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The 2014 CQ-WE Contest

To be held the weekend of November 8-9  —  55 years and still going strong!


CQ-WE stands for CQ - Western Electric, the company whose ham employees originated the contest. The annual CQ-WE Contest is open to all Radio Amateurs. The objective is to contact as many Bell System Radio Amateurs as possible via ham radio. A Bell System amateur is any ham who is a current or former employee of any part of the pre-divestiture Bell System -- that is, any company that was spun off from or shares a part of its heritage with the original AT&T Corporation. Examples include the current-day AT&T, Bell Labs, Western Electric, the Baby Bells, Bellcore, NCR, Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Agere, as well as other companies that have sprung from them. Normally held the second full weekend in November, the contest combines a spirit of competitive contesting with the chance to relax, have fun, and renew acquaintances with old friends and colleagues while fostering friendships with new ones.

IT'S TIME to gear up for the 2014 CQ-WE! The 55th CQ-WE contest is less than a month away. Don't wait until the last minute to get ready. Our 2014 logging program is ready to download. Please fetch your copy early and play around with it so that if you have any problems installing or using it you can get them worked out before the contest. Check your antennas and rigs to make sure everything is in tip-top shape. And, make a note on your calendars to make sure you don't forget. Last but not least, make sure you know the correct Bell System Location Code you will operate under in the contest.

A note for CW Operators: The Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) runs their monthly weekend sprint on the same weekend as CQ-WE. They call their contest WES and call CQ WES during their contest. Scheduling has kept us from running into each other until last year. The SKCC is alerting their members about the name similarity to minimize confusion. So stay on your toes. You may be able to work these guys if both exchanges are handled appropriately. Consult the SKCC web page and rules if interested.

If you have any questions, now is the time to ask. Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you on the air on November 8th and 9th for another fun CQ-WE contest.


HAVE A QUESTION about CQ-WE? Email the National Coordinator. Interested in discussing the contest or just want to keep in touch? Feel free to join Ma-Bell-Hams, a Yahoo E-mail Group where such discussions are welcome: Just enter your email address in the space below and click "Join Now!".

HELP US COMPILE a Historical Record of our Bell System Locations and Ham Clubs: A big part of the CQ-WE contest is communicating with as many different Location Codes as possible. The locations these codes represent made up the once great Bell System. Today, many — actually, most — of these locations, along with their location-sanctioned ham clubs, are either defunct or a shadow of their former selves.

The CQ-WE committee is undertaking a project to resurrect and preserve a history of the various Bell System locations before this information and heritage is permanently lost. But, its success depends on you! Please check our Location Histories page, and if you can provide some information on a missing location — or additional information on one that has already been published — consider authoring a short article describing your location. If it supported a corporate ham club, please include your remembrances of that, too. Use the existing write-ups as guides for style and format. Please send your material to the CQ-WE webmaster, cqwe-web-2014@cqwe.cboh.org, and we'll put it up on the web site to highlight your location for posterity, and even give you credit in the byline. By taking a few minutes to document what you know from your personal experience with AT&T and its subsidiaries, we hope to preserve some of the rich history of the many facets of the once proud and great Bell System.


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