nc7i writes "
After seeing posts lately about QSLing, I thought it was time to discuss this in an open forum. What is the best way to QSL? From my over 22 years of experience in ham radio, I know that the QSL rate has never been 100%. I have never figured out what the rate actually is for me, but I am guessing no better than 50-60% overall. Sending QSLs is expensive. Sending SASE's is even more expensive. There has to be a better system.
If you are a ham in a rare location say KH6, you will be swamped with QSL requests. With my limited operating, I try to return QSL 100%, I may be late getting them out, but if you got a card to me, I will get one back to you. I can see that it could quickly get out of hand cost wise for someone in KH6 or KL7.
My strategy for getting QSLs is as follows. If I need it bad, I send a SASE, if possible I'll make e-mail contact first to ensure that I will get a card. I don't like wasting my postage money, so I try to avoid SASE QSLing if my odds are low. For not as rare cards that I need, I just send the plain QSL postcard rate, and hope for the best. With a 50% return rate, it is cheaper than paying first class postage both ways. Saving postage on SASEs allows me to return at a 100% rate.
Now for another approach, how about an e-QSL? Is anyone doing this yet? If we established a standard format for e-QSL exchange, we could really cut costs. I print my cards on my color desk jet printer anyhow, so I wouldn't mind printing the cards that I get. It would be cheaper than postage. I would prefer to be able to print them 3 or 4 to a sheet so the format must allow combining cards for printing. The format has to allow for a completely custom card. I would suggest the standard size of 3.5x5.5 inches. Software could be set up to interface with QRZ.com and to go through an electronic log, get e-QSL info, and generate cards for all contacts. I use QRZ.com as my source for QSL info, so if we had a link that showed if someone accepted e-QSL, we would have the option of sending it either snail mail or e-mail. Of course it is fun to get cards in the mail. As a kid that was my favorite part of ham radio. As an adult I don't care quite as much. I try to send kids that I work cards 100% of the time. If I know it is someone under 18 on the other end, I will get a card right out to them. I would still send these in the mail since I loved to get them that way when I was a kid.
Anyone else have ideas for this?
73 - Norm NC7I