Tag: QSL Cards

Museum Ships Weekend

Museum Ships Weekend

I admit it.  I’m a paper chaser. I like getting awards, special event certificates, and, of course, QSL cards. This weekend was one I was seriously chasing some paper.

You never have to worry about keeping ham radio fresh.  There is always a contest or special event to participate in. Some last a day, some a month and some can go on even longer (think National Parks on the Air). There are also groups like Strait Key Century Club that have awards and levels based on how many fellow member you contact with the proper exchange.  Another one of my favorites is World Wide Fauna and Flower (WWFF-KFF Parks on the Air). It’s very similar to NPOTA but is worldwide and ongoing.
This weekend was Museum Ships Weekend. There were 109 ships on the air this weekend. I was able to work 16. I needed 15 to get the special certificate. I wanted the extra one just in case I had a busted call sign. The one thing I was really disappointed that  I did not hear more stations working CW. There were many voice stations I could not work because of my power limitations but CW is the great equalizer.

I was able to work:

6 – SSB
9 – CW
1 – PSK31

I’ll get my QSL cards and log out this week. As you saw in my last post, I like getting them and there are some really neat ones for special events. The best part about this is I went into this weekend with no expectations of getting the 15 ships for the certificate. I just thought I’d get a few cool QSL cards. Next thing you know, I’m at ten contacts and need just five more for the certificate. I never left the radio until I got the five.

On to my next quest, NAQCC monthly challenge and then field day in two weeks. Like I said, never a dull moment. Although I’m not a big fan of field day, I do participate. Since I activate parks for WWFF-KFF I am already well versed in setting up my station without power and with a temporary antenna.

QSL Cards

QSL Cards

Many people think QSL cards are a thing of the past. Why do we need them? We have Logbook of the World, eQSL, QRZ, Clublog and the list goes on.

When I first started in ham radio in the 80’s there were none of these services and before a QSO could be deemed complete we sent out a QSL card. I was so excited when each QSL came in return. Where did it come from? The next state over or the other side of the world? Either way, it didn’t matter, I looked at each one with awe and wonder knowing that I was able to contact this person over the radio. No wires. No cell service. Just by talking into the radio mic or using a strait key and tickling some electrons in a wire that created a radio wave that went out my antenna and somehow hit their antenna and tickled some electrons in their radio where my voice or code came out. Why wouldn’t you want that card that confirms your contact?

I can look at each one of my cards and remember the contact. I still even have cards from the DeVry Amateur Radio Club. I’ll look through them over and over never getting tired of seeing where I’ve talked to.  I am astonished that my little radio and antenna has made so many contacts. I show my kids (maybe someday grandkids) the exotic places I’ve talked to. These cards are exciting to me and does not have the same wow factor as looking at a check box on a computer screen.

I’ve sent out commercially made cards since I started in radio but this week I decided to design my own. I wanted that personal touch on my card. I ordered QSL card stock from Ham Stuff and used Microsoft Publisher to create my cards. I have four different designs all highlighting unique areas of Lakeland. I want the person who receives my card to know that some thought and time has gone into my QSL card and I hope it inspires them (and you) to send out cards. Please, keep on updating LoTW and the other sites, but don’t forget that personal touch and send out a QSL card.