Saturday, 8 January 2011

eQSL- why are so many hams so "sniffy" about it?

Apropos of nothing, today I received one of the occasional EMails I get say that there was an "eQSL" awaiting me at

When I logged in I was greeted with the news that my membership had been "downgraded" (in other words I hadn't made a financial contribution for over a year), so I duly fired up the PayPal screen and bunged them a few quid, as I have always thought that this service has been worth supporting. No big deal.

However this prompted a mental process which recalled all the "please no eqsl" messages I had seen scrolling across the screen whilst operating PSK modes, and I thought to myself "Why the heck not?".

It's completely understandable view from someone who has no PC or internet connection, but my experience is that the vast majority of hams across the world are now connected to the 'net, and therefore by definition (almost) must have a PC available to assist them in their hobby. Certainly virtually every PSK operator has a PC, as that is how that mode usually operates!

I realise that there are "issues" with eQSL not being "acceptable for awards", probably due to "authenticity" issues, (from the point of view of one who _doesn't_ chase awards), but on the whole I find it a splendid service; easy to use, inexpensive (you can use the system completely FREE OF CHARGE if you wish, albeit with some limitations in functionality, which I think is a pretty fair deal), and reliable (I can't recall any service outages over the period I have been using it).

The "accepted" alternative is the ARRL's LotW (Logbook of the World), which, apparently addresses the "authenticity" issues, but which is an absolute pain-in-the-arse to use (IMHO), and doesn't produce any kind of "QSL card" which eQSL does. When my LotW account needed revalidating recently, I had a heck of a job remembering and working out just how I was supposed do do it, and although I got there in the end, I was almost on the point of giving up before I hit on the correct combination of actions.

Some hams like to plaster their shack walls, or fill shoeboxes with pieces of cardboard commemorating contacts - I'm not included in this list, being perfectly happy to have a line in a logbook, or an electronic record such as provides, and I accept that it "takes all sorts", but "PSE NO EQSL" does seem to be a "dog in a manger" attitude to me!

One entry I came across the other day stated that paper QSL cards were "honourable", and implying therefore the eQSLs were not. I think you can tell that I do not share this opinion.

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