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Author Topic: Update your DX Bureau Information  (Read 722 times)
W5DQ
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« on: January 12, 2010, 09:18:25 AM »

Hello all,

Normally I don't post to much on forums but as a Segment Manager for the ARRL W6 Incoming DX QSL Bureau (i.e. bureau), I recently completed cleaning up a sizeable backlog of what is refered to as 'Orphan QSL cards'. These are cards that come into the bureau destined to calls that do NOT have an account with bureau. As most of you are aware, the bureau is run by volunteers and all postage expenses to do a final delivery of cards are paid from the funds supplied by the account holders. So in this larger stack of cards (almost 300), each destined call had to be contacted to either notify or re-fresh their memory if previously notified that they had cards waiting and needed to act to get those cards to them from the bureau.

In the process, I found that a large percentage of the intended calls did not have any email posted on QRZ.COM or other sources. If you do QSO with DX stations, you will eventually recieve DX QSL cards. To help out your bureau workers (regardless of call area) I would suggest that you do the following:

1) Ensure your bureau account is up to date and has adequate funds. Usually it only needs to have $5 in it to get your cards to you unless you are the lucky reciepient of hundreds of cards and then the postage will behigher so have more on hand.

2) If you change QTH, be sure and notify your DX bureau of the new address. You may also be transferred to a different call area bureau. Also you are required to update the FCC of your new address per license regulations. We use the FCC database to find people too.

3) It helps if you have an active email account on record. Placing it in your profile on QRZ.COM or eHAM will help out a lot. I don't intend for this post to cause a deluge of information to all bureau workers but it can be frustrating to have a pile of cards and no one to deliver them to cause the intended call has moved with no fwding info and is out of touch with the bureau.

4) If you do not want cards via the bureau, put an statement on your QRZ.COM or eHam profile stating so, up front and large letters. Not that it will stop all cards but it may help out to reduce the load of unwanted cards. These do not get sent back through the bureau like undeliverable mail. They get round filed.

I think I speak for all the ARRL bureau volunteers when I say we want to get your cards to you in a timely fashion but need your help in doing so.

73 and Gud DX'ing,

Gene Brewer W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
K9IUQ
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2010, 09:55:38 AM »

I think I speak for most DXers - You Bureau Volunteers do a great service. I know it must be a  thankless and boring Job and I really appreciate it.

Stan K9IUQ
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W5DQ
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2010, 02:38:10 PM »

Stan,

Actually it can be tedious sometimes, a bit of a pain to find the information for adddresses, etc. but I would not call it boring, at least for me. I would think I can safely speak for all buro volunteers that if it were boring, we probably would not do it. I enjoy seeing all the various cards that pass thru my hands on way to the intended QTH. I get to meet (although usually by mail or email) many more hams than I might otherwise.

It definitely a much more winter time activity than summer, except here in the Mojave desert where we tend to be sort or reversed on seasons. I'd much rather be outside at 40 to 50 degrees F working on antennas than 110 to 120 degrees F like in summer. Much easier to work on metal when its cold than when it feels like it just came out of the foundry Smiley

73 to all,

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2010, 12:28:58 PM »

More than 6 months ago I received a phone call saying I had QSL cards waiting for me at the local ARRL bureau. The call was from a local ham that helps with message traffic (?). I am still a new ham, but I looked up what I was supposed to do. I sent some large envelopes, 6x9 I think, with lots of postage to the bureau. But no cards yet.

I work a lot of DX. Is the bureau waiting for a full envelope or do I need to do something else? I'm not an ARRL member but my email is current on QRZ.

I'll email the local bureau but I could use a clue about possibilities first. Can I send some cash to help out or is that insulting?
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2010, 01:04:25 PM »

The incoming buro is for ARRL members and non-members. The Outgoing Buro is for ARRL members only, so you better join up as all those cards you get from the incoming Buro are going to have to be recipricated.

My buro takes personal checks, I usually send them $10-15. This buys the envelopes and the postage. Much easier to do this way. When my $$ get low, they send me a notice to send more money.....

Stan K9IUQ
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W2IRT
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2010, 03:58:01 PM »

Gene, I feel your pain. I'm the letter O manager for the 2nd incoming bureau and January is the month we go through our dead file and try to get some new subscribers. Eventually I think I get about 10% back, with most not even giving me the courtesy of an e-mail back telling me to ditch their future cards. I have about 3/4 of a shoebox full from the past year and I suspect most will never be claimed although I'm willing to bet about a third of what I have in there are busted calls from the originating DX station.
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W5DQ
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2010, 04:00:55 PM »

I would recommend that you contact your Incoming DX Bureau(contact info on ARRL website) to see that they have received your pkg of envelopes, etc. Could be that they never received it. Could be that it is in the works but delayed for some reason. Out here in California at W6 bureau, the main bureau manager sends out an account update pkg to the individual segment managers every couple of months. I would have expected yours to have made it through your bureau system to the person who handles your cards within 6 mos. Also when you contact the W8 bureau, let them know how often you want your cards delivered. Some folks only want them once a year because they get so few, some when they get 5 to 10 cards at the bureau, others as they come into the bureau.

If you sent a qty of envelopes and postage, that should be enough to get you started. The bureau should notify you when you get low on supplies or funds. In my segment, I recommend hams just keep some funds in their accounts ($5 or so, more if they get alot of cards). I'll take care of envelopes, stamps, etc. so everything is common and I can get through the process quicker than having to keep trying to figure out what is what different from account to account. If it were me, I would hold on sending any more money until you find out what your account status is. Sending more money is an insult but may not be needed for a while and it is just something else for the bureau volunteer to keep up with.

Communications with your bureau staff is paramount for successful delivery of your cards. So long as your account is current (funded and all info up to date), you should get your cards. Keep in mind, it can take many months, sometimes years to get cards through the bureau. I just recieved a card that came from the JA Outgoing DX Bureau to a ham in my segment for a QSO that occurred in 1968. This is the longest I have ever seen or heard of. Before this, a friend received on from an EU ham after 19 year and a couple months. Six to 18 months is typical, up to 3 to 5 years in acceptably normal, longer happens but not as often.

Just keep working DX and the cards will start coming - especially if you work any JA's. They send lots and lots of cards thru the bureaus. We get 40 to 50 pound boxes of Japanese-only QSLcards just for the W6 bureau segments every few months.

Good Luck

Gene Brewer W5DQ
W6 Incoming DX QSL Bureau "L" Segment Manager.
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Gene W5DQ
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W5DQ
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2010, 04:08:42 PM »

CORRECTION to my last post:

Sending more money is an insult but ...."

Should have been "Sending more money ISN'T an insult ..."

W2IRT, ditto my friend. Just went through mine and send out 40+ emails from appx 125 calls. So far about 10-15% replies, most sending funds. Glad for taht as one stack had a bunch of really nice cards; India, Bhutan, rarer island Dxpeds.

Good Luck in 2010,

Gene
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2010, 08:32:09 AM »

Great remineder Gene, but I beg to differ (actually would add to) one part:

4) If you do not want cards via the bureau, put an statement on your QRZ.COM or eHam profile stating so, up front and large letters. Not that it will stop all cards but it may help out to reduce the load of unwanted cards. These do not get sent back through the bureau like undeliverable mail. They get round filed.


This MAY or may not warn DXers from sending you cards but the BEST thing to do is to inform your local Buro manager of your desire that you do not want any of your cards.  This way, your letter dispatcher (I am one myself.) can be notified and they can pitch your cards without worrying if you want them or not.
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