Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: ARRL - Logbook of the World - LoTW

Category: Ham Logging Software

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : ARRL - Logbook of the World - LoTW
Reviews: 496MSRP: 00.00
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:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W0FEN Rating: 2018-06-22
MUCH-MUCH -Better Time Owned: more than 12 months.
They have streamlined the setup and it is much easier than the original convoluted setup process.
I was happily surprised.

Earlier 1-star review posted by W0FEN on 2008-03-19

I was still trying to get it going. Not yet. So at the ARRL suggestion I joined the users group. I was almost boo-ed out of there. Still not working. Still doesn't seem to be worth it for a non-contester like me.
Earlier 0-star review posted by W0FEN on 2008-02-19

Where is the program?? I cannot find the place to enter the QSOs. It is NOT a logbook. I have yet to upload a QSO to this disaster. You NEED a logging program to up-load the files. It is not a logging program.

I have used eQSL very sucessfully without any other logging program. I can enter my QSOs into eQSL and it works perfectly. I do not chase DX or work contests. If a Ham wants a verified QSL at eQSL my logs are Authenticity Guaranteed.
Earlier 0-star review posted by W0FEN on 2007-04-23

No one will read this as it get put at the end. BUT, remember 25 years ago when ARRL started VE testing. They had a convoluted system for VEs. Others (W5YI in partucular) had simpler systems. It drove most away. ARRL had to adopt what everyone else was doing (simpler). Reading the other comments. They were mostly ZERO for those that couldn't get it to work or FIVE for those that could. There are a very few in between. The system is so rediculous. I think I've got it to work, I am not really sure. eQSL is a better system but needs a little security but nowhere near what ARRL has put into LoTW. They will need to gat a majority of Hams WORLDWIDE on the system before it is a useful and universal system. So far I have not uploaded any QSLs to ARRL. There doesn't seem to be away to manually enter them.
AF4K Rating: 2018-06-15
Better than it was but still no 60m Time Owned: more than 12 months.
LOTW has been improved. There are some great reviews here. ARRL HAS listened to SOME of the complaints and suggestions, but there is still the most awful process to set up for using LOTW. If they got up to date with the sign up process, and reduced the many hurdles it would be used much more. I am not that urgent about the paper chase per se, BUT I would like to track my stats, and it is only now becoming SLIGHTLY easier to view them on LOTW site. THEN I find out I cannot view my 60m stats, because they have no AWARD for that. I really don't want an Award, but I would like to know which states I still need on 60m, and LOTW does not allow that. Come on ARRL. It would be dead easy!
N3ZP Rating: 2018-04-24
LTOTW-way easier then cards Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have been using LOTW for at least 5 or more years with no problems. The postcard initial setup adds a delay but not difficult to do for the 1st setup. I have LOTW registered under my current and a previous call. When I first set it up I found an Excel worksheet that I used to enter old paper logs. I use N3FJP ACLog to upload my QSOs but have also used HRD and N1MM to upload to LOTW. ACLog has an Excel worksheet to use for entering old paper logs and LOTW allows entering individual QSOs. WSJT-X saves a log file for uploading all those FT8 and JT65 QSOs.

I have LOTW installed on a Macbook and 2 Windows machines and have replaced PCs and hard drives with no problem installing the certificate. Renewal has been easy also even when I Iet the certificate lapse on the older call.

My confirmation rate is around 60%. I wish more guys would join LOTW to improve that rate. I do still send and collect some QSL cards but with most DX cards requiring $2 or more, it gets expensive. I have over 200 countries for DXCC mostly with LOTW but it's not difficult to mix in cards from pre-LOTW QSOs or for stations not using it.

Don't let the naysayers and haters discourage you. Get on LOTW.
N8WRL Rating: 2018-04-23
Modern QSL-ing Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Setting up and using LoTW is a piece of cake. For those rare QSO's where I really want the paper, I send away via the traditional methods. For 99.5% of the rest, LoTW is the way to go. With a little planning, even the dreaded "hard drive crash" is simple. LoTW allows you to export your certificate and the ARRL staff is always ready to help. I've done the export and backed up my cert. Two PC's later I'm still in business. Nice work!
K6CRC Rating: 2018-04-23
Works well Time Owned: more than 12 months.
After some painful times, LoTW seems to be relatively stable. Roughly 60% of my QSOs have been confirmed in LoTW. Pretty good rate.
Consider 'open sourcing' LoTW. Would make it more international and likely have a higher user rate. And, the ARRL could move on to other things.

Earlier 4-star review posted by K6CRC on 2015-12-10

I have been a critic in the past of LoTW. It is the MOST visible element of the ARRL, and should be first class. It seems to be working well. TSQL app makes sense now. Congrats to ARRL IT staff.
My only issue is the convoluted way of getting awards. I was trying to decode rules, as I have both cards and LoTW credits. Something about buying credits to use...
Make it easy ARRL. Just charge for an award and for cards that need to be manually checked. SIMPLE rate chart.
It could be a good revenue generator.
N4MU Rating: 2018-04-23
LoTW - Mine works fine! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have been using LoTW for a couple years now and went through the "painful" set up sequence...without a single glitch. I am only moderately computer savvy. Maybe that's the problem others have...they're way too computer literate and naturally find ways to improve (?) the program. Once set up it's been transparent...I use it with AC Log and have never had any issues. So, while I could be the next in line to complain, I can't because mine works great. I just wish more folks would bite the bullet and use it too. Why not a "5"? Just because it is a LITTLE clunky to navigate but that amounts to only 2 or 3 "extra" mouse clicks to do.
AE5GG Rating: 2018-04-22
LoTW In need of a desperate overhaul Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have worked in software and hardware technical sales for my entire career 35+ years. I have seen really great programs and those that you simply have to put up with.

LoTW claims that their ridiculously over complicated process is "simple" and that they need several steps in order to ensure the integrity of the log entries. They start by having you send in your information. But wait! You can't use it until they use the 1930's method of mailing you a postcard to validate that you're telling the truth about who you are and your address (ever hear of the FRN number LoTW?). But wait! You still can't use the system until you validate a software certificate and then download it. But wait! You still can't load it unless you use TQSL on the machine that you originally made your request for the certificate! But wait! Once you load TQSL then use some elongated manner of loading the certificate then you can start using it...oh wait! First you have to bundle your contacts then sign the file using the "eyes only super secret" encryption that validates that you are genetically who you say you are (okay, that part might be a bit exaggerated), but only then can you upload your contacts.

It's a complete pain in the backside to start up, use, and Godforbid you change your hard drive or upgrade your computer because your certificate will "expire" and you have to request a new one. All this just so that they can claim integrity on their call book. Seriously folks, this program and the process is grossly overly complicated and logging contacts shouldn't take an "act of Congress" (I think our U.S. Congress, as messed up as it is, is easier to deal with than LoTW).

I use this program only because so many hams request it when I DX. It's the single largest thorn and the ONLY thing I do not like about the ARRLs programs. They get this feedback and do NOTHING to improve or streamline the process. Ridiculous!

AE5GG - Life Member of the ARRL
W3UEC Rating: 2018-04-22
Needs an extension Time Owned: more than 12 months.
When I returned to ham radio after >60 years of QRT, LOTW was one of the pleasant surprises. For old folks like me, the chance to get confirmations very quickly is a real blessing. Were it not for LOTW, I would never have made DXCC or WAS. The process has been only moderately confusing. The folks at ARRL are helpful and patient.
BUT LOTW really needs a modern hi-tech extension to help with entities where you have a QSL card, but which don't confirm on LOTW. I know there are card counters, but they are few and far between. How about an extension of the LOTW program where you scan in your cards to be verified? Maybe have kiosks at hamfests and/or meetings with something like a bank machine for the same purpose.
While they are at it, I would like to see new awards such as WAPL (worked all parking lots) and WAWR (worked all waiting rooms) to give credit for QSO's made while waiting for others to shop or see the doctor.
73 de W3UEC (Steve)
K0UA Rating: 2018-04-22
Great! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Apparently you can post several reviews to skew the results So I will post again. LOTW is EASY to set up and use, I put off joining because of negative posts here about difficulty of setup. They are ALL ARRL hating LIES! Just crap. LOTW is the best thing since sliced bread. If you are using WSJT-x it takes only a few seconds to upload your entire log. NOTHING could be easier. I upload several times a day if I make contacts, and always before shutting down the station. Think this through: You have a wonderful service from the ARRL that doesn't cost a dime to join, will save thousands of dollars in pursuit of your ACTUAL recognized worldwide awards, and a repository of your electronic logs in a cloud backed up service that you can check in a heartbeat who you have worked, and what your standing is for any awards. A true miracle. Two thumbs up. Don't listen to the "haters" "haters gotta hate".
73 James K0UA
K4DL Rating: 2018-04-22
Very user unfriendly and hard to set up Time Owned: more than 12 months.
It is time we come up with a better program and merge with other successful programs in operation. The people working with LoTW are rude, and disrespectful and need to be replace today.