Are DX Stations using paper QSLs to generate income?

I am still amazed that after a number of years of successful operation that more DX stations are not using LoTW. In spite of some complaints, it is easy to install and use. Many logging programs now support LoTW so you can easily and quickly upload QSOs from the logging program as the logging programs handle all the intermediary steps.

One example that I use the the logbook program within Ham Radio Deluxe. After I complete a contact, I upload the contact or during contests, I can submit groups of contacts.

It is easy and you only have to pay a nominal fee if and when you request an award like DXCC.

So I wonder if the real reason DX stations are not using it is because they like to get your paper QSL along with a few dollars. Then they can keep the money, and send a card back to you via the bureau. I hope this is not happening, but my fear is that’s why so many are still not using the ARRL LoTW.

Paper QSLs are nice, colorful and cool to receive, for awards LoTW is the least expensive, quick and easiest way to get QSL confirmations.

It’s the 21st Century people, time to change.

CQ Magazine - In a Death Spiral?

Today CQ has announced that the February edition will NOT come out in print at all. Everyone can get a free pdf copy of the February issue from the CQ Magazine website. NOW the March/April issue will be sent out in Mid-April.

This is the third delivery promise as the last two were not fulfilled.

I believe CQ Magazine will not exist in a year. I think the "production problems" are in fact a money issue. They don't have the money to print the magazine. Don't know anything for sure, just my belief and opinion.

The reality is that hams are losing faith. No one who knows about the delivery issues are going to subscribe. Advertisers are not going to pay for ads that people are not able to see. A digital ad does not have the same impact or retention as a print ad.

All this has gone on far too long and as a result, I think it puts them into a death spiral.

I hope it does not happen as I have about two years remaining on the subscription, but that's how I see it. Too bad, they were a great magazine and I enjoyed reading it.

That's my opinion, if they are still a going concern next April, then I will take it all back. We’ll see!

DXCC on 10 Meters

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

Great St. Patrick’s Day present. When I got up this morning I checked LoTW and low and behold, I finally got the 100th electronic QSL to give me the needed magic 100 countries for DXCC on 10 Meters.

I immediately submitted the award application. LoTW make is so incredibly easy and fast and no messing around with sending paper QSL cards.

The next DXCC awards I will be working on are 15 Meters only (13 QSLs to go) followed by 20 Meters only and CW only.

That should keep me busy for awhile.

BTW, these awards are all worked with simple antennas (mostly vertical and a few with a tri-band trap dipole installed in the garage attic) and power at 100 watts or less. Nothing fancy is required, just a lot of patience.

Airlink Express - A Hidden Gem for Digital Modes

The other day I was having a QSO with a guy who said he was using Airlink Express for his digital mode work.

Airlink Express? Never heard of it, but I love trying out new software. So I did a search and found the site for the software. How did this little gem remain so elusive for so long?

The software can be found at and is freeware, but contributions are solicited and appreciated.

The software is very easy to set-up and use. It supports PSK, MFSK and RTTY. It also has a built-in logbook and has some basic radio interface to grab frequency. Like most digital mode applications, you can create all sorts of macros to make it more efficient to use.

Airlink Express seems to be a very capable program and so far I have used it to make several contacts on PSK. I have to still try using it with the other modes but I am it will work equally well.

Give Airlink Express a try as I think many of you will like it.

Getting Back on the Air

Since we moved into the new house, I found little time to get my antennas back up.

I got a VHF/UHF antenna up in the garage attic back in December, but still did not have any HF antennas up. The weather has just been terrible know, the Al Gore Global Warming lie that gave us seemingly endless cold and snow.

So years ago I bought a three-band trap dipole at a hamfest in St. Charles, Missouri. After the move I just could not find it....until yesterday.

Well I got it put up in the attic today and it does a respectable job. Not great, but at least I am back on the air now on 10, 15 and 20 meters until the weather gets better in a few months and I can get the rest of the antennas up.

Getting there, slow but sure.