As part of my 2014 challenge to have at least one QSO each day (as I successfully accomplished in 2012), I decided my old QSL card (which I’ve used for five years) needed a facelift. Without hesitation I contacted Randy Dorman, (KB3IFH QSL Cards). Randy does excellent work printing QSL cards. His services are quick and reasonably priced. If you are looking to have cards printed, contact Randy. You’ll be pleased.
I wanted my new card to represent Colorful Colorado as I’m always proud to represent the centennial state when I take to the airwaves. However, I do truly lack in creativity and imagination. This is really where Randy made it easy for me. He helped me find this postage stamp image, he cleaned it up a bit and I’m very pleased. A Colorado postage stamp QSL card. I love it! If you want one of these, catch me on the bands starting in 2014.
As I have stated before, I really enjoy collecting QSL cards. So much so that it’s really made me re-evaluate my QSL policies. For the past several years I’ve almost always sent along an SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) with my QSL card. But in the early days I didn’t send that many cards and when I was first licensed, first class postage was a whopping 5 cents cheaper.
Now don’t misunderstand me, my decision is not based on the rising cost of postage. If it were, I would just stop QSL’ing all together and only use the online services. Which by the way, I do use both eQSL and LoTW…but the excitement factor just isn’t the same as when I walk to the mailbox and find an envelop with a QSL card from a nearby or far away location.
Really what has driven my decision is what appears to be a duplication of effort between most of the hams I work on the bands. What do I mean by this?
First, if I’m going to send a QSL card…I typically do this within a day or two (at the most) of the QSO. I have discovered, the majority of the stations I work also do the same. Many times our QSL cards must pass each other in the USPS sorting process. If I’ve sent along an SASE and the other station has done the same thing…then we’ve both received an envelope with a stamp which may or may not be useable again. But sadly, I’ve found many stations do not send SASE.
Yes, I understand why some stations may request an SASE and I understand why most DX stations will want a greenstamp or two to help cover postage. But for most of the average US based stations and for casual QSO QSL’ing I will gladly cover the return postage should you want to exchange cards with me.
I’m not going to change the minds of everyone, and I’m not going to try. If you absolutely require an SASE and I want your card bad enough, then I’ll comply. However, I believe my new process will certainly equal things out a little bit. The paper QSL card process is part of the old customs of amateur radio that I truly hope will never go away.
Now I must take a short walk to the mailbox and drop off a few outgoing QSL cards and fingers crossed, I have some incoming cards waiting. I truly hope to work you either in the remaining days of 2013 or certainly in 2014. YES, I QSL 100% and absolutely no SASE is required.
Until next time…
73 de KD0BIK (Jerry)