With the advent of eQSL and Log Book of the World there are not many paper QSL exchanges taking place. QSLing and QSL design has really become a lost art. Whatever or however you QSL it is your personal choice. I still prefer paper cards but I am not chasing any awards nor do I work a lot of DX or live in a highly desired and rare country so it is ok if I am low speed and high drag when it comes to QSLing.
KC0YQF QSL CARD
KC0YQF and I recently pondered her QSL card design and luckily for us we have access to a graphic designer in wG0AT, and he helped us come up with her QSL card.
|Lynn's QSL card as designed by wG0AT|
Now we could have utilized any number of QSL card design and production companies. Many are listed here. They make it real easy to enter your information and order up a batch of cards and have them delivered to your door in a few weeks. If you get creative you can use a picture or your own design and go that route. It is all personal choice. I think the ready made QSL cards are fine and have seen some neat ones come to me in the mail.
For Lynn's card we utilized KB3IFH for the design on the back of the card and the actual printing of the card. Randy was great to work with and was very receptive to the custom SOTA information I wanted on the back of the card.
Just before we did this, Steve, wG0AT, turned me on to dashtoons which is a QSL design service by Jeff, K1NSS. In fact Steve, wG0AT, used Jeff for his QSL design. That got me thinking............
NEW K0JQZ SOTA CARD DESIGN
The more I thought about it the more I wanted to get a card designed by dashtoons because I liked his style of drawing. I cannot explain why I like it or even what his style is I just knew I liked it. I wanted a SOTA card or in other words a card that I could send out that is not location specific until I fill it in on the back of the card with Summit name, Designator and ASL.
The process is you just email Jeff and start working on a design via email and you come up with something you like and off to the printers you go. Saying that makes it sound like a few hours but it actually took about five days.
I already have a few cards I use to QSL but I thought it would be nice to have a card that reflects and promotes Summits On The Air.
As for the design I used a picture that my SOTA Elmer took while I was operating on an unamed summit called 10090 near Guffy, Colorado. I was just sending code and kind of looking out over the land and Steve really just captured the moment, as he often does.
|Picture taken by wG0AT|
Here is the design progression.
|Rocks added for a better illusion of altitude|
|Backpack log book and Steve Weber designed and K0JQZ built MTR in Altoids tin with USAF symbol|
|The SOTA Flag meant some stuff have to be rearranged|
and the final design
I love it!!!! Thanks Jeff! If you want a unique and personal QSL card I highly recommend Jeff. It is a great experience. Everything you need to know including pricing is on the Dashtoons web site so check it out.
MY QSL CARD HISTORY
All of this fun over a new QSL design got me to thinking about how plain my QSL cards had been in the past.
I could not find all the QSL cards I have used over the years but here are a few:
|My First QSL Card (1979)|
I lost the card from when I was portable DU2 in the Phillipines and G4VDN in the UK (RAF Chicksands). In late 1985 I was reassigned to Minot ND.
|My card from when I was stationed at Minot ND 1985 - 1988 (very plain)|
|Misawa Japan 1988 - 1992 (a post card with some stickers)|
|My main QSL card by graphicsstore.com|
That is about it for my QSL history. I had more QSL cards and made a lot with a printer and card stock to commemorate events like Straight Key Night, my time in the USAF, operatinf from State Parks etc. I think it is nice to change designed every so often.
COOL QSL CARDS
In order to keep this page a page worth visiting from time to time I will update it as I get interesting QSL cards in the mail. First up is my SOTA Elmer and friend, wG0AT.
|wG0AT QSL as designed by Dashtoons|
|JA2BHK QSL from Japan|
|W6YKH QSL from CA|
As I go through my cards I have realized that the ones I like the most are from the current years and not anything from 35 years ago. Interesting. Maybe QSL cards are making a big comeback.
Here is a highly sought after card of the "Goat Man." I believe this card may be retired. It does a great job of telling the story of how Steve operates.
|Rooster and Peanut showing us how Ham Radio is FUN!!!!|
|KI4SVM QSL Card|
Below is the QSL card of my friend Rem, K6BBQ. Rem has some great videos on youtube and can often be seen hamming it up on his tricycle.
|Front of K6BBQ's QSL|
|K6BBQ QSL back side|
It is easy to tell a ham that takes pride in his QSL card. The one below from Marc looks like it could be a Norman Rockwell picture.
|W4MPS QSL from NC|
|K6JSS/7 QSL from Utah|
|Dick's K1IEE'S QSL card|
2. The vintage QRP radio looks to be a HW7 or HW-8. (Dick was using a HW-9 during our QSO)
3. Operating outside..... Love it!
This card is kind of special. Not only is it a neat design, my good friend Guy, N7UN, is the keeper of this call sign and I had the pleasure to use it during the 2013 QRPTTF (QRP Take it to The Field) Event in 2013.
|Cool summits on the nS0TA QSL card|
|Everything from history of SOTA to current links|
Here are two of his cards.
|W0RW operating from Garden of the Gods|
|W0RW on the Santa Fe Trail|
|What fun it must be hiking with your goat buddies.|
Randy sent me this card when he was operating from a SOTA summit int he Grand Tetons NP in WY. I really like his helper spotting for him. Lynn and I got to activate the same summit while on our Honeymoon in Gran Teton and Yellowstone NPs.
Station pictures are always neat to see especially when they are as neat and functional as the station of N8XMS. Paul is a QRP enthusiast as well and I worked him from a SOTA summit. One of the great things I lime about QRP and Ham Radio is building your own gear like Paul is doing in the sub-picture of his card.
|QSL of N8XMS|
A fellow SOTA Activator, K7ATN or Etienne recently sent me his card. Yesterday we had a Summit to Summit QSO which was great. Etienne uses an umbrella to shield his KX3 while snow hits him in the face. Love it!
|K7ATN on a SOTA Summit|
When someone wants to commemorate a special event or just a special personal event they can follow WA3WSJ's lead and create a very cool certificate to go with the QSL card. I have seen this done a few times and think it is very cool. This would also be a good way to get a pileup going if advertised in advance.
I use a Buddipole vertical setup on many SOTA summits so it is always neat to work the creator of that antenna system, W3FF. I like the stickers Budd uses and on this particular QSO Budd was Bike Mobile!!! Very cool. I got to briefly talk to Budd at Dayton at his booth. He is a very enthusiastic amateur.
|QSL card of Whiskey Three Freddy Freddy (W3FF)|
Lynn and i both worked KY7S when we were on Chief Mountain and Doug was on a summit in Washington state. He was the first station we heard when we got everything setup so it was real exciting to get him off the bat like that. I really like his QSL card design. It is not cluttered with stuff to get in the way of the great picture and all the QSO information is on the back. Good job Doug and thanks for the QSO and QSL.
|KY7S QSL Card|
|W0CP QSL from a Summit to Summit QSO|
Here is a QSL card from my friend TJ. TJ is a superb CW operator and also a QRP enthusiast. Not only is the picture on the front of the card nice I really liked the layout of the back.
|W0EA QSL Card Front|
|W0EA QSL Card Back|
The next card does not need any explanation as to why I like it. Well done Matt!
AA7EE QSL card looks similar to QSLs from the early days of Amateur Radio. I love it. Good job Dave.
|AA7EE QSL Card|
If you are a QRP operator and use CW you probably heard of John, K3WWP, John has a great web site dedicated to CW and QRP and worth checking out.
|K3WWP QSL Card|
|W0O QSL Card|
A legend in the Trail Friendly Radios before everyone was doing it is Wes. It is always nice to get a call from him when I am out portable.
|W7ZOI QSL Card|
Does QRP and simple antennas work? I am on a quest to work and confirm 100 countries, also known as DXCC, with 5 watts or less using my ground mounted vertical antenna.
Here are a few of my 2015 QSL cards:
I try to participate in the Armed Forces Day crossband Amateur Military event every year. Here is the latest QSL.