Tag Archives: Logbook of the World

Get going with Logbook of The World by Gary ZL2IFB/G4IFB

LoTW New User Guide Get going with Logbook of The World Version 1.01 by Gary ZL2IFB/G4IFB is worth checking out.

LINK:  https://www.g4ifb.com/LoTW_New_User_Guide.pdf

In Gary’s ZL2IFB’s words:

You may be wondering “Why does Logbook of The World exist? What is it for?” and “Should I bother with it?”

The answer is simple.

LoTW makes confirming contacts easier, quicker and cheaper than traditional QSL methods.

Follow this step-by-step guide to get started on LoTW.

Note: this guide is occasionally updated. The definitive current English version is available at http://www.G4iFB.com/LoTW_New_User_Guide.pdf

Please use and share that URL.

If you are new to LoTW this would be an awesome resource, and a good review for the rest of us.



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K9ZW LoTW Updates

Over the years I have been an on-again/off-again LoTW participant. Really my uploading logs is more about helping others than any sort of personal effort.

I’ve never gone through the process of adding in what paper DX QSLs and logs could be added to my LoTW totals. Hard to get interested enough to dedicate the hours to sort this out.

My paper QSLing is way behind, and I am currently in the midst of having my cards redesigned with the updates to my current QTH.

I am intrigued with nearly 50% of my QSOs uploaded to LoTW having been confirmed.  Guess that show the system does work.



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Revisiting LoTW (Logbook of the World)

LoTW (Logbook of The World) when it first came out was not a great experience.

Back in its early days I tried, and basically gave up.

Well like all things in heavy use, LoTW has gotten a lot better.

Using the ARRL link https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help/getting-started/ I decided I would knuckle-down and see if I could get things going.

I found LoTW much easier and much quicker than in the day.

As a starter it took only a day to get my main certificate approved, that is so much better than the weeks plus postcards sent in the mail stuff back in the day.

Continue reading

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Simple Thoughts on a Complex Mess – LoTW, Run or Drop?

Tonight I received an ARRL email that my K9ZW LoTW (Logbook of the World) certificate is expiring in three weeks, and if I just followed some simple instructions it would all be easy.

Rubbish – twenty minutes later I’m still in the midst of dealing with the quirks of LoTW arcane .tq6 and .p12 file mysteries and the issues of upgrading my computer hardware several times during the three years this certificate existed.

I can renew a credit card in moments online, or I can file in all sorts of truly mission-critical online government data (like with the FAA & FCC licensing branches) in moments – BUT to do deal with LoTW is long winded, convoluted, sensitive to hardware (wonder what would happen if I was running a VM sandbox – say Parallels or BootCamp – and then tried to run the Windows version of LoTW in that ethereal environment?).

I’m going to revisit LoTW in a couple days – perhaps the Certificate Gremlins will let my software work and I might be a better mood – but I am thinking it is time for this Life ARRL Member to make a LoTW statement and just pack in a LoTW.

Computer time is measured in not only “clock time” but in “cost/benefit time.” The first is our usual measure of passage of time, and the second a revisit of that time weighted in what benefit/pleasure we get for our time investment balanced against the costs to do the activity (dollars, technical costs and the time used itself).

LoTW is a failure for me in “cost/benefit time.” It simple is to fussy and a time-eater with so little payback for my personal participation in the hobby.

Maybe my experience is untypical – given that I use several computers on several platforms and update them very regularly – but when doing on-line banking is easy compared to a QSL logging system, that QSL logging system is too flawed to waste time upon.

More in a couple days.



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LoTW Certificate Renewal – Makes eMoney Look Easy

Received an email from Logbook of the World (LoTW) that one of my certificates is set to expire.

Of course there is a finite timeframe to renew – something like eight days.

So like a good team player I clicked on the renewal link to find the chaos & mess that had confronted & frustrated me when first setting up LoTW is magnified at renewal with masses more silliness:

In order to renew your certificate, just follow these easy steps:

  1. Run the TQSLCert program and ensure it is the latest version. Some earlier versions will not work! Use the TQSLCert “Help” menu’s “About” selection to check the version. It should say “TQSLCert V 1.11” (followed by other letters and numbers). If you do not have the latest version, download and install it before proceeding.
  2. In TQSLCert, highlight the certificate to be renewed by clicking on it.
  3. On the Menu bar, click on “Certificate,” and then select “Renew Certificate” in the box. Click “Next.”
  4. On the “Generate Certificate Request” page, fill out the date boxes. You should use the same start and end dates that you had on your old cert unless it was incorrect. For current callsigns, leave the end date blank. This will give you a full one-year term. Click “Next.”
  5. Enter your address information and email address on the next two pages and proceed.
  6. On the next page, you are given the opportunity to enter a password to protect your private key. You do not need to do this, but it is recommended. If you do elect to enter a password, keep in mind that the password is case sensitive. Note that you must be able to enter this password when signing a log or using your certificate for any other purpose. If you can not recall your password, you will need to obtain a new certificate.
  7. At this point, you will be prompted to indicate where you wish to save your certificate request. Remember where you save it, as you will need to find it in order to email it or upload it to Logbook.
  8. Submit your renewal request. You can either send the renewal request as an email attachment to lotw-logs@arrl.org or upload it via the Upload File area on The Logbook Web site.
  9. When your renewal request is complete, you will see an additional line on your TQSLCert program screen. This will look the same as your existing certificate except that it will have a red circle/bar over the seal. This is your renewal request. When your renewal .tq6 file is returned and loaded, the red circle/bar will go away as will the original certificate, leaving only your renewed certificate.

As always, understand that any request (with red circle/bar) contains a unique private key. If this request/key is not present when the .tq6 file is returned, you will not be able to load it. Do not delete or attempt to modify any request once you have submitted it to Logbook.

Renewing a certificate is an almost automatic process. Renewals are automatically approved, but they must be signed by ARRL in the same manner as all other requests. Certificate signing will be done within hours during normal working hours.

IMPORTANT! Once you have renewed your certificate and loaded the new .tq6 file, save your certificate into a .p12 file using the TQSLCert “Certificate” menu’s “Save” command. Copy the saved .p12 file to an off-line medium (floppy disk, CD-R or other permanent storage) for safekeeping. Then, if you have loaded your original certificate into any other computers, you must also load that .p12 file (not the .tq6 file!) into each of the other computers using TQSLCert.

“Just follow these easy steps”- really??!!  What a load of codswallup!

I guess renewal is suited to someone with time on their hand, and a disposition to put up with the LoTW “dance on the head of a pin” silliness.

I can do eMoney so much easier than fussing with LoTW – I can check my 401K, move between funds, go check my banking, manage by checking, credit cards, bills and even buy a new $3400 transceiver on-line with not even a ruffled feather – each with at most a couple sets of password/ID numbers – but come to LoTW ……

Is LoTW a “soaring eagle” or some sort of “lumbering albatross” ?

From the user interface end, it sure comes off as a turkey.

I’ve a lot to do with family the next few days, visiting, a pair of Halloween Parties with costumes already rented, a bit of traveling, of course work, and more of the pre-winter chores to get done.  There is a local club board meeting and a couple evening rehearsals for various music groups to squeeze in.

Then on top the ARRL LoTW assumes I can be ordered to do a nonsensical computer exercise by a deadline that when you step back really doesn’t matter?  I’m not even certain by the deadline I can find the needed old certificates because of the clumsy system and my use of several computers.

I am sure someone will comment that the renewal might be done in about the time it has taken to write this short piece, but I would quickly point out that I “wanted to do some writing” and not some obscure & obsolete validation process renewal with my time.

I’d cancel a credit card account that had such consumer unfriendly time demands.

Guess I’ve answered my own question on whether to ignore the LoTW renewals.  

Perhaps if enough of us ignore this sort of time-wasting the ARRL will update LoTW or write a whole new LoTW II?

I’ve written about the LoTW kludge before at:

More thoughts on LoTW – Perhaps LoTW-II?

Fort Knox & Easy Rider – Two On-Line QSL options – LoTW & eQSL



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