Visit the WØ QLS Bureau website for complete details.
Since September of 2005 the Mississippi Valley DX and Contest Club (MVDXCC) has sponsored the WØ QSL Bureau as a service to the Amateur Community. The majority of the Bureau's sorters are MVDXCC members and part of each club meeting is devoted to matters of the Bureau.
About the Bureau system & How the Zero Bureau Works
If you are a DX'er or Contester you probably use the ARRL Outgoing QSL Bureau system for the majority of your DX cards. As a member of the ARRL you can send bulk DX cards for a very reasonable price and receive DX cards from your local ARRL Incoming Bureau. To determine your Incoming Bureau you use the number in your callsign. If your callsign, for example, has the number Ø then your Incoming Bureau is the Zero Bureau or Tenth District Bureau. For a listing of all the ARRL Incoming QSL Bureaus, click here.
Incoming DX QSL cards arrive at your Bureau from DX Bureaus usually on a monthly basis. Each Incoming Bureau has its own procedures for purchasing supplies (envelopes, stamps & address labels) and getting cards to bureau subscribers.
The Zero Incoming Bureau uses the following procedures for processing and getting incoming DX cards to members:
- Incoming cards are first pre-sorted into groups based on the first letter after the zero in the callsign. The WØ QSL Bureau has three per-Sorters who first sort all incoming cards into each of the 26 letter groups. To get an idea of what a pre-sort looks like the picture below is of a typical pre-sort for one of the three pre-sorters that contains over 8,700 incoming cards. The Zero District QSL Bureau typically pre-sorts 15,000 or more DX cards each quarter.
- The pre-sorted stacks are then passed along to the individual Sorter that handles each letter. Sorters are volunteer Hams who take on the responsibility for sorting all the cards in their letter group by individual callsign and maintain a ledger that shows each Ham who has cards at the Bureau, the amount of supplies (envelopes, stamps & self-addressed address labels) on hand for sending each individual Ham their incoming DX cards, and a history of cards handled by that particular sorter.
- To determine your individual Sorter you use the letter following the zero in your callsign. For example, if you callsign has the letter "R" after the zero then your sorter would be the "R" sorter .. and so on. You can contact your Zero Bureau Sorter by using the Sorter Contact Form found on the WØ QSL Bureau website.
- In the Zero Bureau cards are pre-sorted and passed along to individual letter sorters on a quarterly basis. Sorters, in turn, sort and send out cards to individual bureau member on a quarterly basis IF the individual ham has both supplies on hand and a sufficient number of DX cards to warrant a mailing. Typically, if you are a Zero Bureau subscriber and have supplies on hand and at least 6 incoming DX cards with your sorter you will receive a mailing of those cards quarterly. If you do not have supplies on hand with your sorter OR if you have fewer than 6 cards on hand your sorter will hold those cards until you either get 6 or more cards or the month of December is reached at which time your sorter will send you any cards on hand, even if you only have one card at that time, if you have supplies on hand.
- In order to be a subscriber of the Zero Bureau and receive any DX cards that arrive for you through the ARRL Incoming QSL Bureau you must: (1) purchase supplies from the Zero Bureau manager, who will then deliver your supplies to your individual sorter; and (2) have incoming DX cards that have arrived for you through the incoming Bureau system.
- For special contacts such as rare-DX stations or big DX'peditions Hams often send there card via the USPS First Class mail. Often rare DX stations or big DX'ers require an IRC "International Reply Coupon" or two to be sent along with a SASE in order to receive a QSL card in return. NOTE, currently in the United States an IRC will cost $2.10, but your local post office may not be familiar with this product and may not have them in stock. If you have problems getting IRCs through your local Post Office, check this resource for IRCs. To determine if this is necessary for a particular DX contact look the station up on QRZ where they will give details about QSL'ing and if they have a Manager who handles there QSL contacts. Many big DXers have state-side managers which really simplifies the process.
- If you have questions about the ARRL QSL Bureau system or the WØ QSL Bureau please visit there websites.