Back to BC QSL Bureau HOME
Welcometo the RAC - BC (VA7/VE7)
Incoming QSL Bureau
VE7BC is the Manager for the BC QSL BureauThe
Incoming QSL Bureau manager for BC is Ken Clarke VE7BC. Receiving
his Amateur licence in1983, Ken's main interests are contesting and DX,
a DXCC member with200 countries confirmed. He is a member of RAC, ARRL,
BC DX Club, andthe Surrey Amateur Radio Club.
Ken plans a team approach to share the workload and help maintain a great level of service.
Rick VE7TK is the BC card-checker for ARRL awards such as DXCC. We
haven't had anybody in BC for several years since Dave Frost retired
from the position. You can review the process for award applications here.
What is a QSL Card?
A QSL card
is a written confirmation of a two-way radio communication between two
amateur radio stations or a one-way reception of a signal from an AM
radio, FM radio, or television station. QSL cards can also confirm the
reception of a two-way radio communication by a third party. A typical
QSL card is the same size and made from the same material as a typical
postcard, and many are sent directly by mail or via a QSL Bureau
The RAC - BC Incoming QSL Bureau is a repository of cards received from
stations, awaiting distribution to a recipient living in British
Columbia, Canada. Please note that this bureau does not receive and
distribute outgoing QSL cards, that remains the responsibility of the
QSL cards derived their name from the Q code "QSL", which means "I
acknowledge receipt." Most are collected by amateur radio
operators,shortwave listeners, TV-FM DXers, and other radio hobbyists.
A limited market exists for older QSL cards, especially those from rare
locationsor famous stations, as collector's items.
Amateur radio operators exchange QSL cards to confirm
two-waycommunications between stations. A QSL card sent from one
amateur radio operator to another contains details about the contact
and the station.At a minimum, this includes the call sign of both
stations participating in the communications, the time and date of the
contact (usually specified in UTC or 'Zulu'), the radio frequency used,
the mode of transmission used, and a signal report. The accepted
standard for a QSL card is 89 mm by 140 mm (3½ by 5½ inches). Most QSL
cards contain an image, often something associated with the station or
the operator. Please check the featured card page for a gallery of
noteworthy or unusual QSL cards received through this bureau.
QSL cards are often required when applying for an amateur radio
operating award. Several alternatives to physical QSLcards, which must
be sent through the mail, were developed in the past few years. These
systems use computer databases to store all the same information
normally verified by QSL cards in an electronic format.Competing
systems differ in their functionality and security requirements.
Different sponsors of amateur radio operating awards may recognize only
one such electronic QSL system in verifying award applications and many
awards sponsors do not recognize any electronic QSL system. Some awards
programs use only electronic QSL information. Examples of electronic
databases are eQSL and the ARRL Logbook of the World. eQSL even lets
you design your on-line card.
To send a QSL to an amateur you have contacted (QSO) youhave two basic
choices. QSL direct via the post office or send a batch of cards to the
recipient's QSL bureau. Using the bureau is by far themost cost
effective route but you might not want to wait for the return QSL.
How Does the Bureau Work??
QSLing via the Bureau
Using a QSL bureau is by far the least expensive way to collect QSL
cards. Most major Amateur Radio countries have a bureau where cards are
collected from hams within the country and then forwarded in bulk to
the destination country. Using bulk mail to send your cards to the
bureau and for them to forward the cards to other countries cost much
less for postage than mailing individual cards. Both RAC in Canada and
ARRL in the U.S. offer QSL cards outgoing services for amateurs who are
members. Incoming cards can generally be received whether or not you
are a member but membership alone is worth the cost of the bureau's
service. The RAC - BC Incoming QSL Bureau only accepts incoming
cards for distribution to area Amateurs.
To QSL direct you fill out your QSL card and mail it the the
person you contacted. So, if you had a QSO with VE3RAC and you would
like his QSL card, you need to find his address. This can be done by
searching an online callbook such as Buckmaster or QRZ!, or you can use a CD-ROM callbook from these organizations or others.
Fill out your card, address it, using an envelope to protect it, affix
a stamp and drop it in the mailbox. Usually in a few weeks you
canexpect a card in return.
If you are sending a card to a DX contact it is generally good practice
to include a self addressed envelope and return postage. Do not use the
postage of your country as it will not be valid for use in the DX
country. Instead include either a U.S. dollar bill (known by hams as a
green stamp) or an International Reply Coupon (IRC) which you can
purchase at the post office. We Canadians cannot use a loonie to pay
for return postage as it is heavy and therefore subject to theft. Some
countries require more than the equivalent of a dollar for postage. One
example is Germany where you should send two dollars or two IRCs.
Remember that DX amateurs, especially those in rare countries, get a
lot of requests for QSL cards and so it is only fair to them that you
provide the cost of postage.
stations often use a QSL manager when mailing to a foreign country.
With some less developed DX countries this is difficult. Using Managers
in Canada and the US makes postage less expensive. You can often
obtain the QSL manager when looking upthe address of the call or
on the Internet.
You send a card to a QSL manager in the same way as above. A return envelope and postage is a must.
Contents of a QSL Card
Some of the content that should be on each card is:
- your call sign
- your name and address
- a place to write:
- the call of the station you contacted
the date (use DD/MM/YY to comply with most countries). Be sure the date
used is the UTC date (see note below).
- time in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)
- frequency or band
- mode (SSB, CW, FT8, RTTY, etc.)
- a request to QSL or thanks for a QSL received.
Some optional items you might include are:
- your station (maybe even a picture)
- your CQ and ITU zones
- the county you are in
- your grid location (primarily if you operate above 50MHz)
If you plan to send a lot of QSLs you might find that using a
computerized logging program such as N1MM (free) or others can help you
keep track of your contacts and also print labels for your QSL cards.
Check our blog for the latest news and updates https://bcqsl.blogspot.com/2020/05/how-does-bc-incoming-qsl-bureau-work.html
BC Incoming QSL Bureau Manager
Ken Clarke, VE7BC
VE7-VA7 Incoming QSL Bureau
Ken Clarke VE7BC
12441 - 58A Avenue,