Founded, January 2006
12,875 members strong
(as of 10/11/2014)
The two-hour Straight Key Sprint (SKS) occurs monthly on the fourth Wednesday starting at 0000 UTC. the goal of SKS is to work as many stations as possible during the sprint period using a mechanical key approved by the rules of the Straight Key Century Club. These include straight keys, sideswipers (cooties), and bugs. The SKCC Board of Directors can grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis to those with physical disabilities that prevent the use of such keys. To request an exemption, use the email-board link under the Club Contacts section of the navigation column at left. Please remember that although it is a contest, the SKS is rather informal, and has as its main objective to bring together operators with different skill levels. Operating speed should be adjusted accordingly. Please send SKS comments/suggestions to sks-manager at skccgroup dot com.
The October SKS will be run on the 22nd UTC. Dave KI6BHB will be the bonus station for this sprint. We look forward to hearing you on the Straight Key Sprint!
Operators interested in working the SKS as a bonus station at some point during the year, please drop me a note at the above comments/suggestions email address. There is no obligation involved in indicating your interest. I'll contact one or more operators a week or so before a sprint to firm up arrangements.
Bonus stations may operate under their own callsign or may use the club call (US stations only), K9SKC, for the sprint. Please let me know if you have a preference of when during the year you might be available and if you would put the club call on the air or prefer to use your own.
Here are the general rules and scoring for SKS. They may be superceded by special rules and scoring associated with a particular SKS event.
Eligibility:You do not have to be an SKCC member to participate. All participants must use a manual key (straight key, sideswiper, or bug) unless granted an exception by SKCC.
The frequencies listed below are those most frequented by SKCC members and are where you are likely to make contact. Look around. Just make sure you are operating on a frequency allowed by your license class.
|160 m, 1820 kHz||80 m, 3550 kHz||40 m, 7055 / 7114 kHz||20 m, 14050 kHz|
|15 m, 21050 kHz||10 m, 28050 kHz||6 m, 50090 kHz|
The use of spotting networks (including sked pages) is NOT permitted. Bands other than those specified above are NOT permitted.
Exchange:The minimum exchange of data must include RST, Qth, NAME, and SKCC#. Centurions and Tribunes send C or T respectively at the end of your SKCC#. Non-member participants send your transmit power (e.g. 50W) in place of SKCC number. Please be realistic with RST, don't just give 599 because you have to. If you do not get a signal report you are obliged to ask for one. US and Canadian stations, send your two-character state or province code. All other countries send your 3-alpha country code found here.
is an example: NT9K DE K2RFP HR 589 NY - DICK 2099T - BK
The use of cut numbers for RST and SKCC number is not recommended for the first pass of the data but may be used in a repeat.
Score: (Total QSO Points x Total Multiplier Points) + Total Bonus Points
Bonus points vary and are specific to the current sprint. In general bonus points is the sum of bonus points earned for working Centurions, tribunes, and the designated special SKCC member for the sprint. In some cases, an addition special bonus may also be granted. Unless otherwise specified, the following standard scoring will be used
Total QSO Points: You earn one point for each unique station worked per band. Working the same station on the same band does not earn another point but, working the same station on a different band does earn a second point.
Total Multiplier Points: You earn one point for each unique USA state, or Canadian province, or other non-USA, non-Canada country worked during the sprint. Note that this is per sprint, not per band. So, for example, once you work a station in NY, working a second in NY does not increase your multiplier count.
Centurion Bonus Points: The number of bonus points for working Centurions is 5 for each Centurion worked during the sprint. Note that this per sprint, not per band. So, for example, working the same Centurion on a second band does not give you an extra 5 points since it is the same Centurion.
Tribune Bonus Points: tribune bonus points work the same way as the Centurion bonus points except the numerical value is 10 points per tribune.
Senator Bonus Points: senator bonus points work the same way as the Centurion/Tribune bonus points except the numerical value is 15 points per senator.
Designated Special SKCC Member Bonus Points: You get 25 points for each band on which you make contact with the Designated Special SKCC Member.
Logs are not required unless requested by the sprint manager. Scores are submitted via the web submission page linked at the top of this page. Scores must be submitted no later than the Sunday following the event. If you discover a mistake in your entry after it has been submitted you can correct it by resubmitting the data, provided the time window for submitting is still open. When resubmitting, you must re-enter ALL of the data, not just the correction.
SKS was initiated and managed by Kevin (K4VD) starting in 2006. Its purpose is to provide an opportunity for operators with differing levels of experience and skill to participate in a casual contest. It may help inexperienced operators to gain the confidence to try their hand in many competitive contests available to hams. It also provides an opportunity for operators to collect numbers toward SKCC awards.
Due to job obligations Kevin had to give up managing the sprints after a few months. Webmaster Bill (NT9K) took over the job and after a few months was helped out by John (AI4RE) until John could no longer afford the time needed. Again Bill took up the slack. As 2008 drew to a close, management of SKS was taken up by Dick (K2RFP). Randy (KB4QQJ) helped out in the early stages of the changeover. Dave (KI6BHB), the current SKS Manager, took up the reins in the summer of 2009.