AMANDX PRESENTS


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 willhaver 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, asaccurately 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 information:

SIGNAL
5= VERY STRONG
4= STRONG
3= MODERATE
2= WEAK
1= UNUSABLE

INTERFERENCE (ATMOSPHERIC)
5=CLEAR
4= LIGHT INTERFERENCE
3= MODERATE
2= HEAVY
1= SEVERE

NOISE (MAN MADE)
5= NONE
4= LIGHT
3= MODERATE
2= STRONG
1= SEVERE

PROPAGATION
5= NO FADING
4= LIGHT FADING
3= MODERATE FADING
2= DEEP FADING
1= UNUSABLE

OVERALL
5= EXCELLENT
4= GOOD
3= MODERATE
2= POOR
1= UNUSABLE

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 under funded 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 lees 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

QSL Form






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