Why not use LoTW?

Posted: May 8, 2017 in Uncategorized


Today’s Blog entry comes from Victor 4X6GP who asks, Why don’t more DX operations use LoTW?

Victor writes: I am reading my favorite DX bulletin and I come across a note that an operator who shall be call-less here
will be operating from a semi-rare location on a certain date.

“QSL direct to K____, USA with an SASE and DX 2 USD, no LoTW. He will have a log search on Club Log.”

My question is, “why no LoTW?” If he will be uploading to Club Log he can certainly upload to LoTW too.
If he wants to finance his operation with donations that he expects to receive with the QSLs, then why
not use the OQRS option to donate a small sum in return for a LoTW upload?

He is not the only one. Time and again I see hams announcing their operations and adding “QSL via the home call” or
via a manager in the US, Italy, Russia, Japan, or somewhere else.

These methods approximately double the cost of each QSL for me, since it costs me almost $2 US to send an envelope
halfway around the world. Then I have to obtain US dollars or Euros, put them in the envelope and hope that they
safely get out of my country and arrive at their destination. Much of the time they don’t!

My postal service is very slow and somewhat unreliable. It is not so great in many other countries, either.

As a DXer, I live and die by confirmations that are accepted for DXCC. Other than paper cards, which I
must send to the US or have checked by the ONE ham in my entire country who is authorized to do that, LoTW
is the only way to confirm a QSO.

Why do so many DX operations not use LoTW?

What do you think?

  1. N6PSE's Blog says:

    Dear Victor-4X6GP, Thank you for submitting this topic to me. I think it is a very important and timely topic. I am a big supporter of LoTW and conversely I feel that Bureau Cards should ultimately be replaced by further adoption of LoTW. I know that many are in favor of Bureau Cards forever but I feel that we are all better served with greater adoption and use of LoTW.

    Lets see what others have to say,

    Best wishes,

    Paul N6PSE

    • SV1GRN says:

      I agree with you Paul about confirmations via LOTW. Unfortunately In some rare dxcc entities some “green card” hunters lives and these guys will never move into LOTW 73.

  2. Dave W. says:

    Maybe for some it’s the complicated nature of LoTW, the drawn out steps to digitally sign each log, then load either via TQSL or the site itself.

    Those extra steps might be cumbersome, and some feel they shouldn’t be wasting “valuable” time with those additional steps to load the log to LoTW.

    Laziness maybe? Who knows.

  3. k0md says:

    Paul – I agree. I prefer LOTW for all of my QSO confirmations. QSL’s require a multi-step process to get confirmed within LOTW so a direct upload to LOTW seems logical and most efficient and courteous to other amateurs.

  4. I agree that LOTW is the way to go for confirmations. Slowly over the last ten years LOTW has moved from being a niche QSLing method to the de-facto standard for virtually all [but not 100% of] DXpeditions. This is probably not written in stone, but anecdotal evidence suggests that a DXpedition to a top 20 rare place, which is also seeking funding from the NCDXF, will NOT be funded unless it uses LOTW. At least I am not aware of any major operation [involving say 8 or more operators] to a rare entity not using LOTW — either more or less “real time”, or within some number of weeks or months after the DXpedition.

    Of course, there are some rare places that, to the best of my knowledge, have not used LOTW. This is evidently because they are one-man operations which are self-funded. . One such place is Mt. Athos.

    Maybe another rare activation not using LOTW is DPRK. [But I am not sure since I have not worked DRPK so obviously I never researched how to go about getting a QSL].

    I still need 9 more ATNOs. My guess is that when these are activated that LOTW will be part of the DXpedition plan. The only exception is probably Turkmenistan and DPRK.

  5. cc says:

    Why not LOTW ?? because eQSL exist, works well and I upload my ADIF file in 5 sec. LOTW is much tooo bla, bla etc.. Simple !

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