ZS6EZ's QSLing Policy

Last updated 2022-03-02

This QSL policy evolved over three decades of being a QSL manager. It was my best effort at maintaining a reliable QSL service, without having my entire life dominated by QSLing paperwork. I have dispatched over 250 000 QSL cards.

I fully accept that a minute percentage of individuals may be inconvenienced and may have to resort to sending a direct request, but I have accepted this compromise to eliminate a lot of custom paperwork associated with a handful of problematic requests.

Short Version

1. All logs will be submitted to the Logbook of the World as soon as possible. Other electronic QSLing systems are not considered. Some logs may be available in ClubLog. Future logs will probably have an OQRS there.

2. All direct requests will be answered. If sufficient return postage is provided, the replies will be by air mail. Do not use registered mail.

3. Bureau cards will be answered for three years after the QSO. OQRS is preferred where available. Some ZS6EZ QSOs will be confirmed pre-emptively ("Please QSL") if I desperately need your card, or even if I am in a particularly generous mood.

4. For significant DXpeditions (>1000 QSOs) from 2015, I've been setting up Online QSL Request Systems. These logs are available for checking on ClubLog.

5. If you took your time, you may have to make an extra effort. I'm sure you'll understand that your decades-old request is not a high priority in my life, and a delay of a few weeks will not really make a difference in the scheme of things.


Mail delivery is not a given.

Like many other things in South Africa, the Post Office is far from functional. Your letter may arrive, but it probably won't. I try to time my direct shipments to periods and locations when and where the Post Office has a good chance of working. This technique will result in delays, but at least you have a chance of getting your card.

A more detailed explanation is provided below. If you have any doubts, you might get some comfort from the fact that ZS6EZ was a finalist in the Golist's Top 5 QSL Managers competition for 2003 and 2004.

Basic Policy

Anyone who sends a direct air or surface mail request with sufficient return postage and a self-addressed envelope, will get a direct response by air mail.

Direct requests without sufficient postage and an SAE may be returned via the bureau if deemed necessary.

Note: When you determine what "reasonable" turnaround time is, take into account how much time passed between the QSO and the QSL request. If you waited a decade or two before sending a request, surely it's inappropriate to get agitated within weeks...

As I have not made any contacts in the past four years, all arriving requests are old. I try to clean up all backlogged requests on a quarterly basis (March, June, September, December). I sometimes hold off on mailing them, as the Post Office is not always functional. I'm sure you would rather have some delay than to have your card disappear.

If a direct request is not in the log, a serious effort is made to find near-matches at or near the time indicated. If the contact cannot be found, the card will be returned to the originator with an explanatory note. The return will be sent directly if enough postage and an SAE have been provided. I have deviated from this policy in a handful of cases where the originator is blatantly requesting a bogus QSL; in such cases, the request simply lands in the trash. As an example I might mention an Israeli 'DXer who has routinely requested DXpedition cards for several bands on which no contacts took place. There can be little doubt that his actions are deliberate and unethical, and he cannot expect sympathetic treatment. It is a pity that he appears at the top of several awards lists.

No registered mail is accepted. Registered mail to a box number must obviously be collected at the counter. I collect my mail at night, when the counters are closed. I do not see my way open to use my precious vacation time to visit the post office in office hours for a hobby. It's a 45 km round trip into dense city traffic, consuming several hours of my time.

During 2021, I decided to close down Box 4485, Pretoria. I have held that box number for almost 40 years. I will continue to collect mail until the end of 2022. Please use Box 126, Rayton, 1001 South Africa with immediate effect.

Additional Policy for ZS6EZ QSOs

All direct requests without sufficient postage and SAE are simply verified for correctness in the log. If the log entry is correct, and a bureau card has been sent, no further action is taken. If the entry is broken, it is fixed. If the contact is not in the log, the card is returned via the bureau. If the contact is in the log, the following paragraph will take care of you.

Incoming bureau cards are answered for three years. Up to 2012, all non-duplicate QSOs were routinely confirmed via the bureau. From 2013, I've reserved the right to become more selective, although to the end of 2021 I've actually adhered to my old policy and confirmed everything.

  • Electronic QSLing policy
  • Known pirate operations
  • SWL report policy
  • Email Enquiries policy
  • Mailing Address

    You can check my logs here:

    The ZS6EZ log is only complete from 1992 to the date indicated. I only update this log occasionally.

    The ZS6BCR is log is complete to the date of my callsign change in 1992.

    Additional Policy for DXpedition QSOs

  • 3DA0Z
  • 3DA6Z
  • 4U1ITU
  • 5H4IR
  • 5H9IR
  • 9G5CB
  • 9M0Z
  • 9M6/ZS6EZ
  • 9M6/ZS6EZ/2
  • 9V1/ZS6EZ
  • A25/ZS6BCR
  • DU1/ZS6EZ
  • FP/ZS6EZ
  • FS/ZS6EZ
  • H5AYB
  • N3EZ/8
  • N3EZ/KL7
  • P4/ZS6EZ
  • PJ2/ZS6EZ
  • PJ4/ZS6EZ
  • PJ6/ZS6EZ
  • PJ7/ZS6EZ
  • V51Z (before 1992)
  • V51Z (after 1992)
  • VO2/ZS6EZ
  • VY1/ZS6EZ
  • YB9/N3EZ
  • ZD9IR
  • ZS0Z
  • ZS3Z
  • ZS6BCR/A22
  • ZS6Z
  • ZS6Z/4
  • ZS8D
  • ZS8IR
  • ZS8MI
  • ZS9Z (Walvis Bay, before 1992)
  • ZS9Z (since 2001)
  • ZT6Z


    All incoming non-duplicate bureau requests were answered via the bureau until 2005.

    DXpeditions in 1992 and before (A25/ZS6BCR, H5AYB, V51Z, ZS0Z, ZS3Z, ZS6BCR/A22, ZS9Z):

    All bureau requests were answered for at least five years after each operation. See important notice about ZS9Z below!

    Callsigns active between 1993 and 2013 (3DA0Z, 3DA6Z, 4U1ITU, 5H4IR, 5H9IR, 9G5CB, V51Z, ZD9IR, ZS6Z, ZS6Z/4, ZS8IR, ZT6Z):

    All non-duplicate contacts for which direct requests were not received in the first six to twelve months, were confirmed via the bureau. No incoming bureau requests are answered.

    Callsigns active during 2014 (FP/ZS6EZ, VO2/ZS6EZ):

    All incoming bureau cards will be answered for three years after the operation (to 2017-07).

    Callsigns active during 2015 (FS/ZS6EZ, N3EZ/8, N3EZ/KL7, P4/ZS6EZ, PJ2/ZS6EZ, PJ4/ZS6EZ,PJ6/ZS6EZ, PJ7/ZS6EZ, VY1/ZS6EZ):

    All incoming bureau cards will be answered for three years after the operation (to 2018-12).

    Callsigns active during 2016 (9M6/ZS6EZ, 9M6/ZS6EZ/2, 9V1/ZS6EZ, DU1/ZS6EZ, YB9/N3EZ):

    All incoming bureau cards were answered for at least three years after the operation (to 2020).

    9M0Z (2016):

    An OQRS was set up ClubLog. No bureau cards will be answered. You can access the ClubLog OQRS and a status report on the QRZ.com page.

    Callsigns active after 2014 (who knows?):

    An OQRS will be set up on ClubLog. No bureau cards will be answered.

    Specific Policy for ZS8MI

    You can read all about ZS8MI and other operations from Marion Island elsewhere on this Web site.

    I have all ZS8MI logs. The last activity was in 2004. I have QSL blanks, courtesy of the NCDXF, and can help with confirmations. The logs are also on LotW. If your QSO has not been matched, please let me know. There are problems with time stamps on many QSOs in some years.

    Important notice about ZS9Z

    I held the callsign ZS9Z from 1988 to 1994, until Walvis Bay was given to Namibia and the DXCC entity was deleted. The callsign was used repeatedly from Walvis Bay, and once as ZS9Z/ZS1 from Penguin Island.

    For contacts from 2001, talk to the new owner of the callsign.

    Known pirate activity with managed callsigns

    I've started building a list of known pirate operations with callsigns that I manage. I will gradually build this list from scattered records, based on incoming cards that share a date, time, frequency and mode but the station concerned was not on the air. If your QSO falls into this time span, don't bother trying to confirm the QSO. It is not in the log!


  • 2001-09-21 21:20 to 21:30 18 MHz SSB Japan
  • 2001-10-10 21:38 to 21:51 18 MHz CW Japan, USA (after a real operating session)
  • 2001-10-28 18:50 to 19:00 28 MHz SSB Eastern USA (CQWW Phone Contest)
  • 2002-03-12 21:30 to 21:45 14 MHz SSB Eastern USA
  • 2002-07-27 13:00 to 18:00 21 MHz SSB Europe and Asia


  • 1999-07-20 11:40 21 MHz CW
  • 1999-07-26 18:00 21 MHz CW
  • 1999-08-08 14:00 21 MHz CW


  • 1996-06-04 14:15 to 14:30 14 MHz CW Europe
  • 1996-06-25 21:15 to 21:50 3,5 MHz CW Europe
  • 1996-11-04 12:10 to 12:30 21 MHz CW Europe
  • 1996-11-30 11:05 to 11:45 14 MHz CW Europe
  • 1996-12-21 20:25 to 20:50 3,5 MHz CW Japan

    Listener reports

    I have had a tremendous increase in meaningless Shortwave Listener reports. Typically, these QSL cards report a single contact between the station for which I am the manager and some other station. In most cases, the "QSOs" are based on spots found on the RBN or the DX Summit. I doubt if the sender even owns a receiver.

    If you are a real enthusiast, and you have a real receiver, and you picked up real transmissions, please show some evidence. If you can list perhaps five stations that we worked in a row, there is a good chance that you actually heard us. Another possibility is a recording you made, which you can provide a link to. Simply listing a single station we worked won't do. Sorry, times have changed.

    Electronic QSLing

    For a long time, I dreamt of being able to do all my QSLing through the Internet. That way, I would not have to spend evenings at home sticking labels, licking envelopes and tearing stamp perforations. I also wouldn't have to occupy lots of shelf space with cardboard boxes. Instead, I would have a few CDs on a bookshelf. Around 1994, I wrote on my Web site: Electronic QSLing shows great promise, and I expect that within a few years you will be able to get DXCC credit within minutes of your QSO.

    Around 2000, several people made early starts with electronic QSLing systems. However, none of these systems met the basic requirements for a legitimate system. They focus on replacing the picture postcard rather than on confirming the QSO. I'm sure we all agree that picture postcards are nice, but I'm equally sure we also all agree that the primary purpose of a QSL card is confirm a contact. All the early systems failed dismally in this respect. Perhaps the best of the early systems is eQSL.cc, established by Dave Morris N5UP. Dave's system is slick and provides nice picture postcards, but to my mind suffers from several long-term practical problems.

    During 1999, I wrote a piece on electronic QSLing, highlighting some of the important issues and proposing a standard for electronic QSLs, based on the existing Cabrillo format. Although some of the information is now dated, the basic principles are still valid.

    Because of this article, I became involved in discussions with ARRL during the design of the Logbook of the World. LoTW does not provide picture QSLs, but it does confirm contacts conveniently and reliably. eQSL.cc is much better as a means of exchanging picture postcards, but it has major loopholes when being used for confirming contacts, and the ARRL would be irresponsible to accept those "confirmations" for DXCC.

    LotW quickly grew into a useful system. I jumped at the chance and submitted all the electronic logs I had, including more than 160 000 QSOs. I have subsequently typed in all my paper logs, bringing the total to more than 260 000. A complete list is in the QSLing Status Report.

    Email enquiries

    During September 2000, I decided to stop answering email enquiries about QSLs. Over the preceding several months, I had wasted much time on this practice, as a few individuals who boorishly demanded information continued to harrass me. One individual, whose card had been was sent but did not reach him, had the audacity to complain about the fact that he'd sent 23 emails over a period of a few weeks.

    Unfortunately, answering email requests is time consuming. Time is a commodity that is in short supply. In addition, enquiries tend to become more and more boorish with time. I have had to put up with invective that peeled the paint off my walls. Frankly, I'd much rather spend the energy answering the heaps of mail that arrive, or maybe even doing something that I enjoy!

    So: Sorry about this, but if you have a problem with a QSL, please resort to the time-proven technique of snail mail.

    Mailing Address

    My only mailing address for ham radio purposes is:

    Chris R. Burger
    Box 126
    1001 South Africa.

    No registered mail is accepted! If you absolutely, positively feel that you cannot live without sending me registered mail, please make arrangements by email for another address that you can use. I have a business address at which registered mail can be received in emergencies.

    Return to ZS6EZ's Radio Page