Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

donate to eham
   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Printing Your Own QSL Cards  (Read 3574 times)
KB1WSY
Member

Posts: 1258




Ignore
« on: March 19, 2017, 04:41:40 AM »

Searching the Web, I have found several sources of information on how to design and print your own QSL cards on a laser printer, but usually the information is quite old.

Can someone point me in the right direction in terms of up-to-date software, and where to find the right-size, pre-scored card stock? I will be using a cheap black-and-white HP laser printer, which already does fine when printing on pre-scored business-card stock.

In "real life" I am a professional graphic designer, so it would be simple for me to design the whole shebang myself, using InDesign or Quark Xpress, but that seems like overkill in this case! Why reinvent the wheel....

Thanks!

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
Logged
KS2G
Member

Posts: 701




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 05:14:29 AM »

Have you looked at this one?

QSL Card Creator
http://www.radioqth.net/qslcards

I have no personal experience with it, but it looks pretty simple.
Logged
KB1WSY
Member

Posts: 1258




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2017, 05:46:37 AM »

Have you looked at this one?

I will try it! I just ordered some laser card stock from Amazon, postcard size (3.5"x5.5"). For test purposes, I ordered two weights of paper: 65lb and 80lb. The heavier, the better, but I don't know whether my cheap printer can handle the heavier weight. We'll see.

73 de KB1WSY
Logged
K5NOK
Member

Posts: 78




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2017, 09:25:37 AM »

KB1WSY,

I've gone that route. The problem I found with the link for that page is they dumb it down and limit some of the creativity you may want to do as a graphic designer.

There is also this: http://www.qsl.net/n9bt/qsl_template.htm   . The problem with a Word document is that it gets finicky on how close you can place objects to other objects.

When you get your card all like you want it, you may want to consider going to Kinkos (or whatever they call themselves these days) and have it printed on a color laser printer. Not too expensive and looks good.
Your cards color fidelity will last longer.

Brian
Logged
KB1WSY
Member

Posts: 1258




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2017, 10:25:11 AM »

There is also this: http://www.qsl.net/n9bt/qsl_template.htm   . The problem with a Word document is that it gets finicky on how close you can place objects to other objects.

I use a Word template for my business cards -- they are provided online by Avery. It works well, so that sounds like another route to try. Thank you for the link!

There is also this: http://www.qsl.net/n9bt/qsl_template.htm   . The problem with a Word document is that it gets finicky on how close When you get your card all like you want it, you may want to consider going to Kinkos (or whatever they call themselves these days) and have it printed on a color laser printer. Not too expensive and looks good.
Your cards color fidelity will last longer.

As of now I'm not planning on using color. The main aim is just to get a few hundred cards ready for my planned first-ever QSOs next month. If/when I decide to add color, I'll use a professional supplier and have them print the card in the thousands. That is probably cheaper than trying to print them myself, or taking a digital file to Fedex Office (as they now call themselves).

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
Logged
K6CPO
Member

Posts: 359




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2017, 10:55:53 AM »

I'm not a professional graphic designer, but I have some skill with the software as an outgrowth of my photography.

I designed my QSL card, both front and back, in Photoshop at 5½ X 4¼ in.  I then laid this out in a 4-up configuration to fit standard 8½ X 11 paper and printed it with an HP photo printer on glossy paper.  I then used a rotary cutter to cut the cards apart, giving me four cards per sheet. As I'm not a DXer and don't do a lot of HF, this method suits me very well. 
Logged
KB1WSY
Member

Posts: 1258




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2017, 11:19:24 AM »

So, for the moment, I have found a basic QSL-card designer called "QSL Maker" from WB8RCR. The version I found is 2.4 and copyrighted 2002, so it is venerable, in software terms. The result is nothing fancy, just the old-fashioned format with the call sign across the middle, and a row of info boxes underneath, to fill out with a pen. The postal address in the top right-hand corner.

I'll do something fancier in due course, but it's good enough for this novice.

As a courtesy, should I include the grid square and county, for award-chasers? Or can I assume they have easy access to that info anyway? (It is in my QRZ profile; many U.S. hams don't seem to put that info on their cards.)

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
Logged
KS2G
Member

Posts: 701




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2017, 12:41:02 PM »


As a courtesy, should I include the grid square and county, for award-chasers? Or can I assume they have easy access to that info anyway?

Easy access on-line doesn't help with awards -- info must be on the card.

Include country, state, county, 6-character grid-square, ITU Zone and CQ Zone.

You're not on an island, but if you were, you should include Island Name and IOTA indicator

Lots of different awards -- lots of info needed for them.  Wink
Logged
N0IU
Member

Posts: 2002


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2017, 01:31:50 PM »

The main aim is just to get a few hundred cards ready for my planned first-ever QSOs next month.

You've been license for just over 5 years (maybe longer?)! What's your rush??

If/when I decide to add color, I'll use a professional supplier and have them print the card in the thousands.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY

I will try to be delicate about this....

I mean its your money and far be it from me to tell you how to (or not to) spend it, but are you sure you want that many? We're close to the same age (born in  the same year anyway) and I have been licensed for nearly 25 years and there is no way I would order even a thousand QSL cards much less thousands of them because I probably won't live long enough to use that many. Its not that I don't intend to make several thousand more contacts before the angel of death comes knocking on my door, but those will be logged electronically, primarily through LoTW.

Yes, exchanging QSL cards can be exciting, especially in the beginning, but it can also be very costly. When LoTW came out, I decided to start over with my award chasing. Since then I have earned several WAS certificates plus several more DXCC awards, all earned 100% electronically.

So my advice to you (which is worth exactly what it cost you - $0.00) is that while you are waiting for your cards to come back from the printer, get signed up with LoTW. It is free to use and really, that is the way most people are confirming contacts these days.
Logged
KB1WSY
Member

Posts: 1258




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2017, 02:09:57 PM »

You've been license for just over 5 years (maybe longer?)! What's your rush??

Good point! I seem to be trying to set a record. I first passed the ham test (in the UK) more than 45 years ago (December 1971) but never got on the air back then. This time, however, it is going to happen.

I will try to be delicate about this....

You are being exquisitely delicate!

Yes, exchanging QSL cards can be exciting, especially in the beginning, but it can also be very costly.

Call me weird and old-fashioned, but I'd like that wall-full of QSL cards that Ye Old Timers could boast of. Admittedly, in these days of electronic QSLs, that could be harder to achieve than it used to be. Yes, I can see that postage charges could quicky rack up (in which case I can switch to going exclusively through the bureaux, even if it is very slow that way).

.... get signed up with LoTW. It is free to use and really, that is the way most people are confirming contacts these days.

It's good advice! For the time being I'm sticking to the old-fashioned way. Also for the time being, I'm not terribly interested in awards or contests, so my absence from LoTW won't do me any harm -- although I suppose it could be viewed as rather selfish toward those hams who want a QSL electronically. (But am I right that if they log our QSO on LoTW, it will count toward their award even if I don't log the same QSO on LoTW?)

My shack is all-analog. The only digital device is a five-dollar harbor freight DVM (and I keep that in another room when I'm not using it to double-check my analog test equipment). Cellphones are banned in there. I am writing this post on a PC that is diagonally at the other end of the house. I spend about 12 hours a day in front of a PC, working from home. The shack is my non-digital refuge.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
Logged
N0IU
Member

Posts: 2002


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2017, 03:52:07 PM »

(But am I right that if they log our QSO on LoTW, it will count toward their award even if I don't log the same QSO on LoTW?)

73 de Martin, KB1WSY


No, contacts on LoTW only count when both parties upload their logs and there is a match.
Logged
KB1WSY
Member

Posts: 1258




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2017, 03:58:49 PM »

(But am I right that if they log our QSO on LoTW, it will count toward their award even if I don't log the same QSO on LoTW?)

73 de Martin, KB1WSY


No, contacts on LoTW only count when both parties upload their logs and there is a match.

Thanks. That's worth knowing.

Is there any way that paper QSL cards can count toward an award nowadays, i.e. can they still be sent to "official QSL counters"?

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
Logged
AA8TA
Member

Posts: 29




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2017, 09:28:56 AM »

Thousands of QSL cards?  Wouldn't it be better to use a professional printer such as KB3IHF for that many?  It would take me many lifetimes to use that many cards.

In 3 years, the cards I've received fill up less 1/4 of a shoebox.  If they all disappeared it would be a while before I noticed.  Some are DX that represent the only confirmation that I have but going the route to have them checked is more spendy than I want right now.

LoTW suits my needs right now.  Seriously considering not doing the buro anymore.
Logged

TU es 73 de Joe AA8TA
KB1WSY
Member

Posts: 1258




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2017, 09:54:57 AM »

Thousands of QSL cards?  Wouldn't it be better to use a professional printer such as KB3IHF for that many? 

Yes, I thought that is what I wrote, but perhaps I wasn't clear. The goal right now is just to print up 100 or so on my laser printer, to tide me over as I get on the air for the first time.

If I need a lot more cards later, I agree that it makes more sense (and would be cheaper) to use a professional supplier.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
Logged
N3QE
Member

Posts: 4559




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2017, 11:21:20 AM »

Quote
Is there any way that paper QSL cards can count toward an award nowadays, i.e. can they still be sent to "official QSL counters"?

You can send your cards to ARRL HQ for checking, or you can have a local approved QSL Checker check them for you locally (or at a club meeting or hamfest or however the Card Checker handles things). http://www.arrl.org/dxcc-field-checking

Logged
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!