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Author Topic: LOTW little used outside NA - I have a 2.6% response rate :(  (Read 13869 times)
N3QE
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Posts: 2188




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« Reply #75 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.
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K0IZ
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Posts: 737




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« Reply #76 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. 
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W3WN
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Posts: 204




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« Reply #77 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.

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N3QE
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Posts: 2188




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« Reply #78 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.
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HS0ZIB
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Posts: 418




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« Reply #79 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 Sad
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 04:31:33 PM by HS0ZIB » Logged
K9AIM
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Posts: 1022




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« Reply #80 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.   
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AC4RD
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« Reply #81 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!
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AB0DI
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« Reply #82 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
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HS0ZIB
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Posts: 418




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« Reply #83 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
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WS4T
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« Reply #84 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
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AC4RD
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« Reply #85 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!
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HS0ZIB
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« Reply #86 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 Smiley

Simon
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N3QE
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« Reply #87 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.
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K9AIM
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« Reply #88 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 Smiley

Simon

Hi Simon,

Glad to see you are keeping a sense of humor through all this  Smiley   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 Smiley  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
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HS0ZIB
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« Reply #89 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   Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin

Simon
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