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Author Topic: New to QSLing - questions  (Read 1060 times)
W4TQI
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« on: December 16, 2003, 09:35:20 PM »

Greetings to the forum!

I recently received my first batch of QSL cards from the printer, and am ready to send out the first volley.  

The domestic cards are straightforward - my card with a nice note, QSL info, and a SASE are enclosed (and a slice of waxed paper to keep the SASE from sticking itself closed in transit).

I also have a small stack of cards for the outgoing bureau (Canada is considered to be DX too, right?), sorted according to the country of origin.

About the only question I have left is in regard to the half-dozen or so DX cards whose operators have requested that I QSL direct.  Looking over the previous postings on this topic, I have seen everything from sending IRCs to sending a pair of 'green stamps' to cover return postage.  I am aware that the postage situation changes from time to time - what seems to be the current "standard practice" for securing a response from direct DX contacts?

Anything else I missed?

Thanks!

-- Patrick
   W4TQI
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2003, 12:26:14 AM »

Green stamps work well for most countries, but the number required varies. You'll find

http://www.qsl.net/k4hb/postage.html

to be helpful in determining the required amount to cover return postage. VK9NS recently announced that $1 is no longer sufficient for Norfolk Island, so I'd add that to the $2 list.

In the past, there were countries for which local postage was more effective than greenstamps; China is one I recall. You can obtain such stamps from William Plum at plumdx@msn.com .

73,

Dave, AA6YQ  
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AC4RD
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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2003, 11:36:24 AM »

AA6YQ's advice was excellent, accurate, and concise!  A couple of additional thoughts, if you like:  1.) If it's a big DXpedition, like the recent T04E and T30 groups, I include return postage (SASE or a "green stamp" or two) PLUS another buck or two.  Those expeditions aren't cheap to stage, and chipping in a bit extra to help with printing, bureau cards, etc., is always appreciated.   2.)  You've probably seen the advice about making your direct QSLs discreet for some Third-World countries in which incoming mail might be stolen.  My own approach to this is to use some old envelopes from work, outdated, with the recipient's name neatly laser-printed and NO callsigns showing.  My own QSL, SAE, and IRC or "green stamp(s)" are inside a page from a medical journal or a company website--so it appears that my company is mailing a piece of information to the recipient.  This seems to be working pretty well.   3.)  I am never shy about including a post-it or even writing on the QSL "TNX FOR NEW COUNTRY!" when I get one.  NOBODY needs another QSL from North Carolina but working VK9NS or VQ9LA is a HUGE thrill for me--and I want them to know how much I appreciate it!   4.)  I often include a local postcard or a snapshot, just by way of saying, "Here's what it's like where I am."  I started doing this once in a while, usually for new countries, when I realized how much I enjoyed GETTING those little extras from others.   5.)  HAVE FUN!  I've been a ham for 12 years but getting an envelope from the bureau or a direct QSL for a new country is still a world of fun--hope you have fun too!  73!  --Ken
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W1NK
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« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2003, 10:00:07 PM »

You can obtain return postage for most countries from K3FN.  Check out his web site at:
http://users.net1plus.com/ryoung/index.htm

James also sells security tinted air mail envelopes and return air mail envelopes. With the price of IRC's these days, you might find using return postage to be a little more economical

You'll be surprised how quickly DX QSL's are reutrned when you use postage from the DX's (or QSL manager's) country.

Ken AC4RD has some EXCELLENT tips on how to "hide" your QSL from prying eyes.

You can find other excellent QSL'ing tips in Bob Locher, W9KNI's, "The Complete DX'er" (which you should pick up and read and re-read.... I've read and re-read my 1983 edition numerous times).  One of his tips:  When sending a QSL (with IRC's) to Reunion Island (FR), use the complete Reunion address, especially the postal code, and including the word "Reunion".  But, don't include the word "Island".  On the last line of the adr, write "France".  That way the mail goes to FR via France...avoiding potential theives

GL & Happy QSL'ing

Frank, W1NK
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KB6FPR
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2003, 08:26:33 PM »

Patrick,

In the past 8 months, I have mailed out 500 QSL cards and have received cards back from about 350 hams of which 119 are different entities. Initially, I was sending two green stamps with a self addressed envelope.  My return rate for most countries with the exception of South America and Cuba has been quite good. I have learned that sending cash to South America, Cuba, South East Asia and other financially challenged countries is not a good idea. Mail theft is a huge problem.  I have had a much better return rate using William Plum's striped international mailing envelopes and including an IRC instead of green stamps. I often cut off the lower right hand corner of my outgoing envelope so that foreign postal staff can see that there is no cash within the envelope. This has significantly increased my rate of return. I recommend using a printer to address all envelopes. Anything you can do to make your mail appear as though it will not have any thing of value in it is worth while to do.

Then again, there are some hams that you can 2nd and 3rd requests to and still they do not return cards:

I would love to get return cards from:
SV1SL, 9A4D, OE6Z, OE8SKQ, YV5OHM, H40H, CE3CDV, TA2DS, OM7JG ZA/DL6LAU, 8P6QA, CO7KR, C6AFV, J69CY, 6Y5CR

Lastly, many of the exotic DX locations, such as Africa have US QSL managers. I feel that it is always worth while to show your appreciation to them to
help you get a card

Good Luck in your QSL pursuits!

73's
Paul N6PSE
formerly, KB6FPR
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WB2LCW
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2003, 09:38:49 AM »

When you place the return envelope inside the cover envelope fold the flap over tward the front of the retun envelope! That way you dont have to worry about
the envelope sealing itself shut. Then I insert the QSL between the face of the retun envelope and the
flap, with the front of the QSL facing the front of the return envelope.Also write your call with a pencil
on the back of the return envelope where the flap will cover it when its sealed,That way the staion doesn't loose track of which envelope is for which QSL.

For Dx stations when I direct QSL, I use black paper that my local variety store sells for use with Gel ink pens or you can use paper that was run through a copier
with printing on both sides. I fold it down the middle and trim this so that it covers the return envelope and fits well into the cover envelope!

Postage ! I order Dx cover and return envelopes from
William Plum! Hie email address in in one of the above
comments to your posting. Mr Plum is a real Gentleman to deal with and he can put you on his E-mail list.
he sends E-mails to his customers with news about postage and also srecials on his QSL binders and His
Envelopes..

I use Mr Plum for Dx stamps. I no longer send Green stamps (68% return rate)! Foreign Dx stamps work better (98% return rate) and Dx stamps are much more interesting than the plain boring US stamps.Some of these are absolutely beautiful.I do not
throw away the Return envelopes I love to take out my collection of return envelopes and look at the beautiful stamps. I you dont want to keep the envelopes find a Boy scout troop they will love to get them to pass out to the stamp collecors in thier group..

Also some Dx stations Keep the reurn envelopes and send your QSL through the Bureau anyway!

73 MIke Tenore WB2LCW
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W2IRT
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2004, 05:04:39 PM »

>>I would love to get return cards from:
SV1SL, 9A4D, OE6Z, OE8SKQ, YV5OHM, H40H, CE3CDV, TA2DS, OM7JG ZA/DL6LAU, 8P6QA, CO7KR, C6AFV, J69CY, 6Y5CR<<

I'm also still waiting for OE6Z (via OE6CLD) but an email to him was answered so I'm hoping for the best. I don't know if 9A4D QSLs, but I sure hope so (for 40M). TA2DS was about an 11 month turnaround for me (Late January 2002 to mid-December 2002).

As for the CO and C6 stations, they're plentiful so just find another one. Many Cuban stations have managers in Spain and are very fast QSLers. Look for CO6TY, CO8CH, CO8CY or CO8EJ, all of whom are managed by Spanish manager EA5KB who returns cards usually within 2 weeks.

J6 is difficult. I've worked several and have only gotten cards from US stations who were down there on holiday via their homecalls. Never from a local.

6Y5 is always active during the big contests and the three different ones I sent got answered within 3 months. Ditto for 8P stations (in fact, if you work 8P8P in contests they upload to LoTW regularly).

I've just snagged YV on 40 and 80 in the last week and I also need them confirmed on 15 as well. I've got an order into Bill Plum for 3 YV stamps that I'm hoping will yield a few new band-modes. I *really* need them on 40 and 80.

Good luck!
73, Peter, W2IRT
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