I Finally Bit the Bullet…

…and signed up for Logbook of the World. According to the ARRL website, Logbook of the World (LOTW) is

is a repository of log records submitted by users from around the world. When both participants in a QSO submit matching QSO records to LoTW, the result is a QSL that can be used for ARRL award credit.

LoTW began operation on September 15, 2003, and as of this very minute, it has 14,248 registered users, 113,893,273 recorded QSOs, and 6,902,497 QSLs.

The signup process wasn’t difficult, but it seemed rather convoluted. First, you have to download some software from the ARRL website, then install it, and request a “certificate” from the ARRL.

Then, they send you a postcard in the mail, and you have log in and type in the code on the postcard. Since they send it by mail, this step takes three or four days.

Finally, once you’ve done that, they send you a certificate via e-mail. You install that on your computer, and then you’re finally all set to upload your log. This whole process took nearly a week.

I use N3FJP’s ACLog logging software, and this software is supposed to interface to LotW. I don’t know why exactly, but I had some trouble uploading my log via ACLog. I suspect it was because I was trying to upload over 5,500 QSOs.

Fortunately, LotW allows process ADIF files. To accomplish the upload, I created an ADIF file with ACLog, then digitally signed the QSOs with the TQSL . This created a .tq8 file, which I then uploaded via the LotW website. That worked like a charm.

The upshot of all this is that I have 5,562 recorded QSOs, 453 QSLs, with 50 of those being good for DXCC. Combining my 50 LotW QSLs with some of the “real” QSLs I have, I may just qualify for DXCC. :)

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