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Author Topic: DX QSL Cards  (Read 2446 times)

Posts: 14


« on: January 18, 2016, 11:11:46 AM »

I have a question about DX stations and their rate of QSL card return.  About a year ago, I became quite a bit more active than I was previously (recently retired).  As such, I was working a good deal of DX stations, particularly on JT65.  I had been sending off QSL cards to these stations through the ARRL Outgoing QSL bureau.  I would imagine up to now, I have sent out over 200 cards.  To date, maybe I have received about 10 back.  When I started out in the late 60s, it seemed that whenever I sent out a card, I always got one in return.  I know that bureaus are the slowest way to get a card.  I also know that a lot of stations don't do paper QSLs anymore.  However, I'm just trying to get an idea as to the return rate to expect nowadays.  Is 50% too optimistic?  25%  Just wondering how others are doing using the bureau.

Posts: 123

« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2016, 11:44:09 AM »

I have found the QSL Service both inbound and outbound to be very slow. I now exchange qsl cards direct through the US postal service. If a station sends me a qsl by mail I send them one in return. Currently to send a qsl card in the US as a post card it cost 35 cents. I've sent QSL cards to DX stations in an envelope which cost $1.30. My next DX QSL will go as a post card so I can find out the cost.

If I receive a card via the service I return mine via mail.

Using JT65 can rack up lots of dx contacts, get ready to spend some money QSLing. I'm in the process of setting up my new station on JT65 simply because the mode is much fun.

I enjoy collecting QSL cards from all over the world.

Worth every penny spent.

Posts: 346

« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2016, 01:39:14 PM »

My return rate on QSL cards is about 90%. I do not use a service. I always check QRZ to find out what the OP's QSL policy is. Most want 2-3 USD for return postage. If I don't receive a card after 3 months I will email the OP.  They typically have their email at QRZ. This usually works but there are times when I never receive an email back. I just right those requests off. I like to collect cards and I like to have at least one for each entity. It can get pricey this way but I don't mind the cost. Even though I use logging software, I still keep track of my outstanding requests manually in a notebook. It's easier to flip through the pages than booting up my computer.

Posts: 823

« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2016, 07:45:38 PM »

About a year ago, I became quite a bit more active...  I had been sending off QSL cards to these stations through the ARRL Outgoing QSL bureau...  I have sent out over 200 cards.  To date, maybe I have received about 10 back.

You haven't allowed nearly enough time to get a significant return via the DX Bureaus.

The Outgoing QSL Service batches the cards by country-of-destination ... so it can be quite some time until they've accumulated enough cards to send a package to some locations. (And BTW, there's just one ARRL staffer, along with her volunteer husband who sometimes lends a hand, to handle the thousands of outgoing cards.)

Likewise, on the other side, the Incoming Bureau at the DX location waits until it receives enough cards for each individual operator to make it worthwhile to send him/her a package. And then that operator can wait quite a while until he/she accumulates enough cards to make it worthwhile to send a package for shipment Stateside.

Upon receipt back here in the States, it takes time for the volunteers who staff the Incoming Bureaus to get around to sorting the incoming packages, and then wait until a sufficient number of cards accumulate to make it worthwhile to send a package to you.

So the 1-year turn-around using the Bureau both ways that you've gotten for that handful of cards actually is quite quick.  Wink

« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 07:48:23 PM by KS2G » Logged

Posts: 163

« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2016, 12:07:11 AM »

I've had a Bureau card for a QSO 19 years before the date received.....
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