Club Log provides two-way integration with Logbook of the World (LoTW).
LoTW provides a secure digital QSLing solution which is valid for DXCC awards. When two parties upload logs, and they match to a reasonable tolerance, your QSOs are verified and can be used to claim awards. As this kind of data requires additional security, LoTW is protected by certificates which are used to sign (authenticate) data uploaded. This is generally achieved using a companion application called Trusted QSL (TQSL) which you can download for your PC or Mac.
Club Log is an analytical tool which provides other features relevant to DXers, complementing LoTW and generally focused more on reporting and understanding operating patterns, expedition logs and so on. You do not require certificates to upload your log to Club Log.
Club Log's LoTW features are available in the "LoTW Tools" menu, which you can find on the left under "Club Log tools". You can also access it directly, here:
The LoTW Tools are handled in three distinct stages. Firstly, you manage your certificates. Secondly, you can download new QSLs from LoTW directly into Club Log. Lastly, you can sign new QSOs and send them directly from Club Log to LoTW. You must upload certificates before you can do anything else, and you must download your QSLs from LoTW at least once before you can send any QSOs to LoTW.
Here is an explanation of the features in turn.
When you upload logs to Club Log, you can choose to use Club Log to also send those QSOs to LoTW. To do this, Club Log must have a copy of your LoTW certificates. These certificates are encrypted before they are stored, using an Encryption Key (you can think of this as a password to protect your certificates so that your LoTW certificates are unusable unless you specifically unlock them).
This process is mandated by ARRL and guarantees the integrity of the DXCC programme, while also allowing systems like Club Log to offer integration with LoTW.
When you first open the LoTW Tools in Club Log, no certificates will be available. The simplest thing to do first is to get a TBK (Trusted QSL Backup) file from your Trusted QSL client. For example, on G7VJR's Mac here is the menu in question:
This produces a TBK file which is a convenient way to upload all of your certificates to Club Log. Use the "Upload new .p12 or .tbk file" file upload feature to send your TBK to Club Log.
If any of your certificates have a password set (as provided for in TQSL) you will need to unlock them:
Tip: if you are using Google Translation plugins in your browser, disable them to avoid problems entering your password.
If you wish, you can ignore any encrypted certificates, but they will not be usable in Club Log as a result.
When all of your certificates have been loaded, you will see your Encryption Key. You must keep a record of this key! We recommend that you click "Save Key to Browser" so that you will not need to enter the Encryption Key each time you want to sign your QSOs. You should also Save to File (recommended) or email the key to your email address (less secure, not recommended). It is important that you keep your Encryption Key safe, as it can be used to unlock your LoTW certificates in Club Log. Don't share access to your Encryption Keys with anyone who should not be allowed to sign your QSOs and send them to LoTW.
Tip: if you have saved the Encryption key to your browser, you will see a small padlock icon next to the certificate(s) in question:
At the bottom of every page of the LoTW Tools, you will see an option to remove the Encryption Keys from your browser, should you wish - but this would generally only be a good idea if the computer you are using is a shared computer, e.g. in an internet cafe or used by other members of your club in a shared shack.
Now that your certificates are loaded, and you have a valid Encryption Key, you can use the LoTW Tools conveniently.
2) Downloading new QSLs from LoTW
If you have been using LoTW for a while (which is fairly likely due to its widespread adoption) then you will want to import all of your LoTW QSLs (matches) to Club Log from time to time. Club Log ensures this activity is efficient by knowing the last date that you imported your QSLs, and only looking for new QSLs since that date. You can override this behaviour if you have a good reason to do so (but this should not normally be necessary).
Here's an example of downloading your new QSLs. Simply choose the callsign you want to update, and enter your LoTW web site login details. These are not stored by Club Log, but you may find that password management features in your web browser will helpfully store or auto-complete your password to save you time (this is not a Club Log feature but a facility offered by your web browser).
When you click the: "Sync LoTW with Club Log" button (not depicted above) your latest QSLs will be downloaded and sent to the Club Log upload queue for processing. A few minutes later your latest QSLs will appear in Club Log. Where a QSO has been awarded as part of a DXCC application in the past, you'll also see it appears as a blue 'V' in your DXCC charts:
3) Signing and uploading new QSOs to LoTW
Before you start signing, make sure your latest log has been uploaded to Club Log, as you normally do. This might be achieved by using Club Log's "Upload" menu, or perhaps using real-time logging integration with your desktop software. You must upload your QSOs before you can sign them.
Secondly, make sure you have downloaded your confirmed QSOs from LoTW at least once (step 2, above). You can't upload anything to LoTW until you've done this, since otherwise Club Log would have no choice but to upload many potential duplicates of existing QSLs. We avoid this by ensuring your QSLs have been download before the first upload can occur.
Now, you're ready. On the sign QSOs page, completing the form is quite automatic in most cases. For example, the Encryption Key is probably already filled in (if you allow your browser to store it or choose "Yes, I trust this computer" at least once).
You can choose various options related to OQRS (Online QSL Requests) in the "QSOs to Upload" drop-down. Unless you are an expedition leader or QSL manager, you should not need to touch this - leave it set to "All new QSOs not uploaded to LoTW".
If you need to you can set start and end date filters on the QSOs you want to sign. You should not generally need to use date filters, since Club Log will automatically prevent duplicates being sent to LoTW. It will only send QSOs to LoTW if they have never been sent by Club Log before. This means you don't need to remember the last date you did an upload (you can just let Club Log take care of that for you, too).
When you click "Sign QSOs", all new QSOs will be prepared and uploaded to LoTW directly from the Club Log server. The first time you do this might take a little while, but in general this process will be very fast as only new QSOs are uploaded each time.
Important: if you are using Google Translation plugins in your browser, disable them to avoid problems entering your Encryption Key.
A few other tips
Remember that this is a new facility and it will be closely monitored to see if it creates issues (either for Club Log or for the ARRL LoTW team). Please use it carefully and don't try to overwork it with unnecessary signing work or repeated downloads, as this may be blocked for operational reasons. If you run into problems, please feel free to ask and do please send us screenshots to help clarify what you were doing at the time. Thanks - it will save us a lot of time and could mean you help iron out any unexpected issues for many other users.
Please bear in mind that Club Log's helpdesk team can't know your passwords - and we don't want you to tell them to us. This is a sensitive area, involving QSLing ethics and data security. We won't do anything on your behalf, so please don't ask us to do that (and never, ever send us your Encryption Key). Thanks for your understanding.
LoTW is a powerful tool. It is also a big topic, and many will find it a little more complex than expected when they first start using TQSL and realise how the certificates work. This is because LoTW is secure, which always leads to a trade off in terms of simplicity. If you are unsure about LoTW itself, i.e. the page you have an issue with is not within Club Log (or it's to do with TQSL) then please take a look at the ARRL help files for LoTW. The Club Log helpdesk can't help with anything that isn't directly related to Club Log, as we have very limited volunteer resources. The ARRL documentation is extremely good and plenty of excellent guides exist, including some very good videos on YouTube that you'll find answer many common questions. Tens of thousands of DXers just like you have succeeded, so don't give up too easily! Using LoTW will save you time and it really works.
LoTW user's forum: