Duck & Clover.
All right, all right, don't get your fescue in a twist, we know the difference between high clover and Texas bluebonnets.
That's just the way we troll.
This New One began with slide rules and Ten-Tec Argonauts and wound up with a happy-go-lucky duck and a prodigal ham like me who came back on frequency after lying fallow so many years.
Scott and I took the lengthy way home on this one but we both agree it was worth the trip, like so many of my long strange custom QSL card adventures. Interested?
We were commissioned to release this QSL Kraken by FBOM International, Reddit's first radio club. It's not our first digital theme, but this time we went over the falls in search of monsters and lured Grendel's Mother's grandchild out with an expired Red Bull coupon.
Train of Association
Josh AA2AN of the Central New York Contesters club requested a card design and their name set me right away thinking of the Empire State's grand old railroad and its magnificent steam machines. In particular, I thought of the Twentieth Century Limited, subject of many Art Deco posters and surely among the most beautiful and romantic of the great trains - powered by a stable of locomotives all the more magical because they suddenly struck me as nothing so much as 813 power pentodes on wheels.
Yeah, beyond having some shapes in common, it might seem like a stretch. But not so fast. Isn't a final amplifier valve the locomotive of many a ham station yet today? And what more appropriate classic ham final than an 813, born in 1936, when people still dressed up and packed pajamas to take the Twentieth Century Limited overnight from Manhattan to that Toddlin' Town in 16 hours of civilized comfort with all deliberate speed?
All right, I say 813, you say 811A.
I'd certainly entertain a discussion of the matter Old Man. What say we stroll back to the Club Car and sort this out over a nightcap and a couple of Havanas?
Make It a Double!
...sez Mike AJ9C. In this establishment, we're always glad to oblige. For some time, Mike and Friends have been casually operating as an iguana-themed casual contest group from some good time island locales and finally decided to take it to the next good vibrational level.
Introducing the Iguana Air Corps Contest Club. First Mike and I put together the mission critical logo and then we put a lil' somethin' somethin in the coconut for his Shake-It-All Up QSL card.
Thanks Top 'Guan! Good luck in the contests, may you and crew run wild and free.
New ham Steve KG7QBS came up with this wild idea and what fun it was to draw and colorize. Never been to Vegas myself. But hey, who can resist giant neon tchotchkes popping out of the desert, never mind this famously cool welcome sign on which we riffed, originally created by graphic designer Betty Willis and installed in 1959, that great big Tail Fin of a year. The design was left in public domain and remains iconic of the city and ubiquitous among souvenirs. Fabulous!
Here's a recent happy conclusion to our custom design process, printed by KB3IFH QSL Cards and ready to mail to for verification of our client's very first HF QSO.
On his blog, Nick wrote about working up our design and having the cards printed - so if you're curious how that process unfolds, click here for one ham's experience.
Nick also framed his signed copy of the design and it gives us a great deal of pleasure to play a fun part in this new phase of his ham career. And as is so often the case, another client has become another friend.
We wish OM Nick and XYL Anyika fair winds, blue skies and smooth cruisin'.
What might we create for you?
images ©2014 AA5D courtesy Mitch Fortner
photo courtesy Andrew Haworth ©2013 KK4DSD
Our bespoke front-side QSL art is most often a collaborative effort with our clients, a mutual sharing and development of ideas that are translated into images. No worries if you're not yet sure what's right for your card. We'll figure it out together. Clients receive printer-ready digital art files and own the design as well as all rights to reproduce it. All images here appear by generous permission.
Read our eHam Reviews!
How does it work?
No big deal.
Start us sketching for $30 up front via PayPal, and we'll deliver an initial design proposal, reasonable back and forth included. The design mock-up includes your QSL art, callsign, simple QTH and handle text.
No surprises. The design proposal will give you a good idea how it's going to look and we'll make changes as needed.
Once you approve the final draft design, remaining work is billed at $120 for most designs, including QSL printer-ready 300dpi high resolution digital art files.
At no additional charge, you'll also receive an 8.5 x 11" signed print on 11.8mil heavyweight Epson Ultra Premium photo paper printed with genuine Epson inks, as a tangible, decorative keepsake of what we created together.
Altogether how much does a custom QSL design package typically cost?
Most designs will be $150 inclusive. In the rare instance your design would require an unsual amount of work, I would give you an upfront heads up and stick to my estimate, so again, no surprises. This also includes the start-up fee and a hand-signed print of your custom QSL design inscribed with our "Dashie" mark, shipped postpaid in a stout, capped, reusable Yazoo brand heavy- duty Kraft mailing tube. Always ask for Yazoo, whenever you acquire FB ham radio art.
QSL printing is up to you.
We're happy to meet specs of your QSL printer of choice.
We're pleased to recommend Randy KB3IFH. His customers tell the story in their eHam Reviews.
Most of our clients have tapped KB3IFH QSL Cards and received the benefit of Randy's savvy advice and superior customer service. And Randy contacts me directly if he has technical questions, so you needn't sweat the details.
What about the QSO report form?
We recommend putting that on the back of your card, along with mailing info, awards, rigs, and other personal details, easily arranged with your QSL printer. Most offer a variety of reverse side formats in customizable styles. The expense is not much more than a single-sided card, and allows maximum, uncluttered space for your custom design.
Can I print your designs on my own printer?
Yes you can, but you must remember that our designs are default standard QSL size, 3.5 x 5.5" which is a bit differently proportioned than the usual 4x6" photo print format. While not wildly far off, it makes a difference.
If home printing is your plan, you're welcome to opt instead for a design that's standard 4"x6" photo paper size no extra charge. It's also possible to do a design that works in both formats, but it's easier and quicker for all concerned if I know that's your intent before I start.
Use BV7 Freeware by DF3CB to print your own QSL report labels for the back and you're good to go. Of course, your print quality will vary, depending on printer, photo paper, inks and settings. Mailing self-printed photos like postcards is risky business, so envelopes are a must. Also before buying envelopes, make sure they'll fit your 4"x6" cards.
Contact me, Jeff K1NSS, for a free consultation. I'd be delighted to discuss your ideas and answer your questions.
Still Just Looking? Click this customer blog write-up with pictures by Frank KØJQZ and have a independent look at a K1NSS Custom QSL experience. You don't buy a pig in a poke. It's plenty of back and forth with ample opportunity for feedback and mid-course corrections. It's gotta be right. It's that simple.
I'm a bona fide OM who first became airborne in his 1963 boyhood bedroom, slipping Earth's surly bonds by means of my humble Heathkit DX-20 and laughable Lafayette HE-40 , feeding a legendary Gotham Vertical.
Between me and you-know-who, our radiosportin' life is an open couple of books starring Dash! The Dog-Faced Ham. Plus my homepage of ham funnies and fun Dashtoons.com is followed by discriminating fans around the amateur world.
And our logo art has received international attention promoting ham radio special events for young people, sponsored by one of northern Italy's most active and forward looking amateur organizations, Insubria Radio Club.
In addition, Jeff K1NSS Design created graphics for :
I've played radio and drawn cartoons since I was a kid and I'm too OM to change. What can I draw for you?
Contact Jeff K1NSS
First time visitor?
Safe to say that under this ionosphere, there's nothing quite like Dashtoons. So if you're new to our decidedly different take on ham radio, give 'er a click!