By Neil Sanderson ZL1NZ, SKN manager
Hi everyone and thanks for taking part in NZ Straight Key Night. This was the second time that the summer SKN was held on the first Sunday of December (it was held in November up until 2017).
- Band conditions seemed pretty good.
- There were 17 New Zealand stations participating (plus VK3DBD who appeared in one log).
- The turnout was lower than the past two SKNs (here is a graph), and many of our regulars were absent this time.
If anyone has thoughts on the reasons for the low turnout, please get in touch.
- Unfortunately, no ZL4 stations took part.
I wonder if this was related to late sunset in that part of the country.
- No one worked all 16 of the other NZ stations.
I don’t think this was due to a lack of time. Perhaps some stations did not operate for the full hour.
- Ian ZL2AIM retired after three contacts, due to antenna problems.
- John ZL1VD had the most interesting key name: REDIFON A4084 (there’s one at the top of the page, minus its cover).
- Les ZL2JU had the most unusual key (check out the photo in the Comments section below).
- We had a 4-way tie for top score.
13: ZL1AJY / AUCKLAND / PAUL / NZPO / K2 / 10W / DIPOLE 13: ZL1BWG / WHANGAREI / BRUCE / MARCONI / IC7200 / 100W / G5RV 13: ZL1NZ / AKL / NEIL / SPEEDX / FT101 / 100W / DOUBLET 13: ZL2RX / NELSON / ROGER / ELLIOT / K2 / 90W / VERTICAL 12: ZM1M / POROTI / GAVIN / RAF / ICOM / 100 11: ZL2IR / RAKAIA / NORMAN / ZC1 / TS830S / 100W 10: ZL3VZ / BLENHEIM / BILL / ZC1 / FT1000 / 100W / DIPOLE 09: ZL2ARC / CHCH / AL / PO / TS480 / 100W / DIPOLE 08: ZL2CLX / WN / MAX / BEGALI / IC7300 / 60W / G5RV 08: ZL2JU / LEVIN / LES / HOMEBREW / FT7 / 10W / DIPOLE 07: ZL2AVM / WGTN / BOB / HK707 / TS520 / 100 / DIPOLE 06: ZL1AYN / MOV (Morrinsville) / BOB / NATO / IC7300 / 50 / END-FED
“Used my Elecraft K2 on the desk here with an old NZPO key. About 10 watts output to the 80M dipole in the trees. Almost all sigs were very good, only a couple were slightly hard to copy with QSB.”
“I thought the stations acted in a friendly and courteous manner. Although the noisy condx at this end made things difficult I enjoyed my first time in the SKN. Unfortunately arthritis had me ‘key slapping’ at times so I apologise for any QSD. (The telephone directory lists Morrinsville Tri-graph as MOV.)”
“Noticed a couple of new ones, which is good. Looks like Branch 42 is the home for Begali. Another good night.”
“Every SKN I try to use a different key, and this time it was a Speed-X that was given to me by a friend of my father’s when I was 14 years old and studying for my amateur ticket. It also has a cover, but looks nicer exposed.”
“Most people got a 599 as I can’t really hear signals much weaker than this. The noise floor at my QTH is very high on 80m these days. SKN is the only time I use a straight key.”
“Many thanks for organising the event. Good to hear the band come alive after 9pm! Look forward to the winter event. My Hi-Mound key formerly belonged to Ralph ZL2AOH, now a Silent Key.”
“Great fun, as always.”
“Heard many stations but was only able to catch a few before time ran out. Heaps QSB. Will look forward to next one.”
“A good fun night. Key was home-made, just for fun, using an old window latch.”
“Enjoyed it. Sat on 3533 most of the time.”
“Enjoyed the event.”