QSL / LOTW / Logging Question


Charlie Vest
 

Okay I have been a ham for 48 years and made countless contacts over the years , but never had any interesting in collecting cards or awards .

Recently after looking at my log book I saw very little actual on the air activity in the past few years , even though I try to work on the bench almost every day . I have also built countless projects , but just use them for a few contacts to make sure they work correctly and give them away or put them on the shelf . I do operate different types of beacons on a fairly regular basis.

Two or three months ago I decided to reset my QSO counter to zero and go after every special event , contest , any special piece of paper , for WAS , DXCC , VUCC any award in the books on any band from 160 though 432 MHz. on any and all modes possible .

I bought the entire N3FJP group of logging programs , and set up LOTW , to keep track of all the different awards . I also belong to E-QSL and QRZ , plus of course the ARRL .

What is the best way today to collect cards both domestic and foreign ? To me it is looking like direct might still be the best . From what I read on the E-QSL site , the ARRL doesn't accept their QSL's for awards .

However LOTW has such a low rate of confirmation , it is almost not worth the time to even log them and upload / download the contacts . I just took a quick look at 50 contacts in July and only 4 of them have been confirmed through LOTW . E-QSL has a MUCH higher confirmation rate , but again should I even be wasting my time doing uploads and downloads from them if the ARRL is not going to recognize them .

Any thoughts or suggestions on how to maximize my QSO confirmations in today's world would be greatly appreciated . I am hoping some of you can teach this old dog some new tricks .

Thanks and I hope I don't sound too ignorant for someone who has enjoyed the hobby for this many wonderful years and now has an even greater newly acquired interest in operating and having fun at it once again .

73 ,

Charlie , W5COV


Wayne Dillon
 

Hi Charlie,
Personally, If I really want the QSL I go direct, very few will ignore a direct QSL request. I even got one from a guy who had to make one on his computer specially for me. I do use both LOTW and eQSL and I have to say that I am disappointed with the level of confirmation on LOTW. eQSL now has the facility to actually print the card if you require hard copy.
So I guess with all this rambling I'm saying direct is still the best method for getting one back.
72/3 es God Bless de Wayne - KC0PMH


On Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 9:35 PM, Charlie , W5COV <cvest@...> wrote:
 

Okay I have been a ham for 48 years and made countless contacts over the
years , but never had any interesting in collecting cards or awards .

Recently after looking at my log book I saw very little actual on the
air activity in the past few years , even though I try to work on the
bench almost every day . I have also built countless projects , but just
use them for a few contacts to make sure they work correctly and give
them away or put them on the shelf . I do operate different types of
beacons on a fairly regular basis.

Two or three months ago I decided to reset my QSO counter to zero and go
after every special event , contest , any special piece of paper , for
WAS , DXCC , VUCC any award in the books on any band from 160 though 432
MHz. on any and all modes possible .

I bought the entire N3FJP group of logging programs , and set up LOTW ,
to keep track of all the different awards . I also belong to E-QSL and
QRZ , plus of course the ARRL .

What is the best way today to collect cards both domestic and foreign ?
To me it is looking like direct might still be the best . From what I
read on the E-QSL site , the ARRL doesn't accept their QSL's for awards .

However LOTW has such a low rate of confirmation , it is almost not
worth the time to even log them and upload / download the contacts . I
just took a quick look at 50 contacts in July and only 4 of them have
been confirmed through LOTW . E-QSL has a MUCH higher confirmation rate
, but again should I even be wasting my time doing uploads and downloads
from them if the ARRL is not going to recognize them .

Any thoughts or suggestions on how to maximize my QSO confirmations in
today's world would be greatly appreciated . I am hoping some of you can
teach this old dog some new tricks .

Thanks and I hope I don't sound too ignorant for someone who has enjoyed
the hobby for this many wonderful years and now has an even greater
newly acquired interest in operating and having fun at it once again .

73 ,

Charlie , W5COV




--
http://www.qsl.net/kc0pmh/   Under construction but please visit anyway.
 
QRP -  EFFICIENCY AND SKILL, NOT POWER. 
 
I'm British by birth but American by CHOICE!

Jesus came to pay a debt He didn't owe because we owe a debt we cannot pay...

The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you
The Lord lift up his contenance upon you and give you peace.

God Bless from Wayne Dillon - KC0PMH

Joshua 24:14-15
2 Cor 5:17
1 Jn 2:17
 

4 State QRP Group NCS - 40m & 160m
4SQRP #95
FPQRP #342 (Flying Pigs QRP Club)
G-QRP-C #11504
NAQCC # 0759
QRP-ARCI #11505
SKCC #1155C
SOC #848
30MDG#1176
NEQRP #693
GORC #192


Chris Howard w0ep
 

I get a return of about 30% with LoTW, but it can
take quite awhile. Not everyone has software set up to
instantly put their QSO's in. Me, I usually get them
entered about every 6 months.

I regularly get confirmations of QSO's that are months
and years ago.

Chris w0ep

On 7/11/2013 9:35 PM, Charlie , W5COV wrote:


Okay I have been a ham for 48 years and made countless contacts over the
years , but never had any interesting in collecting cards or awards .


Bill Cromwell
 

On 07/12/2013 07:22 AM, Wayne Dillon wrote:
Hi Charlie,
Personally, If I really want the QSL I go direct, very few will ignore a direct QSL request. I even got one from a guy who had to make one on his computer specially for me.
72/3 es God Bless de Wayne - KC0PMH
Heh,

I used to do the QSL cards as a religion but now I only send cards to people who really want one. Everything costs more by a factor bigger than my increased income. Not a complaint - just a practical budget fact of life. I have setup the LOTW here but I'm not using much as I mostly have been listening with a little bit of CW rag chewing tossed in. I'm not very interested in the canned QSOs that last two minutes or less.

Funny thing about that 'print yer own' approach. I am back building my own new radios and now I print my own cards, too. Recently a fellow in Sweden was working on a clean sweep for a county hunter award and after two or three attempts on ten meters we made it. I was going to just pay for sending him the card but just before I did his self addressed envelope and a dollar for postage arrived with his QSL card. I don't know if he got the remaining two counties he needs. One is within driving range and I offered to drive over there (about 90 minutes away) if he can't find a QSO from there. He hasn't asked so maybe now he has his clean sweep.

73,

Bill KU8H


John Taylor <k0qh@...>
 

That's interesting abt the guy from Sweden. I also had a request from him for my county on 20 meter CW. Worked him and also had a card from him with a dollar in it. I also offered to drive to my adjoining counties for him but have nevere heard anymore from him.
  I do use LOTW as much as I can. In fact I did WAS all LOTW a couple years ago just to see if I could do it without hurting any trees. HI HI

 
John Taylor,K0QH
PB #174
SLQS
4SQRP
www.stgdxcc.webs.com


From: Bill Cromwell
To: 4sqrp@...
Sent: Friday, July 12, 2013 6:49 AM
Subject: Re: [4sqrp] QSL / LOTW / Logging Question

On 07/12/2013 07:22 AM, Wayne Dillon wrote:
> Hi Charlie,
> Personally, If I really want the QSL I go direct, very few will ignore
> a direct QSL request. I even got one from a guy who had to make one on
> his computer specially for me.
> 72/3 es God Bless de Wayne - KC0PMH
>
Heh,

I used to do the QSL cards as a religion but now I only send cards to
people who really want one. Everything costs more by a factor bigger
than my increased income. Not a complaint - just a practical budget fact
of life. I have setup the LOTW here but I'm not using much as I mostly
have been listening with a little bit of CW rag chewing tossed in. I'm
not very interested in the canned QSOs that last two minutes or less.

Funny thing about that 'print yer own' approach. I am back building my
own new radios and now I print my own cards, too. Recently a fellow in
Sweden was working on a clean sweep for a county hunter award and after
two or three attempts on ten meters we made it. I was going to just pay
for sending him the card but just before I did his self addressed
envelope and a dollar for postage arrived with his QSL card. I don't
know if he got the remaining two counties he needs. One is within
driving range and I offered to drive over there (about 90 minutes away)
if he can't find a QSO from there. He hasn't asked so maybe now he has
his clean sweep.

73,

Bill  KU8H


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john shadle
 

I would say that my LoTW rates for *just* July (we've only had 12 days so far) are probably like yours; however, if I look at my overall rates (for all QSOs I've uploaded), I'm at 43.5% (of over 2000 QSOs over the past 12 years). Thinking about sending a card to every one of those people and green stamps (for DX) or SASE (for some USA contacts)--that's a lot of money saved!

I have limited time to play (5 year old son, baby on the way in mid-August), so I concentrate on working new band/mode slots towards my DXCC or WAS (I'm at 125 for 150 towards Triple Play) when I find myself in the basement shack. I do have some rag chews, but they are not as common.

For fun, I downloaded my QSO data from June and July. I haven't been that active--only 100 QSOs in the past 6 weeks or so.

Here's the breakdown of QSLs from LoTW, both USA and DX.
- PSK31 100% (1/1) [no USA QSOs]
- JT65 59.2% (29/49)
- RTTY 50% (2/4)
- CW 41.7% (10/24) [no USA QSOs]
- SSB 36.4% (8/22)

Looking at only DX QSOs, here is my QSL rate (from LoTW).
- PSK31 100% (1/1) [no USA QSOs]
- JT65 46.2% (6/13)
- RTTY 50% (1/2)
- CW 41.7% (10/24) [no USA QSOs]
- SSB 58.3% (7/12)

Looking only at USA QSOs, here is my QSL rate (from LoTW).
- PSK31 [no USA QSOs]
- JT65 63.9% (23/36)
- RTTY 50% (1/2)
- CW [no USA QSOs]
- SSB 10% (1/10)

On average, DX folks QSL at a higher rate (except for JT65). Why is that? I have no idea. Maybe it's all the US hams who have given up on the LoTW system because it's "too hard to set up", or because "it has more levels of verification than my bank", or some other excuse (whenever I look at most negative reviews of LoTW on eHam.net I cringe). Honestly, it's not that hard folks. If you can set up your radio for digital modes or to do CW keying through a serial port, then you can do this! If you have trouble, call the ARRL. I've received support on the phone and over email for LoTW and always found the results to my liking. When I moved from NC to WI nearly two years ago, I called the ARRL and they walked me through setting up a new station. No big deal!

Also, for June/July I've already confirmed new band/mode slots for Saint Pierre & Miquelon (FP/KV1J), Sint Maarten (PJ7/AF6WU), Jersey (MJ/PA1AW), Ukraine (UR4CWQ), Turkey (TA3AX), Saudi Arabia (7Z1HL), Saint Lucia (J68HZ), Hugary (HA3PT), Switzerland (HB9FGO), Guadeloupe (FG1PP), Japan (JA2ACI), Cyprus (C4Z), and Saint Barthelemy (FJ/N5WR, FJ/K5WE). Not bad, considering there's no cost for me participating in the program (except ARRL membership) and I didn't have to spend $1.10 plus $2-$3 in return postage for these. It's a WIN, WIN!

I wish more folks would use LoTW, but you can't force someone. If you have logging software (I also use N3FJP's AC Log), it's not a difficult system to set up or use.

OK. Rant over. ;-)

73
-john W4PAH
Madison, WI


Charlie Vest
 

Strange how interesting things are when we compare hamming stories . I had a guy from Sweden , very likely the same guy , set up a schedule with me for my county here in OK. He suggested 17 or 20 and wanted it CW . Ended up we did not make the contact . He might try again when conditions are better , if he can't find a mobile to come into this county . I "think" I am the only active amateur in this county .

Charlie , W5COV

 
That's interesting abt the guy from Sweden. I also had a request from him for my county on 20 meter CW. Worked him and also had a card from him with a dollar in it. I also offered to drive to my adjoining counties for him but have nevere heard anymore from him.
  I do use LOTW as much as I can. In fact I did WAS all LOTW a couple years ago just to see if I could do it without hurting any trees. HI HI

 
John Taylor,K0QH
PB #174
SLQS
4SQRP
www.stgdxcc.webs.com

From: Bill Cromwell
To: 4sqrp@...
Sent: Friday, July 12, 2013 6:49 AM
Subject: Re: [4sqrp] QSL / LOTW / Logging Question

On 07/12/2013 07:22 AM, Wayne Dillon wrote:
> Hi Charlie,
> Personally, If I really want the QSL I go direct, very few will ignore
> a direct QSL request. I even got one from a guy who had to make one on
> his computer specially for me.
> 72/3 es God Bless de Wayne - KC0PMH
>
Heh,

I used to do the QSL cards as a religion but now I only send cards to
people who really want one. Everything costs more by a factor bigger
than my increased income. Not a complaint - just a practical budget fact
of life. I have setup the LOTW here but I'm not using much as I mostly
have been listening with a little bit of CW rag chewing tossed in. I'm
not very interested in the canned QSOs that last two minutes or less.

Funny thing about that 'print yer own' approach. I am back building my
own new radios and now I print my own cards, too. Recently a fellow in
Sweden was working on a clean sweep for a county hunter award and after
two or three attempts on ten meters we made it. I was going to just pay
for sending him the card but just before I did his self addressed
envelope and a dollar for postage arrived with his QSL card. I don't
know if he got the remaining two counties he needs. One is within
driving range and I offered to drive over there (about 90 minutes away)
if he can't find a QSO from there. He hasn't asked so maybe now he has
his clean sweep.

73,

Bill  KU8H


------------------------------------

4SQRP Website: http://4sqrp.com
OzarkCon is coming April 4-5, 2014 in Branson, MO
View Details at http://www.ozarkcon.com/index.phpYahoo! Groups Links

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Charlie Vest
 

Hi Gang ,

GREAT GROUP and I knew that if I wanted a very good and honest answer to such a question this was the group that I felt could give me the best answers .

All seem pretty consistent with my current plans , not to be in a hurry on LOTW confirmations , and I had already ordered some additional cards earlier this week so I could do the direct also .

I did read a ton of reviews on LOTW before I set it up . Many of them were negative for whatever reason . After installing it ( what did I have to lose other than some time trying an install ) , I knew it should be quicker and it definitely would save money !! I have suffered a "minor" brain injury and sometimes even simple things appear difficult at times , so I was more than a little nervous after reading many of the reviews about my ability to get it up and running .

It was an absolute piece of cake to set up and get running . Waiting for my confirmation number from the ARRL was the most difficult part of installing and setting it up . I do hope it will become more popular among the ham world , because it really is a nice program that will save you both time and money if you do much operating .

If you haven't started using LOTW , let me assure you if I can get it running with zero problems , virtually anyone can do it . It is well worth the time to install .

A BIG Thank you , to this great group and all of the responses .

73 ,
Charlie , W5COV

�
Hi Charlie,
Personally, If I really want the QSL I go direct, very few will ignore a direct QSL request. I even got one from a guy who had to make one on his computer specially for me. I do use both LOTW and eQSL and I have to say that I am disappointed with the level of confirmation on LOTW. eQSL now has the facility to actually print the card if you require hard copy.
So I guess with all this rambling I'm saying direct is still the best method for getting one back.
72/3 es God Bless de Wayne - KC0PMH


On Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 9:35 PM, Charlie , W5COV <cvest@...> wrote:
�

Okay I have been a ham for 48 years and made countless contacts over the
years , but never had any interesting in collecting cards or awards .

Recently after looking at my log book I saw very little actual on the
air activity in the past few years , even though I try to work on the
bench almost every day . I have also built countless projects , but just
use them for a few contacts to make sure they work correctly and give
them away or put them on the shelf . I do operate different types of
beacons on a fairly regular basis.

Two or three months ago I decided to reset my QSO counter to zero and go
after every special event , contest , any special piece of paper , for
WAS , DXCC , VUCC any award in the books on any band from 160 though 432
MHz. on any and all modes possible .

I bought the entire N3FJP group of logging programs , and set up LOTW ,
to keep track of all the different awards . I also belong to E-QSL and
QRZ , plus of course the ARRL .

What is the best way today to collect cards both domestic and foreign ?
To me it is looking like direct might still be the best . From what I
read on the E-QSL site , the ARRL doesn't accept their QSL's for awards .

However LOTW has such a low rate of confirmation , it is almost not
worth the time to even log them and upload / download the contacts . I
just took a quick look at 50 contacts in July and only 4 of them have
been confirmed through LOTW . E-QSL has a MUCH higher confirmation rate
, but again should I even be wasting my time doing uploads and downloads
from them if the ARRL is not going to recognize them .

Any thoughts or suggestions on how to maximize my QSO confirmations in
today's world would be greatly appreciated . I am hoping some of you can
teach this old dog some new tricks .

Thanks and I hope I don't sound too ignorant for someone who has enjoyed
the hobby for this many wonderful years and now has an even greater
newly acquired interest in operating and having fun at it once again .

73 ,

Charlie , W5COV




--
http://www.qsl.net/kc0pmh/�� Under construction but please visit anyway.
�
QRP - �EFFICIENCY AND SKILL, NOT POWER.�
�
I'm British by birth but American by CHOICE!

Jesus came to pay a debt He didn't owe because we owe a debt we cannot pay...

The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you
The Lord lift up his contenance upon you and give you peace.

God Bless from Wayne Dillon - KC0PMH

Joshua 24:14-15
2 Cor 5:17
1 Jn 2:17
�

4 State QRP Group NCS - 40m & 160m
4SQRP #95
FPQRP #342 (Flying Pigs QRP Club)
G-QRP-C #11504
NAQCC # 0759
QRP-ARCI #11505
SKCC #1155C
SOC #848
30MDG#1176
NEQRP #693
GORC #192


Roy AC9DN
 

I'm not a computer guru but I have never had a software package
or hardware piece that I couldn't eventually install and get working.
Never that is, until LoTW.
I am a certified trainer in a major brand of internet sales fulfillment
software, configured for hundreds of order takers, supervisory people,
order pickers and shipping personnel. (Not to mention thousands of
labels per day printed and delivered to the correct box.)

When I first got LoTW working, I uploaded all my contacts in 2008.
The next time I tried to use it I could not upload any more contacts.
I have since gotten a new computer, followed all the rules as best
as I understand them, and cannot upload another line of anything.
My account remains stuck since early 2008. I wish I could finish my 
old call uploads and then reinstall everything with my new call but I fail at every turn.

The entire financial world is made to work with your account name, password
and sometimes your email address. I can pay thousands of dollars worth of bills this way.
Why can't ARRL develop something similar? I would
gladly upload one contact at a time as I don't work too much DX and
mostly I only want my milliwatt contacts confirmed anyway. I would
be happy to upload any requested contact that someone else needed
even typing them one at a time.

Roy  AC9DN


Bill Cromwell
 

On 07/12/2013 04:25 PM, Charlie , W5COV wrote:
Strange how interesting things are when we compare hamming stories . I had a guy from Sweden , very likely the same guy , set up a schedule with me for my county here in OK. He suggested 17 or 20 and wanted it CW . Ended up we did not make the contact . He might try again when conditions are better , if he can't find a mobile to come into this county . I "think" I am the only active amateur in this county .

Charlie , W5COV
Hi Charlie,

Well there is a catch...

I am not the only active amateur in my county. I'm likely the only amateur in my county on HF! There are a few who use some distant two meter FM repeaters. When the repeater went out of existance after several years of warfare most of the hams quit. They are still licensed and you can get a list from QRZ but most of them ain't really there. There are HF hams in surrounding counties but not all that many. Enough for that guy in (I think) Sweden to get a QSL.

I have poked a few of the hams here to get on HF but they give me blank stares. A real shame.

73,

Bill KU8H


Cliff Fox (KU4GW)
 

I had a guy email me a few years ago Charlie that needed Alexander County, NC to complete his (mobile) worked all counties in the U.S. the second time around and I was the last county he needed. The sked worked out and he sent me a nice certificate from MARC, the Mobile Amateur Radio Club. Some people have done it all! When someone in another country is a U.S. county hunter I would think so anyway!

Very 73,
Cliff - KU4GW
4SQRP#536

--- In 4sqrp@yahoogroups.com, Bill Cromwell <wrcromwell@...> wrote:

On 07/12/2013 04:25 PM, Charlie , W5COV wrote:
Strange how interesting things are when we compare hamming stories . I
had a guy from Sweden , very likely the same guy , set up a schedule
with me for my county here in OK. He suggested 17 or 20 and wanted it
CW . Ended up we did not make the contact . He might try again when
conditions are better , if he can't find a mobile to come into this
county . I "think" I am the only active amateur in this county .

Charlie , W5COV
Hi Charlie,

Well there is a catch...

I am not the only active amateur in my county. I'm likely the only
amateur in my county on HF! There are a few who use some distant two
meter FM repeaters. When the repeater went out of existance after
several years of warfare most of the hams quit. They are still licensed
and you can get a list from QRZ but most of them ain't really there.
There are HF hams in surrounding counties but not all that many. Enough
for that guy in (I think) Sweden to get a QSL.

I have poked a few of the hams here to get on HF but they give me blank
stares. A real shame.

73,

Bill KU8H


Chris Howard w0ep
 

On 7/12/2013 7:58 PM, Roy Crosier wrote:


I'm not a computer guru but I have never had a software package
or hardware piece that I couldn't eventually install and get working.
Never that is, until LoTW.
I hope you are able to get it working.
If you were nearby I would come over and look at it.

Chris


Nick-WA5BDU
 

I'm not enough of an expert to try to solve the problem, but your story is a good cautionary tale for others who haven't gotten into LoTW yet. 

Because it's a two step process and you get some info via postcard, it's easy to forget where you are in the process and what you've done so far.  I kept and still keep a kind of log - a Word file of information on LoTW in my ham logs / LoTW directory.  I tell what I did when, what passwords I received, success or failure, etc. 

I also keep a log of what I've uploaded and when, not the actual QSOs, but the date blocks or specific contests.  For me, it's typically something from N1MM after a contest or for regular QSOs it's from HRD (previously) or DXKeeper (now).  All of these programs have different means of doing an auto-upload, so I write down exactly how I did it as I don't upload often and I forget how it works.

N1MM doesn't upload, so I have it write the log to an ADIF file and upload that.

I've even done the "one at a time" thing occasionally.  I recently received an email from a guy in Europe who needed Arkansas on 20M to get closer to 5-band WAS.  But the QSO we'd had was about 25 years ago and only existed in my paper log.  I opened the little "one at a time" LoTW utility and typed in the info, electronically "signed" the one QSO log, and uploaded it.

That recent email exchange about the long-ago QSO was very interesting.  I took a cell-phone picture of my log and emailed it to him and mentioned that my recently married 27 year old daughter had just taken her first steps back then.  He replied with similar information and a picture of his own log of our QSO.  All the others on that page had only minimal info, but the one with me said "ARKANSAS!!!".  So he had to wait 25 years but finally got his confirmation.

72-

Nick, WA5BDU


On 7/13/2013 1:12 PM, Chris Howard w0ep wrote:
 



On 7/12/2013 7:58 PM, Roy Crosier wrote:
>
>
> I'm not a computer guru but I have never had a software package
> or hardware piece that I couldn't eventually install and get working.
> Never that is, until LoTW.

I hope you are able to get it working.
If you were nearby I would come over and look at it.

Chris