Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Go straight on Jan 1, 2017 with the Navy

ARRL Straight Key Night is January 1 starting 0000 UTC

I have a new straight key for the upcoming ARRL Straight Key Night...

Navy Flameproof Key in need of some TLC

A recent low-bid, on a famous auction site, netted me this Navy Flameproof key.  A mismatched screw and nut from my Nye Viking key is serving  as the closure spacing adjustment until I get a replacement screw and nut specific to the Flameproof from JH Bunnell Co.  I've been using it on the air and it has a distinctly different feel from my other straight keys.  There's a lot going on inside that little enclosure.

I will have this key as well as my Kent Hand Key on-the-air during this year's straight key night driving my 1977 TenTec Century 21 CW rig

Kent Hand Key in front of TenTec C21

ARRL Straight Key Night

Straight Key Night (aka SKN) occurs on the first day of each year (beginning at 0000 UTC) and runs for 24 hours.  In addition to dusting off your straight key, it has sort of become a tradition to drag out all the vintage equipment you can muster and get it on-the-air.  

What should you expect on SKN?

Last year I heard old tube rigs with a power supply issues causing chirp to rival the loveliest song bird and shaky FISTS that required full concentration to decipher.  I had a grand time hearing paddle-only operators trying to regain the knack for using their straight keys, and I could almost smell the dust burning off the tubes of those old rigs that hadn't been fired up in a year.

When you send your CQ also send SKN if you'd like.  This is not a contest and there are no awards for the most contacts, so have some good ragchews and get to know the fellow on the other side of the key.  Enjoy the slow(er) pace of working straight key stations and settle in for interesting QSOs.

Although you'll hear a lot of vintage equipment, that is certainly not required to get on the air. If you don't have a straight key you might just have a clothespin and some screws...

SKN times...

Don't forget SKN begins at 0000 UTC which means for those of you on the East coast of the US SKN starts 7pm December 31st and for those of you on the left coast it begins at 4pm, So you can get a few hours in before the bell tolls 2017 for your time zone.  

SKN runs for 24 hours, but don't put away your straight key just because it's over.  Join in the fun with the SKCC all year 'round.

That's all for now

So lower your power and raise your expectations...

Richard, AA4OO  

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