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Author Topic: Are QSL's DEAD ?  (Read 1529 times)
N2BIX
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Posts: 24




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« on: November 07, 2008, 07:33:03 PM »

As a newly returned Ham i have sent out many(domestic) QSL Cards but i received VERY few in return. Has anyone else had this experience ?? It makes it hard to obtain WAS and other wallpaper. Do you think its just the economy or something else? Has anyone heard of the ARRL position on electronic QSL cards sent by email? I was told that they do not accept them ,but that it was under consideration to do so.
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W3LK
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2008, 07:16:19 AM »

Many people do not QSL any longer, for a variety of reasons.

I don't send cards for domestic contacts unless I need the confirmation for an award, but I QSL 100 percent on all cards I receive. To me, that's just common courtesy.

The only electronic confirmations the League accepts are those through Logbook of the World.

FWIW, if I _need_ a specific confirmation, I send my card in an envelope with an SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope) and state what I need the confirmation for. I have had very few hams not respond under those circumstances.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2008, 07:53:27 AM »

Do you think its just the economy or something else?

Did you include an SASE with those?

Has anyone heard of the ARRL position on electronic QSL cards sent by email?

Yep, no good.  Go learn about LOTW though.
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N2BIX
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2008, 09:25:55 AM »

I did not include a SASE with those as it was never necessary in the past on domestic QSL'S . That may change. I always QSL anyone who sends me a card and i would hope that others would do the same.I can understand that some hams may be having issues with money at this time due to the economy.
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W3LK
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2008, 12:31:16 PM »

For domestic cards, I doubt the economy is all that much of an issue. Low cost cards and post card rates make QSLing a 50 cent/card deal.

It's primarily a case of newer hams not having an elmer to foster the tradition, or hams that don't want to put out the effort - or simply don't care about QSL card collecting.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut



 
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2008, 02:25:01 PM »

I did not include a SASE

Common practice the past two decades is to include an SASE; only common courtesy.  Yes the world has changed.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2008, 07:28:40 PM »

I reply to any card sent to me with or without a SASE.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2008, 07:31:17 PM »

>RE: Are QSL's DEAD ?       Reply
by N2BIX on November 8, 2008    Mail this to a friend!
I did not include a SASE with those as it was never necessary in the past on domestic QSL'S . That may change. I always QSL anyone who sends me a card and i would hope that others would do the same.I can understand that some hams may be having issues with money at this time due to the economy.<

::Sure it does.  If a card costs $0.20 each, then to mail one now costs $0.62/each if you use an envelope and the envelope is free.  I don't ever recommend mailing a QSL card without an envelope, as there's a very strong chance the USPO bar coding system will obliterate important information on the card, rendering it useless or at least difficult to use.

I reply 100% to all QSLs received, but I don't send any out "in advance" at all.  I stopped doing that exactly 20 years ago when I realized I had over 40,000 QSL cards and was running out of space for new ones.

If I QSL'd 100% for all new contacts it would cost me about $120 a week.  That ain't happening.

An SASE is a very nice gesture that helps guarantee a card in return; probably bumps the "odds" up from 10% to 50%, anyway.

If I really need a new DX entity (not very often) I send them an SASE using postage from their country (the DX country); there are many sources for foreign postage stamps, and I use a local one here in L.A.  That almost always gets a reply, 2-12 months faster than using the bureau.  For all other DX cards, I use only the bureau.

WB2WIK/6
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NA0AA
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« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2008, 08:11:05 PM »

I have never received an unsolicited QSL card, and even though I SASE every one I send, I still don't get a perfect return rate.

I only QSL for contact I need confirmed - if anyone were to send me one, I'd respond w/out an SASE.

As much as possible, I personalize my cards, and if I need their QSL for an award or something, asking right on the card may increase your odds.

Being a 6-call area amateur does not make one in much demand, sadly.
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WA5UHK
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Posts: 131




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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2008, 11:35:28 PM »

I think it is an old tradition and no longer is part of the ham culture of new operators.  

Also, I don't think many hams keep a log anymore (another topic perhaps).  I operate mostly mobile on HF and sometimes it is difficult and dangerous to log contacts  but I do manage to log >95%.  I QSL 100% of the contacts I log.  

I usually send them out within a week of the contact.  I never send a SASE (except to QSL bureau). I find that I get about 40% return.  Very seldom do I get a QSL card without sending one out.  This is rather sad.

I've started many lasting relationships via QSLs.  With email being so prevalent its easy to answer a followup question on books, articles, antennas or rigs and to share experiences.

Non-hams who ask me about the hobby are puzzled at the openness of our community when I show them my wall of QSL's dateing back 40 years.  

Posting our personal info accessible via a call sign on eHam or QRZ.com predated MySpace!!!
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G3RZP
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2008, 03:41:14 AM »

It can be a pain. If I go on in a contest for a few casual QSOs, there are certain US contest stations I will not work. That's because I can easily get 36 cards from them, year after year! They come through the Bureau, but they fill my envelopes needlessly.

Perhaps the biggest problem for US hams in domestic QSLing is that the ARRL bureau doesn't handle domestic cards - most other bureaus do. I suppose that in theory, if you were a member of RAC, you could sends your domestic US cards to Canada and then they should go through the bureau in the normal way...
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N4CQR
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Posts: 567




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« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2008, 06:20:09 AM »

Always glad to confirm a contact (SASE or not). Always glad to receive a card too. Direct, Bureau or  eQSL.

No LOTW and no intentions of every getting involvd with it.

73
C r a i g
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W3LK
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« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2008, 06:30:29 AM »

<< sometimes it is difficult and dangerous to log contacts >>

I don't understand the last part of this statement. Dangerous, how?

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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WA5UHK
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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2008, 07:50:45 AM »

<<I don't understand the last part of this statement. Dangerous, how?>>

Because I'm driving.  If I had three arms it would not be dangerous.  I often have to explain that I need to put the mic down to jot down a call.

I've gotten better at logging and driving.  I've made forms using Print Shop with large areas for time, freq, call, handle, etc that are slanted at an angle that matches my center console flat spot so I can  scrawl info. Often, I can't read my own scrawling.

When I get to a stopping point, I put all this into a mini-log.  I've learned not to wait days as my memory fades after a while.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2008, 11:14:13 AM »

>RE: Are QSL's DEAD ?       Reply
by WA5UHK on November 9, 2008    Mail this to a friend!
<<I don't understand the last part of this statement. Dangerous, how?>>

Because I'm driving. If I had three arms it would not be dangerous.<

::Well, there's the problem, then.  There's a waiting list for third arm installations, but with patience, you can get one.

:-)

Actually, when I operate mobile (not so much anymore) and work anything I'd like to log, I just use one of those $20 digital voice recorders.   They're available everywhere and sometimes are even cheaper than this.  One with very limited memory will still record a few minutes of audio, which is enough for dozens and dozens of contacts, since I don't record the contact itself, just info like:

"November 9, 10:15 local time, 20m SSB, VK3ABC"

That's all the log data I need "per contact," and only takes 2-3 seconds to say and record.  Recording is just a matter of pushing a button, without looking at it.

Good modern day method of mobile logging.

WB2WIK/6
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