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Author Topic: Why should I continue to QSL via the buro?  (Read 5179 times)
N5MOA
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« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2013, 07:40:58 AM »

Exactly. I'm pretty amazed at the selfishness expressed by many. It takes less than a minute to fill out a card (and a few seconds if you have a label printing system) and put it in your bureau pile. Send them once a year if it's such a "bother". If you're unwilling to reciprocate a common courtesy of a QSL card, perhaps it's time you stop reciprocating QSOs (or expecting others to do the same for you) and find another hobby that's less demanding and more ingratiating.

I hope that my next rare one doesn't have the same attitude as some of you - "Ugg.. another US buro card. I think I'll just start tossing these in the trash."

This pretty much echos my opinion.

They send a card, they get a card.
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NU4B
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« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2013, 07:54:43 AM »

You never know who will show up in a rare DX location and become the station you need to QSL.

Ouch, that would hurt. I can see it now. DL3XYZ somehow, someway got to operate from P5 - how would you like to be the one that didn't answer his QSL request 4 years ago. With my luck he would have an excellent memory.  Grin Grin Grin
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N3QE
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« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2013, 08:05:08 AM »

The use of electronic QSLing especially for a picture card is easy and the cards look amazing good using a nice printer or a store's photo processing.

I don't know about others, but I get zero satisfaction from a "eQSL card".

It doesn't count for DXCC, like LOTW does.

It isn't a card in my hands that originated from some far-away location, like a buro or direct card.

I like nice pictures sure, whether they are electronic or on a card. But it still doesn't beat the thrill of my buro sorter handing me the latest pile of cards. I've helped my sorters with a couple simple tasks, and am proud that I was able to help at least a little with the buro process.

Tim.
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N4KZ
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« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2013, 08:20:39 AM »

I have been using Global QSL for several years and am a happy customer. I have no financial interest in their operation which is based in Israel but it saves me time and money. I designed my own card via their website. I keep a computer log and upload QSOs to their site, they print out the four-color cards with all the QSO info and mail them to the bureaus. It's painless and fast. I can complete nearly 100 cards per hour. I could never do that by hand.

I, too, get a lot of DX cards from places where I already have tons of cards. That's what 40-plus years of active DXing will do for you but if someone sends me a card, I feel obligated to send them one in return -- regardless if I already have 100 cards or more from their country.

And I have been told more than once that my state can be hard to work and hard to confirm. So I am doing my part to help "alleviate" the situation while saving myself time and money by using Global QSL. If you get a lot of bureau cards, you should check them out. Google them for their URL.

73, Dave, N4KZ
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WA8UEG
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« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2013, 08:28:56 AM »

Exactly. I'm pretty amazed at the selfishness expressed by many. It takes less than a minute to fill out a card (and a few seconds if you have a label printing system) and put it in your bureau pile. Send them once a year if it's such a "bother". If you're unwilling to reciprocate a common courtesy of a QSL card, perhaps it's time you stop reciprocating QSOs (or expecting others to do the same for you) and find another hobby that's less demanding and more ingratiating.

I hope that my next rare one doesn't have the same attitude as some of you - "Ugg.. another US buro card. I think I'll just start tossing these in the trash."

This pretty much echos my opinion.

They send a card, they get a card.

Yep me to. I don't pay any attention to Eqsl at all, however I do upload to it as others enjoy using it. It's just the right thing to do. Direct, bureau, LOTW, Eqsl all are simple and easy to use and after all unless something has changed that I am not aware of QSL'ing to a station you have worked and who sends you a card is a courtesy that all who consider themselves Amateur Radio Operators should abide by. For many Hams there is more to the hobby then pressing a mic button and talking. Bureau cards are a cheap way for hams in other countries to work toward WAS or WAS endorsements, counties awards, VUCC, etc. I have thousands of QSL cards and need precious few so could care less about the hundred or so I receive from the bureau every 3 or 4 months (although I do enjoy looking over them) but then it's not about me, it's about the ham that took the time to request a confirmation from me.



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W2IRT
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« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2013, 08:37:18 AM »

If you operate a lot and have a good contest-grade station the matter soon becomes one of financial resources and not just time. $75/1000 to have the cards printed, $12 per pound (about 75 cards) to send and whatever your incoming bureau charges to receive cards. To make outgoing card processing go a little easier, add a package of labels ($20 and up). No, none of these will break the bank, but when you're spending ~$100/yr for bureau costs, where you see no benefit whatsoever, it can start to become a problem.

If I didn't get my outgoing and incoming bureau cards at no cost (I'm a letter manager with the #2 incoming bureau) I probably would have discontinued incoming bureau service altogether many years ago, once LoTW became more mainstream that it was initially. I think I may have received a half-dozen needed cards via the bureau in the whole time I've been DXing. I get about 20-30 a month now, almost all common western European countries that I've worked on every band and every mode. Often it's the same big gun contest stations wanting yet another 20m SSB or 15m CW confirmation from CQWW last year or some nonsense like that. Those go into the round file immediately, as do cards from stations I've worked in contests over 200 times -- I'm not hunting amongst those QSOs to find the 5 I need to mark confirmed.

But I still do reply to the little guys over there who tick off the PSE QSL box. I have a good-ish station and who knows...I may be some new DL ham's first US station or first NJ station for his WAS or a new county for him. I don't begrudge those, but, as I said, if I had to pay for all this out of my own pocket, I would have discontinued the practice long ago.
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AJ4RW
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« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2013, 08:57:45 AM »

Quote
. I'm pretty amazed at the selfishness expressed by many. It takes less than a minute to fill out a card (and a few seconds if you have a label printing system) and put it in your bureau pile. Send them once a year if it's such a "bother". If you're unwilling to reciprocate a common courtesy of a QSL card, perhaps it's time you stop reciprocating QSOs (or expecting others to do the same for you) and find another hobby that's less demanding and more ingratiating.

My opinion of paper QSLing has absolutely nothing to do with selfishness.  Even though I'm retired I don't have the spare time nor the patience to fill out the 100's of cards.  The last time I filled out the bureau cards it took me several days filling out cards in my spare time.  I just finished on the treadmill while operating digital and headed outside to get my work done for the day.   Go Velveeta Cheese and electronic QSLing.  Smiley
Randy
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N7SMI
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« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2013, 09:45:05 AM »

Quote
If you operate a lot and have a good contest-grade station....

but when you're spending ~$100/yr for bureau costs, where you see no benefit whatsoever, it can start to become a problem.

So $10000 on a station and many hours per week in the shack is no problem, but $100/year and a few seconds per card IS a problem? I don't get it.

It's certainly anyone's prerogative to not return bureau cards. I at least hope that you'll indicate such on your QRZ page so that folks can be sure not to work you. At least I know I'm much less likely to work folks that don't QSL, even if I don't need the QSL. It's pretty telling about their motivations for being in and perceptions of others in the hobby.

Quote
My opinion of paper QSLing has absolutely nothing to do with selfishness.  Even though I'm retired I don't have the spare time nor the patience to fill out the 100's of cards.

So your time is more valuable than the time of the person that decided to send you a QSL? Sorry, but that sounds like selfishness to me.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 10:02:24 AM by N7SMI » Logged
K3STX
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« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2013, 10:08:50 AM »


Quote
My opinion of paper QSLing has absolutely nothing to do with selfishness.  Even though I'm retired I don't have the spare time nor the patience to fill out the 100's of cards.

So your time is more valuable than the time of the person that decided to send you a QSL? Sorry, but that sounds like selfishness to me.

shucks, you beat me to it!
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W3HKK
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« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2013, 10:42:18 AM »

What is the overall  QSL rate.....5%, 3%?   So lots of folks find reasons not to QSL.  Some retired folks and others cant afford it. Others arent organized enough to bother.  Others dont keep logs.

Using an eLog that prints labels is a big help in reducing the drudgery.  And Via the Buro is another.  I appreciate them both. 

I often wonder how DXpeditions and  rare ones  manage these things.  More ask for green stamps these days so if I really need it I will pay the fare. But otherwise printing off an eQSL to add to my  shoe boxes for  DXCC/WAS on 160-80-6m etc satisfies me.  Dont ask how much Ive spent over the years mailing Qsls with sase's or green stamps.  My wife may be reading this.....

Im coming to appreciate eQSL.  I  never got going with LOTW because it was too complicated for me back in the old days.  eQSL was simpler. So Im there now. 

But getting a nice card from someone who has a special reason for  wanting to QSL makes reading them and replying to them worthwhile to me.

I especially appreciate swl QSLs from far away places.  It's a bridge or a bond of some type, and I'll never forget whatsername....

But it IS hard work when youre active in the contests.  Yet, Ive volunteered to  handle the paper QSLs  we get at our club ( Last year our club events  racked up 6820 qsos, and a surprising number want a paper card, even though we are on LOTW.  I figure as a retired guy its something I can do to give back a little to the hobby.  Our average age is  around 60, and many guys I work are in their 70s-80's and some in their 90s, still banging away on cw. Pretty cool.  One Belgian guy  still goes to Mauritania each year to give 5T to the world.  Now thats dedication. 
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W2IRT
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« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2013, 11:28:03 AM »

Quote
If you operate a lot and have a good contest-grade station....
but when you're spending ~$100/yr for bureau costs, where you see no benefit whatsoever, it can start to become a problem.

So $10,000 on a station and many hours per week in the shack is no problem, but $100/year and a few seconds per card IS a problem? I don't get it.
[/quote]

Simply, that $100 a year could be better spent. That's half a box of cigars, a bottle of Scotch, two tanks of gasoline, a nice romantic dinner with my wonderful wife or a charitable donation. Your collection of postcards should be at your expense, not others'. I don't mind the time and cost of cards (since I need them for my own direct QSL requests, which I happily pay the freight for) but the rest of it is an expense who's time has passed in my opinion. Yes, I still participate and will continue to do so for so long as bureau volunteers get the perq of free bureau service, plus it does have its advantages to less-affluent DXers or those who aren't particularly computer literate. But honestly, I'm tickled pink when a new LoTW hit arrives and I'll leave it at that. If I want to see a picture of your QTH, just post it up on QRZ.com and when I look at your entry I'll see it there.
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AJ4RW
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« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2013, 12:16:48 PM »

IMHO it's also a matter of prioritizing my time.  I like volunteering my time with local seniors and helping at the animal shelter, much more satisfying besides all the other activities I'm involved in.  The time I spend with my wife and family can't be duplicated.  Anyone saying that's selfish, I guess they will never be pleased with me!  I still do bureau and direct QSL cards but it's low on my priority list.  I still encourage and prefer electronic QSLing.  Smiley
Randy
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NU4B
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« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2013, 12:55:02 PM »

I like volunteering my time with local seniors and helping at the animal shelter.

Very nice, thanks for serving your community!
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KA1J
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« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2013, 06:11:09 PM »

"Why should I continue to QSL via the buro?". That's a fair enough question but every answer will be subjective or supporting a subjective reason. For me, it depends on whether I'm initiating the QSL or responding to one. If someone sends me a QSL, the only right thing to do is reply. Admittedly I don't always reply to contest stations who rack up thousands of contacts but I make it a practice to reply to every individual who asks for one because it's the right thing to do. If I get a card via the bureau, it will get where its going via the bureau. I just received a QSL request from Japan with $2 USD in it and the USA has the cheapest outgoing price for stamps, it was $1.05 to reply to him ($1.10 as of a week ago) so I kept a buck, sent him my QSL and sent him back the extra buck. If he would have sent via the bureau, he wouldn't have had to pay anything but his bureau expense.

I think there are a lot of people who really enjoy getting a tangible object from another country. It's a personal thing but it's also something to show a visitor, not necessarily a small thing either; your card along with all the other physical QSL cards in that collection and that just might spark a "collectors interest" in a new & prospective ham. Your QSL itself certainly wouldn't be that spark but seeing cards from all over the world just might be. I remember as a little boy, going through my fathers QSL cards from all over the world, that was in the 50's and he had cards dating back to 1937. I remember when I would find one one from a foreign country I'd go to the World Book Encyclopedia and look up that country just to learn about it. Seeing an electronic record of a QSO certainly will not have that effect.

To that end, the kind of QSO we do today in DXing is much different than it used to be where you would actually have a good chance at a ragchew and then sending and getting a QSL from that person meant something. I cherish my QSLs from G5RV, VP6TC and VK9NS because each one was from a ragchew, not a 599 TU and a LOTW chit. Now the stock QSO is; CFM 599 TU . . and it's over... What's the joy in that? It's indeed a Q and if all you need is something to prove you made a Q, then any confirmation your award group accepts is fine. LOTW is much easier. Even so, I really enjoy getting QSL cards and to that end, I just bought on fleabay an identical dual side oversize card file from the 50's. Same kind as my other two, a different color but the same one and only because I plan to keep getting paper QSLs and I file them & cherish them. I'm at DXCC 310 right now and any new one is awesome at this time but the oldest ones are definitely my favorite.

Much cheaper to send via the bureau and I'm sending out a good 500 cards within the next week, some are long overdue, I found a bunch that had been mislaid many years ago after the "Big D" and I'm making good on all the ones I never thanked with a return QSL.

So depending on the need and intent of the sender, a QSL can be an amazing piece of paper that no electronic acknowledgement can duplicate. The Bureau is the cheapest paper out.

If it's a burden don't do it. If it's fun, do it.

Gary
KA1J
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AF5C
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« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2013, 07:38:32 PM »

Quite a few Europeans are into County hunting, where Eqsl doesn't cut it, and I am not sure that LOTW does either, but I could be wrong.  Those might be some of the stations wanting QSLs.  After all, they need 254 QSLs from Texas to have them all.  I still enjoy getting QSLs from the bureau, and usually get a new CW prefix or 2 in each shipment, and often a new band country or 2.  Just got TF confirmed on 12m in the envelope that came the other day.

John AF5CC
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