QSL cards

Written by admin On May - 20 - 2010 0 Comment

Are you waiting for a QSL from VA7ST?

Paper QSLing is becoming an unsuitable option for me. All contacts in my log receive a confirmation using the ARRL’s Logbook of the World.

I am a ham radio enthusiast, not a stamp collector. I complete more than 20,000 contacts each year. I don’t need a paper QSL card to confirm a contact from a contest — an electronic QSL via LoTW or eQSL is a sufficient courtesy.

Save money, time, paper and energy; please only send a QSL card if you absolutely need paper confirmation from VE7, the VA7 prefix, or perhaps grid square DO00.

If you sent me a card via the bureau, thank you. Due to sheer volume, time and cost, I am not able to reply with a paper card — electronic alternatives are freely available.

As of May 2017 I am listed among the top 15 most active users of the eQSL service — with 265,000 QSL cards sent via that service since 2003. 

Those who mail me a card with a Canada-stamped envelope, or money for postage, will receive a card in reply. Today’s mailing costs mean I am not able reply to QSL cards that arrive in the mail without sufficient return postage.

Postage to the US from here is $1.20 and international letters are $2.50. That all adds up very quickly today.

My current QSL card was printed by UX5UO Print in the Ukraine. It’s an excellent service and I highly recommend Gennady’s QSL cards — they’re very inexpensive, of the highest reproduction quality, and I received mine in less than three weeks from ordering via e-mail to finding a package of cards in our mailbox.

I designed my card front and back using photos from our July 2006 vacation trip to Longbeach on Vancouver Island. It features our dog Tippy (who lived a long happy life until 2014) on the front, and me on the back.

I do not collect paper cards, either direct or via the bureau. I QSL almost exclusively via the ARRL’s Logbook of the World and try to keep my eQSL records up to date. I keep LoTW very current; eQSL can go a month or two between updates.

If you choose to send a QSL card direct (via the mail), please be patient. I receive a lot of cards, and I have to process them in batches — usually six times a year. I am not able to reply to cards sent via the bureau or sent by direct mail without return postage. Frankly, postage rates make paper QSLing no longer affordable.

If I receive an envelope with correct Canadian postage to send my card to you, I may be able to get it done right away, as it doesn’t require a trip to the post office (just to the post box down the block). Many operators include a US$1 or $2 bill, and this really helps keep down costs for QSLing — often, your donation helps me send cards to DX stations that don’t or can’t include self-addressed stamped envelopes (SASEs).

My QSL card collection represents about 120 countries, although some REALLY long-time QSL collectors have over 350 countries (or “entities” as they are also called, as some places in the world aren’t countries, but are still considered unique ham radio locations.)

Like many hams who have been around for a couple of decades or longer, I have cards from some countries that no longer exist — such as the USSR and East Germany. There are about 337 active DXCC entities around the world and 48 deleted entities.

While the politics of a country’s demise may be up for debate, I do feel nostalgia when I go through all my cards and see some of the history of ham radio and the world in the mix. Alas, the days of paper QSLing are virtually over for me, due to rising postage costs.

VA7ST's Status in Logbook of the World

(as of May 17, 2017)
DXCC Award
Sept. 2007

Jan. 2008

Dec. 2008

Apr. 2009

Oct. 2009

Jan. 2010

May 2010

Aug 2011

May 2017

Mixed
125
156
159
169
179
186
193
215
273
CW
106
139
142
152
159
170
179
200
261
Phone
21
69
73
83
90
95
105
123
181
RTTY
86
109
110
117
125
129
133
150
193
160M
8
11
13
13
13
13
15
15
18
80M
25
36
41
48
52
57
65
82
95
40M
58
94
98
106
112
116
121
138
180
30M
-
8
9
11
15
17
21
34
53
20M
108
138
142
152
160
166
171
191
238
17M
-
3
3
3
4
7
11
25
79
15M
74
93
94
96
97
99
102
129
202
10M
22
38
38
39
42
43
43
49
142
Challenge
295
424
440
470
497
520
551
668
1039
QSOs     84,490 91,386 97,524
106,785
114,303
138,409
268,883
QSLs     37,209 42,731 46,724
52,128
57,167
72,903
165,720
DXing, QSLing, Uncategorized

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