Anlässlich der Hamvention in Ohio im Mai findet jedes Jahr am Samstag das „CQ Contest Dinner“ statt. Traditionell werden dabei die neuen Mitglieder der „CQ Contest Hall of Fame“ bekannt gegeben. Diese Auszeichnung wird seit 1986 für besondere Verdienste um das Contesten verliehen und lässt sich in der Regel mit den Worten „über das Maß der Pflicht hinaus“ beschreiben. In diesem Jahr wurde Ben, DL6RAI mehr als verdient als 84. Mitglied aufgenommen. Ben gehörte zu den profiliertesten Persönlichkeiten in der deutschen und europäischen Contest-Szene. Er war nicht nur ein begeisterter Contester in CW und SSB, sondern hat auch über viele Jahre das Contestmanagement und die Contestorganisation maßgeblich geprägt. Ben war bekannt für seine ruhige freundliche Art, vielen Newcomern stand er hilfreich zur Seite. Ben, DL6RAI war Mitglied des HSC (#1133), VHSC (#114), CWOps (#2776), FOC (#2163) HonMem of FRC, Bavarian Contest Club und DARC. Er arbeitete unzählige Diplome, u.a. das DXCC-Diplom (339/349), 5BDXCC (#1694), 5BWAZ (#1387), WAZ 160 (#276).
Ben erfuhr von dieser Ehrung noch vor seinem Tod.
Mit Ben, DL6RAI hat der BCC nach Lothar, DL3TD vor einigen Jahren nun zwei Contester in der „CQ Contest Hall of Fame“. Die Aufnahme ist nicht nur im amerikanischen Raum eine große Auszeichnung, sondern wird auch weltweit als große Ehre und Anerkennung der herausragenden Leistungen eines Contesters verstanden.
Die Trauer über Bens plötzlichen Unfalltod lässt nur verhaltene Freude über diese ehrenvolle Ernennung aufkommen. Dennoch sollte Bens Aufnahme in die „CQ Contest Hall of Fame“ für den BCC Ansporn und Verpflichtung sein, das Contesten in seinem Sinne weiter zu entwickeln und mutig voranzutreiben.
Stellvertretend für seinen Mentor nahm Philipp, DK6SP die Ehrung entgegen. Die Laudatio hielt John, W2GD/P40W:
Bernhard „Ben“ Buettner, DL6RAI
Ben was 14 years old, when he came in touch with Hamradio the very first time. When listening to his simple radio, he heard a signal which sent code. As he was not able to decifer the dots and dashes, he took his taperecorder and made a recording of the message. Then he replayed it again and again, compared the tones with his code-chart, until he had a decent understanding on what he had received. This scene is quite typical for Ben. It shows his profound „positiv“ curiosity in finding something new, his ingenuity in tackling a particular problem, his willingness to learn and his persistence in achieving a somewhat intelligent solution to it.
Consequently he passed the code-test of 12 wpm two years later and obtained his callsign DL6RAI in 1980.
Like many contesters he began his career with chasing DXCC. CW became his favourite mode in doing so. But he not only worked DXCC very quickly, he also operated from abroad quite frequently until today and managed to activate at least 45 different countries while having been at more than 70 DXCC-Countries in the same time.
At the turn of the century the Bavarian Contest Club took on the challenge to set a new CQWW Multi/Multi worldrecord from Africa,
Besides being one of the Top-Operators, Ben gave brillant IT-support to the CN8WW Multi/multi-Team in 1999 and 2000. The CN8WW-Project was supported by the Bavarian Contest Club (BCC) and came out with a new worldrecord in CW and SSB. Ben established a PC-Network for it. Remember: All in MS-DOS and with K1EA`s CT-Contest-Software. Well, the SSB-Record has never been broken until today.
Ben not only was an avid and most skillful contest-operator himself, he also became involved in contest management and contest strategy. He was DARC`s WAEDC-Contestdirector for a period of 4 years and very successfully involved in the transition from paper-logging to computer-logging. Nearly the same time, Ben also served as member of the CQWW-Contest Committee, which that time had Bob, K3EST at the helm.
Being a founding member of the Bavarian Contest Club in 1984, he took over the BCC-Presidency from DL8OH in 2007 and served until 2019 as President of the Bavarian Contest Club, nowadays one of the biggest and also most successful contestclubs in Europe. The most important project during this time was the WRTC 2018 in Wittenberg, Germany. While the WRTC-Organization was managed by DL1MGB, Ben, as part of the WRTC -Team, was responsible for establishing the IT-Network between the field-stations and the headquarter in collecting all necessary information for an exact online-scoring.
Throughout the contest-community, Ben was known as a reliable helping hand for everyone. His profound knowlegde in operational skills as well as in ham-radio-technology made him a valuable and patient elmer for guiding those, who made their first steps in contesting. Many of them are excellent contesters themselves rightnow and many joined the ranks of BCC as well.
Besides this he was a great help for those contesters, who became older over the years and require a more physical support in antenna maintenace or in solving tricky software issues.
When not operating from his Aruba-QTH or as part of a big multi-station, Ben was active in major contests from his homestation. Nothing fancy, but very effective, because he was working from a rural, allmost no-noise location: 100 Watts into a small dipole antenna, not only in CW, but also in SSB and RTTY.
A great Thankyou to the HoF-Committee for electing and inducting Ben Buettner, DL6RAI into the CQ Contest Hall of Fame.