eQSL cards

Discussion in 'Logbooks & Logging Programs' started by K9FV, Jun 26, 2008.

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  1. K9FV

    K9FV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello all, another question on eQSL cards - All knows why the ARRL will not accept them - Jealous and money. eQSL is free, LogW costs money.

    My question, since ARRL does accept paper QSL cards, then what is to keep a person from printing to paper card stock a eQSL card. Once printed, there is no way to tell if it was printed from computer, put in an envelope and mailed, OR emailed, OR printed from eQSL... Is there any way?

    Any QSL card I mail does not have any hand writing, it's all computer (I HATE writing by pen) - I guess I should use a font that looks like hand writing just in case this is a problem....

    Is that the case? They look for hand writing on the card? If so, then some folks have lost out on my cards because most are printed by computer. No hand writing at all, then mailed in an envelope.

    Just wondering about this.

    73 de Ken H.

    edit: Forgot to mention, I am an ARRL member and have been for several years.... just don't agree with them in all cases.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2008
  2. NA5Z

    NA5Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    A) You're supposed to sign your cards... some use a rubber stamp, though.
    B) LoTW was free for me, so I don't know what you're talking about.
    C) LoTW uses "blind" QSL matching. eQSL does not - someone can send me a contact and all I have to do is click "approve" and it's "confirmed." I've had non-worked (I assume erroneous) QSO's sent to me before on eQSL.
    D) Go ahead and print out your eQSL's. You can even fabricate signatures if you want. If they figure out what you're doing, your cards get rejected and you may get kicked out of the awards program you're applying for.

    You know... there's nothing foolproof, really. Anyone can "beat the system" if they really want to, but I personally don't see "jealousy" or any of the other reasons as part of why they won't take eQSL.

    That said, I would like to see it or something like it take off some day though - the postage costs are starting to eat me alive.
  3. KJ3N

    KJ3N Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oh no, not again..... :rolleyes:
  4. K9FV

    K9FV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Since I have never been an awards chaser, I did not realize (or had forgotten) you were susposed to sign the card before mailing. On the blind matching of LoTW - that is a good function, but that allows you to get a "hit" ONLY if the other person has uploaded his log... correct?

    The eQSL site depends on YOU to check and see if the card matches your log and for you to approve. There are boxes to *reject* or *approve* and I have rejected a few contacts that I knew I had not made. For any award, eQSL does require *AG*.

    As far as cheating - why would printing out the card be considered cheating? The contact has been confirmed, and the other station could be contacted and would confirm the contact if need be. Cheating would be making up a contact and printing out cards.... and that does happen, even with paper cards.

    I did not mean for this to be another LoTW vs eQSL rant - I was just wondering how to tell the difference between a mailed vs eQSL card... I had forgotten the requirement for a signature on the card. I will have to look at the last few I got in the mail - not sure they were even signed....... bet they were.

    73 de Ken H>
  5. K5GHS

    K5GHS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I figure if I can use an EQsl, I can use a IM program. No QRM and the message always gets through.

    Don't need a ham radio license at all either :)

    Probably another reason I can add to my list of why I never upgraded. I can talk to the world already :)
  6. K5GHS

    K5GHS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Honestly though, its pretty simple. You say you have received "QSLs" on it for contacts you did not make.

    That right there should answer your question-obviously the system is being abused. Just because you don't accept them doesn't mean others won't and, in theory, if you worked at it, you could probably get enough for some award, and you could do it without ever turning on your radio.

    Just because you have honesty and morality doesn't mean everyone else does, and thus is the reason why they won't take them. Its too easy to cheat when you don't have to spend money for the stamp.
  7. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Technically a QSL card has to be signed to be valid. However, the majority of cards that I get these days, including DX, are not signed. In fact, quite a number of cards do not even have a place to sign. A lot of amateur radio operators are going to the computer printed label and there is no place on the label for a signature. In fact, the QSL card is almost "untouched by human hands"!

    Now I do have some DX cards that have the computer label and are actually signed by the operator. However, those are in a minority these days, especially for stations that are "big guns" in the contests and for DX'peditions.

    I have not heard of the ARRL demanding signatures on QSL cards these days although such definitely would be within their rights.

    All of my designs have a place for a signature and I do sign each one. But, there are definitely a lot of designs out there that do not have a place for the signature.

    Glen, K9STH
  8. K9FV

    K9FV Ham Member QRZ Page

    NIG: your concern about getting eQSL cards for contacts you never made, that can happen easy with paper cards also... when working code on those Name/RST/QTH calls, it's sometimes easy (for me anyway) to miss a number or letter, and have the call wrong - digital modes are the same for weak contacts - easy to have a call wrong and generate a wrong QSL contact. Doesn't matter if it's paper QSL or eQSL - it still depends on the the operator to confirm or reject the contact. I don't think anyone would fake a contact - now would they?

    NIG: your comment about IM and the internet - not sure what you mean there.... do you normally make IM contacts and qsl them?..... just yanking your chain a bit. {grinning} I do think you are thinking of Echolink there instead of eQSL. Even ARRL has moved to internet QSL cards - remember LoTW?

    Glenn: thanks for the input. Confirms my original question about printing off the cards... no real way to tell - is there?
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2008
  9. K5GHS

    K5GHS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sure you can, and sure you can send a card, but it costs you postage. With eQSL it doesn't cost you anything. Ok, maybe a membership fee if you decide to do it.

    But, I, as a NCT, could go on there, register an account, and just start randomly firing out "phantom QSLs" and, in theory, if enough people did so, I could probably earn some kind of award. Sure, a few a month is probably 'honest mistakes' but that doesn't mean everyone is honest.

    I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm no cheerleader of the ARRL, but you do maintain some kind of level of honesty if you have to physically exchange cards. I would hope that everyone would be totally honest on the internet, but we all know how that goes.

    My other comment was kind of a crack at the whole internet integration concept. Yes, it was said in jest, but part of what I said could be true. I mean heck, you could, in theory, talk to other hams on IM, and if you both stooped to the level like I mentioned above, could "QSL" the contact with a fake frequency, time and the like.

    The bottom line is the honesty level of both parties is the only thing that prevents abuse. The ARRL has obviously seen abuse (implied or actual) and thus doesn't accept the medium.

    I, by the way do not have a eQSL account and I have 100 QSL cards I had printed a few years ago. I have sent out 2 of those. I had another friend who did the same, and did get a account, because he thought it was an interesting concept. He gets quite a few contacts "in error" on HF bands, and hes a tech too. Sure, its possible that people messed up the call, that maybe a similar sounding one is a heavy contester, but you do have to start wondering......

    And what if my friend decided to be dishonest and start accepting them? Once they are confirmed.....

    I think thats the reason why you don't see them taking it. Not everyone is honest about such things. Sure, if you have the paper on the wall you know you got it honestly, but not everyone cares about being honest to obtain awards and other things in life either. I guess the ARRL has seen enough potential to not accept it.
  10. NA5Z

    NA5Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    The "official" stance on your original question is the ARRL would want you to send the e-card off to the originating stations, have them sign and send them back. Kinda funny when you think about it... because you might as well have just sent them a paper card in the first place. ;)

    I have heard of people printing and sending them in. I personally wouldn't do it because I'm one of those kids that likes to color between the lines.

    STH, all of the unsigned cards I get now are at least stamped. I don't think I've received any lately that don't have some kind of mark on them beyond just putting the label on, but I'd have to look at a handful to be 100% sure about that assertion.
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