QSL cards and Old Fashioned HF Operating

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SCPD

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Do you send QSL cards, or is this a thing of the past ?

For those that do have QSL cards, do you have a favorite card ? QSL story ?

To me QSL cards are special as they recognize what could be a special contact, but I am kinda old school when it comes to Amateur radio.

I love a good ole HF contact and love working DX stations, but just cannot grasp such things as Dstar and Echolink. Maybe I am stuck in a time warp.

What do you think ?
 
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K9WG

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Do you send QSL cards, or is this a thing of the past ?
I only send/receive paper QSL cards.

For those that do have QSL cards, do you have a favorite card ? QSL story ?
My favorite is KH6BB - USS Missouri. Worked him on 10-meters with 25watts and a dipole. He was calling CQ and no one was answering. Gave a single call and he came back. Absolutely ZERO on the S-meter. I have framed that QSL and it is displayed on my wall.

To me QSL cards are special as they recognize what could be a special contact, but I am kinda old school when it comes to Amateur radio.
I agree. It is so easy to send an e-QSL but takes some effort to send a postcard.

I love a good ole HF contact and love working DX stations, but just cannot grasp such things as Dstar and Echolink. Maybe I am stuck in a time warp.

What do you think ?
Don't know much about Dstar but in my not-so-humble opinion EchoLink is not Ham Radio. I do however embrace modern technology (eg. sound card modes, SSATV and the like).

73 de K9WG

*** paper QSL only! *** ;)
 

k9rzz

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Paper only. LOTW and eQSL don't mean anything to me. I cherish the Soviet QSL cards I have as well as the one from my first ever contact which was written on toilet paper by a fellow high school kid from across town who became a very dear friend. He became a silent key recently and that card is now irreplaceable.
 

mtindor

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I enjoy getting paper QSLs from DX or special events, much more than I imagine any DX enjoys getting them from me. After all, most of us live in the US / Canada and there is certainly no lack of contacts into our countries from DXland.

I have yet to send out a postal QSL to a foreign country though. It's not because I can't afford it. Part of it is laziness, and part of it is simply being clueless about the process. I could use the ARRL Outgoing QSL Bureau, but it would take a year [likely more] for my card to get to the DX. If I send direct, I have to know where to send the card to. Some DX require the card to be sent direct. Some use a QSL Bureau. Some use a QSL Manager to handle their QSLing. Costs vary from country to country. Since we typically aren't rare and the DX typically is at least somewhat rare, the onus is on us to pay to get our QSL to them and to pay for them to get their QSL to us. So that usually entails putting a couple bucks in an envelope with the QSL. Then, for some countries, you can't be sure the QSL will be delivered to them... or if it is delivered, that the green stamps you sent made it to them.

To that end, I find eQSL and LOTW invaluable. LOTW is great for me because I like to pursue the ARRL awards. Both are good and appreciated by many DX, who like I mentioned before typically have seen way too many QSLs from the US for them to be very meaningful. QSL confirmations happen a lot quicker [typically] on eQSL and LOTW for those stations who use them -- thus nearly instant gratification in many cases.

I'd argue that if you can register for an RR account, you can register for an eQSL account and can also go through the process of obtaining an LOTW certificate to allow you to upload your QSOs to LOTW. Although you may not feel like you'd be benefitting [you don't chase awards, and you wouldn't get a paper QSL], the DX would benefit and be appreciative. After all, overall we are a "rich" nation. Many countries around the world are not. In some countries it costs the DX $6 bucks in postal costs alone just to send you a paper QSL. They can't all afford to do that, but they'd still be very grateful to you to recieve a QSL confiration via eQSL and LOTW.

So I'd urge any of you to consider it. Perhaps you have thousands (or 10s/100s of thousands) of QSOs logged on paper and have no desire to transpose them into an electronic log. I certainly can't blame you. But you could obtain eQSL / LOTW accounts and start uploading any new logs. You'd be doing a service for many hams who otherwise aren't going to get a QSL confirmation from you or be able to provide you with a QSL confirmation in return.

Wth all of that said, I still need to get out cards to at least 60 DX stations, some who have sent me cards with "Pse QSL" checked because they are working towards WAS, and others to about 40 DX contacts who do not use LOTW but whom I'd really like to get a QSL confirmation. I'll do it, and I'll be glad when I do [and finally get the hang of it], but at the same time I've already managed to work, WAS on Phone, SSB and RTTY (Triple Play) and have enough credits for mixed mode basic DXCC thanks to LOTW.

Please do consider eQSL/LOTW. Many of your DX contacts will appreciate it.

Mike
 

K9WG

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Here is my latest... Although not a two-way it still was fun receiving it. The operator also noted on the back that he had worked for a broadcast radio station - KWG :p He had a very nice note handwritten on the back - something you won't get with an eQSL


 

SCPD

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Thanks for the QSL card image .... it is great to see what others are getting. I only have 3 QSL cards (all sent via direct mail) right now (but apparently I have 8 more at the incoming bureau). I love getting QSL cards ... and I had one guy send me 20$ US with his card .. so I promptly sent him my card. If I had a scanner (which unfortunately I don't) I would scan in my QSL card for all to see.

I don't know .. but are VE6's somewhat rare ?
 

SCPD

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I worked two VE6 stations in the last 9 years (VE6FN and VE6JY). However most of my HF operations has been on military frequencies.
I know VE6JY .. he has one of those monster stations you see in the Ham magazines that everyone drools over.

I am just struggling to get a signal out of my antennas ... hopefully tomorrow.
 

mtindor

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I know VE6JY .. he has one of those monster stations you see in the Ham magazines that everyone drools over.

I am just struggling to get a signal out of my antennas ... hopefully tomorrow.
ARRL Sweepstakes 2100z Saturday to 0300z Monday. You have tomorrow and some daylight on Saturday to get things in order. Hopefully we don't have flares/CMEs screwing with our radio fun - but it looks like it's a possibility.

From what I logged in the last tow ARRL SS, VE3s are most popular, then VE6s. But that doesn't mean I worked a lot of them. I only worked 3 from ON in the last one. If you're anywhere other than in VE3 territory, you'd be pretty popular.. Many more people will be looking for your section Last year I missed NTW and NL, the rarest from VE-land during contests.

Mike
 

SCPD

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I had a quick QSO with one of my friends and he said my signal was pretty good on 10m and 20m. So I am going to try to make some contacts out of my area ... so who knows what will happen.
 

talviar

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For those that do have QSL cards, do you have a favorite card ? QSL story ?
My favorite all time story involving QSL cards is more of a unique contact that ended with a QSL card the opposite of what you would normally get. . . .
Early 90's I was at the Uniontown Amateur Radio Club clubhouse (W3PIE) before our monthly meeting oeprating the station on 10 Meters (tail end of the skip cycle. . . )

Dialing around I hear a station continually calling CQ . . . .I answered with Whiskey 3 papa india echo . . . . . I hear from half way around the world the phrase "THE PIE CLUB how are things in Uniontown?. . . ."

Turned out to be a group of hams from Ohio (next state over) that went on a DXpedition somewhere near Japan. Talked with them for about 10-15 minutes. When I cleared and they called CQ the freq lit up with a pileup. . . . . .

Forgot all about it until a few months later the club secretary handed me a QSL card and the log book and a blank W3PIE qsl card. . . . The DX pedition sent one out to me even though I didn't request it. Card is still at the radio club somewhere. . . .

73
 

k9rzz

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Quick story that I read years ago. I doubt it's true, but it could be and kind of struck a cord with me.

A fella ham was traveling for work in Southeast Asia and was assigned some work somewhere like Laos or Thailand. Excited to have the opportunity to operate from such an exotic location, he packed his little battery operated rig and obtained a license from that country. Every night he would call CQ with his flea powered rig and short antenna wire tossed out the hotel window, but never got an answer. After a few weeks of doing this, he finally got a call! It was a station from nearby China, callsign BY1XYZ. The signal was weak, chirpy, and drifted but they completed the contact with the usual PSE QSL! Several days went by, and then in the middle of the night, the op heard a lot of commotion in the street outside the hotel followed by a couple gun shots. Curious, he ran outside to see what was going on and he saw a man lying in the street. The police thought the man was a thief trying to break into the hotel, and in the struggle to arrest him, he was shot dead. Looking closely, the ham noticed what looked like a QSL card sticking out of the dead man's pocket. Carefully he pulled it out ... BY1XYZ. He had found where our op was staying and had come to deliver his QSL card in person, but didn't quite make it.
 

W2NJS

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A couple of years ago one of my QSL cards from 1953 or so appeared for sale on eBay. I bought it for $5.00, as best I can recall, and now have it put away. It was legitimate and originally was sent by me to a guy I worked on 40CW in Pennsylvania when I lived on Long Island.
 

SCPD

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I have 8 QSL cards on the way from the incoming bureau ... I am excited to get them. I have about 100-150 to send out .. but I am waiting for my RAC (Canadian equivalent to the ARRL) membership to be processed.
 

LtDoc

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I don't QSL much anymore. For a long time, I made my own and send out a huge lot of them. Using a "Buro" is certainly a nice idea, save postage (which can get kind'a scarey after a while!). I still keep a paper log, and if a station has been logged and wants a card I'll certainly send one. But I've also been 'bit' by those 'phantom' contacts too (not logged, can't even remember being on the air at that time). Oh well, it happens...
- 'Doc
 

KC0KM

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So far the only ones that I have done is with in my own club, and a few others that I know. Even though I do now have a HF rig, we have not set it up yet (still have to clean up where we are going to put the shack). When we do (my father and I), I am not sure what I will do. I have roughly 250 cards at this time, but have a feeling I will go though that quickly.
 

K3DC

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Yes, some of us DO still QSL!

Hi Kevin,

As you say, QSLing seems to be a lost art for many hams today. For one thing, the cost of postage keeps going up and many of us seniors (read OLD GOATS like me) are caught in a squeeze between rising costs and shrinking income. Still, I always send a snail-mail QSL- unless I see the notation in QRZ when I look up the address of the person I've just worked that he/she doesn't QSL by mail. In that case I figure he's telling me not to bother- so I don't! My cards are custom-made, and they're almost a thumbnail biography of me. Needless to say they ain't cheap, and I'm not going to send one to someone who flat out says he doesn't want it. For everyone else, I still go by the old-fashioned idea that "a QSL is the final courtesy of a QSO." I'll admit I don't get nearly as many cards back as I send out, but that's the way the mop flops.

When I played in the U.S. Air Force Band, I had special cards made up with the USAF Band's Wings, Propeller and Lyre emblem on them, and a line across the top that said "With the U.S. Air Force Band on Tour in _________" and my name and my roommate's name and callsigns, with boxes to check by whichever of us made the QSO. We carried a QRP rig on Band tours, and somehow managed to put up an antenna wherever we stayed for the night and work a few CW contacts after the evening's concert. It was fun!

By the way, that advice about eQSLs and LOTW was good; the DX hams do appreciate it- it would literally cost many of them a week's wages to send out traditional cards for just one night's contacts, so it's the only practical way for them to QSL. I'll go that way for them, but for North American stations, I do it the old way. Call me a die-hard old coot if you want, but that's just the way I am. At 73, I've earned the right to be crotchety.

QSL or not, it's really up to you- whichever way you go there are many others in the boat with you. Personally, I'll keep sending 'em out as long as I can- I've done it for nearly 40 years and I ain't gonna change now. As in everything else, YMMV.


73, Bill K3DC
 

SCPD

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Thanks for the reply .. and I do appreciate the input. I am expecting 8 QSL cards from the incoming bureau .. and well I am excited. I would love to get QSL cards from each of my contacts but I think that really isn't reasonable to expect.

Have a great time playing radio ..
 
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