I’ve decided to get my QSLing in order and file for DXCC. Call it an “ad hoc” New Year’s resolution. I’ve been eligible for DXCC for seven or eight years now, but just haven’t had the time or inclination to do the paperwork. Perhaps Logbook of the World had something to do with all of this. On a whim I decided to get my LOTW up to date. I hadn’t uploaded to it or checked on it for almost three years. After figuring out that my certificate key thingy expired, I got a new one and managed to learn all over again the process for uploading QSOs.
I like the concept of LOTW, but I’m surprised a lot of people use it. I’m not a computer newbie; I’ve been doing IT for almost 20 years now and I cut my teeth writing assembly on a Commodore VIC-20 when I was a teenager. I find the process for getting LOTW going way overcomplicated. I can’t imagine how others who can barely log in to their computer use LOTW. But I guess where there’s a will there’s a way. Considering that LOTW contacts can be used to file for awards and the costs for paper QSLing has skyrocketed over the years, there’s more of a motivation than ever to use Logbook of the World.
Upon updating LOTW I saw that I was eligible for WAS and Mixed, CW, and Phone DXCC with just LOTW QSOs. That got me looking at my paper QSLs and weeding out what LOTW had. I read the DXCC and LOTW FAQs about five times and I think I’m ready to file. Since getting LOTW up to date, I’ve experienced a resurgence in my interest in DXing. Recently I’ve been working DX on 40 and 80 in the evenings, watching the DX cluster and picking them off the spots. I even cranked the power up to 100 watts from the normal five. (Gasps from the studio audience) I made a contact the other week and caught myself saying “Yes!” and being all giddy. I don’t remember what country it was, but the feeling has stayed with me. After months of questioning my interest in amateur radio it’s good to know the radio artisan spark is still there.