Watches, Warnings & Advisories for Sunflower Co.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

LOTW Study

How many of you amateur radio operators utilize the ARRL's Logbook of The World (LOTW)?  I've been using it for a few years now, and occasionally I'll take a look how well my QSO's are being verified.  If you're not familiar with LOTW, it is a database managed by the ARRL where users upload their radio logs.  One user's logs are checked against all other users, and when QSO matches are made, a Verified QSL is credited to both operators.  As of this writing, there are roughly 548,000,000 QSO's in the LOTW database, with about 81,370,000 QSLs verified.  That means about 14.8% of all contacts uploaded to the LOTW database have been verified and credited to their respective operators.

Have you taken a look to see how your QSO's are doing, number-wise?  I'm showing about 33% verification, which is well above the average.

But I wanted to know more about that 33%.  What type of operator uses LOTW more than others?  Is there a trend among LOTW users that I could identify and use to guide my station operations to improve my LOTW rate of return?

Well, here's what I found, based solely on my QSO's.  Your mileage may vary:

Overall QSL/Verification Rate: 32.71%

Verified QSLs from Digital Modes: 55.50%.  This comes as no real surprise, as digital mode operators are quite naturally more comfortable working with computers.  However, there is a bit of counter-intuitiveness to this number: I would have expected it to be higher.

Verified QSLs from Phone Modes: 9.11%.  This includes SSB, FM, and AM modes.  I have zero confirmations from FM, so this has skewed the verification rate, as I have quite a number of FM contacts logged.

What about verifications per band?
  • 80m - 20.31%  (Digital 14.58%, Phone 5.73%)
  • 40m - 43.30%  (Digital 36.08%, Phone 7.22%)
  • 30m - 66.67%  (30m is digital modes only)
  • 20m - 44.32%  (Digital 37.22%, Phone 7.10%)
  • 17m - 22.50%  (Digital 7.50%, Phone 15.00%)
  • 15m - 38.89%  (all were from digital modes)
  • 10m - 26.67%  (Digital 20.00%, Phone 6.67%)
So where are the users from?
  • United States - 31.55%
  • DX - 37.55%
I'm slightly surprised that DX stations have a slighter higher verification rate than US stations do.  This could be due to the higher verification rates reflected in DX-friendly bands, as opposed to the 80-meter, 2-meter, and 70cm bands, which tend to be more localized.  When I deduct the total number of QSOs from those bands, the US verification rate climbed to 53.65%.

Have you taken a look at your QSO vs QSL rate?  What trends or patterns have you found in terms of bands, modes, or locations where you receive higher verification rates?  Has that information changed how you operate?

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