To round up my holidays last week, I processed three boxes with QSL cards. I also discovered that it was almost a year since my last QSL job.

The cards are sorted in 3 stacks: OQ5M, ON5ZO and OO5ZO (2005). Most cards are for OQ5M but the ON5ZO stack also grew quickly. This surprised me because since early 2006 I used the OQ5M call almost all the time. A quick lookup showed that I made over 5000 contacts as ON5ZO since holding the OQ call. I’d have said 2000 without counting. That explains the number of incoming QSL cards. There were some cards for OQ5ZO too (2001) so the turnaround for QSL cards can be quite long. A big pile for OO5ZO but most were DX cards like K, JA, VK, PY etc. When I was active as OO5ZO I only sent cards out to those DX stations and the replies are coming in now. I did not send first to EU so now those cards need to be answered. In total I printed 65 labels for OO5ZO. I still have many cards so I use the labels for that. I redesigned the OQ5M card on the GlobalQSL system to use it as ON5ZO. In total I used 420 cards for OQ5M and 150 as ON5ZO to lower my GlobalQSL credit.

I like the GlobalQSL concept very much because it saves me the cost of cards and labels. Better said: it costs as much as cards and labels would but more important: it saves me the work of printing, sticking labels, sorting cards and get them out to the QSL bureau. However I don’t have the feeling those guys are taking care of business. Don’t ask me why, and nothing points in that direction, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d pull the plug one day. Just a feeling.

I didn’t read the forum in over a year, so I wasn’t pleased when I read that (quote): “Globalqsl is celebrating 3 years of activity. We decided to give our customers a special discount for this event. If you purchase 1000 Globalqsl cards until August 15 2009 , 250 extra cards will be added to your account. This special discount is valid only for one purchase per customer. Best 73 Paul 4X6UU”. Why don’t you just send out an email to all your known customers? I might have risen to the occasion because after all it’s a nice 25% bonus. I skim, delete and read my emails daily but I just don’t browse every freakin’ forum!

When I uploaded my first log to GlobalQSL, somewhere in December 2007, I started an experiment. I was curious to see what the turnaround time would be for the cards. I asked W1EBI to give me a shout when the card arrived. I know George pretty well and the “W1 buro” is pretty busy so the box at G/Q for W1 should be filled and mailed off soon enough. Well, it wasn’t until August of this year that the card got to him. That’s over 19 months one way travel. The strange thing is that W1EBI received other G/Q cards that were sent later than mine. When you’re a GlobalQSL user, you can see who has uploaded contacts with your call. So I can see who has sent in a log that will result in a G/Q card sent to me. W1EBI noticed some cards were uploaded/printed much later than mine but arrived there before mine. So where is the bottleneck? At GlobalQSL? In the ARRL QSL service? In the W1 sorting office? Who knows. If the cards for logs that were uploaded later still arrive sooner, it seems to me that the box with my card was treated with some delay in the USA. I also sent a card to ON4BHQ but I forgot when he got it. I seem to remember he confirmed finding the card in his incoming cards but it’s a bit blurry. I need to check that with him. I conclude that the G/Q service works but that it does not go faster by cutting short the Belgian outgoing bureau. Not that they ever pretended being faster.

What else did I learn from these three boxes jam-packed with QSL cards?

  • Before 2004, you could work a lot of DX on 15/12/10m. In 2005 and 2006, I worked mostly on 30-20-17 and some 40m. After that I did 30 and lower. This is due to the propagation and having a better antenna for 80 and 160 from 2006 on.
  • A few confirmed new ones (3DA2, JA on 80m, YA etc). Some of this stuff was already confirmed via LotW but now I also have paper QSL.
  • What about the guy who logged a QSO on 21.60 utc?
  • And I’ve got a K3LR QSL card for a contact on the 9cm band. Too bad he’s a NIL here because I logged him on 80m that night in ARRL DX CW. Or was it a cross band QSO?

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