One of my favorite QSLs — penguins in Antarctica — is back in circulation thanks to Felix, DL5XL. Felix works for several months at a time at Neumayer-Station III, a German Antarctic research station. When he’s not on duty, he’s on the air as DP1POL, providing a much-needed DX entity to hams around the world.
“We have a busy schedule, but I try to get on the air after work whenever I can,” Felix wrote in an email. “Usually, I can be found on 30 meters after 2200 UTC, either in CW or digital modes.” Felix expects to be there through the end of January 2019.
Felix’s QSL manager, Ray, DL1ZBO, verifies reliably with the penguin QSL shown above for anyone who requests a confirmation, either direct or via the German QSL bureau.
Before I illustrated this QSL in 2015, I prepared by watching “Antarctica: A Year on Ice,” an amazing documentary about the life of researchers on the southern tip of our planet. The trailer is on YouTube, and the documentary itself is available through several streaming services. If you want to see what Felix’s life is like when he’s not on the air, this is well worth watching.
Sometimes the solution is obvious. DXpedition? From an island? With a pelican? And a hex beam? Coming right up!
Kuwaiti amateur Ahmad, 9K2AI/5T2AI, commissioned me earlier this year to create a logo for a DXpedition station on Tidra, an island just off the coast of Mauritania. The logo would be used on banners, websites, and, of course, QSLs. The only requirements: It must include the call sign, one of the great white pelicans native to the island, and a hex beam antenna. Done, done, and done.
Judging from Ahmad’s 5T5TI QRZ.com page, he and his cohorts have been there before and plan to return this December. Contact them on the air, and you can get a QSL with this groovy logo. Good luck!
When Gary, GM7USC, asked me to create a QSL for him, he made it clear: “I am a very patriotic Scot.” Also, he wanted something funny because, as he put it, “I like to laugh.”
I decided to draw something both Scottish and funny. What if Gary were carrying a bagpipe that worked as an amateur radio, with antennas in place of pipes? It sounded funny to me. Gary liked it, too.
There were two other Scottish touches. Gary is from the Campbell clan, so the kilt he wears on this QSL features a simplified version of their tartan. Also, I chose a typeface, Willow, specifically associated with the Scottish Arts and Crafts style popular in the late 1800s.
Bagpipe, kilt and typeface — I couldn’t make it much more Scottish than that. Gary liked this one. I did, too.
Craig, K4WBF, likes to mix up his QSLs a little, changing them up periodically. He also loves his Italian greyhound Bella, who he says is his official DX spotter.
I wanted to do something different from earlier cards. A previous, excellent QSL by Jeff, K1NSS, showed Bella at the operating position, literally spotting DX like a running rabbit on the rig’s digital read-out. Funny stuff.
Me, I had a more direct connection with greyhounds: I used to keep them and even lure-course them. (That’s running a greyhound in a broken pattern, much the way a real rabbit would run, in an open field.) A sight hound running is truly a thing of beauty, so that’s what I wanted to illustrate on K4WBF’s QSL. That, and headphones on a greyhound, of course.
If you’re interested in having your own custom QSL, drop me a line at N2EST@hamtoons.net. If you’re interested in adopting a retired racing greyhound — the full-size version of Bella, an Italian greyhound — visit this website.
When that rare DX station appears, we’ve all had the experience of trying to be heard in the ensuing pile-up. But have you ever caused a pile-up?
Of course, operators of DX stations are used to sorting out calls in pile-ups. But what if you’re a new operator who’s just called his first CQ and more than one station answers? For the novice ham — like this one in a cartoon I drew for “W1FB’s Help for New Hams” — the effect can be overwhelming and seem like a pile-up.
If you’re a DX station on the receiving end of pile-up, how do you pick who to answer? And how would you advise a new operator to handle multiple answers to a CQ?
Gary, WB4SQ, keeps both radios and rabbits — and he wanted one of his favorites, a bunny named Benjamin, pictured on his QSL.
Here, Benjamin is seated at the control position of a cartoon version of Gary’s shack, surrounded by logos for the Southeastern DX Club and the North Fulton Amateur Radio League, Gary’s Atlanta-area home clubs. (North Fulton, by the way, was the Dayton Hamvention’s 2010 Club of the Year.)
Gary also came up with the punchline in the word balloon. Benjamin is no dumb bunny — like any good DXer, he listens more than he talks.