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The 2016 CQ-WE Contest

Coming up the weekend of November 12-13  —  57 years of friendly competition!

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.

THE 2015 CONTEST RESULTS have been Reviewed and Finalized... and here they are:

                Location Awards

Most Participants       Columbus Works        CB
High Top-5 Score        Whippany, NJ          WH

               Individual Awards

High Total Score  W4BXI   John F. Drum      38447
   2nd Place      K3TW    Thomas J. Warren  33292
   3rd Place      WA2OPG  William E.Ash     29793
   4th Place      WA2UBK  Sheldon Darack    29022
   5th Place      N5KGN   Tom Wilbeck       25073
High Active Empl  NK1N    Glen Johnstone    11348
High Phone        W4BXI   John F. Drum      29899
High CW           K3TW    Thomas J. Warren  13540
High QRP Score    K3TW    Thomas J. Warren  33292
High Non-Bell     W2MN    Tom Nevue           118
High Digital      AK9U    George Doyle          2

The full results including the individual scores may be found here.

Congrats are once again due John Drum, who has developed quite a reputation for taking top honors in our contest. (I believe this is his eighth victory since 1996.) Tom Warren's top CW and second place overall finish was also especially impressive given that he operated the entire contest QRP. And we congratulate both the Columbus and Whippany locations for winning in the total number of participants and Top 5 Score categories respectively.

I won't sugar-coat things: Most of us who participated last November struggled to make contacts. The 2015 contest had the lowest participation of any CQ-WE contest for which we have records. Your committee is discussing what went wrong and what we can do to ensure our next contest is better attended. We've been tossing around some interesting ideas. We also invite you to share your ideas and suggestions with us if you'd like. You can find our email addresses here.

That said, we hope you enjoyed the 56th CQ-WE contest and we look forward to meeting up with you on the air again soon.

CONTEST HOST: The role of Contest Host is an important one, and we appreciate the time and effort the various locations have put into designing and distributing their certificates in years past. We are pleased to announce that this year the QV location – Southwestern Bell – will be featured, thanks to Bob Rosier, K4OCE, who has agreed to take the lead on this effort. This is the first time Southwest Bell has hosted the contest and we look forward to acquiring a personalized certificate from them after this year's contest.

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-2015@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.

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!".

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