Topics

LoTW QSO matching rules

Gary Hinson
 

Further to the issue of callsign mismatches, I am confused about the process. 

 

Occasionally I receive LoTW confirmations that my logging software flags as errors (i.e. it finds no corresponding QSOs in my log, despite the fact that I must previously have signed and uploaded the QSOs in order to get a match and confirmation!).  I’d prefer the logging program to adopt the same approach – the same rules - as LoTW, which implies knowing how LoTW does it.

 

For instance, if I have a QSO with someone using /M or “mobile”, I personally consider that modifier to be an integral part of their callsign which I therefore log … and sign … and upload to LoTW.  If they consider the /M or “mobile” bit to be superfluous, hence they choose to sign and upload their log without it, will those QSO records match on LoTW?  If they match, will the confirmation that comes back to me have the /M on the callsign or not (and likewise will the confirmation received by the other chap lack the /M)?

 

There are other similar discrepancies (e.g. CEPT country modifiers given on-air as prefixes or suffixes, and informal callsign modifiers such as /QRP), so I’d like to know – definitively – how LoTW treats them.   I’m not talking about whether such modifiers are “legal” which, in any case, depends on the local laws and license conditions as well as the operators’ preferences.  The point is that they vary in practice.

 

So, can anyone point me at a definitive statement or description of the LoTW matching process and rules, please? 

 

73
Gary  ZL2iFB

 

Dave AA6YQ
 

+ AA6YQ comments below

Further to the issue of callsign mismatches, I am confused about the
process. 

Occasionally I receive LoTW confirmations that my logging software flags as
errors (i.e. it finds no corresponding QSOs in my log, despite the fact that
I must previously have signed and uploaded the QSOs in order to get a match
and confirmation!).  I’d prefer the logging program to adopt the same
approach – the same rules - as LoTW, which implies knowing how LoTW does it.

For instance, if I have a QSO with someone using /M or “mobile”, I
personally consider that modifier to be an integral part of their callsign
which I therefore log … and sign … and upload to LoTW.  If they consider the
/M or “mobile” bit to be superfluous, hence they choose to sign and upload
their log without it, will those QSO records match on LoTW?  If they match,
will the confirmation that comes back to me have the /M on the callsign or
not (and likewise will the confirmation received by the other chap lack the
/M)?

There are other similar discrepancies (e.g. CEPT country modifiers given
on-air as prefixes or suffixes, and informal callsign modifiers such as
/QRP), so I’d like to know – definitively – how LoTW treats them.   I’m not
talking about whether such modifiers are “legal” which, in any case, depends
on the local laws and license conditions as well as the operators’
preferences.  The point is that they vary in practice.

So, can anyone point me at a definitive statement or description of the LoTW
matching process and rules, please? 

+ An LoTW confirmation requires an exact match between the callsign you
submit and the callsign your QSO partner submits.

+ See "Logging the Right Callsign" in

<https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help/submitting-qsos/>

73,

Dave, AA6YQ

Gary Hinson
 

Thanks Dave but, with respect, "Logging the Right Callsign" ducks the issue. 

It doesn't clarify the rules, but admits that there is ambiguity in how callsigns are used and uploaded.   know that, so I'd like to know what rules are actually applied.

Even the simple example I gave is not clarified by the help text.  If I work and log you as AA6YQ/M but (for whatever reason) you upload the QSO with your base call, omitting the /M, will it match on LoTW?  

It would be useful to have an explicit list of those "standard suffixes" casually mentioned in the help text, for starters. 

I don't expect to see a definitive list of "non-standard prefixes" but a few more examples (not just /QRP) might be worthwhile.  Plus there's the apparent issue of discrepancies between the callsigns signed and uploaded versus those sent back in the LoTW confirmations.

73
Gary  ZL2iFB 

iain macdonnell - N6ML
 

On Thu, May 16, 2019 at 3:46 PM Gary Hinson <Gary@...> wrote:

Thanks Dave but, with respect, "Logging the Right Callsign" ducks the issue.

It doesn't clarify the rules, but admits that there is ambiguity in how callsigns are used and uploaded. know that, so I'd like to know what rules are actually applied.

Even the simple example I gave is not clarified by the help text. If I work and log you as AA6YQ/M but (for whatever reason) you upload the QSO with your base call, omitting the /M, will it match on LoTW?
AFAIK, the answer is "no", because "AA6YQ/M" does not exactly match "AA6YQ".

73,

~iain / N6ML

Larry Banks
 

Hi Gary,
 
It’s really very simple.  Callsigns much match EXACTLY.  If they use “call/M”, you must upload “call/M”.  If they upload just “call” then they do not understand the rules, not you.

73 -- Larry -- W1DYJ

 
 
 

Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2019 18:46
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules
 
Thanks Dave but, with respect, "Logging the Right Callsign" ducks the issue 

It doesn't clarify the rules, but admits that there is ambiguity in how callsigns are used and uploaded.   know that, so I'd like to know what rules are actually applied.

Even the simple example I gave is not clarified by the help text.  If I work and log you as AA6YQ/M but (for whatever reason) you upload the QSO with your base call, omitting the /M, will it match on LoTW? 

It would be useful to have an explicit list of those "standard suffixes" casually mentioned in the help text, for starters. 

I don't expect to see a definitive list of "non-standard prefixes" but a few more examples (not just /QRP) might be worthwhile.  Plus there's the apparent issue of discrepancies between the callsigns signed and uploaded versus those sent back in the LoTW confirmations.

73
Gary  ZL2iFB 

Tom KD8AVF <kd8avf@...>
 

""+ An LoTW confirmation requires an exact match between the callsign you
submit and the callsign your QSO partner submits.""

And that is where LoTW screws up the program. Many logging software and DX clusters use the DXCC entity of the first callsign prefix. So if you work a  XX9XX/CT9, it doesn't get logged or posted as Madeira DXCC #256. It will be logged as Macau #152. The DX operator may sign as CT9/XXXX or XXXX/CT9 while QRV but submit the log to LoTW with the call transposed. Now they are not an exact match and you lost the QSL. With LoTW you cannot even check the DX log to see what is causing the problem.
I have spent hours attempting to resolve issues such as this, and it becomes compounded when the DX uses QSL managers or half the contacts log it one way and the other half are opposite.
That is just one of many examples why I use multiple QSL sources. LoTW can be so over complicated it becomes a PITA. The other QSL sites have me at, or just over 300 DXCC while LoTW only shows 241. 
Never rely on just one source, just like you never want all your eggs in one basket. 
Tom N8ZI



On Thu, May 16, 2019 at 4:57 PM, Dave AA6YQ
<aa6yq@...> wrote:
+ AA6YQ comments below

Further to the issue of callsign mismatches, I am confused about the
process. 

Occasionally I receive LoTW confirmations that my logging software flags as
errors (i.e. it finds no corresponding QSOs in my log, despite the fact that
I must previously have signed and uploaded the QSOs in order to get a match
and confirmation!).  I’d prefer the logging program to adopt the same
approach – the same rules - as LoTW, which implies knowing how LoTW does it.

For instance, if I have a QSO with someone using /M or “mobile”, I
personally consider that modifier to be an integral part of their callsign
which I therefore log … and sign … and upload to LoTW.  If they consider the
/M or “mobile” bit to be superfluous, hence they choose to sign and upload
their log without it, will those QSO records match on LoTW?  If they match,
will the confirmation that comes back to me have the /M on the callsign or
not (and likewise will the confirmation received by the other chap lack the
/M)?

There are other similar discrepancies (e.g. CEPT country modifiers given
on-air as prefixes or suffixes, and informal callsign modifiers such as
/QRP), so I’d like to know – definitively – how LoTW treats them.   I’m not
talking about whether such modifiers are “legal” which, in any case, depends
on the local laws and license conditions as well as the operators’
preferences.  The point is that they vary in practice.

So, can anyone point me at a definitive statement or description of the LoTW
matching process and rules, please? 

+ An LoTW confirmation requires an exact match between the callsign you
submit and the callsign your QSO partner submits.

+ See "Logging the Right Callsign" in

<https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help/submitting-qsos/>

        73,

              Dave, AA6YQ




Gary Hinson
 

Seems I’m not the only one confused here … yet we’re told it’s “very simple”.   Ho ho.

 

73
Gary  ZL2iFB

 

From: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io <ARRL-LoTW@groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom KD8AVF via Groups.Io
Sent: 17 May 2019 11:50
To: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules

 

""+ An LoTW confirmation requires an exact match between the callsign you
submit and the callsign your QSO partner submits.""

 

And that is where LoTW screws up the program. Many logging software and DX clusters use the DXCC entity of the first callsign prefix. So if you work a  XX9XX/CT9, it doesn't get logged or posted as Madeira DXCC #256. It will be logged as Macau #152. The DX operator may sign as CT9/XXXX or XXXX/CT9 while QRV but submit the log to LoTW with the call transposed. Now they are not an exact match and you lost the QSL. With LoTW you cannot even check the DX log to see what is causing the problem.

I have spent hours attempting to resolve issues such as this, and it becomes compounded when the DX uses QSL managers or half the contacts log it one way and the other half are opposite.

That is just one of many examples why I use multiple QSL sources. LoTW can be so over complicated it becomes a PITA. The other QSL sites have me at, or just over 300 DXCC while LoTW only shows 241. 

Never rely on just one source, just like you never want all your eggs in one basket. 

Tom N8ZI

 

 

On Thu, May 16, 2019 at 4:57 PM, Dave AA6YQ

<aa6yq@...> wrote:

+ AA6YQ comments below

Further to the issue of callsign mismatches, I am confused about the
process. 

Occasionally I receive LoTW confirmations that my logging software flags as
errors (i.e. it finds no corresponding QSOs in my log, despite the fact that
I must previously have signed and uploaded the QSOs in order to get a match
and confirmation!).  I’d prefer the logging program to adopt the same
approach – the same rules - as LoTW, which implies knowing how LoTW does it.

For instance, if I have a QSO with someone using /M or “mobile”, I
personally consider that modifier to be an integral part of their callsign
which I therefore log … and sign … and upload to LoTW.  If they consider the
/M or “mobile” bit to be superfluous, hence they choose to sign and upload
their log without it, will those QSO records match on LoTW?  If they match,
will the confirmation that comes back to me have the /M on the callsign or
not (and likewise will the confirmation received by the other chap lack the
/M)?

There are other similar discrepancies (e.g. CEPT country modifiers given
on-air as prefixes or suffixes, and informal callsign modifiers such as
/QRP), so I’d like to know – definitively – how LoTW treats them.   I’m not
talking about whether such modifiers are “legal” which, in any case, depends
on the local laws and license conditions as well as the operators’
preferences.  The point is that they vary in practice.

So, can anyone point me at a definitive statement or description of the LoTW
matching process and rules, please? 

+ An LoTW confirmation requires an exact match between the callsign you
submit and the callsign your QSO partner submits.

+ See "Logging the Right Callsign" in

<https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help/submitting-qsos/>

        73,

              Dave, AA6YQ



Gary Hinson
 

That’s not what the help text says, Larry.

 

Please keep up.

 

73,

Gary   ZL2iFB

 

From: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io <ARRL-LoTW@groups.io> On Behalf Of Larry Banks via Groups.Io
Sent: 17 May 2019 11:41
To: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules

 

Hi Gary,

 

It’s really very simple.  Callsigns much match EXACTLY.  If they use “call/M”, you must upload “call/M”.  If they upload just “call” then they do not understand the rules, not you.


73 -- Larry -- W1DYJ

 

 

 

Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2019 18:46

Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules

 

Thanks Dave but, with respect, "Logging the Right Callsign" ducks the issue 

It doesn't clarify the rules, but admits that there is ambiguity in how callsigns are used and uploaded.   know that, so I'd like to know what rules are actually applied.

Even the simple example I gave is not clarified by the help text.  If I work and log you as AA6YQ/M but (for whatever reason) you upload the QSO with your base call, omitting the /M, will it match on LoTW? 

It would be useful to have an explicit list of those "standard suffixes" casually mentioned in the help text, for starters. 

I don't expect to see a definitive list of "non-standard prefixes" but a few more examples (not just /QRP) might be worthwhile.  Plus there's the apparent issue of discrepancies between the callsigns signed and uploaded versus those sent back in the LoTW confirmations.

73
Gary  ZL2iFB 

Gary Hinson
 

"AFAIK" is not exactly the definitive statement I'm after Iain. It shouldn't be a matter of opinion.

I presume there explicit QSO matching rules hard-coded into the LoTW computer - or does it pontificate over each QSO, emitting oooohs and aaaaahs? 😊

73
Gary ZL2iFB

-----Original Message-----
From: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io <ARRL-LoTW@groups.io> On Behalf Of iain macdonnell - N6ML
Sent: 17 May 2019 11:20
To: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules

On Thu, May 16, 2019 at 3:46 PM Gary Hinson <Gary@...> wrote:

Thanks Dave but, with respect, "Logging the Right Callsign" ducks the issue.

It doesn't clarify the rules, but admits that there is ambiguity in how callsigns are used and uploaded. know that, so I'd like to know what rules are actually applied.

Even the simple example I gave is not clarified by the help text. If I work and log you as AA6YQ/M but (for whatever reason) you upload the QSO with your base call, omitting the /M, will it match on LoTW?
AFAIK, the answer is "no", because "AA6YQ/M" does not exactly match "AA6YQ".

73,

~iain / N6ML

Larry Banks
 

Sorry Gary – that is the simple rule.
 

Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2019 20:32
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules
 

That’s not what the help text says, Larry.

 

Please keep up.

 

73,

Gary   ZL2iFB

 

From: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io <ARRL-LoTW@groups.io> On Behalf Of Larry Banks via Groups.Io
Sent: 17 May 2019 11:41
To: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules

 

Hi Gary,

 

It’s really very simple.  Callsigns much match EXACTLY.  If they use “call/M”, you must upload “call/M”.  If they upload just “call” then they do not understand the rules, not you.


73 -- Larry -- W1DYJ

 

 

 

From: Gary Hinson

Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2019 18:46

Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules

 

Thanks Dave but, with respect, "Logging the Right Callsign" ducks the issue 

It doesn't clarify the rules, but admits that there is ambiguity in how callsigns are used and uploaded.   know that, so I'd like to know what rules are actually applied.

Even the simple example I gave is not clarified by the help text.  If I work and log you as AA6YQ/M but (for whatever reason) you upload the QSO with your base call, omitting the /M, will it match on LoTW? 

It would be useful to have an explicit list of those "standard suffixes" casually mentioned in the help text, for starters. 

I don't expect to see a definitive list of "non-standard prefixes" but a few more examples (not just /QRP) might be worthwhile.  Plus there's the apparent issue of discrepancies between the callsigns signed and uploaded versus those sent back in the LoTW confirmations.

73
Gary  ZL2iFB 

Larry Banks
 

PS – it also has to match time and band.
 
 

Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2019 20:40
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules
 
Sorry Gary – that is the simple rule.
 
Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2019 20:32
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules
 

That’s not what the help text says, Larry.

 

Please keep up.

 

73,

Gary   ZL2iFB

 

From: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io <ARRL-LoTW@groups.io> On Behalf Of Larry Banks via Groups.Io
Sent: 17 May 2019 11:41
To: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules

 

Hi Gary,

 

It’s really very simple.  Callsigns much match EXACTLY.  If they use “call/M”, you must upload “call/M”.  If they upload just “call” then they do not understand the rules, not you.


73 -- Larry -- W1DYJ

 

 

 

From: Gary Hinson

Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2019 18:46

Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules

 

Thanks Dave but, with respect, "Logging the Right Callsign" ducks the issue 

It doesn't clarify the rules, but admits that there is ambiguity in how callsigns are used and uploaded.   know that, so I'd like to know what rules are actually applied.

Even the simple example I gave is not clarified by the help text.  If I work and log you as AA6YQ/M but (for whatever reason) you upload the QSO with your base call, omitting the /M, will it match on LoTW? 

It would be useful to have an explicit list of those "standard suffixes" casually mentioned in the help text, for starters. 

I don't expect to see a definitive list of "non-standard prefixes" but a few more examples (not just /QRP) might be worthwhile.  Plus there's the apparent issue of discrepancies between the callsigns signed and uploaded versus those sent back in the LoTW confirmations.

73
Gary  ZL2iFB 

iain macdonnell - N6ML
 


I included "AFAIK", because I don't have access to the LoTW source code, and so cannot give you an definitive answer. Maybe K1MK can.

The help at https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help/submitting-qsos/#right-callsign seems pretty clear that the callsigns must match. I suppose you could argue that a suffix like "/M" is not part of the callsign... but (again, unauthoritatively) it is my understanding that the entire string (including any prefix or/and suffix) must exactly match.

73,

    ~iain / N6ML



 On Thu, May 16, 2019 at 5:32 PM Gary Hinson <Gary@...> wrote:
"AFAIK" is not exactly the definitive statement I'm after Iain.  It shouldn't be a matter of opinion.

I presume there explicit QSO matching rules hard-coded into the LoTW computer - or does it pontificate over each QSO, emitting oooohs and aaaaahs?  😊

73
Gary  ZL2iFB

-----Original Message-----
From: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io <ARRL-LoTW@groups.io> On Behalf Of iain macdonnell - N6ML
Sent: 17 May 2019 11:20
To: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules

On Thu, May 16, 2019 at 3:46 PM Gary Hinson <Gary@...> wrote:
>
> Thanks Dave but, with respect, "Logging the Right Callsign" ducks the issue.
>
> It doesn't clarify the rules, but admits that there is ambiguity in how callsigns are used and uploaded.   know that, so I'd like to know what rules are actually applied.
>
> Even the simple example I gave is not clarified by the help text.  If I work and log you as AA6YQ/M but (for whatever reason) you upload the QSO with your base call, omitting the /M, will it match on LoTW?

AFAIK, the answer is "no", because "AA6YQ/M" does not exactly match "AA6YQ".

73,

    ~iain / N6ML






Joe Subich, W4TV
 

Gary,

It is very simple ...

If the certificate is issued for W1ABC/M you must upload as W1ABC/M.
If the certificate is issued for W1ABC you must upload as W1ABC.
If the certificate is issued for C6A/W1ABC you must upload as C6A/W1ABC.
If the certificate is issued for W1ABC/C6A you must upload as W1ABC/C6A.

If what you upload does not match the other station's certificate
*exactly* plus match band, mode (for WAS) or Mode Group (for DXCC)
and time (within specified limits) - as well as Satellite if a SAT
QSO - you will not receive a "match" (confirmation) in LotW.

Looking through the LotW Users List that AA6YQ generates for DXLab
Suite, I see several <callsign>/QRP entries. If that station uploads
as <callsign>/QRP you need to do so or you will not receive a "match".


73,

... Joe, W4TV

On 2019-05-16 8:32 PM, Gary Hinson wrote:
Seems I’m not the only one confused here … yet we’re told it’s “very simple”. Ho ho.
73
Gary ZL2iFB
From: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io <ARRL-LoTW@groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom KD8AVF via Groups.Io
Sent: 17 May 2019 11:50
To: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules
""+ An LoTW confirmation requires an exact match between the callsign you
submit and the callsign your QSO partner submits.""
And that is where LoTW screws up the program. Many logging software and DX clusters use the DXCC entity of the first callsign prefix. So if you work a XX9XX/CT9, it doesn't get logged or posted as Madeira DXCC #256. It will be logged as Macau #152. The DX operator may sign as CT9/XXXX or XXXX/CT9 while QRV but submit the log to LoTW with the call transposed. Now they are not an exact match and you lost the QSL. With LoTW you cannot even check the DX log to see what is causing the problem.
I have spent hours attempting to resolve issues such as this, and it becomes compounded when the DX uses QSL managers or half the contacts log it one way and the other half are opposite.
That is just one of many examples why I use multiple QSL sources. LoTW can be so over complicated it becomes a PITA. The other QSL sites have me at, or just over 300 DXCC while LoTW only shows 241.
Never rely on just one source, just like you never want all your eggs in one basket.
Tom N8ZI
On Thu, May 16, 2019 at 4:57 PM, Dave AA6YQ
<@AA6YQ <mailto:@AA6YQ> > wrote:
+ AA6YQ comments below
Further to the issue of callsign mismatches, I am confused about the
process.
Occasionally I receive LoTW confirmations that my logging software flags as
errors (i.e. it finds no corresponding QSOs in my log, despite the fact that
I must previously have signed and uploaded the QSOs in order to get a match
and confirmation!). I’d prefer the logging program to adopt the same
approach – the same rules - as LoTW, which implies knowing how LoTW does it.
For instance, if I have a QSO with someone using /M or “mobile”, I
personally consider that modifier to be an integral part of their callsign
which I therefore log … and sign … and upload to LoTW. If they consider the
/M or “mobile” bit to be superfluous, hence they choose to sign and upload
their log without it, will those QSO records match on LoTW? If they match,
will the confirmation that comes back to me have the /M on the callsign or
not (and likewise will the confirmation received by the other chap lack the
/M)?
There are other similar discrepancies (e.g. CEPT country modifiers given
on-air as prefixes or suffixes, and informal callsign modifiers such as
/QRP), so I’d like to know – definitively – how LoTW treats them. I’m not
talking about whether such modifiers are “legal” which, in any case, depends
on the local laws and license conditions as well as the operators’
preferences. The point is that they vary in practice.
So, can anyone point me at a definitive statement or description of the LoTW
matching process and rules, please?
+ An LoTW confirmation requires an exact match between the callsign you
submit and the callsign your QSO partner submits.
+ See "Logging the Right Callsign" in
<https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help/submitting-qsos/>
73,
Dave, AA6YQ

Gary Hinson
 

Even ‘the entire string’ is a little ambiguous, Iain.  What are the delimiters?   AFAIK no callsigns include letter or word spaces, at least not officially … but some are sent on-air that way, as we see from time to time on RBN when “P5DX” gets spotted instead of “SP5DX”!  Again, that’s just some random bloke’s opinion.

 

73
Gary  ZL2iFB

 

From: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io <ARRL-LoTW@groups.io> On Behalf Of iain macdonnell - N6ML
Sent: 17 May 2019 12:53
To: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules

 

 

I included "AFAIK", because I don't have access to the LoTW source code, and so cannot give you an definitive answer. Maybe K1MK can.

 

The help at https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help/submitting-qsos/#right-callsign seems pretty clear that the callsigns must match. I suppose you could argue that a suffix like "/M" is not part of the callsign... but (again, unauthoritatively) it is my understanding that the entire string (including any prefix or/and suffix) must exactly match.

 

73,

 

    ~iain / N6ML

 

 

 

 On Thu, May 16, 2019 at 5:32 PM Gary Hinson <Gary@...> wrote:

"AFAIK" is not exactly the definitive statement I'm after Iain.  It shouldn't be a matter of opinion.

I presume there explicit QSO matching rules hard-coded into the LoTW computer - or does it pontificate over each QSO, emitting oooohs and aaaaahs?  😊

73
Gary  ZL2iFB

-----Original Message-----
From: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io <ARRL-LoTW@groups.io> On Behalf Of iain macdonnell - N6ML
Sent: 17 May 2019 11:20
To: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules

On Thu, May 16, 2019 at 3:46 PM Gary Hinson <Gary@...> wrote:
>
> Thanks Dave but, with respect, "Logging the Right Callsign" ducks the issue.
>
> It doesn't clarify the rules, but admits that there is ambiguity in how callsigns are used and uploaded.   know that, so I'd like to know what rules are actually applied.
>
> Even the simple example I gave is not clarified by the help text.  If I work and log you as AA6YQ/M but (for whatever reason) you upload the QSO with your base call, omitting the /M, will it match on LoTW?

AFAIK, the answer is "no", because "AA6YQ/M" does not exactly match "AA6YQ".

73,

    ~iain / N6ML





Rick Murphy
 

"What are the delimiters"? There are none.
The ADIF file will say <CALL:n>something - i.e <CALL:5>SP5DX - the call is "SP5DX". If you say <CALL:12>GU0/WA1SPT/P foo then the callsign is "GU0/WA1SPT/P" - the slashes are not delimiters, they're part of the call. The count field in the ADIF record says how many characters are in the call.

If you worked someone signing "GU0/WA1SPT" and your logger decides that the proper call is "WA1SPT/GU0" and you upload with that, it won't match the station's QSO if they upload with "GU0/WA1SPT". Or GU/, or MU/.

If you want to see what someone used, there's lists of all of the calls that have uploaded to LoTW available. Look for the base call and use that to figure out what to use if there's some ambiguity. However, the assumption is that you log what the station sent and the station uses a callsign certificate that matches what they sent in the QSOs. This, unfortunately, doesn't always map to reality. Sorry, but since there are humans involved, this can get messy.

One real advantage of paper cards is that a human can look at one and see that the QSO matches even in those cases. Computers are too literal.
73.
    -Rick

On Thu, May 16, 2019 at 9:32 PM Gary Hinson <Gary@...> wrote:

Even ‘the entire string’ is a little ambiguous, Iain.  What are the delimiters?   AFAIK no callsigns include letter or word spaces, at least not officially … but some are sent on-air that way, as we see from time to time on RBN when “P5DX” gets spotted instead of “SP5DX”!  Again, that’s just some random bloke’s opinion.

 

73
Gary  ZL2iFB

 

From: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io <ARRL-LoTW@groups.io> On Behalf Of iain macdonnell - N6ML
Sent: 17 May 2019 12:53
To: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules

 

 

I included "AFAIK", because I don't have access to the LoTW source code, and so cannot give you an definitive answer. Maybe K1MK can.

 

The help at https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help/submitting-qsos/#right-callsign seems pretty clear that the callsigns must match. I suppose you could argue that a suffix like "/M" is not part of the callsign... but (again, unauthoritatively) it is my understanding that the entire string (including any prefix or/and suffix) must exactly match.

 

73,

 

    ~iain / N6ML

 

 

 

 On Thu, May 16, 2019 at 5:32 PM Gary Hinson <Gary@...> wrote:

"AFAIK" is not exactly the definitive statement I'm after Iain.  It shouldn't be a matter of opinion.

I presume there explicit QSO matching rules hard-coded into the LoTW computer - or does it pontificate over each QSO, emitting oooohs and aaaaahs?  😊

73
Gary  ZL2iFB

-----Original Message-----
From: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io <ARRL-LoTW@groups.io> On Behalf Of iain macdonnell - N6ML
Sent: 17 May 2019 11:20
To: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules

On Thu, May 16, 2019 at 3:46 PM Gary Hinson <Gary@...> wrote:
>
> Thanks Dave but, with respect, "Logging the Right Callsign" ducks the issue.
>
> It doesn't clarify the rules, but admits that there is ambiguity in how callsigns are used and uploaded.   know that, so I'd like to know what rules are actually applied.
>
> Even the simple example I gave is not clarified by the help text.  If I work and log you as AA6YQ/M but (for whatever reason) you upload the QSO with your base call, omitting the /M, will it match on LoTW?

AFAIK, the answer is "no", because "AA6YQ/M" does not exactly match "AA6YQ".

73,

    ~iain / N6ML







--
Rick Murphy, CISSP-ISSAP, K1MU/4, Annandale VA USA

Gary Hinson
 

We're querying and elaborating on the online help text because it's not clear enough, which is odd given that apparently this is "very simple".

Anyway, we're gradually clarifying the rules *as we understand them to be*. Its still possible we misunderstand them, and once again I'll assert that it shouldn't be a matter of conjecture or opinion or assertion: the definitive truth is presumably tucked away in the LoTW source code. I'd rather start from there.

73
Gary ZL2iFB

-----Original Message-----
From: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io <ARRL-LoTW@groups.io> On Behalf Of Joe Subich, W4TV
Sent: 17 May 2019 13:17
To: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules


Gary,

It is very simple ...

If the certificate is issued for W1ABC/M you must upload as W1ABC/M.
If the certificate is issued for W1ABC you must upload as W1ABC.
If the certificate is issued for C6A/W1ABC you must upload as C6A/W1ABC.
If the certificate is issued for W1ABC/C6A you must upload as W1ABC/C6A.

If what you upload does not match the other station's certificate
*exactly* plus match band, mode (for WAS) or Mode Group (for DXCC) and time (within specified limits) - as well as Satellite if a SAT QSO - you will not receive a "match" (confirmation) in LotW.

Looking through the LotW Users List that AA6YQ generates for DXLab Suite, I see several <callsign>/QRP entries. If that station uploads as <callsign>/QRP you need to do so or you will not receive a "match".


73,

... Joe, W4TV


On 2019-05-16 8:32 PM, Gary Hinson wrote:
Seems I’m not the only one confused here … yet we’re told it’s “very simple”. Ho ho.



73
Gary ZL2iFB



From: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io <ARRL-LoTW@groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom
KD8AVF via Groups.Io
Sent: 17 May 2019 11:50
To: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules



""+ An LoTW confirmation requires an exact match between the callsign
you submit and the callsign your QSO partner submits.""



And that is where LoTW screws up the program. Many logging software and DX clusters use the DXCC entity of the first callsign prefix. So if you work a XX9XX/CT9, it doesn't get logged or posted as Madeira DXCC #256. It will be logged as Macau #152. The DX operator may sign as CT9/XXXX or XXXX/CT9 while QRV but submit the log to LoTW with the call transposed. Now they are not an exact match and you lost the QSL. With LoTW you cannot even check the DX log to see what is causing the problem.

I have spent hours attempting to resolve issues such as this, and it becomes compounded when the DX uses QSL managers or half the contacts log it one way and the other half are opposite.

That is just one of many examples why I use multiple QSL sources. LoTW can be so over complicated it becomes a PITA. The other QSL sites have me at, or just over 300 DXCC while LoTW only shows 241.

Never rely on just one source, just like you never want all your eggs in one basket.

Tom N8ZI





On Thu, May 16, 2019 at 4:57 PM, Dave AA6YQ

<@AA6YQ <mailto:@AA6YQ> > wrote:

+ AA6YQ comments below

Further to the issue of callsign mismatches, I am confused about the
process.

Occasionally I receive LoTW confirmations that my logging software
flags as errors (i.e. it finds no corresponding QSOs in my log,
despite the fact that I must previously have signed and uploaded the
QSOs in order to get a match and confirmation!). I’d prefer the
logging program to adopt the same approach – the same rules - as LoTW, which implies knowing how LoTW does it.

For instance, if I have a QSO with someone using /M or “mobile”, I
personally consider that modifier to be an integral part of their
callsign which I therefore log … and sign … and upload to LoTW. If
they consider the /M or “mobile” bit to be superfluous, hence they
choose to sign and upload their log without it, will those QSO records
match on LoTW? If they match, will the confirmation that comes back
to me have the /M on the callsign or not (and likewise will the
confirmation received by the other chap lack the /M)?

There are other similar discrepancies (e.g. CEPT country modifiers
given on-air as prefixes or suffixes, and informal callsign modifiers such as
/QRP), so I’d like to know – definitively – how LoTW treats them. I’m not
talking about whether such modifiers are “legal” which, in any case,
depends on the local laws and license conditions as well as the operators’
preferences. The point is that they vary in practice.

So, can anyone point me at a definitive statement or description of
the LoTW matching process and rules, please?

+ An LoTW confirmation requires an exact match between the callsign
+ you
submit and the callsign your QSO partner submits.

+ See "Logging the Right Callsign" in

<https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help/submitting-qsos/>

73,

Dave, AA6YQ










Gary Hinson
 

“Computers are too literal” – love it!

 

You’re right about the ADIF file format, of course, and the messy muddle that we hear playing out on air every day.  Despite all the fancy error-correction, even FT8 has its issues with the occasional mis-decode or hash-collision, plus the odd free-text message that gets mis-interpreted as a weird callsign.

 

73
Gary  ZL2iFB

 

 

From: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io <ARRL-LoTW@groups.io> On Behalf Of Rick Murphy
Sent: 17 May 2019 13:46
To: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules

 

"What are the delimiters"? There are none.

The ADIF file will say <CALL:n>something - i.e <CALL:5>SP5DX - the call is "SP5DX". If you say <CALL:12>GU0/WA1SPT/P foo then the callsign is "GU0/WA1SPT/P" - the slashes are not delimiters, they're part of the call. The count field in the ADIF record says how many characters are in the call.

 

If you worked someone signing "GU0/WA1SPT" and your logger decides that the proper call is "WA1SPT/GU0" and you upload with that, it won't match the station's QSO if they upload with "GU0/WA1SPT". Or GU/, or MU/.

 

If you want to see what someone used, there's lists of all of the calls that have uploaded to LoTW available. Look for the base call and use that to figure out what to use if there's some ambiguity. However, the assumption is that you log what the station sent and the station uses a callsign certificate that matches what they sent in the QSOs. This, unfortunately, doesn't always map to reality. Sorry, but since there are humans involved, this can get messy.

 

One real advantage of paper cards is that a human can look at one and see that the QSO matches even in those cases. Computers are too literal.

73.

    -Rick

 

On Thu, May 16, 2019 at 9:32 PM Gary Hinson <Gary@...> wrote:

Even ‘the entire string’ is a little ambiguous, Iain.  What are the delimiters?   AFAIK no callsigns include letter or word spaces, at least not officially … but some are sent on-air that way, as we see from time to time on RBN when “P5DX” gets spotted instead of “SP5DX”!  Again, that’s just some random bloke’s opinion.

 

73
Gary  ZL2iFB

 

From: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io <ARRL-LoTW@groups.io> On Behalf Of iain macdonnell - N6ML
Sent: 17 May 2019 12:53
To: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules

 

 

I included "AFAIK", because I don't have access to the LoTW source code, and so cannot give you an definitive answer. Maybe K1MK can.

 

The help at https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help/submitting-qsos/#right-callsign seems pretty clear that the callsigns must match. I suppose you could argue that a suffix like "/M" is not part of the callsign... but (again, unauthoritatively) it is my understanding that the entire string (including any prefix or/and suffix) must exactly match.

 

73,

 

    ~iain / N6ML

 

 

 

 On Thu, May 16, 2019 at 5:32 PM Gary Hinson <Gary@...> wrote:

"AFAIK" is not exactly the definitive statement I'm after Iain.  It shouldn't be a matter of opinion.

I presume there explicit QSO matching rules hard-coded into the LoTW computer - or does it pontificate over each QSO, emitting oooohs and aaaaahs?  😊

73
Gary  ZL2iFB

-----Original Message-----
From: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io <ARRL-LoTW@groups.io> On Behalf Of iain macdonnell - N6ML
Sent: 17 May 2019 11:20
To: ARRL-LoTW@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ARRL-LoTW] LoTW QSO matching rules

On Thu, May 16, 2019 at 3:46 PM Gary Hinson <Gary@...> wrote:
>
> Thanks Dave but, with respect, "Logging the Right Callsign" ducks the issue.
>
> It doesn't clarify the rules, but admits that there is ambiguity in how callsigns are used and uploaded.   know that, so I'd like to know what rules are actually applied.
>
> Even the simple example I gave is not clarified by the help text.  If I work and log you as AA6YQ/M but (for whatever reason) you upload the QSO with your base call, omitting the /M, will it match on LoTW?

AFAIK, the answer is "no", because "AA6YQ/M" does not exactly match "AA6YQ".

73,

    ~iain / N6ML





 

--

Rick Murphy, CISSP-ISSAP, K1MU/4, Annandale VA USA

Dave AA6YQ
 

+ AA6YQ comments

 

Thanks Dave but, with respect, "Logging the Right Callsign" ducks the issue. 

 

+ The first sentence of “Logging the Right Callsign” includes a link to the definition of “Confirmation”:

<
https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help/key-concepts/#confirmation>

It doesn't clarify the rules, but admits that there is ambiguity in how callsigns are used and uploaded.   know that, so I'd like to know what rules are actually applied.

 

+ The above definition is unambiguous, though if I still had the ability to update LoTW’s Online Help I would insert the word “exactly” before the word “matches” in

 

“your QSO description specifies a callsign that matches the Callsign Certificate specified by the Station Location your QSO partner used to digitally sign the QSO”



Even the simple example I gave is not clarified by the help text.  If I work and log you as AA6YQ/M but (for whatever reason) you upload the QSO with your base call, omitting the /M, will it match on LoTW?  

 

+ Absolutely not. “AA6YQ/M” does not match “AA6YQ” anymore than “XYZZY” matches “Abracadabra”.



It would be useful to have an explicit list of those "standard suffixes" casually mentioned in the help text, for starters. 

 

+ The help text does not mention “standard suffixes”. It mentions “non-standard suffixes”. It is mathematically impractical to provide an explicit list of “non-standard suffixes”, as its composed of all substrings of the 36 alphanumeric characters.


I don't expect to see a definitive list of "non-standard prefixes" but a few more examples (not just /QRP) might be worthwhile. 

 

+ If I still had access, I would add a few.

 

Plus there's the apparent issue of discrepancies between the callsigns signed and uploaded versus those sent back in the LoTW confirmations.

 

+ There is no such issue. Either the callsign you submitted exactly matches the callsign your QSO partner submitted, or it doesn’t.

 

      73,

 

             Dave, AA6YQ

Dave AA6YQ
 

+ AA6YQ comments below

 

Even ‘the entire string’ is a little ambiguous, Iain.  What are the delimiters?   AFAIK no callsigns include letter or word spaces, at least not officially … but some are sent on-air that way, as we see from time to time on RBN when “P5DX” gets spotted instead of “SP5DX”!  Again, that’s just some random bloke’s opinion.

 

+ What gets spotted on RBN or anywhere else is irrelevant. What matters is the callsign your QSO partner will submit to LOTW.

 

+ If you’re not certain what callsign your QSO partner will submit your QSO to LoTW, ask!

 

        73,

 

                 Dave, AA6YQ

Dave AA6YQ
 

We're querying and elaborating on the online help text because it's not clear enough, which is odd given that apparently this is "very simple".

Anyway, we're gradually clarifying the rules *as we understand them to be*. Its still possible we misunderstand them, and once again I'll assert that it shouldn't be a matter of conjecture or opinion or assertion: the definitive truth is presumably tucked away in the LoTW source code. I'd rather start from there.

+ Gary, your critique would be more credible had you actually read the rules in

https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help/key-concepts/#confirmation

+ but you clearly have not.

73,

Dave, AA6YQ