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The 2017 CQ-WE Contest

Held the weekend of November 11-12  —  58 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.

ANOTHER CQ-WE goes into the history books. The bands were not in the best shape, but they were passable. And we seemed to have quite an up-tick in ZZs this year. However, we also heard several complaints about the number of contestants being down overall (time will tell). But we still managed to have a lot of fun in the contest and that's the important thing. For some of the old familiar calls I hear in the contest each November it's the only time I have the opportunity to catch them on the air.

So, enjoy the glow that comes from having taken part in another successful contest, but don't forget to submit your logs by December 1st. If you used the logger, it should be easy — just follow the instructions. And thanks for doing your part to keep CQ-WE a viable and celebratorial event after almost 60 years of contests honoring the Bell System..


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. The most difficult part is designing the certificates. (Honest!) We'll even help you email them. Last year we highlighted the Guilford Center near Greensboro, NC. If you'd like to ensure your work location is properly represented within the annals of CQ-WE history, contact a member of the Contest Committee and we'll work you in.


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-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.



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