QSL Cards

This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Hamilton 1 year, 5 months ago.

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  • #6681

    Hamilton
    Participant

    Layne (AE1N) posted links to defunct Ham magazines on the club web site.

    I found a good article on QSL cards, http://n5dux.com/ham/pubs/wro-2011/WRO_10_2011.pdf  The article starts on Page 22.

    I have received a stack of about 35 QSL cards and feel guilty I haven’t returned any. It is time to get some cards in the mail.

    1. I cannot find the “right” size card stock (3.5” x 5.5”) so I can print my own. It is easy to find 3.5” x 5” file/recipe cards and Avery has 4¼ x 5½ printer ready cards.
    2. Finding a envelop that isn’t huge requiring a lot of postage that will hold the card AND a self-addressed envelop for the return card is a problem.
    3. The whole “green stamp” / IRC topic and when to include them is unclear.
    4. Bureau and QSL managers sound attractive except for the 9 month delay, also the only “address” listed for many of the bureaus is a call sign. I logged ZS6CCY (South Africa) this week, his QRZ page says: QSL: Direct only via K3IRV. I guess this means I will get a card back from Lillington, NC.

    All of the cards I have received are direct and just post cards, even the DX card from St Helena Island (ZD7). None of them came with envelops, green stamps, or IRCs. These are easy, I’ll just send a post card back.

    I would like to use the QSL feature in DX_Labs letting it print a stack of cards and address labels. My laser printer and Brother label printer are ready to go. I just need to find suitable card stock and envelops although I may not need them.

    I use LoTW but getting a VS or VK card with a foreign stamp would be great. There is something about the “cause and effect” of contacting someone far away and getting a card from there. Contacting So Africa and getting a card from North Carolina just isn’t the same, not to me anyway.

    I’m leaning towards sending a simple direct card without a SASE or green stamps for each QSO, if I get a direct card back great, if not so be it. I doubt that I will hear from the big guns that have >10k QSOs per year, I’m ok with that, they all use LoTW or similar. I expect I’ll see cards from small shacks that were glad to get a card from NH.

    Comments?

    Hamilton (K1HMS)
    Amherst, NH

    #6726
    Fred Kemmerer
    Fred Kemmerer
    Keymaster

    Hello Hamilton,

    QSL’ing is sort of its own Amatuer Radio sub-topic and there are definitely things that work well and some that don’t. DXLab is a good tool for QSL-ing. Anita and I use it to QSL over 10 callsigns including AB1OCAB1QB, N1FD, K2K, FO/AB1OC, FO/AB1QB and the mobile and portable variations of these callsigns. I think that you are on the right track with the idea of using a program like DXLab to print your cards. The way we do this is we get photo cards made with blank backs and we use DXLab to print the QSL information. I did an article on this topic awhile back. You can check it out here.

    How you choose to QSL and the approach you take to direct QSL requests will determine how successful you are at securing confirmations. Here are the QSL stats for my callsign, AB1OC:

    • Total QSOs to date – 52,000+
    • Total Direct QSLs sent – 13,000+
    • %QSOs Confirmed via LoTW – 41%
    • %QSOs Confirmed via Direct Cards – 74%

    The QSL Bureau route is a slow process but it does work reasonably well for the stations which participate and it is inexpensive compared to the direct SAE (Self address envelope)/green stamp route. Best case, the Bureau route takes a year but this can easily extend to 2 years or more.

    You will find that many DX contacts will require you to go the direct SAE/green stamp route to obtain a card. The method outlined in the article here will produce the best results in the face of growing problems with international postal theft. Using ClubLog’s OQRS services is a great alternative for stations which make this service available. ClubLog OQRS speeds up the process significantly and eliminates the problems with postal theft when green stamps are used. We provide ClubLog OQRS for our club’s N1FD callsign.

    It is also customary to provide an SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) when confirming most USA contacts.

    We use UX5UO to print our blank-bank photo cards including the club’s QSL cards. He does a great job and a reasonable cost.

    I hope that this information helps you.

    73,

     

    - Fred (AB1OC)
    President, Nashua Area Radio Society

    ab1oc@arrl.net
    Visit us on the web at - https://www.n1fd.org

    #6727
    Anita Kemmerer
    Anita Kemmerer
    Keymaster

    Hamilton,

    The Envelopes that we use for International QSL cards come from http://www.airmailpostage.com .   There are 2 sizes, one for the return envelope and one that we put the return envelope, green stamps, and QSL card in.  For domestic QSL cards we use # 6 3/4 envelopes with privacy pattern inside the envelope.

    When you are sending for a DX QSL, check the station’s QRZ page to see what they require for payment.  Generally we send green stamps but make sure you hide them well in the envelope as some countries have mail theft.  We generally avoid IRCs as they can no longer be purchased in the US.  Occasionally one is required by the station you are QSLing – you can generally find them on eBay.    Some countries cannot accept Green Stamps (India comes to mind) so if there is no OQRS, the other option is to purchase stamps for that country to put on the SAE.  The site above that we purchase the envelopes from also sells stamps for many countries.

     

    - Anita (AB1QB)
    Activities Chairperson, Nashua Area Radio Society

    ab1qb@arrl.net
    Visit us on the web at - https://www.n1fd.org

    #6730

    Hamilton
    Participant

    Anita and Fred,

    Thank you for the help, especially the leads for the envelops and QSL cards. This is a big help, I have just placed orders for both. I’m really looking forward to getting them and sending them off.

    Hamilton

    Hamilton (K1HMS)
    Amherst, NH

    #6731
    Fred Kemmerer
    Fred Kemmerer
    Keymaster

    FB Hamilton. We’ll try to add some more about using DXLab for QSL’ing at our upcoming Tech Night on loggers. Hope to see you there.

     

    73,

    - Fred (AB1OC)
    President, Nashua Area Radio Society

    ab1oc@arrl.net
    Visit us on the web at - https://www.n1fd.org

    #7936

    Hamilton
    Participant

    Anita sent  me the link for envelops ( http://www.airmailpostage.com) and I placed my order. The envelops arrived in less than a week and were perfect.

    Frank sent me the link for UX5UO for QSL cards. UX5UO’s name is Gennady. I sent him my QSL design and he emailed back suggestions and edits.

    After two more back and forth emails we were ready for the printing press one day after our initial contact.  The amazing part is he always responded within a hour or two even when it was 3AM in the Ukraine.

    In less than 3 weeks I had 1000 QSL cards for $76 including shipping. . There were 100 5 Ruble stamps (~$8.00) covering 4 sides of the box.

    Payment is handled by Pay Pal via his USA representative in North Dakota.

    Gennady has nearly 700 hits on eHam and a perfect 5.0/5 score which he deserves.

    73

    Hamilton K1HMS

     

     

     

    Hamilton (K1HMS)
    Amherst, NH

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