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eHam Forums => Misc => Topic started by: N3VMC on August 05, 2007, 05:49:48 AM



Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: N3VMC on August 05, 2007, 05:49:48 AM
Ok people....this past week the QSL cards that I have been getting have gotten worse by the day.

I keep waiting for a 3x5 index card with a stick figure drawn on it out of crayon. In this day and age were people spends thousands of dollars on radio equipment, antennas etc etc....I am amazed at how cheap some ops are when it comes to QSL cards. One meathead sent me an actual postcard form his hometown with labels on the back for the QSO info. Might as well send me a napkin next time jackass.

QSL cards to me are very personal and I am proud to send mine out all over the world....

Thanks for letting me vent.

73
Vince
N3VMC


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: N0IU on August 05, 2007, 06:04:12 AM
It sounds like a postcard from the guy's hometown is about as personal as it gets. He wants you to know a little more about where he is from than just a grid square locator.

People don't have to send a QSL card at all!

As for me, I am grateful for every one I get.

Scott N0IU


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: K7UNZ on August 05, 2007, 06:43:15 AM
It may just be a matter of taste, but frankly, I agree with Scott.  I'd be happy to get either the post card, or better yet, the stick figure!  Either one shows a lot more went into sending it than just an order to a printer.

Jim/k7unz


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: N3VMC on August 05, 2007, 07:11:58 AM
Wait so you are saying I shouldnt spend my hard earned money on a nicely made custom QSL card? I should just resort to going down to the local store and buying a pack of postcards and printing some labels on them?

Most, if not all hams, are proud of their shack and love to show people around....I know because I show people my setup all the time. People that had no idea what ham radio is about all of a sudden might be interested. Kids eyes gleam with the thought of talking to someone halfway around the world!

Why not show the same enthusiasm with a QSL card? Why spend all that time and money on equipment only to skimp on the personal aspect of the hobby?



Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: N0IU on August 05, 2007, 08:03:32 AM
So I can order a couple thousand custom printed cards and send the bill to you?

Scott N0IU


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: N3OX on August 05, 2007, 08:52:35 AM
Wow, chill out.  There are tons of reasons... some people don't make enough contacts to get cards printed vs. getting postcards, especially if what they want is a picture of their hometown on their card.  

"QSL cards to me are very personal and I am proud to send mine out all over the world.... "

Good for you.  I personally find them a little boring when I have to send a whole ton of them for quickie DX contacts.  Do I like to get a card from someone I've had a nice ragchew with and learned a little bit about?  Well, sure, but I'd probably rather exchange emails!

The postal system, to me, has no magic in it.  A QSL as "the last courtesy of a contact" might as well be an email as far as I'm concerned when it comes to the "hey thanks for the contact, here's another way to get a hold of me, and some more about me that I couldn't tell you when you faded out".  

If someone wants a card from me to confirm something for an award, I'll send them something, but I don't care much if it's pretty.  I got a bunch of plain black simple N3OX cards printed up at W4MPY so I'd have something to send out, but I just don't really care to send out pretty ones.

Does it make someone a bad ham if they don't have abundant love in their hearts for professionally printed QSLs lovingly handwritten and sent through the mail?  

I'll send one back if someone asks for one, that's it.   Otherwise, I will contact people I want to keep in touch with via email (unless I found someone I had a good conversation with that actually didn't have email, and I haven't run across so many of those), and I will send out inexpensive QSL cards so you can get your confirmation for whatever you're chasing (or, even better, upload my log to LoTW!)

I've tried to convince myself that I like the QSL tradition, and I can see that if I were alive in 1930 and was able to make a contact over the radio that induced a picture postcard to come via mail a month later from Russia, I would be very excited, but in 2007 I just don't see the mail as having much mystery or soul.

A particular QSL card can be very personal and touching, for sure, but many aren't.  It sounds like you may be rejecting one that someone finds very personal to them just because they didn't order it from a professional printer.

It's not like you really care about the guy on the other end if you're calling them a jackass in a public forum.

Dan



Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: W3LK on August 05, 2007, 10:20:35 AM
<< I am amazed at how cheap some ops are when it comes to QSL cards. One meathead sent me an actual postcard form his hometown with labels on the back for the QSO info. Might as well send me a napkin next time jackass. >>

Aren't we the self-righteous little snob!!! I'll make a note to myself never to bother sending you a card - if we ever talk - because you won't like the ones I send out. I get them from CheapQSLs and they suit MY needs just fine. I couldn't care less if they meet YOUR standard for a proper QSL card.

What you seem to forget, or maybe never learned in the first place, is that the purpose of a QSL card is the written confirmation of an on-the-air contact - nothing more; nothing less.

I have QSLs that are picture postcards of the city where the ham lives, postcards showing historic monuments, postcards with funny cartoons and so on, but my favorite is one on a paper towel written with a crayon! It was the last state I needed for WAS and the guy was out of cards. He sent me that one so I could get my WAS immediately and then sent me a replacement when his formal cards came in. The card checker and I both got a big laugh out of the paper towel, but it was a legal confirmation, and that's the one that hangs on my wall in the WAS collection.

As far as I am concerned, with your attitude, YOU are the jackass!

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: W3LK on August 05, 2007, 10:27:43 AM
BTW ...

Please explain to me the _fundamental_ difference between the picture postcard with labels on it that you are raising such a stink over and the city skyline on the QSL card in your QRZ bio?

I expected something a little more elegant after all your complaining.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: N3VMC on August 05, 2007, 11:17:00 AM
Actually LON I have plenty of cheapQSL cards from ops and they suit my needs just fine....even a few W4MPY ones ....its just amusing that with the thousands of dollars ops spend on shiney new equipment or antennas they are frugal with the most personal item of all.

As far as my QSL card goes....maybe your right....maybe I should skimp on that end and not send them all out SASE like I do....There are no QSL card guidelines out there and you are right....I should be happy just getting what I get...





Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: N3OX on August 05, 2007, 11:33:23 AM
".its just amusing that with the thousands of dollars ops spend on shiney new equipment or antennas they are frugal with the most personal item of all.
"

You don't send out a lot of QSL's without equipment.



Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: KE3WD on August 05, 2007, 11:40:28 AM
Calling the other guy a jackass when you don't know the situation at the other end is the jackass move here.  

*Maybe he's down on his luck and money at at the time, yet still took the time to send you a card.

*He or she might be elderly.

*They might be temporarily out of stock of the regular QSL card yet still wanted to send you something and went out of their way to do so.  

*Maybe they think that is a nice alternative to the average QSL card.


Get over it.


.


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: N0IU on August 05, 2007, 11:44:20 AM
N3VMC wrote, "...its just amusing that with the thousands of dollars ops spend on shiney new equipment or antennas they are frugal with the most personal item of all."

Actually, the most personal item of all is the QSO itself. The card is only a written confirmation that it happened.

Scott N0IU
 


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: N3VMC on August 05, 2007, 11:59:17 AM
You guys are all right and Id like to say im sorry for being a snob with the cards.

Vince


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: KE3WD on August 05, 2007, 02:05:22 PM
Good on ya, Vince.  


Now that is Semper Fi.


If an old flyboy is allowed to bring that up.



--Mac


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: KB9CRY on August 05, 2007, 05:58:59 PM
Why not show the same enthusiasm with a QSL card? Why spend all that time and money on equipment only to skimp on the personal aspect of the hobby?


DX stations, who get thousands of cards, mostly do not care about you and your life.  You do care about them.

Personally, I have two cards.  One is the generic cheapo contest type, which I send to DX stations, except those that I have come to know personally.

Domestic stations get my very nice personalized card.

Some hams are very cost attentive and I wouldn't get so worked up about it.  You got their card and that's all you need.  Lighten up.  Make your own personal statement.


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: ONAIR on August 06, 2007, 01:29:47 AM
     My QSLs are gold embossed and printed on a plastic base with a 3D image on them using luminescent inks!  They cost me $6 a piece in bulk, so what are you complaining about dude?


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: KF4ZGZ on August 06, 2007, 03:54:07 AM
My favorite qsl card came from an xyl.
Her first ever cw contact.
a 35 minute long exchange of name, RST, qth, wx on 80m....5wpm or less.
The exchange info was typed ( you know...from an old-fashioned type writter ) on an index card.

If I ever frame and hang a qsl card....it WILL be that one.

Matt


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: W2RDD on August 06, 2007, 05:00:18 AM
Actually, home-town picture post-cards are more expensive than printed QSLs. Can go for as much as a buck each. Hardly the card of choice for a cheapskate.

I've seen photographs of QSLs from the 1920s and most of them look like they were printed in the operator's basement on his little press.

The QSL card was sent to acknowledge the marvel of a two-way contact. A work of art was not expected in the mailbox.



Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: KG4RUL on August 06, 2007, 06:55:04 AM
Who would put their UGLY BUTT on a QSL card anyhow?


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: N3BIF on August 06, 2007, 07:32:07 AM
Actually the crew at N5UDE, no kidding! Rather tastefully done too.


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: K3NRX on August 06, 2007, 07:58:07 AM
Hi Vince:

Regarding this: One meathead sent me an actual postcard form his hometown with labels on the back for the QSO info.

I used to be a meat head and do this to!  I remember when I was in college and working DX from the Duquesne University Ham Radio Club that we had a bunch of post cards with a pic of Downtown Pittsburgh on it (taken from what is known around here as the West End Overlook, which is a maginficent view) and I purchased some adhesive transparent stickers with the club call on them for the upper left corner of the card, transparent address stickers for the lower left corner of the card, and some stickers for filling qso info for the back of the card, stuck them on to the post card, and presto!  Instant QSL Card! I am curious to know why this is a problem?????

On receving cards, I have received the most elaborate, to the most cheap axx (like the qsls that many ops from the ex communist countries sent. With that low grade rough edge paper, remember?  I still get cards like that from Cuba!--A lot of those are butt ugly!).  And everyone I get, I save in my QSL card shoe box, regardless of what they look like.  I for one would like to do a picture qsl card at some point for myself.  QSLs are fun regardless of what they look like!  

Vince P
KA3NRX



Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: W7IBI on August 06, 2007, 10:19:13 AM
I lived for years in Alexandria VA, a city founded in 1749. (First settled in 1695)
When working stateside or DX stations that were interested in US history, I would send the QSL info on the back of a picture post card that depicted some of the long history of the city.  They were always happily received.


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: KE3WD on August 06, 2007, 10:27:53 AM
>>Duquesne University Ham Radio Club that we had a bunch of post cards with a pic of Downtown Pittsburgh on it (taken from what is known around here as the West End Overlook, which is a maginficent view)<<

Hey, fellow peezburgher!

Back in the 60s, we used to say it differently about that Overlook:

The ersatz motto was, "Duquesne University:  Founded on a bluff and its still run that way today!"  

But I went up the avenue to CMU and everybody from Duquesne was then under strict orders to hate me.  

Everybody but Joe Negri anyway.  

*wave*


--Mac


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: KE3WD on August 06, 2007, 10:30:11 AM
And Duquesne doesn't really overlook the West End, more like the South Side.  

And y'unz guys better pronounce Sou'side right ennat.



--Mac


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: WA5UHK on August 06, 2007, 01:19:56 PM
Normally I just sit here and read this stuff but I gotta make a comment.

I send QSL's to virtually every ham I have a new contact with.  They are the only ones who send me any.  I'm saying that I never get a QSL unless I send one first.  

This says either:

(1)Everyone I talk to is slow and would eventually have gotten around to QSLing but I got there first or

(2)QSLing except for DX is a dead part of the ham hobby.

My experience is the latter.


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: WC4V on August 06, 2007, 02:33:36 PM
My favorite QSL cards I have received, were ones printed on brown paper bag paper, and one that was printed on the back of a cereal box!  Those mean more to me than slick full color glossy fold-outs!

Steve


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: N3VMC on August 06, 2007, 06:05:32 PM
<<QSLing except for DX is a dead part of the ham hobby.>>

I think out of every 4 cards ive sent out...with a SASE Ive gotten 1 back.


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: WA5UHK on August 06, 2007, 06:35:16 PM
-I think out of every 4 cards ive sent out...with a SASE Ive gotten 1 back.-

I always check the "PLEASE QSL" box on the ones I send.  I get a return rate of about 50%.  Many are great cordial responses with an expression of surprise for having been QSL'ed.  I'll bet QSL's are another victim of the ease of electronics to communicate.

Since I put an email address on my cards, I occasionally get an email instead of a QSL from hams that don't have any cards printed.

I enjoy rifling through my stacks of cards from over the years.  I do have some old QSLs from the 60's that used picture post cards as stock and have been printed with the call on the front and the hamease on the backs.  Looking at these, its amazing how the country has changed and  that you can see that change from these now antique cards.  I've got two from different hams from Greenville Texas that would be illegal today.

I could bitch about the lack of paper log books today too I suppose.  Oh, well.
 


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: ONAIR on August 06, 2007, 11:29:49 PM
   My favorite QSL card of all time was from a YL in the '60s, who was a CBer!  Her call sign was KKD**** something, and on the card was a pic. of her completely topless!! :)


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: K3NRX on August 07, 2007, 05:25:09 AM
And Duquesne doesn't really overlook the West End, more like the South Side.

REPLY: Hi Mac!! How yinz do'n, n'at???...;-D...I think you are confusing the Bluff with the West End Overlook, like I mentioned....Our old club's QSL photo was not taken from Duquesne's campus....But from the actual Overlook....A very nice shot...This is what the photo of our qsl card looked like....

http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/dyc/pitt.html

Third photo down was the closest to it, because the photo on the card was a night shot. And of course there were a few differences on the card because back then Three Rivers Stadium was still there....Good Stuff....

73s
KA3NRX
Vince P


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: NA0AA on August 07, 2007, 09:58:26 AM
I'm a new General, so for me, the QSL card is part of the fun.  I send one to every new state contact I make and many others.  I don't expect to get a 100% return rate even though I SASE for domestic and send stamps for DX; in general, I get a pretty good return rate, particularly if I mention it's a first contact.

And while my QSL card collection is small, the variety is pretty good.  I don't get critical of the card itself because to me it's what the card represents.  That being said, I've gotten some really nice cards with full color photos that clearly took time and effort and cost more than the paltry sum I paid for my cards.  Others are what they need to be.  I much prefer it be filled out by hand no matter what.

My first QSL card was black and white, simple and cheap.  I had no idea how long being a ham would appeal and wanted something fast.  I upgraded to a color two sided card but right now, full color photograph is going to hold off until I get a photo worthy of the bucks they cost.

I admit to a near childish delight in receiving QSL cards in the mail.


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: NS5M on August 07, 2007, 10:52:36 AM
I send 'em, I get some, I like 'em. Don't care if they're high-gloss fold-outs or rough one-color on white, light card stock. Even got one that was xeroxed from a blank original with the QSO data filled in with pen. Favorites include two on notebook paper from hams with literally a few days in the hobby, as well as the rare DX cards & beautiful photo cards some are fortunate enough to afford.

Overall return rate hovers around 70% for both domestic & DX, but DX confirmed/worked by country is around 90%.    

Been using cheapqsls.com for my three years or so back in the hobby and am pleased with the personal attention and quality of the cards.

Don't care for (or use) eQSL or LoTW - still old-fashioned, I suppose, although I do have solid state radios ...

Vy 73 & PSE QSL,
Jim


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: N8UZE on August 07, 2007, 01:41:58 PM
I enjoy all QSL cards no matter what.  Some of the "hometown postcards" are my favorites.

Also keep in mind that not everyone spends money on a station.  Some people have no gear of their own and operate out of club stations or at a friend's station or put together a bare bones station from equipment given to them by other hams.


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: KC0SHZ on August 08, 2007, 07:11:35 AM
As someone who is new to the HF game, the QSL cards mean a lot.  I appreciate every one I get.  They may mean less after I get a few hundred, but for now, I get a kick out of each one I get.

That said, I can sympathize with one of the original poster's comments.  To me, the plain generic cards do seem a little sterile.  Back in the day when the photo on a card was really expensive, I could see why the cards were so designed.  This would obviously save a lot of cash.  Today, its possible to get good quality cards for not as much money.  I went for it as I didn't like the look of the plain cards.

The photo on my card was taken by me while out on a walk over the Platte river. I am proud of that card as it has my art on it.

One thing we could do to improve the look of QSL cards is teach our new hams how to get nice QSL cards affordably.  When other new guys see my cards, they are always impressed and want to know how to get ones like it.


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: VE3LXL on August 08, 2007, 09:20:17 AM
I actually prefer to receive the hand-drawn stick-figure-on-an-index-card QSL, or the one made from a postcard. These days it is easy and inexpensive to get glossy, professional looking cards made up. And filling out such a card only takes a couple of minutes. But when I get a card that was obviously hand-made, I know that the guy sending it actually had to spend some time on preparing it for me, so it seems more personalized. And it's also more individualized, because no two hand-made cards are going to be exactly the same.


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: KC9ATJ on August 09, 2007, 06:14:53 AM
I am actually in charge of the ham radio part of my local Boy Scout Council's 90th Aniversery celebration.  I am planning on having the scouts design their own qsl cards to be sent out to who ever they contact.  No two cards will be exactly alike.  I'm doing this mostly for cost efectivness (or as a scout would say, I'm being thrifty).  About the only way I will be able to have printed QSLs is if somebody is willing to donate the cards.


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: W3LK on August 09, 2007, 04:12:22 PM
GREAT IDEA!

Good luck with the project.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: NA0AA on August 10, 2007, 11:49:28 PM
KC9ATJ:

My color printer can do about anything you design - I've printed on index cards and with many of the printing progams for photographs, you can do multiple images on a single sheet, getting more than one per page of expensive paper.

Just a thought - you could scan original artwork and use as the basis as well.


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: N1UK on August 12, 2007, 11:05:46 AM
Just to lighten the discussion up a bit since we were talking butt ugly, do any of you guys recall K4NBN (no bad news). His QSL card was a picture of his fine lady called Magnolia Blossom, who was quite a heavy weight. Hands up anyone whio still has his card - I have mine in an album



Mark N1UK G3ZZM


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: NE5C on August 13, 2007, 03:19:47 AM
Laughing here!...You know it wasn't so long ago, there were Posts on Eham saying "I'd be happy with a just piece of paper to confirm our QSO" and "PLEASE QSL" and all of the reasons posted, why we felt the "ART OF THE QSL CARD, IS GOING AWAY!" And of course, that is why I posted that I also agreed with the EQSL Cards, and LOTW, so individuals can design a nice card and send it along with just the click of a mouse on the PC and that way, there are less costs and/or time involved to QSL. My GrandPa used to say that "some folks will still gripe, even if they got hung with a new well-Rope" or or maybe, "danged if we do, Danged if we don't!" either way...You just gotta laugh and smile and just keep going.


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: K4JSR on August 14, 2007, 09:31:51 PM
I would very happy to get even a butt ugly QSL card
from some of the people that asked me for a QSL card.
I sent mine. They didn't send theirs. Now that is being butt ugly.


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: K3NRX on August 15, 2007, 08:56:36 AM
Just to lighten the discussion up a bit since we were talking butt ugly, do any of you guys recall K4NBN (no bad news). His QSL card was a picture of his fine lady called Magnolia Blossom, who was quite a heavy weight. Hands up anyone whio still has his card - I have mine in an album.

REPLY: Hand up!...Whew, that is a QSL for the ages!!!!!...I remember being told by my ham buddies at the time to work this guy, and get the qsl card...They would not tell me why....so I found him and worked him way back in the summer of 1987....and got the card....I nearly lost my lunch!!!!.....too funny!!!...I wonder what ever happened to old Del...

Vince P
KA3NRX


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: W8RPE on August 17, 2007, 01:19:31 PM
Ok..one word for the poster.

Zoloft


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: K4JSR on August 19, 2007, 01:52:08 PM
I think a real Butt Ugly QSL card would have a nude
picture of Janet Reno--provided the camera didn't burst first!


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: N6MYA on October 12, 2007, 02:22:31 PM
Hmmm ... some people.
My favorite card (besides the one from my very first contact) is the one i can't find.  I worked a kid on CW and he sent me a hand drawn card, and offered to make me some cards like it with MY call on them.  It really bothers me that i can't find it because the kid went out of his way to actually MAKE the card for me, which makes it a special card.

Dude, i know it's hard .... but try to read between the lines, find some empathy, and appreciate what you've been sent.

73
Paul
N6MYA


Title: Butt Ugly QSL cards
Post by: K4JC on November 13, 2007, 09:05:11 PM
I understand that Del is SK. Too bad...what a colorful character!