LoTW Reaches New Milestone: 200 Million QSOs
On January 16, Vic Kean Jr, K1LT, of Carroll, Ohio, uploaded four years' worth of logs -- about 25,000 QSOs -- to ARRL's Logbook of The World (LoTW). Somewhere in that batch, the LoTW counter crossed the 2 million mark. To celebrate Kean's submission of the 200 millionth QSO, the ARRL has awarded him lifetime free LoTW credits and free ARRL Awards as he qualifies for them.
"When I uploaded all of my contest logs since moving to my current location," Kean said, "I was really surprised at the number of the contacts that were immediately confirmed -- about 30 percent -- especially DXpeditions. I've been very laggard about responding to QSLs that I get. The last batch I did was by printing some card stock on a laser printer."
Kean, who mainly enjoys operating CW on 160 meters, said that he enjoys what he calls "success at contesting through technological superiority," as opposed to superior operating ability. "In other words," he said, "I work at improving my station with technology, and then test those improvements in a contest. I attempt to achieve awards by trying to get into one of the 'Top 10 boxes' in the contest results. Somewhere I have a Worked All States certificate from my youthful days. I worked about 160 countries but never got around to submitting any cards for DXCC." Kean said that he still intends to try and get at least one QSL card from every country.
"Even though we knew that Logbook of The World would explode in its popularity, 201 million QSOs in roughly the first five years of its existence show that LoTW's concept and ideas have worked beyond our expectations," said ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs Department Manager Dave Patton, NN1N. "Vic's log contributes not only to the bottom line, but to the overall embrace of the technology and further bolsters our commitment to continue to improve and expand the system."
Kean said that he believes Amateur Radio will certainly continue to change as time goes on, "but I don't expect the hobby to ever completely go away. With cognitive radio coming, there is plenty of opportunity to experiment, even by just writing software. In the long run, I think the rules of spectrum allocation will change, but hopefully the change will benefit people in general, rather than corporations. If so, there will still be a role for communications experimenters. Man versus the ionosphere will still be interesting, no matter what the spectrum rules are."
When asked if he would encourage other hams to try Logbook of The World, Kean was enthusiastic: "If someone asked me about Logbook, I would tell them, 'Don't worry about it. Logbook of The World works, and it seems to be enjoying much greater popularity than you know.' At least, that's what I just found out!"