Logbook of the World (LoTW) Help
The following is the essential information you'll need to get up and running with LoTW. For a complete discussion of LoTW and how it works with Amateur Contact Log, please download the Definitive Guide to Amateur Contact Log and read through Chapter 8. Don't worry, it may look complicated at first, but with just a few easy steps, you'll likely be all set up on LoTW in no time!
To get started with AC Log and LoTW, begin by downloading the TQSL software and follow the steps on the ARRL's LoTW site. The ARRL has a slide show display for setting up LoTW that includes screen shots from AC Log. You can stay on this page and read my setup information, or you can go directly to ARRL's PDF document for configuring AC Log with LoTW.
For details on setting up AC Log and LoTW with multiple calls or station locations, after you perform the basic set up below, please see this Word document that Mike, KD5KC, who has quite a bit of experience in this area, generously put together.
Once you have the TQSL software up and running and have obtained all your LoTW passwords, etc., configure AC Log as follows:
1. In the User name field, enter your call sign.
2. In the Login Password field, enter the login password for Internet access that ARRL sent you.
3. In the Station Location Field, enter your station location. If the station location you wish to use isn't appearing in the text box, click the drop down list and select the station location you wish to use (the first red arrow in the graphic above).
4. In the path to the Trusted QSL Software (TQSL), enter the path where you installed TQSL. To ensure a correct path, the easiest method is to click the From Registry button (second red arrow in the graphic above). Alternatively, click the Browse button, navigate to the folder where you installed TQSL and select it.
5. If you only have one call sign on LoTW, leave the Own Call field blank. Otherwise, enter the call that you are working with.
6. To the right (not displayed in the image above) you will notice a text box button that reads LoTW Server Download URL. Please ignore it. That will only be changed if LoTW moves to a new server, but the default is currently fine. It is https://lotw.arrl.org/lotwuser/lotwreport.adi?login= for download. By the way, in the old VB6 versions of AC Log there was also an upload URL, but since TQSL does the upload now, there is no need for that setting in AC Log.
Ready to Go!
If you have entered the information in the fields above correctly, you should be all set to upload contacts to LoTW. To give it a try, click All Contacts Not Uploaded under the Sign and Upload column and follow the TQSL software prompts.
If your contacts upload okay, you will see a report from the TQSL software in the text boxt at the upper right that will read something like this:
If you see a message like this, congratulations, you are all set!
Following an upload, nothing is initially changed in your log in case the upload failed for any reason. AC Log won't mark your QSOs as uploaded until the upload has been confirmed by a subsequent download.
Wait a while for LoTW to process your records (usually just a short time, but it can take up to a day or more following a popular contest) and then download your data from LoTW. Any matches will be marked as Sent, an L will be added to the Sent Confirmed By field and any received confirmations will be marked appropriately as well.
In Case of Difficulty - Don't Panic!
If for some reason you are unable to upload your data, there are a number of possible causes. All the settings related to LoTW in AC Log are on AC Log's LoTW form as described above. There is nothing else in AC Log to change. Double check the fields listed above to make sure that you have entered the information properly and do not have any extra spaces, etc.
First, make sure that you are running AC Log 4.2 or later.
If AC Log is unable to launch the TQSL software, you are certain your path to the TQSL software is correct and you are running Vista or later, try running AC Log with Administrator privileges by right clicking on AC Log's shortcut and clicking run as administrator.
Some of the most common reports of error messages are:
The system can not find the path / file specified.
This error is returned when you do not have the path correctly set to the location where you installed the TQSL software. Click the From Registry button (second small red arrow in the first graphic) to retrieve the proper path. Alternatively, click the Browse button, navigate to the folder where TQSL resides and select the folder.
Error: The selected location could not be found.
The good news is that anytime you see an error message beginning with "TQSL software reports", that means that you are successfully communicating with the TQSL software, so you know your path is fine. The error message is being returned from TQSL, not AC Log, so there is something in your settings (either on AC Log's LoTW form or that you have set directly in the TQSL software) that TQSL doesn't like.
This particular error is returned when the station location you entered in the TQSL software does not exactly match the station location set in Step 3 on the LoTW form in AC Log. Please click the drop down arrow (first small red arrow in the first graphic above) and select your station location.
Keep in mind that extra spaces (leading, trailing or in the middle), a "-" is not the same as a "_", etc. all will result in that error. If you are unsure of how your station location is set up in the TQSL software and would like to double check, please do the following:
- Start the TQSL software.
- Click Station > Edit Locations.
- Click on the location and see the name that is listed at the bottom of the form under selected station location.
- That is the location you will enter into AC Log. This value must identically match the value in the TQSL software!
TQSL reports your records are signed and ready to upload, but doesn't upload them.
If you receive a report that TQSL successfully signed your records, tells you they are ready for uploading, but doesn't do it (like the graphic above), you are running a version of TQSL prior to 1.14. Go ahead and upgrade to the latest version of TQSL, and your records will also be uploaded automatically!
LoTW Download reports an invalid user name / password combination from the LoTW server.
If you receive a report from the LoTW server that you have an invalid user name / password combination, the values entered in the User Name field (box 1 in the graphic above) or Login Password field (box 2 in the graphic above) are incorrect. In addition to accurately entering your information, make sure that you don't have any leading or trailing spaces, etc. Once you enter a user / password combination that the LoTW server will accept, this error will be corrected.
I've done all that, but I'm STILL having problems!
We've already covered all the AC Log settings above. Here are a couple of other things to check:
Make sure that you are running version 1.14.3 or later of the tQSL software.
Make sure that your Internet and/or virus protection software is configured to allow AC Log AND TQSL to connect to the Internet.
Make sure that you are connected to the Internet when you try uploading and downloading.
If you are still having problems, try uploading data to LoTW the "regular" way (by first exporting a few records in ADIF, using the TQSL software to sign the records and the LoTW website to upload). That often brings to light problems that may exist in your settings.
I've done that, too. Now what?
As you probably realize, there are a lot of components that work together to use LoTW. These include AC Log, the TQSL software (including the certificates, passwords, etc.), your Internet connection, your virus protection software, etc.
We've provided all the information that you need for AC Log's link in the chain, and we wish that we could do more. We are simply not equipped to provide support for the TQSL software and all that goes into setting that up, configuring your Internet connection and supporting a variety of virus / Internet software programs, etc.
Perhaps there is another ham or PC savvy person in your family or neighborhood that could help out. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes is all that it takes.
If you don't have a local ham or PC proficient person as a resource, please feel free to search the message archives on the Users group or post a question there.
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