V31AX Paul (VE3AXT) has been in Belize for the last few weeks just operating holiday mode. Here is Paul’s QSL card preview. Paul says that he will be back in Belize next year!
Archive - February 2016
There are many radio amateurs that are also DXpedition activators that also handle their own QSL management. To help you budget and meet your QSL’ing chores economically and quickly the United Radio QSL Management Bureau have a few tools that can assist you.
So if you are planning an IOTA, DXCC or just a holiday DXpedition and want to manage your own QSL’ing, then this will be of interest to you.
The first point I want to make quite clear is that postage stamps are best used for sending aunty Caroline a birthday card, they should not be used for sending DXpedition mailings. Let me introduce you to “OBA”
OBA – An Online Business Account was set up with Royal Mail some years ago, designed specifically for UK based QSL managers and DXpedition Teams so that they can post QSL mailings more cost effectively and also quicker than using conventional stamps.
Each QSL manager acts as an independent mailing house with access via the www.RoyalMail.com website from anywhere in the UK with a Posting Location Licence number from the Royal Mail.
1) The weights and quantities of mail are entered on an online order form and an invoice is raised.
2) “Postage Paid Imprint” labels are put onto the envelopes instead of stamps. Or the PPI can be printed directly onto your envelopes.
3) You take the mail to your local Post Office in a mail tray with the invoice and the mailing is complete.
4) Payment is made directly to me, as account holder, and should be paid the same day as the invoice is raised.
FULL training can be provided, a simple 15 minute session on the phone or skype is usually all that is needed. Materials are provided free by Royal Mail. The only extra cost for you are the labels and ink for your printer.
So what does all that save you? Well a considerable amount of time saving on your QSL’ing chores, so more time for the radio! On small mailings there is approximately 30 – 40% saving on UK stamp prices, which I consider proof enough on its own!
For the larger scale DXpeditions we have access to the biggest discounts on mailings to all destinations so if you have more than 1.5 kg of mail (150 letters) going to say USA, Japan, Germany, Italy, Spain and so on, you get a significantly bigger discount, in fact up to 50 – 78% saving on UK stamp prices to those countries. This is called Max Sort product, but in return for the discount you must separate the countries mail and put it into mail bags with the routing bag label. In the case of the USA the letters are sorted into Zip Code area. I use this system for all the major DXpeditions that I am manager for. The mail bags then go directly to the (HIDC) Heathrow International Distribution Centre for forwarding on the next flight.
There is no penalty for letters weighing over 10g so even if you have a double QSL for example the QSL cards I sent for 9M4SLL, EP6T, E30FB the letters weighs 15g but the cost of posting is significantly lower than stamps.
How does all this work then? With all the UK QSL managers working together we can combine our annual postal expenses. To get access to the International contract we need an annual net spend of £5k per annum, to get access to Max Sort contract we need a net spend of £10k per annum on International mailing products.
The savings are so significant to the QSL’ing that since April 2013 we have sent over 83,000 items and saved over £30,000 on UK stamp prices.
QSL Management Team If you would rather let us handle all or some of your QSL management requirements you are welcome to drop us a line to discuss this with you further.
This is not just for the UK either, both myself Tim M0URX, and Charles M0OXO are QSL managers for some major International DX Teams. The level of management provided can be tailored to each DXpedition on an individual basis.
Outgoing QSL Bureau The savings made have funded our own Outgoing QSL Bureau. All IARU bureaus are sent a package 3 or 4 times a year. This is crucial to providing an excellent service for everyone to ensure the fast flow of cards around the world. Bureau does not have to mean slow! All our parcels are sent using Air Mail Business Class to arrive in 7 working days to the IARU bureau.
This is open to anyone to use for a charge £6 per kg, or FREE for DXpeditions only if you use our full QSL service.If you are planning a DXpedition and want more information please contact:
Whether you are planning a one man DXpediiton to the Channel Islands or a major Top 10 Most Wanted, we have many options for you to consider.
The A35T DXpedition is now packed up and ready to go. We will have three stations running Elecraft K3 transceivers with a KX3 as a backup radio, two Elecraft KPA500 amps, an Expert Amp 1.3, three KIO hex beams 20 through 6, and four Spiderpoles for the lower frequencies. We anticipate having our stations on 160 – 30 MHz during night hours, and the hex beams for 20 – 6 meters during daylight hours. We hope to be able to provide Qs on 160 to EU to fill the great need for that band. Our operation is scheduled for 18 – 28 February, not the 24th as previously reported. Even though K5NA and K5DU will be tending to a family emergency and not able to make the trip, we hope to have guest op Hiro A31MM, who recently moved to Tonga, joining us during our stay.
You may remember the problem regarding letters routed to the USA being returned by the USPS endorsed:
”RETURN TO SENDER, NOT DELIVERABLE AS ADDRESSED UNABLE TO FORWARD”
Yet every letter is correctly addressed & No change of address has required forwarding.
I am STILL experiencing the same problem even though I am formatting the addresses to USPS specifications.
All returned letters I have had back, have been posted again at no cost to the DX’er.
The problem is clearly with the software on USPS sorting machines, remember mail is no longer hand sorted.
I am sure that USPS are not even aware of the software problem, sadly they also don’t seem to care as all my emails for the last two years have gone unanswered. Just not good enough USPS! Please help!