Friday, December 9, 2011

TI2/NA7U now on LoTW

At long last, after a few attempts, I've managed to get LoTW approval for TI2/NA7U. I've already uploaded one log that covers up to 11/20/2011 for this year.

Previously, the process hit a snag because of the unsettled regulatory situation here in Costa Rica. A couple of years ago the authority for ham radio licensing was transferred from a defunct agency to SUTEL, which, like the FCC, is responsible for all telecommunications areas in the country. Ham radio is low on their priority list and new regulations have been long in coming and it will probably be a couple more years before this is resolved. In the meantime, there has been an official ruling in place for a year or two that states that N.A. hams may operate here with the appropriate TI prefix without any application or documentation other than their valid home country license.

That wasn't good enough for the ARRL, however, until recently. They now allow LoTW status for TI*/ calls with no further documentation other than a certificate signed by my already authenticated home call. Hallelujah!



No more need be said on that topic now. As for LoTW itself, my editorial opinion is that they have made the entire process far more complicated than it needs to be. In this day and age there needn't be any dependency on client software applications to instill confidence in the authenticity of hams' submitted logs. Passwords should be quite enough. Their site could enforce high password standards and require changing of passwords on a regular basis if they want to be more secure than, say, eQSL. I mean, that's a good enough scheme for my online banking. There's a far greater chance that someone wants to get their hands on my money on-line than my QSLs.

I realize that contestors take the hobby (and I sometimes think people forget it is just a hobby) more seriously and to them a perceived  higher degree of integrity gives them the warm fuzzies. For the average ham looking for WAS, DXCC, etc. this extra complexity is just unnecessary. We know what we accomplished. We don't need a nanny to force us through hoops to verify that.

Perhaps the ARRL will look at their own numbers (see left) to understand that the uptake of their system looks like it is suffering (only a fraction of QSOs turning into QSLs) and that it could be because they've made the bar too high. I wish I had the comparable numbers for eQSL.

2 comments:

  1. Congratulations on finally convincing the ARRL that your operations are legit. As you know, I had the same issue and they finally relented. I'm glad to see that others are also finally being allowed to upload their logs as well.

    73,
    David, (TI7/)K2DBK

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well that is very good news and I know you have been working on that for some time now. Funny how the ARRL feels they are the be all and end all.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks very much for your comment! 73, Casey

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