AMSAT Straight Key Night on OSCAR

Straight Key Night Winners Announced – Plus Changes for Next Year


SKNRay, W2RS thanks all who participated in AMSAT’s Straight Key Night 2016, held in memory of Ben Stevenson, W2BXA.

The following participants each received at least one Best Fist nomination: AA5PK,. WA5KBH, WA8SME, W3TMZ, W4CVV, W5PFG.  Special kudos to Glenn Miller, AA5PK, who received three.

Activity was down this year, for a variety of reasons, some having to do with availability of suitable satellites and some to do with changes in amateur radio in general.  Since this was AMSAT’s  25th annual SKN, it’s a good time to consider changes.

While Morse as a license qualification has gone the way of the spark gap, amateur CW activity is as popular as ever.  Straight keys and “bugs”, however, have found a niche primarily with the boatanchor crowd, and AMSAT’s insistence on their use in OSCAR SKN is probably holding down participation. Similar considerations have led the ARRL to broaden its annual HF event to include all forms of CW, even computer-generated. The idea is to encourage everyone to enjoy CW operation, no matter how they choose to do it.

So, in with the new: AMSAT CW Activity Day on OSCAR! As with the old SKN, it will be a fun event, not a contest, and will run for 24 hours on January 1.  All forms of CW will be welcome.  Instead of best fist nominations, all participants will be encouraged to post “Soapbox” comments to AMSAT-BB.

A further announcement will be posted in December, 2016.