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QSL cards


KD3Y
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(Just a personal rant to blow off steam)

I'm annoyed by the hams who don't send QSL.  Especially when they participating on an awards net.  I mean, that's the whole point of an awards net is to make contacts so we can earn these trivial awards that mean absolutely nothing.  LOL   Why even hang out on an awards net if you're not going to keep a log so you can verify my QSO??  Go hangout on a ragchew net rather than wasting my time on a contact that isn't going to count towards my worthless certificate.

I'm sorry to see the tradition of QSL card exchange fade away.  And most of the excuses are crapola such as "The cost of postage is so high I can't afford the 40 cent stamp".  BS....those guys complaining about a 40 cent stamp are the ones with profile pics showing their $7,000 tranceiver in a shack with equipment worth more than my house is, transmitting from a 60 foot tower in their back yard with a $3,000 antenna on top of it, yet they can't afford a stamp.   Less disappointing is this new "eQSL" fad where you basically send an email with a photo and I have to print it out then cut it out with a pair of scissors.   Seriously dude, that's like wearing flips flops to a funeral.  Maybe I'm just antique but something about a postmark adds some "authority" to a QSL card that an email just can't.

I can cut a little slack for the European guys because I know that sending a letter to the US is like 3 or 4 bucks for them.  So they are exempt from my temper tantrum.  Except for the ones who say I need to enclose $3 dollars if I want a reply, then I never see a reply and they keep my $3.  Must be the new "Nigerian ham scam" I think.  LOL  But when you can't confirm a QSO because you half-assed your logbook while you were participating in an awards net, that's more than I can bear.  That's just pure darned communism is what that is.

Yeah I get it that some folks are poor.  But look, I'm a combat vet on disability.  My wife doesn't work, yet I manage to pay the mortgage, pay the internet bill, make the car note, pay the insurance, buy the groceries for two, keep the lights on, keep the dogs fed, pay the goverment their annual extortion fee on everything I own, and keep gas in the fuel tank on what the V.A. pays me every month in exchange for poisoning me in their war that I didn't start.   My antenna is a homemade dipole and my rigs are all used hand-me-downs.  If I can afford a dang stamp, then so can they.  If times are so hard, then at least you can request a SASE and I'll send you the darned stamp, just scribble out the QSO on a piece of paper and sign it.  And if your profile says you're a software engineer or a doctor or a lawyer, but then you claim you're too poor to afford a stamp, then you're lying.   Just be honest with me and say you're a cheep basterd.  At least I'd respect you more than if you lie to me.

Just my opinion, but if you can't afford a stamp maybe ham radio isn't the hobby for you.  Cause ham radio stuff is about as expensive as owning a boat.

That is all.
73 y'all de KD3Y

(End of rant.  Thanks for listening)  😁
 

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  • Administrator


As is sometimes the case, I 'half-agree' with you 😇

I miss QSL cards also. It was an intrinsic part of the hobby as I was growing up and remember, I've been on the air, in some form or another since the early 1960s. But I do understand why the attraction of QSL cards, whether printed or electronic, has faded away. When was the last time I received an actual letter, other than Christmas cards? Heck, I don't think I've received a birthday card in a decade. Everything is either via email, SMS or, in my case, an online forum. Again, I miss the good ol' postal connection, but I understand it. It's not so much, in my opinion, that people are lazy or worried about the postage. I would argue that it's simply a matter of now-adopted habits.

Also, not sure I would agree that people are cheap b...rds. I know I'm not. But again, when was the last time I actually sent a letter, never mind receiving one. I honestly, truly cannot remember. It might have been to my mom before she passed in 2006, maybe. Otherwise, it might actually date back to the 90s.

I'll conclude by saying that for us old-timers, QSL cards were magical. I miss them, but I understand why they have lost their luster.

Thoughts?

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  • Elmer


I do POTA activations. I keep careful logs and dutifully upload them, often the same day. With POTA, the only log that matters is the activator's. I don’t send QSL cards. I don't reply to QSL cards. I don't own QSL cards. It has nothing to do with finances. I have my own way to enjoy Amateur Radio and it benefits others. Sorry if it is not quite in alignment with your way to have fun. I certainly encourage QSL card lovers to pursue their passion. Same goes for AM lovers. Not so much for spark transmitter enthusiasts. 

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4 hours ago, WA3LTJ said:

 Sorry if it is not quite in alignment with your way to have fun. I certainly encourage QSL card lovers to pursue their passion. Same goes for AM lovers. Not so much for spark transmitter enthusiasts. 

No Sir, not all all.  I know many don't care about QSL cards and it just isn't their thing.  I can respect that.  Just like CW or digital or Emergency Coms isn't some peoples thing.

What I'm speaking of is the awards nets that I participate in.  The way I figure it, there's about three differnt flavors of nets.  There's the Emergency nets like my club runs where I'd never consider sending a QSL card unless someone asked.  The purpose of that net is emergency como during hurricanes and disasters and keeping us trained and making sure all our gear at the EOC actually works.  The purpose of that net isn't comaradierie, it's functionality.  I'd never expect a QSL card from anyone on the Emergency net.

The other type of net I see is the ragchew style net where hams just get together to yap.  I participate in those.  I wouldn't expect a QSL card and usually wouldn't send one unless it was some memorable conversation or the other station asked.

BUT there's the third kind of net, the awards net where I always send one and always expect one.  The reason is, that type of net, the goal is to earn a worthless certificate from contacting other states, other countries, etc and those QSO's only count if they are confirmed.   It's like I have 50 of the states for the "Worked all States award", but only 49 count because LID in California doesn't keep a log, so he can't confirm the QSO from 2 days ago.  It doesn't matter that my log shows we gave each other a 22 both ways at 0125 UTC on 12-20-22 on 7.185 LSB.   The awards net doesn't just take my word for it.  So I just wasted 15 minutes of my life screaming into a mike over and over because he could barely hear me and trying to get at least a 21 from him.  California is extremely difficult for me to get on 100 watts and a homemade dipole, at least until the bands change.  I'm doing fabulous if I can get a 22 from CA, and doing good if he can even hear me.   The whole purpose of that net, and I'll quote the net preamble, "...to make contacts with other stations and exchange QSL cards".  So to me, that expressly changes the expectation.  If the purpose of the net is to exchange QSL cards, and LID just wants to chat, then he shouldn't check in to that net. He should go find himself a ragchew net.  I see it as of you check into a net where the stated intent is to exchage RS reports and send QSL cards, then you should send QSL cards.   I don't think I'm being unreasonable to expect a QSL card from a station on a net whose stated purpose is logging contacts and sending QSL cards.

I don't mean to sound selfish as if it's all about me, but in reality is IS all about me, at least in this situation.  I'm working towards earning a worthless certificate.  I work to meet MY certificate requirements and the other station is working on HIS requirements for whatever award hehs shooting for. 

I'm not hating on the hams who are actually poor and can't afford stamps or QSL cards.  Albeit I wouldn't expect to find them on an awards net if they don't have a QSL card to send....go to a ragchew net.   They're screwing over the people who are there working the net for it's intended purpose.  Yes, I am sorta hating on the ones with a 45 foot yacht and a house on Marthas Vineyard but say they don't send QSL card because of the "postage cost"...They're full of it. 
And I don't mind sending an SASE when I see on their QRZ profile that they request it.

My whole rant was frustration over the concept that if you're going to check into an awards net, where the stated purpose is sending QSL cards, then you should send a QSL card.   Play by the rules or go play somewhere else is the way I see it.

73 Brother
Anthony, KD3Y

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  • Administrator


Well said, and now very clearly understood. In this case, I am 100% with you.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Andy,

The 3905 Century Club is one of the awards nets.  There's others that I frequent like the OMISS and The UST Awards net.

The way they generally work is you use a program like Net Logger, or I prefer the clone called Net Scraper (www.k3clr.com), on your PC or iPad and you can see all the other hams logged on to the net, their names, and what state they are in.   Net Control goes down the list and calls on each ham in turn, who gets to make one or two calls (depending on time allowance) to some other ham in the state you need for your Worked All States award.   You make contact with the other station, get your report, then try another QSO or turn it back to net control who will call on the next ham on the list.  Some guys don't like the awards nets.  They say it's "cheating"  to do it that way.  LOL

It's a very structured net, no ragchewing.   There's a few "rules" such as you have to communicate with the station directly, no one can relay for you (if you use a relay then you aren't actually QSO'ing with the station), you must exchange a signal report, and the minimum signal report is 21.  Once you get your QSO both stations log it (net control logs it as well).  You can also, instead of calling a station, say you want to "go up for grabs" which is like calling CQ in that any station on the net can respond to you.  Usually if the band sucks and I know I'll never get any station out west I'll just go up for grabs and see who bites.  I need 13 more states and they're all far away so the band will have to be great for me to QSO them.  Since collecting QSL cards is my thing I don't care to call someone I've already gotten a card from.  I only send out a card the first contact.  I don't send cards for subsequent contacts (unless they ask.)
Once you have QSO's in all states (confirmed) then you can get a cute worthless piece of paper from the net organization.

It'd go something like this, (althought it's not written in stone)
"This is net control, Anthony, KD3Y, your turn for a call"

"I'll try line number 12, WA3LTJ, Walt in Maryland.  Walt can you hear KD3Y, Over"
"Roger Anthony, I hear you 55, fifty-five, 55.  QSO?
"Yesir, I hear you 59 into North Carolina Walt, 59, five-nine, 59.  Thanks for the contact from KD3Y."
"This is KD3Y with one good call, back over to net control"


"This is net control, Fred, XX3XX, your turn for a call...)

Sometimes you'll hear "This is XX3XX, no joy, back over to net control"  which means (no joy) he couldn't contact the station(s) he was callling. 

It's a really short and sweet process.   Actually kind of fun if you want all states but don't want to do all the yip-yapping to get them.  I'm an introvert normally so all the "Hows the weather up there" and "How did your Dr's appointment last week go" and "What antenna are you using" mess isn't my forte.   But if the other guy doesn't log the QSO then you've just wasted all your time.  😞   Have to wait to log into the next scheduled net to make another call. 

My WAS map here

http://www.kd3y.com/cq.html


73 de Anthony, KD3Y

 

Capture.PNG.7f8686d7024e9a715e0c1e84c9e5579c.PNG

Edited by KD3Y
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