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ARRL Straight Key Night: A Return to Amateur Radio’s Roots


For more than 40 years, ARRL Straight Key Night has long been the favorite event of many amateurs. Always on New Year’s Eve and Day, Straight Key Night gives hams a chance to return to the time when Amateur Radio was just a bit simpler -- a time when a straight key or an old bug, along with a basic transceiver, was all that was needed to communicate around the world. In fact, that’s still all that is needed. Keep the CW paddle or computer keyboard on the shelf this night and send CW the way it’s been sent since the beginning.

“Morse code has been around longer than radio itself,” said ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X. “If you have a rusty fist, break out that key and make some QSOs with old friends and new. If your fist still works as well as ever, you might earn a ‘Best Fist’ vote or two! Many amateurs also bring out their older rigs for this night. Why don’t you?”

Straight Key Night is not a contest: no score is kept, no prizes are awarded, no fast exchanges of information are required. It’s a chance to get on the air and make some leisurely QSOs. This event is about the enjoyment of radio at its most basic and provides an excellent opportunity for all amateurs to return to our roots, proving that simpler is sometimes better.

ARRL Straight Key Night is held on January 1, 2011 from 0000-2359 UTC (7 PM EST December 31, 2010 through 6:59 PM EST January 1, 2011). E-mail a list of stations worked -- along with votes for Most Interesting QSO and Best Fist -- by January 31, 2011. You can also submit your list by January 31 via postal mail to ARRL Straight Key Night, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.



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