After receiving Nigel’s (G3TXF) QSL card, I knew it was time to print some of my own. I had been iterating on a design since I became a ham. After many hours of research and seeing a huge variety of card designs. The cards that I enjoyed the most were vintage cards from the early days of ham radio; which inspired me to incorporate an art-deco feel into mine. Many rounds of revisions later, I settled on a final design and sent them off to print. I used a local print shop right here in Vista called Ries Printing, owned and operated by Ken Ries. The cards came out wonderful and I’m looking forward to mailing them out to all the contacts I’ve made!
After reading from the ARRL that the International Space Station was going to be sending images over Slow Scan Television (SSTV), I wanted to try my hand at picking up their signal as they passed over head. Armed with MMSSTV (free SSTV software), isstracker.com to track the ISS, and an audio cable running from my radio to my PC, I was ready to go. However, the ISS passed over head without making a peep. It turns out I missed their transmission window by about 10 minutes. Having spent all the time getting my rig setup I wasn’t about to give up.
This morning I flipped on my HF rig and set it to 28.680Mhz, the 10 meter calling frequency for SSTV. I sent my CQ image out over the air and in no time, I had a reply! It was incredibly exciting to see the image roll in with my call sign fixed at the top. Steve, NS3L had heard me and gave me a reply! As quickly as I could, I setup another image back to Steve but the frequency started getting busy so I’m not sure if he received it, but this experience has sparked a huge interest for me in SSTV and I’m excited to continue exploring it!
When I got home last night there was a small envelope waiting for me. It was addressed with my call sign neatly printed on the front. Upon opening I found my very first QSL card from Nigel – G3TXF, located on the North Coast of Devon, England. Nigel and I had a brief contact during the CQWW contest. I was extremely excited to say the least and am now planning on how to display this and all future QSL cards.