LOTW setup is NOT user friendly

ai8o

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Oct 6, 2007
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Lexington, NC
#1
I cannot fathom the process of how to add contacts to LOTW.

After an HF operating session, I usually have two or three contacts to log.

I have used the QRZ logbook function since 2010 to enter contacts, and once you register it is pretty intuitive/user friendly.

On QRZ you open the logbook, enter the contact data, one contact data set at a time, save it, then enter the data for the next contact, and you do this all online.
QRZ says they can download LOTW entries to your QRZ logbook, but since I don't have data uploaded to LOTW, QRZ can't download any thing.

I read the LOTW pages at ARRL.ORG.

I have a LOTW account, but LOTW assumes you use ADIF or Cabrillo files, assumes know how to enter data into those file formats, and upload them as a batch file to LOTW, NOT online one contact at a time like QRZ.

The click-on for ADIF on the "Getting Started" LOTW page sends you to a discussion page about updates to ADIF over the years, but, NOT a how to page.
I didn't see a click-on for Cabrillo.

What I am looking for is a tutorial or a series of tutorials on the entire process, from radio contact to completed LOTW entry.

Even just a flow chart/checklist would help.
 

W9BU

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#2
The first thing to square away in your mind is that LotW is not a QSO logging system. It was never intended to be a QSO logging system. LotW is a QSO matching system that attempts to match your uploaded QSOs with uploaded QSOs from other users. If the system finds a match between a QSO from you to me and a QSO from me to you and the date/time, frequency, and mode are the same, then we have a match and a confirmed QSL.

As you have found from your research, to use LotW, you must use the TQSL application to upload an ADIF or Cabrillo file or you must use a QSO logging program that can prepare and upload the proper digitally-signed file.

My suggestion is that there's no need for you to learn how to create an ADIF or Cabrillo file. Find a QSO logging program that will take care of that task for you. DX Keeper, which is part of the free DX Lab Suite of programs, is what I use. DX Lab Suite is free and very well supported by the author. Another choice is Ham Radio Deluxe. The current version of HRD is not free, but it's a very well developed program and they typically have discounts on their fee around the end of the year, Dayton Hamvention, etc. There are other QSO logging programs that will work with LotW, but I only have direct experience with DX Keeper and HRD.

I Googled "adif file editor" and got a hit for a program ADIF Master. It looks like that program might allow you to create and edit ADIF files. I also got a hit for an ADIF to Excel to ADIF file converter. So, there are two other possibilities.

I understand your concern about the usability of LotW. I frequently hear that from folks who are just getting started with it. Frankly, I try to avoid interacting directly with LotW. My solution is to use a logging program that takes care of the dirty work for me.

One other thing...I think you can export your QRZ log as an ADIF file.
 

edweirdFL

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#4
AI8O Most of my contracts are logged into the QRZ log book and then I send them from QRZ to LoTW. You need to set this up on QRZ and you'll enter your LoTW password each time you manually select contacts in QRZ and then the action to send to LoTW.

WA0CBW There's an option on the LoTW web site and also within the TQSL program for uploading ADIF format files into LoTW. I've heard that ARRL will help members with problems over the phone. I've helped a number of guys local to me with setup issues. Do you have a local club that might have someone who could do the same?
 
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Echo Mike Two-Seven
#5
I cannot fathom the process of how to add contacts to LOTW.

After an HF operating session, I usually have two or three contacts to log.

I have used the QRZ logbook function since 2010 to enter contacts, and once you register it is pretty intuitive/user friendly.

On QRZ you open the logbook, enter the contact data, one contact data set at a time, save it, then enter the data for the next contact, and you do this all online.
QRZ says they can download LOTW entries to your QRZ logbook, but since I don't have data uploaded to LOTW, QRZ can't download any thing.

I read the LOTW pages at ARRL.ORG.

I have a LOTW account, but LOTW assumes you use ADIF or Cabrillo files, assumes know how to enter data into those file formats, and upload them as a batch file to LOTW, NOT online one contact at a time like QRZ.

The click-on for ADIF on the "Getting Started" LOTW page sends you to a discussion page about updates to ADIF over the years, but, NOT a how to page.
I didn't see a click-on for Cabrillo.

What I am looking for is a tutorial or a series of tutorials on the entire process, from radio contact to completed LOTW entry.
Even just a flow chart/checklist would help.
You might try the LoTW group io reflector. It has been of great assistance to me whenever I have had issues. There are very knowledgeable folks on there more than willing to help anyone out:

ARRL-LoTW groups.io Group

Good luck and 73!
 

Otto

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Jul 14, 2005
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Portland, Oregon
#6
I might be wrong, but can’t you convert your QRZ log into ADIF, and the export it to LOTW?

Anyhow, like others have said, use an external logging software that can create an ADIF file. I personally use N1MM log, but there are many other programs out there that will do this.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

edweirdFL

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#7
Otto Yes you can do that(may require QRZ subscription), but if you export your LoTW key and then use the Settings in the QRZ logbook for exporting to LoTW you can make it as simple as checking the contacts on QRZ and using the Action to send them to LoTW. I think this also requires a QRZ subscription.

There are some things like HAMlog and JT Alert X that can post your contacts to QRZ's logbook too by using your credentials or an API key for your logbook. I'm all for automating this stuff and reducing the amount of manual entry required to keep logs.
 
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Echo Mike Two-Seven
#10
Unfortunately there are many who have suffered issues with downloading and using LoTW, most having callsign certificate problems, etc..

I downloaded it and starting using it 3 years ago and the best advice I can give is when downloading it for the first time....follow the directions provided by the ARRL to a tee. For me the initial installation of the program was the most stressful, after that inputting contacts was pretty straightforward.

So far I have utilized the awards program only once for WAS and that was straightforward as well.

Two things that I did whenever I got stumped was become a member of the yahoo group, which now has been converted to a group io platform. My only issues have come when the league has put out upgrades, a few times and for some reason or another I have not been able to get them to properly download, however by being a member of the aforememtioned group I was promptly given workarounds or zip files that enabled the upgrade to instal flawlessly to my PC by group members who are more than willing to help anyone with issues.

Second thing I did was watch various YouTube videos from experienced LoTW users on how to utilize the program. A search on YouTube of LoTW will bring many of these videos up.

If all else fails, like W9BU suggested, by all means call or email the League. I emailed them once about a LoTW (I don’t remember the exact) issue and received a prompt reply. The program is a great way and easy way to confirm Qs. With that said, there is help out there for those that need it.

73 and good DX!
 
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Joined
Oct 6, 2007
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Lexington, NC
#11
I still can't get my contacts logged into LOTW.

I downloaded ADIF Master .

The ARRL on its website says each contact should list:
1 callsignof the station worked,
2 Date of the QSO,
3 band
4 Mode.

The ARRL does NOT specify using any other data fields for uploading to LoTW.

I enter these data fields into the ADIF worksheet for each contact that I want to log.

When I try to save the ADIF worksheet, I get an error from ADIF Master saying that ALL fields must be entered.

I am entering data in all four fileds that ARRL requires.

Why am i getting this error message from the ADIF Master?
What data fields does ADIF Master require?

I been DOOFING around with this for a week now and still not getting QSOs entered.

This LoTW process is user unfriendly, because ARRL does not provide clear guidance on how toset up and use LoTW.
 
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W9BU

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#12
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#13
I use LotW, but only as service to those that I have contacts with. I frequently ask this question: Why does the ARRL make it's logging system far more secure and complicated than my bank account? To avoid "cheating"? What do they care, knowing that they make money with each silly paper "award" they sell? They even make you pay for those VUCC labels and such? What a racket.
 
#14
Every solution breeds new problems.
..................... Arthur Bloch


Not that that helps thing here, I just couldn't go skating past the topic without a comment.

(I know the confirmation/awards thing is a very important aspect to the hobby to many, but when it gets tedious I go back to reading a book.
I do, however, enjoy every blue moon, sitting down with my file boxes of paper QSL cards and re-living contacts and friendship that span many years-- something impossible with a spread sheet ----I have never done an electronic QSO confirmation)

I'm a dinosaur--------

Lauri :sneaky:
 

902

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Downsouthsomewhere
#15
I didn't know the QRZ.com can export as an ADIF. I learned something new - thank you, Bob!

I make contacts in WSJT-X, then dump the file over to a thumb drive and upload them to LOTW excluding the duplicates from the previous uploads. I've been a ham for 40 years and I've always been terrible at QSL'ing. But I've been diligent in keeping up my uploads. I think it's a positive thing. I installed a Piexx board in my IC-751A, so my next step is maybe downloading HRD and using it to do all my front-end rig interface and logging. That should communicate up to LOTW automagically. I think. And, also tell me if I've worked someone before. I've been using JT Alert for that up to now.
 

N4GIX

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#16
I've managed to export my QRZ logbook to an ADIF file, and successfully imported that ADIF into LoTW.

How do I export the results of LoTW's analysis of confirmations back into QRZ? Nothing seems clear at all in the LoTW help files.
 
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Echo Mike Two-Seven
#17
I've managed to export my QRZ logbook to an ADIF file, and successfully imported that ADIF into LoTW.

How do I export the results of LoTW's analysis of confirmations back into QRZ? Nothing seems clear at all in the LoTW help files.
If you are a paid subscriber to QRZ..follow the directions on the site to download your LoTW certificate to QRZ. Once that is accomplished, you simply click on “My Logbook”, then click on settings, then click on “download from LoTW. Once it’s finshed downloading, all of your LoTW confirmations will show confirmed on QRZ even if the other operator does not log in QRZ.

With that said, none of it will work unless you allow QRZ to access your LoTW certificate. I don’t remember it being all that complicated, however in my experience the support team is very responsive over there and they may be able to walk you through it.
 
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N4GIX

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#18
If you are a paid subscriber to QRZ..follow the directions on the site to download your LoTW certificate to QRZ. Once that is accomplished, you simply click on “My Logbook”, then click on settings, then click on “download from LoTW. Once it’s finshed downloading, all of your LoTW confirmations will show confirmed on QRZ even if the other operator does not log in QRZ.
Well, I did figure out what happened here. Apparently I was supposed to use the TQSL program to generate the .p12 file that QRZ wanted.

That's what happens whenever I'm given TOO MUCH information that is scattered around in dozens of places! ;)
Once I "Save(d) the Callsign Certificate for N4GIX" and generated the .p12 file, QRZ was happy and finally allowed me to interact with LoTW...

Thanks for the information, as it did force me to discover the missing step!

 
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