The GERATOL Net

75 Meter Extra Class WAS Net

New TQSL Updates

For those of you who utilize LoTW, the ARRL has announced that several improvements have been made to TQSL, which should improve the overall accuracy of LoTW database. As a casual CW contester, I have noticed a large increase in DX stations now using and uploading to LoTW. If you are chasing DXCC or other awards, it’s a great way to log QSO’s against what you may need, during a contest, and then receive confirmations rather quickly.

New TQSL Updates Announced

04/16/2020

The recently released TQSL version 2.5.2 application for uploading logs to Logbook of The World (LoTW) tightens requirements for data consistency, with the goal of improving the integrity of the LoTW database. Starting with TQSL version 2.5.2, discrepancies in submitted logs now are flagged, especially when it comes to the Amateur Data Interchange Format (ADIF) files frequently uploaded to LoTW. This has prompted questions and concerns, however, when the system fails to accept a user’s uploaded contact or log.

ADIF exists precisely to help ensure the accuracy of “data interchange” among amateur radio applications — different logging programs, for example. TQSL uses ADIF file data for cross-checks that help to keep inaccurate or incomplete information from contaminating the LoTW database, and that’s where some user issues have arisen. For example, the OPERATOR field, which should be a call sign, sometimes shows up as a name. Occasionally, operators have reversed their ITU and CQ zones. Another issue is in the MY_STATE field, which should show a US Postal Service two-letter state abbreviation. Anything else is a problem.

“The value of the checks added to TQSL is that it lets operators know when the data they’re handling in their computer-based logs is correct,” said TQSL Developer Rick Murphy, K1MU. “Just as most hams would not knowingly send out a QSL card with the wrong details, it’s important to make sure that when a ham submits a log to LoTW that the content of that log accurately captures the details. It also prevents operators from uploading logs that contain incorrect information.”

Some help is on the way. Murphy soon will release TQSL version 2.5.3, which, among other things, skips over the OPERATOR field check. “We have found that some of the checking performed for TQSL 2.5.2 was incomplete in some cases — for example, allowing incorrect zone information to pass, and overly strict in other cases — for example, the STATION_OWNER tag,” Murphy said. “We’ve taken feedback from users and made great strides in improving the way logs are checked to ensure that checking is more complete while not raising false alarms.”

The problem is not always with the user. The initial implementation of cross-checks in TQSL 2.5.2 revealed that not all logging applications conform to the ADIF standard, which is maintained and voted on by the 22-member ADIF group, which includes ARRL. TQSL 2.5.2 has offered support for operations from several locations, as well as the ability to detect uploads that contain incorrect location data, and the field used for checking location has been in the ADIF standard since 2004.

Some commenters have suggested that ARRL has not defined the ADIF fields appropriately, but this represents a misunderstanding of how the ADIF standard is developed and maintained. Logging applications are obliged to follow the standard, if they generate files that claim to be ADIF compatible.

“Operators have a right to insist that the logging applications they use conform to the standards agreed upon by the ADIF collective,” said Greg Widin, K0GW, the chair of the ARRL LoTW Committee. “Those who find that their logger is out of conformance should demand an update, or, if the logger is unsupported or the developer is unwilling to update, should investigate switching to an application that is a cooperative member of the universe of amateur radio logging applications.”

Source: ARRL News

posted by Kevin in From the Administrator,General Ham Radio News and have No Comments

Place your comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.