Topband: LOTW Participation

Eddy Swynar deswynar at
Fri Feb 17 06:16:28 PST 2012

On 2012-02-16, at 9:25 PM, Jeff wrote:

> " we can get those coveted awards we all like."

Hi Jeff et al,

I certainly have nothing against LotW, or the folks who swear by it. It is the "coming thing" IMHO, and given time will surely render hardcopy QSLs a place atop the scrap heap of Ham radio history that includes such quaint novelties as spark transmissions, cat's whisker detectors, separate transmitter-receivers, etc. etc.

Personally, however---despite its many obvious advantages---I want no part of it. I enjoy the look & feel of an honest-to-goodness QSL card in my hands, & even after 41 years in the game, I still thrill at the prospect of opening up that  fresh bundle of cards that might await me in my mail box from the QSL bureau. 

Look at this way: LotW caters especially to the awards-seeking crowd, correct? Instant gratification! Great! But what if the ARRL, and others, was to suddenly announce that they'd no longer issue hard copy certificates---"virtual awards" only, viewable on-line...? I wonder if that might cool one's enthusiasm for ANY paper-chasing. We now have virtual QSL cards---can virtual awards be far behind...?

So many objects of desire in to-day's society anymore seem to be reduced to fleeting collections of electrons visible on a computer screen: turn the power off, the objects are gone. Yet real, paper QSLs are actual things that can easily outlive our own stay in this place & time---I liken them to leaving proverbial footprints in the sands of time. Long after MY own "...collection of BIOLOGICAL electrons" ceases to function & disappears, my hard copy cards & certificates, for better or worse, of relevance or none, will remain, testament at least to the fact that at one time I really & truly was here...

Somehow I just don't think the virtual world of eQSLs & LotW will work quite the same way...

~73~ de Eddy VE3CUI - VE3XZ

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