SKSE - The SKCC Straight Key Sprint Europe

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The Straight Key Sprint Europe is modelled on the ordinary SKS but with adjustments to make it more accessible to our European members.

Please see the SKSE Calendar for the time and date of the next sprint!

THE SPRINT IS EXTENDED BY 15 MINUTES IN EACH END FOR QRS CONTACTS ONLY. This means you can start making QSO's at 1845z and your last QSO may begin no later than 2115z. But any CQ call and any QSO's made in the extended time MUST be at QRS speed, at 12 WPM or slower.

The idea is to give newcomers and slower operators a chance to join in the fun. While you can have QSO's with anybody as long as you stick to QRS speed, please try to follow the spirit of this extension and avoid just having a couple of extra QSO's with your friends that you normally work at 20 WPM or more, instead try to listen for the slower operators.

One way to accomplish this is to find a clear spot and call CQ SKS at 12 WPM (or less), and allow the QRS chasers to get in.

All QSO's from the extended QRS time will be scored as if they were a part of the main event.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on the air on Thursday!

Prizes and Awards

Each entrant may download a printable PDF certificate once the final results of each event are confirmed. Other prizes and awards may be made available from time to time, including aggregate awards based on a station's results in multiple sprints.

Rules and Scoring


You do not have to be an SKCC member to participate. All participants must use a manual key (straight key, sideswiper or bug) unless granted an exception by SKCC.

Entry Categories

There are 4 categories for this sprint:

An overall winner as well as the winner for each class will be announced.

Suggested Frequencies

Any frequency where CW and contesting is allowed by your licence class and your local band plans. Remember to be considerate to other hams!

FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF ANY DOUBT, contacts on the WARC bands do NOT qualify for scoring in the SKSE.

The frequencies listed below are those most frequented by SKCC members and are where you are likely to make contact. Look around, and remember to pay heed to any applicable licence and bandplan restrictions.

160m1820 kHz
80m3550 kHz
40m7029 and 7114 kHz
20m14050 kHz
15m21050 kHz
10m28050 kHz
6m50090 kHz

Spotting and sked pages

Use of SKED pages to announce your calling frequency or arrange QSO's is permitted in the SKSE. This specifically includes the K3UK SKCC Sked Page.


The minimum exchange must include RST, QTH, Name and SKCC number. The QTH is sent in a format that makes it clear what DXCC entity it is located in:

Non-SKCC members send "NONE" as their SKCC number.

Unlike most contests we discourage the use of "staple 599" and encourage real signal reports, so please be realistic when giving the report. We're planning to generate statistics and reports from the received logs, so you'll be able to see how others have fared with the same dx stations etc. which will be much useful and interesting if we give proper reports!

To keep it uniform and to make it easy to find stations calling, we recommend that you call simply "CQ SKS" in this and all other SKCC sprints.

Example exchange

This is meant only as a guideline, the format is open as long as the required information is exchanged.



Score = (Total QSO points x Total multiplier points) + Total Bonus points

QSO points

You earn 1 point per QSO. You can only work each station once per band. Despite its name, the sprint is not limited to contacts with European stations, and you may work any station participating in the sprint, regardless of their QTH, this includes intra-US/Canada contacts.

Multiplier points

You earn one point for each unique DXCC entity worked during the sprint. Note that this is per sprint, not per band. So, for example, once you work a station in France, working a second in France does not increase your multiplier count, even if it's on a different band. You can count your own country as well, if you worked a station there. So, for example, if you worked 5 stations in the US, 3 in Canada, 2 in France and 1 in Serbia, your multiplier is 4.

Bonus points

You earn the following bonus points:

These bonuses are per sprint, not per band, so working the same Tribune or Centurion on more than one band only counts once. The only exception is the Special Station, where the bonus is multiplied by the number of bands worked.

You can only add one bonus score for each member worked. Even though Tribunes are by definition also Centurions, and Centurions and Tribunes are also an ordinary members, you can only count each member once - that is, if you've worked 123T, 234C and 7344 you get 1 Tribune bonus, 1 Centurion bonus and 1 Ordinary Member bonus.

If a special event station is announced for the sprint, working that station gives you an extra 25 bonus points.


All submissions must be made on the Submission Page within 1 week after the conclusion of the sprint. Submission of logs is not REQUIRED but it is highly RECOMMENDED as we would like to be able to analyze the particpation in the sprint. Logs should be submitted in ADIF or CABRILLO format, details to be announced. The plan is to use the collected log data to get a better understanding of the propagation between Europe and America, the bands used and what stations are working each other, to improve the sprint in the future and provide interesting statistics.

Feedback, suggestions and comments

Please use the Feedback form if you have comments or suggestions!

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Sprint Website by Thomas Horsten M0TRN, SKCC #7344T