I just got around to joining eQSL (although my preference is still the good old card QSLs actually written by hand by the op.) and have received some possibly fraudulent SWL reports. My suspicions were aroused as follows:
I received an eQSL from a station I had contacted but he had logged the time incorrectly by a whole 6 hours for some reason.
I also received an SWL eQSL report for the same QSO but with the same time error apart from 1 minute difference, which I thought very odd.
Looking around for available online logs, I found that the original QSO station has his log on Hrdlog.net and is visible to all. There is therefore nothing to prevent somebody just copying the QSO data and sending an SWL report. As the same SWL had sent me quite a lot of reports, I checked them against Hrdlog.net and all followed the same pattern - same info as on Hrdlog with 1 minute difference in the QSO time.
Anyone else had similar experiences? Seems a shame that bogus reports are seemingly easy to fabricate, although anyone who does it is a pretty sad person in my view.
QSL? Just don’t and the problem goes away.
I think you and I have a different perspective there, Andy. Maybe I’m out of date, having been away from the hobby for 20-odd years, but I still get a buzz from receiving cards.
I’d say if the time is way off, as you say, I’d reject that QSL saying that
I wasn’t on the air at that time. I get lots of SWL cards and E-QSL
reports, there’s really no way to know if they really heard you or not.
Maybe they heard the station you were working but not you. Who
knows? I answer most of them anyway. Nothing lost I guess.
Maybe Simon. Whilst I did QSL broadcast stations as a child I never found the need to do so as a ham, being able to transmit gave me a bigger buzz than getting a postcard. I could receive postcards without a licence!
Horses for courses I guess. I never saw them as just postcards. I’ve put a bunch of my old SWL cards up on my QRZ page - they will always be part of my teen memories. I did broadcast Dx-ing as well and that really is a lost era. My favourite interval signal was the guitar and bird song of Radio South Africa - very evocative when I listen to old recordings.
Hi John, yes, that’s what I did. I guess if they could put the actual freq used, that would eliminate cut/paste from Hrdlog, as that only shows the band. However, in the end you are right - you have to rely on the SWL being honest.
I could see no reason to do bogus SWL reports. And as for the time
differences, well, maybe they don’t do a time check each day to make
sure their clocks are co-ordinated with WWV, CHU or another source.
I think if they put the effort in to just say they heard you in a QSO and
want to let you know they are listening they are better than the
government listening and not letting you know they are “watching” you.
John Paul // AB4PP
Actually E-QSL is pretty poor for security. You can confirm any
QSL that somebody uploads to you, whether you worked them
or not. This is not good. I have found a LOT of E-QSLs in my
in-box that are not in my log. Last time I looked at E-QSL I had
about 1,000 QSLs in my 20 meter folder that don’t match!
Folks can just upload a bunch of bogus ones and hope somebody confirms them. LOTW is much better, all the confirmation is done by computer, either the information is a match or it isn’t. No guessing.
I don’t use E-QSL for anything except to upload my log so others
can get a confirmation.
Hi John Paul,
Yes, it seems kind of dumb to send out bogus SWL reports. Sort
of defeats the reason for SWLing. The one Simon was referring to
was about 6 hours off the time, not just a few minutes. Even LOTW
will allow plus or minus 15 minutes for a match. I get some nice
SWL cards from the bureau that have nice notes written on them,
sort of like a one-way QSO!
The time difference (especially if it’s a round number of hours) could be down to them using their local time zone rather than UTC. Can’t say I’ve never done that, myself…
I don’t see eQSL as any less “secure” than traditional cards, just cheaper and quicker to use. I upload my log to eQSL for those as want the confirmation that way, and leave envelopes with the bureau for any cards that might come my way.
For actually confirming contacts, I go with LotW, which is a mite harder to fool.