Improving my QSL workflow with cqrlog / 2016-04-24 - Koos van den Hout

2016-04-24 10 months ago
Outgoing QSL cards
Outgoing QSL cards
Radio amateurs are supposed to keep a logbook of all contacts (although it is not a legal requirement anymore!) and part of the amateur community likes confirming contacts with QSL cards. The term QSL is from the Q codes in radio which date back to radio telegraphy on ships. QSL as an answer means I am acknowledging receipt. I have my own QSL card for my old callsign PD4KH and I will need a new batch for PE4KH some day.

To save on the costs of sending those cards there are QSL bureaus in the world. I submit my cards to the Dutch QSL Bureau via my radio club and eventually cards for me end up at my radio club. I have sent out numbers of QSL cards and received numbers of QSL cards.

Since I use CQRLOG for the logging of my radio contacts that is also where I manage the outgoing cards and log the incoming cards (and confirmations via eQSL or Logbook of The World). And CQRLOG can automate the creation of outgoing cards, read How to process QSO after a contest and print QSL labels which also helped me get locator info added to logged contacts. I still had a number of QSL cards to write for PD4KH so I had a look at the labelling options to help me get this done with less clicking and typing and get more cards out the door. The fun part is that CQRLOG exports a csv file with the details and leaves the creation of labels to the merge options in gLabels. Both pieces of software do one thing good and leave the other details to other software: the unix approach!

As a first step I just printed a 'cheat sheet' with the details of the contacts I wanted to write a card for. Then I used that printout to write cards which was easier than doing it from the screen. But it was clear there is a future in which I print labels for my QSL cards with all the details filled in. Time to find labels which are just the right size for the part of the card where I fill in the details. And labels to put the right callsign on the PD4KH cards.

One detail: callsigns printed on the cards will need a slashed zero. The default font used by gLabels doesn't do that, but I can look for better fonts.

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