(When all else fails, play dead)

I quit the practice of paper QSLing about five years ago. It’s a costly endeavor and the never ending rise in postage makes the whole thing seem unsustainable. Besides, LoTW is right there, free for the taking and accepted by ARRL for award credit. Why wouldn’t we use that instead of having postcards custom printed, affixing postage, and dropping them at the post office on a regular basis?

The answer is simple: it’s a tradition.

Radio hams have been trading QSL cards for a century and the practice has been stamped into our DNA. Besides, when I stopped using paper cards I was making thousands of contacts a year. Now that my annual QSO total is closer to 500 it feels affordable enough that I’ve decided to reverse course and begin trading paper via postal mail again.

I’m happy to QSL the old-fashioned way - print via mail. No SASE, green stamps, or IRC necessary. Send me a card and I’ll send you mine. But for Straight Key Century Club contacts I’ll continue to use the SKCC Bureau and encourage you to do the same.

And I’ll keep using LoTW for awhile, but I can see a future where I abandon the computer in the shack altogether and return to paper and pencil for station record keeping. Assuming I continue keeping any records at all.