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"QSL" is  an amateur radio "Q-Code" that means either “do you confirm receipt of my transmission” or “I confirm receipt of your transmission”.  For over a century, amateur radio operators have exchanged QSL cards to confirm two-way contacts between each other.  QSL cards were originally used to facilitate technical details about a station, but today they are mainly sent as a courtesy and for fun.  QSL cards are usually about the size as a postcard, often elaborately decorated to express individuality, and are mailed through the postal service.  The QSL card can be as plain or as fancy as the amateur operator wishes, can be printed on one side or both sides, and usually with photos or artwork on them.  More basic designs simply have the station’s callsign along with the important information to confirm the contact.  Some amateur radio clubs and amateur radio organizations have contests, offering awards to their members who can collect the most QSL cards, or have received QSL cards from certain locations.  For one amateur radio operator to contact another requires the right transmitting and receiving radio gear, some skill, the right atmospheric conditions, and good timing. 

So when two amateur radio operators get in touch for the first time, they often confirm the contact by trading post cards. Many hams have a collection of prized QSL cards showcasing contacts with famous people, contacts from rare or exotic places, and some (like me) just collect them for fun in their ham radio hobby.



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