Originally Posted by L43dean
The old Schlitz advertisement just brought back my childhood memories of my cousin Art, this was probably around 1968-70, his vacuum tube radios and the fella he spoke with from Western Europe when I was visiting. Wow, I can still remember the call letters/numbers Art had collected from other operators, they would mail these paper ID's to each other after initial contact. Art had several of these on his wall. Just like the artwork. Only his wife, Vivian, was blond. By the way, Art did drink his Schlitz from a glass and the bottles were returned to be re-filled. Cook County deposit you know, 2 cents each. Art wrote "Motorola" repair manuals for a living. Oh well, gotta go fix my turntable.
Those cards are called QSL cards. QSL is radio shorthand for "do you confirm receipt of my transmission?" or "I confirm receipt of your transmission", and a QSL card is a written confirmation of said transmission.
In contests it is very important to get the QSL cards, as it is the proof that the contact was in fact made and confirmed, so awards can be determined. Some examples of awards that can be received are:
WAS--Worked All States
DXCC--Which is 100 countries. This one is kinda hard, and is a boasting right of anyone who gets it, especially if some of the countries are "rare".
The DXCC has been around since 1945 following years of silence during WWII, and is a very sought after award.
Just like a signature, a QSL card identifies the operator. It should tell a little story about the contact, and about the operator in some way shape of form. When Seldom Seen and I did the 14er event a couple years back, I designed a QSL card that had our picture on the top of Mt. Bross to signify where we were. It was pretty cool.
I am glad that today's radios won't block the entire window they sit in front of. Course, there is nothing like the smell of warming tubes on a morning such as today, snow on the ground and frigid. Lets you know you're inside in a warm place.