Thursday, January 16, 2020

QSL for sale

This is a crosspost from:

QSL card on photo are not for sale....just a collection sample.
The titel of this post says it all. In my opninion something bad has happened the last decade(s). Some of our fellow radio amateurs need to sell their QSL cards. In their opinion it is too expensive to exchange QSL, and in some occasions they are right. Ok, I know I've been writing about this in Nov. 2019 but it is still in my mind...

Online systems confirm your contact now, a QSL is not needed. 

However, there are still some paper QSL collectors left, although I expect that this will decrease. For those that still collect paper QSL cards the hobby is becoming very expensive, at least if you want those interesting QSLs from rare stations. There are also fellow radio amateurs that do ask money for their card because they don't want to send a QSL, most of them are contesters and make thousands of contacts every year. I really don't know why they ask money? Most of them have a page in which you can set your preferences and you can add a text as well. Just write you don't want to send QSL and QSL received will not be answered. This should be clear for those that still want to send a paper card.

Now, I was researching the QSL or confirmation method the DXCC stations have that I worked as "new ones" on 60m last year. Most of them do confirm by bureau/clublog OQRS/QSL manager OQRS/LOTW and eQSL. But a few of them do not, they only confirm direct, you have to buy your QSL in my opinion. Lets look at my list:

A50BOC - confirms via LOTW, via JH1AJT direct or clublog OQRS, no bureau. Cost: 3 USD
T6AA - confirms via LOTW - paper QSL possible. Cost: 3,50 USD
XW4XR - confirms via LOTW - paper QSL possible via E21EIC. Cost: 2 USD
J69DS - Only direct! Cost: 2 USD
CY9C - via clublog OQRS, no bureau. Cost: 4,50 USD
V31DL - confirms via LOTW - OQRS via clublog, no bureau. Cost: 3 USD
PJ6/NM1Y - Confirms via LOTW - direct paper QSL possible. Cost: 2 USD
3D2AG - Only direct. QSL request via paypal. Cost: 3 USD
8P2K - confirms via LOTW, via KU9C direct or clublog OQRS, no bureau. Cost: 3 USD

Total: 26 USD for 9 paper QSL cards (!)

6 stations do confirm via LOTW. If you are no paper card collector this will save you 16,50 USD.

Still, if you want to confirm J69DS, CY9C and 3D2AG you need to buy their cards. With CY9C at the top as the most expensive one! They do not confirm via LOTW. Why? Well, you decide for yourself...

Personally I think in case of asking money for a QSL for a good reason like helping people to buy medical supplies, food or other goods they need for a living it is ok with me. Some DXpeditions like the previous Mercy Ships DXpeditions in Africa are there to help people, this justifies asking money to confirm the contact. But for private stations or DXpeditions asking money!?!

If people want to do a DXpedition they should count the QSL confirmation in their budget as well. Most DXpeditions are doing that since it is possible to request for a bureau card most of the time. But sometimes, like the CY9C DXpedition in this example, it looks like they want to cover part of the costs. This are just examples for 60m contacts I worked during 2019. Sorry, but personally I don't understand? If you can't cover the costs don't go for a DXpedition and leave it to someone else who can. At least offer your fellow radio amateur hobbyists a confirmation via the free and valid LOTW but don't force everyone to buy your QSL card.

Sorry, if you as reader of this blog, have other opinions. I can imagine you want that QSL confirmation at any cost. Some people seem to have a lot of money to spend for their hobby, but most don't. However, in the end it is everyones own decision...

Just a reminder my QSL code of conduct logo/site:

Update 14-01-2020: Rectification and change of this post. I took A50BOC as (bad) example but received a LOTW confirmation today (coincidence?). When I did research for this post it was not clear to me they would confirm by LOTW it was not on their QRZ page, now it is. So I changed my post.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Buying QSL cards from DX stations

I received the confirmation paper QSL cards from my WRTC 2018 contacts via bureau last week. Now I ask myself, was it necessary? Is it a waste of paper? Yes, I did the request for these QSLs myself and I regret. What am I doing with all this paper? I don't really collect paper QSL anymore. Paper QSL is a thing from the past. There are other ways to confirm a contact now. I already have these contacts confirmed by LOTW. Think of eQSL, LOTW and many others. There is no need for a paper QSL anymore except for those who collect them.

Well. collect them or buy them? There is another trend going on in QSL world. Many stations are not a member from any club or society anymore and QSL bureaus are receiving less QSL cards every year. Those who still want that paper QSL in the past were proud to send them, QSL bureau or not, since the receiver would have the same costs to send a QSL in return. But these days it looks like it is big business. Not for those that want QSL exchange only but also for the post providers. Postage is expensive and a excuse for not sending any QSL. I see a trend that DX stations especially, even if they are not really rare, ask several US dollars for postage. I fact you can pay by paypal and that way it is just a matter of buying your confirmation. Personally I don't like that, I might be old fashion. But this is still a hobby and if I would buy all the QSL I need for DXCC confirmation that would a considerable amount of money. There are other ways but I know several (DX) stations that don't confirm at any online QSL service so if you want to have your contact confirmed you have to pay them first. So unfortunate....

The final courtesy of a QSO is the QSL....

These days that would be:

The final courtesy of a QSO is the confirmation...

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Long time ago....

It has been a long time I wrote something on this QSL of Conduct site. It is also a long time ago amateurradio operators begun with the habit of exchanging QSL. This video shows how a vintage QSL is printed.

It remembers me of my 2 years graphic school years in the eighties. That's before I developed a interest in electronics. I've been working with a similair press and learned typesetting with my bare hands. I really can't remember much of that time but watching the video some of it came back in my mind. From a art point of view QSL cards can be a very valuable item to collect. Especially the antique ones. It's nice to see that they are still made...