LOTW Update – 11/18/12

I’ve blogged many times about Logbook of the World (LOTW). Well, it’s hard to believe, but it’s been three nearly years since I went through the hassle of registering with LOTW. The reason I know this is that now they’re asking me to re-register.

To re-register, you have to use the TQSL-CERT program to generate a .tq5 file and then upload that to LOTW. LOTW is supposed to process that file and then return a .tq6 file, which you then load back into TQSL-CERT. Sounds like a lot of make-work to me, but oh well.

While I was at it, I thought it would probably be a good idea to check when I last uploaded my logs to LOTW. Well, as it turns out, the last time I’d done this was the end of February, so nearly nine months ago! So, I got that taken care of.

Finally, I thought I’d check my awards status.  Well, lo and behold, I now have a total of 108 countries confirmed via LOTW.  I’m also now qualified for a CW endorsement, with a total of 105 countries worked on CW. 30m is my best band with a total of 73 countries worked on 30m.

Worked All States is another matter. I only have 48 states total confirmed via LOTW. I have worked 48 states confirmed on 40m and 48 states confirmed on CW.  And, all that’s before the 800-odd QSOs that I just uploaded.


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  1. You’ve been busy, Dan!

    I just set up – or I think I set up – getting a new certificate for LOTW. I say I think I did because the instructions were all for the Windows version, and I used the Mac version without reading the instructions, and some things I might have gotten wrong.

    How quickly should I expect to get a certificate back in email ?

    • If I recall correctly, it took about two weeks. Lately, however, LOTW has been having some issues, so it may take a little longer.

  2. Whatever you do Dan, be sure and follow the update process in a timely fashion. I didn’t first time around and if you think dealing with LoTW for daily logging is difficult, the process to get yourself back in good standing after it expires rivals what needs to be done to change the nuclear launch codes!

    Never, ever, let it expire should be in huge letters on the LoTW Web page.

    73, Jeff KE9V

    • Thanks for sharing that experience.

      I just got the .tq6 file (actually only minutes after receiving notification of your comment here), read it in with TQSLCert, and it says that I’m good for another three years.

  3. Dave, N8SBE says:

    I now regularly participate in contests and found the combination of using N1MM for contest logging and HRD (Ham Radio Deluxe) for general logging a nice combination. HRD is still free, at least for a while yet, until the new owners finally release the much-ballyhooed version 6.0 they’ve been promising since 2012 Dayton. But, I digress.

    N1MM not only can produce the required Cabrillo-formatted files required for contest log submission these days, but you can also export your just-completed contest log in ADIF format. Then, you can easily import the ADIF into the HRD Logbook feature, where if you have LOTW set up on the same computer, you can just highlight all the new contacts you just imported, and click a button that says, LOTW Upload. That’s it. No formatting and emailing of TQ6 (or whatever) files. It just ‘works’. You can also download your LOTW logs to HRD Logbook, and then you can determine which awards you’ve qualified for. It will keep track of stations you’ve contacted on a per mode per band basis, and show which ones have been confirmed, etc. Very slick.

    For casual (non-contest) operating, the HRD Logbook is quite useful. It features a packet/telnet cluster window, which you can click on, and if you have your rig interfaced to HRD, it will QSY the radio to the DX spot. It will also show in another window if you’ve contacted the station/country, and on what band(s). If you have a fancy enough station to have your rotor hooked up to your computer, it will turn the antenna for you, too. In any event, it will show the azimuth based on your station location, so you can accurately aim your antenna. It will also show a QRZ.com lookup, in an embedded web browser window.

    As a bonus, if you use eQSL, you can upload contacts to that site, as well as HRDLog.net, which is provided free for HRD users. The eQSL upload can be done on demand, or as a background process. The HRDLog.net upload is always done as a background process, it seems. I’m in the habit of always highlighting the handful of casual contacts I’ve made after an evening of operating, and punching the ‘LOTW upload’ button. It would be nicer, of course, to have LOTW updated in the background, but I suspect that certain limitations of the HRD/LOTW batching interaction is making that difficult at the moment.

    The new owners of HRD are making a herculean effort to re-write the internals of HRD, finding and fixing a lot of old bugs that had crept into the code over the years. In my experience, HRD has steadliy gotten more reliable, as ‘point’ releases have been coming farily often since HRD changed hands and there are now full time developers working on the code. Not knocking Simon, here, the original owner. I think Simon did a fantastic job of trying to keep up, but having decided that HRD was not going to consume his entire life, he wisely let it go.

    I don’t much care for the rig interface screen (it just consumes way too much screen real estate), so I just leave it minimized. The logbook and its functioning with LOTW, eQSL, etc. is what attracted me to the program. HRD Logbook keeps the entries themselves in a couple of different (selectable) database formats, including SQL and Access, and of course, you can ultimately export the whole database in ADIF format in the future when you ultimately decide to migrate to the next new thing.

    I have nothing invested in HRD (I’m not even a paid support customer at this point). Just a happy user of its logbook functions. Oh yes, check out the included DM780 functionality. It may be all the PSK31/RTTY/analog SSTV functionality you might need for a while. The PSK31 browser, which streams onging multiple simultaneous PSK31 contacts within your SSB passband, is fascinating, and shows well at Maker Faire (personal observation).

  4. Last year I attempted to sign up for LOTW. I was not able to get the program to work for me, so gave it up as a lost cause. HRD has been difficult to work with. I fortunately have a neighbor who bails me out on occasion. A set of printed instructions would help thid digital dunderhead greatly.

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