Jul 18, 2018 | 7
After 50 years of DX-ing I still love paper cards. However, as a keen dxpeditioner, I am LoTW user as well. I have recently been faced with several situations that a few days expeditions do not print qsls at all, and even refuse to confirm QSO on my card sent direct with sae and postage. This is disappointing.
I ticked off for LOTW only, but thats just because its the closest option. In reality I QSL LOTW, direct and bureau, depending on the preferences of the “DX-station”. But I am sure everything is LOTW or equivilant within a decade or so. Lets just hope there will be a universal “LOTW” led by the currently absent IARU.
A database is an inanimate object and cannot be dishonest. People can be dishonest; that is their choice and it matters not a jot to the rest of us.
That there are QSOs on the database that are inaccurate is irrelevant. The principle is to match QSOs. Those that do not match for whatever reason can remain forever. They can become matched or never matched and it does not matter.
LOTW is a big time and money saver and provides instant gratification when both parties upload their QSO data quickly. QSL cards are nice, but after 53 years of haming they are not as important to me as they once were. I don’t mind the small fee the ARRL charges to maintain their data base when I get around to requesting QSL credits. The survey is quite interesting and I’m looking forward to seeing how it developes.
Sorry I have forgotten to say, that I have got all QSLs by direct QSLing with SAE and s u f f i c i e n t postage (in former times mostly IRC, now mostly GS)
I am SWL for about 50 years and collecting successfully a large number of paper-QSLs for new DXCC and IOTA. For SWLs times getting harder, because an increasing number of stations, especially of DX-peditions, confirm only by LOTW or OQRS. Normally these ways do not give SWLs the opportunity to report their QSO’s. I will not ignore the advantages of these systems (e.g. reduce paper-consumation), but it would very much appreciated, if these systems could give an opportunity to check also SWL-reports. Of course, SWL-reports are not necessary or of interest for (large) DXpeditions and some single amateur-stations, but I will make an appeal that the QSL-interests of SWLs should as well regarded in future times. By the way I am sure that the new information opportunities like DX-Summit will produce “fake reports” and injure with that the image of the SWL-community. I am an “old timer” working only by ears, all 329 current DXCC and 574 IOTA are earned by hard “listening-work”. 73′ Dietmar SWL: DL-9753-B.. .
Probably the most interesting finding here is that 18% of responders do not collect any form of paper qsls at all. A further 22% only collect paper qsls for NEW countries / Islands and do not collect any other paper qsls. Put another way – if we disregard new countries / islands – 40% now rely on LOTW confirmations for their day to day dx qsos.
Although electronic qsling is increasing in popularity, the data also shows that the bureau is still very popular with 54% still relying on the bureau in some shape and form to supplement their main qsling activities.
My main concern as LOTW increases in popularity is that it places enormous power in the hands of the ARRL (as any monopoly always does). There are also aspects of the LOTW functionality which are simply not up to scratch for a system that will likely be the principal database for dx awards going forward.
The major flaw in LOTW remains the fact that data cannot be amended or deleted by either the uploader or presumably the ARRL themselves. This means if qsos are uploaded in error or if qsos are subsequently found to be dishonest, they remain on system as valid qsos forever. This is just not good enough for a database that is (or will become) the principal record for DXCC award qsos.
The ARRL may argue that this is just a hobby and who cares if the database is inaccurate or dishonest. Well I guess that depends on how much you love your DX and whether LOTW is a cash positive system. I certainly want a more honest and flexible LOTW and if the system is cash flow positive, I want that cash spent on LOTW and not other ARRL cash negative activities.
Maybe someone associated with the LOTW system directly could comment on these issues.
Alternately, I personally would love to see one of the EU based ham radio organisations offer a DXCC award with a competing LOTW system. Competition drives innovation
Cheers Paul – vk4ma
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