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.
VE0 - Stations at sea
VE8 - Northwest Territories
VA1/VE1 - Nova Scotia
VE9 - New Brunswick
VA2/VE2 - Quebec
VO1 - Newfoundland
VA3/VE3 - Ontario
VO2 - Labrador
VA4/VE4 - Manitoba
VY0 - Nunavut
VA5/VE5 - Saskatchewan
VY1 - Yukon
VA6/VE6 - Alberta
VY2 - Prince Edward Is.
VA7/VE7 - British Columbia
VY2 - Prince Edward Is.
Ted K8AQM / VE9AQM
The SKCC QSO Party aims to bring together operators with different skill levels in a informal operating event lasting 24 hours. The event starts at 1800 UTC on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 and runs through Sunday, October 3rd, 2021 at 1800Z.
SKCC members who participate in the QSO Party must use straight keys, sideswipers (cooties), or bugs. Waivers from this policy are possible. For details, see the club's policy on approved keying devices here. Because this event aims to include newcomers to CW as well as experience brass-pounders, operating speed should be adjusted accordingly.
Please address any questions or ideas for improvement to the QSO Party Manager,
Please take some time to check it out. It can be found here.
Ted — K8AQM/VE9AQM
Jack made his first marathon QSO on April 30, 2008 and his 100th on April, 21, 2021. Ninety-eight of his 100 QSOs were completed in the last seven months — an amazing effort! Jack joined the SKCC on October 22, 2006 and has been an active participant in many of the Club activities from his QTH in Appleton, Wisconsin.
His passion is helping those new or “renewed” CW ops. Jack came back from a 22-year hiatus in the summer of 2006 after a local ham club member “twisted his arm” to man a CW station during Field Day. He told him it had been a long time since he had copied code, but would give it a try during a night shift when it was quiet. Well, that’s all it took. The rust fell off. He said, “It was just like riding a bicycle...you never forget!” The rest is history.
Look for him on the air. Jack was a morse intercept op in the ASA (Army Security Agency) in the early 70s. Retired now six years from an almost 40-year EMS career, he spends most of his air time in the mornings on 80 and 40 meters. He always has his 3 keys (bug, cootie and straight key) at the ready and will take the time and patience for whatever the other op wants, whether it’s just a brief exchange/brag, a short ragchew, or a marathon. His favorite ham radio quote is, “Speed is not important...but being legible is and having the patience to enjoy it is paramount.”
Jack also has interests in digital photography, drone photography, a little golf, motorcycling, and up until the pandemic, spending the winter months with his lovely wife of 47 years in her home country, Thailand.
The Marathon Award was established in 2008 to recognize SKCC members who demonstrate their skill, talent, and love for ragchewing by completing 100 QSOs with another unique SKCC member lasting 60 minutes or more. The first award occurred in 2014, and now has a total of nine awardees.
Marathoners and rag chewers are very active in the Award program with over 75 current participants. Consider joining in the fun and developing your ragchewing 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.
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!