on the other end of your QSO?”

So for now I will keep plugging away hoping that each new Country or State will send me a QSL via LoTW. Every new one I get is a real surprise. And you know what, if I don’t get one I am still having fun!……………..73, Paul/w8cqu
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KF4HR on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I've been collecting real QSL cards for many decades. I've never used LotW and not sure I ever will. The author asks us why. Here's my 2 cents.

First, there's just something personal about receiving a real QSL card in the mail. And for cards sent direct, the foreign stamps are interesting too.

Second, where might LotW eventually be taking us? If everyone is exchanging QSL cards via the internet, why not just forget the radios & antennas and just take it to the next level and make our QSO's via the internet too? (Skype, email, etc)
And no need to stop there. Let's program our computers to search for other ACQ's (let's dub this Automatic Computer QSO's) and after a ACQ completes itself, the computer automatically prints our LotW's - no human interaction required. Then once a month we can sit down at our computers and rejoice over how well we (uh, I mean our computers) did. And if we get lucky, we might even find we (oops, our computers) nailed that elusive award we were somewhat patiently waiting for. And of course, the awards will be sitting in our printer hoppers too! Heck, Contester's might love this! Contest time... GO! Press the "GO Button" on their PC, then go watch the game. Then later return for their score and instant contest results! Wahoo! I (uh well, again, my PC) won! Sound funny? Why? Think about it. No hassle or expense of radios, amplifiers, antennas, cabling, accessories, HOA hassles, spouse complaints about spending too much time (or money) on the radio gear, etc. Just fire up your PC, start the automatic ACQ program, and let 'er rip!

As for the cost involved for a (real QSL Card) DXCC award. Depending on your free time, an award like the DXCC might be spread out the mailing expenses over weeks, months, or even years. How does that cost compare to dropping hundreds or thousands of dollars on a rig, all at once? Also let's not forget there's still many hams in the world that send their QSL cards "via the BURO" - which is slow, but inexpensive.

I guess if I ran across a country that I really (really) needed bad, and the DX station only used LotW, I might consider using LotW, but then again I might not (see paragraph two above).

Let's face it folks. Some may see LotW as a technology improvement, some don't. If ham radio was really keeping up with technology we wouldn't still be running the CW, AM, SSB, and Baudot Code modes. These modes are fairly slow, typically unreliable (QRM, QRN, constantly changing band conditions, etc), but yet thousands of hams still enjoy running these modes of yesteryear. Why? I mean, come on... The world has moved on to much better modes of communications. Computer's can communicate so much better and faster so why are hams still spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on our antiquated mode equipment?

Ecomm aside, perhaps because it's just fun. And also perhaps because there's an air of uncertainly about it that keeps us coming back. Will the band be open to Europe this weekend? Will I find that rare country I need tonight? Will Joe make the net on 80 this afternoon?

Perhaps this air of uncertainly is why some prefer to wait for regular QSL cards to arrive. But like everything else in our great hobby, nothing suits everyone.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against technology improvements (far from it), but newer technology doesn't necessarily equate to a better life style.

KF4HR
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K8AXW on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Gave it a try.... again and again.... finally quit. I have better things to do than wade through the convoluted process of setting up LotW. Isn't worth the stress.

Al
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KB3Z on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
My only problem with LOTW is that you need to wait for the contacted station to send in their file. At lease when I EQSL someone they are sent an email telling them that there is one out there for them. That's what needs to happen with LOTW. For example if I make a contact with W6ABC and I send in my file with that QSO, he should be emailed saying KB3Z has sent in a contact file. Then and only then will one get QSL's much quicker. I sent in 2 files 3 months ago, and have yet to get any QSL's back with LOTW. With EQSL I received 10. Something needs to be done to make the system better!
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KK5JY on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
After working several years in information security, I can tell you that the level of security you apply to protecting something should be proportional to the value of the information being protected. Using personal certificates to sign each file submission is just overkill for QSL cards. It's a hobby, not a bank deposit.

On that thought, most banks' websites don't require you to go through so much security to perform transactions. And THAT is something worth protecting.

On top of that, the ARRL's product is just way too different from the paper QSL experience. Getting a picture of a card through eQSL is just much more satisfying.

When the ARRL goes to a simple SSL site, that you access with a callsign and a password, that's the day when I'll start using LotW again.

The person who designed LotW has apparently read Bruce Schneier's "Applied Cryptography," but not his next book, "Secrets and Lies." The latter book was a self-described reality check on the former. Crypto is a great tool, but has to be used while keeping perspective of the use.

For those interested in cryptography from a pragmatic and realistic point of view, I would certainly recommend "Secrets and Lies."
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WA8MAX on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Worked for me the 1st time 5 yrs ago-Come on read the
instructions-NO Bogus QSOs like another on line
system. Keeps on working for me.

Max
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by VA3SAX on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I'm with all the other foreign hams on this one. The ARRL has made it feel too much like a criminal asking for a pardon just to get a password into LOTW if you're DX.

I agree with all comments regarding the difficulty of this program to set up. I have a degree in computers and I tried to set up the program before realizing that I had no idea. So no contacts were ever logged.

I'm also a little concerned due to recent computer news out of the States about storing any important data on an American server. Recent American laws seem to make it open to the US government to do anything they see fit to any server on their soil.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K2TY on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"NO Bogus QSOs like another on line system."

Which system would that be and how does one collect bogus QSLs?
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WO8L on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
It's not a friendly system. Setting perceived security issues aside for a moment, E-QSL is much more friendly.

In addition, I can go six months and not receive a single QSL through LOTW. On the other hand, I often go to E-QSL right after a QSO and the QSL is already there.

Forget it. I have worked in IT and am computer savvy, but I don't like LOTW at all.

73s,

Rick
WO8L
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by AI2IA on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Too complicated to set up. No electronic QSL cards.
I see this entity as too far removed from real ham radio.

To save money on DX cards I prefer eQSL. For USA and our neighbors in Canada and Mexico, I go with the stamps.

Simplicity is the mark of genius. LOTW is just one more blah software.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K2TY on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"It's not a friendly system. Setting perceived security issues aside for a moment, E-QSL is much more friendly.

In addition, I can go six months and not receive a single QSL through LOTW. On the other hand, I often go to E-QSL right after a QSO and the QSL is already there.

Forget it. I have worked in IT and am computer savvy, but I don't like LOTW at all.

73s,

Rick
WO8L "

I agree. I was responding to an earlier post that was implying that somehow you could get 'bogus QSLs' from EQSL. I was wondering how? Make an account for each fake QSL you wish to receive? I think most of EQSL detractors in the thread are unaware of the primary way EQSL verifies your identity, they ask LOTW. The secondary method requires you to email a photograph of or mail a physical copy of your ticket to their office. The reference copy available on the net is not valid. LOTW's security is certainly more complicated but it is no more secure since in most cases EQSL looks you up on LOTW.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KD8MJR on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I almost gave up on my DXCC, I had worked 4000+ stations, over 220 countries and spent about $300 in envelope stuffers and at the end of all of it I had QSL Cards from 62 different countries and about 400 cards overall.

I signed up for LoTW and bam I got 1200+ confirmed and 119 countries, Instant DXCC :) and a bonus that my
"WAS" is only one state short.

I think what most people are forgetting is that the ARRL is trying to appease both sides, they have to deal with an equal amount of Hams that went the Hard way and got each and every QSL card over a period of many many years and I can testify, it's not easy at all, I worked about 5 stations in India and 4 in china and it took almost a year just to get a card from each of them. So if the ARRL makes the LoTW an easy process all the old hams are going to be up in arms saying a DXCC has become worthless.

As for eQSL, thats the flip side of the coin, it's way too east to get certified, and a QSL card printed out on my InkJet is not exactly what I would call a keeper ;)

 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by AB7KT on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
This is slightly off topic, but this has been mentioned several times:

I am not a serious DXer. I never have been. In fact, prior to this year, I probably only had a dozen countries confirmed in over 30 years of operating. I never sent them a card and they never sent me a card. I didn't make any effort at all to work DX. I much prefered a good ragchew to exchanging brief signal reports with DX stations. I never had a tower, a beam, and seldom ran more than 100 watts.

However, some time around the first of this year, I decided that having WAS and DXCC was IN MY MIND, sort of a prerequisite for calling myself a real ham. It was a milestone I had always sort of wanted to achieve but never made any effort to do so. I always figured someday it would appeal to me. And, I guess it eventually did.

I put my wire (at 30 feet) and my 100 watts to work and started making a conscious effort to work DX. Not a serious effort, but a couple times a week I would tune around purposely trying to work DX. No contests or anything like that. When I did work a DX station, I sent them a paper QSL card complete with a couple bucks, and a self-addressed envelope. I sent them all direct. The cost of this didn't matter to me. I am not rich, but I am not that starved for money that the price of collecting QSL cards is something that worries me.

So, since the first of the year, I have confirmed (all by direct paper QSL cards, 75 countries all tallied using my hand written log in Then ARRL DXCC LIST. The point of this is that I seem to have a pretty high success ratio in confirming DX countries using old fashioned paper QSL cards. There is an atricle about DX QSLing using paper cards in this month's Worldradio magazine. I found that every suggestion they made; I was already doing. And it seems to work. And finding that new country confirmed in your mailbox is one of the small, simple pleasures of my life. I got a new one today.

Why argue with success ?

As far as WAS is concerned. I have now worked and confirmed via paper QSL card, three bands using SSB. I am really a CW operator but have not confirmed all states on any one band, although I have all states confirmed easily mixed band. Ironically, on 40 meters, I need Rhode Island. I have worked RI on 40 CW and the op doesn't have QSL cards. I had him fill out a blank card for me, but I don't know if it will be accepted by the card checker.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by ZL1DT on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Far too complicated to set up if you are outside the US. Too many hoops to jumps through to get authenticated.
John
ZL1DT
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N1ESE on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I love LOTW.. no problems getting it setup. However, I hate eQSL and prefer not to use it. The eQSL website looks and feels cheap and I hate that they always beg for donations every time you log on to the website. I realize they have to fund eQSL somehow but I still don't like it.

I've been using LOTW since 2007. Although it was a little bit of a PITA to setup, waiting for the postcard, etc., I have had no issues whatsoever. I use DXKeeper for my logging software and it works flawlessly with LOTW to keep everything up to date.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N1ESE on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I forgot to mention that regardless of the LOTW vs. eQSL debate, I still prefer QSL cards. I reply to all I receive who check "PSE QSL" and gladly do so on my dime, I never ask for a SASE.

I will always prefer paper QSL cards but also upload to LOTW because it's super easy for me to do so. I don't like eQSL because it feels cheap, looks cheap, and I get too many bogus QSL's.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W6SDM on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Ken, I would think that the checkers would be happier with a hand made card than one that is computer generated. One of the problems with the eQSL-type cards is that someone could easily duplicate one on the computer.

Everything you've said you do seems to be what someone does that's actively chasing DX. I always include a return envelope (SASE if stateside) and I even put a return address label on it to save the other guy the trouble. I always check QRZ.com to see if he prefers an IRC or a couple of bucks and if he has a QSL manager listed. I have 195 countries confirmed on paper so far and another 108 (some of them the same QSOs) confirmed on LotW.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W6SDM on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Ken, I would think that the checkers would be happier with a hand made card than one that is computer generated. One of the problems with the eQSL-type cards is that someone could easily duplicate one on the computer.

Everything you've said you do seems to be what someone does that's actively chasing DX. I always include a return envelope (SASE if stateside) and I even put a return address label on it to save the other guy the trouble. I always check QRZ.com to see if he prefers an IRC or a couple of bucks and if he has a QSL manager listed. I have 195 countries confirmed on paper so far and another 108 (some of them the same QSOs) confirmed on LotW.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KL7IPV on September 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I have been an eQSL user for many years. When the ARRL came out with LoTW, I tried it. What a pain! After screwing with it and logging in I was unimpressed. I have not returned and don't miss it. eQSL does what I need without all the security junk. I have been an ARRL member for over 40 years and LoTW is not a program I will use.
Frank
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WX7K on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
This discussion prompted me to check my LOTW account. I am a cassual operator with a full time job, so I don't get a lot of time on the air. I have 284 QSOs submitted and 7 QSLs confirmed. I have around 126 cards. Yup, the system sure works. These QSOs go all the way back to when I started in 1989. I uploaded them to LOTW a couple years ago. So there is no "there hasn't been enough time" explanation.

In my opinion, it is worthless for awards tracking. Besides, what is all the hoopla about security? DCXX or WAS is not the Noble Prize. If someone needs the ego boost bad enough to cheat, so be it.

Granted, I don't chase awards, nor do I chase cards - I love to ragchew and meet new people - but it is nice to get confirmation of contacts.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WG7X on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Good discussion...

It always seems to break down along the same lines when discussing LOTW.

1. ARRL haters who automatically dismiss anything done by the league.

2. Computer illiterates who, strangely enough usually brag about how computer savvy they are. Weird...

3. Ham radio Luddites who dismiss anything made after the middle of the last century.

4. Folks who really need to read and understand simple directions.

The there are the folks who apparently have no problems with the system. These folks really rarely complain. After all why should they?

They already understand LOTW is not an "on line logging program". It is a system that keeps a copy of your log on the ARRL server and you, the user, can use that system and the data on it to apply for ARRL awards.

That's all it is designed to do and it does it fairly well. Yes, it is a bit security overboard and that is because some folks at the ARRL have long memories and remember past abuses of the DXCC award process.

The discussion is useful, and serves as a barometer of sorts, but as is so common on the internet, most of the respondents have negative things to say.

It is human nature for folk who are satisfied to stay silent.

73 Gary
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by LA9XSA on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"Far too complicated to set up if you are outside the US. Too many hoops to jumps through to get authenticated."

Yes you have to actually send a letter to America. That was all I had to do; less effort than printing and filling out a QSL card. Perhaps if you live on an exotic island where you're the only ham in existence, you might need to send more supporting documentation showing that you actually live there, and that you're even allowed to be there. There was that fiasco with that guy who lied about going to countries, trespassing, etc.

If you're saying LotW isn't real ham radio - How are paper QSL's in any way real ham radio? It's paper being carried by the postal service, sometimes with a buro intermediary - there's no RF involved. In contrast, when I update my LotW account, I do it over wireless internet (part of which has a secondary amateur allocation) and modulated light. "Purists" should shun paper QSLs like the plague on principle.

In all seriousness, paper QSL cards are nice and I always send one back too, but LotW gives you an additional reasonably secure way to confirm awards. My club receives too many false eQSL requests for us to trust that system, so we don't use it, but we use LotW.

By the way, I can't for the life of me understand why more than one poster here raised a concern about the US government snooping on their QSO logs. Ham radio is supposed to be about friendship and experimentation, and all we say and do on the air is open for short wave listeners to hear - we even encourage them to exchange QSL cards with us. Furthermore, sending your QSL to an SSL-protected server in the US seems more secure than sending postcards which can be read by anyone and their dog on the way. I can partially understand the concern from some about having your APRS positions broadcast for all to see, but in what conceivable situation would the FCC or the FBI seize the LotW servers? Some kind of new law which puts big DX'ers in concentration camps? They'll help Herbert Hoover cheat his way to DXCC posthumously? Isn't your QSL collection a pride and joy that you'll want to share with the world?
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N8EMR on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I can apply for a five thousand dollar credit line online. WHY cant I setup a silly logging system online. WAY to many hoops to jump through. FOLKS. its a logging system.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by NI0C on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"FOLKS. its a logging system. "

It's much more than that. It is more accurately described as an online QSO verification system. Participants upload their log data, and only those QSO's that show up accurately in other submitted logs are reported as "QSL's."

It's not suffering from lack of participation, either.

73,
Chuck NI0C
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N2EY on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
For me it's a big time- and money-saver. And I'm not even a DXer.

Suppose a ham wants to earn WAS. Once the QSOs are made, getting the required 50 paper QSLs will probably require sending about 100 QSLs, complete with SASEs. The cost of postage, cards, envelopes, etc. will probably run well over $100. That may not be much for some hams, but for a lot of us it's a big chunk of the ham radio budget.

The time to write them all out isn't trivial either. And WAS only requires 50 confirmations (one from each state), all reachable by one US postage stamp.

LotW reduces all that to a few keystrokes and mouse clicks.

Consider the ham who lives in a rare state (say, Wyoming or Delaware) and likes to operate SS or other domestic contest. Say the ham makes 500 QSOs in a weekend. In the paper QSL days, s/he would be deluged with QSL requests afterwards. Answering them could take longer than the contest!

But with LotW, the ham just uploads the contest log and done.

What makes this even more important is the proliferation of "endorsement" or "speciality" awards.

Using WAS as an example:

It used to be that once you Worked All States and got the award you were done. Today it is common to get WAS for a specific mode, band, band/mode, etc. Combined awards like 5BWAS are an even bigger challenge. All of these raise the demand for confirmations enormously. LotW saves all that.

There's also the issue of display space. Say I'm lucky enough to have a 10 x 10 room for the shack. Such a room has 420 square feet of wall and ceiling area, which is room enough for 3072 3 x 5 cards if every bit of walls and ceiling are used. In real life the usable space is far less, so the cards go into a box or drawer anyway.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N4OI on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
W8CQU wrote: "...So far all I have heard is its all about ME. Earlier KK5J’s comment was “Remember that YOU may want a paper card, but what about the guy on the other end of your QSO?”

In the midst of all the opinions here about how I do not like LOTW, eQSL, or both... I believe the comment above is the most important -- it is not about ME.

The main reason for logging our QSOs in both LOTW and eQSL, regardless of our likes and dislikes, is that it is a courtesy to our fellow hams around the world. Even if the ham I just chatted with does not currently use electronic QSLs for whatever reason (e.g., too difficult, no Internet), one day that impediment will likely be removed and they will then upload all their logging history. If I have also done my part by logging my QSO entry, they (and I) will immediately be rewarded with a QSL.

As hams, we are quick to help a fellow ham when asked for technical advice, an audio report, or to QRS. Regardless of our likes and dislikes, why not spend a little time and effort to set up LOTW and eQSL and load our QSOs to both systems? That IS the final courtesy!

73 de Ken N4OI
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by AB7KT on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I am interested in how active some people are on the air. If you can buy ham radio gear, and buy a computer, and subscribe to some type of internet connection, but you are worried about how much it costs you to send out QSL cards you must be sending out a heck of a lot of QSL cards.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N4KC on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
N1OC, N2EY, and especially N4OI make excellent points. N4OI notes that while services such as LoTW are a convenience to us, it can even be more so for other ops.

As I mentioned...oh...fifty posts up the screen there, one of the primary reasons I use LoTW is as a courtesy to others who might want confirmation of our contact. So it took me a half hour out of my life to set it up in the first place and requires a full 30 seconds or so a few times a week to upload new contacts. I'm glad to do so, just as I am happy to put a card in an envelope and respond to those who send a traditional QSL.

Even if I prefer paper QSLs, even if I am not a DXer or certificate chaser, even if I think the League's security setup is over the top, I would still do LoTW as a courtesy to others.

Don Keith N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
http://n4kc.blogspot.com


 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N2EY on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
AB7KT says: "If you can buy ham radio gear, and buy a computer, and subscribe to some type of internet connection, but you are worried about how much it costs you to send out QSL cards you must be sending out a heck of a lot of QSL cards."

My ham gear is homebrew. The antennas are homebrew. The op desk and shop table are homebrew. The shack clock is made from pieces of junked ones.

My shack computer was assembled from parts of discarded ones. N3FJP software cost me $6 for the SS version.

The internet connection is shared with the entire family and also provides telephone service.

In just one contest (SS 2010) I made 485 QSOs. And that wasn't an all-out effort. Sending 485 QSLs would cost a bit of time and money; uploading the log to LotW cost me a few moments at the computer.

---

N4OI and N4KC make a very important point: LotW is a courtesy to others.

73 de Jim, N2EY

 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by AL7GA on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I do use LoTW (also E-QSL), and did not find either difficult to setup or use. I do not use it for myself, since I have never been in need of self promotion by getting some sort of certificate or accolade. I did it as a consideration to the many people I work who do need some sort of QSL. If I had one complaint about any kind of electronic confirmation, it would be that many are no longer satisfied with the speed of this mode, but now expect me to upload my files immediately after the QSO, or within 24 hours. I upload weekly, unless I just have nothing else to do!
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N3YW on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I am now, but it took forever to set up even with super expert help. I have been getting reminders that my 3 years is now up.

But after going through all the instructions/directions I am going to stay with EQSL only or QSL cards as needed.

Why all the super security ARRL? Are super secure egos controlling protocols for an award more important than having more participation. Hey, we're not securing Fort Knox here. It's just a hobby. Sure there are those who take it more seriously and have to plaster their walls with awards. That don't concern me or the average ham.

Eqsl is so much more user friendly, and if for some reason it's only 99% accurate and confirmable as opposed to the super secure LOTW who cares. So two more weeks and I'm done with LOTW.

 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KQ9J on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"N4OI and N4KC make a very important point: LotW is a courtesy to others."

So I'm not a courteous ham if I choose not to adopt this system?? Good grief. Oh well, I'll just be an inconsiderate jerk then, I guess :)
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W5DQ on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"I'm also a little concerned due to recent computer news out of the States about storing any important data on an American server. Recent American laws seem to make it open to the US government to do anything they see fit to any server on their soil. "

Like the US Gov't is the only government in the world that might try that. From what I hear, almost any government is capable and usually does this sort of thing if they take a notion too. Granted the current attitude of the US Gov't is more "Guilty until proven innocent' for many issues but still, after visiting many countries in EU and AS, I wouldn't want to live in any other country in the world besides the good ol' US of A.

We have a saying in the American South, "American by Birth, Southerner by the Grace of God" :)
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by NK4K-1 on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Well, I've been a programmer off and on since 1972, have generated literally tens of thousands of lines of code -- many GUI -- and I wholeheartedly disagree that the ARRL security methodology is the only one that works. I'm tired of my ideas showing up making money for somebody else, but every QST magazine comes with a serial number, unique to every member, that could be used without fanfare. To do otherwise is to create multiple levels of unnecessary redundancy. It's an interest killer.
Later I thought, since all DXCC QSL confirmations are stored already in a database under your call sign at the ARRL, it would be a brief dawdle just to dump that into LB of the World. To this date, I've not heard my countries worked are in the LB of the World. Do I really want to re-load all that info into the computer? Most of my confirmed countries are not automated, because they were worked prior to the PC becoming a mandatory household appliance.
Working and confirming DX is not easy, but LB of the World triples the amount of effort required.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KG4QPQ on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
eQSL forever!!!
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K1RV on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I'm a huge LOTW fan even with it's blemishes. I have been licensed since 1962 and never got around to filling out a paper DXCC application, mailing my cards to ARRL along with the application fees and return postage for my precious QSL cards.

Along came LOTW and all of a sudden I find that I have DXCC on multiple bands and modes instantly after uploading my Logic 8 logs!

After a very simple online application process the DXCC certificates started arriving in my mailbox. I then decided that 5BDXCC would be a worthwhile challenge and soon that plaque arrived!

I currently have 8 band DXCC and have never submitted one single paper card. I'm closing in on 300 mixed once I reach that plateau using only LOTW I will finally get around to submitting the paper cards needed to fill in the blanks to get my total count to where it should be and also include cards from some old deleted countries.

I agree that the initial registration process was somewhat cumbersome, but it was not insurmountable. Once my Logic 8 software has established a "handshake" with LOTW I usually do a daily upload and get to see progress instantaneously. I'm currently at 50,300 QSO's uploaded with 11,969 confirmations which is just under 24%.

Most contest participants use computer logging to facilitate post contest log submissions.

One suggestion would be to have all ARRL contest log submissions uploaded simultaneously to LOTW even for stations that have not yet registered since their logs have already gone through a verification process. This would give an immediate boost to the overall database as well as encouraging LOTW participation from stations who have not yet completed the registration process. CQWW contest log inclusion would seem like a logical next step to help solidify participation.

I have boxes of paper QSL cards and still enjoy sending and receiving them and even do QSL sorting for the bureau, but LOTW makes things so much easier.

I must say that I even set my Logic 8 software Spot Log to monitor the cluster for needed spots and focus on the needed band/mode countries that are registered LOTW participants because I know I'll get the confirmation right away!

For me LOTW has enhanced my hamming experience.

73,

Pi - K1RV
ex-KN1VXB, K1VXB, AD1VXB, KM1Y
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by AA0CW on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Yes it's a pain to set up, but just follow the directions and it can be done without much pain and suffering. I use LoTW, but also like getting and sending out QSL cards.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K1CJS on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Do I use it? No. Would I use it if it were simpler? No. Why? I don't feel the need for wallpaper, I don't care about awards or certificates, and I feel that my log is all I need to prove a contact.

AAMOF, If asked about QSL cards, I say plainly that I don't QSL. Anyone who sends me a card without postage doesn't get answered, anyone who sends postage gets it back--minus the return postage.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K9KJM on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I tried to use it a few years ago, Setting it up on an old Windoz 98SE computer, Never did get that to run, Then tried it on a 2000PRO with no luck, Then attempted it on a Windoz XP PRO with no luck so far.
ARRL help has been close to non existant.

I agree with this statement:

by N5DPK on September 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
LotW is a lot like some of those early software programs back in the mid 90's. I think the word I used back then was crapware . LotW did not work for me. The help files suck. The live help was pathetic. E-QSL on the other hand worked right away and no problems. ARRL has to come up with a easier system to use.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by NN4RH on September 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Yesterday I bought a new computer. Which means to use LOTW I have to request new certificates.

I sent the certificate request for current callsign in, and promptly got back an automated message:

"Your new certificate request contains a QSO date range overlap with an existing certificate or request. LOTW does not allow two amateurs to hold overlapping date ranges for the same callsign. This will be manually verified and you will receive further instructions."

So I doubt that will happen over a weekend. Maybe it will get done next week unless someone is on vacation or out sick.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KA1PPV on September 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Actually I have never gotten over the enjoyment of receiving paper cards in the mailbox. It has been that way since I was a SWL in the 60's.

For the record, I use both LOTW and EQSL because so many of my contacts request it. While it may be a bit cumbersome to set up there are staff members at ARRL who are more than willing to help you out.

It is a very worthwhile service.

73.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WS4E on September 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
>Yesterday I bought a new computer. Which means to use LOTW I have to request new certificates.

No... you just have to have a copy of your old cert files. The pk12 file in particular I think. Then its easy to import your old cert.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by NN4RH on September 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
[quote]No... you just have to have a copy of your old cert files. The pk12 file in particular I think. Then its easy to import your old cert[/quote]

There are no "pk12" files that I can find. I've never seen any "pk12" files associated with LOTW on my computers. Just various files with extention tq*, and tqsl on the new computer won't recognize the old tq- files. Those certificates are one-time use only, as I understand it.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W4HIJ on September 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I love LOTW in principle but I find that in practice, it's hard to achieve an award like DXCC by relying strictly on it. My return rate for DX stations, especially ones worked during contest is abysmal.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by NN4RH on September 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!

[quote]There are no "pk12" files that I can find. I've never seen any "pk12" files associated with LOTW on my computers. Just various files with extention tq*, and tqsl on the new computer won't recognize the old tq- files. Those certificates are one-time use only, as I understand it.[/quote]

Well I went through the ARRL LOTW Instructions files and LOTW Help and FAQ files and nowhere did I find anything about where PK12 files come from. There was a brief mention that "if" I have a PK12 file then setting things up on a new computer are simple, but it doesn't anywhere say how I get a PK12 file in the first place.

Finally, in the "Advanced LOTW" link on their page, I found out that you can save certificates as PK12 files by right-clicking on them, and selecting "Save".



 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W6SDM on September 25, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I have LotW running on two computers in my shack. One is the computer that my SDR software runs on. The other is my Internet computer. I only registered once and only got one postcard.

There is a hidden directory, in Windows 7 at least, called APPDATA. That's where some of the TQSL files reside. You can access this directory by typing %appdata% from the start menu. Depending on how you have Windows set up, all file extensions may or may not show up behind the file name.

This exemplifies the need for more and better documentation on LotW. After all, it's purported to have billions of entries from hundreds of countries by hundreds of thousands of amateurs - so it's worth the time and effort to carefully document.

I want to see more people use LotW so that a higher percentage of my log gets confirmed. In order for that to happen, the consensus I see here is that it's got to be easier to use and easier to understand.

 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by NN4RH on September 25, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
[QUOTE]I want to see more people use LotW so that a higher percentage of my log gets confirmed. [/QUOTE]

According to the LOTW web site, there's about 366 million QSOs in the system, and 44 million QSLs. That's a ratio of only 12%.

It also says there's 43,837 registered users. How many active hams are in the world? Probably a lot more than that. I'd be interested to know what percentage of hams are using LOTW.

My personal QSL rate via LOTW is about 40%. The vast majority of my uploaded QSOs are contest contacts. Maybe it means contesters are more likely to use LOTW than non-contesters.

 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WB6DGN on September 25, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"As hams, we are quick to help a fellow ham when asked for technical advice, an audio report, or to QRS. Regardless of our likes and dislikes, why not spend a little time and effort to set up LOTW and eQSL and load our QSOs to both systems? That IS the final courtesy!

73 de Ken N4OI"

GOOD GRIEF! So, now I am somewhat less than courteous if I fail to use a proprietary system, requiring membership in an organization with which I have significant issues, just so "someone, somewhere" MIGHT have an easier time chasing paper, the only purpose of which is to stoke their own ego, simply because the above mentioned organization has decreed that my paper QSL is NO LONGER sufficient proof of the OSO having occurred. What the HE** is wrong with this picture??? I think there's going to be ANOTHER HF radio on the market VERY soon. Besides, UHF and above is a darn site more fun anyhow! Time to reassign ALL of the HF bands to the diathermy machines.
Tom DGN
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by NI0C on September 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"the above mentioned organization has decreed that my paper QSL is NO LONGER sufficient proof of the OSO having occurred."

You must be talking about eQSL here, because ARRL has "decreed" no such thing. With LoTW, they've simply provided an electronic QSO matching system as an alternative or supplement to paper QSL's for their time honored DXCC and WAS awards.

73,
Chuck NI0C
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KD8MJR on September 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
THIS THREAD IS CRAZY..
Let’s see what people have said so far:

1) You have guys who state they are not into DX criticizing LoTW. Why are you even posting in this thread if you’re not into Dxing?

2) People in foreign countries claiming it's too difficult for them!!! Are these the same guys who mail out 50 QSL cards a week? All of a sudden they can't mail out one envelope with a photo copy of their license!

3) It's all just too difficult crowd :)
Yes it's not user friendly but it's not anything that people can't handle if they READ the instructions. If you don't plan on reading them in detail or you get stuck the people at ARRL are more than willing to guide you step by step over the phone. I haven’t gotten help like that with software that I purchased for $200, so if help is a phone call away what’s the problem?

4) The Government will access my info (ooooh kaaaay)
Yes the CIA will be drilling down through your Logs.

5) The Security is over board group.
No it's not! Their are Hams and CBers out there who will claim they are living in Iran but really be broadcasting from New York while having a bag of fun at your expense. We all know this happens so why deny that there is a need for a high level of security. Let me put it in real world context. That 5BDXCC that takes half a lifetime to get, could be had in one week on CW by a person claiming to be in Iran.

6) This is a Big Money Making Machine for the ARRL:
Yep I agree with that one and I am suspicious of the way no one else is certified to handle the electronic QSL for DXCC use.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K4CMC on September 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
IMHO the reason many do not use it is as follows.

1. EQSL came out many years before LotW and worked very well, not the case with LotW.

2. LotW was late to the game and was convoluted and hard to use when it was first started. I originally tried to sign up and finally gave it up as being more trouble than it was worth. Very shoddy programming in that original iteration.

3. LotW is rather obviously primarily a fund raiser for ARRL, rather than a service to members and is much more expensive than EQSL.

Summarizing, when EQSL works better, is easier to use and costs less why would anyone use LotW.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K6CRC on September 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, I use LoTW. BUT, it is very cumbersome to set up, use, and renew a cert. I have 30 years of hardware, software, and marketing experience, including consumer and industrial application design and testing.

I recently renewed a cert, and it took 2 hours of my day to do this seemingly simple task. The process had a 'problem', according to ARRL. Two phone calls and several emails were exchanged, and I was told that the "fatal errors' were normal problems. Warnings are normal, errors indicate something was wrong and you could lose your data!

When you look at other commerce sites, LoTW looks like something out of the days of MS/DOS. I agree with other posters that the ARRL needs to create the back end for logging software guys to use. I KNOW that HRD or MacLoggerDX would create a MUCH better front end for LoTW than ARRL can. ARRL should not be in the end user software business, as they are not good at it.

The ARRL needs to understand the world is changing. As the developing world gets richer and more people become hams, using a confusing, cryptic, ARRL based system for QSLs will not fly. If English speaking US based hams find LoTW difficult, what would it be to someone outside the US?

Summary- Create a back end with the needed security, open up a SDK, and let the ham software vendors go crazy. In the end, hams get more confirmed QSLs and ARRL looks progressive for once.

 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K1GIG on September 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I started using LOTW back at the beginning. It was ugly having to wait for the postcard. Once it was installed, once I actually followed the instructions instead of trying to run on ahead, thinking I knew better than the simple instructions...once I got that mess untangled it was wonderful!
Improvements that would help:
1. require certs just like license renewal! No need to have to do this step over and over again every few years
2. make a way to print the qso
3. Work with other contests and orgs like CQ

If you really covet those overseas DX cards/contacts, I suggest LoTW because it is just getting too expensive to pay for the qso going both ways. Today I sent off a card to Trinidad that cost $2.74 postage. Fortunately the ham on the other end is paying his own way!
I also use eQSL and Burro...but I COUNT on LOTW.

73 and play nice!
Arline K1GIG
 
LotW -- So simple...  
by WB4M on September 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I use it via DXLabs DXKeeper program and a couple of mouse clicks is all it takes to upload or download from LoTW. I do get amused at those who say it is so hard to set up, especially when they preface their disdain with "I have been an Engineer/Systems Programer/MSEE/KGB agent for 40 years and this is so hard." Odd that it is so difficult for you Einstein mentors but I have no problem at all with it. Gee, you download a very small app, get a postcard in the mail, then click on a key which installs itself. Man, total exhaustion.. I need a nap...
 
KD8MJR has is right.  
by WB4M on September 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Read his post and weep.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N0NB on September 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I would say that, as a recent user of LoTW, those of us that understand the process can now assist others in our clubs to get the initial setup out of the way and get them started with a logging program that supports LoTW. I am doing just that and taking the lead by seeing to it that the QSOs made by our club call will be in LoTW as well. It's doubtful that we'll win any awards but for confirming KS, Marshall county, or EM19, at least we'll be helping others.

I'm a bit biased when suggesting software as I am using CQRlog on Linux and don't have experience with the Windows stuff. Someone else in the club will have to provide that perspective.

Help your fellow hams get started on LoTW, it's the best way to get more confirmations and get those awards sooner.
 
LotW -- Poor integration with paper award system  
by K5PAX on September 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I have been an active user of the LOTW system since its inception. An early promise of the system was integration with the ARRL hard copy award system. This promise has not yet been fulfilled.

Since the implementation of the LOTW I have applied for and received awards from the ARRL. Several of these awards have not been reflected in the LOTW records. This is in spite of a 'linked' account.

In one case I submitted an entirely paper card award application. In a second case I submitted a 'hybrid' application with a combination of LOTW contacts and paper QSL cards. I received both awards from the ARRL but in neither case was the award reflected in my LOTW account.

It should also be noted that LOTW does not appear to have a straightforward mechanism for dealing with QRP awards, as QSO power is not part of the contact record.

These limitations keep the LOTW from being as useful as it might be. I would estimate that about 70 percent of my contacts are with stations that are not LOTW participants. Until there is an effective way for LOTW to include the paper card contacts I have submitted for awards, the system will not adequately reflect the full range of my ARRL award achievements.

The limitations do not prevent me from using the system, but I can understand why others might choose to forgo participation.
 
RE: LotW -- Poor integration with paper award system  
by NI0C on September 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
K5PAX:

The integration of paper and LoTW credits has been implemented for several years! It works just fine.

See the following (pasted from the LoTW site):

"One of the most powerful parts of LoTW is now within reach. If you have a DXCC award, you can link the data from the DXCC program's computers right into LoTW. Click on Link Account and you will be brought to a screen that asks for the current call sign which is listed for your DXCC award(s) and then you are asked for any old or new call signs that may have been used. Because so many of us have changed call signs, the linking process is approved manually at HQ. Sometimes the DXCC awards are recorded under old calls and thus need a little investigative help. Plus, the list of other calls will help us identify problems and help speed the process along. Normally the link approval process is quick and can be handled in the same business day. You can list multiple calls by simply leaving a space between them, such as 8P1A 8P5A 8P9JG etc. Then press Request Linking and stand by. A message will appear that confirms your request. It will be reviewed by LoTW staff and you will be notified there on the Web site when your request has been processed. You can leave the web site at this time and come back later to check and see if your account has been linked. You will also receive a message that will be waiting for you on the user site. At the LoTW user site, click on Awards and then again on Select DXCC Award Account, and you will then be placed on the Account Status page. If your records have been linked, there will be additional call signs in the list on the right side of the screen above the Notes section. If you do not have any indication of the linking being complete or rejected within three business days, please send a note to lotw-help@arrl.org. If you don't have a DXCC yet, you won't have to worry about linking records in the future as long as you make applications via LoTW part of your application strategy."

73,
Chuck NI0C

 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K2WLO on September 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I think it's the fact that everything anyone reads about LoTW is how hard it is to set up. That is what is deterring people.
I have only basic computer skills and had no trouble what-so-ever! It was easy, as a matter of fact. I signed up for my password, waited for it to arrive in the mail, then went to the site a registered...simple.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K6CRC on September 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The best thing that could happen to the hobby and ARRL is a serious competitor to LoTW. No competition = no need to fix problems or upgrade the user experience.

European or Asia hams, you have a big opportunity here.

Think GM vs Honda.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KG4CNA on September 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
/quote/
by G6NJR on September 20, 2011
No several simple reasons .

It is windows only no linux support last time i looked
eQSL is easier to use setup
not into DXCC stuff
/end quote/

I use Linux and have no problems using TQSL with WINE. Works perfectly. I sign and upload a batch when I get enough contacts.

I also just started using eQSL, so I like 'em both.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N0NB on September 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Some have asked how eQSL can result in bogus QSOs. Here is how I see it.

Suppose a station copies a callsign incorrectly in the pileup or due to any of a number of ways that do take place. Said station uploads their QSO data to eQSL and emails to eQSL members are generated. An eQSL member with a callsign matching the miscopied callsign receives the email and signs in to check the QSLs. Even though the receiving op knows the QSO never took place, he can reply with a manual confirmation and suddenly he has entity X confirmed when no actual QSO took place. The DX station is none the wiser.

This is the flaw in eQSL that ARRL could not accept for their awards and instead chose the double blind system. It is also, in my opinion, why notifications are not sent from LoTW, to prevent other stations from trying to manufacture QSOs for DXCC or other award credit. You can query LoTW to see if another station has uploaded log data but never know what the date/time range or what callsigns were in the upload. As a result, LoTW only provides a match when each party to a QSO independently upload log data that matches, the so-called double blind system.

Back to the eQSL situation. eQSL depends largely on the honesty and integrity of the participants. For most of us that is good enough. For some others greater satisfaction seems to be obtained by misleading or taking advantage of the mistakes of others. eQSL has no mechanism that I can see to mitigate those situations. Sure, eQSL has the Authenticity Guaranteed program, but that only provides some assurance that the person is who he claims to be, but does not assure the integrity of a QSO match as outlined above.

Conversely, bogus QSO data can be uploaded to LoTW all day long but it is useless until there is an independent match from another station. DX operations from certain entities require extra proof before log data can be uploaded to LoTW as I understand it much as operations need to be approved by the DXCC Desk for DXCC award credit.

Paper QSLs can suffer from the same problem. Due to the cost and trouble involved such shenanigans seem less likely. In either case a query to either station for log data or other proof would be required. In LoTW the signup procedure performs the verification upfront and once verified QSO data from participants is trusted. LoTW can probably gamed but it would take quite a bit of trouble to do so effectively.

One must understand that eQSL and LoTW serve different needs and have different aims. Despite its name, Logbook of The World is strictly a way to track and apply for ARRL awards. It is not a general purpose logging program/site even though I think many people have the mistaken impression that it is. A more accurate name may have been ARRL Award Tracker or some such.

Finally, there is no requirement for ARRL membership to upload log data. ARRL membership is only required of USA amateurs when applying for ARRL awards. For some this is a non-starter, but is the case whether submitting via LoTW or paper QSLs.

Finally, logging programs and sites like eQSL and LoTW are not part of some grand plot to destroy "traditional" amateur radio. They are operating aids for those who choose to use them.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N0NB on September 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
KG4CNA, why are you using the TQSL program in Wine?

Certainly you can do so, but the trustedqsl package is also natively packaged in most Linux distributions. It is up-to-date in Debian Testing/Unstable and derivatives (Ubuntu, Mint, etc). It is out of date in Debian Stable (at version 1.11) and this is a failing of Debian policy, IMO.

Should you choose to use CQRlog, you will probably need the native Linux TQSL app installed for the LoTW support to work.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N7SO on September 29, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I could not get through the setup process. An ARRL staffer, with whom I emailed several times, was less than helpful and was condescending. The person said anyone with "today's computer skills" should have no trouble setting it up. *sigh* I responded that I likely have skills greater than the average computer user, and I have no idea what many of the instructions mean. So I gave up. I will continue with the good ol' paper logbook.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KE4DYG on September 29, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
How do you get on lotw do you have to be member of arrl?
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W2RS on September 29, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I use LoTW, but I do not upload my entire log because I do not use computer logging. Rather, I manually upload QSOs for which I would like LoTW confirmation for awards, plus those which the other station has asked me to upload.

As the original article mentions, LoTW confirmations are good for DXCC, WAS and VUCC. (eQSLs are not.) LoTW, even including award fees if you submit the confirmations for awards, is a lot cheaper than direct QSLing and a lot faster than the QSL bureau.

I'm certainly no computer jock, and I've had no trouble using the system.

73, Ray
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W6SDM on September 29, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Ke4DYG: Here is a link to the intro page on LotW. You do not need to be an ARRL member to use LotW.

http://www.arrl.org/logbook-of-the-world
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N5AX on September 29, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
No!..
I don't use it because I don't like the ARRL!.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by VE3LXL on September 29, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I use LOTW. To answer the question why don't more amateurs use it, I'd say that there's really no point in using it unless you're interested in pursuing ARRL awards. If you're not after the awards, then all LOTW gives you is an entry in a database.

This is where the difficulty in getting set up to use LOTW matters. If you're not after ARRL awards, there's no benefit to you for going through the hassle. So the non-award chasers have no motivation to sign up and the setup difficulties make them all the more unlikely to do so.

Perhaps there needs to be a way to let non-verified users upload their logs. That is, maybe you should need to go through the whole verification process if you want to use LOTW to pursue awards, but not if all you want to do is to upload your logs for the benefit of other users.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K6DPY on September 29, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
LotW assumes a lot about the new user's understanding of how LotW works. The new user of course knows nothing about how LotW works. Furthermore, the sign-up process is "buggy". Consequently LotW is seen as difficult to use. I know because I just signed up. It was not easy. Actually I gave up a couple of times and had to come back to it, research it (particularly the "whys"), and re-read all the instructions at least twice. [For example, I waited and waited for the post card from ARRL, only to learn later that post cards are not sent to hams in the USA. The first time I signed up there was no electronic certificate; whereas the last time I signed up there was -- therefore no need for the post card.] The LotW article in the current issue of QST helped; however even that was not complete (no step by step instructions).

My recommendation would be to add to the current ARRL website instructions a "Quick Start Guide" -- like they have with many things computer these days. If it's quick, it's got to be simple.

73,
Dan
K6DPY
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K6DPY on September 29, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Forgot to mention...

Tried to upload 1 (one) QSO to LotW. Could not figure out how to do it because LotW is looking for an entire file. (Why?) The only way LotW makes sense to me is if I use it with a program like N3FJP's Amateur Contact Log. Again, this "complication" was not mentioned to the new user.

Dan
K6DPY
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by NN4RH on September 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
All those passwords and certificates and postcards are not what's providing the so-called "integrity" or "security".

It's simply the double-blind QSO matching that is doing that.

Think about it. You can upload erroneous or fake QSOs all day but since nobody else ever sees them, they don't matter. There's no way for anyone to match them, unless they know ahead of time what those QSOs are.

In other words, if two people agree on QSO details - time, mode, band - they can easily generate a fake LOTW QSL match.

Passwords and postcards and certificates don't prevent anyone from uploading fake QSOs. Passwords and postcards and certificates can't prevent cheating. All that so-called "security" is just for show.

The only practical difference between LOTW and eQSL is that on eQSL, you see all the QSOs with your callsign - including ones that may be in error and any "fake" records. If a QSO shows up in your inbox that does not match any QSO that you've uploaded, you can either reject it, or accept it manually. On the one hand that allows for QSL credit in case you made minor errors in your logs. For example, if you entered the wrong time or mode, you have a chance to correct that error.

In either system it's easy to generate fake QSL records. And therefore it's possible to get a bogus award in either system.

In neither system is it easy to generate a completely fake award. To generate a 100% fake DXCC award you'd need the cooperation of 100 other people.

What is more likely, in either system, is to get a mostly legitimate award and then cheat on one or a few bogus QSLs to complete it. Plus in eQSL there is a slim possibility of a merely erroneous QSO just happening to be one that you need to complete an award. Unlikely but possible.

So there is no real difference between the two systems in terms of "integrity" of the awards. LOTW is better set up to fool people into thinking it's more secure.



 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N0NB on September 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
K6DPY, a post card is sent to US amateurs. I've received two within the past month--one for myself and the other for our club. My coworker just received his yesterday and I'll help him get it setup on his computers.

And, yes, you can upload an ADIF file containing just one QSO to LoTW. The key is that the TQSL program needs to use an ADIF file as its input so just save your QSO to an ADIF file. Then the TQSL program is used to sign the ADIF file and you'll be prompted to save the signed TQ8 file. Finally, on uploads it to LoTW using the Web interface or via an email attachment.

Unfortunately, there may be a misunderstanding of the TQSL program. It is not a logging program even though one can use it to enter basic log data and save it to an ADIF file for signing. That is its purpose. End of story.

As mentioned by many others, a current logging program will integrate LoTW uploads as part of its work flow. Doing so is much simpler. There are other programming hooks provided by LoTW that logging programs take advantage of that enhance the usefulness of LoTW.

For my first run-through I followed the guide published in the December 2010 issue of WorldRadio in the DX column. It did a good job of explaining the steps involved with obtaining the certificate and then signing the ADIF file.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K2WLO on September 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I don't understand all the trouble being had with LoTW. I live in the USA, I signed up, and was mailed a postcard with password. I signed on with the given password and set up my account. I download their certificate software and had if verified. I must be genius because I nailed it on the first go around. I have even changed my call sign and had no trouble linking my old call to my new one. Now all my past QSL's count toward any award I earn.
I know one fellow who uses LoTW that doesn't chase awards, paper or otherwise. His only reason for uploading to LoTW is to help out others who may need the QSL. He gets it. He realizes he's not the only ham on earth and that everyone has a different aspect of amateur radio that blows their skirt up.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N4KC on September 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
WN9HJW, I agree totally with your logic...with one slight caveat. Suppose I needed 4W6A as my 100th country for DXCC, but that was a tough path for me and I simply could not get them in the log before they pulled up stakes and headed home.

If it weren't for the security of LotW...and security that aggravates me sometimes, too...I could simply create an account as "4W6A" in LotW and add a contact (at 599!) with N4KC...and maybe even confirm QSOs with a few of my buddies, just to share the wealth. Then I add a ficticious contact at the same time and frequency into my N3FJP logging software and upload it to my N4KC account.

No, there is no way now to keep you and me as certified users from emailing each other and agreeing to fake a contact and both of us upload it to the system. But at least LotW is reasonably sure you and I are who we say we are.

Funny, but I have almost 250 countries confirmed between cards and Logbook but I have never even applied for DXCC. I know I worked and confirmed them all. I just use the system to help me keep up with confirmations and as a backup for my log. And to give easy confirmation to others who need my state, county, grid square or country.

Just like the ARRL itself, I appreciate it being there, I am thankful it works on my behalf, I know it is not perfect, and I will do what I can in a positive and constructive way to make suggestions and help to make it better.

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
http://n4kc.blogspot.com


 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N0NB on September 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Personally, I do not depend on either LoTW or eQSL as a backup for my log. Neither maintains the QSO meta-data that I like that the logging program, CQRlog, keeps for me. Both keep the minimum necessary for their own purposes. So, I have employed two backup strategies.

The first is simply a local backup onto another partition. Yes, that is fraught with a variety of reliability issues. So I have employed an off-site backup plan.

Plenty of off-site backup plans exists and several have been advertising quite heavily over the past few years. Based on a recommendation I took a look at SpiderOak. Key features that I like are that clients exist for Linux, Windows, and OS/X and that my data is encrypted locally before being uploaded. The client runs in the system tray and will backup a file once it has changed on disk. The client only backs up files/directories that I've specified rather than everything. The service provides up to 2 GB of no-cost backup and I'm using less than 200 MB for two computers. I settled on my log data, other important documents, and some configuration files for the off-site backup plan. I recommend that everyone take a look at such a service.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by NC4A on September 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I would use LotW if I could get it set up. Like many of the posters, I've USED PC's for thirty years. (We have five running in the house in various wired and wireless configurations.)I've downloaded the file twice, once to an XP machine and more recently to a Windows 7 system. I was unable to install it on either. I have many things to do with my time, trying to get LotW to install isn't one of them.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WB8NUT on October 1, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I find the comments about difficulty setting up LOTW to be puzzling. If you can follow instructions it takes no time at all and will work perfectly. I started way back when using eQSL and that whole system seemed to be very hokey and the "awards" junk and cheap looking. Besides, no one would say "wow, you got an award from eQSL" but hams are always impressed by REAL awards from ARRL like DXCC and WAS along with all the endorsements. I am up to about 2,800 QSOs loaded into LOTW and just a few shy of 900 QSLs. While I have WAS with paper QSLs, I was one state shy of WAS using only LOTW. I noticed a ham on PSK reporter in the state I needed. I set-up a sked to contact him on 40 meters. We exchanged a report, had a nice chat, then when the QSO was over, we both uploaded the contact from the HRD logbook into LOTW and within minutes I had a confirmed QSO. I immediately applied for the award which took about 5 minutes. In my opinion, LOTW cannot get much easier and still have the integrity you expect from the ARRL. While I still love paper QSLs, the LOTW makes paper chasing easy, quick and much more simple. For gosh sakes people, if you can fix radios, build radios, configure multi-mode software on computers, use SDRs, etc., surely you can follow the simple instructions and install the LOTW application. Thanks ARRL for a great service. I love it. It's easy, now people, get on the bandwagon.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WB8NUT on October 1, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
G6NJR, yes, the LOTW application is available on Linux. It is very easy to set-up. I have it currently running on Mac OSX, Windows 7 and Ubuntu Linux.
 
LotW -- Can't or won't?  
by G8UBJ on October 1, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
After 5 years of laboriously sending and never receiving cards I started using LOTW about a year ago.

Its tricky to understand at first, but once you have it worked out everything is infinitely less hastle or cotly as using QSL cards. I have even migrated between PCs using the digital certificate.

LOTW is now my only QSL system, I have a pair of nice WAS & DXCC RTTY certificates on my wall with others to follow.

eQSL is a bit of fun but not recognised so I avoid...

Should DX peditions use QSLs to fund what are in reality "Ham holidays"?

Sould QSLs be a cash generating system... seems like they are in Nigeria, Hong Kong and some other countries? Was that the reason for QSL cards; or a corruption of the system?

Either way, if I can't get a confirmation by LOTW I'm happy to wait for someone to activate the country..
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KG5VK on October 4, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Yes !
I use LOTW and today many of the dx peditions are using it as well

T32C pledges to upload all logs within 6 month after the DX pedition

4W6A recently uploaded their logs and many others have and will do the same

Like someone else stated LOTW is not that hard to do
Heck Ward Silver N0AX wrote a detailed article
on how to use it many years ago.

Follow the instructions !

If you can use a modern rig, you should be able to use LOTW !

cheers!
Steve
KG5VK
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K0VET on October 4, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Would love to use it but!!! I downloaded it and holy cow what a nightmare trying to follow line after line of instruction. Does this have to be so complicated and time consuming to start up. I am tired of spending hrs and hrs at the computer trying to get these programs downloaded and running. Heck I am retired and have better things to do. Simplify it and I will use it other wise life is too short!! Please do not respond with you need to polish your computer skills as they are good as they are going to get.
 
RE: LotW -- Poor integration with paper award system  
by K5PAX on October 5, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The problems I reported occurred with a fully linked account.

The linking capabilities of the LoTW system appear to work only for DXCC information in the ARRL system. The complete set of WAS information does not appear to be linked -- neither for WAS awards made prior to implementation of LoTW or for hybrid or paper awards made after LoTW was implemented.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WB4SON on October 5, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I'm a pretty new user, with 500+ QSOs entered since February of 2011. I absolutely LOVE it. I still have physical QSL cards and I will mail one to anyone who sends me one (no SASE required).

While it was not obvious how to setup LotW, once you understand the need for security, in order to assure that awards are valid, the pain is worth the effort -- especially since you do it once.

My biggest issue with LotW is its current limitation to WAS and DXCC only. Why on earth you can't do WAC is beyond me (since you can use DXCC credits for WAC according to the rule). It needs to expand further to accept QRP entries and other operating awards.

The ARRL has a real useful global tool here and is missing an opportunity by not expanding upon it further.

73, Bob, WB4SON
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by G8KTX on October 5, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
2) People in foreign countries claiming it's too difficult for them!!! Are these the same guys who mail out 50 QSL cards a week? All of a sudden they can't mail out one envelope with a photo copy of their license!

Those guys who mail 50 QSL cards are probably sending them to a local bureau at internal postage rates, to send copies of your license and other ID to the USA for foreign hams like me involves international postage rates and a suitable sized envelope, not to mention the cost of copying the documents in the first place if you don't have access to a scanner, and then there's the inevitable wait for return of post (2 to 3 weeks).
When I signed up to Echolink all they required was an electronic copy of the front page of my license which I emailed as a pdf file and confirmation was almost instantaneous. Why can't LotW do the same for us non-US hams?
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WB8NUT on October 6, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
>>>Those guys who mail 50 QSL cards are probably sending them to a local bureau at internal postage rates, to send copies of your license and other ID to the USA for foreign hams like me involves international postage rates and a suitable sized envelope, not to mention the cost of copying the documents in the first place if you don't have access to a scanner, and then there's the inevitable wait for return of post (2 to 3 weeks).<<<

Wow, are things that bad over in the U.K.? The cost to mail an international letter and make a few copies and then throw in a suitable size envelope equals like a weeks's wages? Not sure how you people over there can afford to buy radios with which to operate. Over here it cost about a whole dollar to mail international. Maybe two dollars for a larger envelope and you can still make copies for a ten cents a page. I think a large envelope runs about fifty cents. Postage, envelopes and copies are still affordable here in the colonies. Oh my goodness, then there is that horrible wait of two to three weeks for everything to process. The dreaded wait! Sorry we Yanks were not aware of how bad things were over there and the impatience issue. We'll be more sensitive in the future. ;-)
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by M0TTB on October 6, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
@G8KTX
Exactly what do the ARRL send back to you that takes 2-3 weeks??
You send a print of your licence, and old utility bill, and within about 4 days of posting it, you're accepted. Any documentation you send is destroyed, and if you are Mr Paranoia, you can block out sensitive details on the utility bill or whatever you send as proof of address.

Postage costs, you're having a laugh aren't you?
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W6XR on October 7, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I am NOT using LOTW, exclusively because of the difficulties setting the system configured properly. I have an extensive history with computers and software and I continue to be perplexed by the actions needed to get things working. Called the ARRL and had, I hope, a negative experience with the person I spoke to as no help was given and the comments about "anyone" can figure out all of this preparation surfaced several times during the conversation. My point is LOTW should be easy to configure and it is not so.

The Leage really should terminate their defensive posture and get the front end of LOTW revised to make it easy for hams to use it. I would also suggest a person at the League who fields questions be a bit more consumer friendly. There are too many hams not using LOTW because of the difficulties setting up the program.

73

Natan W6XR
NY
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W4HIJ on October 7, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
You guys complaining about how hard LOTW is to set up are kidding right??! I know it's not "snap your fingers" easy but it's not that hard! Makes me wonder how some of you were able to get your licenses in the first place!
73,
Michael, W4HIJ
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by VA3PID on October 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
ARRL may have gone a bit overboard here, but in LoTW, they've implemented a full X.509 public key certificate system. You can use your callsign.p12 file to sign other files and protect them from tampering.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N0NB on October 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I won't fault anyone who has trouble getting LoTW setup. Unless one is familiar with public key signatures/encryption, the process likely seems quite esoteric and involved. The key to understanding the LoTW signup process is that it is a method of establishing "trust". In this case the trust comes from providing a mailing address that matches the current callsign's FCC mailing address in the .TQ5 certificate request.

Receipt of the postcard and subsequent entry of the password to the Web site establishes that whoever submitted the certificate request was able to receive the postcard and is presumably the licensee or trustee of the license in the case of a club call. With this combination the ARRL has deemed that enough "trust" exists to issue a signing certificate to the requester.

At this point the LoTW administrator issues the certificate (the .TQ6 file) as an attachment to the email supplied in the .TQ5 request and also the username and password for the LoTW site.

This is not a "web of trust" that exists in public key encryption systems such as PGP/GPG where "trust" is obtained by having one's key "signed" by a member of the web of trust. The more signatures a key has in such a system the more "trusted" is its holder.

In LoTW, "trust" only refers to trusting the key holder's knowledge of its password and that the holder has access to mail delivered to the FCC address of the callsign. In a web of trust a verification of the holder's identity is performed as well. Neither system implies that the key holder is trustworthy, that is another issue completely! Presumably, those jumping through the LoTW hoops to upload fake data will be few and if inconsistencies arise, presumably the certificate will be revoked and all associated QSO data signed by it invalidated in LoTW.

As stated in one of my earlier posts to this thread, I am helping anyone locally to get going with LoTW. Hopefully those having trouble can find someone local to them to get going. This is likely a good project for ARRL affiliated clubs and Special Service clubs.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W4HV on October 9, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
No, I think its nice to get an actual card or to be able to get one online to print..I use e-qsl for many contacts who want verification. I will send out a card as I understand ham radio often costs as much as bass fishing..All the awards are nice if you are ego driven enough to want them. I do however know if I actually talked to someone using the callsign and don't need to make my already over inflated sense of self any bigger by hanging my walls full of awards for a hobby. Its nicer when you get them for actually accomplishing something worth remembering.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N4NYY on October 9, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I got 3 new countries in a week's time. Kuwait, Israel, and UAE. All were confirmed via LoTW in that week. That says it all.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WA8JXM on October 9, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Security? Cheaters? Who cares? If someone wants to cheat, they only destroy their own "reward". How meaningless.

But then I was never into collecting certificates. **I** know if I've worked something, I don't need a certified piece of paper to make it worthwhile.

Seems that the QSL/certificate people have inflated their own egos to the point where a piece of paper is more important than the accomplishment. How silly.

To each their own, but I have no interest.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KC9NCS on October 9, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I don't use it because it was too cumbersome to setup and the TQSL certificate wouldn't install. I've been working in I.T. for 25 years and have plenty of experience configuring everything from Desktops to Servers, routers, switches, VPN's, Firewalls and maintain several very well known Security Certifications. Even still, the setup for LoTW and TQSL is a pain in the arse and not worth the effort, IMO. I gave up on it.

If you lose your setup code and need to re-install you're screwed, and there's no help for resolving certificate issues.

Frankly, Ham Radio Deluxe's logger is far superior from a usability perspective to LoTW IMO.

I also use eQSL for contacts that use that program.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KA2HHB on October 10, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I was using LOTW for about a year and it took me about 2 months to get it going all worked as it should even though it was such a pain to configure.
I got it going accidentally don't know what I did.
Recently I had a crash and reinstalled it but now I can't get it to download. As far as I can tell it's uploading. I tried the HRD_Util program I also configured the util that's built into HRD/DM780 same thing nothing. I operate PSK almost 100% of the time and use eQSL with no problems. I don't understand why LOTW has to be so complicated it's not like it's for government work. And if it was it would probably be easier to use. I now have a " Sorry no LOTW because it doesn't work and won't use it until they fix it" in my macro. If they never do don't look for any LOTW confirmations from me. Ruben KA2HHB Newark, New Jersey ..........
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KA2HHB on October 10, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Then there are those out there possibly with some experience with this type of procedure whose chest swells up with pride and delcare that he doesn't know what the problem is because he didn't have any problems with LOTW and doesn't understand what the problem is. All I can say is God Bless you and good for you ....
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KA2HHB on October 10, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Another thing my return vs eQSL & LOTW cannot compare.
I get 3 or 4 more times a return using eQSL. That was when my LOTW was working before the crash. And I like to send them out right away I don't like waiting for anything so I don't understand why some make ops wait months and months sometimes years for a confirmation.
Why? Confirm immediately you have the means. It's like they hold the contacts hostage....
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KA2HHB on October 10, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Another thing my return vs eQSL & LOTW cannot compare.
I get 3 or 4 more times a return using eQSL. That was when my LOTW was working before the crash. And I like to send them out right away I don't like waiting for anything so I don't understand why some make ops wait months and months sometimes years for a confirmation.
Why? Confirm immediately you have the means. It's like they hold the contacts hostage....
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K7KB on October 10, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, I'm using LOTW. However, I will say it was a royal pain in the rear to setup and I've been working with computers and software since the mid 70's. So I can certainly understand why many people don't bother with the hassle. Until the ARRL does something to make LOTW easier to use and install, I would say the return rate on LOTW confirmations will never get much above 50 - 60%, and that's obvious by the amount of negative responses to this thread.

John K7KB
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KG5UN on October 10, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I honestly didn't even know what it was until I read this.

I have no need for it, I dont chase awards and have no need or desire to confirm contacts. I just make them for the fun of it.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by G4FUT on October 11, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Although I am a member of ARRL, I certainly do NOT use LoTW. Its set-up is far too cumbersome and I much prefer eQSL. I prefer the simple things in life.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KQ6Q on October 12, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I thought I'd give LOTW another try, and finally got the passwords straight, and went to upload a log file from my N3FJP software. I've been sending the Cabrillo format files to the ARRL contest robots for years, and they've 'taken' just fine. But when I tried to upload one of the same files to LOTW, it wanted me to define the fields in the file, tell it where the data items are.... so the file uploaded, but on logging in to LOTW, I show now contacts. If the Contest Robot program at ARRL can figure them out, why can't LOTW ? The programmers need to talk to each other! Meantime, since I've been successful this far, I'll see if I can provide LOTW with the data fields descriptions that I expected it to have - what's the Cabrillo format standard for ?
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W5ZT on October 13, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I don't use it. Several years ago I was working in the computer world and decided to try LOTW. What a pain-in-the-ass. It reminded me so much of work (stupid security crap) that I abandoned it.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WA5VSK on October 14, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I did use it for several years. However I agree it is a colossal pain in the ass to set up AND to use. ARRL sent me a notice several weeks ago telling me my certs were going to expire October 10. If I renewed them before then it would be easy to do. Otherwise I would have to go through the entire set up process as I did from day one. Excuse me? Why are they expiring? My QTH license class and call sign have not changed. I tried for three days to make it work well before the noted day of doom. I always got some type of error notice. Then I got busy and all of sudden the day the earth was supposed to end came and went. The only thing that ended was my use of LOTW.

As to security I have been a ham for 43 years and an ARRL member that long as well. It is beyond my scope of comprehension why people want to cheat on contests and awards other than the declining morality of human nature. Have I missed some huge monetary awards for wining or a Nobel Ham Radio Winner prize? Who cares? I know if I win a contest or get an award I did it within the rules and I am the only one that counts in that regard.

I use EQSL every time I log a contact. I have enough QSO's for many awards including DXCC but have not applied for them yet. Maybe one day before I die.

Bottom line is, ARRL, you MUST make the insane LOTW sign up process much easier and interface it with as many logging programs as possible so it becomes almost invisible running with the logging program. I know this is not a revelation to ARRL just as HOA and antenna restrictions is not a new item for them. They just choose to ignore it. Until ARRL is forced to act in the best interest of its members LOTW will be used less and less.

Robert C. Boyd
WA5VSK
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W4AMP on October 15, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Good idea, bad execution. Not worth the time.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K8AC on October 16, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Given the absurdity of the LOTW process people as described here, can you imagine how difficult it would be for you if you didn't speak English, or didn't understand it well? I spent my entire career in the computer industry and still had to make a couple of phone calls to the ARRL LOTW people to get it straight at first.

 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KO3D on October 16, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Now that I have LotW set up I really like it. But there is absolutely no reason for the extreme security measures for a QSL when my bank account doesn't require it. Once you establish your identity through the postcard code, your password should be enough. I get a 20% response rate on my QSOs compared to 90% for direct QSL requests. I'm glad every time I get a LotW confirmation even if I have a paper card for that entity because I won't have to submit it for verification when its award time. Since E-QSLs aren't recognized for DXCC and WAS they are next to useless but I get many more of them than Lotw. I assume its because it's much easier to send them.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WA1RKS on October 17, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Like so many posted below. I started to sign up for LOTW but found it too complicated,and too much to do, to use it. So until they simplify it,I won't be signing up too quickly. Not to mention the license requirement proof completely Turned me away. Make it easy,make it simple!
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W4HIJ on October 17, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Like I've already said, no it's not "snap your fingers and it's done" easy or simple but then again it's NOT that hard either. Not like some of you are making it out to be. Sheesh!
Michael, W4HIJ
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KG5UN on October 17, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I would simply ask, why should I use it?
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by ZL4IV on October 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
cumbersome
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KJ4AUQ on October 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Use it, use EQSL, use QRZ online log. Have it done automatically via HRD. If I want a paper copy qsl, I just print one off eqsl and put it on the wall.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by K2MMO on October 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Tried to upload program was not worth all the trouble- I don't chase paper and more then happy to Eqsl or send a card.Have kept paper logs for 20 years.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by AB8O on October 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
eQSL is easier to use. period. It has its own rewards system such as WAS DXCC etc. I never bothered to set up LotW.

73
John
AB8O
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by VE3LXL on October 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I made this point before but it's worth making again. If ARRL wants people to sign up for LOTW, they need to give them an incentive to do so (especially because getting set up to use it is not painless). Right now, the only real incentive to join is the way it makes pursuit of ARRL awards easier. If you're not interested in chasing those awards, then LOTW really offers you no value at all. This is what I think needs to change. I think LOTW has to be extended to offer something of value to people who aren't going after awards. eQSL, for example, gives you a real-ish looking QSL card in image file form, which you can save locally and print out if you're so inclined. So QSL card collectors have a reason to use eQSL. If LOTW offered this capability, it might attract QSL collectors in addition to award collectors.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WB8NUT on October 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe the ability to install and use LOTW should be a requirement to get a ham license. Since computers are so integrated into ham radio now, proficiency in computer software and operation as it applies to ham radio should be part of the test. Frankly if you cannot install and use something as simple as LOTW, I am not sure you have the proper credentials to operate a high powered radio. Maybe this can be the new "gate-keeper" to replace CW. Everyone complained how getting rid of CW would "dumb-down" amateur radio, so now we can replace the CW testing with the "LOTW install and use" test. Now once you have demonstrated you can install and set it up, there will be no requirement to use it, just like in the days of CW testing, but it is there if you want to use it. You cannot always get a paper QSL from another station, but usually a LOTW QSL can make it through when conventional means like postal service just won't work.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WB8NUT on October 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe the ability to install and use LOTW should be a requirement to get a ham license. Since computers are so integrated into ham radio now, proficiency in computer software and operation as it applies to ham radio should be part of the test. Frankly if you cannot install and use something as simple as LOTW, I am not sure you have the proper credentials to operate a high powered radio. Maybe this can be the new "gate-keeper" to replace CW. Everyone complained how getting rid of CW would "dumb-down" amateur radio, so now we can replace the CW testing with the "LOTW install and use" test. Now once you have demonstrated you can install and set it up, there will be no requirement to use it, just like in the days of CW testing, but it is there if you want to use it. You cannot always get a paper QSL from another station, but usually a LOTW QSL can make it through when conventional means like postal service just won't work.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N4UED on October 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
HOW DO YOU SET IT UP ? SEEMS DIFFICULT . ARRL IS NO HELP ON THIS .
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N4KC on October 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Chuck, have you tried here?

http://www.arrl.org/instructions

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W6DX on October 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Once you get registered, LoTW is easy to use. Several logging programs (HRD and AC Log, among others) automate the submission process and make it absolutely painless to enjoy the benefits of LoTW.

I use AC Log here, and every night I upload the contacts for that day into LoTW before I shut the computer off. It takes only a few seconds, and I often receive confirmations within a few hours or a few days rather than weeks or months.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by AA3EJ on October 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
As I have previously mentioned...this is after the fact, the LOTW program is really not needed, just another way for the ARRL to make money!!... It's NOT needed at all,..eQSL has been used by more DX'ers worldwide than the LOTW.....
..try eQSL..it's FREE! and DX'ers have been using that service for years!!, ...so have I..73's Dave,aa3ej
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WB8NUT on October 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
How do you set it up? ARRL is no help? Seriously?

There are step-by-step instructions at:

http://www.arrl.org/instructions

And at http://www.arrl.org/lotw there is a tutorial about all the workings of LOTW. There is so much information available and clear step-by-step instructions I don't know how anyone can say that the ARRL is no help! There is also a LOTW group on Yahoo that will help and answer questions. Follow the instructions and you can install and use it easily just like the rest of us. I love how HRD log-book supports the uploading of records directly to LOTW. If the other station does likwise, I can have a QSL in minutes after a QSO and LOTW QSLs are good for real awards...not the print it yourself junk offered by some other wannabe systems.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KI9A on October 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Fact: You don't need to be a computer whiz to do this. I'm a polar opposite of a computer whiz, and, I got it to work fine. All it takes is a bit of set up. I ran into an issue, and, just one email to the ARRL cleared it up. So, stop whining, and just put a tiny bit of effort into it..!
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by VK0KEV on October 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The process to become "verified" is quite rediculous. Indeed from my location impossible.

Excellent alternative is HRD Log and hrdlog.net for general usage.

For DXCC the paper route is fine.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by VE3EGA on October 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!


I use QRZ.COM Log Book.....
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KB5IAV on October 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I like sending and receiving the paper cards. It's nice to have something tangible to look at and show to others curious about ham radio. I kept running into hams on the air who were chasing awards through LOTW, so I signed up to help out.

I didn't have much trouble setting it up at all, just a long wait for the postcard from the ARRL with my password. I find it pretty easy to use and have started entering all of my paper logs into it. I've been working off and on to get all of logs back to January 1989 when I first got on the air entered in. Recently, I had a QSO from 1991 verified through LOTW, so that has given me incentive to try and get all of my logs entered in.

Right now I'm going after digital awards and have 48 states verified through LOTW for digital WAS in addition to having the cards. I've got 65 countries verified total, but only 42 of them have verified on LOTW. Looks like it may help me get my digital DXCC, but I will probably still need cards at that rate.

I send my paper cards with return postage or green stamps. I've found a foreign postage dealer online who can get me the stamps I need at a reasonable rate. If I get a paper card, I always send one back, return postage or not.

All in all, I think LOTW is a great service, but paper cards are still kind cool receive.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N0AZZ on October 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I started using LoTW 01/01/09 when I first started keeping a log (electronic) and to date I have 236 confirmed DXCC entities and a total of 175 to date. ST0R came in this morning you figure the savings. Not hard and many more each day signing up and entering logs for many years back. A friend of mine did the same loaded 25 yrs back ended up with 9 band DXCC, 1500 challenge points and WAS 4 bands and can't remember a few more total.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N0AZZ on October 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I started using LoTW 01/01/09 when I first started keeping a log (electronic) and to date I have 236 confirmed DXCC entities (LoTW ONLY) and a total of 175 with QSL cards to date. ST0R came in this morning you figure the savings. Not hard and many more each day signing up and entering logs for many years back. A friend of mine did the same loaded 25 yrs back ended up with 9 band DXCC, 1500 challenge points and WAS 4 bands and can't remember a few more total.


LoTW is the best thing since sliced bread and a real money saver.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W8QZ on October 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
LotW sounds OK - but I guess I've not kept up with technology. All my logs are pencil and paper. Typing 25+ years of hamming into a computer database sounds like more work than a hobby ought to be!

I did sign up for a certificate, and all that, but have yet to upload anything. For a US ham, the process didn't seem all that bad - gotta have some checks on authenticity of the entries, I suppose.
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KD8QDL on October 25, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I am a Linux user. Does this program port to Linux or do I need to get an Open Source Code version from the publisher?
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WB8NUT on October 25, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Did you check your Linux version's repository for the TQSL package? I know when I used Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu that I just downloaded it from the repository. So depending on your Linux version, it may be already there. Or, you can download the source code from ARRL and build it yourself. Of course all this information is on the ARRL LOTW website. Oh, and besides Windows, there is also a MAC version available for PPC and Intel based Macs. Reading the instructions which are very detailed will provide most information on LOTW.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by WB8NUT on October 25, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
@WQ8Z...you can enter old log information into electronic format for uploading if you choose. I did it only for QSLs I needed for awards. Others have done it for their entire logbooks. OR, you can just start using a computer based log going forward and uploading just the new stuff. Mine obviously is a combination of the two. It just depends how much time you have to enter the old stuff and if you are interested in awards. Personally, I would not enter logs older than 2000 unless you really need a "card" as many did not start using electronic logs until around that time.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N0NB on October 25, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
KD8QDL: Be aware that Trusted QSL version 1.13 is required so assure that your distribution's repository has the required version before installing Trusted QSL. For example, if you are using Debian Stable (Squeeze), Trusted QSL is at version 1.11 which is too old. I tried filing a bug report but it went nowhere. Debian Testing or Sid are required to obtain version 1.13.

If you are using a Ubuntu (or derivative) distribution, then the Ubuntu Hams PPA will be of use to you:

https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-hams/+archive/ppa

The current version of Trusted QSL can be installed on versions as old as 9.10 (Karmic) by using the PPA.

Hope that helps.
 
RE: LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KH6DC on October 25, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I use LOTW always and prefer LOTW. I list on my bio on qrz.com LOTW or DIrect or Buro but NOT eQSL since they don't qualify for DXCC/WAS awards, only their own awards. LOTW is my preferred route but I do send direct QSLs for the DXpeditions because I want to see the cards and pictures of those far away places. I do upload the adif file to eqsl but that's it as I'm not applying for their awards.

73 Delwyn KH6DC
 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by AI8O on October 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I don't use LoTW.

I like getting the paper cards with their artwork, and looking at the unusual stamps.

I started getting QSLs in the late 60's, receiving a letter from R. Moscow, R. Albania, Taiwan, or even SL1M, was exciting.

You can't post a computer entry on the wall.
A computer entry just doesn't work for me.


I only send out two or three
qsls a year, so the cost is not an important consideration.

I am sure that if I was a gung-ho DXer,who wants to build up his contact totals, I would feel differently.

 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by W2RS on October 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
IMHO, several earlier commenters are missing the point:

Unlike eQSL, LoTW is NOT intended to be a substitute for real QSL cards. If you want to collect those, go to it. Rather, LoTW is simply a faster, less expensive way to submit confirmations for ARRL awards.

If you submit paper QSLs for DXCC, processing time is typically 1-3 months, and you have to pay postage both ways. If you use LoTW instead, processing is typically one day or less, and there's no postage involved, just the LoTW award processing fee of 25 cents (or less) per credit submitted.

That's a good deal to me!

73, Ray W2RS

 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by KD8OPI on October 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I use it and I like it, but the three utility programs you have to install along with a snail-mail post-card (ironic in this age of e-mail) is overly cumbersome.

A much better idea is how eQSL and EchoLink do address verification, a one-cent credit/bank card withdrawal from your billing address. I'd pay a penny not to have gone through the nonsense LotW presented in getting up and running.

 
LotW -- Are You Using It? If Not, Why?  
by N8YA on October 29, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
It is way too cumbersome to setup. Why does everything have to be digitally signed. These are radio contacts not legal documents! DXCC is not made out of gold.Next we will have to validate our calls signs with DNA samples or voice prints so nobody cheats.

I prefer eQSL. It is very easy to setup and maintain. Have you had a HD die yet? What a "joy" it is get LoTW back up and running.

Eqsl - simple and it works (after all, they are ONLY radio contacts)!
 
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to discussions on this article.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

Other Opinion Articles
A Place for Young Hams:
Our Own Methods are Stifling Technology
WAS, One Net, One Frequency, 100 Watts