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Founded, January 2006
23,373 members strong
as of 26-Nov-2020

Help keep SKCC free:

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 only.)
-- 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.

*** 2021 K3Y QSL Card Design Contest ***

Calling all SKCC Members!

In connection with our upcoming Straight Key Month & Anniversary event we are once again running a QSL card design contest...

2021 will mark the 15th anniversary of SKCC's founding. Our annual Straight Key Month will start on January 2nd, directly following ARRL Straight Key Night. As usual we are asking members to provide QSL card designs for this very popular event, for which we have again been granted the K3Y call sign. (K3Y because it resembles "KEY", as in "straight key").

If you've ever designed a QSL card, or have any interest in doing so, please consider making a card for K3Y.

More information can be found on the K3Y QSL design contest page.

Presentation of Third SKCC Marathon Award

SKCC is pleased to announce the third SKCC Marathon Award presentation to Benny Owens, K5KV, #1952S.

Benny made his first marathon QSO on May 1, 2015, and his 100th on October, 6, 2020. Benny joined SKCC on April 3, 2006 and has been an active participant in many of the Club activities. He enjoys ragchewing, chasing DX and some contesting from his QTH in Star, Texas located about 100 miles NNW of Austin in central Texas. Look for this dedicated Bug user on the air; he still likes to ragchew with one of the many, many Bugs in his collection.

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 SKCC members lasting 60 minutes or more. The first award occurred in 2014, and now the third six years later.

The interest continues in ragchewing and the Marathon Award program now with 45 current active participants. Two participants have over 80 confirmed marathons and should be hitting the 100 mark soon. Consider joining in the fun and developing your ragchewing skills.

The September 2020 Newsletter Issue Has Been Posted!

Please take some time to check it out. It can be found here.

SKCC —1629S

What's New...

Our Newest Members!

SKCC Skimmer download link added

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's Monthly Operating Events

Monthly Straight Key Night

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!

Monthly Slow Speed Saunter:
Occurs on the first day of each month from 0000 - 23:59.

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.

Straight Key Sprint-Europe: Thursday, 03-December-2020, from 1900 - 2100 UTC with 15 minutes added on each end for QRS exchanges.

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

Visit the SKSE Home Page for sprint details.

Weekend Sprintathon: From 12-December-2020 @ 12:00 UTC to 13-December-23:59 UTC

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.

Straight Key Sprint: Wednesday, 25-November-2020, from 0000 - 0200 UTC

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.

Are you new to CW?

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.

Odds 'n' Ends

Looking For A Sked?

Visit the club's sked site at 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.

SKCC Files & Downloads Section

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 See the Files and downloads under Member services at left.

What's an SKCC Elmer?

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. The SKCC Elmer Manager is Jeff K9JP.

Can You Spare a Key For a Good Cause?

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 Keys Program
5543 Tierra Gardens Lane
Carmichael, CA  95608

If you have no keys to spare, cash works. You can donate directly though PayPal at

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

SKCC Shopping Mall

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!