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eHam Forums => DXing => Topic started by: HS0ZIB on December 30, 2011, 04:07:49 PM



Title: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: HS0ZIB on December 30, 2011, 04:07:49 PM
I signed up with LOTW in the hope that it would make things easier, quicker and cheaper when QSLing different countries.

Alas, it seems not to be the case. My current response rate of confirmed QSOs is a pitiful 2.6%.  I am having much better QSL success by mailing cards direct to the contact.

Is there anything I'm doing wrong here with LOTW?  In theory, it seems a great idea, but perhaps it is only widely used by NA hams.

Simon


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N0OKS on December 30, 2011, 06:27:05 PM
Simon

I and most other hams who use LoTW are disappointed with it.

I get a very good response rate to QSOs made during a contest, either DX or here in the States. Casual rag cheweres, DX or in the States, don't use LoTW that much.

The ARRL could do more with LoTW. First, forget abut whether it is difficult to set up and use. I don't see that changing.

However, I did the RAC contest, work all Canada, recently and it seems to me that the RAC and the ARRL could work together so that the RAC could offer their Worked All Canada award through LoTW. And if they could do that then the ARRL could work with other organizations to offer other awards. That would certainly give more people a reason to use LoTW.

Mark, NØOKS


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: WW3QB on December 30, 2011, 06:50:27 PM
Contesters will give you a rate around 50%. As a DX station, uploading your logs (contest or not) should significantly reduce your QSL workload. Then at least you can concentrate on the cards you really want.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: K3TN on December 31, 2011, 03:21:56 AM
Simon - most of my contacts are DX stations (non-NA) and I am running close to 40% LotW confirmation rate. I'm very satisfied with LotW, for the first time ever (42 years as a ham) I have qualified for 5BDXCC and 5BWAS. Most people I know find it to be fantastic.

In AP, the participation definitely seems to be lower - so if a lot of your contacts are JAs and YBs and the like, they do seem to prefer paper QSLs and not do as much eQSL or LotW.

Make sure you have the time correct (UTC) on what you upload to LotW. I think there is a 30 minute window for QSO's to match and get an LotW confirmation.

73, John K3TN


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N3OX on December 31, 2011, 07:25:29 AM
I have a 24% response rate from stations outside of NA.  My overall rate including NA is about 26%.  Not much difference there (most of the NA contacts in my log are contest contacts, for what it's worth)

Breakdown by continent/region (Continent/LoTW return percentage)

AS 23%
OC 32%
EU 21%
SA 27%
NA 27%
AF 26%

This is for a log starting in 1996 that is dominated by DXing and a few VHF and Topband contests in recent years.  I don't make very many contacts; mostly search-and-pounce DXing for things I haven't worked before at all or for band/mode slots.  For what it's worth I have 241 DXCC entities confirmed on LoTW.  From time to time I will work a couple stations only because I know they've been on LoTW in the past but I don't do that much, and most of it was on 160m where I'm hoping to apply for DXCC with all LoTW contacts.

I don't know if it's just a difference in our on-air behavior or who we're working or what, but my log does not support the idea that LoTW is little used outside of NA.  Can you give more information about the composition of your log?  I suspect if I was working many thousands of smaller casual domestic stations a year in addition to my DXing, my confirmation percentages would go way down. 


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N5UD on December 31, 2011, 08:02:25 AM
My LOTW stinks. I don't even upload to it, unless the other guy shows to have uploaded. I have about 35% confirmation with known users.

It beats me for sure !

73 Tony N5UD


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: HS0ZIB on December 31, 2011, 08:22:01 AM
@K3TN, my UTC time is spot on

@N3OX, my log is a mixture of Asian, Oceania and European stations, VK, ZL, BY, VU, 9M, V85, RA etc etc - but the number of confirmed QSOs is virtually zero.

I upload all my contacts to LOTW, (because I can use it as my electronic log).  But as far as getting confirmed QSOs is concerned, I think I'm going to stick with mailing my cards...

Simon (not impressed with LOTW)


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: AI8P on December 31, 2011, 09:31:20 AM
All my contacts are fairly recent - went on the air at the end of 2005.

I also work a lot of RTTY, which tends to be a very computer-geeky crowd.

However, I have a lot of CW contacts and minimal SSB.

I have over 60% confirmation of my QSOs on LOTW.

My impression is that SSB contacts are a lot less likely to have LOTW.

your mileage may vary.

Dennis


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: AF3Y on December 31, 2011, 09:55:44 AM
LOTW posted QSL to QSO rate is around 23%. 99% of LOTW posted QSOs are non-US. (Sending cards, etc. has produced a 97% ;D success rate.)   Gene AF3Y


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: WW3QB on December 31, 2011, 10:01:40 AM
Point of view may be everything. When those of us in NA are working DX stations, we are often working other serious DXers that happens to be DX to us. But when Simon is working DX, he may not be working serious DXers, but more casual stations that are not really that far from him. The more serious one is to be a serious DXer, the more likely he is to use LoTW.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: W2LO on December 31, 2011, 10:06:11 AM
 I've watched my LOTW response rate (for DX because that's what I chase) over the seven years that I've been using it and there's no question that the rate has significantly risen particularly in the past year or two.

 I think that many DXers want to leave themselves open to receiving QSLs via any and all routes, especially with the ever-increasing costs of postage to foreign destinations and the vagaries of overseas postal administrations, including direct, bureau, manager and LOTW.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N3OX on December 31, 2011, 10:24:07 AM
Has anyone here ever heard of someone else who has a rate as low as 2.6%?

It's unusual for sure.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: KA5N on December 31, 2011, 11:13:14 AM
I think that if you upload all contacts to LOTW you will have a much lower response rate than
if you are more selective and  upload only those contacts whose QRZ.Com pages show that they will QSL via LOTW.  Even then some hams upload very infrequently.  I use the latter method and my response rate is 50%.  Other contacts I QSL direct usually with green stamps
and SAE and the response rate is around 85%.  Buro takes too long and results are pitiful.
Most Buro cards I receive are for contests (usually two or more years after the contest) and
rarely have any buro cards added to my entities worked total.  Of course if you upload all
contacts I suppose you will increase your chance of the rare DX that uses LOTW without noting that he does so on his QRZ page.  I was surprised when so many hams uploaded their old paper logs and I received confirmations that I had long ago given up on.
You pays yer money and takes yer choice.
Allen

Allen


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: AI8P on December 31, 2011, 11:43:32 AM
Since this is getting a lot of interest, I thought I'd dig into my log and get some specifics.

For USA contacts - 69% have been confirmed on LOTW

For DX contacts - (larger number of contacts)

Overall - 49% LOTW confirmed
Phone  - 41%
CW      - 53%
RTTY    - 51%

This may not be representative, so your mileage may vary.

Dennis      


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N9KX on December 31, 2011, 12:01:54 PM
Has anyone here ever heard of someone else who has a rate as low as 2.6%?

It's unusual for sure.

To me it sounds like something is wrong with the uploads -- how close do times have to match? the other possibility would be if you uploaded logs from years ago.  in that case you might be uploading QSO's with silent keys who will never get on Lotw...  Maybe it is used a lot more in North America? Having a PC is obviously a requirement, but that seems to be almost everybody these days...

I had about a 25% confirmation rate initially but now am over 33%.  Over the last 2 years, I have 808 confirmations out of 2255 QSO's, or just over 35%. I have 50 states confirmed and 142 confirmed countries (entities) with 119 confirmed CW and 97 confirmed SSB...  I use 100 watts and a multi-band inverted vee.   With my budgetary constraints, Lotw is the only way I could have gotten DXCC.  thank you LoTW!



Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: WS3N on December 31, 2011, 01:22:43 PM
FWIW, my rates are

47.7% US
45.6% DX (76% of QSOs)

Like some others have said, my US contacts are almost entirely from occasional contesting, and the DX contacts are selective, both with an eye toward band fills.

I don't understand the reasoning behind partial uploads. It takes no more effort to send everything. I often get confirmations for old QSOs as more people get on the system.

I wish everyone used LoTW. I used to send cards for all-time new ones and use LoTW for band fills. Now I don't even bother with the card if I get the on-line confirmation.

I am amazed by the number of cards some folks send and receive. I have enough clutter already.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: HS0ZIB on December 31, 2011, 04:23:17 PM
Certainly the UTC I record on my logs is absolutely correct - of course there would be a problem if all my QSOs were recording the wrong UTC!

These are recent QSOs, so it's possible that my contacts have not yet uploaded their logs.

I'm not making dozens of QSOs each day - perhaps 1 or 2 and those are where I specifically reply to a CQ call from a country that I need to work for the first time - so my logs are not full of local stations who might never have heard of LOTW.

I'm not perturbed, and I'll continue to use LOTW - clearly the mileage of other users of LOTW is much better than mine, so I'll persevere and hope that the QSL rate improves.  (I usually send out a paper QSL card and green stamps/SAE as well as uploading to LOTW because of it's poor QSL rate).

Simon


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: WW3QB on December 31, 2011, 04:38:45 PM
On the LoTW web site there is "Find Call". With it you can see when the station uploaded last. If it was never, assume he never will. But if it was within the last 2-3 months, it's worth waiting for.

Also, there is an unofficial LoTW user list at http://www.hb9bza.net/lotw-users-list


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N9KX on December 31, 2011, 06:23:04 PM
... I'll continue to use LOTW - clearly the mileage of other users of LOTW is much better than mine, so I'll persevere and hope that the QSL rate improves.  (I usually send out a paper QSL card and green stamps/SAE as well as uploading to LOTW because of it's poor QSL rate).

Simon

Glad to hear that Simon -- I would LOVE to work Thailand sometime and have it LoTW confirmed  :)
my problem is getting thru those pileups.  do you work CW?  :)


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: HS0ZIB on December 31, 2011, 07:08:14 PM
@K9AIM, I do not yet work CW, but I intend to do so, especially on the lower bands.  My new 'shack' is in the reception area of the airport hotel that I've almost completed construction of at Phuket International Airport.  So I cannot really use voice modes, (that's reserved for my mobile station).  My intention is to primarily run CW, PSK, Hell, RTTY etc from my base QTH.

I've actually ordered a new key, (the last one was 'lost' in the post).  After my DIY hex beam is installed next week, I'll look at what the most suitable top band antenna is that I can use. My QTH is 400 metres from the airport runway (off the side of it, not at the end of it!), so I'm constrained on antenna height (max = 15 metres).

Simon


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: VA2FSQ on January 01, 2012, 08:13:15 PM
I got my license in May 2011.  Out of my 500 QSO's I have had a 50% response rate to my qsl cards, and 38% response to LOTW.  Almost everyone who has responded with a LOTW match has also sent me a card.  
I currently have 145 countries with 87 confirmed on LOTW and 20 cards confirmed not on LOTW.  I figure another month and the LOTW will reach the 100 mark.  I kind of have my doubts with the cards though.
It is working out well for me, but I don't have old contacts.  Maybe this skews the stats?
Anyways, it's a bit of a hassle to get it going, but if a cuban, and a new zealander can do it, anyone can if they want to.




Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: KD8MJR on January 01, 2012, 09:05:30 PM
I started with a fairly good rate at about 35% and I have now increased that significantly to about 60% by targeting my DX better.  If I see a new one I check their QRZ Page and if I see that they use LoTW I spend as much time as needed to get that contact, if I fail I add that station into my HRD cluster program and have it alert me if they are on the air again. Call me Mr. Lazy :D but I do respect those guys who do it the Hard way but this works well for me, I am now at about 259 countries with 155 confirmed and the last 30 or so I got using that method in just the last 3 months.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: NU4B on January 01, 2012, 09:14:46 PM
I just finished miliwatt DXCC last November.
Confirmations so far:

QSL Card - 80%
LOTW - 68%

This represents QSOs from Dec. 2010 - Nov 2011 and the vast majority are contests and/or Dxpeditions

Just FYI


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: WS4T on January 02, 2012, 02:25:35 AM
Operating QRP from Eastern Europe, I've got a 34% LotW confirmation rate over the past 2 1/2 years. I'm mostly operating contests and DXing. I have 139 DXCC entities confirmed in LotW.

I really like LotW and obviously I upload all my QSOs. I don't see the point of selective uploads: It's free to upload everything and it doesn't take any extra effort.

Funny story: While I was striving towards DXCC, I noticed I had worked an EK station on a couple of bands who was participating in LotW and uploading regularly, but I still didn't have the confirmation from him. I keep looking and waiting, and then I finally read his website carefully. To get LotW confirmation from him, it was necessary to write his QSL manager with the QSO data and specifically request a LotW upload. I did that and got confirmation within a day or so. His call is EK6LP, just in case you're in the same boat.

I wonder how many more stations do selective uploads like that?

Gary, ES1WST


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: AI0O on January 02, 2012, 05:03:04 AM
Gary,
   ER1DA, TY1KS, and UN8GV are 3 that come immediately to mind that do selective LOTW uploads. I am at about 28% with LOTW but that is all Q's uploaded from 1979 on. I'm sure that skews it a tad.
73,
Rob AI0O


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: K0IZ on January 02, 2012, 06:42:54 AM
I signed back up last week for LOTW, after four year absence.  Found the installation/certificate/upload process to be more confusing than I think it should be, but got through it (in spite of being quite PC proficient).  I think there should be only one software program (not two), and the program should lead a person step by step through the process.  That's how most well-programmed commercial programs do it.

Currently the two programs require using the on-line LOTW help for virtually every step.
Also with Win7, might be difficult to find the saved file (likely in Compatibility FIles), and upload screen on LOTW can't find a file in a Compatibility File folder, so must then move or copy elsewhere.  I suspect a fair number of hams give up along the way, especially the more casual operators who don't work DX much.

Per ARRL, 47,000 are using LOTW.  Considering the world-wide number of hams, that's still pretty low.  But seems to me virtually all more recent DXpeditions and most active DXer's participate. 

I much prefer real QSL cards, but after uploading, found confirmations for three new countries that I was missing received cards.  So the process was worth it to me, just for those three.  Uploaded about 9000 QSO's, so presumably I also helped some others with their confirmations.  Now that I'm back into LOTW, I'll continue to use it.   John, KØIZ


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: K3ZL on January 02, 2012, 08:42:07 AM
Simon - most of my contacts are DX stations (non-NA) and I am running close to 40% LotW confirmation rate. I'm very satisfied with LotW, for the first time ever (42 years as a ham) I have qualified for 5BDXCC and 5BWAS. Most people I know find it to be fantastic.

73, John K3TN

I am very disapointed with LOTW response.  I will continue to upload all QSOs, but have started SASEing again because of only about 16% response.  Will take me more years than I have left to complete my awards objectives by only using LOTW.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N0AZZ on January 02, 2012, 09:27:33 AM
I started log keeping in 1/1/2009 in 7 mo I had worked DXCC using LoTW only and not trying very hard all SSB. As of 1/1/2012 I have 237 confirmed on LoTW with a total of 278 total all phone also have QRP DXCC all LoTW.

One of the great things that ARRL started and quick also for the most part to confirm to upload I just make a mouse click in my logging program and it's done. Better return than cards and a lot cheaper.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N5MOA on January 02, 2012, 10:27:32 AM
11,403 qsos, mainly dx and contest, the majority since Jan 2008.

303 current DXCC worked

45% confirmed LOTW  262 DXCC

99% confirmed w/qsl cards 300 DXCC

As soon as my TU2T and 3XY1D cards arrive, it will be 99.7% confirmed w/cards.  KH3 I'll have to re-work.

Of all the cards I've sent, only a few have been "lost".

LOTW is a nice tool, especially for band fills, but I don't think it will ever entirely supplant qsl cards. Not enough dx use it for it to outpace the return on cards.

I certainly wouldn't wait on it for a "new one".


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: AF3Y on January 02, 2012, 10:38:37 AM
I signed back up last week for LOTW, after four year absence.   

Currently the two programs require using the on-line LOTW help for virtually every step.

Also with Win7, might be difficult to find the saved file (likely in Compatibility FIles), and upload screen on LOTW can't find a file in a Compatibility File folder, so must then move or copy elsewhere.

I much prefer real QSL cards, but after uploading, found confirmations for three new countries that I was missing received cards.  So the process was worth it to me, just for those three.  Uploaded about 9000 QSO's, so presumably I also helped some others with their confirmations.  Now that I'm back into LOTW, I'll continue to use it.   John, KØIZ

John, I went ahead and printed out their step by step instructions. I upload just about weekly now, so it is pretty easy. My logging program makes the file for me.

I save my .tq files to my desktop until I know LOTW has the .tq8, and then delete them. I am using Win Vista on PC and Win7 on laptop. No problems with either as to finding the file.

I agree on still liking paper cards!!   GL, Gene AF3Y


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: KE8G on January 02, 2012, 12:51:11 PM
I haven't seen it asked in any of the posts (I may have missed it though), to have a low return rate of 2.6%, I wonder if you are not logging in UTC.  Could that be the problem?

I have approximately a 42% return rate from DX stations, after the US stations are removed from the total.

100% of those are CW, as that is the only mode I use.

LoTW is a quick, easy, and cheap way to get a QSO confirmed, but I like to have a real card in my hands.  I send out a lot of cards via the buro, another great ARRL value!   If I really need the cards for DXCC, I'll upload LoTW and send for one direct.

Hope you find out what the problem is, I would hate to see you give up on LoTW. 

LoTW is a great tool we have at our disposal.

73 de Jim - KE8G


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N3QE on January 02, 2012, 03:03:48 PM
I find a DX response rate of 35-40% overall, of a QSL being verified in LOTW within a year or two. Yeah, some linger on out past a few years (my record right now is a 1978 QSO being confirmed in LOTW in 2011!)

Most of my QSO's are contests, specifically CW contests.

The rate from "casual DX", just chatting with the DX, is closer to 20%. Some casual DX (e.g. Australia, Japan) is better than other casual DX (e.g. random southern European countries).

Many DXpeditions eventually confirm via LOTW, but aren't speedy. See Jan 2012 QST article by Wayne N7NG.

LOTW rates in digital/RTTY contests will generally be better than 50%.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: WS4T on January 03, 2012, 03:34:02 AM
I too find a "response rate of 2.6%" strange and my first thought was that there must be a UTC error. But the original poster says that is definitely not the case.

HS0ZIB: I would be thrilled to work you, especially since I don't have Thailand confirmed via LotW. ;D Are you on 10m these days?

Gary, ES1WST


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: HS0ZIB on January 03, 2012, 04:40:35 AM
Gary - it's definitely not a UTC error - I log the QSO in my local time which is UTC+7 and I double-check the UTC time on Google.

It may be that the stations I am working simply do not use LOTW - I can check this on QRZ.com but sometimes people do not complete these details on QRZ.com.

Tomorrow my homebrew hexbeam should be installed at my new airport hotel QTH, including 10 metres.  I'm looking forward to installing my base station (Kenwood TS-850S) and working NA on 10 (and other bands)

Simon


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: WS3N on January 03, 2012, 05:52:56 AM
Gary - it's definitely not a UTC error - I log the QSO in my local time which is UTC+7 and I double-check the UTC time on Google.

It may be that the stations I am working simply do not use LOTW - I can check this on QRZ.com but sometimes people do not complete these details on QRZ.com.

Tomorrow my homebrew hexbeam should be installed at my new airport hotel QTH, including 10 metres.  I'm looking forward to installing my base station (Kenwood TS-850S) and working NA on 10 (and other bands)

Simon

What are you using to generate your logs? If it's not a problem with the time, what about the frequency? Check the QSO details on LoTW.

I had a case where I was waiting for a confirmation and had checked and verified that the other party had already uploaded. I looked at the details of the QSO that I had uploaded. I found that it was listed as a cross-band contact. I checked my log and found that the frequency of the second VFO had unintentionally been logged as the receive frequency. I corrected the log and uploaded the new QSO information. I had my confirmation within a few minutes.

Jack


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: WS4T on January 03, 2012, 05:54:31 AM
Simon, I'm in Estonia for now.

Here's propagation charts from HS to ES:
- Short-path: http://www.voacap.com/predictions/4f03083f7bd5b/
- Long-path: http://www.voacap.com/predictions/4f03085802478/

Hope to work you!

Cheers,
Gary, ES1WST


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N3QE on January 03, 2012, 06:26:11 AM
I too find a "response rate of 2.6%" strange and my first thought was that there must be a UTC error. But the original poster says that is definitely not the case.

I can think of several combinations where I expect QSL rates below 3% just inside the US:

VHF FM operations outside contests
Field day
Many other mobile/field activities that aren't necessarily contests

I understand that in Southeast Asia that there is a good amount of portable low-band VHF equipment that is commonly used by hams and even DX'ing on those bands that you or me might never ever notice here in the states. Some of the low band VHF stuff, you and me have probably never heard of (e.g. I know there's a community of 70MHz users in Europe; I have no idea if LOTW even can track these QSO's; I have no idea what oddball bands might be used in SE Asia.)

Tim.



Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: K3STX on January 03, 2012, 06:52:01 AM
If he works primarily rag-chewers and not contest ops/DXers I can easily see 2.6%. I ONLY keep my contest logs on a computer, I suspect many many many Hams are just like me. So none of my ragchew logs, or DXing logs, are on computer so are not on LOTW.

paul


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N0AZZ on January 03, 2012, 10:33:23 AM
All I log is DX and Contest entries don't bother with a rag chew what very few I do.


FRED/N0AZZ


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: KJ4FUU on January 03, 2012, 10:45:42 AM
A low response rate can also come from the way the call sign is sent, can't it? For instance, is KJ4FUU/M the same as KJ4FUU? I was told that it wasn't. My response rate is probably just under 40% overall. I'm wondering if some are being sent to KJ4FUU/QRP (what my card says) vs. KJ4FUU (what I'm set up for in LoTW).

I do know that I worked a station that was portable to Bermuda, and I didn't get the LoTW confirmation until I logged it as VP9/call sign.

-- Tom


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: W5DQ on January 03, 2012, 02:55:29 PM
While my stats are not broken out by continent, etc., I do upload every QSO to LOTW. I operate mainly CW and RTTY these days but have roughly an even number of QSO for all 3 main modes (SSB, CW and RTTY). My response rate is 46.7% (7,471 QSO uploaded with 3,496 QSL recv'd). I'm not sure why someone would see less than 10% response from LOTW. That seems mighty slim and I think I'd be on the phone or email to ARRL HQ / DXCC Desk to find out if there is a problem for sure.  ???

Gene W5DQ
 


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: HS0ZIB on January 03, 2012, 05:51:16 PM
Actually after scrutinising my QSOs and QSLs it looks even worse!  The last confirmed QSO was from 2 years ago and that was specifically after the other ham emailed me to ask me to confirm via LOTW.  Every single QSO since that date has not been verified, (although I made few QSOs until perhaps 3 months ago).

Since only 47,000 hams in the world use LOTW and since there are millions of hams worldwide, the lack of response with LOTW maybe is not surprising.

Simon


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N7SMI on January 03, 2012, 05:57:16 PM
Something is most certainly wrong with your set up. I suspect that your call or location or something has been set up incorrectly. Do your QSOs show up when you log into LoTW? It's impossible to have that many QSOs and that poor of a response rate.

I've been on HF for 6 months - mostly DX chasing and contesting. My QSL rate is 52%.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: WW3QB on January 03, 2012, 06:54:35 PM
Actually after scrutinising my QSOs and QSLs it looks even worse!  The last confirmed QSO was from 2 years ago and that was specifically after the other ham emailed me to ask me to confirm via LOTW.  Every single QSO since that date has not been verified, (although I made few QSOs until perhaps 3 months ago).

Since only 47,000 hams in the world use LOTW and since there are millions of hams worldwide, the lack of response with LOTW maybe is not surprising.

Simon

Go to http://www.hb9bza.net/lotw-users-list and see if you worked any hams known to use LoTW. I bet you have worked many. You must have a configuration problem. Also use the Find Call on the LoTW web site for stations in your log.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: HS0ZIB on January 04, 2012, 02:41:15 AM
Quote
Go to http://www.hb9bza.net/lotw-users-list and see if you worked any hams known to use LoTW. I bet you have worked many. You must have a configuration problem. Also use the Find Call on the LoTW web site for stations in your log.

OK - After searching my last 50 QSOs on that user list, not a single callsign was found as an LOTW user.  I seem to be very unlucky to have only worked stations who do not use LOTW.

Bear in mind that I have not worked any NA stations yet from my HS location.  But there are plenty of VKs, ZLs, VUs and EU stations.  None of them is on that LOTW user list :(

Simon


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: K3TN on January 04, 2012, 03:03:31 AM
If most of your QSOs are VK/VU/YB/ZL, the HB9ZA site shows these statistics:

Number of LotW Users by Country:

VK - 245
VU - 41
YB - 94
ZL - 152

So, not very big numbers. I have LotW confirmations from all of those countries and don't work a lot of VUs or YBs, but the % of LotW users in Asia Pacific is definitely low outside of Japan - and JA only has 1300 or so LotW users.

For example, I've tried to encourage HS0AC to start using LotW again - I think they stopped in 2009 or so.

But if you are really only seeing 2.4%, the law of averages predicts someone else in HS is probably seeing 50%...

John K3TN


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N9KX on January 04, 2012, 05:39:17 AM
If most of your QSOs are VK/VU/YB/ZL, the HB9ZA site shows these statistics:

Number of LotW Users by Country:

VK - 245
VU - 41
YB - 94
ZL - 152

So, not very big numbers. I have LotW confirmations from all of those countries and don't work a lot of VUs or YBs, but the % of LotW users in Asia Pacific is definitely low outside of Japan - and JA only has 1300 or so LotW users.

For example, I've tried to encourage HS0AC to start using LotW again - I think they stopped in 2009 or so.

But if you are really only seeing 2.4%, the law of averages predicts someone else in HS is probably seeing 50%...

John K3TN

I think the % of LoTW users is on the increase the world over and is likely to grow exponentially over the next decade.  If that is true, one day we will all look back at return rates from 2011 and shake our heads in relative disbelief.  We will also be glad we signed up early :-)


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N3QE on January 04, 2012, 08:07:24 AM
If most of your QSOs are VK/VU/YB/ZL, the HB9ZA site shows these statistics:

Number of LotW Users by Country:

VK - 245
VU - 41
YB - 94
ZL - 152

So, not very big numbers. I have LotW confirmations from all of those countries and don't work a lot of VUs or YBs, but the % of LotW users in Asia Pacific is definitely low outside of Japan - and JA only has 1300 or so LotW users.

For example, I've tried to encourage HS0AC to start using LotW again - I think they stopped in 2009 or so.

But if you are really only seeing 2.4%, the law of averages predicts someone else in HS is probably seeing 50%...

I have 40% of my VK QSO's confirmed by LOTW (includes several Lord Howe)

I have 35% of my ZL QSO's confirmed by LOTW (includes several Kermadec)

I have 100% of my YB QSO's confirmed by LOTW (OK so only 2 QSO's!)

I have 100% of my VU QSO's confirmed by LOTW (OK so only 4 QSO's!)

The majority of the above are not contests. (Indeed there's one VK I chat with several times each week).

I don't think the problem is lack of participation by Asia/Pacific area hams. I'm not sure there is a systemic problem as some try to imply; I only see systemic successes.

Tim.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: HS0ZIB on January 04, 2012, 05:04:51 PM
I'm sure that if I were working DXpeditions, then my LOTW % would be much higher.

I am generally not working rag-chewers.  I'm typically working stations calling for DX stations in Asia/Far East etc.  I would have thought that they would be using LOTW.  However, I'm the first to admit that I only started using LOTW fairly recently, and have read the various threads on this forum about the pros and cons of the system.  As a software engineer of 20 years experience, I will say (politely) that the implementation and operation of the application needs updating in certain areas - it certainly looks like it is stuck in a time warp :)

Perhaps ARRL needs to promote LOTW more to overseas hams.  I'm thinking that the registration procedure for non-NA hams is simply too much hassle for some. 

I'll see how this plays out.  I'm happy to upload my logs to LOTW, and if there is even just 1 confirmed QSO then that's better than zero.

Simon


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: KF6ABU on January 04, 2012, 06:14:37 PM
I have 162 countries confirmed just in LOTW, out of 233 worked in a year and a half. I have 1,800 QSO total.

I think thats pretty good for LOTW.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: LA9XSA on January 05, 2012, 06:44:38 PM
The sign-up for overseas users isn't much of a hassle: I only printed a copy of my license document and sent it to the ARRL after I signed up. Of course it's harder for DXpeditions and rare entities since hams there have to prove more thoroughly that they're actually who and where they say they are, but for most of us international hams it's easy.

The main problem is the tqsl interface should have guided the user through the process. The how-to document explains it, but I think many people can't be bothered. Personally, I thought it was little work for quick, easy and fairly dependable QSL'ing.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: K3TN on January 06, 2012, 03:22:24 AM

The main problem is the tqsl interface should have guided the user through the process. The how-to document explains it, but I think many people can't be bothered. Personally, I thought it was little work for quick, easy and fairly dependable QSL'ing.

I agree - I really don't think LotW is much harder to get started with than eQSL but those extra steps and the clunkiness of the TQSL software is sort of like those child-proof tops on pill bottles - causes many people to just throw up their hands and give up.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: NU1O on January 06, 2012, 02:56:40 PM
But if you are really only seeing 2.4%, the law of averages predicts someone else in HS is probably seeing 50%...

John K3TN

Can you please explain how if one HS station is receiving a 2.4% return rate the law of averages predicts some other HS station is seeing a 50% return rate.  I am fairly familiar with probability and I'd be interested in your explanation.

73,

Chris/NU1O


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: W0GLB on January 06, 2012, 03:13:54 PM
I haven't gone to the extent in breaking down my results like some who have posted have, but my overall return rate is 58.8%, and my overall DX confirmation rate is 88.7%.  I think a major factor in that is that 75% of my contacts are RTTY and some digital modes, and generally, those folks by definition use software that facilitates LOTW uploads. Just got my DXCC entirely via LOTW confirmations, and well on my way to 20M and Digital endorsements, too.

BTW, I upload EVERY QSO. 
73 es gud DX, Gordon


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on January 06, 2012, 09:27:41 PM
Without wishing to be the target of LOTW devotee's, and as a DX station, I would like to add that having tried once to get on the LOTW bandwagon, I would not wish to go through that pain again.
I also tried eQSL and found the verification/sign-up procedure excellent, but without official awards recognition it does seem a bit redundant for my purposes.
So now, I work the direct paper qsl path and will qsl 100% (postage not necessary).
I would certainly use LOTW, but despite the encouragement of those who say it is easy to setup and get registered - it is frankly a frankenstein/machiavellian hybrid in my experience.
When the ARRL can make LOTW as straightforward to use as my banks website and security I will most certainly sign up again.
Of course banks only handle billions of dollars, not DXCC certification, so it only seems prudent to use 1970's software practices and byzantine security for this holy grail.

I am not trying to be cruel, just very frustrated by LOTW.

I live in hope.

73s



Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N3OX on January 07, 2012, 12:31:34 AM
When the ARRL can make LOTW as straightforward to use as my banks website and security I will most certainly sign up again.
Of course banks only handle billions of dollars, not DXCC certification, so it only seems prudent to use 1970's software practices and byzantine security for this holy grail.

I am not trying to be cruel, just very frustrated by LOTW.

I've heard the "my bank is easier to use" argument but I think it misses an important point.

When you're a profit making entity handling daily transactions of huge amounts of money and the consequences of screwing that up could kill your corporation entirely and bad security procedures will cause your competitors to look more attractive, an expenditure of a few million bucks to set up a super-secure and user-friendly system is the basic cost of doing business.  You either pay some software firm to do it or you have people on staff to do it... lots of them.

When you are a nonprofit handling an electronic awards program for an obscure hobby, you don't have such resources.  But you do have  some people who take high level DXCC awards nearly as seriously as the money they have in the bank...

Demand for keeping it as hard to cheat as it is with paper QSLs requires security.  But that demand doesn't come with money to have a big team of people to work on that.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N9KX on January 07, 2012, 04:14:15 AM
Without wishing to be the target of LOTW devotee's, and as a DX station, I would like to add that having tried once to get on the LOTW bandwagon, I would not wish to go through that pain again.
[...]
I would certainly use LOTW, but despite the encouragement of those who say it is easy to setup and get registered - it is frankly a frankenstein/machiavellian hybrid in my experience.
When the ARRL can make LOTW as straightforward to use as my banks website and security I will most certainly sign up again.

As someone who has attained (afforded QSLing) DXCC only because of LoTW, I have to say you  make a fair point.
If the ARRL could come up with a 'set-up wizard' -- like Outlook and other programs have -- and it walked the user through what
hoops were necessary for appropriate vetting and verification, I think it would become much more favored. 

Right now the choir who sings its praises are the ones who have it and the detractors don't seem to have enough traction with those who find it a breeze.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: K0IZ on January 07, 2012, 06:57:14 AM
Two comments:

1.   I agree with earlier post that LOTW software is "clunky", and no doubt causes some to abandon process partway through.  I know I gave up a couple of years ago before trying again two weeks ago.  Software needs to be rewritten.

2.  Now that I am back into LOTW, I looked up my LOTW DXCC report.  I only operate 20M SSB, since 2003.  LOTW showed 193 confirmed.  My "real" QSL card confirmation showed 253 of 256 worked.   The missing three were filled in by LOTW.  So my LOTW return was 75%.  But this probably greatly overstates return since for most entities I have worked multiple stations, any of which would have provided an LOTW hit.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: AF3Y on January 07, 2012, 08:28:27 AM
Well, I am a little curious as to why the big difference in confirmed vs. worked percentages.  I have approx 3000 QSOs listed, MOST of which are DX QSOs, outside US and my confirmed rate is still sticking at about 23%. I have a feeling that these high percentage rates of around 50% are heavily saturated with US QSOs. Just thinking out loud.  Gene AF3Y


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: WW3QB on January 07, 2012, 08:40:31 AM
Well, I am a little curious as to why the big difference in confirmed vs. worked percentages.  I have approx 3000 QSOs listed, MOST of which are DX QSOs, outside US and my confirmed rate is still sticking at about 23%. I have a feeling that these high percentage rates of around 50% are heavily saturated with US QSOs. Just thinking out loud.  Gene AF3Y

My rate is 55%. It is mostly contest and digital QSOs (both mostly DX). These two groups really use LoTW.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: AB8MA on January 07, 2012, 10:14:28 AM
One way to see your rate increase: don't upload for a month. :)

I had been sort of idle since Thanksgiving. With miscellaneous QSL's from years past (IRELAND, CZECH REPUBLIC. CANADA, BELGIUM, RWANDA, POLAND, JAPAN, and SPAIN) it is obvious that folks around the world are joining LOTW for the first time. So, even without much actual radio activity, most LOTW rates should increase regardless.

Of course, recent uploads from T32C and E51MAN were a plus.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: NU1O on January 07, 2012, 12:33:18 PM
Well, I am a little curious as to why the big difference in confirmed vs. worked percentages.  I have approx 3000 QSOs listed, MOST of which are DX QSOs, outside US and my confirmed rate is still sticking at about 23%. I have a feeling that these high percentage rates of around 50% are heavily saturated with US QSOs. Just thinking out loud.  Gene AF3Y

I have been using LoTW for about one year which is when I got back on the air after a multi-year hiatus. I have ~ 10,000 QSOs entered although about half are probably from contests.  My response rate is very close to yours, about 25%.  Since I am mainly a DXer about 70% of my QSOs are with stations outside the USA. I have 210 countries confirmed via LoTW and I have worked 302 altogether.  I've been licensed since 1988 and although I have every unique country uploaded to LoTW I did not expect too many LoTW confirmations from 20 year old QSOs.  I think I have about 5 confirmations from countries where the QSO is 10 or more years ago.

73,

Chris/NU1O

73,

Chris/NU1O


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: NU4B on January 07, 2012, 04:44:53 PM
I haven't uploaded many from before 2001, mainly because they were on a paper log. But I received some neat LOTW QSLs from what I have uploaded like

FO0CI (92)
CE0ZZZ (90)
ZA1A (91)
A25GH (91)
AH3C/KH5J (90)

At some point I would like toput them all in, its alot of input, and I would rather be DX'ing.  ;D


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: HS0ZIB on January 07, 2012, 05:25:29 PM
I've made another small batch of uploads over the past week or two.  Confirmed rate now down to 2.0%, not one LOTW confirmation from this latest batch :(

Simon


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: K0IZ on January 07, 2012, 05:38:38 PM
If you work me, I'll get you a LOTW confirmation !!!


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: NU4B on January 07, 2012, 06:47:03 PM
If you work me, I'll get you a LOTW confirmation !!!

DITTO!!!!!!!!


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: WN2C on January 08, 2012, 10:55:20 AM
Simon, don't let it get you down! If every one who has a low rate of confirmations stopped using LOTW then everyone's rate would fall. Hi Hi. Seriously tho, I only have about a 30 to 33 percent return. It may be the stations or possibly mode(s) you work. Do you when working SSB say you use LOTW? and you will confirm with it?
When I first started using it my confirmation rate was very low, so it may get better. I do know one thing, if you work me you will get a confirmation from LOTW form me.  I do still like getting real QSLs to hang in the shack for those non-OPs to see and ask did you really talk to....(put country name here).

On another note, to all who use LOTW it should be talked up and promoted to those who don't use it, maybe by explaining the benefits of how much money one can save in just postage and green stamps. JMHO

73 Es Gud Dx de Wn2c


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: HS0ZIB on January 08, 2012, 04:22:15 PM
@WN2C, I'm not selective in my QSOs of course, and I work any station that contacts me, or that I can contact.  I always comment that I QSL and all details are on QRZ.com.  I check the QSL policy of each of my contacts on QRZ.com and either send a hard copy QSL card, (especially if it's a new country), AND upload all contacts to LOTW.  I upload to eQSL if requested.

So far, QRZ.com indicates that EVERY SINGLE CONTACT that I've made in the last 4-5 months does not use LOTW! (My LOTW confirmation rate has now dropped to 1.9%...)

Of course, your own mileage may vary :)

Having registered for LOTW, it makes little sense to stop using it, and it's a useful depository for my online logs. I'm sure if I persevere, then my confirm rate will increase rapidly, especially once I start making QSOs with NA from my new base QTH.

Simon


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on January 09, 2012, 03:30:21 AM
The problem is not that LOTW is a bad idea, just that it is implemented in such a way as to make it fragile and difficult to install.
Look at your local bank - frankly the idea that it costs millions of dollars to implement a web based interface is not correct.
The cost of the software is usually the back-end processing and systems analysis.
There are a lot of web based software and products available in the open source community which are both professional and extensive - lack of technology is not the problem.
A captive customer base is not much of an incentive to change.
Don't misunderstand me, I fully support the ARRL and LOTW is a product of a genuine attempt at serving a need in the amateur community.
But times change, and technology is now available to make the customer experience (hams) both simple and secure.
After all, the important part of the whole process is the data (QSO information), not the interface.
When an interface and setup is unwieldy and difficult it destroys the overall experience, brings attention to the interface, not the data, and causes millions of wasted keystrokes by frustrated users.

Blaming the messenger does not change the message.
Please ARRL, redesign LOTW and see your user base expand.

73s


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N3QE on January 09, 2012, 03:42:02 AM
So far, QRZ.com indicates that EVERY SINGLE CONTACT that I've made in the last 4-5 months does not use LOTW! (My LOTW confirmation rate has now dropped to 1.9%...)

Maybe this is like the mice trying to describe an elephant.

I just did the ARRL RTTY RU, and already (less than 12 hours after the end) about 35% of my QSO's are confirmed in LOTW, and I fully expect it to reach 70% or 80% before too long.

At the same time, if you're doing casual phone operation, or working 2 meter FM, modes where most guys don't even keep a logbook entry, I would not be surprised at 1-2% participation.

Coming in and generalizing "little used outside NA" probably is an unimportant factor. I suspect that mode and style of operation have much more to do with it, than geography. Of my DX QSO's in RTTY RU, the confirmation rate at the moment is higher than domestic QSO's.

Tim.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: HS0ZIB on January 09, 2012, 04:23:14 AM
Tim, I hear what you're saying, but cannot agree.  I only operate on 20 meters, either SSB or PSK from my mobile station.  I'm in a sought-after zone (26), and on an island (IOTA AS-053).  Most of my QSOs are with stations calling CQ DX, and they are very happy to make a contact with me, (as I am with them), and eager for a QSL.  But the facts speak for themselves.  Every single QSO that I've made on 20 metres since I've been active /M (about 4-5 months) has not been confirmed via LOTW (presumably because every single person that I've had QSOs with have indicated on QRZ.com that they do not accept LOTW).

If I were located in the USA, and working states/counties/whatever, then I'm sure my confirmed rate would be much, much higher.

Maybe I need to call 'CQ LOTW only??' :)

Simon


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N3QE on January 09, 2012, 06:02:43 AM
Every single QSO that I've made on 20 metres since I've been active /M (about 4-5 months) has not been confirmed via LOTW.

This kinda falls under the "well when did it last work and what did you change" category.

Search on lotw for last upload for HS0ZIB/M yields:

Logbook Call Sign Activity
Here you can query Logbook to find out the last time log data was uploaded for a particular call sign.
Last upload for HS0ZIB/M: No log data found


Cutting and pasting from the ARRL webpage:

LoTW For The Mobile or Portable Operator-
If you signed your call using /m or /p or some other identifier then you will have to request a signed certificate for the appended callsign. Geographic information is managed by your station locations in TQSL.


If you signed with a portable, such as NT1N/6, or NT1N/R, you should obtain a separate certificate for those calls. Remember, those stations who worked you as NT1N/6 will not get a match to their data if you sign your NT1N/6 log with your NT1N certificate -- each QSO you submit will be tagged with NT1N instead of the correct NT1N/6.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: AF3Y on January 09, 2012, 06:44:50 AM
(From EI9JU)

I think LOTW a smashing idea but if you think it's cumbersome for a US ham you want to try and register from here.
They don't accept on-line documentation, a scanned and emailed copy of my Amateur Licence isn't good enough, the same applies to the second form of proof, they won't accept scans of my passport or driving licence, they insist proof must be original copies sent through the postal system.....or at least that's how I remember it when I last applied for registration.


Chris, remember this reply you got last August? I still think the number of hams outside the US, percentagewise is miniscule compared to the US.  Gene AF3Y


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N9KX on January 09, 2012, 08:13:41 AM
Every single QSO that I've made on 20 metres since I've been active /M (about 4-5 months) has not been confirmed via LOTW.

Search on lotw for last upload for HS0ZIB/M yields:

Logbook Call Sign Activity
Here you can query Logbook to find out the last time log data was uploaded for a particular call sign.
Last upload for HS0ZIB/M: No log data found


Cutting and pasting from the ARRL webpage:

LoTW For The Mobile or Portable Operator -
If you signed your call using /m or /p or some other identifier then you will have to request a signed certificate for the appended callsign. Geographic information is managed by your station locations in TQSL.

If you signed with a portable, such as NT1N/6, or NT1N/R, you should obtain a separate certificate for those calls. Remember, those stations who worked you as NT1N/6 will not get a match to their data if you sign your NT1N/6 log with your NT1N certificate -- each QSO you submit will be tagged with NT1N instead of the correct NT1N/6.

pretty good detective work N3QE.  I was wondering about the remote possibility he uploaded for that brief period where LoTW was down and lost some uploads.  I hope your above possible explanation turns out right.  If it does, it should help Simon's rate quite a bit...  Although having to get a separate certificate for /M may make him like LoTW less...


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: W5DQ on January 09, 2012, 09:08:32 AM
Without wishing to be the target of LOTW devotee's, and as a DX station, I would like to add that having tried once to get on the LOTW bandwagon, I would not wish to go through that pain again.
I also tried eQSL and found the verification/sign-up procedure excellent, but without official awards recognition it does seem a bit redundant for my purposes.
So now, I work the direct paper qsl path and will qsl 100% (postage not necessary).
I would certainly use LOTW, but despite the encouragement of those who say it is easy to setup and get registered - it is frankly a frankenstein/machiavellian hybrid in my experience.
When the ARRL can make LOTW as straightforward to use as my banks website and security I will most certainly sign up again.
Of course banks only handle billions of dollars, not DXCC certification, so it only seems prudent to use 1970's software practices and byzantine security for this holy grail.

I am not trying to be cruel, just very frustrated by LOTW.

I live in hope.

73s



I understand there a many individuals such as yourself that have admitted having difficulties in setting up LOTW. Without casting stones, flames or anything painful in anyones' direction, perhaps if those like yourself who have had problems would describe, without adding personal bias, the problems encountered in enough details to public forums like eHAM to provide a public accounting of the issues so ARRL can possibly update or correct defiencies. Even sharing the info, others might be able to help you get over any hurdles you are finding in your way.  I personally see many entries in multiple forums topics related to QSLing and the like where the poster expounds the negativity and dislike of ARRL's LOTW but only with comments such as your " .... it is frankly a frankenstein/machiavellian hybrid in my experience ..." with no additional information to allow anyone to help them. Another point I should also mention here is the continuing comparison between LOTW and eQSL. Beyond the fact that both can create a 'confirmation' for uploaded QSO data, comparing them is comparing APPLES to MONKEES. There are 2 totally different systems.

Again this isn't meant to criticize you or anyone but without a summary of the EXACT issues that are being found by the user community, the ARRL is probably not going to 'invest' time in doing a wild goose chase to find disliked options. Like was mentioned about banking woftware vs LOTW, they most likely have only a few people assigned to do updates to LOTW and those individuals are probably dual (or more) hatted being that ARRL is a non-profit.

Now having said the above, I personally have had no problems in setting up numerous LOTW accounts for myself, relatives and friends. Outside the delay waiting for a physical postcard, which by the way I think is the main problem a lot of potential users get stuck at, my average time to create a LOTW account and upload the initial logbook of contacts has been around 30 minutes. I simply follow the instructions found on the ARRL LOTW website TO THE LETTER and I never seem to have a problem. I have multiple calls linked in my LOTW account as well as my father (now SK) has 4 calls linked in his account I setup. And we even share a call (W5DQ - I obtained it by vanity call after he passed) so there was that additional hurdle to get over. Almost every account I have dealt with has had 2 or more calls to link.

If I can help you in any way, I'm good in QRZ.COM. Drop me an email and describe (with enough detail) the problem and I will try to help you get going on LOTW. It really isn't rocket science.

Gene W5DQ


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N3QE on January 09, 2012, 09:55:09 AM
Chris, remember this reply you got last August? I still think the number of hams outside the US, percentagewise is miniscule compared to the US.  Gene AF3Y

Fraction of hams with envelopes and postage at the bureau might be an interesting comparison.

Or even better, do the comparison with faction of active hams.

When folks aren't complaining because LOTW has a response time of more than a few hours because "Everyone is using it", the same folks tells me that nobody uses LOTW. Maybe it's like Yogi Berra, "nobody goes there anymore because it's too crowded". But I just cut and paste my most recent 25 confirmations (all 25 of which came in the last 3 hours) and I see that DX is confirming more frequently as a fraction of QSO's (in RTTY RU maybe 15% of my QSO's were DX), than W's/VE's:


Next
    Call sign   Worked   Date/Time   Band   Mode   Freq   QSL
Details   N3QE   W4UH   2012-01-08 17:24:19   15M   RTTY   21.09545   UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Details   N3QE   W4UH   2012-01-08 01:35:19   40M   RTTY   7.05393   UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Details   N3QE   W4UH   2012-01-07 22:42:42   20M   RTTY   14.08822   UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Details   N3QE   VA3DX   2012-01-08 04:32:49   80M   RTTY   3.56570   CANADA
Details   N3QE   UX0FF   2012-01-08 13:49:01   15M   RTTY   21.09971   UKRAINE
Details   N3QE   EA8OM   2012-01-08 23:23:28   40M   RTTY   7.06036   CANARY ISLAND
Details   N3QE   EA8OM   2012-01-08 16:06:45   15M   RTTY   21.12366   CANARY ISLAND
Details   N3QE   N3BM   2012-01-08 13:54:01   15M   RTTY   21.10961   UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Details   N3QE   VE3FJB   2012-01-08 05:03:25   80M   RTTY   3.55911   CANADA
Details   N3QE   VE3FJB   2012-01-08 21:34:20   40M   RTTY   7.05715   CANADA
Details   N3QE   W2GPS   2012-01-08 22:58:27   40M   RTTY   7.06036   UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Details   N3QE   FG5LA   2012-01-08 13:25:20   10M   RTTY   28.08712   GUADELOUPE
Details   N3QE   K4CC   2012-01-08 13:10:58   40M   RTTY   7.07647   UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Details   N3QE   G4DBX   2012-01-08 14:41:29   15M   RTTY   21.11419   ENGLAND
Details   N3QE   IW1QN   2012-01-08 13:46:11   15M   RTTY   21.09661   ITALY
Details   N3QE   N9AKR   2012-01-08 21:36:20   40M   RTTY   7.05922   UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Details   N3QE   N8XI   2012-01-08 23:26:10   40M   RTTY   7.06036   UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Details   N3QE   N3YEA   2012-01-08 23:10:33   40M   RTTY   7.06036   UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Details   N3QE   PY2ADR   2012-01-08 20:43:06   10M   RTTY   28.11131   BRAZIL
Details   N3QE   SV1JG   2012-01-08 21:30:45   40M   RTTY   7.05226   GREECE
Details   N3QE   N3RC   2012-01-08 20:15:55   20M   RTTY   14.09856   UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Details   N3QE   K1TO   2011-12-11 21:38:10   10M   CW   28.07190   UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Details   N3QE   KL7SB   2012-01-02 21:41:22   12M   CW   24.90817   ALASKA
Details   N3QE   W4UEF   2012-01-08 03:46:20   80M   RTTY   3.59519   UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Details   N3QE   KB7Q   2012-01-08 17:19:12   15M   RTTY   21.08066   UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Tim.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: K0IZ on January 09, 2012, 10:35:24 AM
From another post re LoTW, I just found out that AC Log (which I use) has a LoTW upload function.  Tried it out and it works great.  Simple, straightforward.  So now that I went throught the LoTW setup process through TQSL, I'll use AC Log from this point on. 


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: W3WN on January 09, 2012, 11:38:45 AM
The problem is not that LOTW is a bad idea, just that it is implemented in such a way as to make it fragile and difficult to install.
Look at your local bank - frankly the idea that it costs millions of dollars to implement a web based interface is not correct.
The cost of the software is usually the back-end processing and systems analysis.
There are a lot of web based software and products available in the open source community which are both professional and extensive - lack of technology is not the problem.
A captive customer base is not much of an incentive to change.
Don't misunderstand me, I fully support the ARRL and LOTW is a product of a genuine attempt at serving a need in the amateur community.
But times change, and technology is now available to make the customer experience (hams) both simple and secure.
After all, the important part of the whole process is the data (QSO information), not the interface.
When an interface and setup is unwieldy and difficult it destroys the overall experience, brings attention to the interface, not the data, and causes millions of wasted keystrokes by frustrated users.

Blaming the messenger does not change the message.
Please ARRL, redesign LOTW and see your user base expand.

73s
I would respectfully disagree with your notion with regards to the costs to implement a web site for a bank.  Several local bands report spending millions on maintaing and updating their customer interfaces, and yes, granted, that includes hardware costs as well.

That aside...

I firmly believe that Logbook of the World needs an in-house advocate.  Since Wayne Mills left, from all appearances, the system really hasn't had anyone willing to push to get substantial upgrades on it's behalf... outside of a few hardware upgrades, there's been little or nothing done on the software end.  And my impression is that some of the ARRL top brass really don't understand what LotW is, or how it can be used; they are looking at the dollars and cents.  Right now, my understanding is that LotW doesn't pay for itself, and my impression is that until it does, they won't invest further in it; yet, if they don't invest in it, it won't bring in new users (or bring back old ones) in the numbers needed to get it to pay for itself.

I know that several hams over the last few years have offered to help update or rewrite the LotW code, including the software to access it and get set up for it, to make it easier to use and more attractive -- gratis.  To date, none of those offers have been accepted, and few have been acknowledged.

I believe the system is caught in limbo... too important & too visible to discontinue, but not deemed worthy of further upgrades in the forseeable future.  Short sighted thinking like this will sink it into obsolescence, and that would be a real shame.



Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N3QE on January 09, 2012, 01:19:35 PM
Since Wayne Mills left, from all appearances, the system really hasn't had anyone willing to push to get substantial upgrades on it's behalf... outside of a few hardware upgrades, there's been little or nothing done on the software end.

Wayne set the wheels in motion and LOTW is up-ending the whole QSL apple-cart and even the DX-pedition apple cart for the better. See his Jan 2012 QST article - which AFAIK, is the first time he's published anything in QST since leaving, so that means you really ought to pay attention to it. Anyone thinking LOTW is just like any other e-commerce site is ignoring the way it is reshaping the future of key ham radio activities, right now.

It might seem clunky but LOTW is much more than a website. It has a web front end, an E-mail front end, probably others I don't know about but will be coming in the future, but at its core it is an important database whose integrity can never ever be doubted. The certificate process may not be the slickest thing in the world but it is the root of authenticity, and it'll work going into the future after the concept of a website seems as archaic as a compuserve E-mail address or a tape reperforator.

Tim.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: HS0ZIB on January 09, 2012, 04:15:17 PM
Quote
Although having to get a separate certificate for /M may make him like LoTW less...

In fact, you may have just hit upon the reason.  My LOTW certificate is for HS0ZIB and I upload my logs using that contact.  The fact that I am /M some 400 metres away from my base QTH should not require me to require a separate certificate.  That's silly, (especially since LOTW awards do not recognise /M as a separate entity from the home call sign)

I have no idea if my contacts are uploading to LOTW with my call as HS0ZIB or HS0ZIB/M.  LOTW would have to be failing me (and my contact) VERY badly if it fails to recognise that HS0ZIB and HS0ZIB/M are the same person, especially if the QSO falls within the correct time frame and operating band.  (Actually, now reading N3QE's post seems to indicate that no contact has uploaded logs with the call HS0ZIB/M ...)

There seems to be no way to test this theory, other than by obtaining a second signed certificate for my /M suffix and then uploading all my /M logs again on the faint hope that some of these may match up, (and then I seem to have no way of deleting my incorrect logs that omit the /M suffix....

Suddenly, my interest in using LOTW has dropped - significantly

Simon

Addendum:

Quote
This kinda falls under the "well when did it last work and what did you change" category.

The last time it worked was for a QSO that I made 2 years ago where my contact specifically asked (via eQSL) for me to upload the QSO to LOTW.  I uploaded that QSO about 5 months ago and the QSO matched up fine.  Since that date ==> nada to every QSO that I uploaded :(


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N9KX on January 09, 2012, 04:37:34 PM
Quote
Although having to get a separate certificate for /M may make him like LoTW less...

In fact, you may have just hit upon the reason.  My LOTW certificate is for HS0ZIB and I upload my logs using that contact.  The fact that I am /M some 400 metres away from my base QTH should not require me to require a separate certificate.  That's silly, (especially since LOTW awards do not recognise /M as a separate entity from the home call sign)

I have no idea if my contacts are uploading to LOTW with my call as HS0ZIB or HS0ZIB/M.  LOTW would have to be failing me (and my contact) VERY badly if it fails to recognise that HS0ZIB and HS0ZIB/M are the same person, especially if the QSO falls within the correct time frame and operating band.  (Actually, now reading N3QE's post seems to indicate that no contact has uploaded logs with the call HS0ZIB/M ...)

what N3QE's post means is he used the "find call" tool and that no logs were uploaded by HS0ZIB/M (The LoTW site lets you check if a callsign has uploaded logs to LoTW, and the last date/time they did so). If your contacts are logging u as HS0ZIB/M and you are uploading as HS0ZIB -- then no confirmation will result.

There seems to be no way to test this theory, other than by obtaining a second signed certificate for my /M suffix and then uploading all my /M logs again on the faint hope that some of these may match up, (and then I seem to have no way of deleting my incorrect logs that omit the /M suffix....


yes, or your contacts would have to re upload your call as HS0ZIB and then the match would occur.  But contacting all of them and requesting they do so would probably be a real headache.

Suddenly, my interest in using LOTW has dropped - significantly

Simon

sri to hear that, but i think your frustration is natural.   


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: AC4RD on January 09, 2012, 05:09:48 PM
  My LOTW certificate is for HS0ZIB and I upload my logs using that contact.  The fact that I am /M some 400 metres ...
I have no idea if my contacts are uploading to LOTW with my call as HS0ZIB or HS0ZIB/M.  LOTW would have to be failing me (and my contact) VERY badly if it fails to recognise that HS0ZIB and HS0ZIB/M are the same

Simon, I did this a few months ago--I realized that I was being logged as AC4RD/M some times, and /P other times.  So I requested certificates for both of those.   I re-sent all my mobile contacts with the /M cert and the portable ones with /P, and picked up a good handful of confirmations both ways.   And now I rarely bother to mention I'm mobile or portable.   :-)   But getting the extra certificates is fast and simple if you already have the first certificate!


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: AB0DI on January 09, 2012, 06:45:46 PM
Here are my LOTW response rates:

Overall 66.5%
DX (DXCC ID <> 291) 52.3%
JT65 DX 47.9%
PSK31 DX 34.2%
RTTY DX 57.8%

I only operate digital modes, mainly PSK31 and JT65 with some low-key RTTY contesting.

Best regards, Tom, AB0DI


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: HS0ZIB on January 09, 2012, 09:53:43 PM
OK, I have requested an additional certificate for /M.  But this really does seem wasteful of resources.  It seems that in order to ensure a potential match for my QSOs, I must upload my logs 2 times, once for my home call and once for my /M call.  That means at least 50% of my logs will actually be wrong, simply because the other party may or may not have uploaded the logs with the /M suffix.  What's more, it seems that I cannot go into LOTW and delete the incorrect log entries.

Now I understand why the LOTW servers get overloaded if they are having to make multiple 'passes' to check for separate base and /M (and /P) calls.

I'll wait for my additional certificate and then try again!

Simon


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: WS4T on January 10, 2012, 12:29:10 AM
Simon,

You could create a separate log file for the "/M" call. That way you will always know which call you're uploading QSOs for.

It may seem like unnecessary effort, but I don't see how they could implement the system any differently, unless they allowed you to attach multiple calls to a single certificate. But in amateur radio, different calls usually mean different locations and LotW certificates have specific location information associated with them.

Since LotW interprets our input 100% literally, if I work JA1ABC as ES1WST/5 but I upload the QSO as ES1WST, it doesn't match. But why should it match? It's not correct.

Thankfully, it's a quick process to create a new certificate once you already have one.

Gary, ES1WST


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: AC4RD on January 10, 2012, 04:19:52 AM
You could create a separate log file for the "/M" call. That way you will always know which call you're uploading QSOs for.
 ...
Thankfully, it's a quick process to create a new certificate once you already have one.


I use an MS-Access database for my logging; I've got a predefined ADIF output query for contacts that haven't been uploaded yet; to run /M and /P output, I run the same query with "mobile" and "portable" in the selection criteria.  It adds just a couple of minutes, once a month.  This is not a big deal in my opinion, especially compared with the convenience of LOTW as a whole!


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: HS0ZIB on January 10, 2012, 04:56:16 AM
Quote
different calls usually mean different locations

Yes, but what does /M mean?  This suffix after my call-sign means that I'm mobile somewhere in the country that issued my call-sign.

HS0ZIB/M could be located right on the Malaysian border, or about 2,000 km north of there on the Laos border.  /M has no specific geographic location, other than I'm located in Thailand - somewhere!

I am starting to see some major issues with LOTW, especially concerning /M and /P operations, which could - with a little sensible thought - be resolved by updating the application.  But from what I understand about LOTW, there is no 'formal' version update timeline - it is somewhat frozen in time, rather like an ice-age dinosaur.

Anyway, once I get my /M certificate, (which will apply to any location throughout Thailand, including operating from my car at my base QTH), I will re-upload all my mobile QSOs as /M.  If I get no matching QSOs then I'm going to throw a sissy fit :)

Simon


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N3QE on January 10, 2012, 10:22:40 AM
HS0ZIB/M could be located right on the Malaysian border, or about 2,000 km north of there on the Laos border.  /M has no specific geographic location, other than I'm located in Thailand - somewhere!

That's why you can tweak the grid square (for those who care about grid squares).

Some folks care a lot about grid squares and LOTW supports this and grid-square based awards like VUCC just fine: http://www.arrl.org/vucc

Tim.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N9KX on January 10, 2012, 03:11:11 PM
Quote
different calls usually mean different locations

Yes, but what does /M mean?  This suffix after my call-sign means that I'm mobile somewhere in the country that issued my call-sign.

HS0ZIB/M could be located right on the Malaysian border, or about 2,000 km north of there on the Laos border.  /M has no specific geographic location, other than I'm located in Thailand - somewhere!

I am starting to see some major issues with LOTW, especially concerning /M and /P operations, which could - with a little sensible thought - be resolved by updating the application.  But from what I understand about LOTW, there is no 'formal' version update timeline - it is somewhat frozen in time, rather like an ice-age dinosaur.

Anyway, once I get my /M certificate, (which will apply to any location throughout Thailand, including operating from my car at my base QTH), I will re-upload all my mobile QSOs as /M.  If I get no matching QSOs then I'm going to throw a sissy fit :)

Simon

Hi Simon,

Glad to see you are keeping a sense of humor through all this  :)   I find if I make a mistake on an upload -- say I put SSB instead of CW -- the corrected version goes through bu the wrong version sits their in perpetuity as well :)  I wonder what percentage of LoTW records are mistakes ...

I am glad u are going to request the new certificate and re-upload.  I bet a lot of your contacts will be really happy too.
Hopefully someday I will see u in my log, I plan to try and get my inverted vee up higher and maybe even make a homebrew antenna for 10 and 15 meters.

73


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: HS0ZIB on January 10, 2012, 04:41:48 PM
OK - I received my /M certificate very promptly by email - thank-you ARRL.

I re-uploaded all my /M QSOs and waited for the LOTW mechanical computer to grind through and process these.

Several hours later I had matches!!  Wonders of wonders!!  My confirmation has now increased dramatically from about 1.9% to ... er ... 2.9%

Time to party   ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Simon


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: K3TN on January 11, 2012, 03:27:54 AM
I just checked my LotW QSOs. I have 2 QSOs with HSO stations, neither confirmed via LotW. HS0AC last uploaded to LotW in 2009. Other stats:

YB - 8 QSOs, 3 LotW QSL
9M - 6 QSOs, 4 Lotw QSL
JA - 70 QSOs, 24 LotW (skewed downward my multiple ragchews with JA1NUT!)
BY - 8 QSOs, 4 Lotw QSL (skewed up by BY/VO1AU)
VU - 8 QSOs, 5 Lotw QSL

Total for this sample 100Qs, 40 LotW QSLs = 40%

This is out of a total of 39,946 QSOs in Lotw with 17,750 QSLs which = 44% return rate

Just for grins I looked at 9A: 310 QSOs, 42 LotW QSLs or 13.5%

There are some other countries where the return rate is low, but I don't I can find any country of any size where my LotW return rate is lower than 5%.


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: N5UD on January 13, 2012, 04:07:32 AM
Quote
Although having to get a separate certificate for /M may make him like LoTW less...

In fact, you may have just hit upon the reason.  My LOTW certificate is for HS0ZIB and I upload my logs using that contact.  The fact that I am /M some 400 metres away from my base QTH should not require me to require a separate certificate.  That's silly, (especially since LOTW awards do not recognise /M as a separate entity from the home call sign)

I have no idea if my contacts are uploading to LOTW with my call as HS0ZIB or HS0ZIB/M.  LOTW would have to be failing me (and my contact) VERY badly if it fails to recognise that HS0ZIB and HS0ZIB/M are the same person, especially if the QSO falls within the correct time frame and operating band.  (Actually, now reading N3QE's post seems to indicate that no contact has uploaded logs with the call HS0ZIB/M ...)

There seems to be no way to test this theory, other than by obtaining a second signed certificate for my /M suffix and then uploading all my /M logs again on the faint hope that some of these may match up, (and then I seem to have no way of deleting my incorrect logs that omit the /M suffix....

Suddenly, my interest in using LOTW has dropped - significantly

Simon

Addendum:

Quote
This kinda falls under the "well when did it last work and what did you change" category.

The last time it worked was for a QSO that I made 2 years ago where my contact specifically asked (via eQSL) for me to upload the QSO to LOTW.  I uploaded that QSO about 5 months ago and the QSO matched up fine.  Since that date ==> nada to every QSO that I uploaded :(


Simon, I had to get the second certificate for N5UD/M. I then linked the two. The problem appears to be the uploads. If I worked HS0XYZ while mobile, and he leaves off /M in his upload. I don't get a match. So I have to upload again as N5UD hoping for the match. The award credits all got to my main call N5UD.

In real practice, every QSO I have made since LOTW was started, has been from MOBILE.

It is really a big pain in the ---.
73 Tony N5UD /M


Title: RE: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(
Post by: HS0ZJU on January 13, 2012, 09:39:37 AM
Here are my LOTW response rates:

Overall 66.5%
DX (DXCC ID <> 291) 52.3%
JT65 DX 47.9%
PSK31 DX 34.2%
RTTY DX 57.8%

I only operate digital modes, mainly PSK31 and JT65 with some low-key RTTY contesting.

Best regards, Tom, AB0DI

how are you obtaining these figures?  I would like to check mine too...

Ok figured this out....
card sent   card cfm  card   cfm%     eQSL upld   eQSL cfm  eQSL cfm%     LotW upld   LotW cfm  LotW cfm%

Total            75         71     95%         6172         1398           23%          6020             1373        23%