Re: How long does it take to verify QSL Application

Gordon Beattie, W2TTT

OK Folks, 
We may need a new 12 Step program for recovering non-QSLers and I may need to be its "Bill".

Well, I love QSL cards and SADLY I AM THE WORST about sending QSL cards.  I am ashamed!

Besides the inexcusable rudeness of this situation, the frustration inflicted on the gracious and hopeful QSLers who have sent me QSLs, I never applied for any award because I felt it unfair and wrong to benefit from the kindness of others without reciprocating.  

The underlying issue was that I never had cards made.  Once or twice I sent handmade cards, and another time I provided a QSL certificate/letter.  These did not go over well!

Now that we've moved to Florida, I started using LoTW as a way to document how propagation works in northern Florida on 40m and 6m.  Everyone should figure out how to automate their LoTW, Clublog, QRZ, etc. uploads.  No excuses except for a lack of Internet connectivity.  Get and give help to others in implementing these capabilities so that no one waits for more than a few hours to confirm a QSO.

As for QSL cards, do what makes sense for your situation.  If cost is an issue, then simply ask for an SASE on your QRZ page.  There's no shame in that.  Folks who QSL me, need not send an SASE, but I'll QSL you back shortly as I am in active QSL Recovery.

The land here is beautiful, and antennas and towers are sprouting, which makes for lovely photos for QSL cards.  I'm getting them done.  If I owe you a card from here in Florida or from New Jersey, just email me at W2TTT@..., so that you get a card even if I have misplaced yours through the years.

In the meantime, I'll take suggestions on QSL card printers, and humbly ask that those afflicted by QSL and LoTW non-participation "seek bottom" and become a "Friend of Gordon" by following these 12 Steps:

1. Recognize that you have a QSL problem.

2. Recognize that you are the QSL problem.

3. Get on LoTW

4. Automate the timely use of LoTW via a logging program or spreadsheet

5. Assist others in getting on LoTW

6. Get on Clublog, QRZ, etc.

7. Support these programes with $.

8. Join the ARRL as membership is an essential part of one's recovery.

9. Get a QSL card and envelopes 

10. Update your QRZ page with some fun and interesting stuff along with your QSL practices and preferences. 

11. Update your ARRL member profile and put some interesting material there as well.

12. Share the joy and wisdom of using LoTW, other platforms and in exchanging QSL CARDS!

These 12 Steps will enrich your life and the lives of others in the Amateur Radio community.

J. Gordon "Gordie" Beattie, Jr., W2TTT 

Get On The Air! 

From: ARRL-Awards@... <ARRL-Awards@...> on behalf of K8TS <dalecole3502@...>
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2022, 10:08 AM
To: ARRL-Awards@... <ARRL-Awards@...>
Subject: Re: [ARRL-Awards] How long does it take to verify QSL Application

I heartly agree with Hans. I’m an old fuddy duddy who gets immense pleasure posting new cards on the wall and also in albums on the coffee table. So many of them have histiorial note to them and meaning way beyond ham radio. Non-amateurs often comment on them, something that would not happen from an electronic database.


Our local county fair invites us and gives us free booth space, and last year put our demonstrations in the fair program. Besides having 3 HF  and one VHF operating positions we always put up a large map of the world surrounded with QSL cards from local hams. (usually about 40 or so) and use strings to pin point where they come from. This is a big eye catcher and draws a lot of attention. Easy to recruit new hams. (and yes we do work a substantial amount of dx from the 4-H barn).


Please don’t let this aspect of the hobby die! To avoid the consternation, and dreaded fear of destruction, the local card checker (I realize there are limited numbers of them overseas) is your best friend. The amazing artwork is in itself worth it. Other people, other countries, other customs…..all an insight to the world.


And yes, I too use LoTW……but prefer the cards. If you need one of mine, drop one in the mail, sase and $ not required.

Dale K8TS

(Ex-K9TTT, a call that has been re-issued)


From: ARRL-Awards@... <ARRL-Awards@...> On Behalf Of Hans Brakob
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2022 12:44 AM
To: ARRL-Awards@...
Subject: Re: [ARRL-Awards] How long does it take to verify QSL Application



(Disclaimer: I have a collection of several thousand paper QSL’s, and I am a daily participant in LoTW where I have over 70,000 confirmations.)



Gary, with all due respect, your jeremiad against paper QSL’s is troubling, and remarkably puzzling.


Paper vs LoTW is not an “either/or” proposition.  If you don’t wish to participate in exchanging paper cards, then just don’t participate!  Simple!  You will never again need to contend with the evils and inconveniences detailed in your first paragraph below.  Every DXpedition that I’ve known about in the last decade provides procedures to confirm your contacts via LoTW.  I’d expect that this trend will continue, and no serious DXer will NEED another paper QSL.


But to deliberately lobby for the end of paper QSL’s, as you have done in your message attached, is mean spirited. 


Some hams, probably mostly old geezers like me, have a sentimental attachment to paper QSLs and continue to pursue this “hobby within a hobby”.  One of my other hobbies is photographic artistry which I use on my paper QSL designs.  I receive numerous compliments, and confess some pride in the cards that I send out (on my dime, not yours).


Maybe they will be “naturally phased out” as the aficionados of this tradition assume room temperature, but I heartily object to your call to “actively phase them out”.  To reiterate, if you don’t like them, don’t use them.


73, de Hans, K0HB






From: Gary Hinson
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2022 04:25
To: ARRL-Awards@...
Subject: Re: [ARRL-Awards] How long does it take to verify QSL Application


QSL cards are costly to print, complete, transport, sort/redistribute and check/verify.  They are environmentally unfriendly and liable to fakery and manipulation, as well as various kinds of physical trauma and theft.    


At some future point in the next few years (maybe a decade or so?), the disadvantages of QSL cards relative to digital confirmations will - I'm sure - become overwhelming so they will either fade away naturally or be actively phased out. 


So, given numerous advantages of secure digital confirmations over QSL cards, what else might be done to move things in that direction?  How can we help?



Gary  ZL2iFB



73, de Hans, K0HB
"Just a Boy and His Radio"™

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