Friday, February 5, 2010

QSL? Yes I do!

For years I have enjoyed sending and receiving QSL cards. When I lived and operated in Northern Ohio, I did more sending than receiving. That dramatically changed when I become active from Alaska. Our post office box at Denali National Park would get crammed full on a weekly basis with direct QSL requests. Since the Post Office at Denali is very small and is only open a few hours daily during the winter months, we looked at a Post Office box in Healy. At the time, our daughter was attending high school in Healy and the Post Office was just around the corner. We were able to secure a much larger box to accommodate the mass mail I receive and my daughter just picked up our mail on her way home from school everyday. Our main box is still here at Denali National Park but the 2nd box in Healy has helped greatly. Problem is, our daughter has long graduated so we only get to our Post Office box in Healy about once a week. I'm still glad we have that box as the direct requests continue to poor in. It also accommodates my very large bureau envelopes from the 8th and KL7 bureau's.

Being active also has a downside (for some) but since I'm not a stranger to a computer or administrative duties, I don't mind doing the "paperwork" associated with being on the air. I enjoy the notes, QSL cards, and especially enjoy the foreign stamps. As I have mentioned before, I have every QSL card I have ever received in my ham radio career. The batch that I received today is about average for me, from 10-30 direct requests a week. I respond immediately to QSL requests and I even go an extra step for foreign QSL requests by putting an Alaskan stamp on the airmail envelope (they get their monies worth since the send a "Greenstamp" or IRC). This is why I list my QSL instructions on and also our website and ask that those who want to QSL follow my instructions. I recently had a station in Europe tell me that he never received my QSL card after sending a direct request. I checked my log and sure thing, I did get his card and I sent mine back but it either got eaten by a postal machine or 5 fingers assumed there was something in it that wasn't. Either way, I sent another immediately and I was glad to get an e-mail about a week later telling me that my card arrived.

QSL managers don't get enough credit as I know how much time I spend doing QSL cards the old fashioned way. Yes, I could use other services to streamline my returns but I like a personal touch to my QSL card. I fill out my card manually and I don't use a computer generated label. Personal preference.

When I get tired of filling out QSL cards, I have a manager in mind and I will ask him to take over my duties. But until that time, receiving several QSL cards is like walking downstairs on Christmas morning and seeing tons of presents under the Christmas tree.

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