The United Radio QSL Bureau is a service to assist DXpedition Teams send their QSL mailings at discounted postal costs, so that the team can divert finances to where they are most needed at the DXpedition.
United Radio QSL Bureau has a rather unique international mailing contract with Royal Mail, which has been tailored for the use of UK QSL Management.
The international mailing contract allows our QSL managers to send QSL cards using Business Air Mail for fast delivery of QSL cards Worldwide at Royal Mail’s most competitive international rates.
Our UK based QSL managers have an instant access to the Online Business Account from where ever they are situated in the United Kingdom.
We can deal with all your DXpedition QSL management requirements. Please contact me for further information.
The latest log update 1,579 Q’s from Andy 5Z4VJ has been uploaded to Bespoke OQRS.
Andy reports: 5Z4VJ – update – I will be moving QTH this week to a different location in Nairobi so likely to be off the air for a while. All antennas down here now. 170k QSOs in the log. Many thanks all. Especially to Tim, @M0URX for handling all the QSLs!
Continuing with our Blog Series exploring the features of Bespoke OQRS and how you as a DX’er or DXpedition Team can use our tools and features to enhance your DX experience. Today we look at the Band Activity Module / Live logging tool which is available for any of the managed call signs on Bespoke OQRS. This feature can be enabled on our “Logsearch Configuration” tool by the QSL manager.
Many DX’peditions like to use a live logging feature which Bespoke OQRS can provide. Live logging can only be a consideration if the location of the DX’pedition has a reliable internet or satellite connection. Many high latitude locations such as Southern Ocean / Antarctic DX’peditions may not have access to satellites that have a reliable connection. Out in the field on DX is a completely different scenario to operating from home few understand that on many islands there is no internet or satellite to upload logs.
If the Band Activity Module / Live Logging is enabled move the mouse over the green spot to see the TX and RX QRG of the station. If no QSO broadcast and received by system for more than 5 minutes than the green colour changes to yellow. It means that the station QRX or lost the network. After 15 minutes if no QSO received the station considered inactive or not connected to the network. If all spots are grey, then no operation or the internet connection is lost at the DX station side.
For our DX’pedition clients using our N1MM-OQRS Gateway, set up is easy. In the event of an interruption to satellite / internet connection the gateway offers unattended operation, (by which I mean that the team do not have to monitor the system for continued operation, leaving all the team for on air activity) so the QSOs are stored in the buffer as soon as the internet connection lost. The upload process of the QSOs from the buffer to the OQRS database will automatically start when the internet connection is restored and the next QSO is logged. Also possible to upload and empty the buffer manually.
Enjoy your DX experience using the tools and features of Bespoke OQRS. Please contact me for more information.
Over the last week we have seen how Bespoke OQRS prepares your envelope to maximize the safe transit of your QSL, and seen how Bespoke OQRS manages your LoTW uploads in many different scenarios for ALL call signs managed on the system.
For a QSL manager one of the biggest jobs to deal with especially during a major DX’pedition is handling the “Missing / Busted call inquiries” in the past this has meant trawling through hundreds or on occasions thousands of emails in the course of the DX’pedition. Here at UR QSL Bureau we no longer accept any emails about logs, it is all done on the Bespoke OQRS Log search page.
HOW and WHEN to use NIL? Button
- The first thing you MUST always do when you search for your call sign, is to check the “Last QSO date and time” this is very clear in red text on the log search page.
- IF the log search is older than your QSO you must WAIT for the next log update.
- But if the missing QSO is older than the last upload, I would recommend to work again to have a good QSO in the log.
If the expedition is over and expected QSO is not found there is a button on log search called. “NOT IN LOG?”
- Here you will find the “Log Check Request Form” You can either upload an ADIF with the missing QSO data which is automatically sent to the queue or you can fill in the form and also add up to 200 characters for “pertinent information”
- Your inquiry will be sent to my work queue where your inquiry is interactively connected to the logs where i can easily check for log data issues.
- Work again on the same Band/Mode or wait for sending the log check request after the end of DXpedition. The NIL? Button is not available until the OQRS is enabled, usually at the end of operation.
Always remember to be polite, do not be aggressive, missing or busted calls are all part of DX, there are many reasons why this happens.
Emails will not be accepted as you will be sent back to OQRS. This is the best way to deal with inquiries. Our team working through the queue may be anywhere in the world. With your inquiry on Bespoke OQRS we will handle it as soon as we can.
DX’peditions usually recommend that if you are NIL try again for a good QSO, but only call if YOU can hear the DX!
In the last blog entry we have seen how Bespoke OQRS design has optimized the QSL envelope to ensure a high percentage of delivery around the world. Now let’s look at another feature of Bespoke OQRS that is very important to both DXpeditions and DX’ers using OQRS.
Express LoTW feature on Bespoke OQRS
What is Express LoTW? It is a feature that has several configurations set for the type of DX activity.
The configuration of the “Express LoTW” will be taken from the QSL Policy of the DX Team. The QSL manager will then implement the policy through the OQRS Configuration tool on Bespoke OQRS.
- Log updates to Bespoke OQRS for most call signs will be configured to queue ALL LoTW for immediate upload.
- Some major DX’peditions have Pre-Donor Sponsors. An Excel file from the team will be uploaded to Bespoke OQRS prior or during the DXpedition. ALL QSOs for those Pre-Donors call signs will be uploaded to LoTW as each daily log is uploaded. Any QSL requirements of the donors will also be populated at this stage without any work needed to be done by the QSL manager saving a lot of manual labour.
- Also for the major DX’peditions, once an OQRS Direct QSL Request has been initiated, the “Express LoTW” feature will automatically queue the LoTW for uploading to LoTW.
- There are many DX’ers out there that do not want the QSL, but DO want the LoTW upload and wish to donate to the DXpetition. So some DXpeditions may choose to utilise the “Express LoTW” as an alternative / addition to the QSL request. This can be configured if required.
The one question i get asked the most is “When will I be uploading to LoTW?”
The answer is “I” won’t be! Bespoke OQRS uploads to LoTW. Check the QSL Policy of the DX call sign and you will see when the LoTW will be uploaded.
Postal systems will always have a few letters that get lost for many reasons, incorrect address, badly written addresses, incorrect format, machines damaging letters, incorrect delivery, although mail theft now is so low that it hasn’t even figured in my losses for many years.
Working with the Royal Mail gave me an insight to why mail goes missing, I realized that there are many ways that we can minimize losses of QSL mailings dramatically by understanding how it all works.
Letters are no longer hand sorted, well very few are anyway. Letters are machine read and machine sorted. So it is critical that you follow these guidelines. So, let’s be clear!
We have designed our Bespoke OQRS with all this in mind to get the QSL to YOU safely. Learning from mail that has been returned especially from the USA where the sorting machines are often not able to sort mail that is not formatted correctly.
As automation increases globally to ever faster and better AI, the more formatting will change in time.
- Envelopes should always have the recipients address in the lower left of the envelope.
- Addresses should be printed (not handwritten) using Arial 12 point as the preference.
- Return address in small print on top left of envelope.
- Left align the text (no centered or ‘stepped’ lines).
- Stamp or mailing imprint top right of envelope.
- Always use the full address including the full digits of Zip Code and your country name.
- Addresses should be written in the format that the machines recognize. There is a very good help page on Royal Mail website for this purpose. These formats take into consideration how mail is machine read in the destination country.
- Use standard C6 envelopes 80 – 100 gsm. No other size or shape.
- Avoid copying PayPal addresses which are often in local language and type that can’t be read by sorting machines.
- Every postal authority will have its recommendations such as here at USPS. My specific instructions above are for the sending of QSL cards in envelopes from wherever you are posting from in the World.
Here at the United Radio QSL Bureau we have very few letters that go missing due to our work in QSL management over the years. If for whatever reason your letter from us does not arrive let us know as soon as possible. But please be polite!
As of 2021, there are 9 radio amateurs who actually live permanently on the island and who are also active.
Apart from that at least six PJ4-callsigns were issued to amateurs who live outside Bonaire, but who have an address on the island, so the group have decided to start their own radio club — Bonaire Amateur Radio Club (BAR: club callsign is PJ4BAR).
The club meets weekly at the Tera Cora Ranch from 18:00 hours until late at night. To celebrate this, BAR has organized a field day on the seafront at Sorobon Beach between August 27-29th.
BAR currently has a Web page under construction at: http://www.pj4bar.club
QSL PJ4BAR via M0URX.
Two Bureau packages have been re-posted to Turkey and Belarus after they were returned from their respective Customs for no “Pre-Advice Electronic Data” The IARU are reluctant to provide the data we need to send Bureau parcels because the IARU believe that this data contravenes GDPR regulations.
Since posting these again the Turkey QSL Bureau was again returned by customs. Sorry TA hams… This is a problem that only IARU can sort out.
There are many countries now that do not allow any import of packages that do not have Pre advice Electronic Data. The Universal Postal Union made it compulsory for ALL International parcels to provide the following data, the recipient’s name, telephone number and email address must be supplied electronically.
However, when reading the regulations, it is clear that “Personal Communications” (QSL Cards) are exempt from the regulations. It is though for the customs of the recipient country to determine if they allow the parcel to be forwarded to the recipient, returned or destroyed. Sending Bureau cards is a lot more complicated these days.
Robert ZB2TT reports that he is back in Gibraltar and has updated me with a missing 6m log from May. This is now on OQRS and LoTW. Monday’s are always a big day for log uploads here and just this morning i have updated log files for 5B4AHL, PJ4DX, PJ4EL, PJ4EVA, PJ4NX, VK100AF & VK8NSB.
We are now in the last few weeks activity for VK100AF which has produced over 20,000 Qs with almost 50 operators from around Australia from all States and Territories. Double QSL is available on OQRS.
5Z4VJ Andy, has updated me with a couple of logs from July, uploaded to OQRS this morning. Andy is in the UK for a couple of weeks and returns to Kenya later in August.
I have received many emails in recent weeks with inquiries and requesting help, I cannot stress this enough, if you email me, please introduce yourself and use the words please and thank you. I can assure you that it will help your inquiry get a satisfactory solution. Otherwise my delete key gets used. If you have a “Missing / Not in log” Inquiry then in the first instance… CHECK the “Last QSO in Log” on the OQRS log search. If the log is up to date then use the “NOT IN LOG” form. Emails should NOT be sent for this. Please use the form. Your inquiry will be sent to my work queue.
If you are not able to use OQRS and want to send your QSL by post then please always check the QSL Policy for that call sign either on my website or QRZ.com. Insufficient funds will be sent Via Bureau and that includes UK hams too!
Our team continues every month to work to improve and introduce new tools and functions on OQRS for everyone, DX’ers, DXpeditions, Team leaders, satellite operations and QSL Manager functionality. So thank you to our OQRS software guys!