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Author Topic: QSL card question  (Read 586 times)
GREENEGGSANDHAM
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Posts: 26




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« on: July 25, 2003, 09:03:58 PM »

Thank you all for your helpful comments and advice.  I really do appreciate the great response.  I haven't decided on a specific design for my card (or cards) yet, but you have all definitely given me plenty to think about.  I realized that, with all of the various faiths around the world, there could be a problem with my card even -reaching- its destination depending on the country.  So, I figured this would be the best place to find out any potential problems.  


K0RS: I had no idea something so simple could be so complicated.  I suppose if it had actually been simple, it wouldn't belong in ham radio! hi hi!  I've looked all around on the internet and haven't found a plain language guide to what all needs to be on a qsl card.  Thanks for providing that for me!


KG6AMW said: "Besides, we already have too many Christians who talk the talk but don't walk the walk."

You know, it's funny you should say that.  The verse I was considering talks about that exact topic.  It's Matthew 5:16 (NIV) "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."  It's difficult to "let your light shine" if you're an annoying, disrespectful, and rude op.  I agree with your comment entirely.  I've only been on HF (20 meters) for a few weeks now, and have already heard several terribly rude ops (not to mention several maliciously interfering with others)  


N7NBB said: "I would also have to bet that including such information will result in a decreased RETURN rate on cards... even from others of Christian faiths. This might be for a number of reasons, including the fear of continued mailings of tracts, once you have their "verified good" address by them returning a card."

Wow.  I suppose there have been those before me who have done this.  I really wasn't looking at this to be a 'ministry.'  Ham radio just happens to be a hobby I have wanted to participate in ever since I was 10 years old.  The thought to include a Bible verse on my card came about simply because I wanted to personalize my card.


KG4OOA:  That's a great idea.  I'll probably try that out until I finally decide on a permanent design.


Thanks again!
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W4YA
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Posts: 317




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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2003, 07:10:17 PM »

My opinion - Your "award" QSLs should have nothing on it except your call, confirming QSO, his call, date/time, etc., and your state. That's all. Nothing else. Not even your name, rig, USA, or anything!

Look at the information on LOTW. That's all you need. Anything else reduces your chance of getting a return card.

For "non-award" QSLs, you can put anything on it that you want, even Greeneggs instead of your call sign.
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GREENEGGSANDHAM
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Posts: 26




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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2003, 06:32:22 PM »

At long last, I finally got my HF station on the air last week.  I've made a few DX contacts and am loving every minute of it!  I would eventually like to get my WAS and DXCC awards, so I need QSL cards. I'm not sure what is acceptible to put on my card.  I've seen many sample designs from various printers, and see that many people personalize their cards with a special picture on the front and maybe a little bit about themselves or their station on the back, along with the usual signal report, etc.  I'm a Christian and I'd like to put a Bible verse on the back of my card that is special to me, along with the common 'get to know me' information.  It would be very unobtrusive, and definitely not an 'in your face' sort of thing.  (no, I'm not one of those John 3:16 guys with the rainbow wigs that you see on tv at football games hi hi!)  It has been a few years since I took my tests, so I don't recall if there were any regulations on what you can or can't put on a QSL card.  Would this be acceptable to do?

Thanks!
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KC8AXJ
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Posts: 303




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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2003, 12:37:59 AM »

How can you make these two statements?

"I'm a Christian "

"no, I'm not one of those John 3:16 guys "

Sorry just thought it was odd.

Anyway to answer you question, a QSL card is just like this great nation we live in, with lots of FREEDOM !
There are no regulations.It's not on a test. It's your card,do what you want I would say.

73
Steve
 

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GREENEGGSANDHAM
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Posts: 26




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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2003, 08:10:34 AM »

Very good point.  What I was trying to convey is that I'm not trying to be pushy. I guess I just wanted a straight answer to my question, rather than be flamed and told to keep my religion to myself simply because I wanted to put a Bible verse on my qsl cards.  I suppose I'm still smarting from the fellow over in another thread who took it upon himself to 'sound the alarm' that I haven't posted my call or email address on this website, so therefore I don't deserve an answer to any of my questions because I'm apparently some sort of imposter and not a true ham.

Personally, I have a problem with the 'John 3:16 guys.'  I'm all for fellow Christians sharing their faith with others, but I believe it should be done in such a way as to not make us all out to be crazed lunatics.  Many people become turned off to Christianity simply based on one experience with a person they see as a 'nut.'  At the university I attended, a fellow would frequently show up in the main courtyard area with big signs and shout at everyone who passed by.  He would spend several hours 'informing' everyone that they were going to burn in hell for smoking cigarettes and for doing other various things.  I found his approach highly distasteful, and as a member of a very active Christian group on campus that was heavily involed in 'outreach' (Campus Crusade for Christ) his actions made it very difficult for us to share our faith without being viewed in a poor light from the start.  I commonly heard things like "that guy is back again," followed by large amounts of ridicule.  I believe we are to live an honorable life of integrity, and most importantly, a life of humbleness.  Not showy, like some of the slick television 'evangelists,' and not strange, like the guys in rainbow wigs holding up John 3:16 signs.  There will still be plenty of opportunities to share your faith without doing such things.

Ok, sorry to step up on my soapbox like that. hi hi!  Thanks for your response.  I'm so greatful to live in a nation where we have the freedom to say what we want, when we want, and how we want.  And also to worship who we want, when we want, and how we want.  I may not have agreed with the actions of the man who visited my university, or the rainbow headed guys at football games, but one thing is for sure, I think it's wonderful that they were able to excercise this incredible freedom.
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K0RS
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Posts: 706




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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2003, 04:50:27 AM »

While there are no "regulations" about what to put on a QSL card, there are some common sense things you should do.

  You indicate that you are interested in pursuing some awards such as DXCC.  This means you will be sending cards to QSL managers as well as to hams overseas.  Your card should have ALL pertinent data on one side, including your callsign.  Cards with the call on the "front" and a QSO data panel on the "rear" are difficult for managers to handle when they filling out a stack of dozens or even hundreds of cards.  Flipping back and forth to associate your call with a data block is a real pain and will eventually cause errors.  It may seem like a small thing, but it's not for a QSL manager.

Your name and address should appear exactly like you would want it to go on a return envelope.  Don't put your name in one corner, the street in another and city somewhere else.  In many parts of the world they use an address format unlike our domestic convention.  For instance, in some countries the individual's name goes on the last line of an address and the destination country goes on the first.  It is difficult for a foreign ham to reconstruct an address correctly if it's scattered around the card.  

QSO data should reflect an international format, such as day/month/year.  This is usually written 23/SEP/03 or 23/IX/03.  All times should be UTC.  Consider using computer logging and printing QSL labels for the cards.  They are legible and accurate, providing you to set the computer's clock to UTC, or use the correct time offset in your logging program.  Don't forget the date is UTC also.  Include data that is useful to other card collectors, like grid square or county.  Lots of DX stations collect US counties.

Unless you're flush with cash, DON'T purchase expensive cards.  DX'pedtions often just throw away cards after they are answered.  Most others just end up in a shoebox in somebody's closet.  Contrary to popular belief, fancy cards don't increase your return rate.  People either QSL or they don't.  Expensive cards won't "bribe" non-QSL'ers into mending their ways!

DO offset return QSL costs with an SASE, IRC, or greenstamp.  This WILL increase your return rate.  QSL costs can be astronomical for stations that are very active and are in big demand because of rarity.  Please, please send your cards in envelopes.  Not only can you include an SASE this way, the card arrives in much better condition.  I've had to trash QSL "postcards" unanswered, mangled and smeared with cancellation ink...not to mention the little bar-code strips that get placed over QSO data and return addresses.  Use the QSL bureau when possible.  It's slow but economical.  You don't need to spend big bucks to confirm common countries.  Keep envelopes on file at your bureau, you'll be surprised how many DX stations QSL to you first.

On final thought.  Religion is a very private matter...keep it that way.  If you QSL internationally, you will be sending cards to Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Animists, atheists and dozens more.  By and large, these folks don't appreciate didactic Christian admonishments.  You may not see innocuous bible passages as pushy, but it's likely others will.  Stick to ham radio on your QSL's.  The best application of religion in QSL'ing is praying for a quick return from that new, rare one you just worked!
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N7NBB
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2003, 11:19:13 AM »

I would have to echo K0RS's final comment. I would have to say that you will OFFEND more people than you will impress, convert, or whatever your objective may be by placing statments of this type on your card.  An exception might be if you were (are) a "professional" Minister, pastor, father, Rabi (whatever).  Unless you intend on sending QSL cards ONLY to Christians, I would limit the distribution of that information to eyeball QSOs where a shake of the hand will work wonders too.

I would also have to bet that including such information will result in a decreased RETURN rate on cards... even from others of Christian faiths. This might be for a number of reasons, including the fear of continued mailings of tracts,  once you have their "verified good" address by them returning a card.  So if you are a card collector, or going for awards, you will want the highest return rate you can get.

I sincerly hope you find the answer to this problem.

73
CAM - N7NBB

 
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KG6AMW
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2003, 09:46:00 AM »

Having put in enough years as a Christian, my advice to you is to let your personal conduct be your pitch and those interested will ask, otherwise, I'd keep it very low key.  This is a personal thing and people are easily offened if you push. Besides, we already have too many Christians who talk the talk but don't walk the walk.  

KG6AMW
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KG4OOA
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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2003, 11:04:47 PM »

I agree with the other. It is best to keep QSLs to radio.

The one thing I thought I'd mention is the fact that I have created several QSL designs that can be printed on postcard stock that is available at most office supplies or through Avery. The software that I used was "Microsoft Publisher." Just print them on a color printer.

This could help you as you can design several cards for different people that may receive them. For instance, you may have one available to send to someone that you meet on a missionary net. That card may be different from the card that you may want to send to a ham in Saudi Arabia.

73,
Bob KG4OOA
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KG4OOA
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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2003, 11:22:41 PM »

Why use the publisher until you get the design that you like? The savings over printed QSLs is pretty good however buy some extra color ink catriges and good quality stock. If you check around the pricing gets good for quanity purchases.

While you are operating your rig you can be printing off what you need. You could even design a mail merge to fill out the card while you are talking to the station.

I used to be a GCI Controller and in the operation of  heavy radar. That gives me a multitude of ideas for subject matter and I can almost personalize the card to the QSO. For instance I can use a picture of a radar site or Sage block house that use to be near the station I am working. For inbstance if I am working Fairbanks, Alaska, I'd use a picture of Murphy Dome Air force Station which is about 25 miles up the road.

You are only limited by your imagination. However if you use that new computerized system that ARRL is implementing you will have to conform to what they want. I doubt if I'll use it. I just enjoy opening the mail box and getting the hard copy wallpaper but to each his own on that matter.

73,
Bob
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