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The ARRL, the US equivalent of the RSGB, provides a free online electronic logbook, Logbook Of The World. There are several other organisations offering similar systems but the ARRL version has one big advantage - QSO's confirmed by a matching entry in the other station's LOTW logbook qualify for the DXCC award. There is a downside too - setting up is complicated and the confusing instructions make it seem even worse! Users have to install a PC application called TQSL and supply a copy of their licence to be checked. One reason for the complexity is that the ARRL have made the system secure and therefore difficult for people to put in fraudulent DXCC claims.

In addition to LOTW you can also gain DXCC credit from QSL cards but details have to be provided electronically and cards submitted to an authorised card checker (there are a few in the UK). There are fees for making DXCC submissions and the QSL card submission process is separate (and more expensive) than submission of LOTW credit.

The pricing structure of putting in a submission is every bit as complicated as LOTW setup. I’m not an ARRL member so had to pay slightly more than members do when I recently put my application in. Barring any hiccups I qualify for DXCC in both mixed and digital categories. There are separate charges for different elements of the process: putting in a submission, for each certificate, shipping, a credit slip and a fee of 12c per credit (one per QSO). A grand total of $63.12 in my case. Bargain!