ON7SS - OO9O Amateur Radio Links


A QSL card is the final courtesy of a QSO!

Sending and receiving QSL cards has always been a fun part of the hobby for me.  It involved quit some work in the early days when we had to write out all the cards by hand.  At the monthly clubmeeting where we could collect our incoming QSL cards from the bureau system it was always a surprise to see what cards had come in.  Some of us might still remember the very simple cards that came from the Soviet Union.
Much has changed since then.  QSL cards became more colourfull, more with pictures showed up, the paper quality increased, but they also became more expensive.  Untill 2 years ago I used to send a QSL card practicly for every QSO.  However with the amount of QSO's I make, this is becoming quit expensive.  Now I reply on every incoming QSL card.
The last years we also saw the growth of QSL via the internet.  There is now LoTW and eQSL.  Also the logprogram HRD always to send QSL's via their website.  I do not doubt that we will see other systems showing up in the futur.
A "QSL card" means to me that the QSO I made is confirmed. You must decide for yourself what is a valid confirmation.  For me it is simple, you can use a paper card via bureau or direct, upload your log to LoTW and/or eQSL, or even send me a simple email with the details of our QSO.  I know not everyone agrees on this point of view. 

Below you find some statistics concerning received QSL cards. 
For the last couple of years figures of received paper QSL's will not be complete, because some still have to come in via the bureau.
Also because I only reply now to paper QSL's, these numbers will drop. The random 10 years are years when I have send out a paper QSL card for every QSO.
All QSO’s Complete Log 53973 QSO’s Random 10 years 26572 QSO’s
QSL type QSL’s received % QSL’s received %
Paper QSL 15552 28,81 9108 34,28
LoTW QSL 14183 26,28 7939 29,88
eQSL 14487 26,84 7448 28,03
Paper & LoTW 4615 8,55 3250 12,23
Paper & eQSL 3962 7,34 2677 10,07
LoTW & eQSL 6978 12,93 3829 14,41
Paper & LoTW & eQSL 2090 3,87 1489 5,60
Unique Calls Complete Log 21713 Calls Random 10 years 12005 Calls
QSL type QSL’s received % QSL’s received %
Paper QSL 8481 39,06 4863 40,51
LoTW QSL 4292 19,77 2939 24,48
eQSL 5310 24,46 3144 26,19
Paper & LoTW 2331 10,74 1750 14,58
Paper & eQSL 2307 10,62 1636 13,63
LoTW & eQSL 2482 11,43 1569 13,07
Paper & LoTW & eQSL 1111 5,12 844 7,03

LoTW or Logbook of the World.  The program from ARRL wich allows you to apply for DXCC and other ARRL awards.
Since some time you can use it also for the WPX program.
Some programs allow to synchronise a list of confirmed QSO's on LoTW with your logbook.

I do not longer use LoTW, but I have provide here the info for those who are interested.

eQSL.cc allows you to send and receive graphic QSL cards via their website. 
You can keep it free, but then you have a few restrictions on the graphics you can use. 
Cards via eQSL are not valid for all awards.  ARRL will not accept them for their awards.
SWL's can also use eQSL.
Some programs allow to synchronise a list of confirmed QSO's on eQSL with your logbook.

Here are some examples of cards received via eQSL.
Enter your callsign to see if you have an eQSL waiting!