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The NAQCC October 2022 Challenge

NAQCC Monthly Challenges are originated and information regarding rules, ideas, or suggestions go to Gary K1YAN. Email him at pix_email_k1yan (1K).
Challenge pages are constructed by Steve WB4OMM; if you see typos, please let him know! Email him at pix_email_wb4omm (1K).
Challenge results and the Challenge App (the online Challenge tracking and reporting application) is administered by Charlie N1AOK. Email him with any questions at charlie.wilber AT
PLEASE SEND ALL CHALLENGE SUBMISSIONS TO CHARLIE!!! (If you use the online Challenge App, it will automatically send it to him).

The McElroy Challenge
McElroy (2871K)

Many companies manufactured their version of the semiautomatic key … aka the bug. There were also a lot of high speed, award winning, telegraphers over the years. One Boston based company, founded by Theodore R. McElroy, combined both of these things. Starting his career as a messenger boy for Western Union, he learned American morse and was an operator by age 15. Following WW I, he had learned International morse while working for RCA Transoceanic Wireless. After a stint in Europe, during which he operated in Germany and operated an Alexanderson alternator ( see the October 2019 challenge ) in Norway, he returned to Boston and Western Union. In 1934 McElroy formed a company and began making telegraphic equipment. Their first key, the MAC-KEY, began a line of equipment that stretched into the 1950s. Over the years new features were incorporated. A dot stabilizer which preloaded the dot spring and eliminated dot contract bounce was introduced. Some models had a T bar as part of the frame and a clip which held the pendulum, allowing the key to rest on its side and function as a straight key. These features can be seen in the picture on the right, above. The SP-600 teardrop bug, pictured on the left above, was used on Pan Americans DC-3s and was offered with suction cup feet to keep it stable on the Radio Officers desk. The McElroy company won the Army-Navy E award for excellence in recognition of their exceptional efforts to provide equipment to the military during WW II. McElroy sold the business to the Telegraph Apparatus Company of Chicago, T.A.C., in 1955 and later moved on to other pursuits.

McElroy, the telegrapher, was a speed king. He held the record of 77 wpm copy that stood for almost six decades. His accomplishments included American morse and Japanese Kanga code championships as well. His need for speed extended to his typing abilities, which were documented at 150 wpm!

For a huge collection of information on all things telegraphic, visit “ The Telegraph Office “ at This is an excellent site by K5RW, Neal McEwen, from which much of the above information was drawn.

The first day of the month 0000Z through the last day of the month 2400Z.

Just make these words from calls of stations you work, subject to the General Challenge Rules.


The 85 total letters contain these 24 different letters and numbers : A B C D E G H I K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z 0 6
You can use each letter in a call TWICE. For example you could use K3WWP for 2 K's, 4 W's, and 2 P's.

Subsequent QSO's with the same station cannot be used for additional letters. For example, no matter how many times you work K3WWP, you can only use his call for 8 of the letters in the words.

See General Rule #5 for more details on what callsign letters can be used.

See General Rule #5 for more details on what callsign letters can be used. If you need some help with your alphabet challenge record keeping take a look at our Alphabet Tutorial page for everything from some great pencil & paper methods to fully computerized tools.

A certificate and Participation Point go to everyone making all the words and submitting their report before the deadline.

A Participation Point goes to everyone making at least 1, but not all the words and submitting their report before the deadline.

A choice of an item made by master woodworker Gregg WB8LZG as shown on our prizes page here goes to someone selected via a random drawing from all who participate and submit a report for this month's challenge. A person can only win once, then they become ineligible for future drawings.

For your report, list the words you made and the station used for each letter in the word. The number of stations listed must be the same as the number of letters in each word, even though you use the same station for more than one letter as in:


(Note how N2OD is listed for both the O and D.)

You may also include comments about the challenge. Please preface any comments you want posted with "SOAPBOX:" so we will know what you want posted and what is private.

Send your results as text in the horizontal format shown above to Charlie N1AOK at: charlie.wilber AT (You must type that address into your email program.)
Subject must read: (your call) NAQCC (month year) Challenge
For example: K3WWP NAQCC January 2022 Challenge

All entries must be RECEIVED before the 10th of the following month at 2400Z.


All the above get a certificate and participation point. All below get only a participation point.

Not eligible for a certificate or participation point for the following reason(s):
@ = Non-member
$ = QRO power