The Straight Key Century Club is the most active group of mechanical-key Morse code radiotelegraph operators in the world. Founded in January 2006, we have thousands of members around the globe.
Here's how it works:
-- Apply for free membership. (Open to licensed amateur radio operators
-- Make HF radio contacts using any of the three early original types of manual telegraph keys: Straight Key, Bug and Cootie.
-- Gain on-air experience in sending and receiving by swapping numbers with other members; enter Club sponsored sprints, contests and special events; rag chew; earn activity & achievement awards; access our online resources, newsletter, forums and chat.
Please see the description of mechanical key types and participation guidelines here.
To receive an SKCC number, click on the Join SKCC link at left. If you are helping someone who wants to join but doesn't use email, you can download a snail-mail application here.
After confirming several marathons for others this summer, Dave signed himself up and got off to a great start. In December, he reviewed old logs for past marathons that could be included. Putting the old and new together, Dave’s first confirmed marathon was on February 25, 2008. He concluded on March 10, 2021, with a 70 minute rag chew with his brother Jan, KA3BZQ.
Dave was first license as WN2AOL while stationed at Fort Monmouth, NJ. as a Signal Corps Instructor. Five months and 108 QSOs later, he had earned the ARRL Rag Chewers’ Club Certificate and had his last Novice QSO was with his father Bill, W3LMB.
Dave left the Army in 1972, returned to PA, and was issued WA3SCM. He joined SKCC in March 2007. Dave often operated a motel QRP station while he worked at power plants across the USA. Retirement in 2012 has allowed Dave to enjoy radio full time. Dave is a rag chewer at heart as evident by his RCC Certificate and the SKCC Marathon Award. He views rag chews as a simple conversation held at an easy to copy speed for both parties. He’s still amazed at the interesting stories that unfold, connections discovered, and just the plain fun that rag chews turn out to be.
Dave extends his thanks to all the CW operators who helped him complete the SKCC Marathon Award. His new quest is to earn The Lion City Award established by SARTS to include a QSO with his son Michael, W3LMB (his Grandfather’s call). Along the way Dave intends to do some extremely slow CQ’s for those new CW operators just starting out. Do you remember how scary your first few QSOs were? Look for him on the air; he seldom talks less than and hour!
The Marathon Award was established in 2008 to recognize SKCC members who demon-strate their skill, talent, and love for ragchewing by completing 100 QSOs with other SKCC members, each lasting 60 minutes or more. The first award occurred in 2014, and now has a total of 8 awardees as of March 2021. If your interests extends to rag chewing and your looking for a challenge, consider joining in the fun and developing your own rag chewing skills.
Mike’s Callsign was drawn from a virtual Hat containing the Callsigns of all the members who participated in 4 or more of the monthly SSS operating events during 2020 and reported their activity on the Slow Speed Saunter Results page.
The SKCC Green Machine is a single paddle key mounted on a beautiful green Quartz base mined in Vermont. The key is also unique in that it may be used either as a single paddle key with a radio’s internal electronic keyer, or may be used as a Sideswiper key also known as a Cootie key!
We hope to make an SKCC Slow Speed Saunter Operating Event Participation Presentation annually.
Join us in the SSS on the first day of each month, and be sure to record your participation on the Results page!
The Slow Speed Saunter is not a contest !
The SSS is a monthly operating event held on the first day of each month in conjunction with the SKCC Straight Key Nite (SKN), and is designed to provide for a relaxed 24 hours of slow speed CW operating outside of any contesting event. It’s a great time to practice, improve your skills, or just enjoy CW at speeds under 13 wpm. Go at your own pace with the knowledge that others will match your speed.
Complete information about the Slow Speed Saunter can be found
here @ The Slow Speed Saunter page.
Rich - W4RQ Amateur Radio: The Original Social Media
All frequencies are + or - 10kHz.
SKCC members who use bugs are encouraged to make higher speed calls/CQs 2 KHz above the calling frequencies.
SKCC members who prefer QRS (sending slowly) are encouraged to make calls 2 KHz down from the calling frequencies.
The Elmer frequency for beginning operators is 7114 KHz. It's a safe haven for CW newcomers to get on the air. All Elmers or anyone who wants to help are encouraged to monitor the frequency and work the beginners.
Please take some time to check it out. It can be found here.
Ted — K8AQM/VE9AQM
Under the "Member Services" section to the left. If you have not used the skimmer while chasing awards, you are missing out. Those last few contacts are always hard to find.
SKCC Straight Key Night (SKN) occurs from 0000 - 2359 UTC on the first day of each month. It is not a contest, so there is no need to submit logs. But it is a good opportunity to work toward the club's achievement awards. The operating event, the club's first, was inspired by the ARRL's annual Straight Key Night. The SKCC's founders wanted to have Straight Key Night every month -- a good way to bring members together on the air on a regular basis. The tradition continues!
This is not a contest. The goal is to work slow speed operators @ 12 wpm or less. Please QRS.
Visit the Slow Speed Saunter Home Page for details.
The Monthly SKCC Euro-Sprint (SKS-E) occurs on the first Thursday of the month. The event time varies according to British Summer Time (BST). BST details can be found here TimeAndDate.com
Visit the SKSE Home Page for sprint details.
The Monthly Weekend Sprintathon (WES) occurs on the Saturday following the 6th of each month @1200 through 2359 the next day (A total of 36 hours).
Visit the WES Home Page for details.
The Monthly Straight Key Sprint (SKS) occurs on the fourth Wednesday of the month and runs from 0000-0200 UTC. This means Tuesday evening in the US.
Visit the SKS Home Page for sprint details.
Then check out our CW Beginner's Corner page. It has plenty of basic information about CW operations that will help turn those first CW QSOs from jitters to joy.
If you want personalized, on-air help, check out our Morse Elmers page. You'll find contact information for members who have volunteered to serve as CW mentors. Drop one an email to set up an on-air schedule. Or just visit the club's sked page. You'll see a list of members logged in and can use the page's messaging functions to reach a member to arrange an on-air contact.
You have lots of help available to you as you become more adept at using the original instant-messaging mode! You'll find links to the Beginner's and Elmer pages in the navigation column at left under Getting Started. The link to the Sked Page appears under SKCC Community.
Visit the club's sked site at https://sked.skccgroup.com. It's a fun, friendly place. New members and beginners are encouraged to join! No commands to learn, no Mickey Moussing around with new software. The system simply asks you to provide some basic info about yourself and, presto, you get a list of all SKCC members looking for some CW fun! Can't get any easier than that! A hearty "thank you" to Mark, K7MJG, for developing the sked page. A link to it also appears under SKCC Community in the navigation column at left.
Looking for SKCC related software? Download club related software free. Programs like W5ZR's SKCC Awards tracker. If you are a software author and have club or CW related programs to contribute, please contact the email@example.com See the Files and downloads under Member services at left.
We have all faced the daunting task of firing-up the radio for that first CW contact. Now you can take that shaky, uncertain hand and turn it into a confident, firm fist with the help of our group of SKCC Morse Code Elmers. Simply click on the Morse Elmers link at left, choose from the list of Elmers, send him or her an email requesting a sked, and before you know it you'll be enjoying the thrill of sending and receiving solid CW.
Consider supporting the Halfway House for Keys program, run by a group of hams led by Michael Aretsky, N6MQL, SKCC 5051. The program provides free or very-low-cost straight keys, bugs, and cootie keys to young, newly licensed amateur radio operators who have shown an interest in using CW. The goal of the group is to keep Morse code alive and working on the air. All recipients are required to use their donated keys for at least one hour a week on the air, not just with a practice oscillator. They also are required to meet minimum guidelines to receive a key.
If you would like to donate a spare straight key, bug, or cootie key in any condition, or if you have keys' parts you would like to donate, Mike's group would be very grateful for your contribution. Keys and spare parts can go directly to Mike at:
N6MQL Halfway House for
5543 Tierra Gardens Lane
Carmichael, CA 95608
If you have no keys to spare, cash works. You can donate directly though PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All of the money collected pays for parts that have not been donated or for postage, which we pay if a recipient can't pay for it. NONE of the money is kept by the Halfway House members for personal use.
If you have any questions about the program, would like to donate a key or parts, or would like to be considered as a recipient for key donation, please do not hesitate to email Mike at email@example.com.
So now you've joined SKCC, you have your mechanical sending device, radios, antennae, and other station accessories. But do you have the SKCC "look"? Here are some gift ideas you might think about when gift-giving/receiving time arrives. Why not stop by some of the vendors who are providing SKCC-related gear and do a little virtual window shopping?
For an SKCC name badge, stop by the SignMan of Baton Rouge, purveyor of the SKCC badge shown at left. If you're interested in pinning one on your shirt pocket, you can order an SKCC badge here.
If embroidered hats are your thing, visit Asterid's Embroidery and Quilts for a look at some au courant SKCC chapeaus! If you've got hair, complement it with a like-colored hat. If you don't have hair, well, protect that dome!