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Author Topic: Questions about QSL Cards  (Read 1405 times)
KD4EBL
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Posts: 71




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« on: November 09, 2012, 06:10:46 AM »

I am very new to DXings and have a couple of questions about QSL cards:
1) If I recieve a card in the mail, I assume it is good practice to send one back, correct?
2) If a Special Event station that I worked asks for a SASE, Should I also send one of my QSL cards with the contact information?
3) I am using both LOTW, however if a state or country I am trying to get credit for does not use LOTW, I assume I should send a QSL card and ask for one in return. I currently have a 35% match rate using LOTW, but I am trying to get my WAS and DXCC this year.
4) Should I always send a couple of Green Stamps to DX enties or will they always ask?
Thanks in Advance
Scott KD4EBL
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 06:16:23 AM by KD4EBL » Logged
NU1O
Member

Posts: 2561




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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2012, 07:13:24 AM »

1) Correct.  A card for a card is good policy.

2) If you are sending an SASE why would you leave your card out?  Include it if you are looking for their QSL.

3) For those not using LoTW you can either wait what could be a long time until you work another station from that QTH who does use LoTW or simply use the USPS. I would mail my card using the USPS and get it over with.

4) If you expect a reply from a DX station you'd better add a few bucks, or three, depending upon the QTH.  Most DX stations will write their policies on their QRZ page. If it is an expedition most are using Paypal so you should open a Paypal account and fund it.  I don't like Paypal so I never have more than $50 in my account.

Good luck and I hope I answered your questions to your satisfaction.

73,

Chris/NU1O

« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 07:20:53 AM by NU1O » Logged
AF3Y
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Posts: 3674




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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2012, 07:25:58 AM »

1.   Yes

2.   Yes

3.   Send your card

4.   Check their QRZ.com page. Most will specify what they want/need.

**  Good Luck with your WAS and DXCC and further!

73 es gud DX, Gene AF3Y
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NU1O
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Posts: 2561




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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2012, 09:03:58 AM »

1.   Yes

2.   Yes

3.   Send your card

4.   Check their QRZ.com page. Most will specify what they want/need.

**  Good Luck with your WAS and DXCC and further!

73 es gud DX, Gene AF3Y
Hey Gene,

Aren't those the same answers I gave him.  If you don't stop plagiarizing my work I'll start copyrighting and I'll see you in court.   Cheesy

73,

Chris/NU1O
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KD4EBL
Member

Posts: 71




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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2012, 09:09:16 AM »

Thanks all!
I have been using HRD for my log and now will go back and start to send out the cards.

Hope to work each of you one day soon.

Scott KD4EBL
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WF7BSR
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Posts: 35




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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2012, 10:35:30 AM »

My apologies for jumping into this thread, but my question is closely related...in OP's post he asks about sending "Green Stamps"...Green Stamps refers to US Dollars, correct?  I ask because I sometimes see QRZ pages on which the station asks for "Green Stamps" and others say $2.00 so I wanted to make sure I was understanding correctly?

Thank you for your time and assistance;
Raymond - WF7BSR
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NU1O
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Posts: 2561




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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2012, 11:16:52 AM »

My apologies for jumping into this thread, but my question is closely related...in OP's post he asks about sending "Green Stamps"...Green Stamps refers to US Dollars, correct?  I ask because I sometimes see QRZ pages on which the station asks for "Green Stamps" and others say $2.00 so I wanted to make sure I was understanding correctly?

Thank you for your time and assistance;
Raymond - WF7BSR

A Green Stamp is ham parlance for a US Dollar. 2 Green Stamps = $2. I have not seen an actual S&H Green Stamp since the late 1960's.  I think Warren Buffet either completely owned or was a major stockholder in S&H Green Stamps. My Grandmother, as well as millions upon millions of other shoppers, used to collect them when they checked out at the grocery store.

I'll bet some of those old S&H GS are worth more than a US Dollar.

73,

Chris/NU1O

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K0RS
Member

Posts: 702




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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2012, 11:32:33 AM »

There's a rare exception to sending cards when one is received.  Contest stations may QSL preemptively to everyone they have had a contact with during a contest.  It's just easier to QSL everyone than deal later with individual requests.  Often they include a note, "No QSL required."  If that's the case, it should be clear on their card.  Is it marked "QSL PSE?"  Then send one.  Is it marked "QSL TNX?"  Then none is required.

If I missed it in the thread, sorry, but always use GMT (UTC) on your cards.
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N6DZR
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Posts: 100




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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2012, 11:58:52 AM »

Adding a couple thoughts...

For cards I receive from Japan, I only send one back if the card explicitly asks for one. Otherwise I'd be out of cards.

I recommend you keep good records of cards received, sent, and requested. I didn't at first and that caused me some confusion.

-Jeff
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AF3Y
Member

Posts: 3674




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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2012, 01:27:44 PM »

1.   Yes

2.   Yes

3.   Send your card

4.   Check their QRZ.com page. Most will specify what they want/need.

**  Good Luck with your WAS and DXCC and further!

73 es gud DX, Gene AF3Y
Hey Gene,

Aren't those the same answers I gave him.  If you don't stop plagiarizing my work I'll start copyrighting and I'll see you in court.   Cheesy

73,

Chris/NU1O

Uh-Oh!  I got CAUGHT Shocked.  I thought I could slip that in..... Oh well, sorry.
 I guess you can have your attorney guy call mine. hi
73, Gene AF3Y
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VE3CX
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Posts: 42




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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2012, 01:34:10 PM »

Hi Scott

With QSL'sing, there are a few unwritten rules, so here goes:

1)  Use LOTW.  I am at a 45% return rate, and I am thrilled.  Thousands of cards I did not have printed, send out, and pay to have returned to me.  No QSL method has a 100% return rate, but I do like the low effort/zero cost aspect of LOTW.  It only costs money when you apply for an award.

2) The bureau is your next least cost option.  You need to have cards printed, and send them to the outgoing bureau.  Some outgoing bureaus (such as ARRL) also charge to process your outgoing cards.  It will also cost you some money (or stamps and envelopes) for the incoming bureau to send you your cards.  Yes - its slow, but can save you some money.

3)  QSLing direct is expensive.  I figure it costs me $5.00 to send a card direct, with no guarantee of success.  $0.10 for my card, 2 envelopes, $1.70 for postage, taxes, plus $3.00 in green stamps.  This is for ONE try for ONE card.  DXCC would cost $500 minimum, with no guarantee of success.

I get my fair share of cards, and there is an unwritten rules of "He who pays the freight gets to choose how the card is sent".  So - if I get a "post card" - QSL card with stamp on the back - it goes out via the bureau.  If I get a card in an envelope with no SAE or money for postage - return via the bureau.  If I get a card in an envelope and no SAE, I then have to supply an envelope at my cost to send my card back.  Best bet is SAE, plus money for postage.


While the amounts may seem trivial - a dime here and an envelope there, and it may seem like no big deal, consider what happens when there are hundreds of cards per year in play.  And I am NOT a rare station.  Rare DX - problem is far worse.

Also remember - U.S. postage only works IN the U.S.  I usually get a dozen or more SASE's (with U.S. postage) per year.  In order for the card to go direct, they have to wait for me to go to the U.S. and mail it from there...


Last, but not least, no method yields 100% returns.  Some folks don't QSL.  Period.  They get on infrequently, are green stamp collectors, - whatever. 

When sending outgoing cards direct, do NOT put "A.R.S.", call signs, or anything else to tip off postal thieves there may be money inside the envelope.  Some folks disguise their outgoing direct cards as "official documents enclosed", "legal documents enclosed", etc. to discourage postal thieves.  Sometimes, you have to try more than once...

Best bet for quick DXCC and WAS is to get on in various contests - even as a casual effort.  Lots of QSO's in a short period of time, so even with a 30-50% return rate on LOTW, there is no cost involved.

Good luck!

Tom - VE3CX
 
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W5DQ
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« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2012, 10:37:34 AM »

My apologies for jumping into this thread, but my question is closely related...in OP's post he asks about sending "Green Stamps"...Green Stamps refers to US Dollars, correct?  I ask because I sometimes see QRZ pages on which the station asks for "Green Stamps" and others say $2.00 so I wanted to make sure I was understanding correctly?

Thank you for your time and assistance;
Raymond - WF7BSR

A Green Stamp is ham parlance for a US Dollar. 2 Green Stamps = $2. I have not seen an actual S&H Green Stamp since the late 1960's.  I think Warren Buffet either completely owned or was a major stockholder in S&H Green Stamps. My Grandmother, as well as millions upon millions of other shoppers, used to collect them when they checked out at the grocery store.

I'll bet some of those old S&H GS are worth more than a US Dollar.

73,

Chris/NU1O



True, the last time I can recall seeing S&H Green Stamps was a kid (mid 70's) when I was in a local bowling tournament and was lucky enough to convert a rare 7-10 split. The special prize for that was 25,000 (loose) S&H Green Stamps. I had no use for them as I didn't even know what to do with them so I gave them to my mother. She stuck stamps in little books for days.

Back on topic but when sending greenstamps (dollars) out to DX stations, make sure that the DX station can accept them. There are some locations (not many but some) where it is illegal for the local ham to possess foreign currency (i.e US dollar bills). I would expect the penalties to be stiff with that sort of governmental control and you would not want to get a fellow ham in hot water over a QSL card request containing illegal dollar bills.

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
N2RJ
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Posts: 1133




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« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2012, 12:20:21 PM »

I am very new to DXings and have a couple of questions about QSL cards:
1) If I recieve a card in the mail, I assume it is good practice to send one back, correct?

Generally it is, especially if you receive a SASE or a SAE and green stamps.

Some hams will not want a return card. Contesters typically fall into this category. Many contesters don't want a return card and some don't even handle their own QSLs.

Usually they will write it on the card.

If they don't write it on the card and you see "PSE QSL" or similar, they want a card so send back one.

I agree with everyone else who said to use LoTW. While you're at it, sign up for eQSL as well. Both are free and some appreciate eQSLs for other awards such as WAZ or WPX. It's not a substitute for LoTW, mind you. It may not even be a substitute for paper cards in many cases.

If you plan on DXing or contesting a lot, sign up with your district QSL bureau. It's cheap and allows you to get and reply to cards from common entities with little expense. 
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