Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November SKCC Week End Sprint

KD8JHJ Homebrew Straight Key

This months SKCC "Craftsman key sprint" was a great opportunity to put a special key on the air for  the first time, and make a few contacts.  I am a casual contester and sometimes I'm not feeling all that competitive but I still like to check in with some of the regular amateur stations that are on every sprint and possibly meet a new member if propagation allows.  The Homebrew Straight Key worked great and it was quite a satisfying experience to transmit Morse code with a tool I made myself.

A highlight from the WES was meeting Javi, EA1EVA from Spain for the first time.  A bit later I added F6HKA, Bert in France to my sprint log.  The 20 meter band was energized and in fine shape for shortwave radio communications. 

Red - 14 MHz (20 meters)
Blue - 7 MHz (40 meters)
Green - 3.5 MHz (80 meters)

7.110    K0LUW    Nebraska
3.551    W3NP      West Virginia
3.558    W9HLY    Indiana
7.056    WQ9Z       Illinois
7.053    K2VT       New Jersey
14.053  KK5J        Oklahoma
14.057  EA1EVA  Spain
14.059  KC0VNK  Minnesota
14.056  NG7Z       Washington
14.054  K0LUW    Nebraska
14.058  KK5PJ      Texas
14.046  K4JPN      Georgia
14.045  F6HKA     France
14.051  W5ZR       Louisiana
14.050  WI1B        Massachusetts
14.055  KC3QU    Arkansas
7.113    K3MSB    Pennsylvania
7.117    W4CUX   Georgia
7.116    K4BAI     Georgia
7.108    W9DLN   Wisconsin

It is also interesting to note that participation in the club sprints seems to be increasing with the membership ranks or possibly it may have something to do with the slowly increasing solar flux that we hams have been waiting for.  One thing for sure it's nice to see the interest in hand generated Morse code done just as it has been for the past hundred years of radio and even before that in the days of the land line telegraph. Over 200 SKCC members took part in the sprint and  11 different countries were represented. To see the full results board at the club website click
From there I also recommend scrolling down to the soapbox section to view some of the homebrew keys and restoration projects submitted by club members.


  1. That is one great looking key.....

  2. Thanks Norm,
    That and my sideswiper are my only homebrew keys. Between now and next year's Craftsman key sprint I'm going to have to come up with something new. I do have an idea and some nice chunks of aluminum so we will see.