LOTW is worthless for DX

Discussion in 'The DX Zone' started by WH2HAO, Aug 16, 2012.

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  1. KC2SIZ

    KC2SIZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The relationship between DXing and contesting is an interesting one. Sometimes the line between them gets very blurry. Or at any rate, many hams and to some extent the ARRL have chosen to blur it. The obsession with making sure that hams can't lie about which countries they've worked does reflect a mindset of competition, and I confess I find that a little weird. In my opinion, DXCC should be about honor, not "verification". In contests I think you should have verification, as this seems like part of the very nature of a contest. But DXCC, at least as I normally think about it, isn't a contest that pits hams against each other. It may pit each ham against him or herself, but that of course is very different.

    I still like the DXCC award and like most everyone else I apply for my awards and am happy to have them. But the obsessive concern with "verification" seems slightly tacky to me and to diminish the award it's intended to support.
  2. NN3W

    NN3W Ham Member QRZ Page

    Contesting is like DXing - many are involved in either or both for personal fulfillment reasons. Others are there to flat out compete. If people think that there is no competitive aspect to DXing, then they've probably not been around a lot of DXers.

    It has to do with maintaining the integrity of the program. By verifying QSL cards, verifying documentation for DXpeditions, and maintaining high standards, you evoke an image of a program that is completely above board, respected, and sought after.

    If you had an award were you simply self certified what you did and printed off the cert yourself, nobody would care about it and nobody would hold it in esteem.
  3. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Guam might be a wondeful place, but it is completely overrrun with very dangerous and venomous Brown Tree Snakes!!! Not safe to get off the plane![
  4. KC2SIZ

    KC2SIZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some people are competitive by nature, whether you're talking about DXing or lunch.

    So far as I can tell, there is one and only one person in this world who cares about my DXing awards as it is, and that would be me. I would care just as much about them even if I was the only one who knew "for sure" that I'd worked all the countries recorded in my log. Think about it. If the ARRL discontinued all of its awards programs, do you think people would stop chasing DX? Would you stop chasing DX? I sure wouldn't. I don't think it would even occur to me to stop, and I'd continue to keep track of what I've worked and what I haven't just as I always have.

    That said, I'm not under the illusion that any of this is going to change. Honor is an outdated notion now, not only in ham radio but in the world more generally. I might not like that, but I acknowledge the reality of it.
  5. WH2HAO

    WH2HAO QRZ Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's not a wonderful place, its terrible !! Terrible.. It outright S**ks ! I'm just doing my time here. Then back to the mainland.. I must have killed at least 50 snakes in the last year. I'm not exaggerating !!
  6. VK3KTT

    VK3KTT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    my strike rate on lotw is low my biggest gripe is the WIA over here the Australian version of arrl cant get to check qso's so we are left with eqsl for our own awards,apart from cards and no we arent wealthy enough to set up out own lotw 15000 hams and probably half that active if we are lucky. I still up load to help others out and one day I might get an award.
  7. WB6L

    WB6L Ham Member QRZ Page

    I disagree. LOTW is a great resource. With over 5000 QSO's entered I have better than a 44% return. DXCC has been completed on 12 & 17 meters mainly by using LOTW. It has saved me $$ on postage/return postage & IRC's. From a DX point of view, it saves many hours filling out QSL's. WB6L
  8. SV1XV

    SV1XV Ham Member QRZ Page

    The "strike rate" (ratio of QSLs over QSOs) depends on the type of stations you normally contact. I get a high percentage of QSLs from two classes of stations:
    * RTTY stations, especially contesters
    * Stations located in the USA and Canada

    My strike rate is next to zero for VHF portable operations from my own country,
    I have only confirmed SY9VHF in 2011! I suspect that some of them upload the
    QSOs with a different callsign than the one used on the air, i.e. SV1XYZ instead
    of SV1XYZ/P etc. Also special event stations are poor QSLers via LoTW.

    I get mixed results from casual CW operators - a few QSL via LoTW, most
    of them don't.
  9. ZL2HAM

    ZL2HAM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I see what you're saying, but I would like to point out a few things:

    -- There is no way to automatically confirm a QSO independent of the operator's participation. Confirmation is just that: an action taken by both operators that is separate from the QSO itself.
    -- LoTW is not geared toward instant gratification. Just a few days ago, I received confirmation for a QSO back in 2008. Many operators upload once a year or even less often. Give it time.
    -- QSLs by bureau can take a year or more. LoTW is blazingly fast in comparison.
    -- Not every QSO gets confirmed. That's a fact of life, and is independent of the method used.
    -- Yes, you will often have to work (many) QSOs per country before you get one confirmed. Instead of being a negative, I look at that in a positive light, since it adds to the difficulty of getting an award. Making something more difficult adds to both the challenge and the value/meaning of the reward once achieved.
    -- When thinking about whether it's worthwhile to upload to LoTW or not, give some consideration to the people on the other end of your QSOs. You may not get all of the credit you're looking for, but you could easily be giving the other party a key missing piece. For example, I just had a guy contact me today saying my LoTW QSL was the last one he needed in order to get DXCC on 40m.
    -- Guam is a relatively rare DXCC entity. If you wanted to, I would wager that it's possible for you to rack up a large number of QSOs in just a few days, if you were so inclined, even outside of a contest and with low power and a (properly installed) dipole or vertical -- assuming the right choice of bands and time of day for optimal propagation. I'm located in ZL, which isn't exactly close to most DXCC entities, so I'm speaking from experience.

    Best of luck, and good DX!
  10. VK3KTT

    VK3KTT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    a great thread btw.
    I thought I would come back to this thread.
    I can see where WH2HAO is coming from I had a relatively low qso count when I replied my numbers were in the magic 2-300 qso bracket . started to become very disheartened. I participated in a few competitions in the last couple of months one of them the dx oceania. I am now @ around 550 qso's entered for 45 qsl. not great figures but I can see the momentum building. for Australian dxcc lotw is no help but the other electronic QSL provider can be checked by our local WIA for their dxcc so on my qrz page I promote both and in QSO I will tell people especially from hard to qsl with countries like indonesia or south korea to look me up on qrz for QSL info and it pay dividends. i have received one qsl card in the last 6 months but 130 on the electronic qsl's and 45 on lotw on the other one the bulk are for my native country but thats fine I have around 15 confirmed countries on each but they are not the same countries. so have approx 20 confirmed countries still a long way to go for dxcc but I will get there with wire antenna's and 100 watts. and I am a member of the ARRL and WIA.
    I think every one loves getting that QSL card or confirmation I know I do so I make the effort to upload once a week then when I get a reply I always smile.
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