LOTW

Discussion in 'Logbooks & Logging Programs' started by KG4ULT, Oct 12, 2007.

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  1. KG4ULT

    KG4ULT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello all,

    I have a question. I have always loved to collect QSL cards from all over the world. I do not have many exotic ones; but a few. Lately i have noticed that no one has been responding to the QSL cards i have sent out (mainly all european stations) stateside have all but 2 responded. I sent via buro and direct. What gives?

    I am not a contester, i would just like to have the cards to show friends and family as well as classmates how far you can talk on a modest set-up. Should i just go to LOTW as proof of these contacts, being as which no one seems to respond anymore, unless they need you for their logs?

    I mean, isnt that part of amateur radio tradition? What do op's do no a-days; once they get all QSL's they were after they just dump on the rest of us who would like the memoir?

    What do you think?

    Frank
     
  2. KA9MOT

    KA9MOT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I found LOTW to be a real pain in the hiney.

    Download the program, install it and then email the ARRL. They will snail mail you a number that says all the previous steps were completed by you, a licensed Amatuer Radio Operator and your desire to use the software and email the ARRL, certifies you, are who you say you are (I guess the ARRL doesn't ever recieve fake emails). Then you must input this secret, extra special number as instructed in the directions they gave you 1 month ago and you were suposed to remember.

    I tried twice and decided studying code was a hell of a lot easier and more fun.

    If I ever work you I'll be sure to send you a card direct because I want yours.

    73,
    Steve kc0rey
     
  3. N0IU

    N0IU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't have the answer as to the dropoff in paper QSL cards, but I suspect that cost is a factor.

    As far as LoTW, yes it is a pain to set up, but once that is done, it is very easy to upload your logs. As far as using the super-secret password they send you on the postcard, you only have to do that once.

    To upload your logs, first, have your logging program generate an ADIF file. Then you open the TQSL program (part of the LoTW package) and it will electronically sign that log and convert it into the format the LoTW program is looking for. Then you go to the LoTW web site and upload that file. Easy!

    Scott NØIU
     
  4. K7MH

    K7MH XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Buro is very slow to use as you may know.
    Bands are not very good so some people do not have very many cards to send to the buros so will wait longer to do it.
    So turn around time is even worse.
    Did you include an SAE and adequate green stamps (more likely $2 US than just $1 these days) for a return QSL when you sent direct to overseas stations?
    IRC's are a joke and always have been.
     
  5. N8UZE

    N8UZE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Direct QSLs can take months or even a year if it was a big DXpedition.

    Bureau QSLs can take several years as ops often wait until they have a group of cards to send.

    I don't think QSLing has really dropped off.

    However, keep in mind that if you want the card and you are the one initiating the request, you must provide the envelope and postage BOTH WAYS (or go through the bureau).  Even for domestic contacts, your results will be better with an SASE.

    On the other hand, since you are in Puerto Rico, people should be wanting your card.  While you do not have to sign as KP3/KG4ULT, it will alert other stations to the fact that you are in Puerto Rico and not just another state side station.  
    [​IMG]
     
  6. W4MAJ

    W4MAJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm like you I LIKE QSL CARDS! It's like a little Christmas when I open the mailbox. LOTW is good, but it's just an electronic list of QSOs that doesn't transfer well to the wall of the shack.

    Here's another suggestion. I'm not a huge fan of eQSL, but a lot of operators I've spoken to on the air are. These electronic QSL cards do not count toward ARRL awards, but they are QSLs none the less. The difference is you have to buy card stock paper and print them in order to show them off.
     
  7. KG4ULT

    KG4ULT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello all,

    Thanks for replies. I have registered for EQSL; never used it much though. Too many twists and turns just to view and card and respond. However, i will look into further again. Unfortunately, not many operators do EQSL.

    As for the other comments, it turns out i only sent SASE on a few of them. Maybe that is what is holding them up..but dagum man how much does it cost to send a card anyway. If you can afford, even the most basic of rigs...you would think these can afford to send some cards. I dont know, just my wacky way of thinking.

    Thanks again, I guess from now on ill ask the ops if they qsl prior to sending and ill also ask if they need a SASE with money. I guess this way they are happy and i can get my cards.

    AS for awards, the only one i am really after now is WAS...well see how that works out
    [​IMG]

    Frank
     
  8. KG4RUL

    KG4RUL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use neither LOTW or eQSL. Electronic QSLs look pretty but, no real satisfaction.

    I do respond to a QSL card mailed to me with no SASE required. [​IMG]
     
  9. K3STX

    K3STX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some real misinformation here.

    1. LOTW is very easy to use, you simply have to send them an AIDF or Cabrillo file. Duh.

    2. IRCs are great, they are better than cash. Do you want the DX guy to get in trouble for possessing US currency? I sure don't; IRCs work just fine. For "common" DX where you KNOW US currency is allowed and the guy has some way of trading it in for his/her "real" money, $$ are OK.

    3. I suspect ALL of the Europeans you sent cards too (especially those guys who did NOT receive an SASE) have returned them to you via the buro. You must be patient, a year wait is about average. However, I suspect I am at about 75% return rate via the buro. Make SURE you have envelopes on file with your card sorter, check out the ARRL website.

    QSLing is not dead, LOTW is no way to get pretty cards!! You just must be patient.

    paul
     
  10. N0IU

    N0IU Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is wrong! Obviously you don't use LoTW because you are the one passing along misinformation.

    You MUST use the TQSL (Trusted QSL) program to electronically sign the file and convert it into the .tq8 format or it will NOT be accepted.

    eQSL on the other hand, will accept an ADIF file and as far as I know, that is the only format they will accept.

    Scott NØIU
     
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