Re: QSLing (was: Contest QSLs)


From: Scott Sminkey - Sustaining Eng Group (
Date: Mon Jun 27 1994 - 14:56:52 EDT

Bob AC4QO <> wrote:

>Is it considered bad taste to QSL contest contacts?

I *rely* on contest contacts to add to my DX country total. I now have
about 115 worked, and 98 confirmed and well over half were from contests
and most of them from the annual CQ Worldwide DX contests. I have found
that contest stations are among the *best* QSLers.

>Has QSLing gone out of style... Anyone, could
>someone explain the current rules/guidelines/practices?

and Duane WB9OMC <> wrote:

> Some hams these days aren't interested in QSLing if you don't
>send them an SASE...
> DX folks often get inundated with QSLs, and unless they have access
>to cash nearly equal to their entire nations Gross National Product,
>can't pay for the postage to answer them all. The IRC (International
>Reply Coupon), available from the Post Office, is helpful to them..
> The inclusion of a self addressed envelope to the DX station
>can also be helpful.

Duane all but comes out and says the first rules of QSLing: if you want
the card, do what it takes to get it. I have been working toward DXCC so
my focus is on overseas QSLing. I have never used IRCs, but use US dollar
bills instead. I used to use $1 but with so many postal rates going up in
different parts of the world, I now always include $2. I always include
a self addressed envelope. On the inside of the flap, I stamp my callsign
and write down the QSL information: call sign of station worked, date,
time, band/freq, and report. This is so (1) the person opening the outer
envelope knows which card my return envelope goes with, and (2) if my card
gets separated from the envelope or otherwise destroyed, the data is some
where so hopefully I'll get a card anyway. Remember that the person
answering the QSL card may be a manager for several stations so make things
easy for him or her.

As for QSLs within the USA, I always include a SASE. I am about to get
serious on 6m and perhaps 2m as well, so I am going to be doing a lot of
USA QSLing and I will want the cards!

Finally, Duane wrote:

> But I gotta say it - keep in mind that there are a lot of
>US hams these days who don't bother to QSL because they don't care,
>and if you send them one it probably will go in the s***can because
>they haven't even bothered to have a card printed (in spite of the fact
>that now with computers being so commonplace, you can make them
>SOOOOO cheaply....). These alleged hams :-) don't strike me as REAL hams
>at all.

For those hams who don't have cards, you could always keep a supply of
"form letter" cards on hand, i.e., a card that you "make" for him or her to
sign. Fill it out with his call sign, your QSO data, and send it with your
card for him to sign and return to you. Remember that if you want confirmation
of QSO, even a handwritten letter/note will do, but it must be *signed* by
the operator.

I must take issue with the tone of Duane's comment here. In my mind, QSLing
is not an obligation and no ham should be chastised or make to feel guilty
if he doesn't choose to print up QSL cards. Furthermore, I don't buy into
this "the QSL card is the final courtesy" and initiating a QSL card for each
and every contact I make. I know exactly where USA QSL cards end up at when
sent to a rare DX operator: in the trash. The last thing he needs is his
ten millionth card from the USA! There is no point wasting your time and
his if you don't want his card. I go back to what I said earlier: if *you*
want a QSL card, then *you* have to do what it takes to get one, i.e.,
initiate the request, provide return postage and an addressed envelope, and
include a "form letter" card if you have to.

Scott WO1G
Scott Sminkey email:
Software Sustaining Engineering voice: 508 952-4792
Xyplex, Inc. fax: 508 952-4887
295 Foster St. (Opinions, comments, etc. are mine,
Littleton, MA 01460 not Xyplex's...)

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