Apply these 8 points on your QRZ.com profile and make your hobby more enjoyable and fun. Smart work is better than Hard work to achieve your goal.
1) API Key
All QRZ account gets a unique API key. One of the most critical uses of this key is, it can directly add QSO records to your Logbook on QRZ.com. Just copy this key into the software that you are using. For example, JTAlert. The moment you click on the ‘LOG QSO’ button on WSJTX, the record is saved on QRZ.com immediately. You can find your API key, under My Logbook => Settings as given in the screenshot below.
Now click on the ‘Settings’ button as seen below.
The 16 digits alpha-numeric key is your API key, as seen in the above image.
2) QSL Options
With electronic QSL getting preferred more and more by Hams from the last decade, it is essential for you to set your QSL options for the world. It will save you, from receiving Mail QSL (Physical QSL Card) at your QTH (Home or Shack Address) if you do not wish to take out time and print the QSL Cards and send it to that Ham while paying from your pocket or ask that Ham pays for it, who want to receive your card.
A Ham friend did a QSO with a guy from Indonesia, next day he receives an email requesting a QSL Card, but my friend politely denied, and expressed his preference for electronic QSL (LoTW/QRZ/eQSL) over Physical Cards. The Ham from Indonesia expressed his displeasure for that QSO, just because my friend had not set his QSL options on the QRZ.com profile page.
The below screenshot is from my QRZ Page; I prefer LoTW and eQSL. However, that’s me. Do what makes you happy in this hobby. But, make sure you set the right options and don’t change it often. You find the options for the settings, under Your Call Sign => Edit ‘Your Call Sign’ as given in the screenshot below.
Click on the first option ‘Update the basic callsign data (name, address, email, etc.)’ as seen in the screenshot below.
Once you open that page, you need to scroll down a little bit, and at the bottom, you will find these options. Here you can set your choice as ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ for the respective fields.
3) QSL Field
While you are setting your QSL options, it is also helpful to manually write down your QSL preferences in the QSL field as shown in the screenshot below.
That’s my preference; you can set what suits you best. Moreover, once you’ve set it, go to your profile homepage and you will find the text you just typed is now visible in two places. See the green markings in the screenshot below.
4) LoTW Access
If you have registered yourself on ARRL LoTW (Logbook of the World), then QRZ.com provides you with a great feature wherein you can download your logbook from LoTW to QRZ.com. What makes it great is, QRZ.com counts all the Confirmed QSL of LoTW as valid for all their awards that are ‘DX World’, ‘World Continents Award’, and ‘Grid Square Award.’
It is highly recommended you set up your QRZ profile with LoTW with the Certificate file issued by LoTW. Go to the Logbook => Settings, and you will find this option as seen in the image below.
Click on the setup button, and a new window opens as shown below, click on the ‘choose file’ button, select the certificate file and save.
5) Import & Export
Import option found under Logbook => settings is again a handy feature if you want to import your logbook from another software to QRZ.com. The ADIF file format is what you need to upload here. This format is the standard format in the Ham Radio hobby which is widely used and accepted by all software related to the Ham Radio hobby.
The export option is used to export your entire logbook to an ADIF file, which you can then use to import in any logbook software installed on your PC like ‘Ham Radio Deluxe’ for example.
6) Grid Square
In simple words, a grid square is a six-digit alphanumeric address, of your QTH. As the name suggests, it’s a square-based locator. It is necessary to identify and remember your grid square. It’s used for QSL Cards & electronic QSO. Also, most important for digital communications like FT8 and JT65.
QRZ provides you with an easy way to find out your Grid square. Go to the ‘Edit Page’ Choose the 4th option that is ‘Map, Grid Square, and coordinate settings’ as shown in the screenshot below.
On the new page that opens, you can use the Red Pointer to point at your location, this will automatically, show you your Grid Square. Alternatively, you can enter your longitude and latitude manually, and the Grid square will show up accordingly.
Click the save button. You can now come back to your profile page, and you will see the grid square details has been updated. As seen in the image below.
QRZ.com provides us with a lot of free features as explained in this article. However, it would be more fruitful if you can spend at least 30 US Dollars and take a basic yearly subscription that would give you many benefits as explained below.
a) The search query passed on to QRZ.com by your logging software like Ham Radio Deluxe, JTAlert and all will be responded to very quickly. That means the search results will be instant. It’s beneficial if you are taking part in the contest because it gives you unlimited daily lookups.
b) The export feature I explained in this article (Point No. 5) works only if you have at least a basic subscription that is ‘XML Logbook Data’. It is again beneficial if your logging software gets corrupted, or the database where the records get saved. Maybe your computer crashed, and you are left with no backup. In such scenarios, the export feature of QRZ.com comes to your rescue, you can download the complete logbook and import it into your logging software.
c) You save 5 USD while ordering your award certificate. I saved 15 USD by ordering certificates for my three awards that are ‘DX World Award’, ‘Grid Squared Award’, & ‘Continents of the World’. That means my subscription cost me just USD 15 by the end of the year. See the image given below.
QRZ.com has few other Subscriptions to offer, depending on what suits your requirements.
8) Email Address
Let’s say you are having a QSO right now, you are exchanging the shack details, the other ham is also interestingly diving deep into the antenna he is using right now. It’s been 3 minutes already, all of a sudden the band conditions got worst and you are not able to exchange 73 with each other.
Will you log that QSO in your logbook, well technically you should. But will the other ham do that? Yes, he should. But what if one does the entry and one doesn’t, resulting, no one would have a QSL. In such situations, you can contact that Ham and confirm the QSO. Not just confirm the QSO, but you can take that incomplete conversation to the email and learn more about each other.
This would be possible only if you have an email address specified in your QRZ.com profile. If you haven’t yet, I strongly urge you to do it today itself. Go to the Edit Page, choose the first option ‘Update the basic callsign data (name, address, email, etc.’ and here you can enter your email add.
In my journey of getting DXCC in just 8 Months, QRZ.com has played a significant role. I love QRZ.com. It is 2nd to none.
73, De VU2NFJ
Credit: All images used in this article are taken from QRZ.com