Why no confirmations?

Discussion in 'The DX Zone' started by KI5OMM, Nov 6, 2021.

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  1. VA3VF

    VA3VF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Gene,

    I think you mentioned in another "DXing discussion venue" that you were considering adding a LoTW only confirmation option, and the corresponding "fee" structure, to your future DXpeditions. Is that still the case? As you likely saw/heard, it was one of the options available to confirm HD8R.

  2. K5GS

    K5GS XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Absolutely, we will do that for our next project. We had a team meeting on Wednesday and, among other things, discussed the QSL policy.

    For what it's worth, I think it was the Italian DX Team that had an Express LoTW option for several years. We added it to our OQRS software and used it for the VK9MT project in 2014. We have not used it since, but that will change.

    With PayPal increasing the per transaction rate from 30 US cents to 49 US cents plus about 2.95%, our costs continue to rise. You can expect confirmations to cost more in the future. Contrary to what some people seem to think, there ain't no such thing as free lunch, someone is paying for the free stuff. Our suppliers don't believe in "Ham Spirit", they want cash on delivery.

    3Y0J already announced their confirmation fees:

    - OQRS Direct QSL+LoTW: via paypal $15
    - OQRS Bureau QSL: via paypal $3 (looks like no LoTW)

    I am in total agreement with their QSL policy.

    GS K5GS
  3. VA3VF

    VA3VF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you very much for the reply, Gene.

    Regarding 3Y0J, they also say this: "Complete 3Y0J log will be uploaded to LoTW within 12 months"

    All "angles" are covered. Well done!

    All the best with your future projects.
  4. K5GS

    K5GS XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Uploading in 12 months is required by the NCDXF for them to support your project.

    Other organizations (mostly outside the US), unless otherwise negotiated, require full log LoTW upload in 6 months, some require free LoTW for their members and special handling for their member's buro cards.

    We (PDXG.net) will no longer upload in 6 months, we've adopted the NCDXF 12 month guideline. Nor will we provide special handling and free LoTW upload for organizations that have that requirement. The business case no longer closes. Yes, major DXpeditions must be run like a business. We're working with hundreds of thousands of dollars, at those levels it's no longer a hobby.

    For projects we may participate in outside of our DXpedition group ( PDXG.net) we will establish the QSL policy for each project. In other words, if we fund the project ourselves we will not offer a free LoTW upload or free buro cards.

    As the Bob Dylan song goes "The Times They Are a-Changin".

    GS K5GS
  5. VA3VF

    VA3VF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Got it.
    I fully understand and agree.

    Thanks again.
  6. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think that is excessive. I guess I'm not enough of a big gun to pay that much.
    PU2OZT likes this.
  7. VA3VF

    VA3VF Ham Member QRZ Page

    As with almost everything else in life: It depends.

    Regarding this particular planned activation, consider the cost, it's huge. Hams may "work" for free, but the other service providers will hear none of it.;)

    Please note there is a $3 option as well, and a free LoTW upload after 1 year.

    It took me almost 40 years to buy a brand new transceiver (IC-7300). The same amount of time for a commercially built antenna (Hustler 6BTV). Before that, it was used junk and wire antennas. Yes, I could have purchase them much earlier, or even more expensive hardware, but I had other priorities. We do what we can with what is available at any given time.

    Just one example, something that was unheard of just a few years ago, rent-a-remote. After spending some cash pursuing that DX counter using the commercial remote, $15 may be the least of expenses.

    What I spent on both the transceiver and antenna, others will spend on the transmission line alone. Let's not talk about towers, full length monoband Yagis, legal limit amps, expensive transceivers, remote stations so on and so forth.

    The hobby has definitively changed, evolved, or moved backwards - one is free to pick the "appropriate" term.

    It is what it is, but as long as we can continue to fight over modes one "must" use to be a real ham, all that is secondary. The amount of money one has sunk into the hobby does influence ones opinion of what is right and wrong. :D:D:D:D:D
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2021
  8. WG7X

    WG7X Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    If it's business, then by definition, it's not ham radio either, is it?

    A conundrum.

    Well, I quit paying for QSL cards, managers, or whatever decades ago. It's simply not that important to me compared to what is important: daily life putting food on the table and roof over our heads. Ham radio, as practiced these days, is a hobby. As such it is not life changing or anything like it.

    That said, I still enjoy many aspects of our shared avocation DXing, ragchewing, digital modes, all grist for the mill, and it's all fun. I do work the DXpeditions because I enjoy getting in the melee and just trying for that signal report and "73" from the DX. rarely if ever do I ask for any confirmation but if I get one these days, it would be on LOTW and it would be "free". If the DXpedition chooses not to upload their logs, that's OK because life still goes on without that "coveted" confirmation...

    So Gene, thanks for doing what you do, and I hope that you get to continue doing it. Looking at your bio, I can see that you're an accomplished and dedicated ham/ DX'er. Our thanks go out to you for doing what you do so well. So far, I think I've been able to work a few of your expeditions. Nice going, and we all appreciate it; really!

    As I enter into retirement soon, I will probably spend more time on the radio, doing whatever is there. Who knows, maybe even working you on a future DXpedition and sending in the required "donation" for the confirmation. Things change; who knows what the future holds?
  9. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Regardless of fiscal consideration, ham radio and DX’ing isn’t a business.

    To most of those of us in the pileup, it’s still just a hobby and being thought of as a revenue source is what businesses do.
  10. K5GS

    K5GS XML Subscriber QRZ Page


    You may certainly parse words if that's your game.

    Please reread what I wrote.

    I wrote it has to be managed like a business, I did not say it was a business.

    However, while it is a hobby:

    - We file DXpedition tax returns with the IRS for each year the project is active.
    - PayPal has different rules when donations are involved, especially if you're not a 501(c) (3).
    - PayPal sends a 1099K for each of our 2 accounts when we meet their clip level.
    - Bank accounts have to be opened with an an EIN.
    - In today's litigious society we try to protect ourselves from liability by forming an LLC. Not perfect but better than nothing.
    - Someone has to sign binding contracts for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    In the past you may have done some DXpeditions, the process today for a major project is nothing like it was just 10 years ago.

    You're right, to most it's just a pile-up and a hobby, it lasts for the 2 weeks the DXpedition is on the air. For the team it's a 12 - 18 month commitment with reams of paperwork and many thousand e-mails. The Patriot Act has made the process even more intensive.

    You may call it whatever makes you feel comfortable.

    GS K5GS

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