Category Archives: QSL Gallery

Lennart’s Radio FAX QSL card and letter

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Lennart Weirell, who shares the following

I read the posting about Radio FAX, and I heard the station 1988-10-23, but on MW 1611 kHz a frequency they also used.

[Please see above and below] a copy of the QSL-card and stencil from Radio FAX.

Back of QSL Card

Thanks so much for sharing your report with us, Lennart!

Click here to read our previous post about Radio FAX.

BBC Atlantic Relay Station: John receives a surprise in the mail

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, John Cooper, who shares the following:

In today’s mail I received a big surprise. Not one, but two QSLs verifying BBC program transmission reception reports from Ascension Island that I sent them in 2014. At that time I was working on a NASWA Dx Award for verification of 50 SWBC Countries. I was able to verify Ascension Island through another station that BCed through their transmitters in 2015.

I guess it just goes to show you should never give up on hoping you can get a confirmation. I didn’t even do any follow ups because I was told BBC didn’t verify anymore. Apparently Babcock/BBC will if you give them time. It makes me wonder where the reception reports were hiding over the past three years?

That is certainly a long delay! Frankly, I’m impressed you received a response from the BBC–as you mention, they seem to no longer issue QSLs. What a great surprise.

Post readers: Anyone else have a long-delayed reply from a broadcaster?  Please comment!

How to safely archive QSLs, postcards, photos, and printed memorabilia

Recently, an SWLing Post reader asked this simple question:

“If you were me, would you laminate a super-rare QSL card?”

The short answer–?  Please don’t!

Never laminate a QSL card, photo, page or postcard

You should never apply heat-seal or adhesive (cold) seal lamination to a QSL card or any other paper memorabilia if your ultimate goal is to protect and archive it.

Why?  Doesn’t lamination, for example, make your card impervious to moisture (and spilled coffee)?  Sort of.  So that makes it safe for the long term, doesn’t it? Well…not exactly.

These forms of lamination, over time, basically destroy printed media. In the short term, laminating your cards can look great, and will keep some of the coffee off (though it may still seep in the sides); in the long term, however, the (petroleum-based) plastic can “off gas,” causing a detrimental chemical reaction with the media it attempts to protect.  Plastic can also be acidic.  Coupled with the lamination heat (or the adhesive, in the case of cold-seal lamination) these processes can actually speed up the aging process “causing progressive deterioration and eventual embrittlement,” according to one archiving source.

I feel fairly passionate about this because, during my undergraduate studies, I worked for my university archives department where I was taught (by an excellent and knowledgeable archivist) to handle, document, index, and preserve sensitive documents, books, photos, cards, slides and other forms of media (known in the trade as “ephemera”).  Many times, we’d receive important documents or photos from donors who had laminated them, believing they were archiving these items for future generations. Alas, we saw the results of the lamination damage first-hand:  decades-old items that had been heat-laminated were separating and clouding up, often tearing apart the item inside. Our head archivist likened laminating to a self-destruct mechanism.

Take away? Lamination is a very bad idea for the long-term protection of any print media.

How to archive a QSL card––or any document, for that matter

Archival sleeves come in all forms. This one holds four cards and fits in a three ring binder.

Fortunately, there are effective (and fairly affordable) ways to properly archive and organize your QSL card collection, as well as other sentimental and/or valuable ephemera.

Look for archival transparent sleeves supplied to libraries. These are generally made of polyethylene, mylar/polyester, or another transparent archival material that passes the Photographic Activity Test (PAT).

In short: If you find an archival sleeve, from a reputable seller that passes the P.A.T. test, you’ll know it’s safe.

Archival products are acid-free, lignan-free, and chemical softener-free, thus should not interact or bind with the media you’re preserving as non-acid-free items are prone to do. With anything I wish to archive, I go with archival quality all the way.

For example, I make sure not only the clear sleeves or pages are archival, but that the binder or box containing the items are acid-free and of archival quality, as well. Any labels I use are archival, as well . That may seem like overkill to many, but it’s just what an archivist would do!

Storage of the media is also important; you don’t want to put your cards in archival sleeves and then leave them in a damp shed or shack where moisture can become trapped between your card and the encapsulating archival sleeve; mold could still develop.  So a dry, somewhat temperature-controlled environment is key.  Generally speaking, keeping ephemera indoors where you live may be a better option.

Sources of Archival Materials

A simple acid-free box can store hundreds of QSL cards in archival sleeves sleeves.

Archival products are more expensive than standard office products, but they’re worth it. Make sure you’re purchasing the best quality you can afford. Two of my favorite suppliers are Gaylord Archival and Light Impressions, though there are many other reputable ones out there.

Amazon and eBay offer sources of archival quality products, as well, and pricing can be more competitive than either of the retailers I’ve listed above.

As for myself,  I only buy archival products from retailers that specialize in them. Both Light Impressions and Gaylord Archival have helpful staff you can call on the phone. They’ll help you find the best material for the preservation of your collection of QSL cards or whatever else you may want to protect.

I’d rather support Light Impressions with my purchase knowing that their standards are strict and their reputation rides on their products meeting strict archival standards. If you’re going to pay for something to protect your memorabilia, I say, go for quality!

And in the meantime…give the heat lamination a miss.

Good luck with your long-term archiving!  And don’t forget to share those rare QSL cards with us here.

Richard’s 1998 St. Helena Day QSL Card

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Schreiber (KE7KRF), who shares the following:

Here [above] is the QSL card I received in 2004 for the 1998 St Helena Day shortwave broadcast. There were, I recall, some staff changes and other issues that delayed many reports from being verified, but resubmitted everything in 2004 and they promptly verified.

For the 1998 broadcast I actually phoned the station in St Helena and was put on the air, but unfortunately didn’t record the broadcast.

This is one of my most prized QSLs.

Thank you, Richard. It would be one of my most prized QSLs as well! What a great memory–thank you for sharing!

 

1940 Pearl Harbor QSL card

pearl-harbor-qsl

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Patalon, who shares the following QSL card via Twitter:

Thank you, Bill!