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Author Topic: How Many Active Ham Loggers?  (Read 3118 times)
WH7DX
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Posts: 1029




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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2013, 02:13:22 PM »

That's interesting. There must be many fewer DXers using eQSL than LotW

Isn't the reason why obvious? LoTW confirmations count for DXCC; eQSL confirmations don't.

Yes, obviously a big part.  That and the 7 year head start for eQSL and less infringing foreign demands I'm told for verification.    The Internet just came out.. electronic cards.. perfect!

eQSL was an enormous success.   If it was given ARRL approval it would be end of story.  I don't think they would have ever done that though with an outside party even if it was a blind match.   Don't want to lose nearly a Century of credibility with what could happen outside of your control.

eQSL is still a great service for those not using LOTW (big International market still).   I get plenty of eQSL and no LOTW.   It's good for their own awards (you DID the work) and CQ Awards.

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N5MOA
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Posts: 1053




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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2013, 02:25:46 PM »

I'm still trying to figure out how to work with DXKeeper and pull out QSOs beginning at a certain date for example (I'm sure it's simple once I enter the right stuff)..  but with N1MM it was an automatic feature.

On the "Log" page, click on "ADV", advanced log filter something (I'm at work, don't recall exactly what it's full name is).

Filter by date, band, mode etc..........

If you want to check your WAS on a single band, filter the log for that band before you go to the "progress" tab. 
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NI0C
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Posts: 2408




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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2013, 02:29:45 PM »

I used to use DXBase and it worked fine (through several upgrades) for about a decade.  Then I ran into trouble and had to re-install it on my XP machine.  It never worked quite right after that (the selection wizard was hosed up, among other things).  I gave up on it and switched over to the free DXLab suite (Commander, DXKeeper, and DXView).  It does everything I need and more.  It has wonderful interfaces with LoTW and Club Log. 

73,
chuck  NI0C
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VK3HJ
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Posts: 646




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« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2013, 12:34:08 AM »

Isn't the reason why obvious? LoTW confirmations count for DXCC; eQSL confirmations don't.
I somehow doubt ARRL will recognise eQSL any time soon. They have a vested interest in LotW.
As far as difficulty in registering, I found both have reasonable requirements. LotW requires a further step in signing the log uploads, but that is automated in many logging programs now.
Recently, the Wireless Institute of Australia started accepting LotW confirmations for it's DXCC Programme, after having already accepted AG eQSL some time ago. Also very recently, one of our Excel boffins has revamped the DXCC Award application, which is an Excel spreadsheet, to process an ADIF and fill the fields automatically. Previously, it was a manual entry process (YUK!), which many dismissed as too hard, including me.
My next goals, so very nicely managed in my logbook and online systems is: QRP DXCC, 160 m DXCC and with another 42 credits, 1500 in DXCC Challenge.
If this were all manual, it would be just so much more difficult to keep track.
73,
Luke VK3HJ
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WH7DX
Member

Posts: 1029




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« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2013, 12:57:01 PM »

Isn't the reason why obvious? LoTW confirmations count for DXCC; eQSL confirmations don't.
I somehow doubt ARRL will recognise eQSL any time soon. They have a vested interest in LotW.
As far as difficulty in registering, I found both have reasonable requirements. LotW requires a further step in signing the log uploads, but that is automated in many logging programs now.
Recently, the Wireless Institute of Australia started accepting LotW confirmations for it's DXCC Programme, after having already accepted AG eQSL some time ago. Also very recently, one of our Excel boffins has revamped the DXCC Award application, which is an Excel spreadsheet, to process an ADIF and fill the fields automatically. Previously, it was a manual entry process (YUK!), which many dismissed as too hard, including me.
My next goals, so very nicely managed in my logbook and online systems is: QRP DXCC, 160 m DXCC and with another 42 credits, 1500 in DXCC Challenge.
If this were all manual, it would be just so much more difficult to keep track.
73,
Luke VK3HJ

Good to hear about Wireless Australia and LOTW.   With them already accepting eQSL AG - there wasn't much of a rush to signup for LOTW.   Now it's another important piece and a great addition for the U.S.  The more International the better... the more everyone the better.

The difference in user growth is probably based on LOTW being less user friendly for many, being a specific U.S. entity and those being able to use eQSL.



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NU1O
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Posts: 2692




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« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2013, 07:33:29 PM »

If you are looking to make some fast money I'd go into the antenna business. I just received this months QST, turned to a random page, and I'm looking at the ad for the Cushcraft R9 which is being offered at $639.95!!!  There can't be more than $50 worth of aluminum and other parts in that thing. No Radials!! Many will buy that antenna, too, which just proves P.T. Barnum was right.

73,

Chris/NU1O



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N4CR
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Posts: 1672




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« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2013, 08:25:12 PM »

I'm using HRD 6.0, and while it is not the be all and end all, I will stick with it as bugs are fixed and refinements integrated. It gives quite a few options of sorting data.

One option that HRD gives you out of the box that a lot of people don't take advantage of is that it can directly interface MS SQL Server for your log. By default it uses something like an access database. Not sure if that storage is proprietary.

Once you have installed MSSQL and configured HRD to use it, you can use SQL queries against your logs. Once you learn how to create SQL queries, there is no data combination that can't be extracted. SQL, of course, has it's own learning curve.

Not for the timid, but it's an option often overlooked.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
N0IU
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Posts: 1330


WWW

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« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2013, 04:26:43 AM »

I use the last free version of HRD and really don't see any reason to switch to another program and almost certainly not to the paid version. It does everything I need it to do for everyday operations with one glaring exception which was supposedly fixed in v6 and that is FSK RTTY. I rarely if ever run AFSK RTTY, so when I fire up MMTTY, I have to basically double log everything.

As far as uploading... uploading to eQSL is totally automatic and to upload to LoTW, all I have to do is highlight the entries in the log and it is just one click to upload. I do this after every call and there is no backlog at all.
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WH7DX
Member

Posts: 1029




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« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2013, 09:54:22 AM »

N0IU, you don't mind how HDR reports it's Countries Worked by Band..  Black X's and all cramped up.  Hard to tell what line and column is what.. if I remember correctly.   Clublog does a great job with that - spaced out - repeated headers - color etc.. 

Personally, I find the logging software out there to be very good and for FREE!!

I also think the data analysis is lacking.
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AA6YQ
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Posts: 1749


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« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2013, 02:30:49 PM »

I'm using HRD 6.0, and while it is not the be all and end all, I will stick with it as bugs are fixed and refinements integrated. It gives quite a few options of sorting data.

One option that HRD gives you out of the box that a lot of people don't take advantage of is that it can directly interface MS SQL Server for your log. By default it uses something like an access database. Not sure if that storage is proprietary.

Once you have installed MSSQL and configured HRD to use it, you can use SQL queries against your logs. Once you learn how to create SQL queries, there is no data combination that can't be extracted. SQL, of course, has it's own learning curve.

Not for the timid, but it's an option often overlooked.

DXLab has long provided the ability to filter (query) and sort log data via SQL. Since these operations cannot damage the data, there is no reason to be timid, and most users aren't. Buttons and checkboxes are provided for common filtering operations, e.g. by-callsign, by-entity, by-band, by-mode.

      73,

          Dave, AA6YQ
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WH7DX
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Posts: 1029




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« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2013, 11:40:34 AM »

I've been seeing a noticeable increase in Hams, particularly Internationals, that are using LOTW now.   That's great!   Only need to send a QSL if I want to.

I'm seeing about 40%+ lately confirmed with LOTW.    Had a guy in Venezuela yesterday that barely spoke english (I'm lucky I don't need to speak a foreign language) and had to work for a minute or more to get the contact.   He was calling CQ and I just wanted to say HI - that I could hear him etc.. 

He posted that to eQSL and LOTW immediately.   I was thinking he was using paper logs in the jungle or something  Smiley

I'm seeing this more and more in the last few months.   Don't know if it's just coincidence.  I'm curious to see if the computer upgrade made a difference and what the next report of total users will be from LOTW.   It's up nearly 4,000 users in the last 6 months, and I think those that join are the active ones we're likely to run across.. looking to complete awards, DX, Contests etc.

LOTW is performing very well recently.   The mail confirmation isn't a problem.   Google and others use that mailed password for certain items.
If they maintain their performance and highlight the process of getting approved a little clearer (like don't forget the last part about requesting the postcard), it should grow nicely  (A few larger red highlighted areas..  Step #1, Step #2)

Interesting note about 3rd party software having an issue.

-----

Tom - N4NW says:
November 19, 2012 at 18:53
In October, 2003 issue of QST, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) announced the start of Logbook of the World (LoTW) September 15, 2003. Wayne Mills, N7NG outlined in the announcement how LotW would work with a simple procedure under a system to ensure the validity of QSOs.

In the past decade, LotW has grown to more than 53,000 users and nearly a half billion (456 million) QSOs on file. However, this 50k users represent less than 3% of the licensed hams in the world. In Mills original article he states that use of LoTW will be paid for by usage in the form of credits purchased by users seeking DXCC, WAS and WPX awards programs.

If would appear that the income from the users has lagged far behind the cost of improvement and maintenance of the computer system(s) – hardware & software. Initial problems appeared after the first major DX contest in 2011 then the LoTW servers seemed to choke with the influx of logs in October, 2011. Days would pass before uploaded logs would be processed into the LoTW database. The ARRL offered little in the way of explanation other that a vague comment that it was the sheer number of logs uploaded after the contest which created the slowdown.

In mid October of this year, once again LoTW crashed. No public comment was made by the ARRL until three days after LoTW stopped working and that was a vaguely worded comment that the system was undergoing maintenance. I received Information from an ARRL staffer that the system, ‘ ran out of memory.’ Later in the week the ARRL stated that they expected LoTW to resume operation at the end of the week. Still no official word has been forthcoming as to what actually happened, nor what steps were being taken to prevent another failure. The only thing the ARRL emphasized was that no data was lost.

During the 2012 National Capitol DX Association DX East convention, ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs Manager Dave Patton, NN1N, stated that there was no intent by the ARRL to change the method users become validated – LoTW system emphasizes secure authentication using cryptographic key distribution. The ARRL, unlike most other secure online systems, still relies on paper validation of users in the form of a license copy and some form of official identification document for non-US licensees to be sent via mail to ARRL headquarters and the return of the digital key being mailed back to the requester before one can become a LoTW user. Perhaps it is this antiquated method of adding users to LoTW that the ARRL relied upon to prevent usage that causes the system to crash.

In mid November, an ARRL staffer was reported as blaiming extensive use of LoTW on contests but on third party software programs – such as DXLab & DX4WIN as the reason it is slow and crashes.

It is time for the users, and potential uses of LoTW, contact the members of the ARRL board of directors directly and demand that sufficient resources be devoted to the LoTW system to ensure its efficient and reliable operation for not only today but in the future. A list of ARRL Directors & vice Directors with their contact information may be found at this web page http://www.arrl.org/divisions

If you are an ARRL member ask your Director to:

•   Respond to you why LoTW is crashing and not operating efficiently,
•   Respond to you as to what steps he/she is taking to ensure sufficient resources are being devoted to the LoTW system
•   Encourage a more modern and simple means for non-US licensees can become authenticated as LoTW users
•   Create an ARRL headquarters staff position with the responsibility for LoTW & online data based awards program operations.

If you are not a LoTW user, complete the steps to become an authenticated user and use LoTW daily to upload, maintain and back-up your logs.

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AA6YQ
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Posts: 1749


WWW

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« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2013, 06:15:39 PM »

I've been seeing a noticeable increase in Hams, particularly Internationals, that are using LOTW now.   That's great!   Only need to send a QSL if I want to.

I'm seeing about 40%+ lately confirmed with LOTW.    Had a guy in Venezuela yesterday that barely spoke english (I'm lucky I don't need to speak a foreign language) and had to work for a minute or more to get the contact.   He was calling CQ and I just wanted to say HI - that I could hear him etc.. 

He posted that to eQSL and LOTW immediately.   I was thinking he was using paper logs in the jungle or something  Smiley

I'm seeing this more and more in the last few months.   Don't know if it's just coincidence.  I'm curious to see if the computer upgrade made a difference and what the next report of total users will be from LOTW.   It's up nearly 4,000 users in the last 6 months, and I think those that join are the active ones we're likely to run across.. looking to complete awards, DX, Contests etc.

LOTW is performing very well recently.   The mail confirmation isn't a problem.   Google and others use that mailed password for certain items.
If they maintain their performance and highlight the process of getting approved a little clearer (like don't forget the last part about requesting the postcard), it should grow nicely  (A few larger red highlighted areas..  Step #1, Step #2)

Interesting note about 3rd party software having an issue.


LotW's instability late last year was the result of its server running out of disk space, and of a long-latent defect that caused batches of uploaded QSOs in LotW's processing queue to be randomly dropped. When users discovered that QSOs were being dropped, they began re-uploading their QSOs, which increased the length of LotW's processing queue, which increased the time it took for LotW to acknowledge the acceptance of uploaded QSOs, which prompted more users to re-upload QSOs.

There were no issues with 3rd party applications; it was the users of such applications who were able to detect that batches of uploaded QSOs were being dropped.

     73,

         Dave, AA6YQ
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WH7DX
Member

Posts: 1029




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« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2013, 11:46:22 AM »

Dave,  that makes sense.   The fact that many might have been using 3rd party software to upload to LOTW wasn't the real problem (frequent uploads) - it was the system failure itself.   Interesting how someone at ARRL mentioned it though.   

73,

Bryan
WH7DX
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