It was a good day for mail at KE9V today. The postman dropped off the latest edition of SPRAT Magazine, the AMSAT-DL magazine, a generous bonus check from an employer where I retired more than a year ago (I have no idea why), and one of my envelopes from the SKCC QSL Bureau. Inside the envelope was the QSL card commemorating the 2023 K3Y celebration that ended in January.

The front of the card shows off the QSL design that was chosen to represent the event this year, and the back of the card show those stations that I worked. While I didn’t sweep through the event I was pleased with my results from only sporadic effort over the last few days of January. Band conditions obviously have been good this year…

Though I stopped exchanging paper QSL cards via postal mail in 2015, I still keep envelopes on hand with the SKCC bureau and I exchange paper cards with other members via that method. I find it efficient and a money saver. The only problem with QSL bureaus is it requires volunteer labor that can dry up quickly. So far that hasn’t been the case for the SKCC bureau and I hope it continues for a long time.

Straight Key Month Celebration

Beginning on January 2nd each year SKCC members around the world operate special event CW stations using only straight key, bug and cootie keys. These three key types are the original instruments of early radiotelegraphy, which this event celebrates. 2023 was our 17th Straight Key Month event and the 17th anniversary of SKCC.

Official event stations in US jurisdictions operate from 13 regional call areas using call signs K3Y/0 through K3Y/9, plus K3Y/KH6, K3Y/KL7 and K3Y/KP4. Additionally, SKCC members from various countries in six IARU continental regions participate as special event stations using their own call signs and sending “CQ SKM”.

Callers (members and non-members) can try to complete the following goals:

  • BASIC SWEEP: Contacts with K3Y/0 through K3Y/9 stations.
  • FULL SWEEP: The above plus KH6, KL7 and KP4.
  • GRAND SWEEP : The above plus the six IARU Continent regions; AF, AS, EU, NA, OC and SA.
Straight Key Century Club

The SKCC is the most active group of mechanical-key Morse code radiotelegraph operators in the world with over 27,300 members around the globe. Founded in January 2006, membership remains free for life. Join us today!