QSL Bureau


It is believed that the first QSL cards appeared around 1923 or 1924, at the same time radio amateurs pioneered regular trans-pacific and trans-atlantic radio contacts on shortwave.

The cost of postage for QSL cards was quite expensive, and WIA members began to pool their cards and send them overseas in bulk at cheaper postage rates. The first QSL Bureau in Australia began in about 1928. Within a few years there were bureaux operating in all Australian states and the major countries around the world.

The QSL Bureau only exchange cards between themselves, and there are a very few countries which don't have a bureau. In these cases, radio amateurs wanting a card from a non-bureau country must QSL direct by using the normal postage system.

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The card size and placement of the recipient callsign were made standard worldwide some years ago to make it easier to sort and handle large quantities of cards.

Amateur Radio Victoria operates the VK3 Bureau, on behalf of the WIA and covers both incoming and outgoing cards. This is a free service to ARV members and/or WIA members.

What is a QSL card

Many radio amateurs still carry on the tradition of using a QSL card as a confirmation of a contact with another amateur station. More commonly today it is a selective practice - used when you make a first contact with a country, or would particularly like to receive a QSL in return.

The "QSL" comes from the Q-code which basically means "acknowledge", thus a QSL card is an acknowledgement card.

A QSL card contains some basic information - the amateur stations callsign, location, licensee's name and postal address, and often details about the amateur station equipment. It will also include details of the contact, the date/time, frequency, mode of transmission, and signal report.

TO1K QSL card
T30L QSL card
C21WW QSL card

Browse through our QSL card collection

Inwards QSL Bureau

This free service is available to Amateur Radio Victoria and/or WIA financial members

Register for the VK3 QSL Bureau

Be sure to nominate one of the VK3 QSL distribution points to which cards will be sent. Batches of cards are sent to the distribution points every 90 days.

Distribution points are required to handle cards for radio amateurs registered with the Bureau (WIA and/or ARV members( even if those amateurs are not necessarily members of the club.

Outwards QSL Bureau

This free service is available to Amateur Radio Victoria and/or WIA financial members.

WIA members send outgoing going cards to:

ARV members send outgoing cards to:

Cards are forwarded to IARU officially recognised bureau only. For this service to continue to be provided at no additional charge, members need to correctly address each of their cards by designating the Preffered Prefix of the destination bureau.

Only the preferred prefix of the destination bureau must be printed in the TOP RIGHT HAND CORNER on the front or back of the card. e.g. A card being sent to Korea for D51AA would have printed the prefix HL in the top corner.

Card size should not exceed 140mm x 90mm or be less than 125mm x 80mm. QSLs must not be printed on lightweight paper, (such as 80gsm copy paper). Preferred weigh is in the range 120 - 180gsm. Cards must be sorted and grouped together for the respective destination bureau and sent or delivered to the Amateur Radio Victoria Office, 40g Victory Boulevard, Ashburton 3147, and clearly marked OUTWARDS BUREAU.

The Bureau will not accept responsibility for cards incorrectly addressed.

The practice of some members to send cards for every QSO with the same station on the same band is overloading both our bureau and overseas bureau. If this continues it will ultimately result in a charge being placed on all outwards cards.

Become a member

$40 Full, $30 Concession

Join today