I was reminded this week of all the fun that the Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) guys are having when receiving a nice e-mail from Bill, W0EJ:
Since 2006, this 12,000 strong group of CW diehards have been doing their best to promote the magnificence of the mechanical key in everyday operation. With monthly operating events, awards, Elmering and an online sked page, there are plenty of fun activities for both newcomers and old hands to enjoy what was once the only way to send CW.
I can well recall tuning the CW bands as a newly-licenced teen in the mid 60's. Electronic keyers were just beginning to show up but the vast majority of amateurs still "pounded brass" with a straight key or with some type of bug. I held out for about two years before I parked my straight key and spent my Saturday job money on a brand new Vibroplex original, which I still use from time to time.
Getting back to Bill's mail....I was more than happy to grant permission to use the photograph of my little 6L6 Tri-Tet-Ten that I have had so much fun with over the past few winters on 10m CW during the peak of Cycle 24. I think their new 1000 Miles-Per -Watt award looks just great.....
....and here is what you need to do to earn one for your wall:
SKCC Introduces 1000 MPW Award
The SKCC is rolling out a 1,000 Miles per Watt Award, established to recognize the achievement of contacting another SKCC member using QRP power limits over longer distances.
A QSO must meet the qualifications of (Distance of QSO) / (Power Output in Watts) = 1,000 miles or more. Only the station applying for the award must operate at QRP levels. QSOs made on or after Sept. 1, 2014, are eligible.
For full details, see the award's main page.
Please check out the SKCC's homepage and consider signing-up...or drop by the K3UK SKCC Sked Page and get in on the fun....but, be sure to leave your keyer unplugged and enjoy some straight-key splendor!