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eHam Forums => Misc => Topic started by: K5UNX on November 13, 2012, 01:32:37 PM



Title: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: K5UNX on November 13, 2012, 01:32:37 PM
Hi All, I am going to get a HF rig sometime in the next few months. I am trying to learn about some of the details before I get it. Do people print their own QSL cards? I have a ton of 4x6 photo paper that might make for a nice card.

Any folks do that? Or are they too "cheap" looking?

Wayne


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: W0FM on November 13, 2012, 02:56:30 PM
Not an issue, Wayne.  People do that all the time.  Some are better than others, but if the have all the right information, it shouldn't matter to the recipient.  Most household printers today can do a decent job printing QSL cards.  One of my favorite cards was from a 10 year old ham in Rhode Island back in the late 1960's.  She had just gotten her license and I was something like her third contact.  She had no QSL cards, so she made the card for me from scratch using a plain post card and some colored markers.  Great effort!

The cards I sent as ZF2FM during my trips to the Cayman Islands were photos I took printed on photo paper stock. 


73,

Terry, WØFM, ZF2FM


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: KE4VVF on November 13, 2012, 04:02:26 PM
One of my favorite cards was from a 10 year old ham in Rhode Island back in the late 1960's.  She had just gotten her license and I was something like her third contact.  She had no QSL cards, so she made the card for me from scratch using a plain post card and some colored markers.  Great effort!

I would cherish that card until the day I died.


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: MAGNUM257 on November 13, 2012, 06:28:50 PM
Designing QSL cards is fairly easy. I use Microsoft Publisher, which has built in post card templates. Insert a background pic, add the appropriate fields for qso exchange info, and all personal information including station setup. Publisher allows two sided designing also, so the reverse can be used for a quick note and address info. Slap on a stamp and send it off, or stuff it into an envelope so it will arrive clean. I use standard card stock paper which works in most printers ( I use a Brother MFP Inkjet). I save a few different cards all having the same design, but each contains its own callsign (HAM, 11m and one for PopComm monitring.)

Good luck!


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: K7MH on November 13, 2012, 08:30:56 PM
Hamstuff.com (W7NN) has very good and inexpensive card stock for printing QSL cards.

http://www.hamstuff.com/QslKitPage/qslkit.html (http://www.hamstuff.com/QslKitPage/qslkit.html)

I used to use his card stock. I quit printing my own. I use too many of them and it can get expensive in ink jet cartridges.
There are a couple of mine on his website but they were done in MS pub and didn't format well with his version at the time.
They looked a lot better in real life.
I went back to buying 1000 at a time from WWDXC our DX club for about $70. Just less hassle.
If you don't use very many then printing your own can be worthwhile.


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: AC4RD on November 14, 2012, 03:56:26 AM
I don't have anything against store-bought cards, I use 'em myself 99% of the time these days.  But homebrew cards are GREAT.  They've got a lot more personality than standard designs!  I love getting a homebrew card.  There's lots of discussion on the web about this; for years I made mine in Powerpoint and printed on cardstock.  Do it and have fun designing and making them!  73 GL!


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: K8AG on November 14, 2012, 10:01:40 AM
The only problem I have with printing my own cards is that color ink is extremely expensive.  On a per-card basis the purchased cards are cheaper.  But then you can't change the design until you run out.

My 2 cents.  Welcome to HF.  It's a blast.

73, JP, K8AG


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: MAGNUM257 on November 14, 2012, 08:54:34 PM
The only problem I have with printing my own cards is that color ink is extremely expensive.  On a per-card basis the purchased cards are cheaper.  But then you can't change the design until you run out.

My 2 cents.  Welcome to HF.  It's a blast.

73, JP, K8AG


Agreed, however thanks to a tip from a friend I have been buying cartridges for my Brother on Ebay. All four colors (4 pk) p/n LC41 for under $5!! No kidding. And they work great!!  I've got enough spares to last me a LONG time. Check it out...


http://stores.ebay.com/qsery?_rdc=1

...and see if they have them for your printer.  

-Chuck


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: AB7KT on November 15, 2012, 06:07:46 PM
One of my favorite cards was from a 10 year old ham in Rhode Island back in the late 1960's.  She had just gotten her license and I was something like her third contact.  She had no QSL cards, so she made the card for me from scratch using a plain post card and some colored markers.  Great effort!

I would cherish that card until the day I died.


I got one like that a couple years ago from an adult. I sent him a QSL card and he sent back my card but on the reverse side he hand drew a card. He said that he hadn't had QSL cards for years. He didn't just put down the QSL info, he actually drew stuff on it. It wasn't well done, but he put some time into it. It was sort of touching, but at the same time I kinda regretted ever sending him a card in the first place which caused him to waste his time drawing a card by hand to send back. I didn't need his card for anything, I just like to exchange QSL cards. I send them out and usually don't really care a whole lot of I ever get one back.

To answer the original question, no, homebrew cards printed on a computer are fairly common. Not as common as they were when computers were kinda a new thing, but I get one every once in awhile. I have often thought about doing my own cards on a computer for one simple reason: you could easily do custom cards for specific occasions. For example, you might operate portable on a mountain top. You could take a picture of your actual operating location and then put that on a card for the contacts made that day, from that location and then (obviously) the recipient could see where you were when you worked him. You could do the same thing for mobile contacts, or whatever. And only print as many as you need for the number of contacts you worked under those conditions.
Which reminds me of another card I got that I thought was very cool. I sent a guy a card and he sent me back a very nice computer made card featuring a picture of his operating postion and lying on the desk in the picture was my card that I sent him.


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: N7SMI on November 16, 2012, 10:17:09 AM
After considering the cost and hassle of home printing my own cards on card stock, I finally just custom ordered 1000 3.5" X 5.5" cards from Uprinting.com. It was $100 including shipping for 1000 2-sided, full color, photo quality cards on very nice matte paper. I used this photo for the front and it came out great - http://s3.amazonaws.com/files.qrz.com/i/n7smi/cardsmall.jpg


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: AB7KT on November 16, 2012, 10:48:45 AM
FWIW: I have been buying my QSL cards for several years from cheapQSLs.com.
They are VERY nice people to deal with. And, as I have ordered more and more cards, they have all my info on hand and just ask me if there are any changes; which makes the process super simple.

I certainly recommend buying QSL cards for the vast majority of your contacts, but I still think there is a place for computer generated cards for those special occasions when having a custom card would be nice.

Ken
AB8KT


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: KG6AF on November 16, 2012, 11:27:55 AM
If you're like me, and don't send out all that many paper cards, you might want to consider a free software program called QSL Design and Print.  It's a deceptively simple application that lets you create and print very nice looking cards.  I'm not that crazy about buying ink for my printer, so I have the program create jpgs, which I upload to the Walgreens photo site and print out for about $0.19 a card.

You can download the program at:

http://www.va3hj.ca/

Take a look at the sample cards page; you'll be impressed.


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: W4NNF on November 22, 2012, 06:35:00 AM
What I do, like a lot of other hams today, I reckon, is use eQSL, the online system. When I receive an eQSL I print it with Adobe Photoshop on 4x6 photo paper. Looks pretty good, I think. I do keep a stack of non-virtual QSLs for occasional use, but not many of 'em go out anymore.


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: W5DQ on November 27, 2012, 10:40:04 AM
Hi All, I am going to get a HF rig sometime in the next few months. I am trying to learn about some of the details before I get it. Do people print their own QSL cards? I have a ton of 4x6 photo paper that might make for a nice card.

Any folks do that? Or are they too "cheap" looking?

Wayne


Done all the time however my exeprience has shown that it is much more economical to create a master image and take it to a photofinisher (like Walmart, Costco, Ritz, Fox Photo, or whatever is available) and have a bulk printing made if you want to roll your own. When I tried it in the past, I used way too much inkjet ink to set it all up and get it the way I liked it. When I wanted to create more, it seemed like I was always futzing with the printer to get the colors the same each time. Not sure why it was like that for me but I have since given up and had commercial ones printed. They are much better quality than 4x6 photo paper type, are the correct size (3.5" x 5.5") and they cost around about the same at 7.5 cents each in qty of 1000 from UX5UO QSLs ($75 / qty 1000 / full color front / grayscale back / delivered = 7.5 cents each)

Good Luck,

Gene W5DQ


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: NK7Z on December 02, 2012, 09:46:14 AM

Done all the time however my exeprience has shown that it is much more economical to create a master image and take it to a photofinisher (like Walmart, Costco, Ritz, Fox Photo, or whatever is available) and have a bulk printing made if you want to roll your own. When I tried it in the past, I used way too much inkjet ink to set it all up and get it the way I liked it. When I wanted to create more, it seemed like I was always futzing with the printer to get the colors the same each time. Not sure why it was like that for me but I have since given up and had commercial ones printed. They are much better quality than 4x6 photo paper type, are the correct size (3.5" x 5.5") and they cost around about the same at 7.5 cents each in qty of 1000 from UX5UO QSLs ($75 / qty 1000 / full color front / grayscale back / delivered = 7.5 cents each)

Good Luck,

Gene W5DQ

100% agree, I used to do my own cards, and I found that they were running about 50% more in cost than if I took them to Costco, and had them print 500 cards...  Use GIMP to build your QSL, make it big, but keep the aspect ratio correct, then have one or two made, if you like them, make a bunch.

73's
Dave


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: NA0AA on December 02, 2012, 02:33:59 PM
After considering the cost and hassle of home printing my own cards on card stock, I finally just custom ordered 1000 3.5" X 5.5" cards from Uprinting.com. It was $100 including shipping for 1000 2-sided, full color, photo quality cards on very nice matte paper.

For $80, I got 1K fully custom color photo cards from K4JSG.com - Jeff designed the cards from my specifications, using my background art, double sided color printing on oversized cards.  It is nearly impossible to compete with prices like that using a home printer.  The hardest part is coming up with only one design!  At the rate I burn QSL cards, a thousand of them last me quite a long time.

That being said, I have no issue with home printed cards, and they offer you a lot more flexibility - I used to make small batches of custom cards for portable operations - if you buy the proper size card stock and are facsile with the design software, it's easy enough.

I'm much more interested in a neat design, or a unique printing method [woodcut anyone?] or a special location regardless of the card quality.

I'm sort of sad that I'm one of a dying breed of physical card users.


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: W0FM on January 18, 2013, 01:38:07 PM
Twirling around 20 meters a couple weeks ago, I happened to call Dick, W1FYI, who had just finished a QSO.  When he responded to me he mentioned that he also heard another station calling him.  We stood by for the third station who turned out to be Bob, W5RF in Texas.  We all had a chuckle about the chances of randomly getting FYI, RF and FM together in a QSO.  Had a nice chat.  I don't normally send cards for stateside QSO's unless requested, but since this QSO was such a great example of the "roll of the dice" that is our hobby, I sent both W1FYI and W5RF QSL cards for the contact.  I grinned as I dropped them in the mail, thinking "why this?"

I got a card back from Dick, W1FYI, and a few days later a note from Bob, W5RF, confirming the contact and noting that he had no QSL cards.  But all the data necessary to confirm this unique QSO was in his handwritten note, along with his business card.  Both quite authentic.

Terry, WØFM


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: W1VT on January 19, 2013, 03:35:53 AM
In the late 1970s I went to the office store and bought the supplies I needed to layout and silkscreen my own QSL cards.  I learned a lot doing that.  I used a photosensitive process that allowed me to use dry transfers on clear film as the master.

Zack W1VT


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: K6CPO on January 20, 2013, 01:37:10 PM
Having a bit of graphics training and having an Adobe software suite in my computer, I decided to "roll my own."  I design the card in Photoshop and then use the PS file to create a layout in Adobe InDesign.  I then print them 4-up on pre-perforated glossy postcard stock using my inkjet printer.  This way I can print as many or as few as I need and I can change the design any time I want. 

I also design and print my own business cards, my club QSL card, our club brochure and edit and layout the club newsletter.


Title: RE: Home Printed QSL cards?
Post by: WB2EOD on January 21, 2013, 09:32:33 PM
I do my own cards.  I use Microsoft WORD and 8-1/2 x 11 quarter sheet postcard stock.  Much cheaper than photo paper.   

Staples sells the blanks at 25.00 for 50 sheets which yields 200 cards. (12.5 cents/card) with ink at maybe 15 cents per page (4 cards), I estimate I am paying about 16 cents/card.  I make frequent subtle changes so this works fine for me.

The document is an ordinary Microsoft WORD  .DOC file. 
For a copy, email a request to my call at arrl dot net.       

73
WB2EOD