Homegrown QSL cards for those memorable contacts

Amateur-radio operators are known for cobbling together useful pieces of stuff from parts in the old junk box — so named in part, I gather, because back in the day, you could disassemble an old junked  TV set or radio and have enough parts to build a nice little transmitter and receiver.

That do-it-yourself approach can also apply to non-electronic accessories, such as the ever-popular QSL card — cards hams swap (even in the age of eQSL and LoTW) when they want to verify contacts with other hams.

I’ve been having fun with Dick Pav’s (K2RFP) free QSL design program. And while I haven’t unlocked all its secrets yet, I’ve seen some pretty nice cards folks have made using the free program. Yep, free, as in free coffee on that long drive home New Year’s Eve (although Dick doesn’t object to a donation).

I pulled the card up above together using a photo from a recent trip to Maine, ayuh, for the art. Although the program is designed for Windows, I used it on Linux via a program called Wine.

I have no vested interest in the program, so I have no hesitation in giving Dick a  good-on-ya for making this program available as freeware.

You betchya other programs exist. Or you can put something together using OpenOffice.org’s Impress or MSOffice’s PowerPoint.

But for getting started with a simple, stand-alone program dedicated to making QSLs, this one is hard to beat, even if you elect to move to something more sophisticated later.

Operating temporarily from some place unusual? A converted outhouse? The town park? Rolling your own QSL card makes it a snap to quickly tailor a card for those contacts that reflects the unique operating location. Dick’s program, or someone elses, give it a try!

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