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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

What is the Proper Way to QSL

Ivars Lauzums (KC4PX) on July 25, 2004
View comments about this article!

I think it is time to update all Amateurs, new and old, what the preferred (correct) method is for sending out a direct QSL card. The goal here is to increase awareness so you can achieve a 90+% return rate. I do encourage the readers to add comments to this thread. Comments will most benefit the entire Amateur Community, new and old, and help keep the frustration level at a minimum when receiving a QSL from one who wants one in return.

Let's start with my interpretation of a proper direct QSL method:

1) Double check your QSL to insure it is filled our correctly. Some reverse the "to" and "from" call signs, some put "time" in the "RST" box and so on.

2) Be sure your contact information is READABLE by anyone.

3) If you want a QSL in return, do NOT send a QSL as post card.

4) If you are in the same country, i.e. USA, an SASE (with correct postage) is the preferred method. Include the SASE in an envelope with your QSL card. Please make sure your return address is READABLE. Some that I have received cannot be decoded due to poor penmanship.

5) If you send a direct QSL to a foreign ham, you should enclose a self-addressed envelope AND a minimum of $2 for return postage (or an IRC if they still offer them at the P.O). Yes $2, since foreign country postage has significantly increased in the past year and the dollar has decreased.

6) QSLing to DXpedition managers. SASE for US managers is a must. In addition, enclosing a contribution (additional dollar or two) to cover expenses by the manager (yes he does buy cards, envelopes etc.) is a good practice to keep in mind. I always add this to any DXpedition QSL.

7) For Overseas QSL managers, enclose a self-addressed envelope with $2 for postage plus a contribution.

I did not plan on going into QSL Bureaus and proper etiquette. I'll let the comments section deal with it. And, yes, sending out QSL cards via the direct method is expensive, but the results are fantastic.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K5UJ on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
<<<3) If you want a QSL in return, do NOT send a QSL as post card.>>>

If you want a qsl from me, don't just print out a computer generated label with all of the qso data, stick that on your card and send it. That degree of personalization will get it thrown in my trash as an example of what I call QSL junk mail.
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by N2LWL on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
If anyone sends a QSL card to me, even a computer-generated sticker on a card with no personalization, I always reply. If someone took the time to send out a card, I respect the effort (no matter how small) and I reply. I don't require return postage, but that's just me. Some folks don't have the extra bit of cash available for return postage. Sending a QSL and a return envelope for 100 cards will cost $74 in postage alone... you still need the cards printed and the envelopes.

Some suggested methods for domestic QSL frugality include joining some clubs like OMISS (Old Man International Sideband Society at www.omiss.net). Using the club QSL buro will certainly save on QSL'ing, and the return rate for me is over 96%.

As far as DX, you can't beat the ARRL for cheap, but the wait is excruciatingly long. Another issue concerns the call area buros - I've sent money via mail and PayPal to the 2-land call buro, and I cannot get anyone there to even tell me if they have received my payments, how many credits I have, or if they have my updated address on file. The last time I received cards from them was years ago, and I know that I have had seventeen sent via the buro. My next step to prod someone in the 2-land buro is to contact the ARRL district manager and ask them to investigate if my money was just pocketed.

The rest of the methods by the original author are fine - especially the writing part. Make sure your info is legible, your logs are very accurate (QSL managers will do a cursory lookup, but won't spend a day trying to dig your busted call out of the logbook). The extra green stamps for DXpeditions is also a great idea, as is supporting organizations like INDEXA (www.indexa.org). Sometimes a little thank-you to a QSL manager goes a long way too, as it really is a thankless job they perform.

Good DX and 73,
Guy, NY0K (ex-N2LWL)
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K0RFD on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
In contrast to your 2-land experience, the Zero bureau encloses a little statement every time they send you cards that tells you how many envelopes you have left, how much postage, etc. I had heard they had some problems in the past, but right now they are very professional about what they do. And what a bargain! While I might not live long enough to get DXCC relying solely on bureau QSLs, it's my method of choice except for rare ones I might only have one or two chances for.

At least until I win Powerball.
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K6BBC on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I was working toward a goal of earning my DXCC by the end of 03 (came close, received my 100th card in March of 04). My return rate was well over 90% when sending self-addressed envelope and $2.00 in cash. So, if one is really serious, and does not want to wait months or even years for the bureaus, this is the best bet.

Frankly, what I would like to see, is eQSL or emailed QSL cards made more common and acceptable for awards. I think printing the card at destination encourages the modernization of the hobby. Receiving cards in the mail is quaint, but clearly with today’s technology, an anarchism.

K6BBC
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by W4TYU on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The Postal Service still sells IRCs at $1.75. They are good for the lowest rate Air Mail postage which may not be to the US. They also require a visit to a Post Office which will accept them. It may not be a reasonable trip for some operators therefore may cause a long wait until the trip can be made.

Other than that I agree with every word in the article.

By the way I computer address my return envelopes and put a handwritten word of thanks on each card with or without a computer label.

Ole man JEAN
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by AL2I on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the info guys. I have had to be "Elmered" more than once about QSL cards. Why is RF so simple and QSLing so hard? In the Elmers forum, there was one particularly good post for beginners by W2AEW at this link: http://www.eham.net/forums/Elmers/68358 and I received some handy info about bureaus at this link: http://www.eham.net/forums/Elmers/67884

( I hope those links work. )

I love it when someone doesn't do the "buro", but instead sends me a QSL card direct -- and if they do, I respond immediately. Nice QSLs with a personal note get my best card in return, and probably a personal note as well. You can look up the international direct mail using the USPS online calculator at http://ircalc.usps.gov/

 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by AL2I on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Direct Airmail letter post to Canada and Mexico is $0.60 Everywhere else seems to be $0.80
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by WA6BOB on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I QSL 100% Postcard, Bureau, SASE, Eqsl, and LotW.
I will admit that there is a better percentage of replies with an SASE, a bit different than the methods, scores ago.
If you can afford the rig you can at least afford the courtesy of a card, the Highest reward of the QSO.
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by W4EF on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
FYI - when dealing with countries that are notorius for postal fraud, I have had some good luck using registered mail return receipt. I had two 160 meter "holdouts" in the former Soviet Union that I had all but given up on. When I used registered mail return receipt, I got cards back in about 1 month from both stations (seven years after I had made the contacts). It costs about $10 to send a letter to Russia via registered mail return receipt, but if you figure the cost associated with making multiple failed attempts, it starts to make economic sense. I have also started using Bill Plum's nested airmail envelopes and the foreign stamps he sells (I his used Russian stamps for the SASEs on those two Russian holdouts that I sent via registered mail).

http://www.angelfire.com/md/k3ky/page35.html


73 de Mike, W4EF......................
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by WB2WIK on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Nice work, Ivars!

Anecdote from my earliest years, as a new Novice: When I first got on 15m CW (40m dipole and a couple of new crystals!), I discovered "DX." And soon discovered people saying, "QSL OK VIA BURO." My first thought was, "Where do they deliver mail using donkeys? Here in America, we use trucks." I pictured Jan Valdez of the coffee commercials using his burro to haul mail in the off-season for coffee beans.

No kidding.

I agree with those who enjoy getting old-fashioned cards in the mail, whatever route they take. The eQSL thing doesn't do it for me. Even when cards take years to arrive via the donkey -- I mean, the bureau -- it's still a fun moment to open that envelope and see what's in it.

WB2WIK/6



 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by W2AEW on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Another important point is the format of the date. In the US, it is most common to use MM/DD/YY. However, most of the rest of the world uses DD/MM/YY. This can cause a lot of confusion. For example, is 06/12/04 representing June 12th or December 6th?

So, try to be unambigious with your date format, particularly for DX cards. Personally, I use the DD/MMM/YY, where the MMM is a three letter abbreviation for the month, such as 24JUL04.
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by WD8WV on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I QSL via the USPS, Buro, eQSL and LOTW. I have sent some QSL cards direct with a SA envelope and a buck or two, but you have to watch. I read somewhere where there are some countries where it is illegal to have US currency in your possession. So you need to know if the country you are sending the card to will accept US currency. You sure don't want the guy you talked to going to jail because he had a couple of one dollar bills.

I have always hand written all my QSL info on my cards. I think it adds that personal touch. The computer label is okay, most logging programs have that capability which makes it nice to print out all the information in a standard format. Especially if you just worked a hundred or more stations over the weekend.

The one thing I don't like is when you send someone a QSL card and you don't get one in return. Even after the second or third card to the fellow and on the third including a SASE thinking that is why he didn't send one, and you still don't get anything.

In my log book I have over 1300 contacts and I think that I have about 200 or 300 QSLs to confirm the contacts.

73
Juddie WD8WV
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K8WV on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
There is pretty much a foolproof date system. Use Roman numerials for the month.

For example, what's 6 VI 1944? or 11 IX 2001.

Easy!
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by WB2WIK on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I've used roman numerals for the month ever since I started QSLing almost 40 years ago, and it's true, everyone seems to get it.

73 on 25-VII-04

WB2WIK/6
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K8UPA on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I respond to anyone who sends one, regardless if postage paid or not. I like to think it's still one of the last "old time" respects of ham radio.
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by N3GH on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Nice Work Alan, (W2AEW)
For my part I respond to all cards I get no matter how they are sent. As long as I can read them. Hi Hi
I look forward to seeing all your cards gentlemen.
73
N3GH
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K7VO on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I QSL 100% to those who send me a card. If it's sent as a post card, well.... that's fine by me. I'll probably send it back the same way with a 23 cent stamp on it for a domestic card.

If I really want the card back I will include an SASE (domestic) or an IRC or two (international) but that's as far as I go. I don't believe in paying for cards to be sent to me and I do believe that QSLing is a courtesy.

73,
Caity
K7VO
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by W2IRT on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
This is a reprint of what I posted to rec.radio.amateur.dx last year.

Here's a brief overview of what I've been using now with very good
results (almost 87% according to the last report I ran).

My outbound envelope that contains my Self Addressed Envelope (SAE),
return postage money
($1 or $2 depending on destination - NEVER IRCs) and card is a number 10
(standard size) self-adhesive security type. I bought 500 at a Costco
last fall and I find them to be of very good quality and resistant to
prying eyes. You can find them everywhere for next to nothing. The
ones I use are made my Mead, but I'm sure there are others that are
just as good. By "security" envelope, I mean a tinted swirl pattern
on the inside to help mask the contents.

For return SAE I use a number 7 or number 9 envelope. These are
slightly smaller height-wise than a number 10. The difference is the
width (7s are 3 7/8" x 7 1/2", narrower than 9s), but both will fit
just about any QSL you will get back. I've never had one mangled in
either size. One big problem now is finding a source for these
envelopes. I used a wonderful combination of Eaton Air Mail envelopes
a couple of years ago, but Eaton has since stopped making them.

I found Ron, W7NN's web site (www.hamstuff.com) had what I needed for
a good price. These are security #7 envelopes, 22# paper and of good
construction. They are NOT air-mail envelopes, but as I've been
finidng out, that's becoming less of an issue these days.

I only wish I could find a source for pre-gummed "peel-and-seal #7 security
envelopes.

As for air-mail (red and blud stripes) or non-air-mail envelopes, I
don't know that it makes much difference. For one thing, I've had a
LOT of hams scratch out "Air Mail" on my return SAE and send it
printed matter rate. It *still* gets to me in a week to 10 days from
wherever. Second, the nice bright and colourful AIR MAIL printing
sticks out like a sore thumb, and if you're worried about postal
thieves, I'd think you'd not want your return card being diverted for
extra attention, even thoughit's just a card--once a dishonest
employee realizes there's nothing of value in it, your prized card and
envelope might just be thrown out to "hide" the evidence of tampering.

I compromised a bit. I purchased an AIR MAIL/PAR AVION rubber stamp
(as well as a round "QSO Verified by W2IRT" stamp) from W9XR's
X-Stamper site (http://www.qth.com/stamper/stamp1.htm -- 5 day
delivery of a custom stamp for a very good price). I stamp the white
return envelope front and back with this air mail stamp.

Some other tips you might be interested in if you're concerned about
theft.

Make your outbound mailer as inconspicuous as possible, and as
resistant to prying eyes as possible. If sending to a suspect country
(ex-USSR, many south American countries, etc), I put the GS and card
inside the security SAE. If it's a critical card, I'd also consider
wrapping everything in a piece of carbon paper or black construction
paper. Remember to put the SAE into the outbound envelope UPSIDE DOWN
so that if the DX station uses an electric envelope opener, your
return envelope's flap won't risk being amputated!

Another thing I do is I rubber stamp my outgoing envelope with my
business name and return address rather than my personal name. It's
been suggested that thieves are less likely to tamper with
business-looking mail than personal mail. I also used a postal meter
for a while instead of stamps to reduce the possibility of theives
santching my letter because of the nice 80-cent stamp.

A little thing you might also want to consider is putting your
callsign *under the flap* of the return envelope, just in case the
foreign station (or more likely, manager) accidentally mis-matches
your QSL card and envelope. This is the ONLY place that ANY CALLSIGN
should ever appear on ANY envelope since once the SAE is sealed, it's
invisible, but it's right there for the envelope stuffer to see when
he's about to do the stuffing! Callsigns are postal short-hand for
"Steal Me Please!"

Incidentally, you don't need to print AIR MAIL stickers up--your local
(in the USA) post office has really nice and very sticky dark blue
ones that you can get for free.

If I'm sending to any country where I suspect tampering might be a
concern, I put everything into the return SAE as I said previously,
put it in upside down, then seal the outbound envelope's flap with
packing tape. Across the tape I put one of these USPS AIR MAIL
stickers (usually diagonally) so that it bridges the flap, body and
packing tape. I might also put an Air Mail sticker on the front, or if
not, I'll just use my rubber stamp.

Finally, to make your mailings more business-like, and thus not
attract as much attention, I use my logging software (DX Base) to print
up mailing labels. I've found that ever since going over to that
method of addressing outbound envelopes, I've gotten a MUCH higher
rate of return. That and not using IRCs!!

Of course, you can save yourself a lot of anguish by using mint stamps
for the countries you're QSLing instead of sending Green Stamps! I now
have about 5 sets of mint stamps for the countries in which a lot of
QSL managers are located (Spain, Germany, France, England and Italy), plus countless ones and twos from other places like Poland, the Netherlands and Brazil

Use stamps that are as boring as possible. The nicer and more
unique the stamp you put on your outgoing envelope, the more attention
it will attract from stamp-hounds along the route. By the same token,
the current 80-cent stamp is so overwhelmingly common that it will
likely be overlooked. In other words, don't get fancy!

Don't use the small size number 6 3/4 envelopes that are sold in
Staples by the boxload. They will fit a typical US card just nicely,
but they will NOT fit a larger European sized card. Either the DX
station will FOLD the card to fit in the envelope or they will seal
the envelope over top of the card, likely getting stickum on the card
itself. Neither situation is good, so just use a #7 return and you'll
be happy.

If your SAE is not of the peel-and-stick variety, and your card
will be in a hot, humid environment, put a piece of wax paper between
the gummed flap and body of the SAE. In hot and sticky environments,
your lick-n-stick envelope can seal itself due to the moisture in the
air--which just might result in your getting no card back or getting
it back through the bureau if the DX doesn't feel kind enough to give
you a new envelope, or try to rescue your old one.

It's been said that QSLing (and ham radio in general) will teach
you at least two things in life. The first is geography and the second
is patience!

Good Luck!
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K0RS on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
K5UJ sez:

"If you want a qsl from me, don't just print out a computer generated label with all of the qso data, stick that on your card and send it. That degree of personalization will get it thrown in my trash as an example of what I call QSL junk mail."

My. What do you expect, a love letter begging for your card? "Dear Bob, I'll never forget our QSO. I was the most memorable of my amateur career. Your Hi-Fi SSB really gave me a woody. Now that we're friends forever, if you could just spare a QSL for me..."

It's a confirmation of a QSO, not a marriage proposal.

For my part, I would rather receive a clean card in an envelope with a computerized label than a postcard, wadded up by the USPO and smeared with cancellation ink, with illegible handwritten scrawlings and incorrect data.

With apologies to FISTS, "Accuracy trancends sentiment." Computers and laser printers are pretty good at that.

Often contest stations and dx'peditions QSL 'en masse' by the thousands via the buro. Would you expect a cute little personal note on all those cards too? A smiley face perhaps? And no rubber stamps either, Buster!

But I suppose you disapprove of those kind of "impersonal" QSO's too, so those cards would also be "QSL junk mail."
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by W8KQE on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
One of my biggest pet peeves is domestically sending out your QSL card with a larger, business size 4 1/8" by 9 1/2" SASE enclosed, and getting a QSL card in return SENT AS A POSTCARD!!! Are some hams that cheap and tacky that they would keep your SASE for themselves, save a few measly cents, and send a QSL card to you as a postcard?!?! Not to mention that in many cases, the postcard arrives in less than pristine condition (with rips, bends, marks, smudges, etc.).

Another thing is that if I send you an SASE with my QSL, especially repeatedly, and you don't or won't QSL, send me back a small note with my postpaid envelope saying "I don't QSL - sorry", or "my dog ate my QSL batch", or whatever! This is common courtesy for your fellow Ham.
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by N5PMK on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I read an article very similar to this a few months ago
on another web-site, possibly by the same author. I use all of the recommended techniques as described. My success with returns from individuals is fairly respectable, however, I'm really disappointed with my returns from Amateur Clubs runnung special events. I've recently concentrated on special events because of the unique cards they have made for their events, but, I have several contacts (over 20)from as far back as 3 months that have not returned QSL's, and I have DX contacts from much more recently that have already returned QSL's. I don't understand. I send SASE's with all my cards and in some cases, not all, add a monetary contribution for the club. Is there something I'm missing? Thanks

KA2EMT/ Randy
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by G5FSD on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
>I've used roman numerals for the month ever since I
>started QSLing almost 40 years ago, and it's true,
>everyone seems to get it.

>73 on 25-VII-04

a 25 isn't a problem anyway though! Plus, how do we
know if VII is the 7th month or the 7th day?!

Isn't it easier to use the ISO standard YYYY-MM-DD
where the parts decrease in size order - just like the constituent parts of normal numbers... thousands, hundreds, tens, units etc. ...

73 on 2004-07-26

PS Any QSLs go straight in the bin here, I'm
interested in RADIO, not mailing pointless cards
around. If you need a little card to prove (to who,
yourself or others?) the contact was made then I
believe you've missed the point somewhere. Where's the
'self training' and 'technical investigations' in
card collecting?
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K3WQ on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I always reply if I receive a QSL card. And I usually send a QSL for every QSO. I use the ARRL QSL services for foreign cards. I send all cards to North American stations directly.

I typically send QSLs as post cards, and they seem to hold up fairly well. My job requires me to travel, so I've experimented by mailing my QSLs to myself. The card I sent myself from Hawaii looked just fine when it arrived. The only exception I encountered was a card I sent to Canada that was returned (address unknown). That one was really mangled, but I suppose it was to be expected. After all, it roamed the continent and passed through the US and Canadian postal systems twice.

-Dave, K3WQ
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by AB0WR on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
This may be considered a little off topic but here goes. I am a regular member of the local and regional National Traffic System nets. I've often had discussions on how to generate useful traffic for the nets. One thing that has come up in the past is to send an acknowledgement message via the NTS when you receive a QSL. Just a short note to say you received it would most times be very welcome, especially if it says the reply is in the mail! It would also generate some "real" traffic for the nets to handle and would provide valuable training for many net members.

73,

tim
ab0wr
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by NE1RD on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Ivars Lauzums (KC4PX) wrote:
... a great article. Nice post. Thank you. I've largely followed
your suggestions in my brief tenure in the hobby but I'm finding
the additional comments by the other posters helpful also!
Nice post; nice thread!

Here's a couple of remarks on specific things:

K6BBC wrote:
> My return rate was well over 90% when sending self-addressed
> envelope and $2.00 in cash.

My experience parallels yours. I've gotten WAS, WAC, and DXCC
with this method. I also agree with your assertion that
on-line QSLing should be better accepted. But I hope the
cards, envelopes, and very interesting stamps from all around the
world will continue to come to my mailbox! I don't think one form
of QSLing need completely replace the others.

=-=-=-=

K5UJ wrote:

<<<3) If you want a QSL in return, do NOT send a QSL as post card.>>>

> If you want a qsl from me, don't just print out a computer
> generated label with all of the qso data, stick that on your
> card and send it. That degree of personalization will get it
> thrown in my trash as an example of what I call QSL junk mail.

I understand your sentiment. However, there are hams with
physical disabilities that might preclude use of a pen. For
those folks, at least, this might be their only option.

For larger contest stations, which might receive thousands
of QSL requests each year, I also understand their use of
computers. Without them, it would be a full-time job to
create hand-written responses. County hunters, especially,
with their 3000+ QSO targets, have probably benefited from
this automation--and I wish them well.

W4EF wrote:
> I have had some good luck using registered mail return receipt.

That's an interesting idea! I think we should all add that to our
arsenal. If you're two cards away from honor roll, I'm guessing
the extra $10 doesn't sound like much money. If only I had that
problem! ;-)

=-=-=-=

WB2WIK wrote:
> I've used roman numerals for the month ever since I started
> QSLing almost 40 years ago, and it's true, everyone seems
> to get it.

First of all, congratulations on 40 years in the hobby!
(I've been in the hobby fewer than 24... months!) I think
I'll take your suggestion. I've received a couple of cards with
the month/day reversed already. If this helps clarify things
it will be well worth it. Good idea. Thank you.

=-=-=-=

I've done nearly all my work on phone thus far. I'm now
working hard on my CW skills. Eventually, I plan on operating
all CW for a while. That means many more cards to go out!
I'll take these many ideas and see how it turns out. Meanwhile,
PSE QRS (hey, I'm new to this!) and PSE QSL TNX 73 es CUL.

-- Scott (NE1RD)
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by N4LI on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I like cards, and I enjoy getting them.

I will return (provided, of course, the station is in the log) regarless of how it was sent -- post card, in envelope, etc.

But, it speeds up the process for me if I get a return envelope. With an envelope, I can check the log, fill out the card, and drop in the outgoing. 30 seconds.

Generating an envelope takes a bit longer; I computer generate my envelopes to make sure they are legible. So, sometimes, those cards get stuck in a pile, and get handled in a few days later as a batch. Sadly, I had two or three get lost on the desk under somepapers, and I found them several weeks later. My fault, I guess...

As far a BURO is concerned, just one pet peeve. I had a couple of cards I sent direct with $2 in the envelope. They got returned via the Bureau. I thought that was a bit tacky.

Peter, N4LI

PS: Thanks for KC4PX (the original poster) for handling the K4T cards. That's a tough grid for those of us on 6m. I hope he finds my card to be all in order. :)

 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K4KAL on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
It has amazed me lately that DX Stations with there Large Towers, and Antenna's over Antenna's installations get on the air, create pileups, and then when you ask them for the QSL Route, the say... "Oh I don't send out cards anymore." At least give those new hams a chance to get there contacts confirmed by a card, or use ARRL's LotW, and upload your logs. If you can afford these expensive antenna's, I think you can spend some effort on sending out cards. Personally, once I here the DX Station say, they don't send out QSL Cards, I QSY and work someone else.
 
A Simple Suggestion  
by NJ0E on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
i have a simple suggestion. put your qsl policy in your
'biography' suggestion on 'qrz.com'. that way, fellow
hams won't waste money on postage sending qsls to folks
who don't want them.

example; here's my qsl policy from my qrz.com:

'i enjoy qsl'ing, and i reply 100% to all cards
received. it is not necessary to enclose an s.a.s.e.
if you send me a card, and don't receive a reply from
me, please let me know and i will see to it that you
receive one.'

if you don't qsl, just say, "sorry, i don't qsl".
if you require an s.a.s.e., say so.

what could be more simple?

73
scott nj0e
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by KA3POY on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I try to return QSL 100%, both direct and buro. Cards that come with SASE usually go out same day or next day. It's not the postage, it's just the convenience that speeds it up :)


very best wishes,

Tim
N5IIT
was KA3POY
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by AD1C on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
W4TYU wrote:

"The Postal Service still sells IRCs at $1.75."

They are available on the "used" market for $1.05 or so.

G3SWH and KU9C usually have few to sell.

73 - Jim AD1C
 
Old-Fashioned - - - Outdated  
by WPE9JRL on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Just like most aspects of ham radio, QSL is another outdated, annoying aspect of the hobby.

Sending out paper cards via the snail mail.

Ever see a so-called ham "estate" sale? The hams tell the widow that they're "valuable".....people are even trying to sell them on eBay for heavens' sake!

I'm way ahead of the game by tossing out the cards, unread, as soon as they arrive.

QSL's are junk mail.

 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by KB9BIT on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I will QSL 100% and don't require a SASE. My only requirement is that the information on your card is correct. My biggest problem comes from those that don't know how to properly use UTC. Way too often the time is correct by UTC but the date reflects the local date. [Example; if it is 7pm EST on a Monday night then it is 0000 UT on Tuesday.] I don't know how many cards I have received that have the date as local and the time as UTC. I usually throw these cards away and don't reply. QSL cards with incorrect data are completely useless to me and are not worth keeping. This may sound picky but it's my pet peeve.
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by KB9BIT on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I will QSL 100% and don't require a SASE. My only requirement is that the information on your card is correct. My biggest problem comes from those that don't know how to properly use UTC. Way too often the time is correct by UTC but the date reflects the local date. [Correct example; if it is 7pm EST on a Monday night then it is 0000 UT on Tuesday.] I don't know how many cards I have received that have the date as local and the time as UTC. I usually throw these cards away and don't reply. QSL cards with incorrect data are completely useless to me and are not worth keeping. This may sound picky but it's my pet peeve.
 
RE: A Simple Suggestion  
by G5FSD on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
> if you don't QSL, just say, "sorry, I don't QSL"

The problem with that is that they then repeat
their last over, because you didn't receive it!
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by N0IU on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
All of the comments about what to include on a QSL card are certainly valuable, but one also must consider what NOT to put on a QSL card. Below is my submission from the Opion Forum on the most memorable QSO experience:

My most memorable contact really did not involve the contact itself, but rather it was the QSL. I was a fairly new ham and successfully worked an S5 (Slovenia) on phone.

Since almost every DX contact was a new one for me at the time, I was in the habit of making a note on the card that said, "Thanks for the new country!". Of course my intention was to thank the operator for adding his country to the list of DXCC countries I had worked. Anyway, I popped my QSL card in the mail with an IRC. Several weeks later I received my card back from the station along with a tersely worded note in broken English telling me that Slovenia was not a new country at all and furthermore, he refused to send one of his own QSL cards back to me!

Lesson learned: Just put the contact information on the card and leave off any comments especially when QSLing to a DX station who may not have a good grasp of the English language!

73,
de Scott NĜIU
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by KB9YGD on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Very Good Article Ivars.There Are many Ops Out There That Dont Know How To Qsl And/Or Just Dont Care.If An Amatuer Wants To Receive some Of The Award`s Available In Ham Radio He/She Will Have To Qsl At Some Point.You Have Guys That Work DX Once In A Few Years And Never Have Or For That Matter Even Care About Qsling Or The Poor guy On The Other Side Of The Planet That Need`s This Card For An Award.Its Sad But TRUE.You Have Hams Out There That Have Many Qsl`s Waiting For Them In Their BURO & Dont Even Know It & Couldnt Care Less,Another Sad But TRUE Example.There Are Also Hams That Have Signed Up At EQSL & NEVER Went Back & Have Hundreds Of EQSL`S Waiting For Them.For The Record I ALLWAYS Send A Card Back To The Op No Matter What,23 Cents Wont Break Me...I Have Had Very Good Results Direct($0.70) & Even Direct($0.23) But If You Need The Card I Would Suggest Sending It Along With You`re S.A.S.E.I Like The BURO Eventho Its Slow If You Qsl A lot Its The Best Way To Go.Tnx For The Nice Article & 73,de Norm(KB9YGD)
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by W3NRL on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I QSL and EQSL, I do not want anyone to send SASE, But when they do SASE i send back that day, I do response to all QSL to me. For those who request a SASE.....i dont bother at all .23 cent will not break you, and those i look up on QRZ.com and they have a picture of there 42 million dollar station and then ask for SASE............not happing they can keep there cards!!!
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by KC4PX on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I thank you all for the excellent comments about QSL'g. That's why I posted the original text... to develop a thread that expresses your QSL ideas. Yes I encourage all to update your QRZ.com information and indicate your QSL methods.

And for the K4T cards, next week the printer will be delivering full color cards. I'll be busy responding to the two boxes of cards already received.

73, Ivars
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K5SF on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I enjoy QSLing, it's one of the times I get to see a bit more about the people I talk with on the radio.

Sending along a hand written note really help in the rates of return. I use a special stamp on the card so it looks professional.

As for me, I QSL 100% when requested, I load all logs to lotw and EQSL.

The Buro is the absolute best way to send and receive DX QSLs. For the contries that have a buro, that is the best way to go. I'm not in big hurry.

For CONUS a postcard yields a good rate of return, about 50 to 60%, Most hams know the importance of QSLing for awards. ( Yes I know USPS loses about 2% ). A second mailing 6 months later with a SASE is usually good to get half of those returned. So I figure the others that do not reply after 6 months from a SASE, never will, Those go into my 'do not QSL' file so I never make any more requests from them.

My costs have to be in control, so the Buro, and Post card are the best ways to send requests initially. SASE and Direct $$ are usually delayed a while. Often times I'll get a DX LOTW confimation or card back from another request that removes the need.

One last request, I would pay a small fee for a web page that lists people that don't QSL. That would save me alot in my mailings. ( I've sent out 2000 just in the last year ) Then we could handle people who trash their QSL's upon receipt without ever looking at them by reducing their junk mail. I know they would be happy. I'll donate my list of NON QSLers to it to get it started.

73's
Rich
K5SF
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by WB2TQC on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I QSL 100%. In most cases I almost never send a card out as a postcard. I just think it gets there in better shape. If I had my druthers everyone would do this but I realize that not everyone can afford to. I would NEVER throw a rcvd QSL in the round file. How inconsiderate is that???? What could be so wrong with a card that would make someone do that? A fellow ham took the time to fill out a card and send it to you. His/Her penmanship (Mine) might not be too good. The date/Time might not be correct, but so what? Is your call correct? What are you collecting the cards for anyway. There ARE cards I need in order to obtain certain awards but mostly I love receiving cards just for the surprise of it. Just for the feeling of continuity, for the anticipation of imagination. I don't send or receive cards soley to make a quota. That's not what it's all about. What I have noticed in this post is that people who DO QSL are very proud of the fact. While people who DON'T QSL seem to have very defensive and sometimes vindictive reasons for not doing so. The topic is about the proper way to QSL. If you don't QSL then there's no reason to post. If you need to say that you don't QSL then just say it. As one poster wrote "put it in your QRZ Bio" or make it part of your closing transmission " Oh & btw OM I don't QSL. 73, SK .................. I use a SASE for every card I need. Greenstamps and IRC's internationally. If you get a card from me without a SASE it's because I don't need a return. I'd like one but if it's a problem then it's OK. I'll feel bad but don't let it bother you.....Sniff, Sniff I keep the tears away from the electronics :) 73,
John WB2TQC
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K0IZ on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
THanks, guys, for all the suggestions. I'm working on my (second-time around) DXCC and learned some things.

Just two comments:

I got my license back in 1957. QSL cards are great memory-refreshers, that are appreciated much after the awards.

If you don't QSL, please tell people. QRZ.com, on the air, etc. That way you won't be bothered, and we will save our cards and postage.

John
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by W8RCA on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Sending QSLs was one of my great joys when I was first licensed. Today I don't send out cards nearly as much but, I would NEVER offend a fellow ham by not returning a card if he sent me one. Common courtesy to a fellow amateur is what I thought the hobby was supposed to be about. So mark me down as old fashion but if I get one in my mailbox you will too.
Regards,
W8RCA
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K7VO on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Well... I stopped at the post office today and picked up some IRCs. I still use them and I do get a good return rate QSLing direct with them.

73,
Caity
K7VO
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K7VO on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Well... I stopped at the post office today and picked up some IRCs. I still use them and I do get a good return rate QSLing direct with them.

73,
Caity
K7VO
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by N3IJ on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
This is a valuable thread.

Regarding the air mail indicia for the SASE, the pretty lady at the PO gave me a handful of the USPS stickers, but I am reluctant to use them for fear they would attract unwanted attention. "Par Avion" stickers without the USPS name appear to be unobtainable. The last few SASEs I got back from Europe had a blue sticker with the words "Priority Prioritaire" in white.

Is that the new international standard? Where can I get the stickers?

I must have sent OZ1BXN too many green stamps, because he enclosed Danish stamps equal to what he put on the envelope. Thanks, Jens! What a guy!

Tom, N3IJ
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by CODEBASHER on July 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Just my opinion:
If I am answering a CQ...CQ they should send a QSL Card and I will return with a QSL card (SASE or not), However If I am sending a CQ then it is up to me to initiate the QSL CCard and I always do and unless the answering party says not to SASE I always send it SASE out of curtesey to them.

That being said since I begain I have sent about 200 QSL's and had gotten about 50% replies even with the SASE. So Now I will only QSL when I am asked for one by them sending me a QSL card. I will QSL 100% those whom ask or send.
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by AC7DX on July 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Please make sure your request goes to the right address.
Get your address info from QRZ.com not a call book or a cd that is 4 years old. When you use qrz.com read what it says!
I am a manager to help the dx station, not put money out of my pocket. I dont make any money doing it and I wont pay your way. SASE or SAE w/postage. and yes, a computer generated qsl or lable is okay here.
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by KX2S on July 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Any way that will get you the needed country!
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by N4VNV on July 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
With the exception of the comments by K0RS, I pretty much agree with the rest of you guys. SO WHY DO I STILL GET THESE CRUMMY POSTCARDS? With a Postal Bar Code tape on top of the critical info.
New situation; I got a QSL yesterday in the mail, requesting a card for a QSO 4.5 years ago.(Nov'99)
Am I the only guy that does not use a "computer log program"? My logbooks for 1999 are packed away in a pile of boxes in the basement. And I will not send an "un-verified" QSL! I don't believe I'm the only one in this situation, just the only one that will admit it. I do NOT have a room in my house dedicated to ham radio. My rig sits in the corner of the living room. So, if you want a QSL from me, don't wait over six months to send me one.
Last, I believe someone should do a survey on what percentage of hams are QSLing for awards, and what percentage just want to get a nice/interesting QSL card. I feel the problem is caused by "award hunters" sending Post Cards to keep costs down. But I believe most of us are not in that catagory. Therein lies the problem. I'm perfectly happy to exchange QSL's via "Direct E-mail" with the QSL card attached as a .jpg file. But will not use the "E-Ham" type of logging/exchange. Why, because i'm doing what works best for me. Oh, one more thing. I told the "Buro" over ten years ago to throw any cards to me in the garbage. I'm not going to QSL a card so old the owner has probably passed away already. There is much more to the story about the "Buro", but this is long enough already.
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by KI6LO on July 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
To quote:

"Another important point is the format of the date. In the US, it is most common to use MM/DD/YY. However, most of the rest of the world uses DD/MM/YY. This can cause a lot of confusion. For example, is 06/12/04 representing June 12th or December 6th? ......"

I solved this problem for all my QSL cards. I have setup my date block on the card back to show the 'D', 'M' and 'Y' identified seperately instead of just 'Date'. This way there is no confusion on either end. I might suggest others who are getting cards made look into this format.

I generate my own cards via computer and print them on a color printer front and back using heavy stock photo paper. I use a series of photos (besides radios, I am a avid nature photographer) that I have taken for the front with just my callsign in a contrasting color on the front. All of my data is on the back and well organized. I make up 50 or so at a time.

I still do fill in the QSO data by hand since I like to do that as a personal touch as others have mentioned. I also add a short comment about the QSO (nice audio, strong sigs, band cndx, etc.) and always sign the card. I feel that adds a air of authenticity that the label stick-on type don't have. And it might just make the grade if someone wanted to use my card for an award like DXCC or such where that is an issue.

As far as method of delivery, it varies. Special events, etc. I send a SASE. If someone needs my card, I just send it. Lord knows when I was a young ham I got bunches of cards with no SASE. I always use a cover envelope. I want to have a better than even chance the card will get there unscathed after all the time and effort to make and send it.

For DX, usually I send and receive via 'the donkey' (buro). I just wish someone would feed those donkeys so they would move a little faster, hihi. For special QSOs or needed prefixes, I go direct if possible and cost effective. I haven't reached the point of $10 special deliveries yet but may soon.

In this modern computer world, I also have all my QSOs logged online at eQSL.cc and LOTW. The return rate isn't great yet but I am hoping that it does improve.

Just my thoughts,

73 Gene KI6LO
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K8XF on July 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Regarding QSLING - Thats an interesting subject with me. I finally went for the 5 Band WAS a few months ago and found that many ops are liars when it comes to replies. I always ask if the opr qsls, if he doesnt then I save time and postage and look for another opr from a rare state. When a fellow says he does qsl I will ask if a sase is required. Some say yes, others say no, and some dont answer the question. I have learned that its good insurance to send a sase along. What I have found is that over 10% of the hams never reply to any card. Even with a sase. After the initial qso I have run into some ops after a few weeks on the air and mention that I am still waiting the qsl reply. The standard reply is that I am busy and the qsl is somewhere in a pile on the desk. Look,nobody expects you to reply the next day, but after 4-6 weeks its time to respond. If you dont want to thats fine, but be honest. Tell the opr that you dont care to qsl because your lazy. Dont waste my time and postage sending a card to a fellow that could care less if this is the last state needed to complete some award. I cant believe the response I received from a guy that told me he qsls every 3-4 months. He just lets the cards pile up on the desk. Thats a LAZY Bum!!!

Regarding qsls from DX contacts- I am surprised at all the differant times I have rec from a qso. It looks like some dx ops never check their UTC clock against any standard time signal. Do you know what WWV is???
If you cant copy WWV then find some other stn in Europe.
Dont sent me a card with the time that is off by 3 hrs and 22 minutes.

Last but not least - for all European ops pls write your numbers correctly. Dont send me a qsl with backward 9's, 1's that look like a tall pyramid. There are times that I receive a card that looks like it was a prop from Star Trek.....Dont make life more difficult. When you rec a stack of cards from the bureau nobody needs to become a translater for Hyroglyphics.............

73

Mike, K8XF

 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by KB3KAQ on July 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>
I cant believe the response I received from a guy that told me he qsls every 3-4 months. He just lets the cards pile up on the desk. Thats a LAZY Bum!!!
<<<<

i am in the middle of playing catch-up. i got on HF back in Feb and since then have made 850 or so contacts. if someone sent me a QSL card, i sent one out (many delayed while awaiting my QSL cards to get printed and delivered).

over the past 2 weeks, i have been very selective with new QSO's - if it's from an unconfirmed state/band/mode, or if i worked someone on a net, they get a card.

i am trying to decide how to handle contest contacts. i have a water budget (not even a beer budget) and there is no way i can afford to QSL 200 stations each contest. i'm going to have to be very selective, unless the op asks for a card, then they will get one.

so it has become a pick and choose - interesting QSO's, unique callsigns, needed states, they get the QSL cards. if i need a DX, it goes out thru the BURO.

once i have WAS and DXCC confirmed, the QSL sending will slow, but never stop. my wife enjoys getting the cards slightly more than i do, but wishes more ppl sent them as postcards so they would have cancelled stamps on them, esp. from DX.

regardless, i like getting the mail and if i spend $300 over a year on postage, it's $300 i'm not spending on useless junk or junk food.

-steve
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by KX2S on July 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
WITH A CARD!
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by W2IRT on July 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
>>Last but not least - for all European ops pls
>>write your numbers correctly.
>>1's that look like a tall pyramid.

Ummmmm, Don't get out of the U.S. much, do you?

Did you ever consider that this is the accepted form for writing the digit ONE in Europe? My wife (French-born to American parents and travelled extensively in her youth) still remembers being smacked on the hands for writing her ones down in primary school in the manner you prefer.

There are likely legions of Europeans out there confounded at why the Yanks can't write their digits properly, why they never cross their 7's, etc.
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K8XF on July 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Regarding W2IRT comments - I have been all over the world. From 1980-1996 I was a Ships Radio Electronics Officer in the US Merchant Marine. I know how Europeans write their numbers! Its silly. If you take the time to make a 7 its not required to put a line thru it. A zero is a different matter...HI....
Please tell me the DX excuse for -Time of QSO - being 1-5 hrs off? Or the wrong day? In my career I took my ham rig on many ships and had a ball as /MM
In time after the last ships tour I would rec a mountain of cards for my Maritime ops... trying the read some peoples writting took up a lot of time when you are trying to finish off a foot of received cards.
There were times that a alleged qso could not be found.
No matter what time date or year? BTW, the other day I received some qsl from a contact made in 1981. That card got filed into the wastepaper basket. I dont have anymore /MM cards.....Why wait 23 years to send me a card? . My profession ended in 1996 for me. Please dont send any more qsls for our /MM qso.You go figger!!!
I will be nice and not state what Europeans have the most difficult writting to understand.....
But I think you can guess.........


73

Mike, K8XF

 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K5WW on July 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Please tell us, Mike; what Europeans have the most difficult "writting" to understand?
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K6USI on July 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I got in a contest for a short time about 3 weeks ago, sent out 27 sharp QSL cards all with a return SASE, wanted some wallpaper for the shack. I got 6 returns..Back the 50's, you would send out postcards, no return postage and get back about 98%. Hams in those days had a different attitude about the hobby.
 
What is the Proper (?!?) Way to QSL  
by K8NQC on July 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
There is no such thing as proper QSL rules. I remember in the 50's some guy selling cards put in his ad "A QSL is the final courtesy of a QSO." He sold that idea to some ops. I wonder if he died rich? I don't think that sending surface mail has much to do with radio. I know many active ops who enjoy being on the air, up the tower, or on the bench who are good hams but would not think of sending cards through the mail. I know one who passes out eyeball cards only as one would business cards. Those who require cards for their awards may keep their awards. No one cares about them anyhow. Do they think that someone is going to cheat to win some award whose only value is a sense of accomplishment for the one who earned it? If someone is so deperate for recognition, let the poor soul have it. For those who see this as I do, there is an easy answer. DON'T PURCHASE CARDS IN THE FIRST PLACE ! I wonder how many dollar bills and stamps I threw out with the JUNK QSL mail. Electronic QSL sounded like a good idea until people started dumping their entire logbooks into the system. Now SPAM QSL's have joined the JUNK MAIL QSLs. I think I will add to my QSOs, NO BURO QSL ZERO PERCENT SK

For those of you who enjoy exchanging cards, I hope you get bushels full of them. You may enjoy the hobby as you please. Just don't try to make those of us who enjoy the hobby in a different way feel as if we have a duty to do it your way.

73, Bill
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by KB9YGD on July 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Tnx John For A Very Good Post.Everyone Please Read This Post Twice.73,Norm
 
RE: What is the Proper (?!?) Way to QSL  
by WB2TQC on July 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Bill,
I don't think anyone is saying that you "Have" to or even "Should" QSL. If you don't want to then you just don't. I think what is intended here is to give some pointers to folks whose Rate Of Return leaves something to be desired. Some folk with good experiences offering suggestions to people with poor experiences. There's no doubt that QSL'ing is an expensive aspect of the hobby. If you want to play the game you must be ready to pay the price. How mush you pay is determined by you, your expenses, and your desired results. If I send you a QSL without asking first if yoo would reciprocate them I have nothing to say when you chose not to. I may also be sending it just because I feel like it. With no thought of reciprocity. Don't Worry ---- Be Happy :) 73,
John WB2TQC
 
RE: What is the Proper (?!?) Way to QSL  
by AL2I on July 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
This is a hobby, and thinking badly of a fellow ham for not QSLing as you would like is not a good practice. You don't know the other person's situation.

When I was a kid, I ran out of QSL cards and didn't have enough money to order new ones, because I had let a desperate friend take over my paper route and my primary source of income from shoveling walks and driveways was dependent on snowfall. Some guy sent me several QSLs, increasingly abusive, DEMANDING I return a QSL so he could finally get WAS with Alaska.

I penned a letter explaining that I could verify contact, but that all I had was a plain index card with the contact info. That day, I received another post from the guy that was over-the-top abusive. I had been increasingly worrying about the guy's need for a QSL, but he was really laying it on thick. The letter, index card, and all of his QSLs went in the trash. I even placed a question mark next to his contact info in my station log. LOL!

I stopped doing QSOs, because I never knew who else would get mad at me for not QSLing. I beleive I was 13 years old when I quit, and having people get mad at me was extremely upsetting. I moved on to other things, letting my station languish and my Novice license expire. (They were only good for 2 years back then, and not renewable, so it took an ongoing commitment to continue with a higher license.)

So, at 13 I quit Amateur radio because a single QSL-demanding adult pushed me over the edge. Now that I am an adult and have reinserted into the hobby, I certainly don't plan to repeat his behaviour. QSLs are another fun aspect of the hobby, and I am having a ball getting and sending QSLs again -- all the more so now that I can easily afford them!

Some hams are not interested in QSLs. That is fine. I am glad to share a QSO and 73.
 
RE: What is the Proper (?!?) Way to QSL  
by G3RZP on July 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
One problem with computer generated QSLs are the guys who QSL 100%, especially for contests. Some of the well known US Contesters QSL 100% every QSO. So you can end up with 50 or 60 cards from the one station in a year - and the same the next year, and the year after that and..... I actually have a blacklist for when I'm handing out contest Qs - I have to pay for them to come from the bureau, and just how many cards do I want from the same station?

To be honest, just how many more cards do I want from the US anyway? So if you really need a card for an award, say so. I don't QSL unless I need a card from you, or the you really need one from me. Or if he QSLs direct with an IRC or green stamp, I'll reply.

20 years as a bureau sub manager taught me this:

50% of cards via the bureau go into the rubbish bin, as the addressee doesn't collect.

100% QSLing from contest and special event stations destroy forests and fill rubbish bins!

An appreciable number of cards are guesswork - like having G3RZP on one side of the card and G3RPZ on the other. Whose is it?

Special event stations are bad, too, especially where the operator doesn't write the card. Cards sent to G3RZ?, for example. If they don't know the callsign, how the hell do I?

73

Peter G3RZP
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by NJ0E on July 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
back in the mid-1970's when i was a beginning radio
amateur, the overwhelming majority of cards were
sent as postcards with a 9c stamp, instead of being
sent in an envelope with a 13c stamp. that helped
hold the cost of qsl'ing down for alot of hams, and
certainly did for me. in some cases, hams who didn't
want or couldn't afford to have printed cards would
buy a blank 9c postcard at the post office, and
"homebrew" a quick card with a felt tipped pen. i
have saved -every- qsl card (or qsl letter) i
received in the 28 years i've been a ham, and
these homebrew "from scratch" cards are some of my
favorites. so no one should feel like their only
choices are having cards printed or not qsl'ing
at all!

i -still- enjoy receiving cards sent as postcards
with a 23c stamp, they don't have to be in an
envelope with 37c first class postage for me to
enjoy them.

73
scott
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K4JF on July 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I am amazed that there are people who think there is something wrong with QSLs, or that there is even something wrong with traditional mail. Neither is obsolete nor ever will be. It is TRUE that "A QSL is the final courtesy of a QSO." If you choose to ignore the courtesy, then just say so. But that is no different from ignoring other courtesies of life.
That said, those who DEMAND QSLs are out-of-line also. After 29 years a ham, I still QSL 100% on cards received. I'll send for most QSOs, especially DX, but never more than one to a station. If my log shows I QSLed you, you won't get any more. Unless you ask... then I'll send one with a smile. Maybe you need confirmation on a different band. I do enjoy browsing old QSLs, of which I have quite a few. eQSL and LoTW will never replace that experience. I just wish my "buro" were more reliable. (And, by the way, no forests are destroyed to make paper. Paper is made from pulpwood, which is grown and harvested and replanted on farms, just like corn, potatos, soybeans and all the rest.)
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K6DSW on July 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I would suggest that water soluble inks should be avoided on both cards and envelopes. Many ink jet printers use water soluble inks, if the envelope gets wet the address may be un readable. Rollerball and similar pens are also water soluble, most ballpoints are ok.

Donald Wilson
K6DSW
 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by NN6EE on July 31, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
What is the Proper Way to QSL Reply
by K5UJ on July 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
<<<3) If you want a QSL in return, do NOT send a QSL as post card.>>>

If you want a qsl from me, don't just print out a computer generated label with all of the qso data, stick that on your card and send it. That degree of personalization will get it thrown in my trash as an example of what I call QSL junk mail.
*****************************************************

I guess UJ isn't into chasing DX or DXCC credits because ALL major DX-Peditions use computer labels on their QSLs, and even alot of individuals do that as well!

IT'S QUICKER especially when they're dealing with thousands of QSL requests!!!

UJ get into the 21st Century!!!
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K3XC on July 31, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Unfortunatly you are very right about sending SASE's and greenstamps along with QSL cards. I have found however that unless I really need the card, sending via the bureau is the best method. Sending this way is much cheaper (about 10 cents a card) then direct. Another note which many hams do not know is the ARRL allows cards to be sent to KH6, KL7, and KP4 via the outgoing bureau. Cards can also be sent to stateside managers via the outgoing bureau (EX: K3XXC can send his card to KP5/K3XC via K3XC using the outgoing bureau). While the return rate is not as good as direct, the bureau is much cheaper and a very good choice if your an active DXer.
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by SMHAM on July 31, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Much has been said on the subject already but I just want mention a few things from my side of the pond.

Here in Sweden we use the "International Organization for Standardization" (ISO) date format standard. ISO has 148 membership countries, among them the USA. Sweden is probably among the countries in the world that are most willing to quickly adopt ISO standards. That is why we write dates as YY-MM-DD or YYYY-MM-DD.

Almost no other countries write dates in the above format so the solution is simple, always write dates as "July 31 2004". In Sweden we write this format traditionally as "31 July 2004" but even in that order there is no room for misunderstanding. Almost all logging programs can be set to the "31 July 2004" format and you can certainly do it manually. The US way of writing dates is as awkward to us as our way of writing is to you.

For DX stations: Please use English, not your own language. Your QSO partner probably doesn´t know what the months are called in your language. I had a hard time with a Japanese card.

Also, please note that USD$ 1 is not enough as return postage, even for QSLing within Europe. USD$ 2 is required. However, one IRC is still enough in most European countries.

Do not send any other currency than USD. Within the EU, Sweden, Denmark and Great Britain do not use Euros and exchange fees are high. Every now and then I get Euros in QSL mail.

When it comes to the way of writing there are national
differences and who says that one way is better than the other? The advantage of computer labels are that there is less chance of the information being misinterpreted. Communicating within your own country is one thing but when communicating with other countries you must account for different habits and conventions.

If you make your own QSLs please use an envelope when posting them. The paper is not as thick as on professionally printed cards and most "home made" cards don´t make it over the Atlantic as postcards.

There is one other thing that has not been mentioned and it is the way of writing addresses. There is almost one way for every country but the correct ISO 3166 (there we are again!) code would help. A complete list for every country in the world is at:
http://www.iso.org/iso/en/prods-services/iso3166ma/02iso-3166-code-lists/list-en1.html

For Swedish addresses it looks like:
Anders Andersson
Langa gatan 1
SE-123 45 Stockholm
Sweden

for example. SE is the ISO 3166 code. The Universal Postal Union (UPU) use this two letter identifiers to sort mail (yes every post office has this table) and chances are that your QSL will find its way faster to that DX.

Unfortunately buck.com, qrz.com etc doesn´t always have the addresses according to correct national standards but adding the correct national prefix will help a bit. Simply put: No other country write addresses as you do!
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by KJ1Z on August 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Nice little article. I QSL via Direct, Buro, eqsl and LOTW. But I will say that getting that card in the mail is a thrill in itself. I like to collect them regarless of what they look like or who there from Hams or SWL's. I also collect baseball cards so I guess I am a card fanatic HiHi. Anyways someone here mention that to bad that eQSL's did not qualify for most of the standard awards on the amatuer circuit(i.e DXCC and such). Well I beleive that LOTW will eventually have the capability to print out a QSL or the ARRL will begin accepting eQSL's a soon as the ARRL is satisfied with the security measures to prevent fraudulant cards. One suggestion that I would like to make is that all of us Hams in the US, Canada, and alot of the DX station are on QRZ. Put in your biography how you like to QSL whether it be via Buro or Direct. Let us know whether you require SASE or however you do it. I put in my bio how I QSL and when I upload my logs to both LOTW and eQSL so people know what to expect. I have QSLed many folks and while looking them up they use this method so there are no misunderstandings in what is to be expected.
It only takes a few minutes to write up a bio on QRZ and I believe that it will benefit us all and we will have better results.

Another good source for QSL info is the GO List. It tells you how to QSL, the manager and how many greenbacks are required.

Now to comment on the QSL's that evade us after we send them. Well I look at it as a hit and miss situation. Some people have pretty busy lives and I myself personally don't expect to see return cards right away and it may takes months especially with QSL managers who have alot on there plate and big DXpeditions. Even myself I am way behind for contacts that I made at the end of last year because I start getting busy doing other things with the family and my military duties. So I guess it is just a matter of patience in waiting for that prize in the mail.

Well that all I have got to say on the subject.

73's all Mike, KJ1Z
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by KC8VUK on August 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
It would be nice if hams would send the qsl cards back, when you send them one!!
I ask, if they qsl, and they say, yes, then no card!!!! Why waste my money, and stamps!!!
Here is a list of people that do send cards back!!!
1- K0KV
2-K0RPT
3-k0ha
3-kb0ogv
4- wx7r
5- wa4pgm
6- wa5fwc
7- k9ns
Thanks, for reading this list!!
KC8VUK Billie

 
RE: What is the Proper Way to QSL - Does type of c  
by AG5T on August 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I have often wondered whether the type of card sent to a dx station or for a dxpedition from a station in the U.S. really has any affect on the chance of getting a qsl card back. What I mean is - the dx station will be getting 5,000 or more W5 cards and my AG5T card will be amongst those 5,000 cards. I know some people collect prefixes, but in many cases I would think the design of the card, the weight of the card, etc. might not influence the outcome if it's a non-rare country or one of 5,000 cards as I said. I'd like to know - do dx stations like to see fancy cards in all those W5 cards, plain cards, or what type - paper, card stock, etc.? A card from a rare location should stand out. But what should US hams do as far as type of card going out if you are very common as far as call, state, location? Just curious on this one. Thanks.
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by K3BDF on August 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
QSL-ing was easier (...cheaper...?) in 1958/59. Like many other things today, it doesn't work as well ( by mail/bureaus/common courtesy) as it once did. However, if you want QSL's for the purpose of awards, there's a potentially very efficient way in the 21st century to do it, and it's called ARRL's Logbook of the World. But, in order for that to work well, more hams need to get on board with that. If you're technically savy enough to get a ham license, you can certainly handle the steps to get yourself set up for LoTW at: https://www.arrl.org/lotw/default

Now for those who also like to collect QSL cards the old fashion way ( ...and I'm one of those...), how about we re-learn something else: it's called "common courtesy". Be courteous enough to tell your QSO what your QSL policies, procedures, or needs are, and go from there. 73...
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by N4KZ on August 6, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Good information for those new to DXing and collecting cards. The need for accurate info on the card cannot be emphasized enough though. I operated from the U.S. Virgin Islands in January 2004 and made more than 2,200 QSOs. I was surprised at how many cards contained incorrect information -- usually the time was wrong. Or the date. Thank goodness for computerized logging because finding those QSOs would have been very difficult otherwise.

Most guys were very good about sending an SASE or envelope with a $1 bill to cover postage (DX stations) but several guys sent cards without an SASE or even as postcards. They will get cards but through the bureau which will take awhile.

A few people wrote QSO info on the outside of the envelope which is very helpful when you are sorting hundreds of cards.

73, Dave, N4KZ
See you on the air!
 
What is the Proper Way to QSL  
by AC7DX on December 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
K5UJ thanks for letting me know. As a qsl manager for many stations, I will delete your call from any I manage as I use labels on all cards.
Very 73
Ron
AC7DX
 
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