What Happened?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by k3chp, Jun 17, 2002.

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  1. k3chp

    k3chp Ham Member QRZ Page

    In the past, about 25% of my incoming DX QSL cards
    were from short wave listeners (SWLs). In the last
    two years, however, I have not seen a single card!
    What happened?
     
  2. W3SY

    W3SY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I know:  I HAVE BEEN GETTING ALL OF THEM!!

    Maybe I'm getting crotchety in my "old age," but I'm not overjoyed with the volume of SWL cards I have been getting through the bureau. Time was, I'd welcome all such cards, and even write back something encouraging. However, in my last mailing, I received no less than FOUR cards from the same SWL. Puh-lease!

    Maybe it's because postage is getting more expensive. Maybe I'm just turning into a grouchy Olde Pharte. But these days I'm thinkin', hey, I know I'm getting out -- thank you very much. Get your license, dear SWL, and we'll chat!

    Before you all flame me, yes, I know that in some countries you need to SWL before you can become a ham. And yes, it's a wonderful thing that some SWL's think enough of us hams to send us cards. But that last mailing -- mostly SWL cards plus FOUR from one SWL kinda set me off.

    I'll go take my PILLS now!

    Out.
     
  3. KC7CRR

    KC7CRR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Be patient, the SWLs are still out there. I've received two (one from Germany and the other from Japan) in the last year. The last two included data that was very accurate.

    It was a pleasure to send a card back out to them.

    Good DX and 73s, de KC7CRR [​IMG]
     
  4. N8YV

    N8YV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Many amateurs seem to feel that, by responding to an SWL, it is a great favor they are doing. In fact, the opposite is often true and amateurs should keep this in mind. There are SWL's who regard amateur radio as a lesser service, a hobby practiced by a limited number of adherents, with little in the way of content worth listening to. Every amateur with bad operating practices heard by SWL's including foul language, contentious behavior, or poor transmission quality, only serves to affirm this notion.

    I consider it a treat to receive a QSL card from an SWL, largely because there are so many more and better "catches" an SWL can be devoting his time to, rather than my humble little 100-watt QSO. I am honored that an SWL found ME interesting enough to merit his time and effort!

    As an aside, I believe one of the best things to happen in amateur technology, was the inclusion of general-coverage receiver sections in ham transceivers. SWL is the "springboard" from which many amateurs (myself included) joined ham radio.

    I guess it's all a matter of perspective.

    73
     
  5. W2JDH

    W2JDH Guest

    If you're active on the DX bands, you'll probably receive 1 or 2 SWL cards mixed in with the cards from the bureau, as I do. I always respond, probably because I started out as an SWL a LOT of years ago, and remember the thrill of receiving QSLs. SWLing is really still fairly popular, although many SWLs listen to diverse modes and services, such as the broadcast AM band (I know it's not technically short-wave), military, utilities and foreign broadcast as well as the ham bands. I feel that I have a debt to repay to ham radio and the folks that encouraged me along. one is to reply to SWLs and the other is to cruise to where the newcomers hang out on CW, slow down, and give them the contact, practice and excitement that I still remember.
     
  6. EI1457

    EI1457 QRZ Member

    Seeing as there is no response from as SWL. I decided that my "speak" should be added. Let me ask you a couple of things; 1st are you one of these "great" operators who thinks we are all mind readers with regards to your callsign !! I am sick of sitting there listening to "bull" and waiting to hear a callsign at the end of an over but alas - 10 overs later, still no sign of a callsign. Damn annoying and I hate to say this because I am going to be eaten for it but - UK & American operators are the worst for this. This may just be because I generally hear more of them than anyone else but it is very annoying.

    2nd do you operate on just 1 band or more? I generally will not send a SWL card unless I have heard a particular station on more than 1 band. Yes there are times that I send cards on one band but I will always include at least 5 of the stations QSOs to prove that I was listening for at least a few minutes.

    The content of a conversation has some bearing on whether I QSL or not. I do enjoy listening to conversations about all aspects of radio but if the QSO is all "rag chewing" then I couldn't be bothered.

    I have no interest in the cost to the operator sending me a card, it cost me a much and often more. Most of you are buying your cards by the thousand, I'm lucky if I can afford 500!!!! So, higher cost straight away.

    Looking back at my log for the last two months, there are just under 1000 entries. Of those, perhaps 40 will be sent cards, the rest are not worth it because the conversation was boring, I had to wait an eternity to get the callsign, or they were only on one band.

    A quick comment to N8YV who took time to reply to you - well done, you put it very well. there is so much more that we can be listening to than ham radio and believe me, its easier to get QSL cards from radio stations and air lines, I know of someone who has a few from shipping companies. Feel priveleged boys and girls that we spend so much time listening to you.

    Personally, I have my 'B' Class licence passed 15 years ago but I have no interest in being a ham!!!! Some of us are just like that.

    Anyone with any comments on what I have said is most welcome. Regards to all and look forward to hearing you on the bands. - 73's
     
  7. W3SY

    W3SY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good Day, Mac the SWL!

    You said:

    "Seeing as there is no response from as SWL. I decided that my "speak" should be added. Let me ask you a couple of things; 1st are you one of these "great" operators who thinks we are all mind readers with regards to your callsign !! I am sick of sitting there listening to "bull" and waiting to hear a callsign at the end of an over but alas - 10 overs later, still no sign of a callsign."

    I'll agree with that much. Reminds me of a lot of DX pileups. The DX will work one after another and not sign his callsign for an ungodly long time! The USA rules say to ID every 10 minutes. Not sure what the rule is elsewhere. But some people DO forget to identify regularly.

    "Damn annoying and I hate to say this because I am going to be eaten for it but - UK & American operators are the worst for this. This may just be because I generally hear more of them than anyone else but it is very annoying."

    Not a fair characterization. It's not a USA and UK problem. But, it's true that you are likely to hear more UK and USA stations.

    "The content of a conversation has some bearing on whether I QSL or not. I do enjoy listening to conversations about all aspects of radio but if the QSO is all "rag chewing" then I couldn't be bothered."

    At this point, I'm obliged to suggest that you get on the air yourself and raise the average level of QSOs!  [​IMG]

    "I have no interest in the cost to the operator sending me a card, it cost me a much and often more. Most of you are buying your cards by the thousand, I'm lucky if I can afford 500!!!! So, higher cost straight away."

    I think the original objection was to postage and envelopes "on file" with incoming bureau being consumed by SWL cards -- particularly duplicate SWL cards. Whether an operator chooses to send a card in return is one matter. Unsolicited cards that we pay to receive are another.

    I know that when I particularly want a card from a station, I will send along a self-addressed envelope and postage.

    "Looking back at my log for the last two months, there are just under 1000 entries. Of those, perhaps 40 will be sent cards, the rest are not worth it because the conversation was boring,..."

    Again, I invite you to get on the air and help us populate the bands with less-boring conversations! Hams are a true cross-section of humanity. We have the glib and the not-so-glib. Anyway, when I really want entertaining conversation, I tune in to the syndicated Howard Stern radio program. (Baba Booey)


    "A quick comment to N8YV who took time to reply to you - well done, you put it very well. there is so much more that we can be listening to than ham radio ... Feel priveleged boys and girls that we spend so much time listening to you."

    May I be honest? I do not think most hams give much thought to whether SWLs are listening or not. I'm not saying that to be mean. I just think hams are more concerned with communicating with other hams than making their transmissions entertaining for an SWL audience.

    Oh, hams SHOULD bear in mind that hams and non-hams can and DO hear their conversations. Hams should always be aware of the image they project on the air. But since hams, unlike commercial radio stations, do not rely on ratings numbers and advertising revenue, I don't think it's a concern. Whether SWLs choose to tune into the ham bands or not is strictly the choice of the individual SWL. I've never known a ham who feels the need to compete with other services for the attention of SWLs.

    I, personally, think SWLing is a wonderful hobby. Count me among the high percentage of hams who did some SWLing before getting a license. But we are not in the entertainment industry, nor should we try to be. On behalf of glib and non-glib hams everywhere, sorry if what you hear does not please! [​IMG]


    "Personally, I have my 'B' Class licence passed 15 years ago but I have no interest in being a ham!!!! Some of us are just like that."

    Well, okay... You say that so emphatically that you imply there is something "wrong" with being a ham. :)  I'm sure you did not intend for that meaning to come across.

    Happy listening!

    73,
    Steve W3SY
     
  8. EI1457

    EI1457 QRZ Member

    Hi again

    Fair comment HI. I don't think I would be much use at raising the level of an QSO. I did the course many years ago during a time when there was a surge of interest where I was working. I admit that I struggled through the course itself and the final exam. Maybe they were being nice to me by giving me a pass. To be honest, I don't think I am or was ever technically proficient enough for amateur radio but as an SWL, I reckon I am pretty good (through experience).

    with regards to an SAE - never sent one. Probably because I have never heard a DX station ask for one !!! Dollars or IRC's yes but never an envelope. I do send the odd card with the IRC's and generally the operators have been good enough to QSL.

    No, there's nothing wrong with being a Ham. I wouldn't be listening if I thought there was. Mind you, I wonder sometimes how some people ever managed to pass an exam (based on there operating procedures). Thats something you would come across in any form of communications.

    If I have stood on anyone's toes with my last posting - sorry!!! - 73's
     
  9. W3SY

    W3SY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello Mac!

    No, not at all. No lower-extremety digital pain felt! [​IMG]  Your comments are welcome and well made.

    "I admit that I struggled through the course itself and the final exam. Maybe they were being nice to me by giving me a pass."

    No, sounds like you earned your ticket. What callsign were you issued?

    "...with regards to an SAE - never sent one. Probably because  I have never heard a DX station ask for one !!! Dollars or IRC's yes but never an envelope. I do send the odd card   with the IRC's and generally the operators have been good enough to QSL."

    Oh, well the envelope is optional, I guess. Sending postage is usually more than enough. But for SOME people, you have to send postage, an envelope, AND a generic QSL already filled in, requiring only a signature! hihi

    "No, there's nothing wrong with being a Ham. I wouldn't be listening if I thought there was. Mind you, I wonder sometimes how some people ever managed to pass an exam (based on there operating procedures)."

    As some would incorrectly say: "QSL!!!"  haw....  In English: How true! [​IMG]

    Well, I hope one day the "bug" bites again, and perhaps you might join us on the air. Until then, stay tuned!

    73,
    Steve W3SY
     
  10. VA6AW

    VA6AW Ham Member QRZ Page

    QSL'S are magic.

    Some hams must remember PO Box 88.

    Try waiting a year or more for a QSL from the old russian QSL buro. Sometimes no cards for several months and then a flood of them all at once. Our VE6 QSL manager must have hated me. [​IMG]

    Anyway, I always took the time to send my card to any SWL station who needed one. In the 70's Canadians received permission to use the XJ prefix and I was overwelmed with request's for this "new one."

    Also used to operate in the 15 meter novice portion of the band and helped many of these ops with their first contact outside of the US. Made me feel good to contact these beginners. Many were great CW operators for their age.

    I still look through my QSL collection and remember many of the QSO's as if they just happened yesterday. Also, my mom could'nt believe the envelopes and stamps that I was receiving from all over the world.

    Would'nt want it any other way. [​IMG]

    ._._. _._

    VA6AW
     
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