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Reviews Categories | Ham Software - Logging | ARRL - Logbook of the World - LoTW Help

Reviews Summary for ARRL - Logbook of the World - LoTW
ARRL - Logbook of the World - LoTW Reviews: 599 Average rating: 3.3/5 MSRP: $00.00
Description: LoTW ... is a repository of log records submitted by users from around the world. When both participants in a QSO submit matching QSO records to LoTW, the result is a QSL that can be used for ARRL award credit.
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W9TAM Rating: 4/5 Jan 9, 2017 10:12 Send this review to a friend
Not perfect, but makes it easier to apply for ARRL awards  Time owned: more than 12 months
LoTW gets a 4 from me because of the time and effort to register. I concur with a couple comments of previous reviewers:

- It's good once you get registered and set it up with your logger. The registration process is cumbersome, but it is worth following through.

- It's not a logbook application on its own, and should probably be called "QSLs of the World." You use it as a companion to your logbook.

My tips:

- Don't let your certificate expire. I did, and my request for a replacement got stuck in a queue for a week at ARRL (probably because I entered the address of my QTH rather than my mailing address in the FCC database, which is different). I had to email for help, and never received a human reply, but my request magically got approved on the same day I sent the email.

- Back up your TQSL configuration once you have your certificate loaded and location(s) set up. Use the TQSL backup function to do this. It will save all your certificates, locations, and preferences. I had a computer crash and had backups of my log data and the certificate, but it's a lot easier to get running again if you have a full TQSL configuration backup. You can even easily set up an automatic configuration backup.

Beyond the registration process, I only have minor gripes. The LoTW website looks like it was designed in the late '90s. I'm guessing the design has never been updated, but this is no different from most ham software. In late 2016, functionality was added to allow users to set their own passwords. I'm glad the ARRL finally realized that randomly generated single-case alphanumeric 8-character passwords cannot be considered secure today.

My only complaint of any real substance is that I can't simply delete QSOs that I have later found I accidentally entered and submitted incorrectly. Instead, I have to correct it in my logbook app and re-upload to LoTW, which in most cases creates a second record for what is really the same QSO. (To be fair, this has only happened with a few QSOs I'd quickly logged on paper and entered later, where I had mistyped the date or time into my logbook app.) The perfectionist in me would love for the QSO number in my logbook app to exactly match what's in LoTW, but I'll survive.

Oh, and I wish every ham used it. Sure beats paying to send and receive cards to get awards. I have a 54% LoTW QSL rate as of today, which appears to be better than the average. Not sure if I'll get DXCC entirely through LoTW, but I sure am going to try.

Go through the process and set it up. It's nice to log in once a day and see new QSLs.
N7XCZ Rating: 3/5 Sep 26, 2016 10:42 Send this review to a friend
its ok  Time owned: more than 12 months
If somehow QRZ and LOTW could combine then you would have something!!! I like ease of use with QRZ and I like the Award tracking of LOTW Face it the ARRL kind of has a Monopoly on the Awards program they have been around the Longest
I use Qrz to upload all of my contacts to LOTW and so far this for me is the best way to go and I Use LOTW to track Various totals for band and mode
I use N3FJP for my own Ham Log and as a Backup in case either QRZ or LOTW goes belly up Ha ha 73 to all DE N7XCZ
M0TTB Rating: 5/5 May 10, 2016 12:15 Send this review to a friend
well worth the initial effort  Time owned: more than 12 months
5 years on from signing up and have had no issues in that time. The current version is far more user friendly than it used to be a few years ago, moving from one pc to another is as simple as moving any small file. Renewing your callsign certificate used to be a scary prospect, and I suspect many people were lost in the past due to this, but today it is a very simple procedure. I'd still prefer it if callsign renewal wasn't quite as frequent.

Us non-US hams have an extra hoop to jump through to get started but it really is still very easy and ARRL really don't need any info from you that is sensitive.

It's always nice to pop into LoTW once a day and see what has been confirmed, be they old qso's or new ones

WB9MSM Rating: 5/5 May 10, 2016 09:09 Send this review to a friend
Great Way To QSL!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wanted to say that LoTW is an EXCELLENT tool for confirming your contacts. I am very pleased with how it works and must admit I have made some rather stupid errors with entering contacts into my log. Example: I used to enter portable DX stations with their portable location after their regular call sign. I corrected this error by entering the portable location before their regular call sign and received my QSO confirmation. You kind of learn along the way. I am really grateful to the ARRL for making this tool available for confirming QSO's. I still actually QSL with a physical card through the mail for those that do not use LoTW but must admit LoTW is truly the way to go these days. And it sure beats having to go to the Post Office. To those of you who have issues with LoTW and give it low ratings I wish you would please take a " DEEP BREATH" and re-evaluate what you may of done wrong and work on correcting the issue. The benefits of LoTW are NUMEROUS!
AA6VB Rating: 5/5 May 9, 2016 21:28 Send this review to a friend
Log Errors Easily Corrected  Time owned: more than 12 months
On more than one occasion I have incorrectly entered a QSO into my logging program and then uploaded the log to LOTW. Needless to say, I could not get a QSL if the time or date was out of range.

This problem can be easily fixed, however, by correcting your log, and then uploading the corrected QSO to LOTW. Once done, if the corrected QSO info matches the other station's upload, a QSL results.

It's not the ARRL's responsibility to correct user errors and it would be bad policy to put the ARRL in the position where they have to decide what corrections to make and what corrections to refuse. It's better they remain "neutral" when it comes to fixing user errors.

Overall, LOTW is a wonderful way to confirm QSOs, and sometimes even during a DXpedition. We never had such options before the Internet. It's fast, inexpensive, and convenient (even if getting the thing set up is sometimes difficult).

Overall, LOTW is a great resource!!!

GM7NZI Rating: 2/5 May 8, 2016 17:13 Send this review to a friend
their attitude stinks  Time owned: more than 12 months
i had always been very happy with "lotw" until i noticed that out of three contact i made with the dx-pedition to botswana 2106 A25UK were not confirmed on lotw, so i went to clublog where the dxpedition team stored their logs and was able to confirm i had indeed made 3 qso's with the team,
i then contacted the qsl manager for the team who is responsible for uploading the logs, i gave him all the data and he was able to tell me what was wrong , my pc had entered the qso's in bst instead of utc so 1 hour out, so then i go back to lotw and re-enter the qso's with the correct info but still no joy ...not confirmed.
then i contacted lotw and i could not believe the attutude iwas practically accuse of trying to cheat? here is the actual email i got...

What you are asking is trolling for busted QSOs. LoTW is a double blind system just to prevent this sort of thing. I am not doubting that your claim of the QSOs is not true but we cannot reveal other users logs. I suggest you work this out with the station or his QSO manager.
Norm W3IZ
i never at any time asked for any information from anyones log, i felt my integrity was called to question with this guys attitude , all i asked was , if the qsl manager says the contacts are good going by the dxpedition log and the log itself on clublog says all three qso' took place then why isnt lotw confirming ? , all i got was qustioned regarding my motives?
to summarise... i made 3 qso's they have been confirmed by the dx team i spoke to , the qsl manager says they are ligitimate contacts , and yet lotw software wont confirm and when i question this im accused of being up to no good? i gave up as i was getting nowhere contacts lost because of i assume a glitch in the software that nobody want to talk about to a dodgy guy like me trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the lotw .. -10 for sustomer service thanks for nothing lotw.
W4NNF Rating: 4/5 Apr 8, 2016 15:51 Send this review to a friend
You will like it just fine ONCE you get it set up...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The biggest problem people have with this program/system? Understanding that it is NOT really a logbook application despite its name. It probably should have been called "QSLs of the World." It is for verifying QSOs and submitting them to the ARRL for awards. Yes, you can enter QSOs into it manually, but you really wouldn't like normally want to use LoTW with your logbook application of choice--I use HRD with it. You use it WITH a logbook program...not as one.

Why can't some hams get it working whether they understand what it is really for or not? The password conundrum and the certificate thingie.

When you set up the part of LOTW that resides on your computer, TQSL, you request a password from the ARRL. That password is, yes, mailed to you (snail mailed) on the infamous Magic Postcard. BUT...that password is NOT the password you use to log onto LOTW. It is a password you use in order to obtain your REAL password, and a security device called a "certificate."

When the postcard arrives in around a week, enter the postcard password along with your user name (your call) into the required fields on the ARRL website whose url is printed on the postcard.

In a day or so, you'll then receive an email from the A double RL...this will have your REAL password and username and an attachment...that scary certificate.

These days, installing the certificate is not usually a problem. Just double click on it in your email program. Worst case you might have to save it on your hard drive somewhere, go into the directory where you saved it with File Manager, and double click on it.

That's it. All that remains is doing a few things, clearly spelled out in the ARRL's instructions, in the TSQL program...entering your station location, etc. You will then be able to log onto LoTW--finally--look around, etc.

None of this is likely to give you problems IF you understand that getting the password is a two step process.

Once done, set up your logging program for LoTW, and life becomes as simple as highlighting QSOs in your logger app (HRD or whatever) and clicking a button to upload them to LoTW. You shouldn't have to worry about that certificate again for a long time unless you switch computers.
N6XJP Rating: 1/5 Jan 31, 2016 06:16 Send this review to a friend
Help  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
One hundred dollars to the first ham that shows up at my door and gets me up and operating on LoTW. Period. That is up, operating with enough training and questions answered so that I can compete in contests and NPOTA. Help me enter the last 5 QSOs, and make a submission file. The whole enchilada.
I have tried 4 no avail. No, I will not try it on line again. I live 60 miles from Yosemite. Lunch will be served.
KF2E Rating: 5/5 Jan 30, 2016 04:53 Send this review to a friend
Great service that saves a bunch!  Time owned: more than 12 months
LoTW is a great service. If you want to QSL via paper it costs you $5 per contact by the time you buy cards, envelopes and pay postage both ways. Add to that you probably will only get 3/4 of your QSL's returned. With LoTW it is free! If only we could get all hams using it.
KB7FHK Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2016 20:15 Send this review to a friend
I over it now  Time owned: more than 12 months
At first I found difficult but came back and glad I did because most problems were my fault and not the program. It is free and that is a plus. Most likely a lot of hams avoid lotw because it can be an aggravation to set up initially.
If I had to find any fault it would be access from ark website. I bookmark the logon page on my computers. Still have difficulty interfacing with logbook.
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