Some changes to QSLing

May 11th, 2015 | Posted by M0VFC in General - (2 Comments)

Outgoing QSLsThis year, we’re making some changes to the way we handle QSL cards.

If you requested a direct card in 2014, you may have found it took longer than normal to get a reply – entirely my (M0VFC’s) fault, after a year of trying to do too much in not enough time! Hopefully you will have received your card by now, but if not, let me know by email (see QRZ.com) and I will check the log to make sure your card has been sent. My apologies for keeping some of you waiting for so long, and thank you for your patience.

To avoid these delays happening again this year, we would like all QSL requests to use OQRS (online QSL request system). As before, this will be using Club Log, and logs will be uploaded regularly. This applies to both direct (£1.50 – about $2.40) and bureau (free) requests.

Here’s why we believe OQRS is a better option:

  • It’s cheaper for you: you don’t have to use one of your own cards, or envelopes, or postage to us – only the return postage.
  • It’s faster for you: your card doesn’t have to get to us before we can reply. This is particularly important for bureau requests!
  • It’s faster for us: instead of opening each envelope, typing in and checking QSO details, we can print all the labels instantly. This means we can get your card back to you faster.
  • It’s cheaper for everyone using the bureau: because you don’t need to send us your card, it halves the amount of cards that the bureau needs to sort.

We realise in a few countries, PayPal is not available, so if you really cannot use OQRS, cards sent direct to M0VFC will still receive a reply, but OQRS requests will be processed first.

Finally, please QSL responsibly:

  • If you have requested a card using OQRS, do not send us your paper card as well – we do not collect them!
  • Consider whether you really need every QSO confirmed, or whether only some would be enough.

We are, of course, very happy to send QSL cards to those who want them, or need them for an award, but also wish to reduce the amount of waste currently in the system.

Rob, M0VFC



One of the rarely-mentioned heroes of any DX’pedition is the sub-manager at the QSL bureau who has to deal with all the incoming QSL cards!

Of course, it’s us that reply to the cards, but at least we get the benefit of having enjoyed a stunning week or two away in the Scottish islands, or somewhere equally attractive. But there’s a couple of important steps before the cards reach us – and that’s those who work for the national QSL bureaus.

In the case of the RSGB, after cards arrive in the UK, they are first sorted into several large groups, perhaps all callsigns starting “G4”, or all “G6” calls with suffixes A-M. Each of these groups is then managed by a – voluntary – sub-manager, who sorts them into the individual envelopes provided by the amateurs the cards are destined for.

The latest batch of bureau QSL cards

The QSL manager for G(S)3PYE and G(S)6PYE is Rob, M0VFC, which means that cards sent “Via M0VFC” (please!) end up with Wayne, M0WAY, who sub-manages M0MAA through M0ZZZ. Anyone who wonders how a QSL sub-manager should handle things – look at how Wayne does it! He runs a mailing list to let people know when new boxes of cards arrive from the main bureau, updates them when they’re sorted, again when they’re posted, and emails those who have run out of envelopes. Always forgetting to send off some new envelopes to your sub-manager? No problem: there’s a PayPal link on his website to save you the hassle!

We’re just seeing the bulk of the Harris 2010 cards start to arrive via the bureau, so the most recent batch of cards was large. Again, no problem for Wayne – he suggested I send him a “float”, and he uses that to buy the most sensible postage as required.

So thanks, Wayne, and all those who work in the IARU QSL Bureau network – you really are stars!

(We worked Wayne a few times on Arran this year – so needless to say, his QSL cards were the first to arrive through the bureau for 2011!)