SKN Results – June 2021

Spectrum display during SKN June 2021
If only 80 metres looked like this every evening!

By Neil Sanderson ZL1NZ, SKN manager
28 Jun 2021

  • Winter conditions were good and we had 28 stations participating in Straight Key Night on Sunday 13 June 2021.
  • 19 of the 28 operators (68%) submitted logs
  • We again used the QSY Rule. Thanks everyone for remembering to QSY.
  • Four stations qualified for the Solid Copy Certificate by submitting a perfectly copied log.
  • Our Senior Operator was Trevor ZL2AGC. Our Junior Operator was Gerard ZL2GVA.
  • Certificates will be emailed in the next week or so.
  • This SKN will be my last as manager, so I hope that another individual or an organisation will step forward to manage the event. There is more information about this at the bottom of this page.


Congratulations to everyone who got on the air for SKN and, in particular, to the top scoring operators. In the list below, the first number on each line is the number of contacts logged by each station.

To be valid, a log entry must contain the full SKN exchange. Therefore, incomplete log entries, or entries containing “?” instead of valid information, were not counted. (DX contacts, i.e. non-ZL, required only RST, Location and Name.)

Log entries with errors were allowed, as it would be impossible to know whether an error resulted from poor copying or poor sending.

   CALL    LOCATION        NAME     KEY      TX        PWR
16 ZL1AJY  AK	           PAUL     SUPREME  520S      100
16 ZL1BBW  WHG	           GAVIN    RAF      7610      100
15 ZL2LN   MOTUEKA	   BARRY    PO       FT847      50
14 ZL3VZ   BLENHEIM        BILL     ZC1      TS590      90
13 ZL2GD   RANGIORA        GRANT    ZC1      ICOM      100
12 ZL1NZ   AKL	           NEIL     NR9      FT101     100
11 ZL1RQ   MANGONUI        ALAN     STECKER  FT2000    100
11 ZL2AUA  KERIKERI        MIKE     ITT      IC7410    100
11 ZL2ARC  CHCH            AL	    PO       TS480     100
10 ZL1BWG  WR              BRUCE    ADMTY    ICOM      100
10 ZL2GVA  BLENHEIM        GERARD   JUNKER   FT897     100
10 ZL2JU   LEVIN           LES	    J37      IC746 PRO  50
10 ZL3TK   WAITARERE       STAN     WIGRAM   IC735      80
10 ZL4OL   WAITATI         MIKE     BRASS    TS2K      100
08 ZL1ANY  MASTERTON       STEPHEN  HB       K3	       100
06 ZL2AVM  WGTN            BOB	    HK707    TS520     100
05 ZL2AGC  WGTON           TREVOR   PO       IC7300    100
05 ZL2CLX  TAWA            MAX      BEGALI   IC7300	60

Comments from participants

ZL1AJY – Paul
Great fun having a bash. Gave my old Supreme key a good clean and removed the pivot arm for a lick of WD-40. The 520S is fairly unforgiving in the RIT department – quite small rotation required to stay inside the filter skirts. One VK station logged. Noted several stations queried my TX – I should have sent TS520S, not just 520S. Signals appeared OK, with the S meter well into the 9-plus dept. Interesting not having a pan or waterfall, soon got into swiftly moving around the CW edges and almost automatically making a mental picture of signals.

ZL1BBW – Gavin
Key: RAF ex GWM Radio Worthing, ah those were the days. Antenna: cage dipoles – 3 wires 300mm on each side, with one leg nearly vertical and the other leg horizontal. This is supposed to give a boost to vertical low angle radiation but still provide useful high angle radiation from the horizontal leg. Almost all signals genuine 599. Standard of CW on straight keys was commendable I thought.

Key and Plug Assembly Nr 9 ZL1NZ – Neil
My key this time was a Key & Plug Assembly Number 9 (pictured), which I abbreviated to NR9. This is a World War Two item, containing a WT 8 Amp Nr 2 key in an enclosure with leg straps. And yes, I did have it strapped to my leg for the entire SKN. I thought that might get uncomfortable, but it was fine. You could say that I was rather QRL (busy and a Right Leg operator). 🙂

Stecker key at ZL1RQ ZL1RQ – Alan
Key was a World War Two German Stecker (pictured) which has the Nazi symbol on the bottom.

ZL2AGC – Trevor
80m reception in central Wellington blotted out (S8 background). Reception via Mangawhai SDR which involved resets every QSY.

ZL2ARC – Alastair (Al)
Nice to hear a good turnout and well-sent ‘straight’ CW.

ZL2AUA – Mike
Some nice slow sending — much appreciated.

ZL2AVM loop antenna ZL2AVM – Bob
With a high noise floor, even with the loop (pictured), I thought it was going to be a tough night at the office. But when SKN began, the band was full of signals. It seemed to me that operators were abiding by the rules – hence no one wanted to be the first to call CQ on 3525 where I started!

ZL2GD – Grant
Another great evening. Might have done a wee bit better if the phone had not rung – twice – right at the beginning. Conditions were quite good and nearly all signals were 599.

ZL2GVA – Gerard
What happened to the dead quiet 80 mtr band this Sunday evening? Full of cw stations for an hour! Too many stations, not enough time to work them all.

J37 key ZL2JU – Les
A great night, most enjoyable. Hope to catch everyone again next time.
Key: J37 (pictured)

ZL2LN – Barry
Great night – short, sharp event. How about a valve-only event?

ZL3TK – Stan
Amazing to hear the difference when fast and perfect operators on NZ Net get to use a straight key, it’s hard to believe it’s the same OM. More enjoyable than a night at the movies.

ZL3VZ – Bill
As I had recently had a hip replacement and was still on crutches, I operated the ZL2KS station at Brayshaw Park remotely from my lounge at home, using my hand key via a RemoteHams ORB unit and my laptop. Not the most convenient setup but it seemed to function ok on the whole. Good to hear so many on which kept me busy for the whole hour and even then I missed a few. I was especially glad to see ZL1AZB on who is a good CW man just getting back into ham radio. He borrowed my antenna analyser that morning to sort out a recently erected G5RV problem which he was able to solve in time! Many thanks Neil – the event seems to be going from strength to strength.

ZL4OL – Mike
Nice quiet night, all big signals here.

Would you like to be the new SKN manager?

It has been fun being your host for SKN for the past six events since taking over from Ken ZL1AIH. There have been quite a few changes in the past three years, including:

  • SKN is now 1 hour instead of 2
  • SKN happens twice a year (summer and winter) instead of summer only
  • SKN is simpler (no categories)
  • SKN uses the QSY rule
  • SKN recognises proficient operators with a Solid Copy Certificate
  • SKN certificates are now sent by email rather than posted, reducing cost and paper usage

Thanks to all the ops who have provided feedback about SKN and helped to make it such a popular event.

I have decided it’s time to step aside and let someone else have a go, so I can focus on other commitments. Please contact me if you are interested in being the new SKN Manager. Don’t wait until the last minute, as preparations need to start well before the next event.

73 de Neil ZL1NZ