9J2T, Recouping expenses via LoTW is okay!

9j2t_lotw9J2T is taking some heat right now on various blogs.

They’ve done something that, frankly, I’m wondering what took DXpeditions so long to implement in the first place – charging for LoTW confirmations.

According to their detractors, since uploads to LoTW are free, LoTW confirmations should be freely available to all who worked them.

Historically – that is, before LoTW – QSL requests sent to DXpeditioners were the mechanism by which donations were made. Considerate and thankful DXers stuffed a few extra greenbacks into the envelope to assist the team with their financial costs.

When LoTW came along, this went away. Many DXers are now happy to have LoTW confirmations and don’t give a whit about a paper card. Simply by uploading their own logs, DXers will eventually have a free confirmation and the DXpedition will go uncompensated for it.

I made six contacts with 9J2T and don’t have a problem meeting their price of $1.50 for those six LoTW confirmations. In fact, I just sent $5 for LoTW and paper QSLs.

On another blog, someone commented on their distaste at having to finance 9J2T’s “vacation”. That will tell you where he stands on donating to DXpeditions. Multiply him by many others and, as I mentioned, it should come as no surprise that this method wasn’t put into place within months of LoTW’s implementation.



  12 comments for “9J2T, Recouping expenses via LoTW is okay!

  1. March 19, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Regarding VK9X, we have uploaded LOTW records for everyone who has submitted an OQRS request. When cards are printed we will send a card as well.

    Providing LOTW QSLs for the masses will definitely incur our ability to recoup the 15k we spent on the DXpedition.

    So in short, I am totally fine with charging for an LOTW record. Some may flame me. IF someone does, I have an option for them. They can write me a check for $10,000 and I will immediately upload every QSO into LOTW.

    We need to recoup at least our airfare and hotel in order for us to be able to afford to do the next DXpedition this fall

    Support your DXpeditions folks, its a way to keep the new ones rolling


    • March 19, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      Sorry I didn’t work you, Jon. Where are you off to next?

  2. Lou Axeman
    March 19, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    I still can’t figure out how to get on LoTW. I send through the regular mail for DX QSL cards and am happy to include three green stamps. As with Lunches, there are no free DXpeditions.
    Lou, N8LA

  3. Roger Western
    March 19, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Hello John,
    Thanks for your comment. This is the slippery slope: later we will have
    professional DXpeditioners being paid by the day and remunerated on
    results – i.e. a business. Many prefer to maintain it as a hobby.

    Note that American cash-driven culture is very different to
    morality-driven Europe and widely throughout the world.

    73 de Roger/G3SXW

    • March 19, 2014 at 6:03 pm

      It is a hobby with costs, Roger. Did they pay for their airline flights or were those charges waived due to fact that the group members were engaged in an amateur venture?

      Morality-driven European culture? If you’d care to describe your examples of how you arrived at that comparative conclusion, I’ll be happy to enlighten you to the contrary via private email – though I suggest you choose a different opponent if you want the upper hand in that debate.


      John AE5X

    • Simon ZL4PLM
      March 19, 2014 at 10:33 pm

      That will be the same morality driven culture that sees large numbers of EU bagging multiple QSOs/Band fills/modes on FT5ZM and then saying thanks very much and walking away without paying a cent??

      Yup …. morality driven alright ….. but the wrong morals.

      The fact is we are talking about 1 EU here – its nothing to do with LOTW costs – we know LOTW is free – but that QSO you made and want cfm’d was not free – there is no such thing as a free lunch even for a small dxped like VK9/K7CO – this is about fair and reasonable suggested donation to get your cfm early – consider it a premium service. You can .. if you wished… wait for 6 months or so and pay nothing … but does that encourage a further dxped ? Does it show support and gratitude for getting themselves there??

      We are not talking some guy who throws a IC7000 and dipole in his suitcase and works a few 100 while in his holiday for fun, we are talking seriously sized dxpeds to rare locations working 1000’s of QSOs. The budget for these is already a business whether you like it or not. $750K is not small change. Getting to FT5ZM in itself is a feat!

      So I am happy to pay, happy to support, pay my bit to get my cfms in LOTW and for less than the price of stamp.

      I am with John …. it is a hobby with costs … what sickens me is that hams are happy to pay 10K for a transceiver, plus an amp, a tower, yagis etc then bitch and moan about a few dollars for a cfm for ATNO. I saw a comment on Eham about one guy who had waited 35 yrs to make a contact with ATNO but then couldnt even be bothered to send a few dollars as a donation. Yeah .. thats the ham spirit eh! Morality driven … yeah nice morals!

      73 Simon ZL4PLM

      • March 19, 2014 at 10:50 pm

        I was surprised to have received those comments from Roger. He has been on quite a number of DXpeditions himself and wrote a book about them (of which I read 1/3rd).

        Like you Simon, I consider small costs such as those to support DXpeditions to be merely the cost of the hobby. I don’t know how much $$$ I’ve put into equipment over the 30-something years I’ve been in the hobby but contributions to DXpeditions (whether via QSL/LoTW, PayPal or buying DVDs) is a drop in the bucket.

        The angst with which some are going after the 9J2T team for seeking 1EU for a quick LoTW confirmation just amazes me – especially when they come from the likes of Roger.

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Simon.

        • March 19, 2014 at 11:01 pm

          Got it – thanks again guys.

  4. David, AA6RE
    March 22, 2014 at 1:05 am

    A charge of $1.50 is not out of line for six LOTW confirmations. It is about the cost of an overseas stamp plus envelopes and QSLs of the requestor. Except for all time new countries, where I always request a Direct QSL, LOTW confirmations are preferred. Many expeditions either don’t use LOTW or upload after a very long time.

    LOTW also saves money in other ways. QSLs do not need to be sent to HQ/Field checker for verification and no typing is needed!

  5. March 22, 2014 at 7:25 am

    As I think about it further, the comment by Roger G3SXW seems even sillier and sillier. What are you smoking over there Roger?! Many DXpeditions are psuedo-commercial ventures and have been for some decades now. You can prove that fact (and the DX community’s acceptance of it) by looking at your QSLs.

    Looking at my QSL collection from some of the rarer entities, I notice a commonality among them – they all have commercial logos of various manufacturers printed within their multi-fold pages. Elecraft is there, Icom, Steppir, Alpha, etc.

    These QSLs serve as advertisements for these companies, having been bought – that is, purchased commercially – via monetary and/or equipment “donations” to the DX team. Even manufacturers from morality-driven European brands are there!

    Yet Roger (and Col MM0NDX and others) have a problem with 9J2T seeking measly $1 for an instant LoTW upload because some hams want to “maintain ham radio as a hobby”! Hypocracy runs amok!

    Roger that.

    Here’s another take on “morality-driven Europe from one of your own countrymen, Roger:

  6. Eddy K5WQG
    April 14, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    I only have one reply for all your comments John:

    AMEN !!

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