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Founded, January 2006
20,364 members strong
as of 23-Apr-2019

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SKCC Policy on Keys and Exemptions

Questions frequently arise over the SKCC's policy regarding acceptable key types for SKCC activities and awards.

In reading the following rules, bear in mind that the club operates on the honor system. The club also has an obvious purpose: to perpetuate the use of keying devices -- straight keys, side-swipers (cooties), and semi-automatic keys (bugs) -- that do not rely on electronics to form or space CW characters or weight their elements.

When questions arise about hybrid sending approaches that the following rules don't mention, consider the spirit as well as the letter of the rules. That spirit involves more than perpetuating CW. We aim to do that, but so do other groups. We also aim to perpetuate the consistent use of an historically important subset of devices for sending CW.

-- Accepted keys for SKCC activities are the straight key, semi-automatic key, and side-swiper only, as commonly defined;

-- All SKCC-related activities, events, sprints, and awards, or any CQs seeking contacts within the scope of these activities, must be performed entirely with SKCC-accepted devices. The only exception is for members who are not capable of using an accepted device due to physical limitation;

-- Waivers due to physical limitation are to be self-granted. Members who exercise their right to such a waiver should first have made a good-faith effort to determine that none of the accepted key types provides a remedy to their physical limitation. Remember, bugs and sideswipers were originally developed to relieve the physical stress and pain many operators experienced after long periods operating with a straight key. Electronic keying devices may be used only if physical limitations prevent the use of any of the acceptable keying devices.