I'd like to start out by saying this - I have personally tested TQSL 2.5.2. I'm using it myself. There are no problems with it.
Additionally, there's no problem with TQSL v2.5.2 and Ham Radio Deluxe for any versions (past, present, or future).
The problem here is that we've all been uploading to LOTW has a whole lot of errors in it. (Yes, me included. TQSL v2.5.2 has shown me that even my log has errors in it. I've uploaded these errors.) Regardless of what logging program you use, you'll need to fix these data problems in your log and in your software.
I had a great call with Bart (W9JJ) at the ARRL earlier today. We both agree that our software is working properly.
The purpose of this post is to help you identify and fix those errors.
You can avoid using TQSL v2.5.2 (and use the prior version). However, you will eventually need to fix the data entry errors in your log. What I'm going to describe applies generally to ANY logging program. But I'm going to show you how to clean up your data in Ham Radio Deluxe so you can take advantage of great new features that will become available in LOTW in the future.
[Editorial update: Subsequent versions of TQSL have been released. I have tested Ham Radio Deluxe with v2.5.4 and I have found no problems. Contrary to the release notes for TQSL 2.5.3, the data errors that began occurring with TQSL v2.5.2 are NOT caused by "defective logging programs." Only the user can ensure that the data that goes into their TQSL and log locations is accurate.]
Allow me to first describe some background.
We often get requests from customers like this: "Since we're downloading data from LOTW, and because the download contains great additional information (grid, CQ Zone, ITU Zone, IOTA, etc), we would like to have that data stored in our logbooks if those fields were already empty."
I was intrigued by this. So while I was preparing my awards applications for CQ DX Field (which uses the grid), CQ Zones award update, ITU Zones application, and IOTA application... I pulled down my data from LOTW and started looking at these fields to see if I could use them in my award submissions. What I found was - the data had so many mistakes in it that I had to ignore it. The data probably had a 50% error rate for these fields. So I decided not to make this change to pull the data into Logbook.
I know that many of you believe that your logbook is more accurate the the Library of Congress. So did I. It's not.
But if you see this TQSL v2.5.2 release as an 'opportunity', you can clean up your log data and there's a great benefit for you in the long run.
TQSL v2.5.2 compares a number of fields in the QSOs you submit to your TQSL certificate and its locations. If the data matches - no problem. If the data doesn't match, then TQSL rejects these QSOs until you correct the data entry errors in your log and upload them again.
These fields include - station callsign, operator callsign, owner callsign, grid, CQ Zone, ITU Zone, US State, and DXCC country. (There may be more. I don't have the full list yet.)
If the data you've entered in these fields don't match what's in TQSL v2.5.2, then the upload is rejected.
The following diagram provides a visual overview of how the data needs to match (apologies for the small diagram; you can right-click the image, save it as an image, and see it better).
As I've been watching our support tickets come in, and looking at my own data going up to LOTW, I've seen two common themes (which I'll address in a moment).
When you have QSOs rejected, you need to go to your logfile in Logbook to find out why (in Logbook, View > Logfile). Common failures include incorrect spellings of US State, grid is wrong, CQ or ITU Zone is wrong. Here's an example of one of the common failures you may see in your logfile):
Error = The Station Location 'US State' has value 'RI' while QSO has 'Rhode Island' on line 24
Error = my_state: Rhode Island
Don't worry too much about the line number. But what this error is saying is that - in the TQSL location, State is "RI". But in your log - the contents of the State field say "Rhode Island". You need to change this so it will say "RI". [Yes. The TQSL location does show "Rhode Island". But the system expects the abbreviation.]
#1 - The easy one. Your US State is entered in your log with the full spelling of the State, instead of the 2-character abbreviation. (For example, if you have "West Virginia", the QSO will get rejected. You need to change it to "WV" and try again.) (Same concept is true for zones.)
When you save a QSO in your logbook database, the information from your location in Logbook ("My Station") is placed into that QSO record. [Stated another way - even if you correct the information in "My Station", that only corrects future QSOs. You'll need to edit previous/existing QSOs.]
1a) First, fix the information in Logbook's "My Station" so future QSOs will be correct. You do this within Logbook by going to Tools > Configure > My Station. Make sure that your US State is the 2-character abbreviation, that your CQ Zone and ITU Zone are accurate, and that your grid is accurate. When done, your future QSOs will upload correctly.
Now. Make a backup of your log database using the Ham Radio Deluxe Logbook backup feature. You may be glad you did.
1b) Then, we have to fix the existing QSOs. In your log, highlight the (multiple) QSOs where the item needs to be corrected. (There's no need to attempt this one-at-a-time.)
Right-click them, go to File > Bulk Editor > Any Fields. From there, you need to add the field(s) you need to correct and click through a couple "OK" screens to complete them.
Once these are correct (and you can review them in your log to verify), you'll be able to upload them to LOTW (given that this was the only problem with these QSOs).
[As for me, I had some zones incorrect. Once I fixed them, things went smootly.]
#2 - The harder one. This is one where - in the past - you put something other than a callsign into the field that says either Operator or Owner. For example, I would need to put my callsign in there (WA9PIE), rather than my name (Mike). If I put my name in there, it will fail. You will see an error that says something like, "QSO date is outside the rande for your certificate." You don't need a new certificate; you just need to fix the data in your log as follows.
For Operator, you can correct this using the description in #1. For owner, you'll need to do the following:
CAUTION: I'm about to tell you how to edit the Windows registry. Do this with caution.
Chances are quite likely that you have something in there other than a callsign.
Now you can select these QSOs and - if all your other fields match what's on your TQSL certificate - the upload will be fine
That procedure fixes future QSOs. We now need to fix QSOs that are already in the log.
The objective of LOTW and Ham Radio Deluxe is that your log contain accurate data. You'll find lots of benefits within LOTW and Ham Radio Deluxe in the future when the data is accurate.
73 de Mike, WA9PIE, VK4EIE
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