|Jim Reisert : DX4WIN||DXCC Award Tracking|
This note describes how DX4WIN keeps track of DXCC award credits. Throughout, the term "QSL" can be substituted with "LoTW confirmation" (LoTW = ARRL Logbook of the World).
NOTE: This may need some updating for Version 8. So don't always trust the screen shots.
Here are some basic terms that you should be familiar with. They will be used below
Here are the stages that a QSO may go through in DX4WIN:
DX4WIN needs award flags to keep track of the submitted and checked status. This is because they are status above and beyond simply "confirmed". You can see the award flags by expanding your QSO window using the F5 key, here is an example from DX4WIN Version 7:
You can see the DXCC Band and DXCC Mode award flags at the bottom are set to "Chkd" (Checked). This means that I have received DXCC credit for this QSO for my 30 meter and CW DXCC awards.
DX4WIN 8: The award flags are simply labeled 'C' (Checked) and 'S' (Submitted). There is also 'I' meaning Ignore this QSO for this award. Do not confuse the 'C' here, meaning Checked, with the 'C' meaning Confirmed, shown in the various windows and report listings.
Normally you do not have to keep track of the award flags yourself. Using DX4WIN's submission process makes this almost a push-button operation.
DX4WIN makes it easy to submit and track QSOs for DXCC credit. QSOs must be confirmed before you can start this process. If they are not confirmed (either by paper QSL or LoTW), then they will be ignored.
IMPORTANT: Do not start this process unless your DX4WIN records exactly match your ARRL DXCC records. This means that for every DXCC credit you have received from the ARRL, DX4WIN has a record of the same credit (it's marked as Checked in DX4WIN). Otherwise, the records are going to get further apart, and it will be harder to reconcile them. See the section below entitled, "Check that DX4WIN matches your DXCC Award Credits". If you already have ARRL DXCC credits, but none of them are tracked in DX4WIN, then start here instead.
This step makes a list of confirmed QSOs that will add to your various DXCC Award totals. It's important to have your station and DXCC Award preferences set up correctly before you do this. Otherwise, DX4WIN may try to submit confirmations for awards you don't care about, like Phone or 6 meters. Make sure to print or save the submission report if you want to make changes or print it later (right-click on the window and choose "Write to File").
DX4WIN 8: Select Reports from the QSO window. Then select DXCC in the Award drop-down list, and Submission in the Report/Action drop-down list. If you submit confirmations only for a particular award, use the Modes and Bands drop-down lists, and check (or uncheck) the appropriate boxes in the Award box on the right.
NOTE: if you are (also) submitting confirmations from LoTW, see the section below entitled, "How does LoTW Complicate Things?"
This step will make changes to your DX4WIN logbook (setting award flags), so save the log after doing the submission.
Using the Submission report, find all the QSLs and mail them to ARRL. Per the DXCC rules, keep them in the same order as the listing. If the same QSL will be used multiple times, it should be put at the end of the stack. This has to do with the way the data entry program at ARRL works.
Once you've received your application back from the ARRL, you can now change the Submitted flags in DX4WIN to Checked. You may have to do this up to three times, once for each award type: DXCC Mixed, DXCC Band and DXCC Mode.
There are a couple of things to be aware of before changing the award flags:
Once the DX4WIN DXCC Award flags are in-line, you can use Change Award Flags to change all Submitted flags to Checked.
To make absolutely sure that your DX4WIN records match the ARRL, I have written a utility to help you do this:
Follow the instructions for using the program, as there are some prerequisites before you can use it. Also note that the program operates on the Submitted/Checked flags in DX4WIN, so it won't work if your QSOs are only marked as Confirmed, even if you have received DXCC credit for them.
It is critically important for your DX4WIN records to match ARRL before preparing your next DXCC submission! It will save you a lot of headaches if they match.
Using LoTW to submit DXCC credits is very easy. But it's not as easy to keep DX4WIN in-sync. This is because ARRL LoTW doesn't currently provide a method to download DXCC credit information (only confirmation information). Therefore, if you submit any QSOs through LoTW for DXCC credit, you may have to maintain the submission information manually in DX4WIN.
One way to submit a "hybrid" DXCC Application (containing both paper QSLs as well as LoTW credits) is as follows:
Now here's where things get a little tricky. If you do a DXCC submission through LoTW, the QSOs that it chooses to submit may not be the same as the ones DX4WIN chooses to submit. This may not be an issue for some people, as long as the DXCC credit itself matches (i.e. EA on 40 meters). However, others may want them to match exactly. While there is a method through the LoTW web site to "cherry pick" the LoTW confirmations that will be submitted for credit, I think it's easier to just change the award flags in DX4WIN to match LoTW. This means clearing the Submitted flag for each QSO that LoTW did not submit, and setting the Submitted flag for each QSO that LoTW did submit.
There's a second complication. DX4WIN may try to submit a paper QSL for DXCC credit, for which you also have a LoTW confirmation. You need to decide what to do here. While it's easier (both for you and ARRL) to submit the LoTW credit, and you won't risk sending your precious QSL through the mail, it does cost $0.15 for each LoTW credit that you want added to your DXCC totals (whereas the QSL credits are free, up to the first 120). You should submit one or the other, but not both.
Finally, if you will be submitting paper QSLs as part of your DXCC application, the submission form (saved in step #2 above) should list only the paper QSLs (not LoTW credits) you will be submitting. If you chose to submit a credit from LoTW instead of a QSL that you have (and that DX4WIN wanted to submit), you should edit the submission form to remove that QSO (you can open the file in Excel or another spreadsheet program to make changes). Then print the form when done, and send it along with your DXCC application.
To maximize the utility of using DX4WIN to keep track of your DXCC records, QSOs for which you have received DXCC credit must be marked as "Checked" in DX4WIN. You should do this before using DX4WIN to perform your next DXCC submission.
This can be a difficult and error-prone process. However, you can use the utility described above to help you, as long as your ARRL DXCC records are already linked to LoTW.
DX4WIN doesn't require that that you match QSOs exactly, though some people may want to do this, especially if they kept accurate records of every QSL submitted for DXCC credit. All that's important is that the actual entity credit matches. For example, if the ARRL says you have Phone and 20 meter DXCC credit for Spain, EA, then any EA confirmation you have for that band and for that mode can be marked as "Checked" in DX4WIN for DXCC purposes (it can be the same QSO, or two different QSOs).
There are two ways to get DX4WIN to try to match your ARRL DXCC credits:
Again, use the LoTW Comparison program above to help you identify mismatches. Once there are no mismatches, you should SAVE YOUR LOG. You are now in-sync!