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Monday, 15 December 2014

M6 and QSLing

This topic was being thrown about in discussions in local club as a new M6 friend of one was confused by all the options and wanted some advise...

Suggested maybe post this to the blog  in case anyone else wants the info...

So here goes... (Applies to UK only!)

Some definite do's...

Read this:

If you are not an RSGB member join or else you will not get bureau cards and remember to send a number of C5 envelopes with 2nd class LARGE stamps to whomever is the qsl manager for M6. Postage goes up every March/April so if you expect to qsl lots you can save quite a bit to buy some in advance.
(I buy 4 or 5 books of 50 2nd class stamps, if postage goes up 10p I can save £20 not heaps but every bit helps). Sadly they don't do books of EU or DX stamps any more just value stamps.

The QSL Sub-manager for M6 series RIGHT NOW is Mr R Taylor, M0RRV
Please send stamped, addressed C5-sized envelopes for your cards to the following address;
2 Chadwick Road
South Yorkshire
With each copy of RadCom you get keep the plastic wrapper with the address and current membership details on it, you will need it to send cards to the buro. No confirmation and they will not process the cards.... BE AWARE!

Assuming this is for static (i.e. the home station listed on the licence).
You should always include YOUR callsign, address and locator. I found adding the WAB square, WAZ and ITU can be useful as many ask for them anyway.
Make sure you include THEIR CALLSIGN (maybe a VIA), the RST exchange (received and sent), the time in UTC, the date, frequency (or band) and mode. Add a "73 tnx qsl" or "73 pse qsl" so that you can confirm you have a card from the other station or are requesting they confirm the qsl.

You do not have to but many include what the rig, antenna and power they are using is.

Some include a remark section for comments.

Some include their name some do not.

The RSGB buro notes say "Print the station worked callsign clearly in the top right-hand corner of the card or label, using clear bold print with a minimum size of 12 point to make for easy reading". I don't know anyone that does that!

Some definite do nots...

Do not hand write the IOTA reference EU005 or island name which is UK if this will be from mainland UK on the card any IOTA adjudicators will not accept them. You create a nice QSL card but right now they will not allow them for awards and you might find the RX station wants you to redo them (total pain believe me!) IOTA rules say you have to print them on the cards!

Do not include your email or telephone number on the card. Some do include email but be aware don't use a temporary email address as some cards take ages to get through the system. Especially students using an email that is not valid next year/term!

You do not need to have glossy cards, pictures or prints on both sides of the cards and most stations you send one to will not be concerned about this, unless you are running either a special station, location or have a particular artistic flare. The early QSL cards (i.e. Vintage) were monotone and had printing and writing only on one side.

If you are operating portable as well as from home then the easiest option might be to add a small check box that you put a tick/cross in if it applies. Watch out if the locator changes too if it is different to home, e.g Snowdon is not JO02, yes I have one qsl card that says it is!

Most of the places that will print QSL cards (I have suggested UX5UO and FDS before) that produce cards already know the correct size, paper and fonts to use and you can view examples, I'd look at what they are suggesting especially those from other M6 stations.

Also think if you are now an M6, unless you will want to remain an M6 or operate a lot and manage 100's of qso you will probably want to carry onto being an intermediate or advanced licensee if yes then do you really want a 1000 M6 cards probably not ?

Do not forget LoTW or ClubLog either as loads just use them these days.

Some others also suggested a few things (names omitted as not asked permission yet to reproduce):

No one writes the destination callsign on both sides, but do make sure your callsign is on both sides, in a clear, legible font. When the person you're sending a card to gets it, they want to very quickly be able to see what your callsign is, no matter which way up the card is :-). You'd also be surprised how many cards use supposedly artistic fonts which make the callsign almost impossible to decipher!

Obvious perhaps to older licencees but maybe not to new licencees... cards sent via the bureau take a long time to get back to you - two years is normal, three not at all uncommon, and five or more isn't unheard of.(I became M1KTA in 2003, last month I RX a QSL card for an M3KTA qso that was 11 years before!)

For special contacts, perhaps the first time you work a new country, it's normally much faster to send the card directly to the station you worked, including a return envelope with your address written on it, and funds to cover return postage. Obviously UK stamps don't work abroad for the return postage, so the normal custom is to include a couple of $1USD notes. Many stations will list their QSL requirements on their entry on

1 comment:

M1KTA said...

Overnight email updates from a couple and even three QSL managers... odd nearly all said the same things... I'll not say where from but two in EU other DX.

Putting YOUR call on the rear of the cards can lead to you sometimes getting your own card sent back to you in some situations. So add a FROM: YOURCALL if you do that.

Including the DX call top right of the cards was from a time when all cards were hand written and the destination used to be written on the rear of single sided card where all the usual qso information was written (often with the DX call too). Seems buros receive around half of all cards with the destination box, top right, but the rest seem to use whatever layout they want.

Some buros were not fans of labels... especially when they peel off the cards... so use decent ones, especially as remember cards can be in the system for a long time!

Also if make your own do not use the lightest colour papers or cards they are too light for most buro. They are just as valid for DXCC etc if sent direct but do not send through the buro as they tend to bunch together and slow down sorters.

Might be rare for M6 to send this many cards to overseas buros but it does happen, they asked if you do then please sort the cards according to the call districts in that DXCC not by time, band or mode.

If using the UK buro for cards, definitely sort them by prefix... usually numbers first, then A-Z and then G into call region.