ZS6EZ's QSLing Status Report

Last updated 2018-01-01


Click on the topic you're interested in to go straight to that section.

  • Current direct QSL status
  • Information about direct postage and envelope size
  • Bureau QSL status
  • Electronic QSL status
  • Email requests
  • Links to my QSL policy and FAQ pages

    Current Status

    Short version: All received direct requests have been processed. A lot of mail seems to be disappearing. I received virtually no air mail in 2016 and 2017. ZS6EZ bureau cards are up to date to the end of 2017.

    Direct QSL Status

    Short version: Direct QSLs are fully up to date. Since 2013, we have had a series of postal strikes. In some months, no incoming mail is received. The letters that are not delivered do not seem to be delivered later. They simply disappear.

    Misdirected cards (ZS8MI 2004, ZS9Z after 1994 etc.) Up to date
    ZS6EZ Up to date
    ZS8MI (Ops ZS6PT, ZS5AEN, ZS1CDK, ZS6WLC) Up to date
    ZS8IR Up to date
    ZD9IR Up to date
    5H9IR Up to date
    Others Up to date

    1. All mail received up to 2017-12-31 has been processed.
    2. Mail last collected 2017-12-31.

    I try to collect mail at least once a month. As outgoing letters seem to disappear in the mail, I hand all outgoing letters directly to the mail centre at the international airport. I don't always get the opportunity on a regular basis, but rest assured that it will go out as soon as possible. As I make very few contacts now and all my logs are on LotW, most direct QSL requests I receive are for very old contacts. I'm sure you'll agree that waiting another few months if you only requested a QSL many years after the fact is not a major disaster in the greater scheme of things.

    Comment about processing dates: If you sent a combined request (i.e. multiple callsigns per envelope) your replies will obviously only be mailed when the last callsign on your list is processed.

    Direct postage

    Short version: Send greenbacks and a standard-sized SAE, and you should be fine.

    The minimum postage rate for overseas countries is now around R 9,00, which is slightly under US$ 1,00. The IRC is now virtually impossible to redeem. Please do not use them.

    While we can include several QSL cards per envelope to overseas destinations, large envelopes are a problem. Any envelope over 235 mm long or 120 mm wide now costs over US$ 2,00 to mail. If you use standard envelopes, you're in luck. If you prefer large envelopes, you're probably not.

    Our currency is in a gradual decline against most major currencies. Consequently, we have regular postage increases. Annual increases are all but guaranteed, but we also have intermittent increases in between. For this reason, SASEs are not recommended. DX stamp services often do not keep up with postage rates. They also often provide "Standard Postage" stamps, which are not useable for international mail. You may get the letter if you're lucky, but you probably won't. If for some reason you insist on using SASEs rather than some other form of return postage, you must include either enough marked stamps to the amount required, or an "International Standard Letter Rate" stamp. These standard stamps are few and far between, though. They cannot be bought from normal post offices, and I have seldom seen them provided by DX Stamp Services.

    Bureau QSL Status

    Short version: You should already have one if you are in the log before the end of 2012. Cards for 2013 to 2016 were mailed in 2016. Cards for 2017 will be delivered to the bureau in the first weeks of 2018. They may take a while, due to the vagaries of the postal system and the delays in the bureau system.

    Unfortunately, the SARL QSL Bureau was in such a shambles for some years that outgoing cards were severely delayed. Almost all my incoming QSL cards were disposed of or destroyed by an individual at the SARL's incoming QSL bureau between 2006 and 2010. I received less than 100 cards during this period. The flow resumed early in 2011. I hope the individual involved eventually resolves his psychological issues.

    Logs confirmed via bureau in bulk ("Please QSL"):
    3DA0Z, 3DA6Z, 4U1ITU (Op. ZS6EZ), 5H4IR, 5H9IR, V51Z (1994 and after), ZD9IR, ZS3Z/6, ZS6BCR, ZS6EZ (all to 2012), ZS6Z/4, ZS6Z, ZS8IR, ZS9Z (1994), ZT6Z.
    Logs confirmed via bureau on request for at least five years:
    A25/ZS6BCR, H5AYB, V51Z, ZS0Z, ZS3Z, ZS6BCR/A22, ZS8D, ZS8MI, ZS9Z (1990/91).
    Logs that may or may not be confirmed via the bureau:
    ZS6EZ (2016 and later).

    FP/ZS6EZ and VO2/ZS6EZ bureau QSLs will be answered until 2017-07 (three years after the operation). FS/ZS6EZ, P4/ZS6EZ, PJ2/ZS6EZ, PJ4/ZS6EZ, PJ6/ZS6EZ and PJ7/ZS6EZ will be answered until the end of 2017 (three years after the operation). 9M6/ZS6EZ, 9M6/ZS6EZ/2, 9V1/ZS6EZ, DU1/ZS6EZ and YB9/N3EZ will be answered until 2018-06 (three years after the operation).

    9M0Z cards can only be requested via the ClubLog OQRS. No bureau cards will be answered.

    As of mid-2012, I decided that I would no longer promise to confirm all QSOs via the bureau. The availability of LotW DXCC credits has made paper QSLs less crucial, and other commitments make it difficult to reliably churn out large volumes of QSL cards. In future, I'll ensure that all QSOs are on LotW. If you urgently need a paper card, you may have to resort to a direct request. To the end of 2017, I've continued to confirm all non-duplicate QSOs via the bureau. This resolve may weaken if I start making large numbers of QSOs again...

    Electronic QSL Status

    Short version: All logs for my own station (ZS6EZ and ZS6BCR) and all stations that I've managed are on LotW. Most ZS8MI QSOs are also on LotW, but there are some issues.

    I believe electronic QSLs are the future. During 1999, I wrote a proposed electronic QSLing standard and started rubbing it under various people's noses. Around this time, ARRL commissioned a study that eventually led to the establishment of the Logbook of the World. My article was included in the reading list for this team. Ted Demopoulous KR1G, one of the two principal architects of LotW, recommends my article as a source of perspective on electronic QSLing. I was requested to be the only alpha tester outside North America on LotW, although work commitments at the time made it impossible to contribute actively. However, I'm extremely pleased with the outcome, and am a keen LotW user.

    The one shortcoming of LotW has been the fact that it only supports ARRL awards. As of mid-2012, they have announced that CQ Magazine's awards, starting with WPX, will be supported by LotW. Let's hope that support eventually becomes available for all major awards! Unfortunately, for large-volume awards like WPX, LotW is prohibitively expensive. A leading station will have up to 10 000 credits, incurring over US$ 1000 in fees! In addition, the promised WPX implementation is not quite there yet. Legacy WPX credits did not quite make it onto LotW.

    With help from the ARRL staff, notably Wayne Mills N7NG, all electronic logs that I had were added to Logbook of the World around 2004. Around 165 000 QSOs were included, constituting 10% of the total content of LotW at the time. I've subsequently added all the other logs that I hold, including all paper logs.

    To get to the point: I've gone to great lengths to ensure that all my logs got onto LotW, so that you can get DXCC credit with or without a paper QSL.

    The number of QSOs in my LotW portfolio now exceeds a quarter of a million. This number is made up as follows:

    Active dates
    ZS6EZ 1992 to present
    78 200
    Complete (updated at least monthly).
    ZS8MI ZS6PT 1989-04 to '90-05
    38 700
    ZS5AEN and ZS6WLC incomplete
    ZS5AEN 1990-05 to '91-05
    ZS1CDK 1993-04 to '94-05
    ZS6WLC 2004-04
    ZS6BCR 1980 to 1991
    35 200
    Complete (mostly from paper logs)
    ZS0Z 1991-12
    20 600
    Complete (from paper logs)
    ZD9IR 2001-09 to 2002-07
    20 000
    ZS8IR 1996-05 to 1997-05
    18 100
    ZS9Z 1990-12, 1994-02
    14 200
    Complete (1994 from paper logs)
    9M0Z 2016-05
    10 700
    ZS6Z 1999 to present
    8 800
    ZS3Z 1985-12, '86-12, '87-01, '88
    8 400
    Complete (all from paper logs)
    V51Z 1990-11, 1994-03
    8 000
    Complete (1994 from paper logs)
    3DA0Z 1994-10
    7 200
    5H9IR 1999-12 to 2003-12
    3 900
    3DA6Z 1998-12 to 1999-01
    3 800
    ZT6Z 1999-05, 1999-07
    3 800
    3DA0/ZS6BCR 1989-12 to 1990-01
    2 300
    Complete (from paper logs)
    ZS8D 1999-05 to 2000-04
    2 100
    ZS6P 1996-11 CQWW CW
    2 000
    FP/ZS6EZ 2014-07
    9M6/ZS6EZ 2016-05
    5H4IR 1999-12
    DU1/ZS6EZ 2016-04
    YB9/N3EZ 2016-04
    9V1/ZS6EZ 2016-04
    PJ2/ZS6EZ 2015-11
    P4/ZS6EZ 2015-11
    VO2/ZS6EZ 2014-07
    PJ4/ZS6EZ 2015-11
    FS/ZS6EZ 2015-11
    9M6/ZS6EZ/2 2016-05
    N3EZ/KL7 2015-07
    PJ7/ZS6EZ 2015-11
    PJ6/ZS6EZ 2015-11
    P4/ZS6EZ 2015-11
    N3EZ/8 2015-07
    VY1/ZS6EZ 2015-07
    Total: .
    287 500
    59 200 QSLs (21%)

    For the moment, all the logs I have are on LotW except for some ZS8MI QSOs:

  • Some of ZS5AEN's QSOs as ZS8MI have not been uploaded. Gerard did not log times for many of his QSOs. I've managed to reconstruct many of the times from incoming QSL requests, but there are approximately 1500 QSOs for which no times are available. If you made a QSO with him that has not appeared on LotW, please send me the time. I'll add your QSO, and maybe I can use the information to reconstruct a few other times and thus add a few more QSOs.
  • ZS6WLC finally made his ZS8MI contacts available in 2013. However, the time stamps are mostly spurious. Only six LotW QSLs resulted when the logs were uploaded. The original paper logs have apparently been destroyed. If you can supply me with a date and time, I can attempt to upload your QSO.

    On recent logs, the QSL rate in LotW is between over 60%. In old logs (before 1990) the QSL rate is around 5%. It looks like few people are uploading old paper logs. Nevertheless, QSLs for old contacts continue to show up every day!

    Email requests

    Short version: I do not answer email enquiries about QSLs.

    In the past, I wasted much time on answering emails regarding QSL requests, as a few individuals who boorishly demanded information continued to harrass me. One individual, whose card had been sent but did not get to him, had the audacity to complain about the fact that he'd sent 23 emails over a period of a few weeks; as if that fact somehow reflected badly on me. Given that I'd answered all his questions without delay, I really didn't think that I had been the problem child in this story!

    In the past, the volume of work contributed to an error or two in replying to email requests. The resulting invective peeled the paint off my house walls. In the end, I decided that I'd much rather spend the energy answering the snail-mail that arrives.

    So: If you have a problem with a QSL, please resort to the time-proven technique of snail mail. No more than a handful of people will be inconvenienced. Alternatively, load your logs into LotW and get instant DXCC credit for those QSOs.


    If you have more questions, you might want to check out my QSLing policy or a list of Frequently Asked Questions elsewhere on this Web site.

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