[amsat-bb] QSL Etiquette

John W Lee k6yk at juno.com
Fri Mar 13 10:11:52 PDT 2009


As a little background, I have been a ham for over 50 years and 
QSL'ing has been a big part of my activities since they are required
for awards. And I just plain like QSL cards!   I respond to  every 
card that comes to me.

There are so many messages from people who say they don't have time
to QSL, etc.  When I was  a QSL manager (see below) I was working 
full-time, had a 2 hour each way commute, was married with 2 kids to

I was one of the QSL managers for the YASME DXpeditions of the 
1970's.  W6KG and W6QL went to many countries during that period
and made between 8000 and 10,000 QSO's at each place.  The logs 
were all hand-written and in 3 ring binders for each location. 

QSL cards would come in the mail in big bundles with rubber bands around
them daily, and the bureau cards would come in cardboard boxes of maybe 
25-30 pounds via UPS!

I found LOTS of people who were NOT in the log!  And I really tried to 
help them by looking at different days, different times because they put
the wrong
time/date on them, etc.   And I was able to find a lot of them that way. 

Some people have not yet learned to use UTC time/date.  This is a must. 
If I couldn't find them anywhere in the log, I'd just write "Sorry, not
in the log"
on their card and send it back.  That way they would know that their card
made it
to the manager and didn't get lost in the mail.

Of course good logging is a must also.  I have every logbook from day one
of my ham
career. They are archived in boxes but I can pull one out and check for
something if 
I need to.  And I have received  cards 10 years or more after the QSO.  
I keep about 
5 year's logs  handy, as well as having a log in the computer which I
back up at least 

If you work somebody and you don't get the call or don't think you have
it correct, 
by all means ask the person to give it again (slowly or in phonetics,
whatever it takes)! 
A legal QSO  should contain the time and date, other station's callsign
and some other 
bit of information such as a signal report, grid locator, name, QTH, etc.

What did we do before E-mail?  We copied everything down correctly ! 
We did not write to somebody asking for their callsign or wondering if we

made a QSO. 

Regarding E-QSL and LOTW,  with E-QSL, if the QSO information matches,
you get a 
confirmation.  You can "fudge" and confirm a contact that is not in the
log. This is not good.  
With LOTW you can't.  If the information does not match.

If you are new to QSL'ing or new to ham radio, I hope this helps you.

John K6YK

then there is no confirmation. That's the way it should be. 
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