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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: 537 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.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.arrl.org/lotw/
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<— Page 5 of 54 —>

N0AG Rating: 2/5 Apr 1, 2014 20:08 Send this review to a friend
LOTW...It's a love-hate relationship  Time owned: more than 12 months
Really don't know how anyone can give it a 5/5. It's kind of the Obamacare site of the Ham radio world i.e. A great idea & a fantastically poor IT implementation. I, myself have been on & off the site. The ARRL has an extraordinary ability to take a simple concept and make it so user complex as to make it almost unusable. (See ARRL.org) Would you like to see a user friendly website? Go to Amazon.com

OK. So how to fix it? If anyone should have the ability to figure out if one is a legitimate amateur radio operator it should be the ARRL.
1.)Make it SIMPLE.
2.) Have a one time sign up process.
3.) Implement a ARRL OQRS system i.e. become the worlds QSL Buro, an online conduit for QSLing.

Just my 2 cents...I think that just like Obamacare, LOTW will eventually morph into something like the goal was originally intended to be.
73, NĜAG
 
K7JBQ Rating: 5/5 Apr 1, 2014 19:08 Send this review to a friend
Follow instructions  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've had it up to here with folks bitching about how difficult LOTW is.

If you can follow instructions to the letter, in sequence, LOTW is easy. If you can't, or won't, you shouldn't be using software.

73,
Bill
 
KK8ZZ Rating: 1/5 Apr 1, 2014 16:18 Send this review to a friend
disaster for ARRL  Time owned: more than 12 months
LOTW has proven to be cumbersome, obtuse to use, confusing to many, and probably a major PR disaster to ARRL (I'm a Life Member). While I've deciphered it and made it work, Google it and see the comments. Some hams feel trapped between wanting to qualify for awards and the cumbersome interface that requires them. Surprisingly, or not, many hams are NOT computer savvy and have a very difficult time with LOTW.... ARRL really made a mistake here... perhaps later versions will correct it.
 
VA3RKO Rating: 5/5 Apr 1, 2014 12:18 Send this review to a friend
Works for me 100%  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been using LoTW for over four years now with no problems. I've had certificates re-issued a few times as well with no difficulty. I also managed to move the software to a diferent computer system easily with the Version 2 TQSL. Instructions on their website are now clear and concise and the new Ver 2 TQSL software is easy to use. Customer support has also been good. Intergrated with HRD V6.1, I've managed DXCC on 10, 15, 20 and 40 meter bands through LoTW and now working on 80 meters. QSL cards would have cost me a fortune. I've had twice as many confirmations on LoTW than on eQSL. Thanks LoTW.
 
K1OYQ Rating: 1/5 Mar 31, 2014 16:30 Send this review to a friend
Still Too Slow  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have not changed my opinion of LOTW. It continues to have many problems and runs far too slow for a "World Class" online log program. I hear the defenders out there that think it is the greatest thing since canned beer, but the ARRL has taken far too long to address the problems. More committees aren't going to solve the issues it has. They should have jumped on this well over a year ago and they are just now looking for full time programmers - duh! I'm loosing patients with it. eQSL still works faster and more reliable and costs less as does Clublog. Why half the time I can't even log onto the thing. UNSATISFACTORY!!!

K1OYQ
 
K6CRC Rating: 3/5 Feb 20, 2014 20:23 Send this review to a friend
Getting there  Time owned: more than 12 months
ARRL seems to be addressing the problems. TQSL 2.0 for Mac is light years ahead of the previous version. Good work. Website is still clumsy to use in my opinion.

My issue has alway been that the ARRL wants to be the voice of Ham Radio and on the 'cutting edge', yet their most visible product, LoTW, is a mess. You can do Facebook, Twitter, etc all day, but if the most visible product is 10 years behind the times, you will not be seen as a leading edge organization.

Glad to see that the are finally budgeting to fix the system. Take all the money being used to 'save' UHF bands that no one cares about and use if to fix the most visible system, LoTW

Next step is to do an outreach to DXpeditions. Consider financial incentives to get all of them to use LoTW. Since they cannot make money off of LoTW, vs ClubLog, ARRL needs to get creative.
 
AB4D Rating: 3/5 Feb 19, 2014 18:38 Send this review to a friend
Works FB, but....  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The below is based on my experience using LOTW and interfacing it with Ham Radio Deluxe. Unlike some others, I had no problem registering for LOTW and obtaining a call sign certificate from the ARRL. That process worked as expected for me. If you have an issue obtaining a certificate, the ARRL indicates that you can ask for assistance by email or phone at, lotw-help@arrl.org or 860-594-0295.

In review, some of the instructions to help get LOTW up and running can be confusing and lead to frustration. I spent about an hour trying to figure it all out and uploading my log. Some of the issues I faced was trying to determine the correct syntax for naming and setting up "locations" for each of the places I had operated from in the past 20 years. The instructions indicate the proper file name for each location is "Your call - Location" such as "XX1XX - Brighton". Rather, locations are stored under the Station Locations tab in TQSL, as an extension file attached to a master file named with your call. Therefore, each location is just given a name such as "Brighton" or "New Baltimore", with no call sign included in the name for that file.

Once each location has been named and defined in TQSL, the correct name to input on the LOTW upload form is just the location name such as "Brighton", leaving off any call, inconsistent with instructions I have read.

The available instructions are inconsistent with what actually happens in the program. As another example, the instructions shows the existence of a pop up box that should appear when you cursor the box on the upload form for the location. However, no pop up box appeared for me. Rather, I had to manually type in the name of the location into the upload form.

In retrospect, it's rather simple to get it working, but the instructions are so problematic, it caused me to spent a lot of time fudging around trying to set up everything "in the dark". An accurate step by step set of instructions would go a long way to help folks get this working and promote participation.

I believe LOTW is a grand concept, but it is failing to adequately support the ARRL award programs because too many amateurs are experiencing issues trying to make it work. Once someone can get over the hurdle of the initial setup, it works really well. I uploaded 807 QSO's in about 10 minutes and got immediate confirmation of 72 countries towards my DXCC.

However, I was disappointed that more of my contacts were not confirmed. Out of the 807 QSO's I uploaded, only 237 are confirmed. IMO, stats given by the LOTW page as of today suggests there is serious lack of participation in LOTW by hams, showing only 63,816 registered users. I have many other contacts from countries I've worked and need for DXCC, but are not confirm because others are not using LOTW. The ARRL needs to improve the instructions for this program and promote participation.


 
W1XWX Rating: 4/5 Jan 11, 2014 17:12 Send this review to a friend
Works fine version 2.x  Time owned: more than 12 months
Seems to work fine and easier to use in version 2.x.

However a bit disappointed that many hams do not log on LOTW. Personally I log everyone on QRZ, Eqsl, and LOTW; along with sending a real QSL card if I receive one. Only takes aq few minutes to do this.

Version 2 is much easier to use than previous versions.

W1XWX
 
WO8USA Rating: 3/5 Jan 10, 2014 16:33 Send this review to a friend
Improved, great if you can get past install!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am updating my review, and have pasted my previous review of Feb 3 2012 afterwards.

I previoulsy gave LoTW a 0 (zero).

Last night (1/9/13) I upgraded to the newest LoTW version on my main computer, backed up my certificates/etc, and went to a new, clean computer. I downloaded the newest version of LoTW, and installed my backed-up certificates. NO PROBLEM, surprise! This was easy!

I now give it LoTW 3+ based largely on my experience of last night.

I finally got LoTW installed last summer, it took about an hour and was extremely difficult, more difficult than any software install I've done. But I finally got it working and really enjoy it now. The entire install process needs streamlined. I appreciate the new instructions they have, but it would be good to have them in one book, not 2 pages per PDF file. If you can get past the install its great.

---------------
ORIGINAL REVIEW FEB 3, 2012 WO8USA: enitled "Amateur"
This is the worst review I have ever written here but feel I must...

This is my second try to use LOTW, spaced a few years apart. I finally decided that I needed to go soft copy with the recent postage rate hike and the annoucement of having CQ awards integrated. I got the instructions, watched the ARRL video/presentation, wrote it all out, etc. I do a lot with PCs home and work and figured these reviews must be overboard and my last expereince was certainly just "beta testing"....LoTW install failed on several counts. I would be willing to pay a small fee to order for the software to have an actual interface to install the mess. I use other much more secure stuff with PHI/certs and they do not work like this.

Anyway----I'll just keep using hardcopy and eQSL until the ARRL gets their act together on this. For something which is supposedly SO important (integrity of QSLs? seems like Ft Know compared to how hard copy QSL exhanges come about), seems like the software could be a lot more pro-like.

I'm out of LoTW until they figure our how to do it right. This software would be out-of-business with reviews like these. Outsource it to HRD and get it right!
 
K0SCO Rating: 0/5 Jan 5, 2014 10:26 Send this review to a friend
Gave up  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Tried a couple of different logging programs and made sure everything was up to date, but still could not upload to LoTW. More trouble than it's worth.
 
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