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The 2015 CQ-WE Contest

To be held the weekend of November 14-15  —  56 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 CERTS ARE in the (E)mail:  The certificates for the 2014 contest have been produced and have been distributed to all the participants. Individual award winners will be receiving handsome paper certs. Thanks to Chuck Helms, WA2VJA, for designing this year's cert, and to both Chuck, and Bob Rosier, K4OCE, for producing and disseminating them. If you got an emailed cert and would like a paper copy, email Bob and he would be happy to make one for you.

THE 2014 CONTEST Results Announced:  The official scores of the 55th CQ-WE Contest, held the weekend of November 8-9, 2014, have now been posted. You may find the results here.

Once again, another successful contest has drawn to a close. We had a total of 59 contesters who submitted score sheets this year, representing a grand total of 28 Location Codes (including ZZs). John Drum, W4BXI, has once again handily taken first place. A seasoned contester, John is truly a CQ-WE veteran, having won top honors in the contest in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013, and now 2014. And kudos to Tom Warren, K3TW, for his excellent finish as a QRP operator. (Tom also won the contest outright, although not as a QRP op, in 2008.) Columbus and Middletown contestants can all take a bow for having had the most participants in the contest, and Columbus appears to have taken back the honor for having the top Location Score, something it had ceded to Middletown last year.

We hope you enjoyed the contest. Although it is still early, this year's event will be held over the weekend of November 14-15, so put this date in your calendars. And, on behalf of the CQ-WE Committee, thanks for doing your part to keep the contest alive and vibrant 55 years after its inception by Western Electric hams.

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!".

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES: You may not realize it, but a lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into putting on our annual contest. In fact, it is enough to keep our committee of four people pretty busy at times. So, a few changes are in the works:

Shel Darack, WA2UBK, has agreed to join the CQ-WE committee. Shel is the Location Coordinator for the Murray Hill location and is well known in CQ-WE circles. He hasn't missed a contest since before the turn of the millennium and he usually is a strong contender. In 2004, he won the contest outright. Shel also served as co-host-coordinator for the 2011 contest.

Leading up the committee, and serving as the primary contact for contest participants, is the job of our National Coordinator. Tom Brown, W2EQ, who has served us well in this capacity for the past four years, has decided to step down, and the committee is pleased to announce that George Foy, N4DLR, will be succeeding him as NC. George has been a member of the committee since 2010. He was instrumental, along with his son Tom, N4HAI, in bringing our new logging program to fruition. And, he served as Host Coordinator for the 2012 contest, producing the cert for his LJ location.

We welcome George as he steps into his new role of National Coordinator and Shel as he comes on board, and we bid Tom Brown, who will remain on the CQ-WE central committee, a hearty thank-you for his past four-plus years of service.

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.

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