In all fairness, "How to QSL" isnt part of the FCC examination to get a
license. My story is similar to Freds...
When I first started out at age 14, I was chasing Worked All States. Guys
would send me their QSLs as post cards and I would send mine back the
same way. Since all of my cards had been done this way, I figured it was
normal. I was thrilled to work N8II in West Virgina and fired off a
"post card QSL" to him the next day. A few months went by, and I didnt
have a card back from him so I sent another with "second request" on it.
He sent back a QSL and a nice note on it explaining how many cards he
gets a month and that I should send an SASE next time which is proper
QSL etiquette. I sort of felt a little guilty not knowing this, but was
happy he told me about it. After that note, it made me appreciate even
more all of the DX SWL cards I had sent and received from rare DX guys
during my pre-licensed days.
As you can see, I didnt deliberately omit an SASE, I just didnt know
that it was proper etiquette. QSLing procedures (along with DXing,
contesting, etc.) are a learned thing. That's my whole point.
I would guess that the majority of hams are "arm chair" guys, and not
DXers/contesters/awards chasers, and might not know in most cases its
"proper ettiquite" to send an SASE when requesting a QSL.
As for expedition/QSL manager cards, the ARRL *does* forward US cards to
US bureaus for DX stations with US managers. For example, if I work
9K2ZZ whos QSL route is via W8CNL, it is OK to put the 9K2 card marked
"via W8CNL" in with my other ARRL outgoing cards, and the league will
throw the card into the W8 bureau box. I take advantage of this all of
the time... I don't think its being cheap, it's just more economical
than SASEs or WF5E for "low priority" cards. It also works in reverse
as QSL managers can put US-bound DX cards that they manage for in their
regular outgoing batch. I think a lot of QSL managers out there are not
aware of this because I sometimes get "post card" QSLs from those managers
I send to using this method instead them returning the cards via the bureau.
73 de Doug, N6RT
Doug Brandon http://www.kaiwan.com/~dab firstname.lastname@example.org
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