Benefits of Real-time Log Posting
Robert W. Schmieder KK6EK
15 August 2006


Posting log data by a DXpedition in real time on the internet offers many benefits to the DXing community.

DXA was developed in response to the desire by DXers for real-time information about their QSOs with aa DXpedition. First used on K7C Kure Atoll 2005, it experienced such popularity that the high-capacity server crashed. More than 40,000 different hams logged into the program; on any day about 20,000 were logged in. The website experienced more than 40 million hits.

The phenomenal popularity of DXA is evidence that DXers see considerable benefits from real-time online log posting. The recent (Aug. 11, 2006) policy statement by the ARRL seeks to limit the use of real-time log informantion. This author believes that the advantages of this new technogy far outweigh the problems feared by the ARRL. Here I point out the benefits of posting real-time log data.

(1) It reduces dupes. DXers see immediately that they are in the log and have no need for insurance contacts. This worked on K7C.
(2) It eliminates pirating. If you inadvertently work a pirate, and do not get confirmation directly from the DXpedition, you would be motivated (correctly) to make another QSO.
(3) It reduces cheating. As stated above, the greater exposure of the activities will be a deterrent to potential cheaters, and will assist in intercepting such attempts.
(4) It improves DXpedition performance. On K7C, the operator logging error rate was 0.8%, considerably lower than the normal DXpedition rate (1-2%). This was stimulated by the increased accountability due to the use of DXA.
(5) It improves QSLing practice. Virtually all cheating occurs because the QSL manager yields to pressure from DXers to issue an undeserved QSL card. Again, this was seen in the K7C project: The ARRL imposed the requirement of making "no changes in the log" if we used DXA. This had the beneficial effect of providing the QSL manager with a clear mandate: the request for a QSL had to have a clear evidence trail, or it was returned NIL. QSL managers for DXpeditions using such tools will have to be very careful to not issue cards for undocumented QSOs.
(6) It generates new participants in DXing and ham radio. What we have known for a long time (see the author's books about 3YØPI, XRØY/Z, VKØIR, and XRØX) is that DXers don't want to watch; they want to participate. During K7C, more than 40,000 unique callsigns were logged onto DXA, nearly three times the number of active DXers in the world. This is clear evidence that real-time display and interactivity is a strong draw, beyond the confines of the top DXers and traditional programs. Indeed, the best source of growth and health of ham radio is in the community of younger persons interested in computers, the internet, dynamic websites, and interactive software, as well as radio.
(7) It is fun. If you watched DXA and saw your green square come on a minute or so after making the QSO, you know what a thrill it was. Many DXers made screen capture images of the event, and proudly framed them. Almost nothing is more exciting than seeing your callsign appear on the world map shortly after making the QSO. If you didn't experience this, or you doubt what I'm saying, just read the survey responses at

Note that for both duping and pirating, the real-time feedback may well be crucial to a successful logged QSO, since propagation and operating time may not allow for another chance another day.

I am most interested in your opinions. Please send them directly to me:

Dr. Robert W. Schmieder