SKCC "Etiquette"

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KO4LZ, Nov 12, 2017.

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  1. KO4LZ

    KO4LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Greetings all,

    I'd like to start by saying I'm a big fan of the SKCC and really like what they are doing to promote CW in general and straight key sending in particular. I was hoping that some SKCC ops might be able to help me with an "etiquette" question regarding the exchange of SKCC numbers.

    I've had many QSOs where the other party is clearly using a straight key and sends me his/her SKCC number. I understand that in at least some cases, the OP wants to exchange SKCC numbers because he/she is working on an SKCC award.

    The problem is that most of the time I operate CW with a paddle/keyer (which I would hope is obvious to the other party ... would love to be able to send CW that cleanly with a straight key :)), so I'm not sure if I should send back my SKCC number (15675) and/or if I should explicitly state that I am not using a straight key.

    I'm careful to not answer "CQ SKCC" calls or calls on the SKCC calling frequencies unless I'm using a straight key, but if I hear plain old "CQ" from a straight key on a non-SKCC frequency, I usually will still answer it using my paddle.

    I've even considered switching from my paddle to my straight key as soon as I hear "SKCC ....", but I'm not sure that's practical (or necessary)

    So the question to the SKCC ops is: what should I do if I am operating with a paddle and I receive your SKCC number? My current procedure is to send back my own number ("TNX SKCC NR OM, MY SKCC NR 15675") but I wanted to be sure I'm not violating any SKCC "etiquette" or messing up someone's award stats :)

    TNX ES 73,
    Paul, KO4LZ
    G0IIK likes this.
  2. KQ4MM

    KQ4MM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm new to SKCC, great group... I keep a separate log of "qualifying" SKCC QSOs for points towards awards on the club tool SKCClogger. Its my understanding for a QSO to count for a award both parties must be on straight key unless some sort of waiver is in place for the OP from the club. I'd just let people know that your on a keyer so they can log accordingly.

    73 de KQ4MM

  3. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's not going to mess anyone up, simply because it's an 'honor system' and nobody will call you or your qso partner to the carpet for not using a stright key, bug, cootie, or two wires touched together.

    I think it comes down to the ethics of the operators. If I'm on my bug and I work you on your paddle and keyer, and it's clear to me that you are not using a mechanical keyer, I can choose to log your number, or not.

    Same for you. If you are ok with it, then log it, but you know in your heart that it's not the right hing to do. It's not in the spirit of the club.
  4. KO4LZ

    KO4LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just an added point: I'm not myself working on any SKCC awards. I log (almost) all of my contacts but my log doesn't contain SKCC numbers or the type of key I was using :)
  5. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Instead of this matter getting overly analyzed, a simple "fix" would be to answer the SKCC station's info transmission with a hand key, cootie, or bug and send your exchange info. After that, switch back to your paddles and keyer. Easy peasy.

    Beats having someone call in the lawyers...

    Jeff WN1MB
    Winsted CT
    WD0BCT, WB5YUZ and KA0HCP like this.
  6. KE8EAS

    KE8EAS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have my straight key hooked up as well as my paddle. If someone answers my cq and gives me their number, I always reply using my straight key. At least to give the minimum info (name, location, SKCC number).
    WD0BCT likes this.
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Why did it take a "club" to promote CW use?

    It's been in use continuously since it was invented.

    I guess I never got the point, and although I use CW almost every day since April 1965, never joined.
    N8TGQ likes this.
  8. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page


    You could say, it's been in use longer than that, going back to telegraph (when it wasn't "continuous wave"). It's been in use longer than it's existed!

    I like the idea of SKCC but when someone calls "CQ xyz", if I'm not "xyz" then I don't feel like I can rightfully respond--if I'm not in the contest, considered DX to the caller, or part of that group, then it's just not a call to me. I heard a few calls for WES this weekend but not being SKCC... I didn't feel like I ought to respond.

    I'd get an SKCC number but I just don't like using a straight key--actually, I'm rather lazy and rather like using a keyboard.
  9. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This on the SKCC web site:

    As a practical matter, since you don't know whether or not the other person is using the contact to apply for an award, I'd just go ahead and send the SKCC number. Maybe he just likes to collect numbers. It should be obvious enough that you're using a keyer.

    I guess an option if you wanted to go through the trouble, would be to send "not using sk" "not valid skcc" or something along those lines.

    If someone is calling CQ SKCC I probably would not even answer unless I was using an "accepted device", or else switch to an "accepted device" before answering.

    If I'm the one calling CQ, using a keyer, and someone asked me for SKCC number, I'd just ignore the request.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  10. N3HEE

    N3HEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think as long as the person chasing the award or operating a SKKC sanctioned event is using a mechanical key it falls within the spirit of the policy and is probably fine. The person handing out a SKCC number using a electronic keying device should not count that contact towards an award or use it for points in an SKCC event unless he has a waiver to do so.

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