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The 2014 CQ-WE Contest

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.

The 2014 Contest goes into the history books – As I type this, the 55th CQ-WE contest is just concluding. I hope everyone enjoyed the event. I personally made contacts on each of the HF contest bands, but the primary band for voice communications Saturday evening seemed to be 40m, whereas 20m was the hot band on Sunday afternoon. It was nice to once again hear from our regulars, whom I enjoy working each and every year, as well as making a few new acquaintances, too. I'm pleased to report I had more than one "ZZ 1" contact me stating that they heard us calling "CQ-WE" on the air, had a contestant explain the contest to them, and decided to join in the fun. Excellent work!

Don't forget: Your logs must be sent to your Location Coordinator (or to the National Coordinator if you have none) by the first of December. Don't put this off! Even if you only worked a few stations, please submit your logs: Not only do we award accolades based on point scores (both individual and location-wide), but we also award the location with the top number of contestants in the contest.

As of Dec 10, we have received logs from the following contesters: N9XU, WA4PTZ, WA2UBK, KD2KW, K2QXW, K3TW, W8REW, W3CRZ, N9CX, K8RSP, K8NU, K8AX, K9DH, KD8WK, W2VE, W6QWU, W2DAD, K0SFV, K2PF, N9AGW, WB2JRR, W4BXI, K8ON, KC4WBV, N2FYE, KC4AF, AK9U, KU9C, N6TP, WA5MLF, KA2BXH, AC4PQ, K4ZTL, W4QO, N4DE, K2KYF, W8JW, N3IE, WS6K, AD0BI, KC2DWI, W2EQ, W2JEK, AD2EE, K2WJ, W2DTP, W9NJM, W2JLK, W1RQ, WA4PUB, WD4NIT, K5IBK, KB0JIT, W0NFL. If you submitted your log to a Location Coordinator and your call is not included in the above list, don't be concerned; your LC is holding your log and will file an official report before the end of the year. However, if you sent your logs to the National Coordinator, let us know so that we can look into it.

On behalf of the committee, we appreciate your continued interest in the contest and hope to hear from you soon. Check back after the first of the year for a readout of the submitted scores. And, thanks again for making the 2014 contest another successful event.

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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