One part of Ham Radio that really excites the kids is sending and receiving QSL cards to and from other Hams that they have talked to on the radio. Ham Radio operators have been sending these cards as confirmation of their contacts (QSO’s) since the beginnings of Ham Radio. These cards provide information about the time, date, frequency, and mode of communication used to make the contact. They can be as simple as a black and white card, all the way to fancy full-color glossy cards, such as the ones that the kids have pictured on this page, or anything in between.
In addition to collecting QSL cards, some Hams like to collect stamps from other parts of the world as well. Often, QSL cards from other countries have interesting stamps on the envelopes! Hope (KM4IPF) received an envelope from Canada that was full of things like stickers, Canada playing cards, a Canadian flag, and more cool stuff! Look below for Hope’s video about this treasure trove of cool stuff.
There is another reason for collecting QSL cards. If you’re one of the many Ham Radio operators who want to earn awards like WAS (Worked All States), DXCC (DX Century Club, which is earned by confirming contacts with 100 or more DX countries), you will need to prove that you really talked to those Hams. QSL cards are one way to support your claim for the award. Some Hams have hundreds of cards displayed on the walls of their their ham shacks, while others may keep them in a photo album or old shoe box. Wherever they are stored or displayed, QSL cards tend to be a special part of the Ham Radio hobby for most hams.
Our QSL cards are coming from Randy, KB3IFH. We met him at the Dayton Hamvention in 2015 and he had lots of really cool looking cards displayed at his table. We were surprised to see Zechariah’s WX4TVJ card on his table! Daddy had gotten in touch with Randy before we went to Dayton to see if he would be able to print our QSL card designs (yes, he can), and he liked Zechariah’s QSL card with the F4U-4 Corsair on it so much that he printed out a sample! Once the kids have earned enough money to have the cards printed, they will have cards with the designs pictured on this page.
The kids designed their QSL cards themselves (with a bit of Photoshop help from Daddy). KM4IPF’s card has a game with hidden Ham Radio items in the photo. Click on her QSL card and see if you can find all seven of the items! The kids love the Despicable Me movies and the girls wanted to incorporate Minions into their QSL Cards. Zechariah (WX4TVJ) is a future airplane designer and he found this photograph of Korean War Hero and asked owner Jim Tobul, who is also a Ham (KE4YUM) for permission to use a photograph of this incredible aircraft on his QSL card. Jim replied that he was honored to have his airplane on a QSL card! Zechariah got to see Jim and Korean War Hero in person at Sun-N-Fun 2016 in Lakeland, FL!