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LoTW--one user's experience

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  • LoTW--one user's experience

    The following is from Jeff, K6JW...

    An FYI regarding LoTW:

    In follow-up to my recent call for assistance in managing my LoTW transactions, I've finally succeeded at getting everything to work, no thanks to the complexity of LoTW. For anyone who needs to deal with a history of holding more than one callsign, here's how it worked, step by

    1. All my contacts back to 1958 were in a single log file. Per Howard's suggestion, I separated my log into two separate logs, one for the old callsign prior to 11/1996, and one for the newer callsign, from 11/1996 to present.

    2. I uploaded each log separately, under its own certificate, to the LoTW website at the ARRL.

    3. I then downloaded for each callsign, and all went just fine. Since I had previously uploaded and downloaded using another logging program prior to CommCat, the upload confirmations included notification of duplicate submissions. One can ignore this, as LoTW handles it properly.

    4. I have not re-merged the logs for the two callsigns, although I may do this just to have everything in one place. To be decided...

    A few reminders about LoTW:

    There are two passwords: one which you chose, and one which the League assigned to you. To upload, you need to know the one you assigned, as it accesses the key. If you didn't make note of this, you're screwed and will have to reapply for a certificate. To log onto the site, you use the password assigned to you by the League.

    Before you can upload from CommCat, you have to enter a callsign location. Because I had two callsigns, I set up each with a different "location". One (current callsign) was K6JW Home, and the other (old callsign) was WA6DAL Home. This gave me some trouble when I first tried to upload because I hadn't made note of the locations and so kept getting error messages.

    If you, like me, didn't note the location assignment(s), and if the program asks for a location, you can find what you assigned by opening TQSL, clicking on "Station", and then clicking on "Edit Locations". A screen will pop up showing any location assignment(s) you made in the past. If you never assigned a location, you can do so in TQSL.

    The only way I can cope with LoTW is to keep a running log of everything I do, each time I do it. I strongly recommend doing this, as it may save you some grief as you try to deal with the utility over time. Also, watch the expiration dates on your certificates. If you don't renew, you have to start the process all over again for certificate reassignment -- a real nuisance.

    CommCat does just what it's supposed to do, but you have to understand how LoTW works before you do your first upload/download cycle.

    LoTW may be the wave of the future, but I sure do wish it were simpler...

    Jeff, K6JW
    Howard W6HN