[CQ-Contest] QSL practices.

Trey Garlough trey at kkn.net
Wed Oct 15 07:56:49 EDT 1997

> If I am CQing, my rate goes up and I even get some unsolicited cards.
> (which I reply to without fail).
> I looked at the contest results and found these same delinquent stations
> were also the ones that placed quite well in the contests.  (Now this
> would tick me off even more..  Are these people too busy patting
> themselves on the back to reply to a simple request for a card?  Are
> they too self-important to reply?  Even more important, what can be done
> about it?)

Nah, I think that many of the guys who are winning put so much energy
into their stations that they bankrupt themselves of energy for
QSLing.  Keeping a competitive contest station going, especially if
you live in a difficult QTH, really takes a lot of work.

I think the biggest issue the most active stations have with QSLing is
that it requires tremendous vigilance.  Contesting is very goal
oriented.  The contest takes place on a certain date, you make your
preparations, you get everything in working order, you operate the
contest, and then you are done.  Your goal of operating the contest
has been fulfilled.  However, the QSLs keep coming and coming and
coming and coming throughout the entire year.  I believe that the
skill set of top contester + top QSLer is a rare combination.  Think
of it like project management versus operations.

The moral of the story is as follows: if you are serious about
getting a reply to your QSL, send it with an SASE or equivalent.

--Trey, N5KO

PS: And now for some more comments about QSLing, blah blah blah...

In my home town there is a serious prefix-chasing guy Jerry, N4NO, who
you might describe as my #2 elmer.  I guess I had borrowed a
microphone from someone and was noodling around in an SSB contest and
we had a QSO -- this was back when a WN4 on SSB was quite an oddity.
Within days I received a QSL from across town with an SASE.  I
thought, this is really strange.  Why would Jerry send me an SASE?  I
don't rate an SASE -- I'm just a kid.

What I didn't realize at the time was that Jerry was *serious* about

Jerry was also chasing cards from those 2x1 boys.  He says his success
rate went up when he included those county-chaser type "sign and send
back" QSLs with his requests.  Turns out that a lot of those guys
hadn't gotten QSLs made up yet with their new calls (sound familiar?),
and the inertia involved in the 2x1 crowd doing this was killing his
success rate in getting cards.

Personally, I answer all direct requests for WN4KKN & N5KO cards.
Direct requests for HC8 cards that don't include SASE or equivalent go
back via the bureau.

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