LOTW - how many hams use this?

Discussion in 'Logbooks & Logging Programs' started by KA1YBS, Jun 12, 2009.

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  1. N0AZZ

    N0AZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    All I use anymore is LoTW and eQSL the only paper I send is when I receive one. In fact I request LoTW first and then eQSL THE VERY LAST is a paper card
    Computer logging and uploading are just to easy I do send cards where internet is not easy to get to or costly for others. If my computer is down most of the time I don't even get on the radio I keep no paper logs.
  2. K4JC

    K4JC Ham Member QRZ Page

    My experience was very similar to yours (minus the trips to the library!) I had a hard drive crash and hadn't saved the certificate. :mad: Kathy at ARRL was very helpful and I had everything back up and running within an hour of my initial email to her. If you're having problems setting up LOTW, send an email to lotw-help@arrl.org and they'll get you up and running. Oh, and I now have my certificate saved on a thumb drive!

    Having said all that, I'm still very disappointed with the return rate on LOTW. In my case it's running between 12-15%, although if you use the systemwide numbers on the front page of LOTW, the average is around 9%! Over this past weekend I put all my paper log info from 2000 to 2004 into a logging program and uploaded to LOTW. Out of almost 1000 contacts, I got a match on 60. Hmmm, 6%...I wonder if it was worth the effort?

    I also upload to eQSL, and surprisingly my return rate there is close to 50%! Too bad they're useless except for eQSL (or some CQ) awards. Maybe there's something about seeing a QSL card, even an electronic one, that is more exciting than just a list of matched QSOs. I wonder if the response rate on LOTW would go up if they let you enter an image of your QSL card that could be seen and/or printed once a QSO is properly matched?

    Of course I still send paper QSLs. I too love to open the mailbox and find some exotic looking stamp with a postmark in a language I can't read, knowing that inside is another QSL card that may or may not get me closer to DXCC (It has only taken me 31 years to get 92 countries confirmed...hope I make it to 100 before 12/21/2012! :p) My return rate with direct QSLs runs about 25%; through the bureau about 1%.

    When all is said and done, is QSLing worth it? It is. I use N3FJP's ACLog, and it takes me, maybe, 2 minutes to upload to both LOTW and eQSL...and it's free (my kind of price!) As for paper QSLs, I will send a direct card to stations in countries I have yet to confirm, special event stations, someone who specifically requests a card, or if for some reason I really want a particular QSL card. All others go through the bureau. That policy saves me a bunch of money on my QSLing (with apologies to Geico :D)
  3. KA9MOT

    KA9MOT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have 996 contacts uploaded and 290 confirmed. I guess that is about 30%.
    I use eQSL as a courtesy only. I don't ever add them to my log as confirmed.

    I think things will improve when when more people get on LoTW, but I also think the ARRL needs to make LoYW available to all hams, not just members and DX stations.

    I also must admit that LoTW is the only reason I am still a member of the ARRL. I am very unhappy with the direction they are going.
  4. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, I hate to say this, but you can quit if you want. You don't need to be an ARRL member to participate in LOTW. You do need to be a member to participate in WAS and DXCC, but that's true whether you use LOTW or paper QSL cards.
  5. WB1ABQ

    WB1ABQ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm a big fan of electronic QSLing. I was inactive from 1987 to 2008 and decided to start with a clean sheet and use all electronic logging.

    I started with eQSL and still do not understand why so many hams are against it. Apparently somewhere during the time I was inactive something happened that makes lots of hams say "no eQSL". Too bad as I really like the eQSL interface, the fact that I can edit or delete an entry with an error in it, and I download all QSL images to a folder by callsign/band/mode; e.g. 9A7YY-20R (for RTTY, or S for Sideband, P for PSK, C for CW, etc.). I have over 700 images saved and look at them often.

    LoTW is also a good system. I wish I could edit/correct/delete a log entry but the ARRL is adamant not to let that happen. I put my current station on the air in May of '08 and as of tonight have 4,750 entries at LoTW with 2,450 matches -- a very good return, partly because a vast majority of my contacts have been digital. I now have WAS/RTTY, Triple Play Award, and DXCC totally by electronic logging through LoTW. It's pretty remarkable that a small station (IC-746PRO, 3-el tribander, no amp) can get these three awards with just over 4,000 contacts during a low point of propagation and not use a single paper QSL.

    LoTW is growing on a daily basis. Nearly every week I get QSLs from stations I worked in '08 who are now uploading logs to LoTW. I don't always care for the politics, etc. of ARRL, but if not them, who? I've probably saved the price of several good pieces of equipment by logging electronically instead of with paper, and LoTW/eQSL are near-instant without waiting months or years for the "buro" or paying exorbitant prices for postage/IRCs.

    Some hams are in countries that are still politically or economically stifled from having reliable Internet service necessary for online logging, but hopefully we will be making gains in this area.

    DX and DXpeditions should welcome digital logging. Except for those who wish to make money or recover expenses from the paper logging, imagine the time and energy saved by simply uploading an ADIF file versus having to process thousands of cards. Entering 10,000 QSOs into a logging program is still easier than processing 10,000 cards.

    Electronic logging and online look-ups through QRZ.com have changed ham operating forever. I love it.
  6. WA4OTD

    WA4OTD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hard for me to use and take time to really figure it out. I have used it, have not looked to see what the hit rate is. I do plan on converting my 2009 log to LOTW (~1500 contacts)...also hope it is worth it!
  7. KA9MOT

    KA9MOT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just looked so I could prove you wrong............Guess I missed this one. You're right! :D
  8. KE7VZW

    KE7VZW Ham Member QRZ Page

    i put all my contacts in lotw, eqsl & if it was a more friendly, longer qso, i go direct. For contests and stuff I just export n1mm logs to lotw and eqsl
  9. N3ZKI

    N3ZKI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I see all the posts from people stating something like.. "Meh it was a little complicated to setup so I just quit"

    Did I find it a little tricky to figure out when I first signed up? yes. But with 15 minutes of tinkering around I got it all figured out. It's not brain surgery...Besides aren't hams usually the stubborn type who are determined to figure things out!

  10. AG2M

    AG2M Ham Member QRZ Page

    LOTW Getting with the Program

    LOTW took me some head scratching as it wasn't intuitive setting up with more than one call on more than one computer (laptop & desktops).
    Hit a snag, got frustrated, and sent e'mail to ARRL contact person. Got a bit of a sarcastic comment back to my somewhat critical comments. The advice provided basically told me to Read the Instructions and indicated section where needed specific information could be found. I took the advice and sure enough it worked.
    LOTW works, it's good, can add challenge to WAS & DXCC via LOTW, and it's Free.

    My confirmed QSL to QSO uploaded data is about 19%. Old contacts >1yr have low hit rate but occasionally some are turning up. As more Amateurs get with the program and enter data this will improve significantly.

    What would have helped me getting started would have been to print out the Get Started Guide and following it as I went through the process rather than downloading pfd file, reading (skimming) it and trusting my memory & intuition.

    Give LOTW a try or two or ...Nth and eventually you might just like it too.
    Also please enter old QSOs as you might confirm one of mine.
    73, George Ag2m
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