[CQ-Contest] Logging question

Jim Brown k9yc at audiosystemsgroup.com
Fri Aug 7 22:24:37 EDT 2015

On Fri,8/7/2015 7:10 AM, George Harlem wrote:
>> This is a no-brainer.
> As is the practice of not sending a card unless the other ham also puts his log on LoTW.  Huh?

Back in the day when you and I were first licensed, we mailed QSLs as 
postcards with 2 cent stamps. I sent you a card, you sent me one. We 
each paid for our own stamp. A QSL was considered "the final courtesy of 
a QSO."

60 years later, almost no one sends a card unless requesting one for an 
award, and the guy who "needs" the card pays for postage both ways. 
That's just short of a buck for a card within the US, and an average of 
$3.50 for a DX card.

And, 60 years later, LOTW and eQSL are today's "final courtesy of a 
QSO." It costs almost nothing to get started, and we pay a small fee 
when we use an LOTW confirmation for an award (a small fraction of the 
cost of postage).

A German ham wrote privately to me that

> argument against LotW is its requirement to send hardcopies of 
> realworld personal documents for foreign stations 

That is NOT true.  Here's a quote from the ARRL FAQ:

"Authentication for U.S. calls relies on a combination of the FCC 
license database and postal mail addresses. "

"Authentication for non-U.S. calls relies on photocopies of a radio 
license and an official identification document. The applicant initiates 
registration through a computer log program, which creates the digital 
signature keys that will be used for signing QSL records. Next, the 
operator (or logging program) sends a registration request to the 
Logbook Registration Server via the Internet, and the server generates a 
certificate. The applicant then sends a photocopy of his or her radio 
license, an official identification document, and a printout of certain 
digital signature key information to ARRL HQ via postal mail. When the 
documentation is received, an operator at ARRL HQ examines it and 
activates the certificate. The certificate is then sent to the applicant 
via the Internet."

That sounds pretty simple to me -- the DX station applies online, then 
mails photocopies of his license and some official identification 
document. Why don't US hams have to do that?  Because the FCC database 
is online, so ARRL can verify a US license by mailing a password to the 
license address.

73, Jim K9YC

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