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Thank you for looking me up here on QRZ.com-- If you want to read more about my earlier operating history, my original website is here. If you are on Facebook, you can find me here. Here's a few links on solar activity; a second link and a third link. If you are learning about HF propagation, they might be useful.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT for users of LOTW:
There has been a major update to LOTW, please update your TQSL software.

In Oct. 2012 I helped out at the KM1W superstation with N1TB and W1KM for CQWW SSB, running M/2 netting about 3600 Q's in 31 hours of operating and scoring over 6.5 Million. It was a blast getting some runs on 10 meters! Thanks to everyone who called! UPDATE: According to the pileup.ru website, our log for Saturday around the 1200z hour clocked 340, the fastest hour rate for a Multi-Two in the contiguous lower 48 states. Thanks again to all, as we couldn't have done it without your disciplined and orderly help on the other end! We ended up placing 5th in the US, and #11 in North America for multi-two operations with just 31 hours of operating. --Slackers!

In Oct. 2012 I participated in my 6th consecutive year helping with network communications for the Head of the Charles Regatta. If you haven't done any public service work before, I've written up some ideas and info about effective communication in an inner city environment at a sizeable public event. Over 9000 rowers and more than 300,000 spectators swarm the Charles river during this event, so it pays to come prepared.

In April 2012 I operated along with W1KM (center, in photo below) to activate K1T, a Special Event Station at Wellfleet's original Marconi Site on Cape Cod's National Seashore marking the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Below we are seen working with one of the National Park Staff to set up the station, and we observed radio silence during a wreath laying ceremony marking the tragedy. A very big THANK YOU to Barbara, N1NS for inviting us to do this very privileged portable operation inside a delicate ecosystem within a National Park.

I have received some very nice SWL reports from time to time. If you are an SWL and want a QSL from me please email me directly at the email address above and I can send you a card much sooner. Just remember to include your SWL callsign if you have one, and the usual info you'd put on your card.

I have activated East Chop Lighhouse for a few Lighthouse Society events. If you are using N1MM v.10 or newer, I've created a User-Defined-Contest file (I know, I know, Lighhouse events are NOT contests...) that will format your N1MM logging window specifically for logging in ARLHS Lighthouse events. It includes serial number, ARLHS member number, and Lighthouse ID input fields; you can save it by right-clicking this link and saving the .UDC file (2k) in your "UserDefinedContests" folder inside the N1MM logger folder. If you have N1MM running, you'll have to restart it and then select "New Log in Database", and choose "LCL-2010" from the event list. If you are ambitious, you might even tweak the .udc file to suit your own preferences or update it to a future ARLHS event... Have fun! Bottom line, N1MM is a darn good logging program, even if you aren't contesting. The user-defined contest file given above could be taken as a template to modify for your event, if N1MM doesn't already include it.

If you make a contact with me during a lighthouse activation, please bear in mind the guidlines for all ARLHS events require a serial number for the logbook. If you haven't made any other contacts during the event, then just say it's contact #1.

In April 2010 I activated East Chop Lighthouse during Lighhouse Spring Lites QSO party in memoriam of a friend and co-worker, Dwight Magowan. Dwight and I worked together at 2 different companies since 1982, and Dwight also once served in the Coast Guard; so it is fitting that this activation was in his memory.

On the weekend of Jan. 2-3, 2010, I activated the East Chop Lighthouse for the LCL operating event. It was very productive, landing a new one for some ARLHS members, and I made over 450 contacts. One highlight was getting a call from Fiji, another was working Lebanon, thanks! I hope to activate East Chop lighthouse again, and to see you on the air during future Lighhouse events.

In 2008 I moved about 2 miles to a new QTH; I have a tower and tribander up, currently a Hygain TH-6 at 60 feet, and a homebrew 5-el 6M beam.

 

My shack currently is Multi-Two and SO2R capable with 3 operating positions. Rigs currently are: Yaesu FT-736R, two Kenwood TS-850SAT, a Kenwood TS-430S, with a Collins 30L-1 and an Acom 1000A amplifier. I use a Vibroplex Iambic Deluxe and Heil BM-10 and Heil Proset headsets for the "Human Interfaces".

Thanks for answering my call if you were picking me out of the pile-ups!!!

If you want a QSL, I'm happy to reply/confirm --once contest deadlines have passed-- via EQSL, LOTW, bureau, or direct.

Many folks have had trouble getting set up with LOTW (Logbook of the World). ARRL's instructions haven't always been very effective, and using the system can seem especially daunting for a newcomer to computers. I am hopeful that ARRL will continue to make improvements to their system.

As of July 2013, only 29% of ALL submissions BY EVERYONE ever made to LOTW have resulted in a confirmation. Of the thirty-one thousand plus log entries I've submitted, less than 33% (no surprise there) matched up with a confirmation. Well, at least this is improving with time, but anything less than 50% is a sign that the system is still more complicated than necessary, or lacks the sort of features that will motivate new potential users to get involved.

LOTW has been around since 2003, prior to the existence of FACEBOOK. By comparison, FB has saturated the online user world with over 800 million users, and even if YOU aren't using it, many of the people you know are. LOTW has not done as well against its target audience. It can take weeks to complete the process of setting up your LOTW account if you are a NON-US station. It only takes a few minutes for ANYONE to create a Facebook account.

One suggestion I'd offer LOTW is to provide an interface for SWL confirmation: something like this, as this is a major help for SWL's and in some instances, SWLing is a prerequisite to becoming licensed in some countries. LOTW should directly support this important pathway leading into getting licensed by promoting and providing this kind of interface to everyone. Why hasn't this tool been more actively promoted?

The LOTW instructions may seem complex if you don't use computers a lot, so I wrote a "how-to" below.

There are some individual preferences regarding the use of passwords when getting started with LOTW, so pay careful attention to what you do regarding passwords; there will be more than one to remember.The setup instructions currently provided by LOTW have improved, but it might be easier to summarize how you get started with LOTW as follows:

  • COMPUTER SPECIFIC PREREQUISITES: If at all possible, begin by using an operating system that is newer than Windows98. LOTW can be installed on Win98, but backup copies of your certificate cannot be exported, and if you end up needing to recover from a hard drive fault, your certificate will be lost. This will require nearly the same work as doing the whole installation process all over again. So I suggest you use something newer than Win98.

    On Windows 7 and perhaps other newer versions of Windows, you need to have "Administrator" privileges, and your user profile must NOT be set up as a "Roaming Profile". Unfortunately, it is not possible to disable the Roaming Profile feature on Windows 7 Home Edition...

    Don't install TQSL in the "Program Files" folder.

    You must complete the entire installation process on a single computer.
    Once this is done, you can export a certificate via a thumb drive to set up LOTW on other computers if needed. More on this below.
     
  • Download and install LOTW software, resulting in a TQSL icon on the desktop.
  • Run TQSL to generate a TQ5 certificate to upload to ARRL as a request.
  • Upload the TQ5 here, and wait for a postcard from ARRL to come back to your QTH via snail-mail if you are new to LOTW. If you are not a US station, you are also required to snail-mail copies of your Amateur Radio License and one other type of personal ID to the ARRL. Don't delete the TQ5 after you upload it, you will need it for a later step when the time comes.
  • Verify/Authenticate your location/station address at the LOTW website once you get the postcard, where you then "request a certificate" (TQ6) file to be sent to you via email and wait for that to arrive.
  • Once it arrives, load your TQ6 certificate file into TQSLcert, and then IMMEDIATELY EXPORT your validated certification as a .P12 file onto separate backup media(CD, USB Thumb Drive, etc.) by right-clicking the valid certificate icon and choosing SAVE for creating a portable, backup, or recovery installation of your LOTW software. (Thank you ARRL for revising the instructions to cover this important backup/portability measure!)

    Don't repeat the whole installation process to set up LOTW on a second computer-- it will invalidate your original installation. Just install the TQSL programs on the desktop of the second/backup computer and import the .P12 file: In TQSLCert, Choose File-->Load Certificate File, and load the .P12 file.
     
  • Be a part of the SOLUTION, and NOT a part of the PROBLEM when you send logs into LOTW:
    When you prepare a log to update to LOTW, PLEASE VERIFY that at least 90% of the CONTACTS you are about to add to LOTW are NEW, and less than 10% are duplicates of existing QSO's that were already uploaded. Many careless or unknowing users of LOTW are repeatedly uploading their entire station history of several years just to add the few most recent contacts from the last week's or last month's operating. This wastes a lot of LOTW's available processing time, and directly contributes to creating a backlog in the system updating for EVERYONE.
  • Run the TQSL program and define your station location(s). Then select log files to digitally sign (a password is required at this part) into .TQ8 files to upload to ARRL, and then VERIFY the uploads went correctly. In order to verify, you must log in with a web broswer and click the "Your Account" link, and click the "Result" link for your upload. There may be processing delays just after a major contest, so you might have to wait a few days to see the result of your upload.

If you have trouble with LOTW, try to hang in there; things will eventually get easier. The instructions are better now than they have been in earlier times.

There are several ways to use your certificate to sign QSO data for LOTW; some are more automated than others. Some logger programs incorporate LOTW updates into their features, while others don't. Review the features of your logging software and choose accordingly.

Please avoid uploading QSO data that is already there on your LOTW account by using a "by date" filtering mode to export to LOTW.

Some logging programs may even try to update in near-real-time if you have an internet connection. If you are a casual operator, that might do just fine for you. If you are a contester, I believe that would be a bad idea at best, and possibly a violation of the rules of the contest at worst. If you are operating in a contest, wait until after log submission deadlines have passed before uploading to LOTW.

171340 Last modified: 2013-11-28 14:06:48, 17074 bytes

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