What are QSL cards?
Postcards - but, more than just a pretty picture!
QSL cards are used by radio amateurs the world over to confirm their two-way radio contacts with each other. Each amateur or 'ham' has their own card which is exchanged with the other amateur or 'station' in that two-way contact.
These contacts could be around the block or to a station on the other side of the world or even with one of the astronauts on board the space station orbiting high above the earth.
Each QSL card displays the 'callsign' - each amateur has their own unique callsign - and contains a reception report - time of contact, date, signal strength - for the other ham's signals.
QSL cards were first introduced in the early 1920s and continue to this day. They are used as proof of contact when claiming awards and certificates - they can also often be found decorating the walls of the 'shack' - radio room.
QSL cards come in many different styles, both ready made and custom, often as picture QSL cards; see qslfactory.com for card examples and to find out more on amateur radio as a hobby, please visit arrl.org.