Do QSLs interest us yet?

I remember when I used to send and receive hundreds of QSL cards every month years ago. That way I ended up collecting thousands of them in shoe boxes, which took up a certain amount of space in my house.
After being a bit away of the activity (not of the hobby) between 1998 and 2006 due to having dismantled the station for different moves away of what until then it was my home QTH, I found myself one day without any interest about those QSL cards which so much time took me to collect and so eagerly, some times, waited for and even payed for in the case of some rare DX-pedition ones. They were taking up space at home and I decided to throw them all to the yellow container for recyclable paper and card board.
At this point I decided not to exchange anymore paper, physical, hard QSL cards and do only eQSL first + LOTW later because I thought some other hams might still be interested in confirming QSO by a QSL card.
I’ve been doing this for some years now but I ask myself the following question:
Do hams people really care and still wish to receive QSLs?
Personally I don’t, I just upload my log to eQSL and LOTW but do not even look at most of the coming confirmations.
I don’t really need them.
Do you folks think many hams want them yet?
I’d like to read about your personal feel and experiences.
Best 73 de Guru - EA2IF

P.D. The title should say “Do” QSLs interest…, not Does.

In reply to EA2IF:

I was also an eager QSL collector when I did my license in 1984. Nowadays I upload all QSO to LOTW. Overall return rate since 1984 is 30% and most QSO/QSL are from contests. For incoming paper-QSL is use to answer and each unique SOTA hill gets a dedicated picture on the front side of the QSL card. will deliver the paper-QSL through the 4X QSL-buro and 1000 printed cards cost 106 USD.
The paper-QSL I receive I study for max. 1/2 minute and then they go on my big pile of cards. Nice ones, new DXCC, new IOTA, new 6m squares I scan and I put on my web pages. This is the most convenient way to go through my cards again.

73 de Dominik, HB9CZF

In reply to EA2IF:
They Neither Do or Does for me either Guru dr om
I am over qsl card too and eqsl. I once went on eqsl to find about 50 of the same qsl of the same contact jamming up my in box. I ended up unsubscribing from Eqsl I have some paper card left and only answer ones I receive from the Buro. When they run out well that may be it. I had boxes of them too about 5000 or so and I must have sent out more than I received. Being a good ham op is not easy. I agree the QSL card is not as exciting for me any more and we have so many other ways to keep in touch beside the radio . this reflector , blogs, yahoo groups for knitters, and so many forms of social media its a wonder we get time for the radio at all. that’s what I think
73 Guru de Ian vk5cz …

Until quite recently I used to send out quite a few QSL cards. Now, because some folk still chase paper, I just leave envelopes with the bureau, and will post a QSL card only if I’m asked for one.

Online, I upload my log to LoTW. The way eQSL handles different locations is exceedingly tedious, so usually only logs for my main locations get uploaded there. After being bugged for a while I also uploaded my entire 5Z4/M0LEP log to QRZ. It seemed to keep some folk happy, but there’s only time to deal with so many on-line QSL systems, and that’s more than enough for me…

Maybe, one day, there’ll be a single on-line distributed IARU-recognised QSL bureau system, and we can forget about the rest. (Oh, was that a flock of flying pigs I saw?)

73, Rick M0LEP

I have thousands and thousands of QSL cards, going back over 50 years. Quite honestly, I do not need any more! I do try to answer QSLs received from chasers, but it is worth bearing in mind that a bureau card typically takes 2-3 years to reach me, and then my reply takes another 2-3 years to reach the sender of the original card.

A plea to chasers … please do not QSL for each and every activation of G3NYY/P ! I am happy to QSL - once- but, please, NOT another separate card for every subsequent activation!!! I have more than 50 cards from each of certain European chasers whom I work on almost every outing. If I wrote replies to all of these cards, I would have no time to do any activations. It is very time-consuming, because I have to look up each QSO in my log, then write the full details of each summit separately on the cards. (Summit Ref, QTH Locator and WAB square).

Anyway, QSLs are not necessary for SOTA awards … for a good reason! Thank you for your understanding.

Walt (G3NYY)

In reply to M0LEP:

The way eQSL handles different locations is exceedingly tedious

You are right Rick. The way I deal with it is to have a single “account” for G3VQO/P called “Southern England”. All my various portable activities get chucked in there with (hopefully) a note in the QSLMSG field giving the actual SOTA reference or other location. It’s not the way that the designers intended it to work, but it avoids an awful of of hassle and gets the essential details out there.

I also took the decision to recycle my many boxes of QSL cards some years ago when I cleared out the loft. It was a hard decision emotionally, but logically the only way forward. I had, of course, submitted the essential ones for my DXCC awards. Now I keep a dwindling stock of cards to reply to those that arrive direct or via the bureau, and when they are gone - no more.

We keep alive many traditional aspects of amateur radio from the early twentieth century through habit rather than need. Nowadays, technology can do a much more efficient job for some of them. A few clicks on the computer mouse is far better than sorting piles of illegible hand-written cards, and much, much tidier.

73 de Les, G3VQO


I love QSL cards and yes I have got many shoe boxes of them.

I have received some very beautiful cards (and beautiful stamps) and some not so good.

QSL cards are part of the history of amateur radio so I will try and keep it alive.

I used to QSL all the time via the Bureau but now I do not. Now ~~
Bureau/Email returned the same.

I get postal QSL cards direct.
If someone thinks it is important enough to send me a card direct - I reply direct. If they include $ etc. I return them.

I really like getting QSL cards from SOTA stations with a picture of the summit and other info’.

I print my own cards when I need to - eg. check out GO6TUH on QRZ for example.

Perhaps I am just set in my ways :wink:

Mike G6TUH


In reply to EA2IF:
When I got licensed in 2005 I collected QSL cards and must admit I enjoyed opening up my post office box to see what was in there…like Christmas! I started eQSL account when I played with PSK31. Now with the rising costs of postage…and Ops loading years of QSO’s into eQSL etc it has lost it’s luster for me…too expensive and time consuming. I will still send direct QSL cards if Ops follow my instructions on my site and Bureau…I make my own cards using Avery software so I can customize to suit. I still send out the odd request for a paper QSL…but usually only for QRPp QSO’s…I guess I still get a thrill out of a QSO running 200-400 milliwatts! However I always send a SAE and a green stamp to cover the return costs.


In reply to EA2IF:

Well, as far as I am concerned, I still use old-fashioned QSL cards and enjoy receiving them. Not so much for the pretty pictures, but because I am interested in a lot of things besides SOTA, e.g. IOTA, WAB, WWFF, EU-POAR, the various regions, counties, provinces and so on (I think I wrote this already on another occasion), and I have yet to find an online system that covers all these. There is rarely ever enough time to tell this information “on the air” unless you are ragchewing, much of it is not in the online callbooks, either, but a QSL card has a lot of room to put all this stuff on (which I do, and I also ask occasionally for such information on my outgoing cards).

vy 73, Jan-Martin