Exactly what do the ARRL send back to you that takes 2-3 weeks??
You send a print of your licence, and old utility bill, and within about 4 days of posting it, you're accepted. Any documentation you send is destroyed, and if you are Mr Paranoia, you can block out sensitive details on the utility bill or whatever you send as proof of address.
Postage costs, you're having a laugh aren't you?
Reply to a comment by : G8KTX
on 2011-10-052) People in foreign countries claiming it's too difficult for them!!! Are these the same guys who mail out 50 QSL cards a week? All of a sudden they can't mail out one envelope with a photo copy of their license!
Those guys who mail 50 QSL cards are probably sending them to a local bureau at internal postage rates, to send copies of your license and other ID to the USA for foreign hams like me involves international postage rates and a suitable sized envelope, not to mention the cost of copying the documents in the first place if you don't have access to a scanner, and then there's the inevitable wait for return of post (2 to 3 weeks).
When I signed up to Echolink all they required was an electronic copy of the front page of my license which I emailed as a pdf file and confirmation was almost instantaneous. Why can't LotW do the same for us non-US hams?
Reply to a comment by : KD8MJR
on 2011-09-26THIS THREAD IS CRAZY..
Let’s see what people have said so far:
1) You have guys who state they are not into DX criticizing LoTW. Why are you even posting in this thread if you’re not into Dxing?
2) People in foreign countries claiming it's too difficult for them!!! Are these the same guys who mail out 50 QSL cards a week? All of a sudden they can't mail out one envelope with a photo copy of their license!
3) It's all just too difficult crowd :)
Yes it's not user friendly but it's not anything that people can't handle if they READ the instructions. If you don't plan on reading them in detail or you get stuck the people at ARRL are more than willing to guide you step by step over the phone. I haven’t gotten help like that with software that I purchased for $200, so if help is a phone call away what’s the problem?
4) The Government will access my info (ooooh kaaaay)
Yes the CIA will be drilling down through your Logs.
5) The Security is over board group.
No it's not! Their are Hams and CBers out there who will claim they are living in Iran but really be broadcasting from New York while having a bag of fun at your expense. We all know this happens so why deny that there is a need for a high level of security. Let me put it in real world context. That 5BDXCC that takes half a lifetime to get, could be had in one week on CW by a person claiming to be in Iran.
6) This is a Big Money Making Machine for the ARRL:
Yep I agree with that one and I am suspicious of the way no one else is certified to handle the electronic QSL for DXCC use.
Reply to a comment by : NI0C
on 2011-09-26"the above mentioned organization has decreed that my paper QSL is NO LONGER sufficient proof of the OSO having occurred."
You must be talking about eQSL here, because ARRL has "decreed" no such thing. With LoTW, they've simply provided an electronic QSO matching system as an alternative or supplement to paper QSL's for their time honored DXCC and WAS awards.
Reply to a comment by : WB6DGN
on 2011-09-25"As hams, we are quick to help a fellow ham when asked for technical advice, an audio report, or to QRS. Regardless of our likes and dislikes, why not spend a little time and effort to set up LOTW and eQSL and load our QSOs to both systems? That IS the final courtesy!
73 de Ken N4OI"
GOOD GRIEF! So, now I am somewhat less than courteous if I fail to use a proprietary system, requiring membership in an organization with which I have significant issues, just so "someone, somewhere" MIGHT have an easier time chasing paper, the only purpose of which is to stoke their own ego, simply because the above mentioned organization has decreed that my paper QSL is NO LONGER sufficient proof of the OSO having occurred. What the HE** is wrong with this picture??? I think there's going to be ANOTHER HF radio on the market VERY soon. Besides, UHF and above is a darn site more fun anyhow! Time to reassign ALL of the HF bands to the diathermy machines.
Reply to a comment by : N4OI
on 2011-09-23W8CQU wrote: "...So far all I have heard is its all about ME. Earlier KK5J’s comment was “Remember that YOU may want a paper card, but what about the guy on the other end of your QSO?”
In the midst of all the opinions here about how I do not like LOTW, eQSL, or both... I believe the comment above is the most important -- it is not about ME.
The main reason for logging our QSOs in both LOTW and eQSL, regardless of our likes and dislikes, is that it is a courtesy to our fellow hams around the world. Even if the ham I just chatted with does not currently use electronic QSLs for whatever reason (e.g., too difficult, no Internet), one day that impediment will likely be removed and they will then upload all their logging history. If I have also done my part by logging my QSO entry, they (and I) will immediately be rewarded with a QSL.
As hams, we are quick to help a fellow ham when asked for technical advice, an audio report, or to QRS. Regardless of our likes and dislikes, why not spend a little time and effort to set up LOTW and eQSL and load our QSOs to both systems? That IS the final courtesy!
73 de Ken N4OI
Reply to a comment by : KF4HR
on 2011-09-22I've been collecting real QSL cards for many decades. I've never used LotW and not sure I ever will. The author asks us why. Here's my 2 cents.
First, there's just something personal about receiving a real QSL card in the mail. And for cards sent direct, the foreign stamps are interesting too.
Second, where might LotW eventually be taking us? If everyone is exchanging QSL cards via the internet, why not just forget the radios & antennas and just take it to the next level and make our QSO's via the internet too? (Skype, email, etc)
And no need to stop there. Let's program our computers to search for other ACQ's (let's dub this Automatic Computer QSO's) and after a ACQ completes itself, the computer automatically prints our LotW's - no human interaction required. Then once a month we can sit down at our computers and rejoice over how well we (uh, I mean our computers) did. And if we get lucky, we might even find we (oops, our computers) nailed that elusive award we were somewhat patiently waiting for. And of course, the awards will be sitting in our printer hoppers too! Heck, Contester's might love this! Contest time... GO! Press the "GO Button" on their PC, then go watch the game. Then later return for their score and instant contest results! Wahoo! I (uh well, again, my PC) won! Sound funny? Why? Think about it. No hassle or expense of radios, amplifiers, antennas, cabling, accessories, HOA hassles, spouse complaints about spending too much time (or money) on the radio gear, etc. Just fire up your PC, start the automatic ACQ program, and let 'er rip!
As for the cost involved for a (real QSL Card) DXCC award. Depending on your free time, an award like the DXCC might be spread out the mailing expenses over weeks, months, or even years. How does that cost compare to dropping hundreds or thousands of dollars on a rig, all at once? Also let's not forget there's still many hams in the world that send their QSL cards "via the BURO" - which is slow, but inexpensive.
I guess if I ran across a country that I really (really) needed bad, and the DX station only used LotW, I might consider using LotW, but then again I might not (see paragraph two above).
Let's face it folks. Some may see LotW as a technology improvement, some don't. If ham radio was really keeping up with technology we wouldn't still be running the CW, AM, SSB, and Baudot Code modes. These modes are fairly slow, typically unreliable (QRM, QRN, constantly changing band conditions, etc), but yet thousands of hams still enjoy running these modes of yesteryear. Why? I mean, come on... The world has moved on to much better modes of communications. Computer's can communicate so much better and faster so why are hams still spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on our antiquated mode equipment?
Ecomm aside, perhaps because it's just fun. And also perhaps because there's an air of uncertainly about it that keeps us coming back. Will the band be open to Europe this weekend? Will I find that rare country I need tonight? Will Joe make the net on 80 this afternoon?
Perhaps this air of uncertainly is why some prefer to wait for regular QSL cards to arrive. But like everything else in our great hobby, nothing suits everyone.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not against technology improvements (far from it), but newer technology doesn't necessarily equate to a better life style.
Reply to a comment by : LA9XSA on 2011-09-22
Yes I use LotW, and I also QSL direct.
Signing up is easy when you follow the step-by-step instructions - if you passed your ham license test you can figure this out. Honestly the only problem here is the ARRL's redesigned website, not the LotW program or the LotW site. I use it on both on Linux and Mac.
One neat thing about direct QSL cards is that short wave listeners can take part as well. My first QSL card exchange was with a ham in Serbia whose CW signal I heard on a short-wave radio.