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CQ World Wide DX Contest

A Brief History of the CQ WW Contest

By Bob Cox, K3EST (July 2000)

The modern CQ World Wide DX Contest began in 1948, three years after CQ magazine was first published. Presented here is a brief history of the CQ WW contest.

In order to understand the misty past of the CQ WW Contest's origin, let's first trace the history of CQ's predecessors. The story begins with Pacific Radio News, which started in 1917. This publication turned into Radio magazine in 1921. Radio magazine had its home in Northern California. Another magazine, The Oscillator, which began in the late 1920's, turned into R/9 magazine in 1932.

The referenced documents are found in the appendix.

First there were Zones

The editor and all around man of ideas at R/9 was K.V.R. Lansingh, W6QX. R/9 had its home in Southern California and was published out of W6QX's house.R/9 had no traditional office per se, so most contributors didn't meet up with other staff members. Contributors just mailed or dropped off their articles to W6QX.

In the November 1934 issue of R/9 magazine, the WAZ award program was announced for the first time. It was called, R/9 DX Zones of the World. The original zone map (Copyrighted 1934) was drafted by Mark. M. Bowelle, W4CXY. W4CXY was first licensed as W9GVX in 1930. The next year he also held W9ICJ and in 1932 was W9MW. He held the copyright on the US call area map appearing in the 1932 Callbook. Mr. Bowelle was a draftsman whose name can be found on many schematic drawings in R/9. The R/9 DX Zones of the World map differed in many ways from the modern CQ WAZ map. The boundaries of zones 16, 17, 18, 19, 23 and 24 changed in later editions and only a few country names were shown in Europe (13 countries), Asia (5), N. America (7) and Oceania (5). By looking at the original map and comparing it against the modern version you can see these differences. One of the key features of the CQ WW contest was now established.

Whose idea was the WAZ in the first place? We do not know. An educated guess would be the idea first was created by W6QX, a man of many ideas, who thought it up and assigned the project to a group of fellow hams. We do know that the first map was then drawn up by Mr. Bowelle. Unfortunately, the true origin of the WAZ idea remains lost to time.

In January 1936, R/9 magazine bought out Radio magazine and published the new R/9-Radio magazine from Southern California. In February of the same year, the name was changed to Radio magazine. The name Radio magazine was retained because it had the earlier origin. In the February 1936 issue, Radio magazine announced its own WAZ award. The map was the same as was first published in the November 1934 R/9 magazine. It still had Mr. Bowelle's name on it. The map was now called Radio magazine's DX Zones of the World.

Radio magazine of February 1936 carried an article called, "DX Zones of the World: A new DX Yardstick" and a revised zone map/text were published. In this article it was clearly stated the lines of the zones were drawn with "no consideration to the number of amateurs which may be located within a particular zone, as this is a factor of no permanence." A footnote stated, "Repeated objections to the division of a country even for such a purpose as the W.A.Z. plan have been received from one of the more nationalistic inclined countries. No changes have been made on this account, however, as it is our contention that an advancing wave front cannot recognize a political boundary even when it sees one." (!!) The new zone map which was copyrighted 1936 by Radio magazine had under gone some changes. The original 1934 version had been modified. The boundaries of zones 17, 18, 19, 23 and 24 had been re-drawn. The boundaries of the new 1936 version of the zone map are almost identical to the 1994 zone map. As you might guess, the country names had changed.

The WAZ map that appeared in January 1939 Radio magazine was incorrect because it had been copied directly from the R/9 1934 map. For a correct version of the WAZ map, the reader was referred to the "Radio" Handbook. The Radio Handbook zone map, "Radio DX ZONES of the WORLD, was copyrighted 1937 by Radio, Ltd. and drafted by Mark M. Bowelle, W4CXY. In this version, the modern boundaries of zone 16 were fixed, and if you looked very carefully, you would find that the name Grenada (J3) had been dropped from the zone 9. All earlier versions of the zone map included Grenada in zone 9. The Radio Handbook was published by Radio magazine and still survives today edited by Bill Orr, W6SAI.

The original article describing the reasons for the WAZ award was given in the R/9 1934 issue. The same reasons were given later by W6QD in an article which goes on to say that the WAZ was conceived in response to the increasing ease in working the WAC award. DX men needed something more difficult to strive to achieve. There was no DXCC award available in 1934, so out of the hope of providing a more challenging goal, the WAZ was born. The WAZ program predates DXCC. The WAZ map was drawn along boundaries of states or territories. It was also drawn without regard to activity from certain areas. It was assumed that these areas would have more activity in the future.

The WAZ map was the first part of the future CQ WW that was established. Further changes in the WAZ map included South Sakhalin Is and the Kuril Is being changed from zone 25 to zone 19 (1945) and the southern boundary of zone 2 was lowered (1990). Interestingly, when the original zone map was drawn up in 1934 southern Sakhalin Island or Karafuto (it’s Japanese name) was Japanese territory (since 1905). The original (and modern) written WAZ boundaries say that zone 25 is the Japanese zone (Japan and Korea). Since Karafuto was Japanese territory it was placed in zone 25. When the treaty of 1945 was signed, Japan relinquished its control of all of Sakhalin Is. to Russia. By definition, all of Sakhalin Is. was now in the Eastern Siberian Zone: UAO = zone 19. So no UA0 should have ever signed Zone 25! It will be interesting to see what happens if the Kuril Islands are returned to Japan someday. They might switch from zone 19 to zone 25!

It should be remembered that the modern zone map (1994) is really only an historical document. It should NOT be used to determine zone boundaries. Only the written WAZ definitions (cqww.com -> resources) will tell you what the zone boundaries.

DX/WAZ marathon becomes the World Wide DX Contest

In W6QD, Herb's words, "The World-Wide Contest which should be a break for the working man and those in schools, will be over two weekends, with 48 hours each. The starting time will be 0200 GMT November 25 and December 2. The competition will be divided into two divisions, CW and phone. Each of these two divisions will be divided into two sections- the one-operator section and the more-than-one-operator section. CW stations must work CW stations, and phone stations must work phone stations. Competitors in the one-operator section may use one transmitter only, and competitors in the more-than-one-operator section may use any number of transmitters. Any number of receivers may be used by all competitors. Remember that the 7, 14, and 28 MHz bands are the only ones used in the contest." The first DX/WAZ contest was held in 1939 and reported in the June 1940 issue of Radio magazine. There was great concern that WW II, which was already raging in Europe, would force the cancellation of the first contest.

Many countries in Europe had closed down private radio stations as a consequence of the fighting. But W6QD felt that those amateurs still on the air should carry the torch for their now SWL friends. There were 204 stations (127 CW and 77 phone) listed in the results from 19 countries on CW and 15 countries on phone. The winner of the first WW Contest on CW was K6CGK (KH6IJ) in Hawaii and on phone it was CE3AG. Certificates were awarded to the winners. Those certificates looked almost identical to the modern CQ certificate. You can see one on page 49 of June 1940 Radio Magazine.

The official notice of the winner certification was printed over a zone map. It was in June of that same year that the US government suspended US amateur radio QSO's except within the US and its possessions. The rules and announcement of the second "WW' contest were ready to go the printers when the government announcement arrived. On page 42 of the July 1940 issue of Radio magazine appeared the statement in large letters: THE WORLD-WIDE DX CONTEST has been CANCELED. WW II prevented the "World Wide Contest" from taking hold. On December 8, 1941, all US amateur activity was suspended except for defense related activity primarily through ARRL broadcasts. Finally, on January 10, 1942 all US amateur activity was stopped. In 1941, Herb continued to report DX in Radio magazine until July. At one time calling his column X-DX since there was little DX! The thrust of Radio magazine during the war years was shifting more and more towards the engineering side of radio, and in 1945, Radio Magazines, Inc founded CQ to take up the needs of amateurs. Radio magazine itself continued until 1947 when it was renamed Audio Engineering and continues to this day as Audio magazine.

After the War, CQ showed up with a familiar layout - the old pre-war Radio layout. Now Larry LeKashman, W2IOP was the editor and Herb, W6QD showed up as the DX and overseas editor for the new CQ magazine. Larry spent the war serving with the RAF, flying diplomats to neutral countries. Hams were back on the air in late 1945. US hams were limited in their frequency use but by the summer of 1946, all the US ham frequencies were restored. In January 1947, CQ announced the CQ WAZ award. The WAZ map was the same as published last in "Radio's" Handbook of 1939. In January 1948, W6QD announced the reestablishment of the DXIWAZ marathon. But in the back of his mind was lingering the idea of the 1939 World Wide DX Contest of Radio magazine. It didn't take him long to try again to get a World Wide DX Contest started. In the October 1948 issue of CQ, the announcement was made of "CQ's World-Wide DX Contest" to be held on October 29 to 31 (phone) and November 5 to 7 (CW). The rules read just like the earlier Radio magazine World-Wide DX Contest. The contest period was again from 0200 GMT Saturday to 0200 GMT Monday. Only the 3.5, 7, 14, and 27/28 MHz bands were to be used. The competition was separated into single and more-than-one-operator. No mention was made of all or single band categories. The results were reported in the June, 1949 issue. It was reported that in the first contest that all 40 zones were active!

In the write-up, all the scores were listed by zone. Under each zone, the call area or country was listed. Both single operator and multi operator were competing against one another! Just like the 160 contest of today. The results only provided the point score with no further breakdown.

It did not take long for the word to spread that CQ's World Wide DX Contest was the premier contesting event. In the second year of the contest (1949), single and multi operator stations now competed for separate awards. Another improvement was the single band category. Just in its second year, there were about 671 logs submitted. The resultant scores were still listed by zone. There was such an unexpected outpouring of interest in the contest that it caught Herb, W6QD by surprise. The results actually had to be published over two months! In the second contest, eighty meters was actually dropped from the contest because of lack of activity.

By the time the third CQ WW contest occurred in 1950, the contest participation was about 615 entrants. The scores were listed for the first time by country instead of by zone. Single band scores were listed for the first time. Interestingly, the single band scores of the all band category entrants were listed along with the single band scores. Yes, that is right. An all band entrant not only had his all band score listed but also competed with all the single band entrants with his band scores! This made the results look very inflated and clumsy. The contest continued to be the last full weekend of October and the first weekend of November.

In the 1951 results, Herb had the assistance of his friend W6ENV in reporting the scores. He sums up the essence of the contest by saying " It seems that what you (DX/Contesters) want is a contest where there is DX". Even at this early stage of the contest Herb was sensitive to the "little guy". He says, "Every now and again a few of the boys think that too much publicity is given the high point men. There are a couple of ways of looking at it. In all hobbies, the man who scores the highest number of points or comes out ahead naturally attracts the most attention. We would be sadly neglectful if we did not recognize it. On the other hand ... we all know it is fellows like these that give us much sought after multipliers or in short make a contest a success."

The results had now settled down to reporting by country and giving a full breakdown for each station. The single band scores of the all band entrants were still listed with the single band. In 1952, Herb, W6QD was back as the sole author for the contest results. The same reporting layout as seen earlier was present, with winners in countries listed. This was to be Herb's last year as the DX overseas editor for CQ. His job was beginning to take more and more of his time. He remained on the CQ staff as a contributing editor to oversee the DX Committee and the WW Contest, but the DX column was handed over to Dick Spenceley, KV4AA.

The contest was becoming too much for CQ to handle and in late 1952, CQ turned sponsorship of the contest over to a group in Indiana and Michigan headed by W9VW and W9I0P. When CQ decided to drop the CQ WW contest, W2IOP (at that time) called Vic Clark, W4KFC and Hal Brooks, W9VW on the phone. Vic, W4KFC arranged for the Potomac Valley Radio Club to check the logs. W2IOP took care of the publicity by having the rules sent to every QSL bureau in the world. Hal, W9VW coordinated the results and K4FW and his company (Electrovoice) provided the clerical and office resources. All contest logs were sent to Michigan.The contest was now sponsored by the International DX Club. They promptly renamed the contest the "International DX Contest" even saying that it was formerly known as the World-Wide CQ DX Contest. The International DX Club issued their certificates for the contest. A picture of one of these certificates appears along with the 1953 results in August 1954 CQ.

The reporting of the contest retreated back to the early days. In the write-up, only the entrant’s category and score were listed. In addition, only the top scores were listed. If you wanted to see how everyone else did in the contest you had to send an SASE to get the full results. I think the International DX Club certificates to the winners of the 1953 contest must be a collector’s item.

In 1954 the rules, for the now International DX Contest, placed the phone weekend on October 23 and the CW weekend on October 30. The 1954 rules make the first notice of a club competition. When the contest results were reported by W9IOP, it was apparent that something was wrong. It was becoming clear the International DX Club was not capable of fully checking the results and apparently did not feel the same responsibility to contesters that W6QD had in his earlier reporting. In 1954 the contest reached its low point. Only calls and scores were listed under each category-nothing else.

Contest and DX men were left scratching their heads wondering what had happened to this great contest. W6QD was a true DX/Contest man. He understood the need of a competition which brought DX into a contest setting. When he left as DX editor of CQ, contesters lost a friend and innovator. As mentioned earlier, KV4AA had taken over as the DX editor. His interest was almost totally in DX reporting and he was getting heavily involved with Danny, VP2VB and his boat, Yasme (giving its name to the Yasme foundation). This is the reason why the International DX Club had taken over sponsorship of the contest in 1953. As CQ was searching for what to do with the contest, Bill Leonard, W2SKE wrote an article in the December 1955 issue of CQ which summarized briefly the 1955 CQ WW Contest that had just occurred and encouraged hams to enter the 1956 test. After two years, it was becoming clear that operating the contest was fun but checking the results were not. Everyone involved in saving the CQ WW wanted the contest to survive. They had to find a sponsor. They contacted the ARRL. The League did not like the zone as part of the exchange. Next, the group contacted the RSGB. The RSGB said thanks but we already have a contest. Finally they tried several large clubs but with no luck.

It was at this time that CQ, with its new editor, said enough is enough and took back the contest. W9IOP rewrote the rules. Bill Leonard, W2SKE worked at CBS and the thoroughbred horse races were called on TV by a well known announcer Fred "Cappy" Capossela. At those races was a sound man, Frank Anzalone, W1WY.Frank was asked to take over the reporting of the 1955 CQ WW results. The 1955 CQ World Wide DX Contest, as it was now renamed, was reported by Frank, W1WY in the May issue. As you read above, in previous years all band entrants were also eligible for single band awards. The 1955 rules eliminated this practice. The committee took a firm stand. It was agreed that the intent of this new rule was to eliminate this unfair duplication and, therefore a station would be eligible for one award only. Up until 1955 there were no power categories in the CQ WW. Starting in 1955 there were now 4 power categories! A: up to 30 W; B: up to 125 W; C: up to 500 W and D: over 500 W. With Frank, W1WY at the helm, the format of the modern CQ WW reporting took on its familiar style. W1WY enlisted the help of several local contesters to help check and tabulate the results. The CQ WW Contest was re-born. The CQ contest committee was now located in the NY area and checking of logs took on a serious nature.

When the 1956 results were reported there was a new department on the CQ masthead: The Contest Calendar by W1WY. Contesters now had their own column and a concerned patron: W1WY. The 1956 rules changed the power category of two of the power groups, 30 now became 35 W 125 W became 150 W.From 1955 to 1973, Frank worked to bring the CQ WW up to its present level. The 1959 rules indicated a change in the country multiplier list. As always, the DXCC list was used and but now the WAE country list was added. This year also saw the temporary elimination of the novice category. This category was initiated in 1955 at first to give new hams a chance to compete among themselves but it was now realized that novice power limitation and frequency privileges were very different all over the world. There was no way to make the category a fair one. In an effort to encourage beginners, W1WY again listed novices in the 1972 and 1973 issues, then, no more.

The rules of the 1959 CQ WW saw the multi operator category divided into two categories. Due mainly to K2GL's station and his enthusiasm there was now a multi-single and a multi-multi category for competitors. In the late 1950’s Frank, W1WY was helped in the log checking by Log checking by W2IWC (now K6SSS) and W1MDO (now N1XX) and W1GYE. W2IWC turns out to be the son of “Cappy” Capossela who knew Frank from the TV broadcasts of horse racing. Later Fred would take over as CQ WW director.

The CQ WW multi-single category has an interesting history. When the CQ WW began there was only one multi operator category. No distinction was made about the number of transmitters. The multi single category was born in 1959. It was not formed out of a necessity to create it, but as a consequence of forming the multi-multi category. The first time the multi single category appeared in the CQWW was in 1959. The 1959 rules had no time limitation to stay on a band. The no time limitation continued until 1968. In 1968 there was the first mention that the MOST category was gaining popularity with entrants trying to push the limits of the rules (note: there were no limits; the rule read multi operator single transmitter). Frank found it necessary to say that only one signal was allowed. The reason for this rule change was that stations were working 2 or more stations within the same minute on different bands. When checking the log of a MOST station, it was becoming increasing impossible to verify that the station was really MOST. The next change to force the MOST's to be really MOST arrived in 1970. The MOSTs were forced to obey a 15 minute rule. That is, they had to stay on a band for 15 minutes. Then in 1971 as if forgetting the original problem: no mention was made of 15 minutes. The rule read: one signal allowed in the same time period. This set MOST back to before the 15 minute rule. Now stations were thinking, "What is the same time period?" Is it 1 second? Is it 1 minute? The reason for not mentioning the 15 minute time period was given as the entrants had complained that it was too restrictive. The CQ WW committee was still struggling with what to do with MOST. Then, in an insightful move, it was decided that if there was a time period with only one signal that it would be no fun. A MOST station would ALWAYS do worse than a good single operator. The other operators, who, when there was no time limit (just one signal) could operate on other bands, now they had NOTHING to do. It was decided to allow a second signal to operate simultaneously with the main station. This second station however could only work multipliers. The time period was reduced to 10 minutes for both stations. Now the rules for MOST became the version that we see in today's rules. By making a "multiplier station" the category became not a true MOST. What it had become was much more interesting. Anyone who has operated a true MOST realizes immediately that a true MOST is really a crippled single operator station. At first it appears easy to set up a true MOST. Only one transceiver is needed. But just a little thought tells you that to be competitive you need at least a second receiver helping on the operated band + two more transceivers listening on other bands ready to inform the active band of possible runs or multiplier openings. Why not allow the listening guys to have fun too? That is the rationale behind the CQ WW MOST (sort of MOST). A real fun category!

The next significant rule changes occurred in the 1962 contest. Remember the old starting time of that first Radio magazine contest in 1939? It was 0200 GMT. This time was a convenient one for the west coast operators who thought up that first test. Well, up to 1961 all the CQ WW contests began at 0200 UTC Saturday morning and ended at 0200 UTC Monday morning. In 1962 the contest now began and ended at 0000 UTC, a logical time to start a world-wide event. 1962 also saw the elimination of the power categories. There was now only one power, i.e. whatever you ran. Lastly, 1962 was the year when the North American two point rule came into existence. With such a rule, it was hoped that more activity would occur in the Caribbean and Central America countries. All these changes were brought into the rules by Frank, W1WY. The results were available from CQ in a pamphlet.

One interesting sidebar appeared in the 1965 and 1966 results: Canada was reported by zone not call area. The only time zones were used from the middle 60's to the early 70's. The new multi-multi category was working wonders. All over the US, big stations were being put together and young enthusiastic operators were attracted to them: K2GL, W3MSK (W3AU), W6RW, W6VSS (K6UA), W7RM, K4CG and W4BVV. The operators of these stations began to be attracted to help with the checking of the logs. Between 1970 and 1975, K3EST, KR2Q (WB2VYA), N2AA (K2KUR), K2SS (WB2SQN), N6AA (W6DGH), N6AR (WA6EPQ), K6NA and N6TJ all joined the CQ Contest Committee.

Being in NY, K2GL contributed first to the contest committee with Fred, W2IWC (see above). Fred was an operator at K2GL and he had volunteered to help Frank in the checking of the logs. Fred compiled and published the first list of all-time records which he has edited ever since. After the results were reported for the 1973 contest, Frank indicated that the contest was getting too big for him to devote the necessary time for proper checking. He asked Fred, W2IWC (now K6SSS) to take over as CQ WW contest director while he remained as overall contest chairman. Meanwhile, Fred had moved to Southern California. He agreed to take on the task of director and he reported the 1974 and 1975 results. It was under Fred's leadership that the contest committee took on its present distribution of being from all over the USA. He invited several well known 6's who were contesters and DXers to join the committee. The contest was now being run from Southern California where it began some 35 years earlier.

After 2 years, Fred decided to resign as director due to pressing work and family obligations. It was decided that there would be two directors: one on the east coast and one on the west.Fred and Frank agreed to name two directors from the ranks of the Contest Committee. In 1976 the reigns of the contest were passed to K3EST and WA6EPQ (now N6AR). Each director rotated the reporting of a mode in the results. In 1978 the QRP category was initiated and in 1989 the assisted category began. In the early 1980's K3EST brought DX advisors onto the committee. These advisors helped resolve local problems, and help the directors to understand the ideas of their particular country.

In the early 1980's, the Contest Committee and top competitors realized that a more thorough checking of top scores was necessary in order to certify winners. A committee member, K2SS developed a computer log checking procedure. It remains today as the foundation to modern log checking. The words unique and unverifiable contact came to be used by contesters everywhere. In the early 90’s, K2SS (a professor at Yale) left the committee.A new framework had to be developed to carry on Dave’s work.K3EST was aware that Dick, N6AA and Tree, N6TR were carrying on their own independent log checking of contests. Tree, N6TR was contacted and asked if Dick, N6AA might be available to check the CQ WW logs. Not only did Dick agree to help but the software talents of N6TR began to be utilized for log checking. Dick, N6AA continued to oversee the log checking process utilizing N6TR software.At the same time, the CQ WW contest committee was struggling with the emergence of the internet. The first CQ WW web site was created in April, 1998 by John Zapisek, K2MM.John was instrumental in making ideas come alive through his software.He created the framework for individualized files containing the UBN reports which you now see on the present cqww.com site. John was active in making entrant’s logs readable.The cqww.com site was a shared site at this time with jzap.com.It was not until April, 1999 that a site was created dedicated just to cqww.com . Throughout all of the 1990’s and early 2000’s, entrants submitted their logs on floppy disks.Each disk had to be run by hand through the computer to see what type of file was used.As you can imagine there were many formats submitted! It was becoming clear that a standard format should be required on logs submitted to the CQ WW contest. Trey, N5KO resolved the problem by creating a standardized format for the CQ WW. At the time Trey was taking Spanish classes at a local college. The college name was Cabrillo. The name of the software now used by almost all contest sponsors is the Cabrillo format.

The CQ WW web site has undergone many changes. You can view all the changes up thru 2008 at http://web.archive.org/web/*/cqww.com . After John, K2MM left, he continued to support the online logs on his server until 2002. Tack, JE1CKA stepped in to help with the web page. In early 2000, N6AA introduced Larry, N6TW. He became a CQ WW contest committee member. Several years later, Larry set about modernizing the look of the cqww.com web page. He also streamlined the logs received page and contributed in many ways to the log checking process. It was in 2002 that the modern logs received list was created. Also in 2002 a new category was added: multi-two.

Meanwhile, the actual log checking process was being refined and greatly improved by Dick, N6AA with the help of N6TR’s software.The modern UBN/NIL reports were created by Dick. The log and UBN/NIL reports were available to every entrant submitting an electronic log. Dick utilized several committee members to help him with the log checking process. His main help came from Phil, N6ZZ and Larry, N6TW. Dick continued his invaluable help until 2007.

After more than 17 years as the main adjudicator of CQ WW logs, Dick turned the process over to Ken, K1EA. Ken is very familiar to contesters as the inventor of the contest logging program CT. Ken immediately set about the task of automating the log checking process as much as possible. He created something similar to the UBN/NIL report called a log checking report. Ken works closely with many committee members to refine the log checking software.

After John, K2MM’s life took him in other directions than contesting; the cqww.com web page was looking for a web person to implement the ideas coming from the committee. Tack, JE1CKA, Larry, N6TW, Steve, N8BJQ, Ken, K1EA and Dave KM3T has helped cobble together the site over the years. K3EST was looking for a dedicated person who could spend the time to run the site. Beginning in late 2010, Dave KM3T took it on his shoulders to upgrade the software and make it standardized with the hope that a new web person could be found. A call went out to the DX Advisors to see if someone could help. Ben, DL6RAI recommended Mario, DB7MA. Beginning in the spring of 2011, Mario has already begun placing new items on the site.The CQ WW CC hopes, with Mario’s help, to offer many new features for the entrants. In 2009, Gene, W3ZZ was named the press secretary for the CQ WW Committee. He serves to update and interact with various news organizations concerning the CQ WW contest.

Over the years, the CQ WW award program has greatly expanded. Until about 2004, all certificates were first typed on a typewriter and then on a computer printer. The addresses and assembling of the certificates were done by hand. It was a real burden on the volunteer individuals who carried out certificate creation and mailing. It would take months and many man-hours. The award program was falling years behind. In 2004, Barry, W5GN was contacted to aid in certificate production and mailing.Barry printed and addressed all the CQ WW certificates in record time. The certificates were now able to be mailed before the next contest occurred.

The trophy program began at plaques, went to silver and pewter bowls and trays in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. The cost was becoming prohibitive to mail out the silver/pewter trophies.The trophies were again switched to plaques. Each plaque had a donor for a particular category. Overseeing the entire CQ WW trophy program has been and still is John, K1AR.

We have presented the history of the CQ WW in brief. As you can see, the contest has a long tradition beginning with the first Radio magazine World-Wide DX Contest in 1939. The CQ Contest Committee, with the help of amateurs all over the world, retains the original enthusiasm of W6QD and W1WY. We are all in agreement that we should strive to make the contest a fun and challenging event.

Appendix: The name radio magazine was revitalized in 1994, when the first issue of Radio magazine was published.The modern Radio magazine covers the technology of radio broadcasting for engineers and managers at radio stations, networks and recording studios.

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

CQ WW Timelime

1934: 1st WAZ by R/9 magazine

1939: 1st World Wide DX contest by Radio magazine 1947: WAZ by CQ Magazine

1948: 1st CQ World Wide DX Contest

1950: Single Band scores counted

1954: Club scores allowed

1955: Power categories started

1959: WAE country list added

1959: Multi Single and Multi-Multi categories added

1962: Starting time changed to 0000z

1962: Power categories eliminated

1962: North American 2 point rule

1978: QRP category added

1979: 1st computer checking of logs

1989: Assisted category added

1991: Low power category

1998: cqww.com web site first appears

2002: Multi-two category added

2008: Open logs available

2011: QRP Assisted category added

2012: Online certificates

2013: Rules text was thoroughly reviewed and made easier to read

2014: Multi-One Low Power category added


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Anonymous 1936. Radio's DX Zones of the World. Radio. Feb:26-30.

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Anonymous 1940. World-Wide DX Contest for 1940. Radio. July:40-42.

Anonymous 1947. Announcing W.A.Z. CQ Magazine. Jan:22-24; 36-37.

Anonymous 1948. Announcing ... CQ's World-Wide DX Contest. CQ magazine. Aug:32-33.

Attaway, John 1985. An Evening with Herb Becker, W6QD. CQ magazine. Dec. 1985:96-98.

Becker, Herb, W6QD. 1940. DX and Overseas News. Radio. June:49-54.

Becker, Herb, W6QD. 1949. Results ... CQ's First World-Wide DX Contest. CQ magazine. June: 15-19.

Becker, Herb, W6QD. 1952. DX and Overseas News. CQ magazine. Jan:27 -30.

Capossela, Fred. K6SSS. 1994. Personal communication.

Capossela, Fred. K6SSS. 2011. Personal communication.

Cox, Bob, K3EST. 1993. Unpublished Data.

Kahn, AI, K4FW. 1994. FOC "Focus":p45.

LeKashman, Larry, W910P. 1955. Results 1954 World Wide DX Contest. CQ magazine. Oct: 52-55.

Leonard, Bill, W2SKE. 1955. Wait 'Til Next Year (DX Contest). CQ magazine. Dec:51-(121 ).

Maxwell, Jim, W6CF. Personal communication. 1993.

Perkins,Jan, N6AW. Personal communication. 1994.


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