November 11, 2014

Tip: Make LoTW uploads little easier

By W5CWT, Dave - I use Ham Radio Deluxe v5 because I'm cheap and it is free. But recently, after a major hacking attack on the ARRL, my automated LoTW uploads stopped working. Maybe it is because I'm using an outdate WinXP machine or maybe it is some other reason, but I wanted to automate my uploads as much as possible. So, here is a tip that made manual uploading a little bit easier.

I created a shortcut link to the tqsl.exe program and placed it on my desktop. Then I right-clicked it and chose "Properties" to edit the "Target" line. After the final double quote marks I added the parameters needed to sign and upload a log file automatically. Here is a copy of my command line:

"C:\Program Files\TrustedQSL\tqsl.exe" /d /u /a "new" /x /l "Home" /p "PASSWORD"

My location, as set in the tqsl program, is "Home". Replace this with your specific location name. This must be a perfect, case-sensitive match. Also, replace the PASSWORD portion with your own certificate password. Since the password is stored on your computer in plain text, using this method COULD expose your password to others if they have access to your computer. Therefore, do this at your own risk. If you wish to manually enter your password each time, simply leave out the /p "PASSWORD" portion of the command. (However, I prefer to let the computer do it since I've yet to find someone snooping around my desktop looking for my LoTW password and thereby gain total CONTROL OF THE ENTIRE WORLD!!! HAHAHAhahaaa!...Sorry, got carried away there.)

Finally, click "Apply" at the bottom of the property window and you're done.

Once you've made a few new contacts, export a log (in .ADI format) to the desktop from your favorite program such as HRD. Then, simply drag and drop the log file onto the shortcut icon. The cursor should turn to an hourglass and then back to an arrow. The file should now be uploaded.

You can check your LoTW activity (under the Account tab on the LoTW webpage) to make sure the file got there. It may take several minutes for it to show up, so be patient. To watch the whole process actually happen, disable "batch mode" by temporarily removing the "-x" portion of the command and then dragging a new log file onto the icon. Once it is uploaded, you can delete the exported log file.