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8.0 QSL Info

QSL, taken from the original "Q Codes", means literally, "I acknowledge this transmission." Over time, the practice of formally acknowledging contacts, or "QSOs" developed into a tradition where each participant had his/her own personal QSL card, which was mailed to the other participant and became part of his/her collection.

Sample of an older QSL card:

Click for full size

Making contacts is one of many rewarding aspects of this hobby. It's an opportunity to make friends world-wide. One of the main aspects of making a lot of contacts (QSO) is the opportunity to send a confirmation to the operator of the station (QSL). It is like sending a thank-you note of the meeting on the air waves.

QSLs are also used as confirmation of contacts to meet the requirements of certain awards, such as "worked all states" (WAS) or "DXCC" (100 countries). These awards are generally managed by the ARRL and other similar organizations.

(Thanks to GeekGirl1 See Profile for additions to this FAQ)

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2007-11-12 17:06:42

LOTW, or Logbook of the World, is a system operated by the ARRL where users from around the world can submit records of their contacts. When both participants in a QSO submit matching QSO records to LoTW, the result is a QSL that can be used for ARRL award credit. This is because LOTW is tightly controlled to verify submissions.

All QSO records are digitally signed using a certificate obtained from ARRL. Obtaining such a certificate requires verification of the licensee's identity either through mail verification (US) or inspection by ARRL of required documentation (non-US).

Click for full size

More information here:

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2007-11-27 18:19:55

When the amateur radio hobby started, it was common courtesy to send a QSL card by mail. Since many QSOs were international, this was a good way to collect postal stamps from around the world. Today, it is possible to confirm these contacts electronically over the internet.

eQSL, or electronic QSL, is an online system where amateurs can leave confirmation of their contacts for other participants without the necessity of mailing a hard copy, thus saving the expense associated with mailing, especially overseas.

Be advised that eQSL can generally not be used for awards, and many hams to not accept or wish to participate in this system. Also be aware that eQSL has been said not to have any verification as LOTW does, but see below. Participation is free, but in order to design an onine QSL card, a donation is required.

The site is here:
(Thanks to GeekGirl1 See Profile for additions to this FAQ)

One of our readers noted: "eQSL does in fact have a verification process called Authenticated Guaranteed (AG). eQSL.cc has its own eAwards program, whereby your QSOs with AGed members of eQSL.cc earn credit toward those awards. Other than ARRL and perhaps others, there are several other award sponsors that do accept an eQSL as proof of QSOs amongst eQSL.cc member-user community."

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • Regarding awards, it should be noted that CQ Magazine is now accepting eQSL for their awards, but they have certain requirements for eQSLed contacts to be considered for award credit. eQSL also has its own award scheme, with eDX100 awards and eWAS. Of course, ARRL DXCC is still not accepting eQSL and will probably not for the foreseeable future.

    2009-09-01 17:50:54 (fifty nine See Profile)

  • All of the information in your last paragraph is incorrect. 1. There are many ham organizations that accept eQSLs for their awards. These include 10-10, DARC, JARL, and many others. A complete list is at www.eQSL.cc under "Organizations" 2. There are 130,000 hams participating in the system. At this date, that is 10 times more than the number that are participating in LOTW. 3. eQSL.cc developed its identify verification program before LOTW even existed, and LOTW patterned its verification after one of the 3 that eQSL.cc invented, but makes it more labor-intensive and slower to obtain. 4. You can design your online eQSL for free. Only 2 of the 4 possible eQSL styles require a $1 donation. Not enough to bankrupt anyone. Despite this, about 90% of the eQSL.cc members are riding free.

    2008-10-08 20:46:27

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2007-12-09 10:44:54

Now that you have a collection of QSLs, there are many things that you can do. It is human nature to catalog anything of quantity into a database. It is also human nature to compete. Welcome to the world of awards and contesting!

There are many awards. One of the most popular is the ARRL's DX Century Club, also known as DXCC. Collect QSLs from 100 different countries, as defined by the ARRL, and get an award certificate. »www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/

Then there is contesting. Many organizations sponsor contests. A start date and time is announced for everyone to get on the air and make as many contacts as possible. When it is over, the results are compiled and awards are given. Operating during a contest period is a very intensive effort. Similar to sports, it takes much skill, some luck, and is most definitely a lot of fun. A popular contest is CQ Magazine's World Wide DX Contest, known as CQWW. »www.cqww.com/intro.htm

(Thanks to GeekGirl1 See Profile for this FAQ)

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2007-11-13 22:38:00