CQ CQ CQ – #HamRadio Saturday – QSO / QSL Card 1st Draft

ham radio badassLast week I mentioned that I – who am not yet proficient in Morse Code – used my iPhone app to decode some signals that I picked up.  I heard people from Maine and Oklahoma.

This week I set up my Buddistick antenna for the 20m band and found quite a few CW contacts going on as well as some phone.  I heard a fellow from Florida speaking to someone in Virginia but I couldn’t catch the callsigns.  There was a lot of distortion and they came in and out. I also heard a fellow in N. Carolina, got his call, and sent him an email, to which he responded.

Once again, hams are pretty nice folks.

Last week I also mentioned that I will have to make a QSL card pretty soon. I have a first draft.

As far as I can tell, QSO / QSL cards tend to fall into the categories of starkly utilitarian or personalized with some image that says something about the ham.  So, I came up with this for the front (using GIMP).


And, no, I haven’t forgotten about a possible vanity call.

Now I need a good template for all the technical stuff which goes on the back.

The ever helpful WB0YLE sent me a link to SuperAntenna, which looks great!  It would suit my needs well, I think.  It looks versatile and, above all, easily portable.  I can see one in my stars.

Also, I had a long Echolink rag chew last weekend with an American priest who lives in Poland.  He was back in these USA for a short stint for a parental visit.  Having no gear, he uses Echolink.  So, thank to Fr. N2FCH (also SQ3SWS) for that chat.

I will turn on my Echolink program for a while today while at my computer.

It’s homily prep continuation today (EF and maybe also OF on Sunday!)  If you are a ham, you can use Echolink.  Install the program and send your call sign in for a password.  Easy.

Also, I am building a list of hams who frequent this blog:


  • acardnal KE4WKV
  • Joan W4JMJ
  • BMKoenig K3BMK
  • chris1 KJ4MPE
  • crule N4TII
  • Bryan Boyle WB0YLE
  • Andy Lucy KG4ZMF
  • Navy Jeff KC9TCZ
  • pledbet424 WB0MZT
  • Kenneth Jones KB3JA/BY
  • asperges G4NJH
  • Dan Soderlund KBØEO
  • Hesiodos AD7QQ
  • MWindsor – KT5WX
  • dahveed – KD8ZIB
  • FloridaJoan – W4JMJ
  • Jilly – WA4CZD
  • jpaluh – KB3LUE
  • Humilitas – KC4RAC
  • Jeffc – AC5XL
  • pledbet424 – WB0MZT
  • Patrick L – AG4JQ
  • Dr Guinness – VK3SJB
  • MacBride – KC2MEO
  • Evan C – N5EDC
  • boxerpaws1952 – N3XFQ
  • chris_R – N3GBJ
  • Jack – W1JEM
  • Julia12 – KC9ALW
  • moon123 – KB9VSE
  • Pearl – KC8JSL
  • OK_doc – KF5THY
  • Baritone – KD5AYJ
  • ByzCath08 – W8GMN
  • Mojoron – K0CCP
  • Deacon Bob – W8CRO
  • Incensum – N9WIV
  • SimonsDad – KB1WOL
  • O. Possum – KC1BGU
  • Curt – AF7KQ
  • Arthur – KD9BRV
  • jeff_logullo – N0MII
  • ckamas – AD6CL


  • Fr. David McGuire AE4LH
  • frdanbecker WA1ZHQ
  • Rev. Canon Glenn Gardner K9ALT
  • plaf26 – KC0GA
  • Fr. Bryan – KD8ZFF
  • starprst- AB4TS
  • Fr. J. Stefanski – SQ3SWS / N2FCH
  • Fr. Paul A. – Cannariato KB2TJY

There must be more of you!


And since The Phantom went over well last week…

phantom ham radio operator








I used a little of the afternoon to hang out on the 20m band and listen to CW contacts.   Some of them go by pretty fast.

I think there was a contest or something going on.  I heard calls from California, Western Canada, Puerto Rico, and sundry places in between.

Since I have no QSL card yet, I looked up some callsigns and sent a couple dozen emails telling the hams that I heard them and what my equipment is.  I figured that’s at least nice to know, if it isn’t exactly the right protocol to follow in these matters.   Since I don’t have a Morse key, I couldn’t exactly chime in.  Who knows if I have enough power to reach!

Some day.

In the meantime, still working on those dots and dashes.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. pledbet424 says:

    It seems the super antenna is very similar to the buddistick you already own. Another antenna to consider that is very user friendly is the End Fedz. I’ve used mine for years and love it.

  2. jilly says:

    There is a sked page for the Straight Key Century Club (great free org for hams who like straight morse code keys) and for the FISTS CW Club (FISTS International Morse Preservation Society another great org). One can schedule slow CW QSOs or just announce freqs where one is going to be calling….

  3. QSL backs: http://kb3ifh.homestead.com/qslbacks.html

    I use #14; lets you capture the QSO info, as well as has the requisite space to handwrite the address. Look on the back of the cards I sent you for our QSO a couple months ago…#2 is also quite nice. I like the old school picture on the front, info on the back style. Looks good when you start hanging them on the wall.

    Randy KB3IFH is set up to handle anything you need.

    Love the photo you chose, by the by.

    73 es gud dx de WB0YLE

  4. Allan S. says:

    Hi Father,

    General info for all after connecting with Mr. Boyle…I try to login to the EchoLink Cafe node (WB0YLE) every evening at 7pm until we can get a net going. I’m on now….

    Also…please add me to the list!

    Allan S.

  5. Allan S. says:

    Correction, 9pm not 7 :)

    Also love the QSL Card father. I can’t afford any HF gear, so it’s silent 2m and 440 repeaters for me…. And the Cafe of course, which Bryan advised was also linked to RF repeaters in the morning.

  6. MWindsor says:

    Hi Fr. Z,

    As to having enough power to reach someone, I’ve gotten a couple of contacts over 5500 miles on 5 watts. Several over 4500 miles. Conditions have to be good, but it is possible.



  7. love the card. btw. wait until there is a meteor shower. that is very interesting.
    73’s at one time-> N3XFQ (license expired) maybe someday will give it another try.
    for now, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

  8. ckamas says:

    Time for me to stand up and be counted. DE AD6CL, Chuck Kamas…. long time reader, 1st time poster. Welcome to the world of Amateur Radio! I have enjoyed your articles about your on the air activities, and hope to see more.


    [Thanks for chiming in!]

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