QSL Finished Product

QSL Finished Product

I’ve been a ham since 1976, and never gone through the trouble of collecting the cards to apply for a Worked All States Award.

While I was at the ranch in March, I was tuning around 80 meters and came across the Geratol Net on 3.668 Mhz.  This is a WAS net, with the main purpose being to increase activity in the Extra Class band segment of 80 meters.  I found myself logging in and participating on the next 3 nights.  Hey, it beats going to bed early when it’s dark.

Anyway, I worked 30 states in 3 days, and combined with what I have logged over the last two years at the Ranch during Field Day, I have worked all states from there.  I don’t have confirmations from everywhere yet, though.  It may take a few more trips to gather the required cards, but it should be pretty easy.

I was surprised at the area easily covered by 80 meters with an antenna only 30 feet high.  It was mostly East of the Rockies, with very good signals into the Missouri Valley area (KS, NE, IA, MO).

I made my QSL card with Microsoft Visio.  I had started with Adobe Photoshop Elements, but could not get good, crisp text using that package.  The letters all had wavey edges.

In Visio, I started by making a 4″ x 6″ text layer.  I put all of the graphic lines, text, etc on this layer.  I also marked out a 3-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ area where all of the text needed to fit inside.  That way, I could get them printed at Walmart, and cut them to size after printing.  $0.09 apiece for photo quality QSLs is pretty good.

QSL Text - Visio

QSL Text - Visio

Next, I added a photo layer that is a picture of our cabin and doublet antenna at the Ranch.

QSL Photo

QSL Photo

Finally, by turning both layers on, it merges them, and you get a final product.  Save it as a jpg file and submit it to Walmart or Walgreens for processing, and you get a pretty good quality QSL cheap.  My first order was for 50 of them on the 1-hour matte finish.  I wanted them fast.  My next order will be on the glossy stock, whcih I like better.

QSL Finished Product

QSL Finished Product

I fill in the required info with a fine-tipped Sharpie, add some laserjet mailing labels and a 28 cent stamp to send them off.