It's time for ARRL to take the next big step to increase the value of
LOTW. Done properly, it could increase ARRL's revenue from LOTW
substantially, while encouraging a lot of new hams and DXers to become
The idea is simple, and in fact ARRL used to do this, back in the days of
manual log-checking -- I'm talking about giving DXCC and WAS credit for
contest contacts. The difference is that now, with CQWW making all logs
available on the internet, LOTW could function as a single source for ARRL
award credit for *both* CQWW and ARRL contests. As more CQ and other
contests came on board, the idea could be expanded world-wide.
It would be relatively simple to implement - QSOs from the participating
contests (those verified by cross-check of submitted logs) would be fed
into LOTW and made available for award credit. Organizationally, a sharing
arrangement could be worked out, so that contest organizers could recover
the cost of preparing their data for submission to LOTW, plus a reasonable
profit. ARRL, meanwhile, would benefit from the increased revenue through
use of LOTW for award credit.
It's not really even necessary to stop here. LOTW could service other
award sponsors, too - so that you could get credit toward your WPX or DOK
award for those contest QSOs, as well.
Probably more important (at least to me), contesting would benefit from an
infusion of new blood. More DXers and new hams would be motivated to
operate in contests if they knew that verified contest QSOs would
automatically count toward the next award. Many of us got our start in
contesting for exactly this reason - why not do it all over again?
73, Pete N4ZR
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