Challenges with DXCC/Challenge submission using LOTW confirmations


Björn SM7IUN
 

In the past I have simply used the "check all" option in the LOTW web page and then pressed 
"Sync LOTW QSL" while holding down Ctrl. An increasingly time consuming process, but simple. 

This time I thought I should be a bit smarter and use the LOTW submission mechanics 
in DXKeeper. I selected "LOTW confirmation",  pressed "Assemble submission" and 
then "Create LOTW Record sheet".

Doing this I found two anomalies. 

The first is that the QSO are not listed in the same order. DXKeeper seems to do 
it from lower bands to higher. LOTW does something else.

This is not a big deal, but the second one is.

When comparing the QSO suggested by DXKeeper and the ones suggested by 
the "Application" page on the LOTW web server, I find that not the same QSO have been 
chosen to confirm the same bands and modes. In practice it does not make much difference if 
I confirm JX on 80m with a CW or FT8 QSO, but I don't feel good about marking the wrong 
QSO in DXKeeper with "V" (and for purely nostalgic reasons I always prefer using CW QSO to 
confirm a new band). 

But what makes things worse is that LOTW seems to select more than necessary QSL (financial incentives?). 

My QSO with JX2US, which is an entirely new DXCC entity for me, are:

JX2US 2020-10-13 20M CW
JX2US 2020-10-15 40M CW
JX2US 2020-10-16 20M FT8
JX2US 2020-10-20 30M FT8
JX2US 2020-10-28 30M CW
JX2US 2020-11-08 80M CW
JX2US 2020-11-10 40M FT8
JX2US 2020-11-12 60M FT8
JX2US 2020-11-23 80M FT8

Below you will find how DXKeeper and LOTW treats the challenge of selecting the fewest QSO 
that fulfils the DXCC criteria for CW, Digital and DXCC Challenge:

DXKeeper LOTW Record sheet:
...
JX2US 2020-11-08 80m CW
JX2US 2020-10-15 40m CW
JX2US 2020-10-20 30m FT8
JX2US 2020-10-13 20m CW
...
Comment: A minimum size selection of QSO. I still find it strange that the 30m FT8 QSO 
was selected to confirm digital since the 20m FT8 QSO was at an earlier date. Perhaps 
it is because the search is done by band, going up.

LOTW:
...
JX2US 2020-10-16 20m FT8 for "20m"
JX2US 2020-10-28 30m CW for "30m"
JX2US 2020-10-15 40m CW for "40m"
JX2US 2020-11-08 80m CW for "80m"
JX2US 2020-10-20 30m FT8 for "Digital"
...
Comment: This seems to be by band, going down, but in other cases (e.g. my 80, 30, 17, and 
15m QSO with D2EB) other orders are used. As you can see one of the 30m QSL is in this case 
redundant since both 30m and Digital are confirmed without it. This must clearly be a defect. 

The bottom line is that with DXKeeper and the LOTW webpage using different selection 
algorithms, the "assemble submission" path is difficult to use since the QSOs proposed 
by DXKeeper are not available for selection on the application webpage. 

Björn SM7IUN

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