Monthly Archives: April 2011

New QSL Card Design

My previous order of 1000 QSL cards back in early 2009 was done by UX5UO (http://www.ux5uoqsl.com/) and they came out great and were a real value. I looked back in my archives here and didn’t see any post about me ordering from Gennady. Well it was time to reorder as I was getting down to a small number of QSL cards remaining and there was no question I was going back to UX5UO for my new batch of ham radio QSL cards.

From my experiences on the air over the last 2 years since my last order and seeing what I liked about what I saw on other hams QSL cards, I wanted to change the back design of my QSL card. I kept the same front of my card which is an old picture of the historic train station in town and focused on the back section. I like to write my QSL cards out by hand even though there’s be no problem having a program print out a label I stick on the back.

Here’s the front of the card:

 

Here’s the old back of the card:

 

Here’s the new back of the card followed by what I changed and why:

I moved the callsign of the station I worked to the very top left and underneath it I added a section for the QSL Via operator if they used a QSL manager. Previously I was writing it in red ink along the side of the card and now it will have its own section.

I changed the QSO info to a grid format. I’d say 75% of my QSL cards are for a single QSO but the other 25% are for multiple QSOs and 4 is enough to cover almost any I’d send out.

I was also writing PSE / TNX QSL by hand on my old card so I had it pre-printed on this one with a checkbox. I usually write something on the back of the card and didn’t want to eliminate that completely so there are 2 lines at the bottom of the card which I can still write a brief note.

Gennady / UX5UO at http://www.ux5uoqsl.com/ provides a great service at a great value and works with you to design your cardif you want him to. I would not hesitate to recommend as I have to others who are also extremely happy with their cards.

73 & good DX!
K2DSL

2011 SP DX RTTY Contest Summary

I haven’t been on the radio in a while due to many other family activities going on this month so it was great to fire things up and everything was working well. Downloaded the latest N1MM version and configured the macros for the SP DX ham radio contest and I was ready to start making contacts.

The weather outside was pouring rain and it was cooler than it should be this time of year. I’m not sure when spring will finally arrive here and it will start to get consistently warmer and sunny out, but Saturday wasn’t a nice day.

Got on 20m and spun around and worked a SP station for #1 and a few North America stations followed by a booming JM1XCW station. I checked 15m often and there just wasn’t activity there or I wasn’t hearing much.   There wasn’t a tremendous amount of activity on the bands so I took a bunch of breaks and came back to the radio after a while to work new stations. I repeated this often throughout the day. I worked a few SP stations but I thought I would hear a lot more from Poland than I ended up with.

Later in the day as the sun started to set I went over to 40m and spent some time there working stations, mostly in North America. Called CQ for a while and did pretty well on 40m. Check 80m but didn’t hear anyone (well 1 station) and I ended up shutting things down a little early and watching TV with the family so I didn’t spend any time on 80m to log more NA stations.

It was great to get on the air again if I didn’t rack up a large number of contacts. It is always fun. Here’s the score summary from a few hours on the air:

 Band    QSOs     Pts  Cty  Sec  Cnt
  3.5       1       2    1    0    0
    7      50     177   10    2    0
   14      81     517   26    5    4
   21      14      72    8    0    1
Total     146     768   45    7    5

Score : 199,680

73 & good DX,
K2DSL

3 Ham Presents in Today’s Mail

Came home from work today to a trifecta of ham radio presents!

1) Snuck in my first Clean Sweep in the 2010 ARRL SSB Sweepstakes in November and ordered a coffee mug to commemorate the occasion. The nice ceramic mug arrived today from the ARRL.

2) In a padded envelope was the 2010 CQ WPX CW plaque for me coming in 1st place in North America for all Rookies. The plaque is sponsored by Chris K6DBG so a great big THANKS to Chris for the plaque. Too bad I can’t classify myself as a rookie any more – it was great while it lasted.

3) I had placed another order with CallsignWear for a couple more t-shirts and a windshirt with my callsign and name embroidered on them. They do a great job at a reasonable price and I wanted to have a couple more items to bring with me to Dayton. I also requested a catalog (and boy is it thick) in hopes I can get our club to make a decision moving forward with some new club logo items.

Not a bad day to come home and see what came in the mail!

K2DSL

Updating HRD for Award Tracking

HRD (Ham Radio Deluxe) is the everyday ham radio logging program I use. I use N1MM for contesting and export the ADIF after a contest and import that ADIF into HRD and maintain all contacts there. HRD has recently been upgraded to support ham radio award tracking for awards such as DXCC, WAC (Worked All Continents) and WAS (Worked All States) and I wanted to start taking advantage of the new feature. Because automation is only available for a portion of the process, it takes time and effort even with all these tools, to get things tagged properly.

HRD now supports uploading/downloading of LoTW QSOs & QSLs within the program. Previously it was manual or you could, like I did, you use a terrific program from Stephen WD5EAE called Ham Radio Deluxe Utlities (HRDU). HRDU still has many valuable feature/uses but it looks like the upload/download to LoTW can be handled within HRD natively now. HRD will set any download QSLs to the Verified status which means they are acceptable to submit as an award contact if needed. For paper QSL cards, you need to do that manually when the cards come in. Here are some links to info on HRD & LoTW:

HRD LoTW Upload function
HRD LoTW Download function

If you used HRD Utilities to download from LoTW, all the LoTW QSL Received statuses will be set to Yes and those all need to be Bulk Edited to Verified in a one-time update.  To update all the LoTW records marked as Yes from HRDU, specify a filter of LOTW Received Contains Y and that will show you all records that are matched QSLs in LoTW. Highlight all records, right click and select Bulk Editor / Any Fields / Fields tab / Add Field. Select LOTW Received in the Field drop-down and select Verified in the List drop-down. Click the Ok button to update them all.

The newer award feature within HRD will show which various supported awards (DXCC, WAS, WAC, etc) have Verified contacts (paper or LoTW) that could be applied. Here are some links to help explain the new HRD QSO status workflow and awards functionality:

HRD QSO tracking & Awards
HRD QSO Status (PDF)
HRD Award Status

Make sure you also upgrade your tQSL program. Many folks are still using v1.11 and v1.13 is required. You can find the link to v1.13 of tQSL at https://p1k.arrl.org/lotwuser/default with the link being on the right side. Download the zip file and run the enclosed exe file to upgrade.

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