“A QSL Card is the final courtesy of a QSO” – ARRL Operating Manual for Radio Amateurs
In recent years online QSL services such as eQSL and the ARRL Logbook of the World would have you believe that confirming DX QSOs has moved into the electronic world and QSL cards are no longer required, however I still find it quite enjoyable to receive real paper QSL cards in the mail – I think its a lot more personal knowing that someone has gone to the effort of sending you a card rather than having a computer automatically generate a message and upload to the internet. I’m not the only one, with local operator VK7GN having an amazing QSL collection that was featured on TV.
It’s been a long time since I made up QSL cards. My last QSL cards were single sided, with 1/3 of the card taken up by a picture of my IC-706MkIIg and the brief information and QSO details. This was printed onto matte 4×6 photo paper and I wrote on them and sent when QSL cards were received. I wasn’t terribly happy with these as they felt a little cheap and flimsy, and were not the standard QSL card size of 140mm x9 0mm.
Following the OCDX Contest I felt it was inevitable that I would start receiving QSL cards again and that I should have some QSLs cards of my own to reply with. I started by searching the web for QSL card printers, and while many were out there the pricing was getting expensive (the $AUD has *tanked* in the last 12 months) and not being sure of the quantity I required it was a bit of an undertaking, so I decided to create and print them myself.
Using Photoshop and Pixelmator and using one of the photos I took of the Aurora Australis, I had a look around online at what some other QSL cards looked at before finishing my design. After that I had a bit of fiddling to do to get the card front and reverse to line up and fit 3 to a A4 piece of card to print. I then trimmed to size with a guillotine.
I am pretty happy with how these have come out. They look good, they feel good, and I will be happy to start sending them out as QSO confirmations as I receive QSL Cards.