In my opinion it is worth having a little patience to go through the process of registering for LoTW with the ARRL. It may not be instant gratification as the process can take days or a week to complete. There is no cost incurred (like SOTA) unless you wish to apply for DXCC Awards and Certificates.
I’ve been using LotW for a while. I did need to post off copies of things to get my first certificate, but all subsequent ones I’ve got just by sending in a new one signed with a previous one. They did ask for supporting evidence for the 5Z4/M0LEP one, but I think I was able to email a scan. The one catch (which is bound up in the integrity of the system) is that if (for example) I submit my side of a contact using my M0LEP/P key and you submit your side but leave the /P off my callsign (or vice versa), then we end up without confirmed QSLs. Accurate and complete callsign matching is essential. (See multiple past threads on the matter of the use and abuse of “/P” etc…)
With eQSL, the “AG” requires some level of verification, but I think it’s all done electronically, so while I had to send in a few scans, they were only scans. There isn’t quite the same level of verification of uploads, either.
As I mostly don’t actively chase awards I’m not bothered, but I do put all my logs into LotW and eQSL, and interesting ones into QRZ so that the folk at the other end who are after the confirmations can get them. These days I send out physical QSL cards only when asked…
Which is the correct outcome. An inaccurately logged report is worthless.
Indeed. To help people practice logging the correct details we could devise a series of tests. The idea would be to setup a station and see how many QSOs you could make in 24 or 48hours say. Then we all submit our logs and we get points for accurate logging of stations. The top stations would be recognised with some awards.
Yes, I had a problem with some some stations missing the confirmation with not including the /P or not with LoTW some years ago. I’m unsure if this has been solved. I know QRZ.COM has got around it when you enter a call with the /P it will still read back the correct callsign holder on the screen. To get around it the ARRL then suggested uploading an identical log as GD4OBK/P AND then one as GD4OBK to cover it. They were seemingly unconcerned whether stations claimed a QSO with or without the addtiional /P suffix. I know the discussion about whether we should use the /P suffix or not has laready been widely discussed on the forum, but for SOTA work I am a committed user of the /P suffix as it makes you stand out to the people who matter, the Chasers.
I have to laugh at those that won’t use eqsl or QRZ as they do not account for any confirmations. I mean an ARRL certificate is good for what?
ARRL has their own award system as does EQSL and QRZ. Each of those certificates will get you the exact same thing…not even a cup of coffee! LOL!!! I personally do not see a difference between how the confirmations occur. Both parties have to upload the contact…that creates the confirmation. None of the administering bodies actually confirm anything…well the ARRL will confirm paper cards if it is not conformed electronically.
For the record…I confirm all my sota contacts, as a chaser and activator, on QRZ, Eqsl and LoTW.
I am a keen user of eQSL and have registered as (AG). They offer numerous awards, based upon eQSL confirmations, and they are all free of charge. That suits me just fine. You mention “accredited award schemes”. Accredited by whom? As far as I’m concerned, eQSL awards are just as good as anyone else’s.
Also, eQSL provides nice, colourful QSL cards which you can print out if you want to and display in your shack. LoTW does not. All it does is add your callsign to a computerised checklist, which I do not find very exciting.
I did actually go through all the ‘hoops’ to become a member of the LoTW scheme, but I really wish I hadn’t bothered! I’ve given up using it.
Yep, I have been catching up with my online logging. I don’ t chase paper but I know many do and the online services make this much easier. I started with LOTW because you have the capability to specify your exact location, whereas the other systems do not. I now have quite a few station locations set up in LOTW.
We have had a lot of new chasers in NA in the last couple of months and I have received many requests for confirmations using QRZ and eQSL. I have decided to put the location information in the comments field and I am now working through my backlog on those services. I do like the electronic card feature of eQSL and plan to make use of that feature.
Well Walt, I need to sort something out. Last week the RSGB Bureau sub manager emailed to say he had 600 QSL cards waiting for me and could he have some SAE’s. By my reckoning he’s going to need at least 40!
Yeah - I see more and more SOTA operators using LoTW all the time.
One caution… in LoTW the call signs KD5KC and KD5KC/P are different calls (as is any other call or /P call). If one station uploads their QSOs without the /P, and another tries to confirm them WITH the /P, they will not confirm.
Any SOTA operator who has ever worked me, my LoTW logs are ALL uploaded without a suffix. But if I was in another country my logs are uploaded with the proper prefix.
So any SOTA contacts uploaded to KD9KC, KD5KC, DL/KD9KC or DL/KD5KC should confirm. Anything ending in /x will not confirm.
Something to consider when you do your logs.
Vy73 - Mike - KD5KC.
El Paso, Texas - DM61rt.
W5-SOTA Association Manager.
I just uploaded my log to LOTW last night. I finally found out how to export my whole SOTA log to CSV and this I used this tool: G0LGS: Software Information to convert it to ADIF, import it into my main logging program, sign it for LOTW and upload! This also got my chaser points into my log which were not there before. Special BIG thanks to G0LGS for this tool!
ROTFL! Well, fortunately my RSGB QSL sub-manager lives just 9 miles away in Cheltenham. So I have arranged for him to send me an email when he has a bundle of cards waiting for me, then I just go and collect them!
The E-QSL scheme has more worth than I thought. No plans to adopt it here now though, too long in the tooth and set in my ways - with 16 logbooks all up to date in Logbook of the World I’m happy! I’ve all but given up DXing and Contests these days in favour of SOTA. There is always someone to work every day of the week, with plenty to challenge yourself with either activating and chasing.
The infrastructure built up and well maintained by the MT and Association Managers is second to none in the amateur radio voluntary sector to my mind. I don’t want to single out any member, but between them they seem to make the right decisions - everything is carefully thought out - the change to this new reflector for instance.
All told, SOTA participants are a great fraternity within our wider hobby, no doubt about that.