Sunday, April 20, 2014

Printing your own QSL cards using HAMQSLer

Anyone who knows me well may be slightly taken aback to find me writing about QSL cards! Each to their own, but it's a part of the hobby that really doesn't appeal to me at all. However, I've always said that I think it's nice to be able to QSL contacts which are special to you in some way.

And so it was, I felt, the other day when I worked Berend, PA3ARK on FO-29. Berend often inspires me to try something new and so I thought it might be nice to try and create a QSL to commemorate the QSO.

I looked around and found the HAMQSLer program from VA3HJ. I managed to get past the 'the final courtesy of a QSO is a QSL'statement at the top of the website! In my opinion, the final courtesy of a QSO is to say 73, but therein lies why I find myself at odds with the 'every contact must be QSLed' brigade!

The program is free to download and I found it well-designed and easy to use. I did have to install the Microsoft .Net framework 4.5.1 and install it on my PC before I could install the software.

I was able to import a background image of a photo of our village church to use. I really had wanted to try and use one of the aerial photographs I took of the village when I flew over in G3WGV's aircraft a couple of years back. However, I found the colours didn't really lend themselves to overlaying text on top of the photo. Actually, I'm sure a more artistically gifted person would have managed, but I opted for the easy approach - one where I had a nice blue sky, where I could place most of the text.

I found that I was able to setup various static text fields and create a QSOs box, which could be populated  from an ADIF file from my logger.

After a bit of resizing and trying various options, I was ready to import my ADIF records. I did tweak the Mode field in the ADIF record, so that I could show that the QSO took place on a satellite. The logger, of course, records that I was (in this case) transmitting on 144MHz, but not that it was a satellite QSO. I wanted this to be clear, so I amended the Mode field in the ADIF field to say CW Via FO-29, which I thought was clearer.

Here's what it produced, which I am quite pleased with. Of course, it looks much better on screen than on my slightly dodgy printer, which is normally just used for printing text. Nothing to stop me putting it onto a USB stick, though and taking it into the local photo printing establishment before popping into the post to Berend!


SV1GRN said...

Dear Tim I wish you Happy Easter.
Qsl card printing programms are interesting but, my suggestion is try LOTW and keep the shack paperless. LOTW can save trees and in the same time the bureau staff will have more time for qso's!

DXDIGGER said...

Here one I created with the program


Tim said...

Hi Mark! Excellent! It's a handy program - nice to be able to create some 'one-off' QSLs if needed.

73, Tim

G4FUI said...

I don't think you will be all that surprised to learn that I'm on your side of the fence regarding the "final courtesy of a QSO is a QSL" business! One can only fill so many shoe - boxes with them! As you so rightly say, each to their own ...

g4fre said...

Thanks for pointing out this software. I was working out to make 1 card to respond to a request for confirmation for a qso in jun 2000 for a guy in North Dakota who said I was his only Texas QSO ever! This allowed me to do a "one off" easily as all the WW2R cards are in england now.
Its very similar to the WB8RCR programme i used many years ago in win3.1 ! I still use his dial making programme.



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