Ham Radio 360: NPOTA recap with Stuart KB1HQS

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K4CDN, Jan 10, 2017.

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  1. K0PG

    K0PG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I resisted LoTW and did not like that it was the only option. I did it anyway and I had my share of learning curve challenges. That being said I grew to like it and I am glad that I did it. I'm a warm and fuzzy type. There were lots of us involved in NPOTA. Many no-code hams became "know code" hams because of CW activations. Other new amateurs gained experience in handling a pileup.
    I am glad that I was involved, I am sorry that it is over and I hope that it can continue along the lines of VUCC, WAS, DXCC and other programs.
    Tim K0PG
  2. KN6Q

    KN6Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry, I disagree. "Any valid form" is meaningless to the guy who wants/needs it on LoTW for an award. It's a courtesy. Think about it the other way around - Dennis Rodman get's his license and they let him operate in North Korea, you work him and he told you sorry, no card, I only do LoTW. It's valid confirmation, right?
  3. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Dont buy it.

    I am NOT being discourteous if I dont use LOTW.Thats where your point goes...l am not being convinced via insult.

    Are there others Lotw arguments that are logical and compelling?
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  4. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page


    How do you account for the ARRL selling thousands of logbooks a year? Again, its their best seller.

    If its 'discourteous' to NOT use LOTW, shouldn't the ARRL 'walk the walk' and discontinue publication of logbooks?

    I honestly feel you are confusing an ARRL business decision with a form of QSO validation. Again here is that situation:

    1) The ARRL has the lowest percentage of members vs US ham base that its had in modern times--it needs MORE members;

    2) Operating events pegged to being an ARRL member are a way to increase membership;

    3) REQUIRING LOTW for the-- event-- essentially restricts it to ARRL members, in a practical sense;

    4) Operating events thus drive new members to join the ARRL;

    5) The ARRL has the highest margin and high income from its paper logbooks and there is no chance they will discontinue publication.

    IOW, both NPOTA via LOTW (only) AND publication of paper logs are business decisions devoted to bringing more revenue into the ARRL (the ARRL lost money in 2016, so its not a bad thing to make more revenue). There is nothing wrong with that, but restricting to LOTW is contradictory to that.

    So let's see it the other way: if you use a paper log (reporting) for these operating events then you pay a fee, not inclusive of membership. That makes sense, doesn't it?

    Again, more than one validation option is just the reality.

    Chip W1YW
  5. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually I have several DX stations that are LOTW only--I just write them off.

    The reason DX is almost never LOTW only is money: donations, to a large degree, get pegged to the availability of QSLs, hence the cottage industry of OQRS. Paper for money as the exchange. Notice, for example, the prominence of 'QSL PREVIEWs' on Dx-world.net.

    And I would never QSO Dennis Rodman. He is, IMO, a foolish person. Your opinion may differ.

    Chip W1YW
  6. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    It looks like they screwed up big time on this one. They forgot to exclude non-members from LOTW, and non-members were also eligible for awards.

    Quite a few active NPOTA participants were non-members for one reason or another.
    KN6Q likes this.
  7. KN6Q

    KN6Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    Honestly, I'm not trying to insult you. Just get you to see it from another point of view. There are people who are trying to exclusively use LoTW for awards, and if they need your state/county/grid/whatever, and it's the same thing to them as a rare DX not sending you a card. Both happen all the time, and you're hardly alone not using LoTW.

    I have paper "official" ARRL logbooks for when I operate without a computer. They all eventually get entered in to the computer and LoTW. As mentioned most of the NPOTA activations were logged on paper first and then put into LoTW. I don't understand what selling paper logbooks has to do with LoTW.

    You don't have to be an ARRL member to use LoTW. You didn't have to be an ARRL member to participate in NPOTA.

    You do have to be an ARRL member for DXCC and WAS if you are in the US. But that's no different than cards.

    So I don't see the correlation between ARRL membership and LoTW.

    As stated previously, I don't see the relationship between selling paper logs and LoTW. However, I also don't have any insight into how many they sell and what their margin is (although, I suspect it is high because it's nothing more than cheaply spiral bound photocopy pages). They certainly don't hold it up as a best seller, and it's only $8 and hold 1,300 QSOs. That's a little more than 1/2 a penny per QSO. They sell (and push) far more expensive books like the operating manual and antenna book that they *do* claim are best sellers.

    They might make 1/2 penny per QSO (*IF* you exclusively use official ARRL logs) - or they can save money and time that it would cost to process and check paper applications. Reducing administration costs and maximizing profit selling $20 Chaser and $20 Activator certificates makes a lot more sense to me.

    No disagreement here on any of that.

    My opinion doesn't differ. Just coming up with a silly example for a North Korea QSO.
  8. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Lotw is being used as a recruitment tool for membership-- which is fine with me, Its scaling usage is being used to justify initiatives for donations for new hardware. Again, also a good idea.

    Restricting OTA activities to lotw is not a good idea.

    Chip W1YW
    KA4AQM likes this.
  9. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    My point is that if the objective is to get people to JUST use LOTW, there is no point in selling paper logs:)

    And if you sell paper logs, the message is that it also is valid for awards, thru QSLing for example.

    The logbook is pure gravy for ARRL: $4 (roughly) wholesale price ; $1.50 (roughly) printing costs. No costs of 'production', 'compilation', or 'editing'. Many they sell themselves at full retail. They sell many,many thousands, either wholesale or direct. You never see the logbook on sale, for example.

    Chip W1YW
  10. KN6Q

    KN6Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    Honestly, I suspect the printing costs could be well under $1. Surely a single copy of QST costs far more to print and bind. I REALLY wish they made a higher quality one, I would buy it.

    I'm sure they sell a bunch, but they have competition from not only electronic logging programs, but downloadable "print your own" log sheets, and a $1 spiral notebook.

    Even given the pure profit they make, I just don't think it falls into the equation for something like NPOTA. I think they saved a ton of time and money not having to process paper logs or even cabrillo files all the time, and everyone got realtime leader boards and statistics all year long. It was all "automatic". I was able to order a $20 Activator certificate the day after I did it (since I knew it would be my only one).

    Think about how many months after a contest it takes to get results when they accept paper logs. Frankly, I think the fact that it was LoTW only made it more enjoyable.


    W1YW likes this.

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