How to request QSL cards

Hi all,

Today I’m going to write a tutorial on how to request QSL cards from shortwave stations.
Before we start, I should to mention that this method is probably not the best method to request QSL cards and certainly someone out there will have thought of a better method.
I find this method easy to do without too much effort which is why I recommend it! I have never had a radio station telling me they are unhappy with my reports!

To start with you will want to have a pen and paper handy (or a computer / phone with a blank document open).
At the top of the page write the name of the station you are listening to (e.g. China Radio International in English). If you are writing on paper, it is best to add a little tick-box at the top that you can tick once you have sent the report. Doing this helps prevent sending the same report in twice!

Next add the following columns and fill them as you listen to the station:
ColumnWhat to fill it with
Date and TimeHere we write the date and the time you started and stopped listening to the station in UTC.
FrequencyHere we write the frequency of the station we are listening to.
SINPOSINPO means: Signal (if you have a signal meter it’s best to use that until you get a feel for the different signal levels), Interference (mainly from other stations), Noise (the noise floor), Propagation (how much the signal fading in and out) and Overall experience. 5 is the “best” meaning Strong signal/No Interference/No noise/No fading in and out/Perfect experience. 1 is the opposite. If you don’t understand SINPO you can use the simplified SIO which is much easier for people new to scoring signals!
EquipmentHere we enter the model number of the radio and the aerial you are using. If you aren’t using an extra aerial put model + internal aerial.
Content HeardList what you heard on the broadcast (e.g. music, talk about a painting in the museum, news headlines, music, ending frequency announcement).
NotesHere is where you can add comments on what you heard, your opinions on the shows and general feedback on the content of their shows.

Lastly, after making the report, start an email with a friendly message, copy the report out into the email and afterwards add:
My Address: (Your Address).
If you do that you don’t need to ask for them to send you a card; it’s clear you want them to send something to that address!
You can usually find out a stations email address by googling the stations name and adding “QSL” to the end of the search.
Once you’ve sent the email in 1-3 months, hopefully, a QSL card will be at your door!
Stations usually accept / cater for monthly reports so don’t be scared to keep sending them in!

I hope this guide has been useful with helping you request QSL cards!