These have been sitting on my desk for a couple of weeks………Dan
Two more cards for my collection of QSLs from stations whose callsigns spell words:
Today, I went to lunch with some high school friends in Detroit. On the way back, we stopped at John K. King Used and Rare Books. This place is a real Detroit institution. Housed in a former glove factory, the store claims to have more than a million used books stashed in closely-spaced bookshelves on four floors.
Just as we were about to leave, I spotted a box near the door labelled, “Ham Radio Cards & Ephemera.” In the box was about 100 QSL cards from the estate of Carlton R. Lindell, W8MNQ, 1250 Eastlawn Ave., Detroit, Mich. Some were blank cards of his, others were cards he received in the late 1930s and 1940.
I found two with callsigns that spell words—VE3ALE and the one above, W5ICE. There are a couple of remarkable things about this card. First, it only cost a penny to send a postcard back in those days. Second, the description for W5ICE’s transmitter and receiver are not model numbers, but actual descriptions of his “rig.” The transmitter used H125 tubes in the final amplifier, while the receiver was an “8 tube super(het).”
Also notice that there’s no line for the mode being used. It was probably assumed that the mode was CW.
Once you start making contacts, other amateurs will want to swap QSL cards with you, even if you just talk to them on the local repeater. The purpose of a QSL card is to confirm that you had a contact with another amateur. For sure, you’ll want to have some cards printed up if you operate on the shortwave bands. Sometimes, amateur radio operators call swapping QSL cards “the final courtesy.”
Once you get started swapping QSL cards, you may get hooked on QSLing, and it certainly can be an enjoyable part of the hobby. Many designs are distinctive, and they are fun to show off to friends and family. When I speak to groups about amateur radio, I always bring a selection of QSL cards that I’ve received. They can be very impressive.
Another reason to collect QSL cards is that they’re often needed to qualify for awards and certificates. You can, for example, get the Worked All States Award from the ARRL by submitting a QSL card from a station that you contacted in each of the 50 states.
Collecting QSLs can be fun, even if you don’t plan to apply for an award. I have, for example, started a small collection of QSL cards from stations whose callsigns spell words. I now have more than 150 such QSL cards including cards from W8HOG, WB4DAD, N4HAY, and KD8EGG. I agree that it’s kind of odd, but it’s fun, too.
Where to get QSL cards
There are many companies that print QSL cards. Here are some in no particular order, and with no endorsement implied:
All of these companies offer stock designs, but can also print custom designs. I suggest starting out with one of the stock designs and then consider a custom design once you’ve run out of the first printing. Below is the card that we use for our club station, WA2HOM, at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum.
About a week ago, I worked WB6THE, yet another station whose callsign spells a word. When I explained my collection, he said he’d put one of his cards in the mail right away. I got the card above a couple of days later. This one was particular cool because it’s my first “THE” card.
Yesterday, I participated in the MI QSO Party for a couple of hours. In that short time, I made 76 QSOs, including ones with W8CUB and W8HOG. I’ll be putting my card in the mail to them tomorrow. There are my first “CUB” and “HOG” as well.
It’s been kind of slow lately as far as QSLs from stations whose callsigns spell words. These last two are from special event stations, though. That makes them, well, special.
W0EBB is the callsign of the Kickapoo QRP ARC. It was established in 2003 to honor Clarence Drimmel, W0EBB of Atchison Kansas. This club sponsors a winter operating event every third Saturday in February called “Freeze Your Keys”. This event is an outdoor event usually run from a shelter house in Weston Bend State Park which is about 10 miles north and west of Kansas City and just east across the Missouri river from Leavenworth Kansas. This card confirms a contact made during that event.
K0ANT is one of several stations that participated in the Antarctic Activity Week. Their card reads, “The intent of the AAW special event is bring worldwide attention to Antarctica and to the international scientific community working to preserve and protect this pristine corner of the Earth, unlocking its secrets, and to share a message of peace.”
I just got home from dinner out with the in-laws, and was pleasantly surprised by the envelope from the QSL bureau. In addition to the batch of European QSLs, the ones below were also in the envelope:
I’m not exactly sure, but I think this is the first cards I’ve gotten from all three countries (even though I may have gotten LOTW QSLs from them.
It pays to be persistent. I worked Ron, KB8NOD, quite a while ago, and sent him a QSL card back then. I recently worked him again and mentioned that I never got a card in return. Well, he said that he’d run out of cards, or something like that. I pushed a little, noting that I had quite a collection now of QSL cards from stations whose callsigns spell words, and really would like to get his because I didn’t have any NODs yet. He said he would check again, to see if he had some squirreled away somewhere.
I got this in the mail yesterday. :) He writes, “This is my last one….I hope you like it.” I really do like it. I think hand-drawn cards like this have a lot of character.
Here are the two latest additions to my collection of QSL cards from stations whose callsigns spell words. These two are good enough to eat!
I worked this station during the PA QSO Party. It was as easy as, well you know…….
I worked W6OAT during the CA QSO Party. He was really booming in on 20m phone. You can see why. I bet his neighbors just love having that tower in their neighborhood!