[CQ-Contest] qsl's w/o sase

Merrimon Crawford kf4oad at bellsouth.net
Thu Dec 30 23:13:40 EST 1999

I have been a ham for 3 years, HF privileges for 2 years and contesting for
only one year.  In the beginning, I did not realize SASE's were considered
proper QSL etiquette.  I just thought hams would enjoy receiving my card
because I made an effort to create an original design.  Surprisingly, some
contestors still replied with their QSL cards. 

I run 50 watts into apartment antennas.  Although I love contesting, I have
no hope of ever placing high in the scoring categories.  Many times I work
a contest for awards as much as for the actual contest.  I remember those
contest stations who have bothered to return QSL cards to my previous
requests and I make every effort to answer their "CQ Contest/CQ TEST," even
when I no longer need them for an award or as a multiplier in that
particular contest----even waiting to break through pile-ups or return when
there is less of a pile-up.  This can mean 10-20 minutes of time just to
return a favor.  On the contrary if I sent an SASE and have received no QSL
within a reasonable amount of time, I just keep turning the dial. 

Now I always send SASE's or SAE + IRCs when I QSL.  Surprisingly the return
rate is about the same whether I send an SASE or not.  I have been waiting
over a year for a QSL on rtty from on a RI station for my RTTY WAS...AND an
SASE was sent!  

I sure hope when I finally move out of this apartment and get my
super-duper contest antennas that I remember what it was like to be a small
station who needed QSL cards.

Merri KF4OAD
Carrboro, North Carolina


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