In the past, QSL cards were used to transmit information about e.g. reception quality to transmitting stations.
Nowadays, however, they are mainly used among amateur radio operators and are used as proof of a successful radio connection.
In order to apply for an amateur radio diploma, a certain amount of QSL cards is often required. Amateur radio diplomas are, so to speak, “trophies” for an achieved minimum number of successfully established radio communications according to certain specifications.
A wide variety of fancy and elaborate designs make QSL cards coveted items for collectors.
For QSL cards in amateur radio there are some specifications, so a QSL card should be e.g. between 8.5 cm x 13.5 cm and 10.5 cm x 14.8 cm.
It was also decided by the IARU (International Amateur Radio Union) that the grammage (paper thickness) should be between 170 and 220 g/m² and the size 9 cm x 14 cm. Coding required for sorting should leave at least 1 cm free at the bottom edge.
You have a lot of leeway when designing QSL cards. Only in the design of the back or data page are there important specifications for the structure and the information to be contained.
Missing information or incorrectly entered data, make the QSL card invalid for many diplomas. The following information must be included on QSL cards:
The call sign is assigned by the Federal Network Agency and consists of a specific sequence of letters and digits. Usually the first two characters (ITU prefix) indicate the nationality of the radio station. The country identifier assigned for Germany includes the double letters DA to DR. An amateur radio certificate is required for the assignment of a call sign.
A list of the assigned call signs can be found at the following link.
Assigned call signs can be searched and viewed at the following link.
The call sign of the recipient should be entered in the upper right corner.
The time is given in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).
The difference between Central European Time and Universal Time UTC is +1 hour.
Specification of band or frequency on which the radio communication took place.
To apply for a Deutschland-Diplom (DLD), a QSL card signed by the sender, preferably handwritten and with the first name only, is required.
If there is a QSL manager, it must be listed under or next to the callsign. In countries without an amateur radio association, it serves as an intermediary and the QSL cards are not sent directly to the recipients, but through the QSL manager. Furthermore, he checks received cards for correctness and answers them.
There are practically no restrictions on the design of the front page, but care should be taken to ensure that the content is not offensive, racist, pornographic or similar.
Some QSL cards design examples:
The own callsign and DOK (identification of the local associations used by the German Amateur Radio Club (DARC)) must not be handwritten on the QSL card.
When obtaining new permit classes and consequently changing callsigns, the old callsign must not be changed manually. This QSL cards invalid. The same is true when changing locations. However, QSL cards modified with a stamp are accepted.
If you are experienced in using graphics programs you can use and customize our Photoshop or Illustrator / Corel Draw templates for your QSL cards. These are already created in the correct format. All you have to do is exchange images and data and send the print data to your print shop. You can download the templates from the following links:
Download QSL Cards Photoshop Template: Download
Download QSL Cards Illustrator / Corel Draw template: Download
Choose from a variety of our QSL card templates and fill in your individual data. We offer designs from different categories like retro, cities, modern, maps and we are constantly expanding our archive.
Mostly the QSL cards are collected in QSL offices and sent via the own amateur radio association to the offices of other countries, where they are distributed againrum.
To answer received cards, radio amateurs, with many incoming QSL cards, or from areas with poor postal connection, often use QSL managers.
QSL cards can also be sent directly to the address of the recipient or responsible QSL manager, if the sender requests a quick response.
Occasionally, postage is also requested to save the recipient the cost of the reply.
Choose from one of our many QSL card templates and order online.