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is an informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

RSGB QSL Manager Changes and issues

QSL cards are the radio amateurs way of saying thank you. These days with postal costs going in to orbit a lot of people are giving up on the traditional QSL card and opting for the electronic alternative. The RSGB QSL bureau is still busy however dealing with hundreds of thousands of cards each year. To make sure you get any cards you are due you need to send stamped addressed envelopes to your particular QSL sub manager and RSGB have just announced the following changes so make sure that if they apply to you that you are up to date...

The G7 volunteer QSL sub manager, Martin Forrester, G7JWR has moved. Please check his new address on the RSGB website members' area before sending C5 size SAEs to collect your cards. Also, MM3 & MM6 licence holders are advised that their sub manager, Ray Simpson, GM7NZI, is stepping down. Our thanks go to him for his service to his fellow amateurs. These two groups are being consolidated with MM1 and MM5 calls under the guidance of long-time manager Brain Shearer, MM1HMV. All outstanding cards and envelopes are being transferred but all new envelopes should now be sent to him. Details on the RSGB website or via e-mail from qslrsgb.org.uk.

This message reminds me that here in the UK we have a little problem with the QSL bureau that needs solving. In fact a complete rethink on how the managers are organised is needed.

Sometime ago I received a message from (I think) Martin Forrester, G7JWR the G7 QSL sub manager, telling me I had cards waiting. That to me seemed strange as my sub manager is not Martin because I live in Wales. The problem is I operate from all over the UK so I could in theory be operating as GW, GM, G, GI, GD or even GU or GJ. So what do I do? Do I hope that everyone checks QRZ.com and sends the cards to my home call or lodge envelopes with each possible sub manager?

At the time I sent a couple of envelopes to Martin but possibly because I only had a couple of cards I never saw them and if I got them tomorrow I would probably need to pay extra postage on them. I also checked on cards sent to me as GM7AAV and sure enough there were some, but I never acted on it and then promptly forgot.

The answer seems obvious that the managers should be dealing with a series that takes no notice of what the prefix is and then this would not happen. Of course if everyone just checked QSZ it would not be an issue, but for stations outside the UK realising that our prefix changes when we cross internal borders is just not going to get through. When I speak to Americans who have never heard of Wales how can I expect them to be familiar with the anomalies in the UK's licencing system.

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