OBTAINING A VERIFICATION FROM A STATION
Once you start hearing stations you may wish to get a verification (usually called a Verie or
QSL) from the station. In order to obtain a Verie or QSL( a term borrowed from Amateur
radio operators) you will have to send off a letter or card requesting such a verification of
reception. This article will lay down some basic guideline to follow when you try for a Verie.
No method is 100% fool-proof but these rules will help you get started and keep you going. As
you gain more knowledge about the hobby and your skills in writing improve your Verie
totals will add up quite nicely.
A form is available at the end of this page for you to use if you wish.
There is basic information that you must include to get a verification from any station
regardless of the type of station it is. These basic bits of information are:
STATION NAME- Always include the name and call signs of the station you are writing to. A
station's address may be used by more than one station. This is especially true of major networks
found around the world.
DATE- Insure you have the correct date and if you are using UTC or GMT make sure you
have the correct date UTC/GMT. For verifications within North America for AM and FM stations
it is best to use the local date. Write the date out in full. A station may see a date like 03/02/1995
and wonder if you heard them on March 2,1995 or February 3, 1995. A wrong date will just
about guarantee that you will not get a Verie back.
TIME- Use the UTC or GMT time method on all shortwave verifications. They may not
recognize your local time and this will make looking up the information you have given them
impossible to verify. For AM and FM stations in North America you can use their local time, but
make sure you tell them it is their and not your local time you are referring to.
FREQUENCY- Give the frequency you heard them on, as accurately as possible. Many
stations broadcast on several frequencies at the same time or change frequency with time of
day. If you have no digital readout try to be as accurate as you can.
SIGNAL STRENGTH- This is very important to a station. They really do want to know how
well they are coming in at your location. Be honest as this information is valuable to the
engineering staff at the station. You can use words like: STRONG, GOOD, WEAK etc. You may
also wish to report any fading or interference that you had during the broadcast. As you will see
there is a matter of opinion to be expressed, as one person's very strong may be another person's
strong. You will have to decide for yourself, but once again be honest, as false reports will do
more harm than good to future plans that station may make as to the power they need to run or
the frequencies that they should be using at various times of the day or year.
Many listeners use the SINPO method of reporting. This will include using the following
5= VERY STRONG
4= LIGHT INTERFERENCE
NOISE (MAN MADE)
5= NO FADING
4= LIGHT FADING
3= MODERATE FADING
2= DEEP FADING
MODE OF TRANSMISSION- This refers to the type of transmission the station used to
generate the signal you received. For the most part this will be AM(Amplitude Modulation), or
SSB(Single Side band), or FM (Frequency Modulation). This will cover all of the voice
transmissions you will likely ever hear on the radio regardless of frequency.
YOUR EQUIPMENT- Tell the station what type of receiver and antenna you were using. This
too is important as it will tell the engineering staff what type of equipment is needed to hear their
signals. This is especially true for small or very distant stations.
PROGRAM DETAILS- This is a most important section. In order to convince a station you
really did hear them you will have to tell them what you heard. Tell them that you heard a news
cast, science program, music, etc. In the report put in as much detail as you can, such as:
I heard a news report about your country's new economic outlook and trade situation in
regards to the Pacific Rim countries.
Your science program was about the latest space flight and experiments on the solar wind
that you are currently conducting.
The music you played was songs by the Rolling Stones and Beatles.
You may also wish to mention the announcers name and the name of the programs you were
listening to. If they were in a language other than English mention that also. You may also have
to mention English if it is a language that is not used in that country. The better your information
the better your chances.
TAPED REPORTS- You can if you chose send a cassette tape of the program you heard.
However if you do so do not expect the station to return your tape. Such tapes will help out in the
case of a tentative logging when you may not be 100% sure that you did receive the station. Send
in the important and clear sections of the tape. Nobody wants to listen to a bunch of static and
interference. The tape should be backed up by program details in your report, for the person to
match up and verify that you did hear them.
RETURN POSTAGE- Make sure you send return postage with each request for a verification
and if possible a self-addressed return envelope. Many station these days are underfunded and
this will help them pay for your Verie. No station is under an obligation to send out a Verie, so
help them out in the monetary area. If you cannot get stamps for a foreign country you can
purchase IRC's(International Reply Coupons) at the post office. These are good in most countries
around the world for return postage. The radio station can cash these in for postage. Some
listeners have been known to send "Green Stamps" or money in the mail with their Verie request.
This can be a problem in some countries where having foreign currency is against the law or
where the postal system is less than honest. Mail has been known to go "missing" because the
postal employees remove the money before the station gets the mail if it ever arrives.
LANGUAGES- If at all possible write in the language used in that country. This may be very
hard but there are sources that can help out by showing you a basic Verie letter in French
Spanish etc. You might also receive help at a local International Centre where people new to the
country gather. Quite often they are willing to help and may want to find out how you managed to
hear the "old country".
OTHER HINTS- Always be polite. No station has to send a Verie so never demand a reply.
Many stations just are not equipped to do veries and you are out of luck.
Send a prepared letter or card that the station personnel just have to sign. These prepared
cards can be made as plain or as fancy as you like. A little fun on a computer can give you a
nice letter or card for the station to sign off on.
You can send something in your request such as a small information pamphlet on your city or
state. Little "presents" can help from time to time.
You may have to send a follow up if you do not receive a reply back in what you deem a
reasonable time. Remember reasonable may be 3 months or more if mail is slow and or the
station is small. Veries may not be at the top of the list of things to do at many stations. The
follow up report should contain all of the information the first letter did. Also including person
information about yourself, your city, postcards of your location, etc. may be sent along to get the
attention of the person reading the letter. Again remain polite and never demand to know why the
first letter was ignored.
CONCLUSION-Be patient. These things can take time and two follow ups may be needed.
You will never attain a 100% reply level, but by following these rules and learning to write better
and better reception reports as you grow within the hobby, your rate of return will grow. The
verifications you receive whether they are letters or QSL cards will add to the hobby and give you
a collection you will be proud of for years to come.
Below is a sample of a form that you can use to send off to a station in order to obtain a verification or QSL. You can add to the form to suit your needs depending on your listening habits. Hope you enjoy it.
RECEPTION REPORT FOR RADIO STATION
Click on the link to get a printable (Word format) QSL/Verie form
YOU CAN E-MAIL AMANDX AT:
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Remember On A Clear Day You Can Hear Forever