Tag Archives: LoTW

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.

73

Steve
K9ZW

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The Awesome QSL Drawings of Jeff K1NSS Heading to Print

K9ZW New QSL Card Proofs

Jeff K1NSS is a QSL card artist that you may enjoy checking out part of his portfolio at: https://www.jeffk1nss.com/

He had done designs for me back in 2015, most which never ended up being printed for a variety of reasons including moving and a need my end to be more focused on health.

I asked Jeff K1NSS to update the 2015 designs, and to create several new designs. All the updates are done and two of the three new designs are finished.

After reviewing several QSL printing services (I had previously had quotes from local printers) I’ve select QSL Concepts to print the first six cards. They are at: http://qslconcept.com/usa/

QSL Concepts “Fab” VE7FBN got it right away that I had ready to print front/back artwork. While Canadian based QSL Concepts uses a USA based affiliate for cards being delivered stateside.

I was able to tag the cards into a pricing program focused on clubs, and anticipate the new cards arriving about ten business days down the road (might be sooner!).

This batch of card designs includes:

  • A retro boat-anchor voice card
  • Two new designs based on a concept I have to accommodate my FlexRadio operating conditions, one in B&W and one in color
  • A digital mode card
  • A Washington Island QTH card emphasizing my operations from George W9EVT’s monster-shack
  • A Washington Island card intended for guests at the W9EVT monster-shack which I will give to George W9EVT

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QSL Cards – K9ZW 2021 Update

Recently had a couple people inquire on where I am at with QSLing, particularly on paper QSL cards.

As of January 2021 here is where I am at:

eQSL & QRZ.com postings – these are done weekly and should be up to date.
LoTW postings – this is done roughly once a month, and would be up to date through 2020
Paper QSLing by SASE – is still on hiatus but expected to resume soon, and will take a while to catch up
GlobalQSL DX QSL Cards – on hiatus until I have designs – will likely be Q3 2021 before I get back at this QSL method

My formal QSL cards became obsolete when my home QTH station has dismantled and my operations moved to my work QTH’s tower and my new home QTH antennas. Our home move was complicated, as we bought the home we moved to with much of its contents, leaving us an extra tier of tasks as we moved. I didn’t get at having new cards made right away. With the CCP-Virus issues my card designer has been working remote, so the new designs are not finished nor are new cards printed.

In normal days I would expect to be able to put a timeline on a small project like this, but in our CCP-Virus disrupted world setting a deadline is unrealistic.

So I’ll fall back on that old two word way to explain that it will happen on its own schedule with a promise of “Soon Come..”

73

Steve
K9ZW

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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.

73

Steve
K9ZW

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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.

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Net Failure – The ARRL Modernizes right back to 1985…

Working with the Internet, in all of its forms, to communicate well with a Public, a Membership and as a Reference Site certainly cannot be an easy task for any organization. Just the distraction of working through the amount of potential options for every aspect of a web presence can bring many groups to a grinding halt.

Importantly it is very easy to loose sight that in terms of web presence “Change is Just Change, and All Change Doesn’t Imply Improvement.”

The ARRL certainly has been changing its web presence, and unfortunately rather than creating a look-forward awesome web presence has in many ways gone backwards, in some cases 20 years or so…..

It is as if emotional and economic over-investment has clouded any web presence decisions.

As it is widely held that any web-transaction system needs to be simple, secure, robust, portable and user friendly there are a whole raft of lessons simply being ignored concerning the klutz ARRL Logbook of the World (LOTW) QSL database system. I’ve written about this clumsy system several times, most recently as part of my decision to drop participation in LOTW as having almost no benefit for me in comparison to the technical pain of dealing with an obsolete software model. LINK Simple Thoughts on a Complex Mess – LoTW, Run or Drop?

The “redesigned” commercialized ARRL website may feature some “gee-wiz” scripting, but is dull in both design and content. Now heavily advertisement ladened this website has dropped from my daily “look-see” bookmark list as I have found it preferable (and ad free) to only monitor the RSS feed. LINK Are we a League or a Internet Vendor?

The commercialization in both implemented web design (how can it be less costly to job out the website than do it with ARRL HQ staff, specially considering the less than subtle loss of control of a contracted-out web presence?) and in the large amount of space dedicated to Internet Selling (internal ARRL ads and Paid Vendor ads) has greatly diminished my interest as an ARRL Life Member in the organization’s website.

The sell-out decision  “to tart up” & “to add paid vendor ads” has been forced down our throats with the various ARRL email newsletters “going commercial.” Maybe Newington doesn’t understand the difference between communications and Spam? I’ve found that I have gone from a nearly 100% read of the former newsletter designs to almost never looking at these new noisy, vendor ad ladened versions.

Further web efforts into offering “exclusive” and “additional” ARRL content to those members willing to participate in the third-party social networking & noisemaking systems Facebook & Twitter, with the implication that the only way for a ARRL Member to get this addition exclusive content is to use these third party websites, shows how completely out of touch the Newington web presence effort is.

There is arguments enough on other Amateur Radio blogs and forums about whether Facebook & Twitter are “evil” and “trivial” that I will only offer than there is a much more serious issue the ARRL hasn’t gotten – that these are THIRD PARTY web sites that the ARRL has no control over, and most importantly that a significant number of ARRL Members DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN.

The simple fact is the ARRL has promised a superior information flow not from its own web presence, but only through third party conduits – they are “gypping” members who do not want, or cannot for technical reasons participate in these third party information conduits, while missing the important part that they are further driving “hits” away from the ARRL website (why look at that dog, when you can get it elsewhere) which will even drive down the advertising revenue for their commercialization through Paid Vendor ads.

In many ways the ARRL appears to be heading backwards – from a bright vibrant website that filled a page to a dull clumsy commercialized website – from newsletters than set the standard for amateur radio CONTENT to advertising glossy unreadable spam-letters – from a consolidated “best content is on the ARRL website” focus to a purposeful “don’t look here, but rather look at Facebook to get anything special” drive away from the main ARRL website – from a mainly ad-light or even ad-free web presence to a ad-ladened catalogue with some content – and of course head in the sand with a LOTW system that is a dinosaur for so many of us.

Maybe the membership needs to have a chat with Newington about the concept of “Signal to Noise” in web presence?

As usual “your mileage may vary” and I would like to point out that my web presence is no masterpiece, but I’m not charging you the reader a membership and haven’t promised anything for a goal on this web project to anyone other than a promise to self “to do my best.”

73

Steve
K9ZW

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