QSL Cards - What do you think?

As I have only been in the Hobby for 18months, I am regularly discovering new things. Today an envelope popped through the door with 12 QSL cards. As a teenager 50 years ago, I remember getting cards as a short wave listener and being really excited.

Now l can transmit (it only took half a century and a pandemic)… I didn’t really contemplate using cards. However there are some great designs in the package I recieved. The SOTA ones have some stunning images of mountain locations, so I am thinking of reconsidering and having my own printed.

What are peoples attitudes towards them. Do people enjoy sharing them or are they not as popular as they were?

I would be great to see some good examples

73 Martin


Hi Martin,

I do not think you could do better than buy from ux5uoqsl.com. You can get help composing your card from Gennady UX5UO too. In spite of the war he continues to print and deliver.

When designing a card just make sure your printing does not dissapear into the background. I received a nice one by email recently but when printed it was unreadable because there was insufficient contrast.

Postage of individual QSL cards is a killer these days. The buro is slooow but not expensive.



As a graphic designer, I love QSL cards. They are fun and quaint reminders of a bygone era before such services as LoTW and eQSL. …and, no, I think the popularity of “the final courtesy” has definitely waned, along with a boatload of other courtesies.

That being said, in an age of high speed computers, FT8 and QSL bureaus the sheer volume of cards can create a rather onerous task of response. I’ve had to limit my QSL responses to direct cards only, This is usually a manageable stream of people who really want a hardcopy confirmation of our QSO.

I was just getting carpet bombed by cards from the Bureau.

Another country heard from,


I send a few QSL cards - where people say on QRZ that they collect them or really really want one, or if it’s a special contact e.g. first NA/VK etc. but not one for every contact I make. Some people say on their QSL page that they don’t want QSL cards so sending them one would be a waste of time/paper.

I received a load through the post for contacts using FT8 when I was testing in the garden, which I thought was ironic given that FT8 is a modern, digital mode.

If I send a card from a SOTA activation, I try to send one with a picture taken from the summit. I’ve printed these myself because I only need a handful of each design, not 1000.
There was something in Radcom recently about the weight of self printed cards being on the high side so I’ll try to make sure I use lighter card in the future just in case.


Speaking as a retired RSGB QSL sub-manager please follow the suggestions and advice given on the RSGB website at QSL Bureau - Radio Society of Great Britain - Main Site : Radio Society of Great Britain – Main Site it makes the job of the volunteers much easier.


It is interesting see comments on design. With the 12 cards that arrived today, there are examples of ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’.
I do have a bit of a background in the area. I have been a photojournalist for most of my working life and also taught in Universities. This included teaching Indesign.
If people have any great examples I would love to see them.

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i like QSL cards,
Mine are usually pictures of my actual operation.
Check out eBay for old QSL cards.
Search for ‘G1 QSL Card’, Or G2, G3, w6, etc.
Paul w0rw


How Paul can send good CW in those conditions is a mystery, but he has done it routinely in the ten years I have known him. Best friend of SOTA who doesn’t keep a log. If he’s on a qualifying summit, he will tell you. I have about 20 of his cards.



QSL cards? What is this? Ahh, I remember in the past century that people sent cards via postal, hihi, old glory times…

I have to admit I like qsl cards but I don’t like boxes full of them occupying space.


I bought a box from ux5uoqsl.com
I expect it’s a lifetimes supply as I only send them on special occasions. I’ve sent less than 10 to SOTA contacts.

Nice to have some to hand though.


Here’s my SOTA card. Photo is from Libre Mountain (W6/CT-095) on one of my favorite activations - a perfectly still morning after a fresh snowfall:



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Here’s mine (the forum always seems to crop images i insert, but you get the idea)

I got mine from ux5uoqsl

Google Photos


I am trying to send them for the very first QSO with a station in paper.

But I need the right mood to do so. In general I find more interesting things to do in my spare time.
On my todo list is to build a 2,5D CNC pen plotter that takes an ADIF file and writes the details onto the paper card. But has also not been built until now :sweat_smile:

But I enjoy making them for special circumstances like my visit to JA:


Examples here

73 Ludwig


Excellent thanks for the link. There are some lovely designs there.


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Looks like St. Elmo could use a little fire!


Adobe’s InDesign is a terrific page layout tool. Most people know what a great job Photoshop does with pixels – in fact we’ve made photoshop a verb – however not many know how equally great Adobe Illustrator is with wrangling vectors and InDesign is at putting it all together.

You are also right Martin about the good, the bad and the ugly. If there were just three things I could impart to would-be QSL card designers, this would be it:


Hi Martin, I know how you feel. I have qsl cards produced by Gennady UX5UO. I support Ron’s VK3AFW recommendation also. I am very happy with them.

Geoff vk3sq

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Hi Martin,

Here’s a link to QSL cards I have received with a SOTA theme in the design:



And given you mention receiving cards as a teenage SWL, here’s a link to my full collection of broadcast, amateur and utility QSL verifications: