Logbook of the World
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Logbook of the World - FAQ

About Logbook of the World

  • Welcome
  • Introduction
  • Start Here — LoTW Main Page
  • Troubleshooting and Help
  • FAQ
  • Required Documentation
  • Renewing Your Certificates
  • Fees
  • Applying DXCC Credits
  • Privacy Policy
  •  

    1. General Information About LoTW

    How do I get started?

    Print out and read "Getting Started" (PDF).

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    How much does it cost to use Logbook of the World?

     

    There is no charge for digital certificates or for submitting log data to the LoTW system. A charge is levied only when you apply for an award using QSL matches obtained via LoTW. (Note that there's a charge for awards no matter how you apply for them).

    The specific fees charged for using Logbook data for awards vary depending on how many credits you buy at one time. See the Fees page for details.

     

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    Is LoTW going to produce QSLs like EQSL.cc?

     

    No. Logbook of the World is initially designed to create awards credit, that is to say, that if your QSO matches that of another station, either you or the other operator may be able to apply that confirmed QSO to various awards. Creating an image based in-part on the QSO information for the purpose of making a file that can be printed, or creating a QSL card, is not presently part of LoTW. There are other services available that can do that. LoTW goes a step or two beyond the conception of a QSL card (which is essentially a one-sided request for a confirmation from the other side of the QSO) by verifying that a QSO occurred between two stations, based on the 'signed' data submitted by each.

     

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    How do you prevent false data from entering the system? (Why do I have to have a digital certificate to use LoTW?)

     

    The digital signatures used for the Logbook of the World system ensure that every QSO record can be traced to the participant who submitted it. The signature cannot be forged and the QSO data cannot be altered without detection. In order for participants to have confidence in an electronic QSL system, they must be assured that each confirmation submitted to the system is authentic -- that it comes from the true owner of the associated call.

     

    Until recently, such assurance would have been impossible. However, with the advent of digital signature technology, it is now possible for an amateur radio operator to indelibly mark QSO data with a signature connected to his/her call. The signature cannot be forged and the signed data cannot be changed without detection. The technology used for digital signatures is called Public Key Infrastructure or PKI. It relies on a pair of mathematically related numbers. One of the numbers is called the public key, which can be published, and the other is called the private key, which is kept secret.

     

    However, in order for digital signatures to be trusted, we must be sure of the identity of each person to whom a key pair is assigned. The security of the entire system boils down to the methodology used for proving identity and assigning the keys. This process is called Authentication.

     

    Logbook of the World uses two methods for authenticating the identity of participants, one for U.S. calls and one for non-U.S. calls.

     

    Authentication for U.S. calls relies on a combination of the FCC license database and postal mail addresses. The applicant initiates registration through a computer program. First, the program creates the keys that will be used for digitally signing QSL records. Then the log program sends a registration request to the Logbook Registration Server via the Internet. The server looks up the applicant's name and call in the FCC license database to verify that they are valid. The server then generates an identification record, called a certificate, and a unique activation password. The password is written to a postcard, along with the call sign owner's name and address from the FCC license database. The postcard is mailed to the applicant. When the applicant receives the postcard, he or she enters the password at the LoTW website, (or, eventually, into the appropriate space in a logging program which then sends it to the server via the Internet). The server activates the certificate and sends it back to the applicant via the Internet. The address in the FCC database and the security of the postal mail system identify the owner of the call and ensure that the certificate is issued to the right person.

     

    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.

     

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    I know someone is submitting false data. What should I do?

     

    Please contact LoTW administration at lotw-help@arrl.org.

     

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    How do DXpeditioners participate? Who submits the log?

     

    While we hope everyone will use and enjoy Logbook of the World as it unfolds in the future, we realize that there will be those who do not, or cannot use it. ARRL will always accept traditional QSL cards for its awards using the same applications and methods now in place. We anticipate the nature of QSLing and associated parts of the DXing and awards hunting worlds to change a bit however. DXpeditions, although they are already experiencing changes in how they fund themselves, will find a great deal of advantage to using LoTW, and perhaps a bit of a disadvantage if they are relying on contributions to come with traditional QSL requests. We are confident that everyone will find the best way to make use of this new technology for all. Certainly the average DXer, contester, and awards hunter is going to enjoy the reduced cost of QSLing and achieving awards.

     

    Any club group, or DXpedition that shares a call sign will need to designate someone to take care of providing documentation if necessary, obtaining a certificate, and signing and sending log data to LoTW.

     

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    Do I have to be an ARRL member to use LoTW?

     

    No. Anyone can submit log data to LoTW. U.S. Amateurs must be ARRL members to obtain DXCC, WAS, or VUCC awards. Amateurs residing outside the U.S. can participate in any awards.

     

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    If I operate from a DXCC entity where the ARRL DXCC desk needs documentation, at what point in the start-up process do I send that in?

     

    When you submit a request for a certificate, if documentation is required (as it is for all stations outside the United States applying for a certificate for their home call) a message will be returned that includes the following text:

    2003-09-18 13:57:46 Your certificate request is accepted and awaiting further processing.
    2003-09-18 13:57:46 You must mail in (via postal mail) supporting documentation to complete the request.
    2003-09-18 13:57:46 Details about what to send and where to send it can be found at:
    2003-09-18 13:57:46 http://www.arrl.org/lotw/
    2003-09-18 13:57:46   Your certificate request processing is completed.
    

    Allowable documentation includes a copy of your license and a copy of one other official item, like a driver's license or passport. If you do not have either of those and would like to use something else, or have questions about what to use, write lotw-help@arrl.org. Documentation requirements can be found at https://p1k.arrl.org/lotw/docreq.

     

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    Do I have to submit my contest log to both the contest robot and to LoTW?

     

    Yes. The contest robot takes only Cabrillo files, which are not suitable for direct submission to LoTW, and the LoTW files do not contain the necessary contest information. Therefore, submission of contest logs to LoTW must be done separately from submissions to the robot. (Note that the TQSL utility will convert a Cabrillo contest log file to the form needed for LoTW.)

     

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    Where do I get the software?

     

    There is no charge for downloading the software http://www.arrl.org/lotw/#download

     

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    What is "Trusted QSL?"

     

    TrustedQSL is a specification for digitally signed QSO records. It is the format used to submit QSO data to LoTW. See http://www.trustedqsl.org/.

     

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    Why does my personal security scanning software identify a file in TrustedQSL as potential spyware?

     

    The file libexpat.dll that is included in the Windows version of TrustedQSL is misidentified by some security programs as a tool for collecting personal information. In fact, it is simply the expat library for reading XML document files such as the configuration files used in TrustedQSL. It has no ability to capture or send personal information or attack your computer in any way.

     

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    2. Basic Questions

    What software and hardware do I need?

     

    Anyone can submit data to LoTW as long as they have received a digital certificate from ARRL. LoTW will accept signed logs in either the ADIF (amateur data interchange format) or Cabrillo (contest log output) formats. The signing process is a mathematical operation that will be more quickly accomplished on a computer with a modern, fast processor. Older computers will work, but they will be slower. At a minimum, users will need to download TQSL and TQSL Cert (the TQSL acronym is from the work of Darryl Wagoner, WA1GON, who assisted the LoTW project and stands for "Trusted QSL"), two programs freely available from ARRL for PCs that will allow one to request certificates and sign logs. At present one needs to use a computer with Windows or Linux operating systems to use TQSL and TQSL Cert. We expect similar Macintosh software to eventually be available. Most operators will want to buy commercial logging software that incorporates interfaces with TQSL and should make the whole process more simple and powerful. A free software library has been made available to developers for use in their programs (see http://www.arrl.org/lotw/DeveloperIntro.pdf). Access to an Internet connection is important in order to email the signed logs.

     

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    Do I need to send a copy of my license to ARRL?

     

    If you are submitting a request for a primary certificate for your home call from the U.S., NO you do not need to send a license copy.

     

    If you are submitting a request for a primary certificate from a callsign that is not a U.S. callsign, YES you have to submit a copy of your license, and one other official identifying document.

     

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    Do I need to be a member of ARRL to submit data?

     

    Anyone may submit log data to LoTW regardless of membership in ARRL. Membership in ARRL carries its own advantages, but does give reduced prices on some ARRL products and awards. U.S. Amateurs must be ARRL members to obtain DXCC, WAS, and VUCC awards

     

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    Do I have to have access to the WWW or email?

     

    Yes. At present you must have email access. Once you've received your digital certificate, you may choose to use email or the Web site to submit log data and to apply for additional digital certificates as needed. Viewing your LoTW log data and QSLs can be done only via the Web.

     

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    I receive an error message saying my postal address in my certificate request doesn't match FCC records. What should I do?

     

    For US call signs, the mailing address you enter must agree with the address in the FCC database. LoTW requires that your address MUST match the FCC database. You can read about how to update your FCC license data here http://www.arrl.org/fcc/forms.html as well as request forms or assistance from ARRL.

     

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    I submitted a request for a password but never received it -- now what?

     

    Within two days you should have received an acknowledgement message from LoTW saying that you're request was received. If your email and Internet Service are working properly, try sending your file once again to lotw-logs@arrl.org. Make sure you emailed the request to lotw-logs@arrl.org. You can also upload the file at https://www.arrl.org/lotw/. The initial response to emailed requests is sent to the return address of the email message you sent, so be sure your email program is putting the proper return address on your outgoing email messages. If once again you do not receive an acknowledgement from LoTW, send a message to lotw-help@arrl.org asking for assistance.

     

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    I received a response to my certificate request telling me my certificate would be sent separately but I never got it.

     

    The certificate will be sent to the email address that is in the certificate request, not the return address of the email message. (See the TQSLCert help file's cetrtificate request help.)

    Allow up to two working days for a response, in case your request requires manual intervention at HQ. If you have received no response after two days, contact the Logbook administrator at lotw-help@arrl.org for assistance.

     

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    My password doesn't work -- what's wrong?

     

    U.S. stations will receive passwords via the postal mail. These passwords are printed on a postcard, and are used to activate your certificate via https://www.arrl.org/lotw/. Non-U.S. stations will receive their passwords via email. In either case please verify that you are correctly reading and entering the password. If you cannot read the password, please send a help request to lotw-help@arrl.org. We will either send another postcard or another email.

     

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    I lost the postcard with my password.

     

    If you have lost your postcard, or the postcard never arrived, you may send an email to lotw-help@arrl.org, or call 860-594-0206 and ask for a new postcard to be sent. We will not reveal the password over the telephone. The postcard must be sent to the address listed with the FCC for your callsign.

     

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    I tried to go to the Logbook Data Web Site but it wants a password.

     

    The email message containing your digital certificate also contains your username and password to log into the Logbook Data Web site. Note that this is different from your ARRL Web site members-only username and password!

     

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    Can I use more than one computer?

     

    Yes. Use the TQSLCert Certificate menu's Save command to export a certificate to a PKCS#12 file and then copy the file to a floppy disk. Then on the second computer, run TQSLCert and use the File menu's Load Certificate File command to load the PKCS#12 file from the floppy disk. The certificate will then be installed on the second computer, ready for use there. See the TQSLCert help file for more information.

     

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    I put the wrong dates on my certificate request, and I just discovered that. What should I do?

     

    After you receive and load your certificate (double-clicked and installed the .tq6 file) changing the QSO date range is handled by Certificate/Renew. Open TQSLCert, click on the certificate with the wrong dates, and then click on the Certificate drop-down menu, select Renew Certificate to create a new certificate request. DO NOT DELETE YOUR OLD CERTIFICATE. Make sure to enter the correct date range. You will then see your original certificate icon, and new icon with a red bar through it. After you send this certificate renewal request to lotw-logs@arrl.org you will receive another .tq6 file to install. Install it as you did the first time (usually just double-click on the attached file). The certificate with the red bar will disappear. If you need assistance send a note to lotw-help@arrl.org.

     

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    I think the TQSL and/or TQSLCert program is broken.

     

    Submit bug reports to lotw-help@arrl.org.

     

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    3. Call Sign Issues

    I have an old callsign or two, and I would like to enter logs for those calls into LoTW also. How do I do that?

     

    This is one of the most common questions fielded by the LoTW staff. The first concept to remember is that each and every different callsign must have its own certificate. Every LoTW participant should obtain a certificate for his/her primary callsign -- that is, for the callsign that is presently being used in the place where the applicant lives most of the time. Do not request certificates for additional callsigns until you have received your certificate for your primary callsign. Once you have received that first certificate for your primary call, you can then request additional certificates for your other calls. You should use the primary certificate to sign each additional request. The TQSLCert program will prompt you to sign those requests and it is strongly recommended that you do so. Signing the requests allows the LoTW website to easily group together all of the QSOs made under your various callsigns for your viewing pleasure.

     

    LoTW checks the FCC database for existing callsigns for U.S. applicants, so that is why you cannot initially request a certificate for your old callsign, which probably isn't in the database (or your old call has been reissued to someone else, and the data won't match for your name or address).

    Stations outside the U.S. also should begin by asking for a certificate for primary callsigns. After the first certificate for the present callsign is received, then each subsequent request for certificates for old calls should be signed with the present/primary callsign's certificate. LoTW will then be able to keep all the data from old callsigns together with the present callsign's logs in an orderly fashion.

     

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    How do I complete the QSO date ranges on the certificate request for my present callsign?

     

    The beginning date for the certificate should either be the issue date of the first license for your call (some calls/licenses have been renewed many times) or the first date of QSOs made with that call. The ending date should be left blank. Certificates will expire after three years and will be easily renewed.

     

    Do not guess on the dates for any callsign on any certificate! Some calls have been used more than once, and some have been used many times. LoTW will only issue one certificate per callsign for any given date. If someone attempts to obtain a certificate for a call that includes a date that is already being used on another certificate (e.g,. a contest call like VP5B that is issued over and over to different people), the request will be rejected. If you believe that someone has incorrectly dated a certificate, please send a note to lotw-help@arrl.org.

     

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    How do I complete the QSO date ranges on the certificate request for my old callsign?

     

    The beginning date for the certificate should either be the starting date of the first license for that call (some calls/licenses have been renewed many times) or the first date of QSOs made with that call. The ending date should be the last date that QSOs were made with the call.

     

    Do not guess on the dates for any certificate! Some calls have been used more than once, and some have been used many times. LoTW will only issue one certificate per callsign for any given date. If someone attempts to obtain a certificate for a call that includes a date that is already being used on another certificate (e.g,. a contest call like VP5B that is issued over and over to different people), the request will be rejected. If you believe that someone has incorrectly dated a certificate, please send a note to lotw-help@arrl.org.

     

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    I operated from a place where no additional license is required (CEPT -- i.e., F/NT1N) -- what do I need to submit for authentication?

     

    In most cases you cannot get a certificate for a portable call without first getting a certificate for your primary call. After receiving the certificate for your primary call, simply follow the instructions for obtaining a certificate for additional calls. LoTW is programmed to recognize reciprocal operating agreements where known, including the countries participating in the CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administration) agreement, and the IARP (International Amateur Radio Permit) Convention. In most cases it will not be necessary to supply additional documentation to obtain a certificate. However, some DXCC countries that fall within CEPT, such as Crozet Island (FT5W) will require typical DXCC supporting documentation.

     

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    Someone else has been issued my old callsign. I would like to submit logs for that old call to LoTW. How can I do that?

     

    Assuming that you have received a certificate for your present callsign, this is a simple problem. You can request a certificate for your old call using TQSL Cert but you must be sure that the beginning date for the certificate is either be the starting date of the first license for that call (some calls/licenses have been renewed many times) or the first date of QSOs made with that call. The ending date should be the last date that QSOs were made with the call.

     

    Do not guess on the dates for any certificate! Some calls have been used more than once, and some have been used many times. LoTW will only issue one certificate per callsign for any given date. If someone attempts to obtain a certificate that includes a date that is already being used on another certificate for that call (i.e.,. a contest call like VP5B that is issued over and over to different people), the request will be rejected. If you believe that someone has incorrectly dated a certificate, please send a note to lotw-help@arrl.org.

     

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    I am trying to get a certificate for my present U.S. call, which begins with an A (like AA9AK). When I submit the request I receive back a message from LoTW that says the request has date errors. How do I fix that?

     

    This error usually occurs because someone has requested a certificate for a call that has an invalid start date. The U.S. did not regularly issue calls beginning with "A" until after 1976. If you have entered a start date before 1976, the certificate cannot be issued. Make sure you have either entered the actual start date for the first QSO you made with your "A" call, or the exact issue date of the first license for that call.

     

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    I used the same call from several different locations in the same DXCC entity -- I didn't sign portable. Do I need a separate certificate for each location?

     

    No. In TQSL you can create as many different station locations (the QTH from where you operated) as you need. You will need to consolidate those QSOs from each different location, however. Once you have parsed your log correctly, you then sign those log extracts with your primary certificate, but make sure you select the correct station location for that particular log extract. Be sure to give each station location a different name.

     

    If you signed with a portable, such as NT1N/6, or NT1N/R, you should obtain a separate certificate for those calls. Remember, those stations who worked you as NT1N/6 will not get a match to their data if you sign your NT1N/6 log with your NT1N certificate -- each QSO you submit will be tagged with NT1N instead of the correct NT1N/6.

     

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    I changed my call -- do I need another certificate? Can I still access my old data?

     

    Yes. You can continue to access your old data records with your existing password. When you request a certificate for the new call, make sure to sign the request with the certificate for your previous call so that all your records will continue to be tied together.

     

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    I have another callsign in a different country, what do I need to do to get a certificate?

    If you have a certificate for your primary call, you can create a certificate request for the your other call just like you would for a club call or an old call. The beginning date for the certificate should either be the starting date of the first license for that call (some calls/licenses have been renewed many times) or the first date of QSOs made with that call. The ending date should be the last date that QSOs were made with the call, or it should left blank if you still hold that call. When asked to sign the request you should do so using the certificate for your primary call. After you successfully send this request to lotw-logs@arrl.org you will receive a message in return that will ask for additional documentation if it is needed.

    Do not guess on the dates for any certificate! Some calls have been used more than once, and some have been used many times. LoTW will only issue one certificate per call sign for any given date. If someone attempts to obtain a certificate for a call that includes a date that is already being used on another certificate (e.g,. a contest call like VP5B that is issued over and over to different people), the request will be rejected. If you believe that someone has incorrectly dated a certificate, please send a note to lotw-help@arrl.org.

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    I am a QSL Manager. Do I need to have separate certificates for each call I manage? Are there other requirements for me and my client(s)?

     

    Yes. QSL managers and their clients will have to show the LoTW administrator proof that the authority to participate in LoTW has been granted. A client station owner/operator who resides permanently outside the United States, should submit a note of permission, a license copy, and a copy of one other official document, via postal mail to the LoTW Administrator, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111, USA. This note should specifically authorize the QSL manager to participate in LoTW. This situation will be relevant when the client station does not choose to participate in LoTW himself, i.e., he does not want to obtain a certificate and send the logs to LoTW directly.

    QSL managers for temporary stations, or DXpedition stations, will have to submit the normal license and other necessary documentation via the postal mail to the LoTW Administrator after they apply for a certificate for the managed call. The QSL Manager should have previously obtained a certificate for his primary call.

     

    There may be other important issues with regard to QSL managers and LoTW, so feel free to write lotw-help@arrl.org with any questions.

     

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    How do I get a certificate for a club call?

    In order to keep club records separate from your own, you should submit an unsigned request for each club callsign. Although the TQSLCert program will prompt you to sign those requests with an existing certificate, if you have one, it is strongly recommended that you do not do so. Once the request is accepted, a postcard will be sent to the FCC-listed mailing address for the trustee of the club. If you are not the trustee, the trustee will have to make arrangements to give you the postcard.

    4. Troubleshooting

    (TQSLCert) Will not accept private key when trying to sign a certificate request or save a certificate via Certificate/Save.

     

    Solution: Ensure that you are using V1.07 or later of TQSLCert. (Use the Help/About menu item to find out what version you have.)

     

    If you are using V1.07 or later, be sure the password you are typing in is the one you assigned to the private key – which must be entered exactly as it was when you assigned it, including paying attention to upper/lower case. (The password of the private key is assigned when you create a certificate request or when you load the certificate and key from a .p12 file.)

     

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    (TQSLCert) "System error: <filename>....: No such file or directory"

     

    In TQSLCert, when trying to load a .tq6 (certificate) file you get this error where the file name is something like:

     

    On Windows:
    C:\WINNT\<username>\Application Data/TrustedQSL/keys/<callsign>
    C:\WINDOWS\PROFILES\<username>\Application Data/TrustedQSL/keys/<callsign>
    C:\WINDOWS\ApplicationData/TrustedQSL/keys/<callsign>

     

    On Linux:
    /.tqsl/keys/<callsign>

     

    Each .tq6 file must match the unique private key of the certificate request that was sent in a .tq5 file. This error message indicates that the matching private key cannot be found. (Most likely you won't see the certificate in TQSLCert's main window, either.) There are several possible causes for this:

     

    1) You are logged into the computer under a different user name than you were when you created the certificate request.

     

    Solution: Log out, then log in as the same user you were logged in as when you created the certificate request.

     

    2) You are trying to load the .tq6 file into a different computer from the one you used to create the certificate request.

     

    Solution: Load the .tq6 file into the computer you used for the initial request.

     

    In either case, you can then use the Certificate menu's Save command to save the certificate to a .p12 file that can be used to copy the certificate to the other computer or user account.

     

    3) Your private key file has somehow been deleted. If you saved your private key in a .p12 file using the Certificate menu's Save command, you can load the key from the .p12 file via the File menu Load Certificate File command to recover the key. If not, you have little choice but to create a new certificate request.

     

    4) You are attempting to load a .tq6 file for a certificate that you did not request. This simply won't work. Each .tq6 file has to match the unique private key of the certificate request that requested it.

     

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    (TQSLCert) "Certificate or private key not found."

     

    Each .tq6 file must match the unique private key of the certificate request that was sent in a .tq5 file. This error message indicates that the matching private key could not be found for a certificate or vice versa. Most often, this is encountered when trying to load a .tq6 file for which the corresponding private key has been deleted. If you deleted the matching certificate request, you will be unable to load the certificate's .tq6 file.

     

    Solution: If you saved the private key to a .p12 file, you can load the key from the .p12 file via the File menu Load Certificate File command to recover the key. If not, you have little choice but to create a new certificate request.

     

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    (TQSL) "Certificate QSO date out of range on line nnn"

     

    Each certificate has an associated range of dates for QSOs it can be used to sign. This date range was established by you when you requested the certificate in TQSLCert. This error message indicates that the input log file you are trying to sign contains a record with a QSO date that does not match the date range of the available certificate.

     

    Solution: If the certificate date range is correct, you can simply ignore such errors. Or you can use the QSO Date Range dialog that appears during signing to limit the signing operation to a range of dates that matches your certificate, eliminating the error messages.

     

    If your certificate's date range is incorrect, you can request a renewal certificate with a corrected date range.

     

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    5. My Logging Program

    Can I use this to confirm SWL reports?

     

    No. Only amateur call signs are accepted, and the log entries from both sides of a QSO must be entered to achieve a confirmation.

     

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    What logging programs can I use?

     

    You can use any logging program. LoTW will only accept logs that are in ADIF format, or Cabrillo format (usually only used with contest logs). Most commercial logging programs can output these file formats.

     

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    Does ARRL offer a stand-alone program for LoTW submission?

     

    Yes. The TQSL utility can be used to generate ADIF files that can then be converted to LoTW submission files. Note that this is a rudimentary ADIF editor, useful for small amounts of data only. To handle large amounts of log data, a good logging program is a better choice

     

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    How do my rover logs and their associated grid squares or other geographical data stay associated in LoTW?

     

    You can submit multiple logs into LoTW, i.e., logs from each grid in which you operated, as long as you used the same callsign. In TQSL you can create as many different station locations (the QTH from where you operated) as you need. You will need to consolidate those QSOs from each different location, however. Once you have parsed your log correctly, you then sign those log extracts with your primary certificate, but make sure you select the correct station location for that particular log extract.

     

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    Can I convert my contest logs for LoTW? I don't care about general logging, but I want to submit my logs so as to not worry about QSLing.

     

    LoTW accepts contest logs that are in Cabrillo format as long as they are signed with your certificate -- which means the log must be sent both to the contest sponsor and again to LoTW.

     

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    How do I send my log data from previous years?

     

    You can submit any log as a signed ADIF file. Many people will decide to type their old logs into a good logging program in order to put those logs into the LoTW system. Remember to take into account any call changes in your history! In other words, don't submit QSOs made with multiple calls all in the same file, all signed with your present call's certificate. (If you do, they'll all be entered under your present call and won't match the entries made by the stations you worked.)

     

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    Can I send my log on a diskette or CD-ROM to LoTW instead of via email?

     

    Perhaps. Please contact the LoTW Administrator at lotw-help@arrl.org, or via mail at 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111.

     

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    How do I manage my log data?

    As you get going with the fun process of sending log files to LoTW, you will quickly realize that you need to come up with a naming convention for the files that keeps them all straight. As the commercial logging programs eventually come-out with support for LoTW, the process of creating and sending log data will get easier. In the meantime, it will be useful to create logs that have a date in the file name, such as NT1N031001.adi, which means the NT1N log with QSOs through October 1, 2003. As you add more QSOs to your log, you will then have to decide how best to send in that additional data without sending-in duplicate data. Please do not send duplicate data.

    The easiest way to separate the new data from your overall ADIF log file is to bring the file into a word processor, delete the data that was already sent, and save the new data into a new file, such as NT1N031101,.adi, or, all the QSOs made between October and November 2003, etc. Again, this process will eventually be made simpler through innovations made by the various logging program companies.

    Another option is to use TQSL to separate your data. You have already noticed that when you sign a log file, you are asked to specify a date range of QSOs for the program to sign. If you have your entire log file ready to be signed (QSOs from say, October 1, 1999 until today) you can at this point tell TQSL to sign only the QSOs between 2003-10-01 (October 1, 2003) until 2003-10-31 (October 31, 2003). The rest of the log will be ignored and the new data will be signed and saved to the file name you specify.

     

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    6. Using/Accessing My Data at LoTW

    How can I review the data I've submitted and check for matches?

     

    The Logbook Data Web site will provide the tools to do that. You must log into the site using the username and password that are contained in the email message you received with your digital certificate.

     

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    What constitutes a QSO "match?"

    To match, the two QSO records (yours and the other station's) must have:

    In addition, if the QSO is a satellite QSO (indicated by the propagation mode):

    and if the QSO is a nonsatellite QSO:

    (Note: When RX band is not supplied in the QSO record it is set to the band value.)

    Each QSO can match one and only one other QSO. If there are multiple QSOs that could potentially match, one will be selected as the matching QSO. (There might be more than one potential matching QSO if, for example, you worked the same station twice in a 30-minute time window using the same band and mode.)

    Each supported award program may impose additional requirements on the matched QSO records in order to consider the "QSL" eligible for award credit.

     

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    Can I see if any of the stations I worked have submitted their log data?

     

    Yes, once you log onto the Logbook User site, use the Find Call menu item.

     

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    I see that a station for which I need to confirm a contact has submitted his log, but I'm not there -- now what?

     

    LoTW staff will not be able to supply any further information in this circumstance. You will have to take up the issue with the station in question directly.

     

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    I didn't receive an email confirmation for the data I sent to LoTW.

     

    Please verify that your email and ISP are working correctly. If after 2 days you still have not received a response, you may try uploading the same log data via the Web interface. If you still cannot send your data, please contact us at lotw-help@arrl.org.

     

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    Can I delete data that I sent previously?

     

    No. Data that is erroneous such that the record won't match the other participant's submission isn't a problem. Other data (your station location information) can be replaced by resubmitting the QSO record with a corrected station location. If you want to change all the QSO times, for example, and resubmit them, that will work fine for essentially "replacing" the information in LoTW.

     

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    I don't want anyone else to be able to view my QSO data -- can this happen?

     

    No one can see your data except you and the Logbook administrators at ARRL. The password you enter to gain access to the Web site is the control for your data.

     

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    7. Receiving Award(s) Credit(s)

    How can I check to see what credits I have now?

     

    You might ask "how am I going to receive awards credit when LoTW gets going?" Look for links on the LoTW data website that show you what countries or states you have confirmed in the system (we will get started first with DXCC and WAS initially, and add more awards later) and follow the directions to select the ones which you would like credited. This function is going to change after new software is written for HQ's DXCC system, and interfacing software is created for it and other awards. We anticipate supporting many awards, creating some new ones, and eventually presenting "standings" nearly real time on the web. DXCC members will eventually gain on-line access to their records so they can see their credits, and work on more. But, this all takes time and money, and LoTW is being paid for by ARRL members. Everyone is invited to submit data -- LoTW wants all logs! There will be no charge for submitting logs. Whenever someone decides to use a LoTW credit for confirmation, there will be a small, per/QSO fee that will be added to an account and shown within a user's record. At the end of an "ordering session" the user will be able to pay for his charges with a credit card. You will be able to order certificates and plaques online as well.

     

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    What awards are supported by LoTW?

    To be determined. All ARRL-sponsored/administered awards, including DXCC, WAS, VUCC, and WAC will be among the first to receive support from LoTW.

     

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    8. Miscellaneous

    I changed my email address -- any issues?

     

    No, but you should update your account settings on the LoTW User site. We'll send a renewal notice to the email address you specify on that site when your certificate nears its expiration date.

     

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    How often do I renew my certificate?

     

    Your certificate is good for three years. You may renew your certificate at any time, but you must renew it every three years. We will send you a reminder email approximately one month before the certificate expires. Renewing a certificate doesn't require any additional authentication -- postcards or documentation. The process is normally completely automatic. Use the TQSLCert Certificate menu's Renew Certificate command to renew your certificate.

     

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    Why do our certificates have to expire?

     

    Part of the overall plan for maintaining the security and integrity of LoTW involves renewing digital certificates.

     

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    What are all of these passwords for?

    There are up to four passwords that may be associated with a single callsign. The short answer to "why so many?" is that each password protects a different aspect of the LoTW system.

    The first password you will deal with is one that you create. It protects your Private Key. You create this password when you create your certificate request for your primary call. It can be any number of characters, and it is case sensitive. Be sure if you use mixed capital letters and small letters that you write this password down exactly as you create it. You must keep track of this password because it is the most important part of the LoTW system. It is used to sign your log data, request additional certificates, and make back-up copies of your certificate for safekeeping or for use on another computer. We will not know this password, and cannot tell you what it is. If you lose it and forget it, your certificate will become useless.

    The second password you will see is the 8-character password that comes to you on your postcard if you are in the U.S. Participants outside the U.S. will not get this postcard or password. For U.S. participants, you will need this password in the initial stage of setting-up LoTW when you go to the LoTW Page on the ARRL Web site and follow the link in the yellow box to go to the page where you enter the password (this tells us you received postal mail at the address listed with the FCC). Once you have successfully entered this password, you will not use this password again.

    The third password you will see in the body of the email containing your certificate. This email will also contain your username (usually your callsign, and sometimes your callsign with a number at the end). You will use your username and the password to access the Logbook User Web site. This is the only place you can use this password. Once you have gained access to this site you can change your password.

    The fourth password, if you choose to use it, is one you can create when you save/back-up your certificate (and private key) to a floppy disk (or another hard drive, or CD, etc.). Saving your certificate is something you absolutely need to do--both to serve as a back-up in case your computer crashes, or to use if you want to install the certificate on another computer (see Part 5 of Getting Started). In TQSLCert, click on the certificate in the certificate list to select it, then choose the Certificate menu's Save command. Before you save the certificate, you will be prompted to create a password that protects the private key that is saved on the floppy or other medium. It is not required to use/create this password. The idea behind this password is that if your floppy were ever lost or stolen, no one would be able to steal your private key from the floppy. After this stage, you will then be prompted to supply your Private Key password (the first, and most important password in LoTW), which is necessary to allow the program to save your private key with your certificate. Then you can save the certificate file and copy it to a floppy disk or other off-line medium.

     

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    My membership and certificate lapsed last year, do I have to have a new certificate?

     

    If you did not renew your certificate, yes, you will need to apply for a new one. Your ARRL membership is not tied in any way to LoTW.

     

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    My computer crashed.

    If you saved your certificates as p12 files then recovering from PC failure is a simple process:

    1. Open TQSLCERT
    2. Select FILE > LOAD CERTIFICATE FILE
    3. Select PKCS#12 (p12) as the file to load, then load your file.
    When finished you should have a gold ribbon certificate for your call. Load the p12 file for your current call first. Repeat the process for other p12 files that you may have for other calls that you manage.

    If you did not save p12 files then you will have to request a new certificate. See Getting Started for instructions on requesting a certificate.

     

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    Instead of paying on-line, may I telephone with my credit card info? Will you save credit card info?

     

    Yes, you may pay for LoTW award credits via the telephone. We will not save credit card information. More information on LoTW charges will be coming soon.

     

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    I forgot my password for my private key -- or, when I try to sign a log the program asks for a password, and I don't have it. What do I do?

     

    Your private key is created on your computer, and we do not know what it is. Nor do we know the password protecting your private key. If you cannot remember this password you will need a new certificate. Contact us at lotw-help@arrl.org.

     

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    What emission modes are supported by LoTW?

    LoTW supports the emission modes allowed by the ADIF specification with the exception of "ASCI" (ASCII is a character set, not an emission mode). Each mode is mapped into a MODE GROUP for purposes of matching QSOs. The modes currently allowed by LoTW are:

    ModeMode Group
    CWCW
    PHONEPHONE
    IMAGEIMAGE
    DATADATA
    AMPHONE
    FMPHONE
    SSBPHONE
    ATVIMAGE
    FAXIMAGE
    SSTVIMAGE
    AMTORDATA
    CHIPDATA
    CLOVERDATA
    CONTESTIDATA
    DOMINODATA
    FSK31DATA
    FSK441DATA
    GTORDATA
    HELLDATA
    HFSKDATA
    ISCATDATA
    JT4DATA
    JT65DATA
    JT6MDATA
    JT9DATA
    MFSK16DATA
    MFSK8DATA
    MINIRTTYDATA
    MT63DATA
    OLIVIADATA
    OPERADATA
    PACKETDATA
    PACTORDATA
    PAXDATA
    PSK10DATA
    PSK125DATA
    PSK2KDATA
    PSK31DATA
    PSK63DATA
    PSK63FDATA
    PSKAMDATA
    PSKFEC31DATA
    Q15DATA
    ROSDATA
    RTTYDATA
    RTTYMDATA
    THORDATA
    THROBDATA
    VOIDATA
    WINMORDATA
    WSPRDATA

    Note that the TQSL program can map the modes in an ADIF log file that aren't valid to modes that are valid via the File menu Preferences command (use the ADIF Modes tab).

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    What satellites are supported by LoTW?

    IDName
    AO-10AMSAT-OSCAR 10
    AO-13AMSAT-OSCAR 13
    AO-16AMSAT-OSCAR 16
    AO-21OSCAR 21/RS-14
    AO-27AMRAD-OSCAR 27
    AO-3AMSAT-OSCAR 3
    AO-4AMSAT-OSCAR 4
    AO-40AMSAT-OSCAR 40
    AO-51AMSAT-OSCAR 51
    AO-6AMSAT-OSCAR 6
    AO-7AMSAT-OSCAR 7
    AO-73AMSAT-OSCAR 73
    AO-8AMSAT-OSCAR 8
    ARISSARISS
    ArseneOSCAR 24
    DO-64Delfi OSCAR-64
    FO-12Fuji-OSCAR 12
    FO-20Fuji-OSCAR 20
    FO-29Fuji-OSCAR 29
    HO-68Hope Oscar 68
    LO-19Lusat-OSCAR 19
    NO-44Navy-OSCAR 44
    RS-1Radio Sputnik 1
    RS-10Radio Sputnik 10
    RS-11Radio Sputnik 11
    RS-12Radio Sputnik 12
    RS-13Radio Sputnik 13
    RS-15Radio Sputnik 15
    RS-2Radio Sputnik 2
    RS-5Radio Sputnik 5
    RS-6Radio Sputnik 6
    RS-7Radio Sputnik 7
    RS-8Radio Sputnik 8
    SO-35Sunsat-OSCAR 35
    SO-41Saudi-OSCAR 41
    SO-50Saudi-OSCAR 50
    SO-67Sumbandila Oscar 67
    UO-14UOSAT-OSCAR 14
    VO-52VUsat-OSCAR 52

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