ARRL "LOGBOOK OF THE WORLD" GOES LIVE!
- ARRL "LOGBOOK OF THE WORLD" GOES LIVE!
The long-awaited QSL-cardless ARRL awards and contact credit system
"Logbook of the World" (LoTW) officially opened for business this
Within its first five days of operation, the system--which is open to
all--already had attracted more than 1000 requests for a digital
certificate, the essential pass key to LoTW.
"Although Logbook of the World is a tremendous resource for hams
DXCC, VHF/UHF Century Club (VUCC), Worked All States (WAS) and other
awards, we hope it will appeal to hams who are not currently active in
these awards programs," said ARRL Chief Operating Officer Mark Wilson,
K1RO. "The proliferation of logging software has stimulated activity
interest in contesting, and submitting log data and verifying award
credits online is a logical next step."
Data integrity has been a watchword of the LoTW since the project's
conception, and that starts with a digital certificate. Obtaining a
digital certificate involves a combination of on-line filing and good
old-fashioned snail mail. The first step is to visit the ARRL Logbook
the World Web page <http://www.arrl.org/lotw>, download the LoTW
and request a digital certificate that ties the participant's
a digital key.
"We will need to verify you are who you say you are," ARRL Membership
Services Manager Wayne Mills, N7NG, explains. "The security of the
system depends heavily on the method used for verifying the user's
identity." This first step is called authentication. Everyone who
use LoTW first must obtain a digital certificate. There are no
For US amateurs, this process relies on your mailing address in the
database, which must be current.
For non-US amateurs, authentication will rely on other documentation,
primarily a copy of the participant's Amateur Radio license and
official identifying document. Mail these copies to ARRL, Logbook of
World Administrator, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111 USA.
Assuming everything goes smoothly, US licensees requesting a digital
certificate soon will receive a postcard in the mail that contains a
password."The first batch of postcards has been mailed, and some
have uploaded their passwords," Wilson said. "Those will be checked,
the first batch of digital certificates should be e-mailed to users
Users then should go to the LoTW Web site and enter the password to
complete the processing of their certificate request. Once the
has been entered, the digital certificate will be e-mailed within a
working day or two. Non-US stations will receive their digital
certificates via e-mail once their documentation has been received at
Headquarters and authenticated.
Participants will use their digital certificates to "sign" and upload
either Amateur Data Interchange Format (ADIF) or Cabrillo-formatted
Participants also may use their primary digital certificates to obtain
additional certificates necessary to submit log data and obtain award
credit for contacts made under formerly held call signs.
At the heart of the Logbook of the World concept will be a huge
of log data provided by operators--from individual DXers and
major DXpeditions--and maintained by ARRL. Mills says the system will
benefit big and little guns alike by providing quick QSO credit for
ARRL-sponsored awards, especially DXCC.
Obtaining a digital certificate and uploading log data are free of
There will be a per-QSO charge for each contact credit used, but Mills
expects it will be much less than the typical costs involved with
exchanging paper QSL cards. When you use an LoTW confirmation for an
credit, the fee will be added to your account and shown in the user's
record. The user will be able to pay for these charges on-line using a
Mills' article, "Introducing Logbook of the World," appears in the
issue of QST. LoTW news and announcements will be posted to the
the World Web site <http://www.arrl.org/lotw/>.
Wilson commended ARRL Web and Software Development Department Manager
Bloom, KE3Z, and the other contributors to the project "for their
dedication and hard work that made Logbook a reality."
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 22, No. 37
September 19, 2003