Posts Tagged ‘LoTW’
I have a story for you. All of it is true, but I have not changed my name.
Wow! I am always amazed at those moments in my amateur radio hobby when spontaneous joy is had by unexpected events.
On Thursday, 14-April-2022, at about 17:30 Universal Time (UT), the unexpected occurred, and it started by accident.
I have been reorganizing my radio shack. Once I moved my main transceiver (the Icom IC-7610) from one desk to another, and had it back in operation, I left it tuned to a random frequency, in the CW mode. It was just sitting there, hissing away with the typical shortwave sounds of a frequency on which no one was transmitting. And me? I was going about reorganizing my radio shack.
After a while, I heard the start of a Morse-code CW signal; the operator was sending a CQ call–a transmission that invites a response from anyone who wishes to have a QSO with the calling station. What I heard was, “CQ CQ DE EP2ABS EP2ABS…”
NOTE: This transceiver, my Icom IC-7610, is listening with the new antenna—the 254-foot doublet up at 80 feet–that was raised up into the air here at my QTH by a fine crew from Hams in the Air.
I looked up EP2ABS on QRZ dot com, because I did not know from what country/entity the EP2 prefix on callsigns belongs. I was excited to see that EP2 is from Iran!
I started answering his CQ call, “DE NW7US NW7US,” for at least ten minutes; each time he sent his CQ, I answered. Finally, I heard him answering me, “NW7US NW7US DE EP2ABS 5NN…”
I answered back, sending my signal report, “5NN 5NN DE NW7US TU”
Soon after that simple exchange, he confirmed our QSO by posting our QSO to Logbook of the World (LotW).
Thus, by accident–as I had simply left the transceiver tuned to a randomly-selected frequency and stayed on that frequency listening while doing my chores–I heard the Iranian station calling CQ. What are the odds!?!?
This is my first QSO with Iran, another All Time New One (ATNO). How cool!
Note: This is a testimony to the work from the crew that did the fine work of getting this antenna installed. Here is a video presented by Hams on the Air:
73 de NW7US dit dit
Over winter break I have been putting in a lot of time behind the radio. Here’s the wrap up:
First – more DX. In general, this is a good time of year to catch hams behind their rigs. Some contacts that I am particularly proud of:
4U1WB, The World Bank in Washington D.C.
ZD7DL, St Helena Island
C5YK, The Gambia
MI5AFK, Northern Ireland
FG5GP, the island of Guadeloupe
ZS6TVB, South Africa
EA8DAZ, Canary Islands
Second – working a lot of DX. There is the 90th anniversary of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) special event activations. Plenty of good DX participating in this and working multiple bands.
Third – working Santa (aka AA4EE) on Christmas Eve. The girls really enjoyed telling Santa what they wanted. Thank you Santa!
Four – joining the OMISS and the 3905 Century Club nets. I am not sure if I fully understand these nets. I get the convenience in pursuing Worked All States awards. That makes sense. However each club also has an additional bevy of other types of awards. The actual contacts during the nets seem a bit unfulfilling. But I may not yet fully understand these nets. I need to thoroughly read all the literature.
Five – Log of the World: I have uploaded the vast majority of my logs. I mentioned before about uploading my YI9MI logs. I also went back and uploaded my log from KD7PJQ back in Virginia. The logs from Korea (HL2/AD7MI and HL9MI) are now uploaded. All my logs using AD7MI have been uploaded.
You know the story. The other night, I loaded the latest version of TQSL for LotW and requested a new call sign certificate from the ARRL. The certificate came, I tried loading it, it wasn't recognized. I tried re-booting the computer several times - nada. I uninstalled TQSL and re-downloaded it and re-installed it. Zilch.
I e-mailed the League and described my problem. They kindly sent me an eleven page .pdf file, describing what to do with troublesome call sign certificates. I was going to un-install TQSL again, delete my certificates and start from scratch. But then I got this nagging little feeling. Give it one more shot, a little voice said.
I successfully signed and uploaded my ADIF file to Newington, without so much as a hiccup, burp or hitch. I did NOTHING new, different or out of the ordinary. Tonight it worked like a charm, when the other night nothing worked. Then I took a look at the certificate properties. "Successfully loaded 2/23/2015" or words to that effect. What? But that's not possible! At least that's not what it was saying the other night! The other night, the certificate couldn't be found!
Excuse me while I run out for some Holy Water. Computers are dark magic and evil. Either that, or I have just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!
Now that I switched shack computers out, I loaded the latest version of Trusted QSL to my shack laptop. I requested a new callsign certificate from that laptop and it arrived today. I tried uploading the certificate to the Trusted QSL program and I keep getting this error:
The certificate is there - the League just e-mailed it to me! I even went to the LotW Website and manually downloaded my certificates - still nothing, same message box pops up. I even tried deleting Trusted QSL and re-installed it thinking there might have been some kind of error when it loaded - no dice.
Any LotW gurus out there have any idea as to what might be going on?
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!
Congratulations to the ARRL Logbook of the World (LOTW) which just reached 100 million confirmed contacts. This is the same as an impressive 200 million QSL cards out of about 630 million uploaded contacts on LOTW.
LOTW was established way back in 2003. This was only 2 years after I got my license. Since I have never enjoyed much to fill in QSL cards I embraced LOTW very quickly. I have to say though that I will of course respond with a paper QSL for those who ask for one.
But LOTW has been my primary means of confirming contacts for a decade. My DXCC was confirmed with LOTW.
Now at the same time that LOTW is celebrating 100 millions confirmations, I am celebrating 8 bands with 100 or more contacts all confirmed via Logbook of the World. This is on all bands from 3.5 to 28 MHz. This has been my goal for many years. The last confirmation came from the TC0A contest station in Turkey on 80 m after last month’s CQ World Wide CW contest.
I consider myself lucky to have reached 100 confirmations even on the elusive 12 m band which we all know will shut down soon not reopen again until the next solar maximum in about 11 years time.
But as the saying goes “The journey is the reward“, so what to do next as a radio amateur?
I’ve been attempting to get my arms around my various logs from different callsigns. Previously I have had mixed luck with LOTW. Then I pretty much abandoned it. This time I read and re-read the instructions. Today I got my TQ6 file and was off an running.
I exported my current log from fldigi as an ADIF file and then used the TQSL application to upload it. Error, error, error. What was this? I hit Google and started researching:
ARRL’s tqsl messes with fldigi saved QSO_OFF time
I learned more than I wanted to know this morning about what the ARRL¹s tqsl application for LoTW does when it signs your saved fldigi newlog.adif file. It does more than just applying your digital signature. I had a busted QSO with Jeff, N8NOE, on LoTW and spent some time trying to understand what happened. The problem was with the time of the QSO. Both of us log the time at the the end of the QSO; however for there was a disconnect because my QSO time at LoTW showed up as Time ON, rather than Time OFF. Fldigi logs both TIME_ON and TIME_OFF; however, when you ask the ARRL tqsl application to apply your digital signature, it ignores the fldigi saved Time_OFF and converts the TIME_ON to a nonstandard ADIF format called QSO_Time. If you want your fldigi logs uploaded to LoTW to reflect QSO OFF time, you have two options. You can manually edit your On and Off times in Logbook-newlog.adif panel read the same. Another workaround is to use the fldigi File/Export ADIF with the option for Time ON unchecked. Then use a text editor to search and replace TIME_OFF with TIME_ON. This will fool the ARRL tqsl application to log the correct correct QSO time. Another option for someone to think about could be a new macro command that would reset the QSO times (ON and OFF) to be the same when you click on log. If you don¹t believe tqsl changes your fldigi logged QSO TIME_OFF, open one of your last .tq8 files with text editor (I use BBEdit) and scroll down and you will note the nonstandard QSO_TIME time that matches your your ADIF TIME_ON rather than TIME_OFF. 73 Dick AA5VU
… and that is what I did. And it worked! Although the issue Dick describes and the issue I was having were different, the solution still worked.
Now I am trying to add the logs for both my YI9MI and HL9MI operations. We will see how that goes.
If I had a dollar for every tirade I read or heard from a U.S. amateur regarding the “difficulty of setting up ARRL’s LoTW” software, I’d at least be able to buy another roofing filter for the K3. These tirades are almost invariably qualified by the assertion that the complainer is “an IT professional.”
Personally, I find LoTW’s security simple and logical: they are simply trying to make it hard for one individual to generate a lot of untraceable certificates (to sign enough falsified logs to get on the “Honor Roll”). And, since they optimized the database last (?) year, the processing and web interface are pretty good, too. I kinda just followed the directions and it worked.
I don’t believe in Karma, but every time I read one of these rants by “an IT professional,” I feel a small amount of revenge has been exacted on them for all of the frustrating interactions (mercifully few, all things considered) I’ve endured with incompetent IT drones over the years…
This is the photo I wanted to headline this post, but I refuse to hotlink or copy it. Positive, regularly-scheduled programming will return to the blog shortly, including a couple of construction projects…$50 HF triplexer, anyone?