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how long do you wait before sending a QSL card?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by AI5BE, Mar 2, 2021.

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  1. AI5BE

    AI5BE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    How long do you wait until you send a QSL card to a contact? Do you wait until you get one, or do you wait a week after you make the contact? Just curious what everyone's protocol was on sending paper QSL cards.
     
  2. G8FXC

    G8FXC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    These days, my protocol is "Don't" - I only exchange electronic QSLs. Surely anyone who still exchanges physical cards will make use of a QSL Bureau, won't they? When I still issued physical cards - many years ago - I would write them soon after the QSO took place and put them in the envelope ready to send to the bureau. That would go as soon as it was getting full. The various bureaux in between would each impose their own delays and it might well be several months before the card arrived at its destination. Sending cards individually is a lot of work and soon becomes very expensive if you are active!

    Martin (G8FXC)
     
  3. N1VAU

    N1VAU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Send a QSL at your earliest convenience. I think some stations are filling them out while they are having the QSO.
     
    K8PG, KK4NSF and K3XR like this.
  4. K8BZ

    K8BZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    If everyone waited until they received one to send one, no one would every get one. :) Someone has to be first.

    Why and how one QSLs has lots of variables today. In the past QSLing only meant sending a paper QSL card either direct or via the QSL bureau. Today it can mean what it did in the past, or it could mean confirming a contact via LoTW, eQSL, QRZ.com and probably other means that I haven't heard of.

    It can also depend on what you want to get out of it. Maybe you don't care about anything for yourself and you are just sending your card as a curtesy. Or maybe you just want some return cards to display, or maybe you are working toward achieving awards. And even then, what awards are you striving for? ARRL awards, eQSL, QRZ.com, CQ awards? All have their own recognized confirmation methods. The addition of so many different awards and their associated confirmation methods, IMHO has been the source of a lot of confusion and has the potential to put new hams off when it comes to QSLing.

    So, how soon should you QSL? As soon as possible by whatever means and methods you would like to receive a confirmation. Which could be one or more of the above.

    If sending and receiving confirmation for whatever reason seems interesting to you, then the most important thing to do immediately is make sure you keep an accurate and complete electronic log of all your HF operations that is capable of creating an ADIF log file. Then if you decided to use a different (or additional) QSL method later, you are able to do so with little effort.
     
    W0FS, N3AWS and K3XR like this.
  5. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Do you think? :D
     
    K8BZ likes this.
  6. AJ4GQ

    AJ4GQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Send it the next day.
     
    W4IOA likes this.
  7. KS2G

    KS2G Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    99% of my QSLing is via LoTW ... wish everyone that works me and wants a confirmation would use it.

    I respond to the handful of stateside cards that I receive immediately -- SASE's appreciated but not required.
    I respond to DX buro cards sporadically ... I receive too many of them to keep up. ;)

    I send a card proactively only in the rare instances that a DXpedition or such that I need requires it.
     
  8. G8FXC

    G8FXC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would love to - but ARRL makes it just so painful for non-US stations to register... I will have another go at it...

    Martin (G8FXC)
     
    US7IGN likes this.
  9. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    If your primary callsign was not issued in the United States, you have three options:

    1.Email a copy of your Amateur Radio operating authorization and a copy of one other government-issued document that shows your name and address (for example, a driver's license or a utility bill) to the ARRL at: LoTW-help@arrl.org You may black out any sensitive information on the government-issued document, like a license number or account number. When the ARRL receives your documentation, it will send you an email message containing your LoTW Account Password, with your Callsign Certificate attached.

    2.Present your documents in person to an in-country ARRL DXCC Card Checker, The Card Checker will inspect your documents and, if accepted, inform ARRL’s LoTW staff that that the applicant’s identity and license have been verified. The ARRL will then send you an email message containing your LoTW Account Password, with your Callsign Certificate attached. Do not email your documents to the Card Checker.
    Not every DXCC entity has DXCC Card Checkers, and Card Checkers are not required to participate in this verification process. Thus you should contact an in-country Card Checker in advance to ask if they are willing to check your identity and license documents. A list of DXCC Card Checkers is here.

    3. Mail a copy of your Amateur Radio operating authorization and a copy of one other government-issued document that shows your name and address (for example, a driver's license or a utility bill) to the ARRL. You may black out any sensitive information on the government-issued document, like a license number or account number. When the ARRL receives your documentation, it will send you an email message containing your LoTW Account Password, with your Callsign Certificate attached.
     
    N3AWS likes this.
  10. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page


    The answer, OM, is "it depends."

    I no longer, in these days of LOTW, send a paper card to everyone. I do send them out for special QSOs. Usually not long after said QSO.

    Now, if somebody sends me one with "PSE" checked, I'll send them one right away. Usually that same day. What with my logging program printing address and QSO info on labels, it's easy to get one out in a hurry.

    :)
     
    W0FS likes this.

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