F6EXV’s Blog

Comments and thoughts about the DX scene

Money and ham radio

Hello !

As a frequent reader of DX World of Ham Radio page, I was reading the web page of the XR0ZN upcoming DXpedition, and was devastated by the content.

That page (http://www.la6fja.eu/dx/XR0ZN/) is a disgrace to ham spirit as it talks money while it is not even mentioning the anticipated operating frequencies. How can a real ham plan a DXpedition with just money in mind ?

I know by personal experience that DXpeditioning is expensive but :

1/ If I cannot afford to go places, I just do not go

2/ If I can find sponsors, that is great, but  many people would love to travel for free

3/ Ham spirit includes the confirmation of QSO by paper card, considering not everyone has internet access, and less so are participating in the LoTW program. I remember the days when I was a beginner DXer. I was a student and could not afford to QSL direct a lot, even for expensive DXpeditions that gave me new countries. My choice was quick card direct, or slower card via bureau.

Nowadays, look at all the operations that will not provide bureau confirmations. To just name a few of the recent ones : all the HVs, all the 1A, 9L0W, ZA0/Is, SX5P, the Spanish guys on FJ, the upcoming expedition to Mogador Island, and so on.

Maybe the IARU member societies are partly responsible for that situation, as they will not forward the cards for people that are not members. One question is : If I (member of my national society) go some place, I am still a member, and the QSOs I make while on DXpedition could have been made from home. So membership should apply to an individual, not to a callsign. It is a different situation if I manage someone else.

Let us imagine a ham friend of mine operates from Djibouti and asks me to take care of his cards. I would find it absolutely normal that he should be a member so he can use the services provided to HIS benefit. In fact, the REF works that way :

The cards for my operation (along with JR2KDN) as TO5FJ could be dealt with by the REF bureau, while cards for 5V7BR can be sent and received via the REF bureau through his manager (F2VX)provided he (5V7BR) is a member.

I am told that the ARI or the JARL will only provide the QSL bureau services to their members and their single main callsign. I do not know if this is correct. Some managers are not even member of their own national society (RW6HS comes to mind, but there are plenty others)… Why are they managers ?

I feel really sad to see the growing influence of money into the hobby. Aren’t people forgetting they once were beginners ?

When will ARRL as one of the leading participant on the DX scene (obviously because of the DXCC program) SET AND IMPLEMENT rules to fight this growing influence of money ? Is giving priority QSL for the “payers” in the true ham spirit ?

Sponsorship should be an option, a choice, not an obligation.




April 14, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Hi Paul,

    I had a look at the XR0ZN page, and I fully agree. These guys treat our hobby as a business and thereby got it all totally wrong. No business I will buy.
    As you state – and I agree from my own experience – if you do not have the money then do not go. I for sure will not blame anyone for that.

    If you read the XR0ZN page carefully however, it suggests that if return postage is missing then a card via the bureau will be sent. So I guess sending a card to them via the bureau will yield a bureau card in return.

    There is already a QSL managers creed (http://www.qsl.net/qslmanagers/index_files/Page379.htm) stating that the bureau always should be an option. So it should be easy for sponsoring entities to refer to that.


    — Enno, PF5X

    Comment by pf5x | April 15, 2009 | Reply

  2. Salut Paul,

    Fully agree with you Paul !
    But money won the radio spirit, i’ve contacted JD1BMM and saw the QRZ infos:

    IOTA OC-073 Minami-Torishima.

    I do not reply to SAE which does not follow a manner.
    SAE is IRC and the same size.
    No large or long size SAE.
    Write your CALL SIGN on the back side of SAE.
    Don’t write plural log data in QSL.
    2 new green stamps for 1 QSO.
    Exhibit it with AIR MAIL or PAR AVION in sae.
    In SAE, please write a name as your address intelligibly carefully.

    QSL to JD1YBJ please do a similar procedure

    2$ FOR 1 QSO !!!! wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

    for me it’s incredible, that’s why i don’t do QSL…

    Au plaisir de discuter encore avec toi comme on l’a fait a Castres

    Comment by Olivier | April 15, 2009 | Reply

  3. Hello dear radiofriend Paul

    I fully agree with you. All the big DXpeditions will normally QSL via the bureau among the other ways of QSLing.
    Some of them, like XR0ZN, might not. I beleive it’s OK with anyone, as long as they say that they either QSL via bureau or not, whatever. What I can not understand is managers that clearly say they QSL via bureau but they don’t, like EA7FTR for example (QSL manager for the year 2005, member of QSL Maagers Society, manager to more than 150 stations).
    He asked me 6 IRCs to confirm 10 different stations, never answered to direct QSL request with 1 green ( he wanted 2).
    These guys want to make a living out of QSLing, out of our pockets. And ofcourse there is the problem of big stations that dont QSL like K1LZ and others.
    Anyway I believe we have to boycott these guys , dont work their stations during the contests, dont send to unreliable managers, direct QSL requests and always talk to other hams about these guys letting them know. I like QSL cards and I collect them. I have sent via the Greek bureau more than 30000 cards to hams allover the globe. After all “The final courtesy of the QSO is the QSL card”

    73s de SV3DCX Panos

    Comment by Panos | April 16, 2009 | Reply

  4. Hi guys,

    well I got this commentlink from a very good friend today. You are totally wrong or misunderstanding about this case.

    1.The webpage have coming out for and it is not finished, it was just a rough copy. Yesterday I sat for 2 hours to make it up so I could publish to the crew members. IT WAS NOT FINISHED!

    2.We are not going to make living out of QSLing. I do all QSL via bureau 100 %, all QSL direct is replied as I was OY/LA6FJA last year.

    3. It’s not prohibited to have a Donation button on the web

    4. If you dont know the post taxes in Norway is really higher than other countires. so in case to not pay 1€ or 1-2 $ to return a QSL to the receiver we announce this, like it or not. Our experience is that people consider 1 $ is enough, but we cannot pay postage of each QSL.

    5 . yes we love to travel,if you need to rent a boat or privat aeroplance to get access to the island with heavy radio amateur equipment. Common flights have cutted down the weight today.

    So next time take your time to investigate more before talk bad about us, the web was just on the scetch board. I do like comments please, but in correct correspodence.

    If this is a disgrace or not to ham spirit, we do love ham radio and dxpeditioning and Contesting. And it is really lovely to be in the right end of the pile up, and we made S9LA few year ago and also 3G0YP-3G0YM.

    We are hams and we must use the radio, dont whine around and check what other people doing wrong. Is making a bad environment and QSO procedours on radio, if you have listening on previously VK9DGW etc. lot of frequency policies and QRG Jammer…

    Have a nice day, the wbe site is now updated and will be edited so its not look like what you believe.

    Comment by LA6FJA Rag | April 17, 2009 | Reply

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