Custom QSL Cards

A QSL card is a written confirmation of a two-way radio-communication between two amateur (ham) radio stations. A typical QSL card is a special size but made from the same material as a typical postcard, and most are sent through the mail in envelopes so as not to get mangled by the post office machinery.

QSL card derived its name from the Q code “QSL”. A Q code message can stand for a statement or a question (when the code is followed by a question mark.) In this case, when one ham says to another… ‘QSL?’ (note the question mark) it means “Do you confirm receipt of my transmission?” The other ham will normally reply ‘QSL’ (without a question mark) which means “I confirm receipt of your transmission.”

Part of the fun of amateur radio collecting cards, called QSL cards, from other amateurs that you’ve talked to on the radio. Some people like to collect stamps form various parts of the world but hams collect QSLs.

Another reason for collecting QSL cards is to participate in the many certificate programs available to amateurs. Whether it’s getting your DXCC (DX century club) for getting cards confirming contacts with 100 or more DX countries, working all states in the U.S., all provinces in Canada, or many other awards available you will need the cards to support your claim for the award.

Our service is simple. We do custom QSL cards for a very reasonable price.

We produce exceptional quality amateur radio QSL cards with a gloss finish using your photographs, artwork, or text. We put a contact report form on the back with ARRL or other logos if desired. Our cards are full color both sides!

Use your own picture. We can design for mailing as a postcard for lower postage expense ~ 5.5 x 3.5 inches (bureau recommended size.) We can do portrait or landscape mode.

We can use any picture you like… of you, of your shack, your dog, or maybe a favorite place… anything. (Large pictures work much better. We can always make them smaller. We can’t easily make them larger.)

If you supply the pix, the cost of pre-press is $75. If you want us to search for pix or if your job entails more work the price is obviously going to be higher.

[We suggest you Google for royalty-free pictures. One well-known site is unsplash.com.]

We do the pre-press artwork ourselves. We use a trade printer which does great work for us. We handle the entire transaction… you make one payment to us, we pay them, they ship directly to you… easy peasy.

Card specifications

Print Quantities

We print in quantities of 250 or 500.

Shipping

Shipping for cards is by ground averages $20.

Out the door

So, for really nice QSL cards shipped to Chicago, you are looking at :

Item250 Cards500 Cards
Pre-press artwork$75$75
Printing$69$89
Shipping$20$20
TOTAL$164$184

(Sales tax will be charged to applicable customers.)

We have a no-questions-asked guarantee. If you don’t like your QSL cards, send them back to us and we will refund what you paid, minus shipping.

Samples of Work (click to enlarge.)

Do you want a really nice QSL card, one you can be proud of and which will set you apart from all the other hams? If so, contact us.

About

Left to right: Mayapriya Long, Al Canton, Alice Walker

As you can see, we are not kids. We are mature adults (very mature!.) We have about a million years among us in computer technology, art, and design. Unlike the kids who populate this industry, we have a good work ethic and we understand this simple principle:

People don’t care how much we know,
until they know how much we care.

Our mission and business model is very simple.

We create nice looking QSL cards for hams. (We also are a web design company.)

Our service is targeted to hams who want a high-quality, custom QSL card, have little or no idea how to get one ,OR who don’t want to make the effort.

We know QSL cards, we’ve done a lot of them. Also, the company CEO, Al Canton, is a ham: K6AAI. You can find him at QRZ and on his own site K6AAI.net.

We guarantee our work… totally. No questions asked. If you don’t like it, you don’t pay for it.

Bottom line, our mission is to do good work at a fair price, to treat our customers fairly, not promise what we can’t deliver, not take on work that is beyond our focus, and to always do what is best for the customer and what is right for the customer.

“We don’t have clients… we have friends.”

Contact

How to reach us

Please contact me for more information… or just to chat.

If you are in the Northern California area you can usually find me on N6ICW, 147.195, pl 123, neg. offset. It has voting receivers and thus very wide coverage including EchoLink.)

If you work HF you can often find me monitoring 7.204 or 7.208 most days.

Alan Canton
K6AAI
Fair Oaks, CA

  info@radioqsl.com
  (916) 962-9296

“I am often asked how radio works.
Well, you see, wire telegraphy is like a very long cat.
You yank his tail in New York and he meows in Los Angeles.
Do you understand this?
Now, radio is exactly the same, except that there is no cat.”
– Attributed to Albert Einstein

QSL Cards—Past and Present

Part of the fun of amateur radio is collecting cards, called QSL cards, from other amateurs that you’ve talked to on the radio. Some people like to collect stamps from various parts of the world but hams collect QSLs.

History

The term QSL comes from the radio “Q” code meaning “I confirm reception.”

During the early days of radio broadcasting, the ability for a radio set to receive distant signals was a source of pride for many consumers and hobbyists. Listeners would mail “reception reports” to radio broadcasting stations in hopes of getting a written letter to officially verify they had heard a distant station. As the volume of reception reports increased, stations took to sending post cards containing a brief form that acknowledged reception. Collecting these cards became popular with radio listeners in the 1920s and 1930s, and reception reports were often used by early broadcasters to gauge the effectiveness of their transmissions,

The concept of sending a post card to verify reception of a station (and later two-way contact between them) may have been independently invented several times. The earliest reference seems to be a card sent in 1916 from 8VX in Buffalo, New York to 3TQ in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (in those days ITU prefixes were not used). The standardized card with callsign, frequency, date, etc. may have been developed in 1919 by C.D. Hoffman, 8UX, in Akron, Ohio. In Europe, W.E.F. “Bill” Corsham, 2UV, first used a QSL when operating from Harlesden, England in 1922.

Today

Today ham radio operators send QSL cards for a variety of reasons. It is interesting to collect them. Having made contact with a particular ham radio station it is often nice to have a card from them to remember the contact. It may be a particularly interesting contact, or one with a rare country where few ham radio operators are active. It may even be with a famous personality as there are a number of famous people around the globe who hold amateur radio licenses. In addition to this, the cards can displayed in the radio shack. Being colorful and interesting they can brighten up any ham radio shack.

Collecting QSL cards can be an interesting addition to the hobby of amateur radio. Cards from distant corners of the earth can be attractive and interesting. Not only do they brighten up the shack, but they can act as an encouragement to hear or contact some more interesting stations as well as being used to apply for operating awards.