Friday, August 4, 2017

QSL Cards

With so much modern technology out there today we should all do what we can to help preserve our history and where we've been. Maybe that is why I like CW so much? To think about the impact that Morse Code and CW has had for over 100 years. They stories about how and why it was created, how it aided in saving thousands of lives at sea, how our military forces used it to communicate, and how it's still being used today by amateur radio operators around the world even though we've all be told it's obsolete. Just like CW, another very important part of ham radio history is exchanging of QSL cards.

QSL card from W9CGZ sent in 1940

QSL cards have been around since the early 1920's when listeners would send in reception reports to radio stations around the world and the radio station would return the favor by sending a report or postcard back to the listener. It wouldn't take long before amateur radio operators would start to do the same thing. The early QSL cards exchanged by hams included the station call sign, time and date of QSO, what frequency and mode were used and a signal report. Today QSL cards have evolved into expressions of individual creativity. Often they include photos of the operator, the station or the city and surroundings. Some hams even include letters going into more detail about who they are, what their station is comprised of, and whatever adventure they might be on at the time. It's a great way to make the QSO more personable and help develop relationships with other hams around the world. 

Some hams choose to display QSL cards on the wall of their station

While other hams prefer to display them in an album

In today's digital world we are offered different ways of exchanging signal reports and verifying QSO's with other hams. I'm not here to try and discourage anyone from using modern technology to make our lives easier. All I'm presenting to you is that after you log your QSO online, take a extra few minutes to write out a QSL card that displays your own individuality and thank the other ham for taking time of out of his or her life to have a QSO with you. Let's all do our part to help keep this part of amateur radio history alive and well for years to come.

Over the last several days I've sent out over 20 QSL cards and I'm excited to see what I get in return! I will share more photos and stories when they arrive. 

Until next time, 72 de W9ODX

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