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QSL Bureau Abuse.

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

The following has been written and posted by Tim, M0URX, and is on his webpage. I have never known Tim to feel so strang about this subject, but after a telephone conversation with him I can understand why. We here at MC0SHL don't need your card, but are quite happy to send you one of ours and would rather you request it using the OQRS page on Tims site.

Bureau Abuse & Responsible QSL’ing

The latest incoming box from the RSGB Bureau arrived 3 weeks ago and has been sorted and processed and in the Bureau bins ready for the next bureau dispatch.

It is quite clear that many people are confused by OQRS, Bureau and Direct QSL’ing which leads to a huge problem of “Bureau Usage Abuse” Let me see if I can make it clear for you so that we can reduce this abuse and reduce costs within the bureau system and also reduce the wasted time that is spent on sorting bureau cards and processing them.

Out of 3,600 bureau cards received 75% of them should NOT have been sent. Yes, 2,700 cards that you have sent me should NOT have been sent.

For all DXpeditions that are QSL Via M0URX the correct way to request your QSL cards is by using my OQRS. (Online QSL Request System)

Once you have requested your DXpedition QSL using OQRS you must NEVER then put your cards through the bureau – This is NOT required and is ABUSE of the bureau system!

Once the cards are processed they are BINNED.

It is quite clear that many of you do NOT understand this, ESPECIALLY DL stations that send for EVERY QSO Via Bureau – THIS IS ABUSE of the bureau system Please DO NOT DO IT!

Once I receive your OQRS request, your QSL is processed and stored until it is time to send the card to your bureau. You must NOT then send your card through the bureau.

If I need YOUR QSL I will email you and ask you for it!

You MUST ALSO correctly mark your log as "QSL Requested" When you receive your QSL from me you will see "THANKS QSL" This means your reply is NOT NEEDED. DO NOT SEND a reply QSL to DXpedition cards.

The Bureau service is NOT free, it costs national societies (AND ME) vast amounts of money to ship the cards around the world, abuse of the system is clogging it up and is extremely wasteful and will NOT be tolerated. This is the strongest language that I have used to highlight this massive problem. My next step will be to name and shame the abusers.

'E' Callsign error by OFCOM

Charles Wilmott
Charles Wilmott


rsgb100 logo colourMany UK Amateurs complaining and worried today when they received letters suggesting that OFCOM intended to change their Licence prefix to include the letter 'E' (GE, ME etc). This was indeed an error and here is the response from the RSGB;

''Dear Colleague,

As you will be aware, Ofcom are required to give all licenced radio amateurs notice that they intend to vary licences in line with their decisions following last year’s consultation. That process has nowbegun and letters are being sent out.

It has been brought to our attention that some amateurs have received a letter suggesting that their callsign now includes the RSL “E”. Ofcom have confirmed that this is an error and not a change in policy. I am advised that Ofcom intend to publish an explanation on their website (which we will replicate on ours) but, until that appears, I would be grateful if you could reassure any enquirers accordingly.

Many thanks

Graham Coomber, G0NBI

*General Manager*

Radio Society of Great Britain ''

DXpedition Planning - Avoid those school boy errors!

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Tim, M0URX, our QSL manager has had some problems recently with logs and other things not quite going right with some new operators on expeditions and decided to put together the following that can be found in full on his website www.m0urx.com.

Written by: Tim - M0URX

We have all heard about the "DX Code of Conduct" and how important it is for all of us, DX chasers and DX activators to follow rules to reduce DQRM and other nasties. As a QSL manager I am able to see much of what happens behind the scenes and feel that the new year is a good time to help those of you planning DXpeditions in the future to make sure that you are fully prepared for your adventure. Many of the circumstances I describe below HAVE happened to the teams that I have worked with and some of them are so "school boy error" that you often do not even think about it until the problem occurs.

I want to start with the IT side of the DXpedition. Preparing computer equipment for the DXpedition is a very important job. It does not matter whether you are a single operator or a multi operator on a major DXpedition. You need to be familiar with the logging software that you are going to use, test not only the computers performance and stability before you leave but also the logging software itself. 
Is it set up for fast entry DXpedition operating?
Is the time set to UTC? Remember if the clock is set to a local time zone any logging you do is completely worthless, not only will the QSOs not match on LoTW neither will the QSOs be valid as times will not match QSL requests and may be rejected by DXCC, IOTA or other award programs. 
Do you have a USB memory stick to back up logs? Logs should be backed up at least each day that you are operating or every time you finish a shift ideally. Lost QSOs cannot be added later, if you lose your log, that is it, game over! 

Anti virus software - Ensure that the computer equipment is free from harmful viruses. Any viruses could easily be moved from one machine to another causing catastrophic failure on site. Update the anti-virus software and be safe. Some logging software may stall when a daily virus scan starts, so it may be necessary to disable the daily scan until the DXpedition is over. Also disable all software updating facilities as this can also stall or trip up your logging software or even force pc restart.

Keyboards - If there is more than one operator, ensure that the keyboard layout is familiar to all operators. Scandinavia and South European, United Kingdom, Russian and USA will all use different layouts and will include local language characters. using an unfamiliar keyboard WILL inevitably create a lot of logging errors or even dropped log entries so be aware of this.
Interface Cables  - Ensure that you have the correct interface cable for your transceiver to your computer. Make sure that the computer has the correct serial port or USB connectivity. There has been much talk recently of counterfeit FTDI chip sets and problems with Windows 8 OS. Test with the pc before you leave!
Tent & Generator style DXpeditions will have unique problems that they need to overcome. One of the most common problems occur when the generator goes down. I do NOT recommend computers be networked in a tent and generator style DXpedition. If you do network the computers make sure that you have a team member responsible for setting up the hardware & software correctly for this style of operation. The team member must be familiar with networking in a field day style of operation. All team members must also be briefed on how to synchronize to the main slave pc once the generator has been restarted.  If the logging software  is NOT resynchronized and the logs are not saved on each PC then you will undoubtedly will lose every QSO that is logged, you may as well go home!  
Photograph Images - For QSL design & reproduction you should use a high resolution digital camera. Images and logos need to be 300 dpi or better. Low resolution images will be blurred, pixelated and the designer will not accept poor quality images as this will reflect on the reputation of the QSL manager, designer, printer and ultimately on the whole team.
One team member should be responsible for the photograph images and this person should be responsible for sending the images to the QSL manager as soon as possible after the DXpedition. I like to have the images no later than 7 days after the DXpedition, this gives the printing team time to create the QSL design while the QSL manager works on QSL requests. Ideally the QSL parcel will arrive just in time for the QSL manager to have caught up with all QSL requests so that all letters are posted quickly. 
IOTA Rules - If you are going on an IOTA make sure that you know the rules for the IOTA programme, you can find the rules in the IOTA directory here: Make sure that you know the IOTA reference and Island name that you are transmitting from.
VERY IMPORTANT - When printing QSL cards for your activity the "Island Name" MUST be printed on the QSL card. You can also have your logging software print the Island name directly onto the QSO report label, ideal for smaller or multiple island activities.
Finally, remember that once your DXpedition is over you still have many obligations to fulfil. The DXpedition team leader must remain available after the DXpedition to complete the jobs which can take many weeks to complete. Log must be sent to QSL manager along with photographs, copy of licence and other proof for LoTW verification. Equipment will need to be returned, DX organisations / societies that sponsored your team will also have terms and conditions that you must adhere to. 
Most of all it is important that the DXpedition is fun, and that all team members stay safe!

Seasons Greetings 2014

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

As the 2014 year end draws ever closer, we like to wish all our friends around the world seasons greetings in their home language, and we do appologise if we miss yours off the list.

Lets hope that 2015 brings us all good conditions on the radio and we hope to contact you all at some point.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd dda

Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo

Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annèe
Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo
Vasel Koleda
Froehliche Weihnachten undein gluckliches Nues Jahr
Kala Christougenna Ki eftihismenos o Kenourgios Chronos
Boldoy Karácsonyt
Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia
Cestitamo Bozia
Boas Fiestas e um feliz Ano Novo
Nollaig Shona Dhuit
From all at the Strumble Head DX and Contest Group.May we meet on the air sometime in 2015.
And remember we will be on the air sometime over the holiday period from the farm to celebrate the new year.
We will also be announcing the dates for the next Ramsey Island activation, and other activities for the group through 2015.

IOTA Qsl'in via Kadek YB8BU

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Written by; Charles M0OXO

iota logoThis message just received from the IOTA Manager;

IOTA Management has received a number of complaints that QSL card requests sent to Kadek, YB9BU in accordance with his QSLing instructions on QRZ.com have not received a reply and similarly that email enquiries are not being answered. Emails from the IOTA Manager and mutual friends have also gone unanswered.

In the circumstances it can only be assumed that there is an interruption in the QSL manager service for all the many operations for which YB9BU acts as QSL manager and people would be well advised not to send further cards. We would also advise YB island operators for whom YB9BU acts or normally acts as manager to make other arrangements to ensure satisfactory QSLing.

Acceptance by IOTA Management of further IOTA operations by YB9BU must be regarded as on hold until and unless the matter is resolved.

7 Band Hexbeam debuts this evening

Charles Wilmott
Charles Wilmott

K800 DSC 0104
As mentioned in the previous blog by Chris, MX0LDG IOTA DXpedition to Isles of Scilly EU-011 are now qrv using the new 7 Band Broadband Hexbeam by MW0JZE Anthony. 

The 7 band Hexbeam includes a 40m element. The team will be using this antenna on 40m so please listen for them and work them from wherever you are in the World, Anthony would very much appreciate genuine signal reports on this band.

You can read more about the MW0JZE 7 Band Hexbeam 40m - 6m by clicking on the link.

The team very much look forward to working you all on Isles of Scilly, St Mary's Island.

The team have no internet so logs will be uploaded after the DXpediton. 

QSL Via M0URX Direct & (Bureau OQRS only). Please do not send us any bureau cards for this activity.

EU-011 - Scilly Isles

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Some of the boys are off on a little trip to the Isles of Scilly (EU-011) on the 14th October through to the 21st October. Using the call MX0LDG/P they will be on all HF bands from 80 to 10m.

Then when they return some of the boys will be down at the farm HQ for a couple of days using MC0SHL, 23rd to 26th October. They may show up in the CQWW contest on one of the bands So listen out for them giving points away.

MW0JZE - 7 Band hexbeam announced

Charles Wilmott
Charles Wilmott

7band-hexbeamGreat news today for the users of the Hexbeam as Anthony MW0JZE has announced his new version of the antenna and it includes 40M !

''Over the past 9 months I have been planning, designing and developing the new Hexbeam concept. I have done much research on the 40m full size Hexbeam but came to the conclusion it was just too big to erect in an average size garden. The wind load would be so high that any strong gales could cause destruction to the fiberglass arms limiting its life span. The compromise I came to was to design a non-trapped Di-pole antenna with as little loss as possible while maintaining a modest turning radius.''

Read more on this 6M thro 40M antenna by visiting Ant's site by clicking the image above... Good luck Ant !

M0UKI/p EU-109 Expedition

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Written by; Charles M0OXO

M0UKI/p EU-109

K1024 Longstone Lighthouse 2Just a reminder that myself Charles M0OXO, Nobby G0VJG, Dave EI9FBB, Richard G7GLW & will be qrv from EU-109 (Farne Islands) on the 6th and 7th September 2014.

Callsign will be M0UKI/p.

This short operation may also include participation in the SSB Field Day contest. The team are aiming for Longstone Island, dependant on weather, (keep an eye on QRZ.com links for updates). They will be using multi-band Dipoles & vertical antennas and hope to give this IOTA to as many chasers as possible in the short time frame.

Qsl will be via M0OXO OQRS Direct/Bureau. Your Qsl Cards are NOT required so please use OQRS where possible.

New Logo and Club Rebranding

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

SHARKFor the past 12 months or so we have been looking at changing the name of our group and having a new Logo designed by Rhian, the daughter of one of Rob & Janes friend (Caroline). And we have now decided on the final design.

We will still be te closed club that we always have been, and we will still be carrying out the same activations and having just as much fun as we always have. We will just have a different logo on our clothing and apparel. So here is what we are going for, and the new club name.....

Thius will be incorporated into the banner shortly. The call will still be the same and we will be on the air sometime between now and Christmas from the farm for a couple of days.

Russian Robinson (RRC) anniversary

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Taken from Charles (M0OXO) webpage.

Written By Charles M0OXO:

rrcRussian Robinson Club (RRC) is celebrating 20 years since its foundation.

Check the excellent video presentation, which was first presented at the 50th Anniversary IOTA Convention in Windsor, London, UK (4-6, July, 2014).

Click the image to see this amazing presentation.









Congratulations guys and thanks for all the activations. We look forward to sharing some more drinks and stories with you at the next RSGB or IOTA convention - All the S.H.A.R.K. Boys.


Bureau and QSL Manager Update

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Hello all,

Firstly we would like to send our appologies to any of you who have sent for a QSL card via the bureau by sending one of your cards for any of our activations previous to this last year (2014). The RSGB bureau is refusing to send cards to Tim if they are for MC0SHL as the club is not affiliated to them - in other words we have not paid for a club membership even though every member of the team are RSGB members. We have also found out that these cards are being returned to the senders with this information on them. To us as a group we find this a silly situation, simply because it is showing us in a bad light. We have offered to pay for a bureau only posting service as we are not wanting or in need of the full RSGB membership for the group and this is being looked into. In fact it is 6 months since Tim or Charles received any cards from the RSGB bureau for any of the call signs they look after - and that includes all the SHARK members - so none of us are getting the cards through the system.

If you have sent a card via the bureau and would like one returning that way then please use the OQRS system on Tim's website - just follow this link OQRS BUREAU REQUEST and Tim will get the card out to you. If you want to request a direct card remember we do ask for contributions towards the postal cost, etc. Bureau cards are free and do not incur a direct cost to you, but we have noticed recently how the cost for posting to the bureaus has increased with more people requesting cards this way.

Which brings me on to the next bit of news. Tim has had to renew his computer system and close his QSL request service and operations for a few days to get all the logs and other information over to the new machine. This is because his old one, 8 years old and a very busy machine, is just about to give up on him. So give him a day or two more to catch up and he will be able to sort the cards immediately.

Even though we all think that a bureau card is free there are costs involved, and the following is taken from Tim's website:

Bureau Expenses                                          Created on Monday, 18 August 2014 06:56

With many Bureau users requesting many cards at a time, I would like to remind you that no bureau system is free, it actually costs us a LOT of money. There is the cost of printing the QSL cards and the cost of posting to all World Bureaus to pay.

Please consider donating via PayPal towards expenses This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Thank you.

Please support the DX Code Of Conduct

Charles Wilmott
Charles Wilmott

dx cODE

Operating standards have been declining.

That is no news to any DXer. Even the IARU took notice and published a resolution encouraging operators to "operate to the highest levels of proficiency, with proper consideration for others using the amateur radio bands."  Read the Full Resolution here.

The publication of DX Etiquette in the March 2010 issue of QST sparked a new world-wide effort to get all hams to operate in a manner consistent with that Resolution. To that end an international group of DXers have developed a DX Code of Conduct.  Since introducing it, hams from all continents have joined in this effort. You can play an important role in spreading the word. This is one project of which it can truthfully be said, "We are all in this together, and we can all benefit."

Learn more about the DX Code Of Conduct by clicking here.

Bureau cards - What a waste

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Written by: Charles - M0OXO

I hope this is a wake up call for many!

WP 20140803 002The volume of incoming bureau cards that as a Qsl Manager I have to deal with is amazing. Sadly, a massive amount of these are not required and just end up being recycled. I don't even have time to look at the beautiful photos that appear on many of them

The Photos in this item show the amount of unwanted cards that I discarded yesterday. There were 46 Kilo, around 17-18,000 Qsl cards and most of these would have been shown in my Qsl information as ''Qsl Cards NOT required''.

OQRS is so important. Why send unwanted cards through the bureau when they are not required? If you use OQRS you can request your card just the same.  The only difference is that with OQRS you will get the card probably 2 years earlier than if you send via the Bureau and, it saves you money as you areWP 20140803 003 not wasting your cards!

Before you request a bureau card from me, please check out this page. http://www.m0oxo.com/qsl-manager/callsigns-i-manage.html  This will tell you whether or not the station does or does not require your card. Please cut down on bureau wasteage, you will save your time and my time as well as saving yourself money.


As a club we get sent cards through the bureau system for every activation we do. BUT we have one big problem. Because the club is not affiliated to the RSGB we cannot collect the cards from the sub bureau. This means that every card sent to us through this way just gets thrown away or into the recycling system and we never see them. This is not only for MC0SHL but Tim (M0URX) also has problems with some of the calls he manages. So if you need a card use Tim's OQRS system to request the bureau card, and you will receive it completely FREE of charge and probably within a couple of months as opposed to a couple of years.