ARRL

Forum Home - Rules - Help - Login - Forgot Password
Members can access, post and reply to the forums below. Before you do, please first read the RULES.

Confused about LotW

Mar 6th 2012, 15:32

kf5nrp

Joined: Feb 16th 2012, 01:42
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I am a newbie and have some really simple questions. I am embarrassed to ask, but I need to progress.

After I uploaded my TQ8 file, (which took me three weeks to learn how to do!), I see the next day that I have 17 QSO's and 1 QSL. I have read the book and know what it says about each, but I am not sure what the difference is. Can someone tell me what this means to me???

Thanks!

Butch - KF5NRP
Mar 6th 2012, 17:14

dondison

Joined: Feb 20th 2012, 18:26
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I am still trying to create the LoTW. The process is simple IF you have a degree in computer technology. I am not stupid but this system keeps hams from joining in.

Don KP3DD
Mar 6th 2012, 23:56

W1VT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
A QSO is a contact report you have successfully uploaded to LoTW.

In practice, the QSO total may be greater than the number of contacts you make--for instance--I accidentally got the time off by an hour on two of my contacts, so I uploaded contact reports with the correct time--which allowed LoTW to match at least one of those contacts. When LoTW finds a match, it increments your QSL total. These matched contacts are eligible for awards credit--just like getting a QSL card in the mail.

Zack Lau W1VT

Mar 8th 2012, 16:33

KC9LGW

Joined: Apr 10th 2007, 09:44
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Quote by kf5nrp


I see the next day that I have 17 QSO's and 1 QSL. I have read the book and know what it says about each, but I am not sure what the difference is. Can someone tell me what this means to me???

Thanks!

Butch - KF5NRP


I think that what you are asking is the difference between a "QSO" and a "QSL". A "QSO" is a contact, a "QSL" is that contact is confirmed, in LoTW it is confirmed by the other party. Until the contact is confirmed it remains a "QSO".

You cannot applied a QSO toward an award, only a QSL applies.
Mar 14th 2012, 13:06

kf5nrp

Joined: Feb 16th 2012, 01:42
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
OK. I have it figured it out. Thanks for all of your replies. I appreciate all of your help.

I now have 40 QSO's, but only 2 QSL's. I don't think many people are using this log.

Can I use postcard QSL's for awards???

73's

Butch - KF5NRP
Mar 14th 2012, 14:43

W1VT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0

http://www.arrl.org/dxcc-and-lotw-faq
Here are the details on submitting a hybrid award for DXCC that includes both LoTW and postcard QSL submissions.

It can take a while for stations to upload their log. Also, the procedures for getting a confirmation can vary, particularly among the expensive DX-peditions, that need donations to offset the expense of activating a rare one. A lot of them will have online QSL verification--but you need to make a donation to quickly get a paper card, or wait a couple months for the LoTW confirmation. I've even seen some that require you to verify the contact online, so they don't verify contacts with busted calls (in the past I've gotten cards for bands I wasn't on at the time). It is easy to find the details of these elaborate operations by putting the callsigns into Google.com

My LoTW QSL rate is 43%--the contacts are heavily skewed toward CW Contesting with some DXing and SSB operation. It is very easy for contesters to submit logs for LoTW. I use N1MM logger--after submitting the contest log I can just export an ADIF file and upload that to LoTW.

Zack Lau W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer
Mar 18th 2012, 14:09

K2ADK

Joined: Jun 12th 2011, 20:32
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I'll never understand the fascination with the ephemeral nature of LoTW. No computer, no log. Network down? No log. Hard drive finally crash? No log.

There's nothing as satisfying as sending and receiving a stamped QSL, and keeping a handwritten log. I guess I still have a lot of the kid left in me! (Either that or I have a real soft spot for the Postal Service.)
Mar 18th 2012, 22:59

W4RIG

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
LOTW is probably the WORST so-called QSL program in existence -By far the worst response rate of any of the available internet logging systems - the response rate is terrible because the troglodytes at ARRL don't really support it with no incentives for filing logs for Field Day or other incentives - CW operators are the worst responders - so - very few people bother with the archaic system - I can't believe the membership puts up with this "service" and I have made many suggestions for improvement and ARRL never has had the courtesy to even provide a response. When you file your QSO's the system expects to independently hear from those you have contacted - why should they bother? don't expect any serious effort on the part of ARRL to improve this system - they really don't care - Hank - W4RIG ARRL life member
Mar 18th 2012, 23:05

W4RIG

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I see where one of the engineers that work for ARRL claims a 43 % response rate - what baloney - the actual rate is closer to 15% - I have filed over 12,000 QSO's and my response rate is about 13% - ARRL could give some incentive like a 100 point bonus for Field Day log filing - but they would rather give 100 points for a visiting politician to your site.
W4RIG
Mar 20th 2012, 01:24

NN1N

Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Hello Hank, W4RIG. Sorry you have had such trouble. I was interested in your low match rate. First, just so you understand how the system works, LoTW uses a double-blind matching technique. There is no response rate -- other users can't look up your QSO with them, and confirm it. The system takes all log data and compares it to look for matches.

Because your "match" rate is a little low, and you have more than 13,000 QSOs reported, this usually means there is something wrong with your logs. I see a whole lot of PSK31 QSOs in your log being confirmed OK. But, there is a problem with your CW logs.

After I spent a little time sleuthing, I discovered that you are admin for W1GLO. You mentioned Field Day. While Field Day logs are amongst those that are not submitted with the high-rates of other contest logs, there still are of course thousands of Field Day logs -- including from W1GLO.

What I see that has happened, IMO, is that you have some W1GLO Field Day logs, and mistakenly signed them with your W4RIG certificate. So, of course the system can't match those QSOs because they weren't made using W4RIG.

Some of the QSOs in your W4RIG log for Field Days, are indeed matched by W1GLO in other people's logs -- they worked W1GLO not W4RIG.

So, I suspect that your match rate with real W4RIG logs is higher than 13 percent. The average, today, is up around 25-30 percent for mixed mode general operations. CQWW logs with nearly 10,000 QSOs in them are seeing 43-44 percent matched -- which is significant because CQWW contest logs contain calls from around the world. RTTY logs are sometimes being matched at over 50 percent now.

So, the theme for this post is that if you see a match rate lower than 15 percent, and you have a sizable log, made up of QSOs on standard modes on most bands, then you probably have a problem with your logs. Problems with logs can include: Log signed by the wrong certificate; log entries are on the wrong band, or mode; times in the log are off by more than 30 minutes; or, call signs are not logged accurately in the log.

73, NN1N @ HQ
Mar 29th 2012, 23:10

K0STK

Joined: May 14th 2011, 20:53
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I have 99 QSL records in LoTW and 40 confirmed QSOs.

That's a 40% confirmation rate.

I'm just an ARRL member ...
Apr 2nd 2012, 13:19

N0NB

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I'm just one data point, but here goes.

I have just over 13,000 QSOs uploaded to LoTW from 1 Jan 1984 to present. So far the oldest QSL from the system is from 3 March 1991 which coincides with the ARRL DX SSB contest. My match rate for all contacts is almost 23% at the moment. My paper rate is nowhere close.

For the assertion that CW ops are poor users of LoTW, I suppose it depends on who you've worked. For the 2011 ARRL 160m and the 2012 CQ WW 160m CW contests, my LoTW rate is somewhere around 60 - 70%! The return rate for eQSL for both events is well below 10%.

For all the caterwauling that occurs about LoTW here and elsewhere, I think that ARRL considers it a success given that well over 416 million QSO records have been entered and it has an overall match rate of just over 13%. My guess is that contest participation and DXing will yield higher results with LoTW than ragchewing.

While paper QSL cards are neat to see and hold, I'm glad that I don't have to sort and store nearly 3000 cards. I also like the fact that LoTW tracks the ARRL awards I am interested in automatically. So far there has been no down side.

73, de Nate >>

N0NB.us
May 4th 2012, 01:32

NM5GB

Joined: Jun 12th 2007, 09:44
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I wish they'd make it more user friendly! I only download every other month or so and it is WAY complicated to log then even MORE complicated to download. I know the big concern is security BUT with all the secure means of using the net you'd think they could find an easier way!
This issue is the biggest reason I don't use LoTW more often and has been my issue since LoTW started!

Displaying 1-3 of 3
May 5th 2012, 16:28

K0STK

Joined: May 14th 2011, 20:53
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Quote by NM5GB
I wish they'd make it more user friendly! I only download every other month or so and it is WAY complicated to log then even MORE complicated to download. I know the big concern is security BUT with all the secure means of using the net you'd think they could find an easier way!
This issue is the biggest reason I don't use LoTW more often and has been my issue since LoTW started!


What are you trying to download from LoTW and why? Based on my understanding of LoTW you're not going to get any information from LoTW that is not already in your station log.

As for uploading ...

Some Ham Radio Log programs, such as Ham Radio Deluxe, can automatically upload QSOs after they are logged. Take a look at this Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT75hIPxaGQ

DXtreme Station Log - http://www.dxtreme.com/prods_dxslme.htm - includes built-in support for LoTW.

There are many other logging programs ... see http://www.arrl.org/lotw-resources for the list as well as a few tutorials.

I use the log facility in fldigi. To make a LoTW upload I manually export my log to an ADIF file, manually sign it with tqsl and then email the signed file to the lotw submission address. It's really pretty simple.

In my experience the key to using LoTW has been to follow the instructions. Here are a few links which might be helpful:

http://www.arrl.org/logbook-of-the-world - includes a video tutorial
http://www.g4ifb.com/html/lotw.html - LoTW User Guide
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ARRL-LOTW/ - Yahoo Group
http://www.facebook.com/LogbookOfTheWorld - Facebook Group
http://www.hb9bza.net/lotw-users-list - LoTW User's List

Official nformation about troubleshooting problems is available at http://www.arrl.org/lotw-help

For a lost of frequently asked questions about LoTW see
https://p1k.arrl.org/lotw/faq

One of our goals as Hams is to expand our knowledge about radio art (and by extension, anything related to radio). Don't give up; you can learn how to use LoTW.
May 5th 2012, 20:27

AA6E

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
My LoTW QSL rate is about 29% if anyone wants to know. I'm a relatively casual operator - few contests, etc.

I agree that LoTW is not the best example of user friendly software engineering. There are several general issues, from where I sit:

1. Concept. LoTW is very much geared to awards and contests. Nothing wrong with that, but something like LoTW could support a good level of person-to-person communication, too. Perhaps a personal note or a URL, photo, or (my goodness) a QSL image could be attached to a log entry, to be read by the other party. I.e., some element of social networking that could help build relationships when/if that is desired. I suppose Facebook and its ilk did not really exist when LoTW was designed.

2. LoTW accounts are not simple to set up, compared to other important things we commonly do -- like electronic banking and bill-paying. (Even e-paying your taxes!) There are postcards and keys and passwords floating about that should not be exposed to the general end user. True, if you slavishly follow the directions, you can get set up for LoTW without great fuss. But, if something goes wrong or if (heavens!) you don't read the directions carefully BEFORE operating the software... you might have a bad day. Similar remarks apply to certificate renewals and to moving between machines, etc. Some folks manage OK even without lots of computer experience, but some folks with advanced degrees and computer experience screw up at times. (That would be me.)

3. Operations, once set up and understood, are fairly straightforward. If you use one of the logging programs with LoTW integration, it's easy enough. (No different from eQSL, for example.) However, if you want to work directly with ADIF files and manual signing, the process is not so simple, especially if you only do it once in a while. If you have multiple callsigns or multiple locations to keep track of, it's manageable, but tricky. Maybe ARRL or a 3rd party should produce a definitive LoTW standalone client program with a modern style, online help, and user friendliness. (TQSL ain't it.)

LoTW is a success by some measures, even despite 1-3 above. It is filling a need, but it could be a lot more usable and fun than it is. Unfortunately, software engineering is expensive and fraught with management headaches. I doubt the League is ready to take on the job I'm suggesting -- unless a lot of members speak up.

73 Martin AA6E
ARRL Technical Advisor (I advise, they dispose.)

Back to Top