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Re: Topband: LOTW Participation

To: Eddy Swynar <>
Subject: Re: Topband: LOTW Participation
From: Julius Fazekas <>
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2012 08:05:12 -0800 (PST)
List-post: <">>
Hi Eddy,

One could argue when those quaint lowfer beacons first started that tape loops 
and the like were exotic. I do remember tape loops becoming a big deal in 
contesting, but for a newbie, they presented a cost obstacle. One can say the 
same for RTTY back in the day.

Pining for the old days, well we could have LORAN back too ;o)

The only constant in the world is change. I am not as fast to adopt some of the 
newer things, but I do see the various QSL options as a win-win situation for 

I certainly understand and respect your position, and definitely enjoy vintage 
QSL cards (those folks had a pretty great sense of humor).


Julius Fazekas


Tennessee Contest Group

Tennessee QSO Party

Elecraft K2     #4455

Elecraft K3/100 #366

Elecraft K3/100 #

--- On Fri, 2/17/12, Eddy Swynar <> wrote:

From: Eddy Swynar <>
Subject: Re: Topband: LOTW Participation
To: "Julius Fazekas" <>
Cc: "Jeff" <>,
Date: Friday, February 17, 2012, 10:23 AM

On 2012-02-17, at 9:44 AM, Julius Fazekas wrote:

> Why not use 'em all? (LoTW, eQSL, ClubLog, hard card)

Hi Julius,

Have you ever ventured forth onto the so-called "Lowfers Band" of 160- to 
190-KHz, & listened for beacons...? I did, & one time I was rewarded with the 
thrill of hearing an "VE3"-based station. I was so amazed that I could copy the 
station despite the many restrictions conspiring against it that I actually 
built a beacon transmitter of my own here, & obtained special permission of our 
licensing body to put it on the air...

But that band's complexion has changed dramatically since that simpler time: 
the realities of the game now dictate that computer-controlled slow speed CW & 
associated software receiving / transmitting enhancements are "de riguer" 
anymore. Gone are the quaint---but readily copyable---CW "standard" beacons, 
many of which were driven by continuous loop tapes, notched 33 RPM record 
albums(!) mounted atop extra-slowplaying record players, etc. To be a viable 
participant anymore in that part of the spectrum necessitated a considerable 
commitment in peripherals that the curious & casual newbie simply is unprepared 
to invest, or even unaware of.

When I mentioned this fact to one prominent "guru" of the VLF scene---i.e. that 
the door is effectively being slammed shut upon the entry of "new blood" into 
that niche because of its "exclusiveness"---I was promptly reminded of the 
superiority of the "new way" of doing things, and that records for long 
distance reception were being laid by the wayside on an almost daily basis 
since its near-universal acceptance. 

What that guru failed to appreciate was the fact that his domain had suddenly 
become a closed one, limited to existing members of that "club"---and as 
demographics take hold & old members became SKs, there would be  precious few, 
if any, new replacements. 

Correctly or not, I view electronic confirmations like LotW & eQSL 
suspiciously. Are supporters of these any different from that "exclusionary" 
cadre of users who have abandoned CW beacons of yore on the "experimenter's 
band"? Surely the bug bit them when they first heard a beacon, just as 
doubtlessly the awards bug hit many of us when we received our very first QSL 
card. Why would anyone deny that thrill to a rookie Ham, dismissing it as being 
old-fashioned, when it inspired us oh-so-many years ago? An electronic 
notification is just not the same, IMHO...and it's hardly a much-loved 
tradition of Amateur radio---yet!

...But I'm doubtlessly showing my age in saying so!

Let the parade proceed---I'm quite content to just sit back & watch it from the 

~73~ de Eddy VE3CUI - VE3XZ
UR RST IS ... ... ..9 QSB QSB - hw? BK
UR RST IS ... ... ..9 QSB QSB - hw? BK

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