More QSLs: WD9GUT, 9A2NO

During our QSO, I asked Jim, WD9GUT, if he would QSL. He seemed reluctant, even after I explained that I collected QSL cards from stations whose callsigns spelled words. After a little pressing, he confessed that he didn’t have any QSL cards. I sent him my QSL anyway, and included the card you see below. It’s a blank QSL, and I wrote Jim’s callsign on the front and the QSO details on the back.

As you can see, it has the RCA logo on it. Many years ago, RCA gave out these cards as a promotional item to electronics engineers who were also amateur radio operators. I got a pack of 100, and still have probably 90 of the 100.



This card from 9A2NO is for a QSO we had back in October 2011. Sorry to say, but I have no recollection of this QSO. I do like the birds, though. I searched for this bird using Google’s “search by image feature, and apparently this bird is Moroccan. Of course, it may migrate north to Croatia in the summertime.



Just a couple more QSL Cards for my collection of QSLs from stations whose callsigns spell words.



More QSLs: K7TAN, W8UM

K7TAN is my first “TAN” card.


This isn’t a QSL from a station whose callsign spells a word, but I like it because it’s from W8UM, the amateur radio station at the University of Michigan, here in Ann Arbor. As you can see, they celebrated their 100th anniversary last year. At the bottom of the card is all of the station callsigns that they’ve had over the years.



Here are a couple new QSLs for my collection of QSLs from stations whose callsigns spell words. Yesterday, in the North American QSO Party, I worked N7LOX and hope to add his QSL soon.



More QSL from stations whose callsigns spell words: W8CAR, RN1ON

Here are the latest arrivals…



Operating Notes: SKN, LOTW, 10m

Here are a few comments on my latest operations:

Bunnel #9

I used a Bunnel #9 key like this one on Straight Key Night.

SKN. I worked SKN this year, making eight contacts overall. I used my Bunnel #9 key the whole time. I was going to pull out the J37 with leg clamp, but then remembered how much it hurt, so passed on it.

The eight contacts include a couple of Europeans on 10m: F6HLQ and IZ0CHC. I’m not sure that they were really working SKN, but I’m going to count them. F6HLQ was using a straight key for sure.

My first contact was K1PUB, a station whose callsign spells a word. This is not the first time that I’ve worked him, but it doesn’t look like I requested a QSL from him the previous two times.

New LOTW stats. Prompted by a Tweet by @jilly, who gave her LOTW stats, I decided to upload my QSOs. I hadn’t uploaded them since 11/18/13, and had nearly 300 to upload. The upload and QSL processing went very fast.

I now have 14, 234 QSOs records and 2,735 QSL records for a QSL percentage of 19.2%. My overall DXCC count is 132, with 130 on CW. The band that I’m closest to working 100 countries on is 30m, where I have 98 countries confirmed. I’m thinking that once I hit 100 on 30m, I’ll apply for the DXCC award.

10 meters. 10m has been in great shape lately. The band was in good shape for the 10m contest a couple of weeks ago, and yesterday morning it was gangbusters to Europe, too.

Later in the day, it was open to South America. I copied an LU calling CQ, but unfortunately he couldn’t hear me. A little later, I worked CX1JJ, a very good YL operator in Uruguay.

More QSLs: W0ROB and a Novice card


I worked W0ROB at the museum a couple of weeks ago. He’s a great guy. Give him a call if you hear him on and tell him you saw his QSL card on KB6NU.Com


Saturday night, I was down in my shack when I ran across the envelope containing the QSL cards I collected as a Novice. Just for kicks, I decided to paw through them and see if any of them spelled words. Out of about 125 cards, this was the only one that spelled a word.

Operating Notes: triple play, 2m loop, W5LJT (SK)

Here are some random recollections of recent QSOs:

Triple play!
At WA2HOM Saturday, I decided to forego the CQWW CW contest and make some phone contacts. After listening to some guys on 20m, I switched to 15m and found that it was open. Tuning around, I heard Alvaro, EA2BY working some guy on the East Coast. Now, I don’t have “BY” in my collection of QSL cards from stations whose callsigns spell words, so I hung around until he was finished with the East Cost QSO and got him in the log on the first call. He was running only 20 W, but had a four-element, 15m quad, so he had a pretty good signal.

After that QSO, I tuned around a bit more, then decided to call CQ. I called CQ three or four times before IW1ARK came back to me. That made two!

Just before I left the museum, I decided to tune around on 20m phone. That’s where I worked Bob, W0ROB, to complete the triple play. Bob and I had a great conversation about amateur radio stations in museums. He used to go to Arizona for the winter and has operated W7ASC, the station at the Arizona Science Center.

2m loop
About a week ago, I was blabbing with a couple of guys from one of my Tech classes on the W8UM repeater (145.23-, 100 Hz tone, W8UM-R on EchoLink) when Ron, NB8Q, broke in. Ron was using a 2m loop antenna that he just built. What made the remarkable is that it was inside his mobile home!  I told him that he should make a reflector, but he said that he didn’t have enough space for it in his mobile home.

This evening, I got some bad news. Bill, W5LJT, is now an SK.

i always enjoyed talking to Bill. He liked to talk about the Detroit Red Wings. Despite living in the Houston area, he was a long-time hockey fan, going back to his days as a student at Notre Dame in South Bend, IN. He told me that sometimes he would take a train from South Bend to Detroit to catch a Red Wings game at the Olympia Stadium.

My log says that I had 27 QSOs with Bill over the past ten years. I’m sorry that I won’t be having another one.

Another “retro” QSL design

Based on some input from comments here, and from e-mails, here’s a more refined retro QSL design.

Retro QSL #2

Also, as I mentioned in a comment to my previous post, I might have a way to actually print them authentically, too. Here in Ann Arbor. We have a group called BoundEdition, which is a “membership-based community studio for book arts, letterpress, and related trades.” Heck, maybe I could even come up with a few designs and offer to print up small batches for other hams.

What would you think about that? Would you be interested in purchasing some if I could master the printing process?

What do you think about my retro QSL design?

About a year ago, I blogged about possibly coming up with a retro design for my next QSL card. Well, despite my best intentions, that project languished.

Last night, though, I worked WA1ISA, who mentioned that he reads this blog. He mentioned that he really liked the K5PEA QSL and that he had a QSL collection of his own. He collects QSL cards from the 1920s. Well, that gave me a little nudge to finish my retro QSL design. Here it is:


I’m not really quite satisfied with it, but not being a graphics designer, I’m not really sure what it’s missing. Any thoughts?