Category Archives: QSL Gallery

A most unusual QSL . . . card?

By Jock Elliott, KB2GOM

Okay, I realize this is ham related, but I thought it was fun, and I hope you do too.

On a quiet Saturday morning in May, the “Big Gun” Motorola 1250 (which is used for running the Commuter Assistance Net) is quietly scanning through half a dozen frequencies.

The scanning stops on the 147.330 repeater, and a computer voice announces: “Echolink activated.”

Huh, that’s unusual, I think.

According to echolink.org, here’s the scoop on EchoLink:

EchoLink® software allows licensed Amateur Radio stations to communicate with one another over the Internet, using streaming-audio technology.  The program allows worldwide connections to be made between stations, or from computer to station, greatly enhancing Amateur Radio’s communications capabilities.  There are more than 350,000 validated users worldwide — in 159 of the world’s 193 nations — with about 6,000 online at any given time.

A few seconds later, a male voice with a distinct British accent drops a call on the repeater: “GB2022ER.”

What?!! A Great Britain call sign with multiple numbers in the middle? What’s going on?

I reply: KB2GOM.

Mark, the British ham, tells me he is running a special events station with a special call sign to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee. He tells me I am the very first contact for the special events station. I tell him that he is my very first Echolink contact.

We chat for a bit, exchange good wishes and sign off.

A bit later, I look him up on QRZ and send Mark an email. Since I am his first contact for the special events station, is there a QSL card available? He replies that he will see what he can do.

A few weeks later, an envelope arrives with this coaster inside:

For a moment, I felt like James Bond:

Also inside were these postcards:

In all, it made me smile.

Bottom line – moral of the story, if you will – you never know what’s going to happen on the radio.

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W9IMS: From the Speedway to Your Wall

From the Speedway to Your Wall: Taking the W9IMS Checkered Flag

By Brian D. Smith, W9IND

The Checkered Flag is in sight – for hams and SWLs who’ve completed two-thirds of the chase for the annual W9IMS certificate. And for those who haven’t, there’s still a special QSL card awaiting all who snare the final contact during the coming week.

As its initials imply, W9IMS stages special events in honor of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s three major races. The third and final operation of 2022 – commemorating the NASCAR 200 at the Brickyard – will activate between the hours of midnight Indy time (0400 UTC) Monday, July 25, and midnight Sunday, July 31 (0400 UTC Tuesday, August 1).

Earning the 2022 Checkered Flag Award depends on working or tuning in each of the three special events. Since the first two races (the IndyCar Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500) ran in May, it’s obviously too late to claim the clean sweep.

However, W9IMS also issues collectible QSL cards for the three individual races, so there’s still time to get a piece of the action.

Where to start? Well, W9IMS favors 20 and 40 meters, sometimes adding 80 meters later in the week (not to mention 2 meters on Race Day for locals and fans in the stands at the Speedway). Preferred frequencies are 14.245 and 7.245 SSB, plus or minus QRM.

But rather than spin the dial, try scanning the following tips for finding W9IMS on the air:

  1. Check DX Summit (www.dxsummit.fi) for spots listing the current frequency or frequencies of W9IMS, if any. By typing “W9IMS” in the search box at upper right, you can customize it to show reports for only Indianapolis Motor Speedway special events. Naturally, you’ll be interested in only the ones from July 2022.
  2. Go to the W9IMS web page (www.w9ims.org) and look for the heading, “2022 Operating Schedule.” Click on the NASCAR 200 link, which opens into a weeklong schedule listing individual operators and their reserved time slots. Your odds of catching W9IMS on the air improve significantly during these hours.
  3. Prime operating time on weeknights is 6 to 10 p.m. Indy time (2200-0200 UTC). However, W9IMS can appear anytime, even on two bands at once, between 0400 Monday, July 25, and 0400 Sunday, July 31.
  4. Remember that the published schedule can be shortened by adverse circumstances, such as noisy band conditions, local thunderstorms or a lack of calling stations. Don’t wait till the final hour to chase W9IMS!
  5. Operators often get on the air at unscheduled times. That’s why DX Summit is your best bet for locating W9IMS’s current spot(s).
  6. If you plan on going for the 2023 Checkered Flag Award, remember that the three required W9IMS special event QSOs (or reception reports) must come from each of the year’s three races – the Grand Prix, the 500 and the Brickyard. Making three contacts during the coming week still earns you the colorful Brickyard QSL card, but no extra credits toward the 2022 certificate.
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Armed Forces Day QSL Card

On May 14, 2022, this blog published an announcement of the Annual Armed Forces Day Crossband Test.

The blog included a link to a PDF file that listed all the details, such as times, frequencies, and military stations that were participating (including some that were aboard ships), and there was even a link where you could submit your information online to receive a QSL card. I thought it would be fun to see if I could hear some of the military stations.

At 3:29 pm on May 14, I posted a comment on the blog:

1850Z & 1925Z — 14.487 MHz — Station sending CW CQ CQ CQ (I can copy but not read the rest), believed to be NSS — US Naval Academy transmitting for Annual Armed Forces Crossband test.

At 3:37 pm, I posted:

1934Z — 14.487 station NSS announces in voice they are listening 14.234.0 USB. Additional contacts in SSB. “It’s raining buckets here.”

Not hearing anything further, I filled  out the QSL request for — which asked for two-way contact information. I explained that I had only heard the Anapolis station, but I gave the details. Frankly, I did not hold out much hope for receiving a card, but yesterday it arrived.

As I reported elsewhere the MFJ 1020C active antenna/preselector made it possible to hear the Armed Forces Day station.

It was a very nice surprise to received the QSL card in the mail.

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Paul receives a Funklust DRM QSL

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Jamet, who writes:

Hi Thomas,

I am reacting to the latest Radio Waves news items on the SWLing Post:  Funklust is back on air with a boost

Connected to a Kiwi SDR installed in Portugal, I listened to this experimental station on its 15785 kHz DRM frequency and sent a listening report (in the form of an audio recording and a screenshot) to the Fraunhofer Institute in Erlangen, Germany:
[email protected]

I received a nice QSL!

Audio File:

KiwiSDR Screenshot:

The signal was picked up as far as New Zealand one told me. I think reception reports from all over the world would be very much appreciated …

Have a nice day. Best regards.

Paul JAMET
Radio Club du Perche

That’s brilliant, Paul. Thank you so much for sharing the recording and QSL info. Hopefully, they’ll continue to receive reports from across the globe. It might be fun, in fact, to see just how far one could DX this DRM broadcast via the KiwiSDR network. Frankly, good copy of Funklust’s 250W DRM signal in Portugal is pretty impressive!

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SWLing in Kiev: Vlad’s recording of VORW Radio International

Many thanks to my friend and SWLing Post contributor, Vlad (US7IGN), who recently shared a recording of VORW Radio International he made in Kiev (Ukraine) on May 27, 2022, at 16:00 UTC using his Icom IC-756 Pro III connected to a roof-mounted GP 5 M antenna. This show was broadcast on 9670 kHz from Austria. [See details in the April QSL above.]

Here’s Vlad’s recording:

Click here to view on YouTube.

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W9IMS: A Radio Run at the Indy 500

W9IMS: A Radio Run at the Indy 500

By Brian D. Smith, W9IND

You can’t win the Indianapolis 500 until they wave the checkered flag – and you can’t win a W9IMS Checkered Flag Award unless you contact the Indy 500 special event.

You’ll have that opportunity from now through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, May 29 in Indianapolis (0359 UTC Monday, May 30) as W9IMS fires up daily on 20 and 40 meters SSB. usually on or around 7.245 and 14.245 MHz.

The Indy 500 special event is the second of three W9IMS operations commemorating the major auto races at the Speedway. The first event of 2022, which ended May 14, honored the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, and the third will run from July 25-31, during the week preceding the NASCAR Brickyard 200.

Both hams and SWLs are eligible for the Checkered Flag certificate and the three individual QSL cards, all of which boast new designs for 2022. To earn the certificate, however, you must work (or tune in) W9IMS during all three of this year’s special events – and it’s too late to catch the first race. But even if you miss the trifecta, you can still claim collectible QSLs from the other races.

Tips on finding W9IMS:

  1. Check DX Summit (www.dxsummit.fi) for spots listing the current frequency or frequencies of W9IMS, if any. By typing “W9IMS” in the search box at upper right, you can customize it to show reports for only Indianapolis Motor Speedway special events.
  2. Go to the W9IMS web page (www.w9ims.org) and look for the heading, “2022 Operating Schedule.” Click on the Indianapolis 500 link, which opens into a weeklong schedule listing individual operators and their reserved time slots. Your odds of catching W9IMS on the air improve significantly during these hours.
  3. Prime operating time on weeknights is 6 to 10 p.m. Indy time (2200-0200 UTC). However, W9IMS can appear anytime, even on two bands at once, between now and 0400 UTC Monday, May 30.
  4. Remember that the published schedule can be shortened by adverse circumstances, such as noisy band conditions, local thunderstorms or a lack of calling stations. Don’t wait till the final hour to chase W9IMS!
  5. Operators often get on the air at unscheduled times. That’s why DX Summit is your best bet for locating W9IMS’s current spot(s).
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Denis wins an incredibly rare ZOE (Tristan Da Cuhna) QSL at auction

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Denis, who writes:

Dear Thomas,

Following the article about the ZOE QSL card a few years ago, I came across another QSL at an Australian auction house.
I bought it. Still waiting for it.

I enclose the picture of the lot I obtained. Names have been erased.

As Dan wrote, it is quite possible that other cards may surface one day.

best 73’s from Paris
Denis

Thank you for sharing this, Denis. I agree with Dan as well–perhaps more ZOE QSL cards will eventually surface. With that said, I believe it’ll remain one of the rarest QSL cards out there. By the way, it’s a nice bonus that the auction included a ham radio QSL card as well!

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