This month, I’m providing a ham radio contest tip-a-day (along with other posts) to help you trigger your own contesting activities.
Today’s tip: Send your log to Logbook of The World.
After sending in your contest log to the contest committee, there’s another important task to complete — sending your log into the Logbook of The World.
For those who may not be familiar with this service:
ARRL’s Logbook of the World (LoTW) system is a repository of log records submitted by users from around the world. When both participants in a QSO submit matching QSO records to LoTW, the result is a QSL that can be used for ARRL award credit.
My first experience with LoTW was after my trip to Bermuda. I, of course, was expecting an onslaught of QSL requests from the trip, but I was reminded that I should upload the logs to the LoTW. Within a couple of days returning from Bermuda, I did just that — and was rewarded with over 50 countries worked and hundreds of contacts confirmed for the deserving by other hams who had uploaded their logs as well.
Sending your log to the LoTW has several advantages for you:
- Instant confirmation of the contact. This confirmation can be used by you for awards.
- Time savings. No handwriting of QSL card requests for your awards, mailing them to the station, waiting for the return, and then submitting your award.
- Reduced QSL requests. One of the things that happens with contesters is that they generate a tremendous number of QSL requests from the stations they work looking for confirmation. When you send in your log to LoTW, no matter how few the contacts, the demand of your time to return QSL requests will drop.
- Dollar savings. Fewer QSL cards. Fewer stamps. Fewer envelopes. This is a good thing.
While it may be terrific to get physical QSL cards from your favorite stations, most contesters view QSL’ing from their contest participation as a necessary evil that comes with the territory. But sending your log to the LoTW will help put the focus back where it belongs: on contesting.