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The 2016 CQ-WE Contest

Held 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.

SCORES FINALIZED: The winner of the 57th CQ-WE is Tom Warren K3TW! Not only did Tom win the contest with the high score, but he also scored High Phone and High CW. Finishing closely behind Tom was John Drum W4BXI, Tom Brown W2EQ, John Sebeson KB8RY, and Shel Darack WA2UBK, in that order. Don Younger W2JEK had the top QRP score and Tom Nevue W2MN claimed high score in the Non-Bell category. Congratulations to the top scorers, and thanks to everyone who participated and once again made the 2016 CQ-WE contest another resounding success. The full results can be found here.

We hope you enjoyed the contest as much as we did and we look forward to working you on the bands once again next November, if not before.


OUR CONTEST DOOR PRIZE goes to Larry Cannon K0SFV. Larry's number "4" (see below) was the second ball pulled in the February 17th drawing of the Wisconsin MegaMillions lottery — the first number did not match any of our contestants and thus was set aside — so Larry has been declared the winner of our door prize and will be receiving his free handheld, in accordance with the previously published rules which are listed below:

The callsigns of those sixty individuals who submitted logs in the contest are shown below:

  1. AC4PQ
  2. AI4GR
  3. AK9U
  4. K0SFV
  5. K1GVQ
  6. K2AL
  7. K2AQM
  8. K2MUN
  9. K2QXW
  10. K2WJ
  11. K3TW
  12. K4CC
  13. K5IX
  14. K8LJ
  15. K8ON
  16. K9DH
  17. KB0JIT
  18. KB4LWT
  19. KB8RY
  20. KC2DWI
  1. KD2GIY
  2. KD8ZG
  3. N2FYE
  4. N2MS
  5. N4DE
  6. N5KGN
  7. N6TP
  8. N8XI
  9. N9AGW
  10. N9CX
  11. N9XU
  12. W0NFL
  13. W1GD
  14. W1RQ
  15. W2CQH
  16. W2DAD
  17. W2DAR
  18. W2FMB
  19. W2JEK
  20. W2JLK
  1. W2MN
  2. W2VE
  3. W3CRZ
  4. W4BXI
  5. W8KRS
  6. W8REW
  7. W9NJM
  8. WA1TDA
  9. WA4PTZ
  10. WA5MLF
  11. WA9TCD
  12. WB2UYN
  • W2EQ
  • WA2UBK
  • K4OCE
  • KD8WK
  • KD2KW
  • NJ5O
  • K8KJ
  • WA8MWA

If your call is not numbered, it is either because you made less than five valid contacts or you are a member of the CQ-WE Committee, all of whom have removed themselves from eligibility in the drawing.

To ensure a fair and open drawing, the committee has agreed on the following method for selecting a winner: On Friday, February 17th, 2017, we'll use the results of the Wisconsin MegaMillions lottery drawing to determine our grand prize winner. The first ball drawn, excluding the Mega and Megaplier balls, that matches the number associated with one of the contestants above will determine who wins the hand-held. In the unlikely event that no winner is produced, suceeding MegaMillions drawings will determine the winner. The balls drawn, and the order in which they were drawn, may be reviewed after the fact here.


W2EQ — Back in the Saddle... Last year, due to an unfortunate set of circumstances, we conducted the CQ-WE contest without a National Coordinator. Determined not to let this happen again, Tom Brown, W2EQ, agreed to step up and re-assume the role. Tom will be our NC for this year's contest and will continue in this capacity until another NC can be named. Tom brings with him a strong résumé, having served as the contest NC from 2011 to 2014. On behalf of the committee as a whole, we thank Tom for his continuing dedication to the CQ-WE contest and welcome him back as our new CQ-WE National Coordinator.

And, while we're at it, please note that we are always looking for people who would be interested in serving on the CQ-WE Contest Committee. The job entails email discussions with other committee-members concerning proposed rule changes, some prep work for the contest, and in short making sure all the bases are covered so the contest come off without a hitch. A history of steady participation in CQ-WE and a knowledge of the contest itself, as well as a can-do attitude, are definite pluses. If you are interested in being considered for the position, let one of the committee members know and we'll be happy to keep you in mind the next time we are looking for some new blood.

CQ-WE Contestant SK - It is with regret that we must report that George Bartling, WA9TCD, became a silent key in Aurora, Colorado, on February 6th. George was a regular in the contest during the early years of the new millennium, and although he had participated less often in recent events, he was active in our most recent contest last November. George was a retiree from AT&T Communications (LJ). The members of the CQ-WE committee extend their sincere sympathies to George's family for their loss.


CQ-WE #57 takes place, garnering generally favorable reviews. A major complaint in the 2015 contest was the lack of participants, something we tried to remedy this year with reminder emails.* The bands were not the greatest, but the emails seem to have worked, and brought the contestants out, at least in the phone portion of the contest.

And, due to the generosity of Bob Rosier, K4OCE, we will be offering a brand new 2m/440 BaoFeng UV5R handheld as a prize to one lucky CQ-WE participant. The UV5R is a neat little unit which in addition to being a nice two-band transceiver also covers a lot of the VHF and UHF frequencies as a scanner. The handheld will be awarded via a random drawing from among all the participants who qualify for a contest certificate (contest committee members excluded).

* - If you did not receive these reminder emails this year and would like to get them, please email our National Coordinator with a statement that you'd like to be added to the list so that you'll receive future mailings about the contest.


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. Last year the QV location – Southwestern Bell – was featured, thanks to Bob Rosier, K4OCE, who agreed to take the lead on this effort. This year we will be highlighting a different location, and it could be yours: The most difficult part is designing the certificates. (Honest!) If you'd like to add your work location to the annals of CQ-WE history, contact a member of the Contest Committee today.


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-2016@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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