I’m not really an active DXCC hunter but I like to grab a new one when it comes along. I’ve written about the burden of QSLing when you make a lot of contacts like I do. So May 2006 I was happy to enroll in ARRL’s LotW program. That way I planned to reduce paper QSLing and work towards the awards electronically. It only counts for DXCC and WAS right now. Too bad since opening this system for other (non-ARRL) awards might boost the popularity.
LotW versus Paper QSL
QSO’s made = 80397 Confirmed on paper = 13667 Ratio = 16,99%
QSO on LotW = 78420 Confirmed on LotW = 14393 Ratio = 18,35%
So that’s about the same ratio. Even better on LotW. However I think less than 20% is a very low confirmation ratio. I started late 2000 so let’s count from 2001 to 2007, that is a 7 year span. That should be long enough for a "buro QSL" to get here. Of course I should get more accurate numbers if there would be a way to filter out unique contacts. I worked K1TTT and K3LR etc numerous times yet only sent / received QSL for the first band/mode slot. Most of the contacts are contest QSO’s. That might explain a bit since many calls return. But all this money and time spent for 20%? I must admit that when I started until 2005, I was eager to send and receive QSL cards. But that changed when I made over 15k QSO a year. And working USA or JA on 20m is a thrill at first but that changes when you work 500 of them in a weekend. OK, 1000 USA in a weekend and 50 JA ;o)
Now out of these 15 Nevada contacts 10 are in CW. Of those 10 contacts I have 3 paper QSL cards. It took ages to get a paper QSL from Nebraska and both Dakotas. Via the "buro" because I don’t QSL direct. These states were easy to get in LotW. But no Nevada. As soon as a Nevada confirmation rolls in on LotW, I’ll apply for WAS CW. But I’m patient, it’ll come.