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The 2018 CQ-WE Contest

Held November 10-11  —  59 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 Contest is under our belts: and from what I've heard it was a pretty good contest. The main complaint, as in previous years, is the lack of CW participants. Sure, the band conditions were awful -- this sunspot cycle has presented some of the most significant challenges in our lifetimes according to some -- but I was working 40 meters at a respectable clip on Sunday afternoon.

But now that you've spent time collecting all those contacts, don't forget to send in your logs so that they count. Even if you don't win they can still help your location, both in total points and number of participants. Send your logs to your location coordinator at the address shown on our location coordinators' page. If there is no LC for your location, send your logs to National Coordinator Tom Brown, W2EQ. If you submit your results by email to the NC, you should get a confirmation email back from him. If you don't please let us know so that it can be corrected. Finally, be sure to include your email address, regardless of how you file, so that we can send you an electronic copy of your certificate.

We hope you enjoyed this year's contest. If you have comments or suggestions, please include them with your logs. We look forward to making another contact with you again soon.


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!".

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 therefore pleased to announce that brothers Ken and Al Hanzl, W2IOC and K2AL, with the help of their non-ham sister Joan, will produce the certs for the 2018 contest. The certs will highlight the Kearny location. Their father, the original holder of the W2IOC call, worked at Kearny for 42 years so the family has a rich history in the location. We look forward to seeing this year's certificate.


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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