LoTW - Logbook of The World

The ARRL's Logbook of the World is a system that allows stations to verify QSOs online without having to send QSL cards. For more information check the ARRL home page at www.arrl.org

LoTW Log Fields

There are two LoTW fields displayed as part of the "QSO/QSL Info" for each log record: LoTW Sent and LoTW Rcvd.

The LoTW Sent Field

So, how should the LoTW Sent field be used? Since setting this field does not affect any DXCC or WAS reports it isn't really necessary that you set it - it is only useful if you want to track your LoTW submissions to the ARRL.

Typically the first step in making an LoTW submission to the ARRL is to select a subset of your log and then create an ADIF file using the Import/Export ADIF File menu item. The resulting ADIF file is then submitted to the ARRL. When you create this ADIF file you can choose the Set LoTW Sent Field to Current Date option or the Set eQSL Sent Field to Current Date option. Setting these options will update the LoTW Sent (or eQSL Sent) field for all log entries that were included in the ADIF file.

The LoTW Rcvd Field

The LoTW Rcvd field can be set manually but is normally set by the Import/Apply LoTW Data to Log menu item.

For each LoTW record applied to your log the LoTW Rcvd field will be set to the value from the LoTW record. If the LoTW record does not contain a QSL Sent date the LoTW Rcvd field will be set to the current date.

Step 1: Downloading LoTW Data

The ARRL provides a web page that allows you to select records from the LoTW database and download them to your PC as an ADIF file. You can use this feature to retrieve your LoTW data or you can use the XMLog Import/Download and Validate LoTW Data menu item. To use this menu item you must enter your LoTW user ID and password. When you use XMLog to download LoTW data you can optionally provide a "posted since" date which restricts the downloaded entries to those that have been added to the ARRL LoTW database since the specified date - this feature allows you limit the retrieved records to those added since your previous download.

By default the downloaded ADIF files are saved in a folder named LoTW which is created in your XMLog install folder. Typical files created by XMLog would be:

After the data has been successfully downloaded a report will be produced that compares the downloaded LoTW QSO info against info in your current log. See the "Validating LoTW Data" section for details on this report.

Multiple Callsigns - Ignoring QSOs Made When Using Specific Callsigns

It is possible that a downloaded LoTW file will contain records that represent QSOs you've made using more than one callsign. Typically this is not a problem because these calls are previous calls you've held and the QSOs matching these LoTW records will be found in your log file.

However, it is possible that QSOs made using some of these calls are not in your log file. To handle this case XMLog allows you to ignore those QSOs. Whenever you choose the Validate LoTW Data or the Apply LoTW Data to Log menu items and XMLog discovers that more than one callsign was used a list of the callsigns will be displayed. At this point you can "un-select" the appropriate callsigns.

Step 2: Validating LoTW Data

The Validate LoTW Data report compares LoTW data in an ADIF file against the data already in your log. This report is automatically produced if you use XMLog to download LoTW data using the Import/Download and Validate LoTW Data menu item. Once you've downloaded the data you can use the Import/Validate LoTW Data menu item to produce another copy of the report (or to validate LoTW data that was downloaded using the ARRL LoTW web page).

Matching LoTW Records to Entries in Your Log

When XMLog searches your log for an entry matching a LoTW record it tries to match the "Call", "Date", "Time, "Band", and "Mode". Here's the strategy used for matching these fields:

Validation Problems

The validation report displays information for LoTW records having the following problems:

I have found that it is not unusual for downloaded data to conflict with data in your log. The most common discrepancies are "State" values. I suspect that this is because some users select their entire log when submitting LoTW data to the ARRL and specify their current QTH - this causes older log entries from previous locations to be incorrect. The second most common error seems to be for "Zone" values. Zone problems can be caused in the same way as State errors or by confusing the ITU and CQ zone values when submitting LoTW data to the ARRL.

Step 3: Applying LoTW Data to Your Log

Before you apply LoTW data to your log you should first make a copy of the Verify LoTW Data report and decide how you want to handle records that were flagged as having some kind of problem. Once you have a copy of this report you should:

Assuming you have checked the LoTW entries that were flagged as having problems and fixed any obvious errors in the log, how should the remaining conflicts be resolved? For conflicting values there is a special dilemma; if your log has one value and LoTW has another which do you use? You might have a "real" card on hand or there may be other reasons that you're sure the value in your log is correct, but, on the other hand the LoTW record might be good for a new state or country!

Here's a summary of what happens when you select the Apply LoTW Data to Log menu item:

For each LoTW record applied to your log the LoTW Rcvd field will be set to the value from the LoTW record. If the LoTW record does not contain a QSL Sent date the LoTW Rcvd field will be set to the current date.

Reports and LoTW

The reports produced by the Awards/DXCC and Awards/WAS menu items provide an Include LoTW Confirmations option. This option controls whether log entries that have the LoTW Rcvd date set are treated as confirmed QSOs (equivalent to having the QSL Rcvd field set).

The Awards/DXCC Totals and Awards/WAS Totals menu items now provide a Show QSL card and LoTW Totals option. This option will display card and LoTW counts for each band and mode. Note that the sum of these two values may be greater than the value in the "Confirmed" column since some countries (or states) may be confirmed by both QSL cards and by LoTW.

The Awards/DXCC Checklist and Awards/WAS Checklist menu items provide a Show Confirmation Sources option. This option will display additional info for each country (or state) that indicates how each band or mode has been confirmed. The flags used are "C" for confirmed by QSL card, "L" for LoTW and "E" for eQSL.