I’ve been a fan of Logbook of The World (LoTW) since it was announced by the ARRL, and have written about it in previous posts. I’ve gotten a lot of stations confirmed by the use of this electronic QSL method, but today was, I think, the first time that I’ve gotten a confirmation for an all-time new entity via LoTW prior to receiving a physical card. By way of explanation, for new entities, I always send out a card to the station that I worked. At this point that’s a relatively rare occurrence, so I normally mail my QSL card to the other station pretty quickly. Under the best of circumstances, I’m thrilled to hear back from the other station in 2 or 3 weeks. It’s not unusual to wait 3 months or even longer (sometimes a lot longer; I’m still getting cards back from stations that I contacted in 2000), but in this case, I got confirmation via LoTW today for a contact made just 3 days ago. In fact, the total elapsed time between me “sending” my QSL record to LoTW and the confirmation being made was a grand total of 36 hours. (This information is available within the system.) You can’t beat that kind of turnaround time.
It’s not that unusual to get a confirmation from a domestic US station within minutes of a contact (especially at the end of a contest, where many stations all upload their log information at once), but this is a confirmation of a contact that I made with a station located in the Solomon Islands. Wow.
And yes, I will send for a physical card for this contact as well, just because it’s fun to have the cards.