DX University™

  A Guide for DXers and DXpeditioners

Bureau Cards via Club Log OQRS

The Weekly DX™ Helpful Hints No. 48 from the DX University™* 

Club Log is currently conducting a survey asking your opinion about providing ORRS bureau cards via their service. Here’s your chance to weigh in. The survey:

What is this survey about? This survey is about allowing users to charge money for bureau cards requested through Club Log's Online QSL Request System (OQRS). This is not a survey about Club Log asking for a fee. Club Log is free.

Club Log OQRS is a computerized system for asking for direct or bureau QSL cards. It's intended to reduce unwanted cards, especially for expeditions, and simplify QSLing for popular callsigns. At present, there are two important rules that apply to all users who wish to use Club Log OQRS:

1. Bureau cards must be offered.

2. No-one may charge for a bureau card in Club Log OQRS

These rules were intended to stop commercialization of the QSL process.

What is being considered? We are considering allowing users to choose to charge for bureau cards, or choose not to offer bureau cards. Club Log has all-but eliminated the personal effort needed to request a bureau card, and this may be causing unnecessary or indiscriminate QSLing via the bureau. Giving callsign holders the option to charge a small amount for bureau cards would reduce this problem. However, it may also cause resentment or disputes if cards sent through the bureau never arrive.

What would you prefer? Please let us know what you would prefer by completing this short survey.

To participate in the survey visit https://cdxc.wufoo.eu/forms/bureau-cards-via-oqrs/

More Thoughts on Bureau Cards via OQRS:

The OQRS system is a very efficient and useful addition to the confirmation process. With the use of OQRS and the advent of electronic QSLing, however, the traditional balance between the various methods of QSLing has changed. In the past, QSL managers didn’t worry much about the costs of answering bureau cards. Postage rates were lower. The cost of responding to bureau requests was often taken out of expedition postage “revenue.” This revenue resulted from excess postage sent with direct requests. Since direct requests don’t as often result in “postage” excesses, and costs are higher, other means must be found for funding the costs of the bureau responses. One way or another, bureau requests should continue to be honored, of course. Bureau QSLing is very popular in countries where the bureau services are funded through society dues.

In view of the recent changes in funding for handling QSL cards (OQRS), we have to wonder how the expenses for processing bureau requests will be handled. Ideally, there would be no OQRS “charge” for bureau responses. At the same time, DXers are beginning to realize that depending on particular situations, there are significant costs incurred with the use of the bureaus. Specifically, moving cards on their way back to DXers is becoming more and more expensive. Some society bureaus simply cannot afford to ship outgoing cards all over the globe. DXpeditions have a right to be reimbursed for the costs incurred in responding to OQRS requests via the bureau. Though the bureaus themselves haven’t generally been reimbursed by DXers, their expenses are also an issue. In addition, since many bureaus require society membership for incoming and outgoing QSLs, these difficulties must be understood.

In general, there should be a separation between QSLing and fund raising. There should be no appearance of a commercialization of DXing. This can be accomplished through a separation between QSLing and fund raising. Funding for DXpeditions should remain voluntary, and there should be no coercion in the QSLing process, i.e. there should be no charging – beyond costs – for cards. Requiring substantial contributions for the early receipt of QSLs for new country operations, for example, is almost guaranteed to cause a ruckus, and should be avoided.


Any direct charge demanded for direct or electronic QSLs should reflect the actual cost of providing the service. Although fund raising must pay a significant portion of the cost of an expedition, QSLing should not be used as a lever to increase funding. It may be appropriate for Internet pages to focus attention on a “Donate” button, to provide the opportunity to easily make a donation, but to couple a so-called donation with being issued a QSL card should be avoided.

Logbook of the World (LoTW) confirmations cost almost nothing to create, and widespread use of LoTW can seriously impact fund raising donations. Currently, many DXpedition organizers are delaying LoTW uploads in order to re-direct DXers to methods of confirmation that can more easily result in contributions. But, as these same organizers see that donations can be encouraged through other means, early Logbook uploads are becoming more and more a positive element. Real-time log submission can replace the DXpedition’s on-line log. An easy-to-implement method enabling donations when using LoTW might be to incorporate a “donate button” somewhere in the LoTW confirmation process.

Club Log now provides a very efficient OQRS serviced for DXpeditions unable to obtain the necessary Web services. But, the question of whether to require users to accept bureau cards, and whether to allow them to charge for the handling these cards is perplexing. Please go to the survey website and send Club Log your opinion.


*The DX University™ is a day-long learning session for newcomers and old-timers wishing to hone their DXing skills. You are welcome to join us at future sessions. For more information on upcoming DX University sessions, visit the DX University Website at www.dxuniversity.com