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QSL card – Wikipedia

QSL card – Wikipedia

2023-04-07 21:17:03

Newbie radio transmission affirmation card

QSL card from Syd Preiss, Nairne, South Australia to VK3BQ Max Howden. Many shortwave listeners printed their very own QSL playing cards to report reception.

A QSL card is a written affirmation of both a two-way radiocommunication between two amateur radio or citizens band stations; a one-way reception of a sign from an AM radio, FM radio, television or shortwave broadcasting station; or the reception of a two-way radiocommunication by a 3rd celebration listener. A typical QSL card is identical dimension and comprised of the identical materials as a typical postcard, and most are despatched by means of the mail as such.

QSL card derived its title from the Q code “QSL”. A Q code message can stand for an announcement or a query (when the code is adopted by a query mark). On this case, ‘QSL?’ (be aware the query mark) means “Do you affirm receipt of my transmission?” whereas ‘QSL’ (with out a query mark) means “I affirm receipt of your transmission.”[1]

Historical past[edit]

QSL card confirming listener reception of AM radio station KXEL in Waterloo, Iowa.

Through the early days of radio broadcasting, the power for a hi fi to obtain distant indicators was a supply of pleasure for a lot of customers and hobbyists. Listeners would mail “reception studies” to radio broadcasting stations in hopes of getting a written letter to formally confirm that they had heard a distant station. As the quantity of reception studies elevated, stations took to sending post cards containing a quick kind that acknowledged reception. Gathering these playing cards turned widespread with radio listeners within the Nineteen Twenties and Nineteen Thirties, and reception studies had been typically utilized by early broadcasters to gauge the effectiveness of their transmissions.[2]

The idea of sending a publish card to confirm reception of a station (and later two-way contact between them) could have been independently invented a number of occasions. The earliest reference appears to be a card despatched in 1916 from 8VX in Buffalo, New York to 3TQ in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (in these days ITU prefixes weren’t used). The standardized card with callsign, frequency, date, and so on. could have been developed in 1919 by C.D. Hoffman, 8UX, in Akron, Ohio. In Europe, W.E.F. “Invoice” Corsham, 2UV, first used a QSL when working from Harlesden, England in 1922.[3]

Use in beginner radio[edit]

Newbie radio operators change QSL playing cards to verify two-way radio contact between stations. Every card comprises particulars about a number of contacts, the station and its operator. At a minimal, this consists of the call sign of each stations taking part within the contact, the time and date when it occurred (normally laid out in UTC), the radio frequency or band used, the mode of transmission used, and a signal report.[4] The International Amateur Radio Union and its member societies advocate a most dimension of 3+12 by 5+12 inches (90 by 140 mm).[5]

N1D-QSL Card Athens Radio Membership

The QSL card utilized by HAM membership in School of Engineering, Trivandrum, Kerala in India, throughout mid Nineteen Eighties. The membership just isn’t energetic now.

Though some QSL playing cards are plain, they’re a ham radio operator’s calling card and are due to this fact incessantly used for the expression of particular person creativity — from a photograph of the operator at their station to unique art work, photographs of the operator’s residence city or surrounding countryside, and so on. Consequently, the amassing of QSL playing cards with particularly fascinating designs has develop into a frequent addition to the straightforward gathering of printed documentation of a ham’s communications over the course of his or her radio profession.

Usually despatched utilizing bizarre, worldwide postal techniques, QSL playing cards will be despatched both direct to a person’s handle, or through a rustic’s centralized beginner radio affiliation QSL bureau, which collects and distributes playing cards for that nation. This protects postage charges for the sender by sending a number of playing cards destined for a single nation in a single envelope, or massive numbers of playing cards utilizing parcel companies. Though this reduces postage prices, it will increase the supply time due to the additional dealing with time concerned.[6] Along with such incoming bureaus, there are additionally outgoing bureaus in some international locations. These bureaus provide additional postage financial savings by accepting playing cards destined for a lot of completely different international locations and repackaging them collectively into bundles which can be despatched to particular incoming bureaus.[7] Most QSL bureaus operated by nationwide beginner radio societies are each incoming and outgoing, excluding the US of America, and are coordinated by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).[7]

For uncommon international locations, that’s, ones the place there are only a few beginner radio operators, locations with no dependable (and even current) postal techniques, together with expeditions to distant areas, a volunteer QSL supervisor could deal with the mailing of playing cards. For expeditions this will quantity to hundreds of playing cards, and fee for at the very least postage is appreciated, and is required for a direct reply (versus a return through a bureau).

The Internet has enabled digital notification as a substitute for mailing a bodily card. These techniques use computer databases to retailer the identical data usually verified by QSL playing cards, in an digital format. Some sponsors of amateur radio operating awards, which usually settle for QSL playing cards for proof of contacts, may additionally acknowledge a particular digital QSL system in verifying award purposes.

See Also

  • One such system, referred to as eQSL,[8] permits digital change of QSLs as JPEG or GIF photographs which may then be printed as playing cards on the recipient’s native inkjet or laser printer, or displayed on the pc monitor. Many logging packages now have direct digital interfaces to transmit QSO particulars in real-time into the database. CQ Amateur Radio journal started accepting digital QSLs from for its 4 award packages in January 2009. 10-10 has been accepting eQSLs since 2002.
  • One other system, the ARRL’s Logbook of The World (LoTW), permits confirmations to be submitted electronically for that group’s DX Century Club and Worked All States awards. Confirmations are within the type of database data, electronically signed with the non-public key of the sender. This technique merely matches database data however doesn’t enable creation of pictorial QSL playing cards.

Regardless of the benefits of digital QSLs, bodily QSL playing cards are sometimes historic or sentimental keepsakes of a memorable location heard or labored, or of a pleasing contact with a brand new radio buddy, and critical ham radio operators could have hundreds of them. Some playing cards are plain, whereas others are multicolored and could also be outsized or double paged.

Utilization in shortwave listening[edit]

Worldwide shortwave broadcasters have historically issued QSL playing cards to listeners to confirm reception of programming, and likewise as a method of judging the scale of their audiences, efficient reception distances, and technical efficiency of their transmitters. QSL playing cards may also function publicity instruments for the shortwave broadcaster, and generally the playing cards will embody cultural details about the nation.[9]

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program has sometimes requested reception data on its shortwave experiments, in return for which it despatched again QSL playing cards.[10] Normal frequency and time stations, similar to WWV, may also ship QSL playing cards in response to listeners studies. Different shortwave utility stations, similar to marine and aviation climate broadcasters, could QSL, as do some pirate radio stations, normally by means of mail drop packing containers.

Utilization in CB radio[edit]

CB radio fans typically exchanged colourful QSL playing cards, particularly through the top of CB’s recognition within the Seventies.[11] CB radio operators who met whereas on the air would sometimes swap customized QSL playing cards which featured their names (“handles”) and CB callsigns.[12] Initially, CB required a bought license and using a callsign; nevertheless, when the CB craze was at its peak many individuals ignored this requirement and invented their very own “handles”.[13]

A easy card format may solely embody the customers callsign and/or “deal with”, residence location, and be aware the date and time of a CB radio contact. Extra elaborate playing cards featured caricatures, cartoons, slogans and jokes, generally of a ribald nature.[12] Because the CB radio fad grew within the U.S. and Canada, quite a few artists specializing in art work for CB QSL playing cards emerged.[14]

Utilization in TV-FM and AM DXing[edit]

QSL playing cards are additionally collected by radio fans who hear for distant FM radio or TV stations. With the arrival of digital broadcasting there’s better issue with the reception of weak TV indicators as a result of cliff effect,[15] nevertheless AM broadcasting radio stations will typically reply to listener studies, significantly in the event that they report receiving them at a major distance.[16]

See additionally[edit]

Additional studying[edit]

  • Gregory, Danny; Paul Sahre (2003). Whats up World: A Life in Ham Radio. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 1-56898-281-X.
  • Kenyon, Ronald W. QSL: How I Traveled the World and By no means Left Dwelling. Kindle Direct Publishing (2020). ISBN 9798686214170. 163 pages. Coloration illustrations of 109 classic QSL playing cards from 1956 to 1961 issued by 89 shortwave stations in 75 international locations, 35 playing cards from radio amateurs and shortwave screens, and 13 vacation greeting playing cards from shortwave stations in 9 international locations. Introduction and Appendix: ‘A Letter from Antarctica.’


  1. ^ ICAO PANS-ABC Doc8400, International Civil Aviation Organization; full checklist reproduced at Ralf D. Kloth (31 December 2009). “List of Q-codes”.
  2. ^ Timothy D. Taylor; Mark Katz; Tony Grajeda (19 June 2012). Music, Sound, and Technology in America: A Documentary History of Early Phonograph, Cinema, and Radio. Duke College Press. pp. 240–. ISBN 978-0-8223-4946-4.
  3. ^ Who invented the QSL Card? Archived July 15, 2006, on the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Ellen White, W1YL, ed. (1976). ARRL Ham Radio Working Information. Newington, CT: American Radio Relay League. p. 55.
  5. ^ Eckersley, R. J, G4FTJ (1985). Newbie Radio Working Guide (3 ed.). Potters Bar, Herts, UK: Radio Society of Great Britain. p. 32. ISBN 0-900612-69-X.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: a number of names: authors checklist (link)
  6. ^ The Radio Newbie’s Handbook 1978. Newington, CT: American Radio Relay League. 1977. p. 653.
  7. ^ a b “IARU QSL Bureaus”. 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2012-11-11.
  8. ^ : eQSL residence web page
  9. ^ Jerome S. Berg (1 October 2008). Listening on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today. McFarland. pp. 330–. ISBN 978-0-7864-5199-9.
  10. ^ A HAARP QSL card for the 40 meter moonbounce experiment in January 2008
  11. ^ Mark Menjivar (9 June 2015). The Luck Archive: Exploring Belief, Superstition, and Tradition. Trinity College Press. pp. 49–. ISBN 978-1-59534-250-8.
  12. ^ a b Tukker, Paul. “American collector finds trove of Yukon CB radio memorabilia”. CBC Information. CBC. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  13. ^ MotorBoating. November 1975. pp. 16–.
  14. ^ Smith, Jordan. “CB Radio QSL Cards: A 1970s Social Media Craze”. Alum Media Ltd. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  15. ^ Lars-Ingemar Lundstrom (21 August 2012). Understanding Digital Television: An Introduction to DVB Systems with Satellite, Cable, Broadband and Terrestrial TV Distribution. CRC Press. pp. 9–. ISBN 978-1-136-03282-0.
  16. ^ Barun Roy (1 September 2009). Enter The World Of Mass Media. Pustak Mahal. pp. 21–. ISBN 978-81-223-1080-1.

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