The two-hour Straight Key Sprint (SKS) occurs on the fourth Wednesday of each month 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. You can find the details of our key policy here.
Please remember that although it is a contest, the SKS is rather informal. The main objective of the SKS is 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.
Our 2-hour Straight Key Sprint will take place from 0000 UTC to 0200 UTC Wednesday February 28, 2024. Mark your calendar... Wednesday 0000 UTC - 0200 UTC (Tuesday evening for most of us) !
Dave W1DV will be our Bonus Station this month.
Please submit your results, see who the Top Guns are and read the great comments in the Soap Box. Have Fun!
NOTE: SKS is an unassisted event. Please operate accordingly.
Upcoming Bonus Stations: March: Tony VE3KM April: John K2IZ
We are always looking for new Bonus Stations. We still need some volunteers for months later in 2024 stations, so please contact me at SKS-Manager@SKCCgroup.com
If you would like to try it we need volunteers - it's FUN!
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.
Here are the General Rules and scoring for SKS. These General Rules may be superseded by special rules and scoring associated with a particular SKS event.
You do not have to be an SKCC member to participate. However, ALL participants must use a manual key (straight key, sideswiper, or bug) unless granted an exception using the SKCC Key Policy.
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.
160M: 1813.5 kHz 80M: 3550 kHz 40M: 7055 / 7120 kHz 20M: 14050 kHz 15M: 21050 kHz 10M: 28050 kHz 6M: 50090 kHz
The use of spotting networks (including sked pages) is NOT permitted.
Bands other than those specified above are NOT permitted.
The minimum exchange of data must include RST, QTH, NAME, and SKCC #. Centurions, Tribunes, and Senators should append a C, T, or S respectively at the end of your SKCC#.
Non-member participants, please send "NONE" 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 SPC code found here.
Here is an example: AC2C DE N1ABS UR 589 MA PETE 4853S 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.
Single-Operator: QRPp 1W or less, QRP 5W or less, QRO 100W or less, QRO+ > 100W.
Multi-Operator: Two or more operators operating two or more co-located transmitters, any power.
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, Senators, and the designated Bonus SKCC member for the sprint. In some cases, an additional 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 (SPC) USA State, Canadian Province, or 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 and 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) took up the reins in the summer of 2009 and managed the sprints through the end of 2014.
Ken, N8KR, took over the reins in January 2015 and ran the January, February, and March events until some family priorities demanded more attention. At that time Rich, W4RQ, took over as Weekday Sprint Manager and held the position until in May 2023 when Rich's key suddenly went silent.
Cathy, W4CMG, took over management of the Monthly Weekday Sprint in June 2023 and continues in that role as of today.