QSL Card Guidelines

Simply put, a properly completed QSL Card is essential to the 3905 Century Club awards program.

Those just starting out who don't have QSL cards might consider temporarily printing their own using a card image designed by using a free QSL design service. The card images created by these services generally won't provide the ability to enter all of the information called for below, but as a temporary measure you can write in any additional needed info.

QSL cards contain two types of information about a QSO:

  1. Information about the sender's side of the QSO and
  2. Information about the recipient's side of the QSO.

A very helpful powerpoint presentation (also as a pdf file) is provided to walk you throughh all the details

The QSL cards you send need to have the following information included on them (whenever applicable) if they are to be useful toward all of the awards we offer. Be sure to look at the various card variations at the bottom.

  1. Your call sign.
  2. Your location, particularly state (province, country).  Include the city if it's the capital of the state, province, or country.
  3. Indicate if you were Mobile or Portable and where.  In addition to state(s), province(s), country, "where" includes which National Park, and any other location info that may be important to your or someone else's award purposes.
  4. The UTC date of the contact.  Please use DD‑MMM‑YYYY format (04‑Mar‑2015) to avoid confusion between US and DX date formats - DD‑MM‑YY vs MM‑DD‑YY.  Take a date like 01‑02‑03 for example.  Is that 02‑Jan‑2003, 01‑Feb‑2003, or something else that places the year first like 2001‑Mar‑02 or 2001‑Feb‑03?  Write out the month along with a 4-digit year and there's no doubt.
  5. The UTC time of the contact.
  6. The frequency of the net on which the contact was made.  The band is acceptable, but the frequency is usually preferred.  (See next item below.)
  7. QSLs to DX stations operating split must show the band, NOT the frequency.  Stations operate split because they aren't allowed to operate on our net frequency, so a card showing only our net frequency essentially confirms an illegal contact, preventing the DX station from using that card.
  8. The mode of the contact; i.e., SSB, RTTY, PSK or CW.
  9. Indicating something like "75M SSB Early Net" or "75M SSB EN" (etc) is helpful to our Area Awards Managers, but not absolutely necessary.
  10. The call sign of the station you worked.
  11. The signal report sent to the station you worked.  Both the signal report you sent and the signal report you received is preferred... and is necessary if the contact was with a station that wasn't logging.  While it is absolutely false that all mobiles aren't logging, it is best that you make that assumption when completing QSL cards.
  12. Very important!  If the other station was mobile or portable, indicate her mobile/portable status and WHERE she was.  She needs this info on the card for her own awards purposes.
  13. Show on your QSL card any 3905CC Progressive Awards you hold and their Certificate Numbers.  Also any awards with certificate numbers 2, 22 or ending in 02.  Also indicate if you hold a Master's Degree Award and its number.  Some may choose to show additional awards earned, but this isn't required.
  14. If you are a club officer or a VIP, be sure to include the details of that on your card as well.
  15. Your or the other station's QRP status is not absolutely required, but it's good to include it when applicable.
  16. The county you were in is helpful to those who might also want to use the card toward County Hunter awards.  (We do not permit asking for this information on our nets.)

As much as possible the above information should be on one side of the card so that those who submit photocopied cards for awards don't have to photocopy both sides.

Anything else you want to put on your card such as pictures, equipment info... is all good as long as it doesn't interfere with reading the above information.  These are the things that make the card an expression of yourself.  They're not required, but many like to include them and many enjoy seeing them.

The main thing is to be sure to include all of the important and necessary information so your card can be used by the receiving stations toward all of our awards.

Marty Blaise AG5T has put together a comprehensive presentation you can view or download HERE (7.7 MB PDF) which covers all of these details.

The first sample QSL card is shown below.  This card confirms a contact with an individual operator using his personal call sign.

First Sample QSL Card Image


There are a number of Club Stations on our nets and some of them want a card for their contact with you in addition to a card for the contact with the operator of the club call sign.  Those who do not want a card for the contact with the club they are operating will (should) check in as "No Card Needed" or "NCN" or similar.  The second sample QSL following is one example of a QSL for a contact made with a Club Station being operated by a member of the club.  This card is an example of how *ALL* QSLs for contacts with club call signs should be filled out.  To prevent wasting envelopes at the bureau with extra unneeded cards to clubs with "NCN" status, a reminder the contact was made can be put on the QSL to the operator's personal call sign something like "Tnx also for QSO with club WC5LUB" or just "Also ur club WC5LUB."  That should be sufficient to remind that you also need a card from the club.

Second Sample QSL Card Image

In this case the operator of the club call is KC2PUF.  It is important to put all the appropriate calls on the QSL card in order to get a correct card back.  If you are QSLing someone operating a club call sign and fail to put the personal call sign of the operator on the card ("Op: KC2PUF" in the example above) our QSL Bureaus will return the card to you.