[CQ-Contest] Logging question

Peter Dougherty (W2IRT) contesting at w2irt.net
Sun Aug 9 10:25:49 EDT 2015

I, too, am a sorter with the 2nd district incoming bureau. I sort the letter
"O" and there's one world-class DXpedition QSLer I sort many pounds of cards
per month for, in addition to about 30 or so regular subscribers and about
275 active "O" accounts. I see cards from everywhere, not just JA. I'll see
cards from every European nation that has a bureau, VE bureaus, VK, ZL,
south America and so on. No, there aren't a whole lot of super rare entities
that QSL via the bureau but I've seen a lot of goodies come through too. And
for most top-25 DXpeditions the opportunity to QSL via the bureau using OQRS
is certainly there. 

I need more Italian, German, French or Croatian cards like I need another
hole in the head, but that would never prevent me from replying to a QSL
request via whatever means I received it. I prefer LoTW and will go direct
when needed but the bureau is a great system for those with an abundance of
patience and a shortage of money.

Peter, W2IRT


-----Original Message-----
From: CQ-Contest [mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of
Eric Rosenberg
Sent: Saturday, August 08, 2015 10:58 PM
To: cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Logging question

With all due respect to K9YC, my experience as an incoming QSL bureau sorter
tells a somewhat different story. During the three years I've been a sorter,
almost 400 "3Q" have received cards. The average number of those receiving
cards on a regular basis is about 50. The majority of those receive up to 5
cards, with a few averaging 20 or more -- mostly active contesters and
DXers. I feel safe in saying that most of the cards that come through me
come from Europe, DXpeditions, QSL managers and contest operations (the IARU
contest generates lots of QSLs). I suspect the reason 95% of Jim's cards are
from Japan is that the majority of his QSOs are with JA's. That scenario
simply isn't the case here in the east, although I don't keep track of the
origin of the cards. I don't send out cards on more than quarterly basis
unless asked to do so, and can't say how long the end-to-end process
actually takes. 
I'd be curious to know how long it takes from when a DX station sends his
card to his outgoing bureau; when it's sent out, when it gets to the ARRL or
individual incoming call area bureau (some of the IARU societies send
directly to the individual call area incoming bureaus, others send all of
their cards to the ARRL who then forwards to the individual incoming
bureaus). Yes, the bureau process is slow, but inexpensive (averaging $0.10
per incoming card). It was never intended to compete with direct QSLing or
LoTW. I suspect most use all three methods and choose the one most
appropriate to fill a specific need. Personally, I like getting cards. I'll
pay for those I want (need?) directly, and use the bureau for the rest. I
use LoTW, too. If someone sends me a cards, I feel obliged to return one to
them. I don't think the various methods compete. My "customers" (for lack of
a better description) seem very appreciative of the volunteer service we
sorters provide. To each their own... 73, Eric W3DQ W3 "Q" incoming bureau
sorter -----------------------  From Jim Brown<k9yc at audiosystemsgroup.com>
on Sat, 8 Aug 2015 07:50:58 -0700

On Sat,8/8/2015 12:43 AM, Oliver Dr?se wrote:

> Com'on, then use the ARRL bureau and DX cards will cost you next to 
> nothing! We have a superb QSL bureau system in most of this world's 
> countries ... Yes, it will not work for all DX

> If you think the Bureau system is "superb" you probably don't use it. 
> The Bureau system is essentially broken. MANY hams do not participate, 
> some countries do not have bureaus, and it is VERY VERY slow. Many 
> hams who operate in small countries use QSL managers in countries 
> where return postage is $3, and who do not respond to cards sent via 
> the Bureau. I know that because I sent them cards through the Bureau. I
receive at least 500 cards a year from the Bureau, 95% of them from Japan.
On average, those cards are for contacts that are 21 months earlier. Thus, a
turnaround time of 3 1/2 years. I've sent thousands of cards to the Bureau,
with very poor return of the cards I needed for an award.
> and yes it depends on your ARRL membership, not a bad thing.
<the rest deleted by W3DQ>
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