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The 2020 CQ-WE Contest

Held the weekend of November 14-15  —  61 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.

THE 61st CQ-WE Contest has taken place amidst the scourge of the spreading coronavirus. One has to admit, ham radio is a hobby almost perfectly suited for those sheltering in place. The bands weren't too bad. Indeed, perhaps the most challenging aspect of the contest for those in the mid-west were the gale-force winds which prevailed throughout the second day of the contest.

Of course, I enjoyed working and chatting with those CQ-WE hams I encounter once per year, along with some new ones which included a couple ZZs who were enthusiastically tackling the contest.

Here is a list of the logs the National Coordinator has received to date: WA2UBK, KD2KW, W1RQ, WA2FIS, KB4LWT, AK9U, W2VE, N2WKS, W2EQ, WA5MLF, KU2C, KK5NA, N4DE, W2IOC, K3VA, KD8WK, K4PQC, N8XI, W4BXI, N2MS, KA1WPM, K9DH, KE4GC, W1GD, W2PTP, K8ZAA, K3TW, KB8RY, AI4GR, AG7KO, K9RZ, N2AAX, AC4PQ, K8ON, W2FMB, N7BVY, N3SXI, AI1G, W2JEK, W8AGS, W3CRZ, N9CX, KD8ZG, K8RSP, K5IX, KC2WUF, W9SAU, W2MN, K2AQM, KB0BH, WA4PUB, W2DAR, W2CQH, K4OCE, K8LJ. If you submitted your log to a Location Coordinator, don't worry, we'll get it soon. Otherwise, if you don't see yourself listed, let us know so we can figure out what happened and get you counted.

Seriously, we hope you enjoyed the contest and we look forward to greeting you on the bands once again when the chill of November returns once again next year.


IT IS WITH REGRETS that we must report the passing of Ed Weston, W8REW, in May. Ed spent his career at Columbus Works (CB) after serving as a Radioman aboard the aircraft carrier Coral Sea. Ed loved ham radio, especially DX, and was a stalwart supporter of CQ-WE. He finished 2nd in last year's contest. No matter where he lived he found a way to string up an antenna and get on the air. He was especially fond of 160m, the "gentleman's band". Ed always presumed the best in people and they responded in kind. He will be missed.

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. Want to highlight your location? Then please consider volunteering to design and produce the certs for our 61st contest year coming up. It's really not that hard, your name will be recorded for posterity on the website, and we'll even handle the distribution. So give it some thought; we'd love to hear from you.


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-2020@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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