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Author Topic: QSL cards for newbies...  (Read 3614 times)
KK6GNP
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Posts: 158




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« on: August 24, 2013, 03:36:57 PM »

Hey, everyone.

I've been seeing some of the discussion about QSL/eQSL cards and I'm wondering what makes the most sense for me as a (soon) new ham?  I suspect the answer is both, but I really do like the idea of the paper cards, and I would enjoy designing and printing some up to send out if lots of people are still sending them.

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73 ~ Cory (JeepEscape)
KK6GNP
KE4JOY
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Posts: 1384




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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2013, 04:04:14 PM »

With all the new fancy eqsl, lotw, qrz, etc electronic qsl's the paper qsl's are few and far between. Still I enjoy getting / sending them.

So as a 'new' ham I would not worry too much about paper qsl cards. At least not for several months or so. If you happen to get one and want to respond get creative with a printer and make your own.

Just don't do what I did and order 500 cards then change my call a year later  Grin

I'm so cheap I just print out my new call on a piece of paper and paste it over the old call cards... LOL
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AC4RD
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Posts: 1235




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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2013, 06:22:20 PM »

Cory, if you're decent with any graphics software you can do what I did for years, mostly for special occasions (contests, portable operations, etc)--set up three cards on 8.5x11" in a graphics program, print them onto card stock on a laser printer, and cut them out by hand.  Pretty easy, and it's fun to design your own cards, especially for special circumstances!

For really special things, you can do multi-color on a color printer, though that gets expensive pretty quickly.

Mostly I use storebought cards these days, and not all that many of those.  (My own design, though, printed by UX5UO.)  But I *love* getting homebrew cards--they have a lot more personality than most mass-produced cards!  So don't be afraid to experiment and try making your own cards. 

Feel free to email off-list if you want more specific advice.  73!  --ken
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N0IU
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Posts: 1357


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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2013, 04:49:34 AM »

In the long run, I absolutely recommend getting set up with Logbook of The World (LoTW) after you get your license. There are a lot of hoops to jump through to get it going, but it is actually not that hard to set up and I absolutely recommend a logging program with LoTW uploading support. It will make your life a lot easier!

It is not actually a logbook at all, its a way to confirm contacts once they are in your log. Any more, an electronic logbook of some kind is pretty much a requirement.

However...

When you first get your license, I think exchanging cards (in addition to electronic confirmation) is an excellent idea. It will give you great memories of those first contacts. As far as "roll your own" QSL cards, just Google "ham radio clip art" and you will have tons to chose from. Just make sure to include all of the necessary fields:



This is from my card but you might see some variations out there. Of course all dates and times are in UTC.
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K0OD
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Posts: 2578




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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2013, 08:04:35 AM »

KE4JOY
Quote
don't do what I did and order 500 cards then change my call a year later  Grin

I have 50-year old cards... say KN1XXX... with the "N" X'd out by pen showing the op had upgraded from Novice (KN1XXX) to General (K1XXX). Novice calls, which contained a prefix "N",  were good for a year and were not renewable.

Or optimistic newcomers might have cards printed without the "N" and write in the tiny letter while still a Novice. Unless you moved to another call area, you knew with certainty what your upgraded call would be.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 08:07:31 AM by K0OD » Logged
W3ML
Member

Posts: 169




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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2013, 09:46:04 AM »

Checkout cheapqsl.com   Their prices are quite reasonable.  Nothing fancy costs really low.

I use them as I send out quite a few for DX contacts.

73
John W3ML
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KK6GNP
Member

Posts: 158




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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2013, 09:57:34 AM »

I think I like the "print on demand" idea of making my own here at home.  It looks like Avery even makes postcard stock for printers (Avery 8387).  Photo paper for printers would work well too.  One of my ancillary jobs in information technology has always been building websites and web apps, so I was planning to design my own QSL cards anyway.

I will definitely get into computer logging and LoTW as well.  Thanks for all the suggestions!
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73 ~ Cory (JeepEscape)
KK6GNP
KE4JOY
Member

Posts: 1384




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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2013, 03:01:58 PM »

KE4JOY
Quote
don't do what I did and order 500 cards then change my call a year later  Grin

I have 50-year old cards... say KN1XXX... with the "N" X'd out by pen showing the op had upgraded from Novice (KN1XXX) to General (K1XXX). Novice calls, which contained a prefix "N",  were good for a year and were not renewable.

Or optimistic newcomers might have cards printed without the "N" and write in the tiny letter while still a Novice. Unless you moved to another call area, you knew with certainty what your upgraded call would be.

Yea I kind of remember that. In my case my call changed completely so the entire call has to be over written. Like I said I print out like 24 of my new call in big font on paper, cut them out, and glue them to the joy cards using a glue stick. Works okay.

I also had some home made cards, I am going to try to find the setup images and post it here when I can.
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9921




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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2013, 01:14:06 PM »

http://www.ux5uoqsl.com/

This is the site for my favorite qsl car maker.  he does a super job and is very reasonable.  fast too.  look at his site.
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K1CJS
Member

Posts: 6055




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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2013, 04:19:57 PM »

A suggestion.  Get a copy of Printmaster, just about any edition from 6.0 on up.  The program is very easy to use and can be set up to produce almost any size card, from business sized cards to the usual size QSL cards.  I played with the settings and came up with a set up for four cards to a sheet, a little smaller than the usual size, but perfectly usable as QSL cards.

The Printmaster program can usually be had for pennies unless you want the latest edition, and contains both an extensive art library built in (including radio art such as rigs, towers, antennas and mikes) along with both a link to the Broderbunt on line art library and the ability to import any art you would want to use.  The program makes adjustment of art size and text boxes easy, and is, in my opinion, better than Microsoft Publisher.
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