AUGUST MONTHLY MEETING

PARA Meeting Minutes 8/8/2016

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held Monday, August 8, 2016 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140, in Paducah, KY.  There were approximately 28 present.

The meeting was opened by Vice President Ken Wontor (KW4DI).  Ken invited each attendee around the room to inroduce themselves with their name, call and a short report of their  past month’s ham activities, new equipment, DX and even Garry Wheatley’s (KD4GCY) retirement, etc.  (There was an unusual amount of light hearted banter at this time which added to this night’s fun).  However, we were totally quiet when Malcolm Williams (KK4RGM) told of a lightning strike at his shack that wiped out all of his ham gear and the interior of the room.  He was lucky that it didn’t burn down the whole house.  Pictures of the damage vividly reminded us that it could happen to any of us.

The Treasurer’s report was given by Bruce Huyck (KS4V).  Bruce added that Sec. Cowherd (K4GYD) had been reimbursed the annual required $30.00 fee paid to WordPress to keep the W4NJA website advertisement free.  The July meeting minutes was read by Secretary Cowherd and subsequently both the Treasurer’s and Secretary’s  reports were approved by the members present.

Old/New Business

Items discussed include:

  • Ken asked about plans for a club sponsored National Park On The Air activation. This project has been discussed in previous meetings but the majority always thought September would be the best month due to current weather conditions.  It was suggested that those who were interested in taking part in the project should meet, discuss details and present a definite plan at the September meeting.
  • Bruce (KS4V) suggested that it would be a good time to hold a club sponsored air gun project. This had been done a number of years ago with great success. No decision on the project was made but could be discussed next meeting.
  • Another project suggested by Ron (K4GYD) that since there are quite a few new or older license holders that came into the hobby after the code requirement was dropped, it would be beneficial to provide CW instruction/practice sessions at the end of monthly meetings.  There were about 6 hands that went up when asked how many would be interested in sessions led by our experienced CW ops.  Several CW ops present submitted that they could teach what not to do when learning code.  No decision on this project was made but could be discussed next meeting.

Net Controls for Late August/Early September

Sunday night nets are at 9:00 PM CDT on 147.060 PL 179.9.  See net control procedures here.

August 14                        Beth AK4BG              12 checkins

August 21                        Frank KY4LDS          14 checkins

August 28                        Jeff KB9BVL

September 4                   Logan KG4VKB

September 11                 Ken KW4DI

Show and Tell

Jason Brambach (KY9I) showed an inexpensive digital tester that he had constructed from a kit.  The tester provides useful information about diodes, transistors, capacitors, etc.  For additional info contact Jason.

License Upgrades

Two of our PARA members, Beth Gupton (AK4BG) and Ken Kraal (KM4DTS) have become Volunteer Examiners by completing the VEC accreditation process.  Congratulations Beth and Ken for acquiring this important status.

NPOTA scores

National Parks On The Air current (8/14/16) Kentucky confirmed contacts:  Bruce Huyck (KS4V) 257;  Ron Cowherd (K4GYD) 130; Dave Dewey (W4WKN) 25; Dave Tucker (NU4N) 16 and Dave Perry (N4QS) 7.

Next scheduled meeting will be Monday, September 12, 2016 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140.

JULY MONTHLY MEETING

PARA Meeting Minutes 7/11/2016

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held Monday, July 11 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140, in Paducah, KY.  There were 26 present.

The meeting was opened by President Jeff Wielgos (KB9BVL).  Jeff invited each attendee around the room to introduce themselves with their name and call.   The treasurer’s report given by Bruce Huyck (KS4V), and the Secretary’s reading of the minutes by Ron Cowherd (K4GYD)  were subsequently approved by the members.

Old/New Business

Items discussed include:

  •  Field Day (Saturday, June 25) was the focus of discussion through much of the evening’s meeting, starting out with a slideshow with snapshots compliments of Steve and Beth Gupton.
  • Paul Smith summarized FD QSO numbers and compared them with 2015 results, (See stats below).
  • Bruce Huyck reviewed and explained how the FD 1,250 bonus points were earned.  We will find out later how our total scores compare with the many other clubs in the state and nation.
  • Ken Wontor suggested the importance of designating the required pavilions by number on the Kyler Park certification form next year.
  • There were many comments of appreciation for outstanding contributions to the success of the 2016 Field Day event, for example:  The McCracken County Emergency Management for the use of their Mobile Command Center, generators and gasoline to run them.  Also named were WPSD TV and The Paducah Sun for their excellent coverage.  It was also mentioned that there were more than adequate club members available this year for station operations and set-up/take-down/cleanup activities.
  • Other items that were briefly brought up were upcoming hamfests:  The Huntsville, Alabama Hamfest, August 20 and 21 and The Middle Tennessee Hamfest at Lebanon, Tennessee, July 31.
  • Dave Perry (N4QS) told of his latest trip to Aruba to participate in the 2016 CQ World Wide WPX Contest CW.  He also talked of his long friendly association with Zoran, YU7KW from Serbia who also participated with the team.  The group placed 5th in the world in their category.

Net Controls for Late July/Early August

Sunday night nets are at 9:00 PM CDT on 147.060 PL 179.9.  See net control procedures here.

July 17              Jeff KB9BVL

July 24             Ken KW4DI            10 checkins

July 31              Frank KY4LDS      12 checkins

August 7         Logan KG4VKB     12 PARA net – 9 ARES

2016 Field day totals

Band Mode – QSOs

3.5    CW   –   155;    LSB   –   83

7       CW   –   318;    LSB  –  413;   RTTY  –  50

14      CW   –   222;   RTTY  –  75;    USB  –  112

21       CW   –     79;    USB   –     3

Total  QSO’s:  1510

2016 Field Day Slide Show (pictures by Ron Cowherd)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

JUNE MONTHLY MEETING

 

PARA Meeting Minutes 6/13/2016

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held Monday, June 13 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140, in Paducah, KY.  Among the 25 attendees present, two came for FCC license upgrade exams.

The meeting was opened by Vice President Ken Wontor (KW4DI).  Ken invited each attendee around the room to introduce themselves with their name and call.   The treasurer’s report given by Bruce Huyck (KS4V), and the Secretary’s reading of the minutes by Ron Cowherd (K4GYD)  were subsequently approved by the members.

Old/New Business

Items discussed include:

  • Final planning for Field Day (June 25-26)  was the focus of the meeting.  Ken Wontor reviewed a list of important Field Day needs, one by one, to double check that all bases were covered.  In addition, various members commented on some positive and negative aspects of former years that we could apply for the betterment of this year’s event.  There were comments about the importance of having an adequate pool of potential operators present to rotate with active ops,  both day and night.  There will be two stations set up in the McCracken County Mobile Command Center, SSB and RTTY and a CW station in pavilion.  Set up will begin about 8:00 a.m. Saturday.  We were also reminded that as many members as possible are needed at end of event on Sunday to help with take down and clean up.

Net Controls for Late June/Early July

Sunday night nets are at 9:00 PM CDT on 147.060 PL 179.9.  See net control procedures here.

June 19             Beth AK4BG                  15 checkins

June 26             Frank KY4LDS              10 checkins

July 3                  Logan KG4VKB             9 PARA – 3 ARES checkins

July 10                Ken KW4DI                   10 checkins

Recent FCC License successes

Congratulations to Ken Krahl (KM4DTS) and Brent Robertson (W4CHE) who have recently upgraded their licenses to Extra Class:

Bren t Robertson
Brent Robertson W4CHE
Ken.KM4DTS
Ken Kraal KM4DTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contest Success Stats

Paul Smith (ND4X) placed 4th in the ARRL 10 meter contest with a very admirable total of 98,511 points.

National Parks On The Air current (7/11/16) Kentucky scores:  Bruce Huyck, 217 confirmed contacts;  Ron Cowherd, 118 confirmed contacts; Dave Dewey, 24 confirmed contacts.

Dave Perry (N4QS) in Aruba for CQ WW WPX CW contest, May 28 & 29.                                            Call: P4/N4QSOperator(s): N4QS YU7KW; Station: P49V Class: M/S HP
QTH: Aruba; Operating Time (hrs): 48;   Location:  South America.   Total QSOs:  3233; Prefixes:  1044; Total Score:  13,335,012

 

 

 

 

MAY MONTHLY MEETING

Pictured above in foreground, L to R:  Jason Brambach being congratulated by Ken Krahl (KM4DTS) for Jason’s recent success passing the Technician, General and Extra exams all in the same sitting.

PARA Meeting Minutes 5/09/2016

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held Monday, May 9 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, room 140, in Paducah, KY.  Among the 28 attendees present, two came for FCC exams, one came as a new licensee, and another came to upgrade an existing license.   See pictures and names below.

The meeting was opened by President Jeff Wielgos (KB9BVL) followed by the treasurer’s report given by Bruce Huyck (KS4V), which was subsequently approved by the members.  Then Secretary Ron Cowherd (K4GYD) read the minutes from the March meeting, which was also accepted by the members present.  President Wielgos invited each attendee around the room to introduce themselves giving their name and call.

Old/New Business

Items discussed include:

  • Field Day (June 25-26) activities at Kyler Park will follow the same procedures that have worked in the past.  The three station rigs and their antennas will be available from last year.  Generators will be supplied by Emergency Services.  Publicity and media will be utilized.  It was moved, seconded and voted upon that $300 will be allotted for food and incidentals that may be needed.  It was brought out that the weaknesses from past years occurred when ops were not available to man stations throughout Saturday night.  Volunteers signed a list circulated among the attendees in hopes that the deficiencies of past years will not be a problem this year.
  • It was the opinion of the club that the National Parks On The Air project at the Paducah waterfront should be activated during the month of  September.
  • Charlie Richey (W9DUE) Massac Co. Emergency Coordinator, reminded us of the importance of earthquake awareness.  The 3.5 earthquake that we recently experienced should be a warning for ever-ready preparedness.  Charlie also related that amateur radio is exempt from the Distracted Driving Bill that is currently before congress since we do not fall into the “cell phone” category.

Net Controls for late May/early June

Sunday night nets are at 9:00 PM CDT on 147.060 PL 179.9

May 15                        Beth KI4ZAK                    7 checkins

May 22                        Steve NW9W                 14 checkins

May 29                        Frank KY4LDS               11 checkins

June 5                          Logan KG4VKB              13 checkins + 7 ARES

June 12                        Ken KW4DI                     12 checkins

Recent FCC License successes 

Congratulations to the following who are new hams or have upgraded their license:

May 7th:  Bill Brown – Technician;  Randall Potempa – Technician;  James Rasor – General;  Eddy Sobkowiak Jr – Extra;  Pat Gupton – Technician;  Jason Brambach – Technician, General & Extra.

May 9th:  Richard Williams – Technician;  Beth Gupton – Extra.

R.Williams
Richard Williams – Tech

 

 

B.Gupton
Beth Gupton (KI4ZAK) Extra

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ed.KC9UVO
Ed Sobkowiak (KB9UVL Extra

Contest Success Stats

Paul Smith (ND4X) reported his very admirable Florida QSO Party results:

Paul Smith FlQPY jpg

National Parks On The Air current (6/13/16) scores:

Bruce Huyck, 186 confirmed contacts, 7th in KY;  Ron Cowherd, 104 confirmed contacts, 11th in KY.

 

 

 

APRIL MONTHLY MEETING

PARA Meeting Minutes 4/11/2016

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held Monday, April 11 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, room 140, in Paducah, KY.  Among the 25 attendees present two came for FCC exams, one came as a new licensee, and another came to upgrade an existing license.   See pictures and names below.

The meeting was opened by President Jeff Wielgos (KB9BVL) followed by the treasurer’s report given by Bruyce Huyck (KS4V), which was subsequently approved by the members.  Then Secretary Ron Cowherd (K4GYD) read the minutes from the March meeting, also accepted by the members present.  President Wielgos invited each attendee around the room to introduce themselves giving name and call.

Old/New Business

Items discussed but not moved or voted upon include:

  • Several members related their operating experiences with two recent rare Expeditions, VK0EK Heard Island and FT4JA Juan De Nova.
  • Ed Pflueger (AB4IQ) gave a report about the Reelfoot Hamfest that was held March 26.  Ed was a featured speaker as well as an attendee.
  • Jason Brambach reported on his enjoyable experience with the first McCracken County Amateur radio Emergency Services Technician Class Amateur radio license class.  The classes started Saturday April 9th and will run four weeks concluding May 7th with a test session.  Six prospective new hams attended the first session, however it may not be too late to participate.  Contact:  KJ4OKY@gmail.com for specific info.  Garry Wheatley (KD4GCY) Electronics instructor at McCracken Co HS, is one of the teachers.
  • There is still interest in activating a National Parks On The Air operation at the foot of Broadway in Paducah this spring or early summer.  The National Parks have posted on their website under Places to Go in Kentucky:  Paducah Waterfront foot of Broadway Historical Significance: “Paducah was a water route site that witnessed the passage of four of the 17 Trail of Tears detachments. Perhaps all of these detachments tied up to the Paducah waterfront. For example, the detachment headed by Gustavus Drane purchased some supplies in Paducah and the Cherokees’ Principal Chief John Ross stopped here (as part of the Drew Detachment) during midwinter 1838-1839. This is one of the few water route sites where detachments are known to have stopped.  www.nps.gov  Bruce (KS4V) with 142 confirmed contacts and Ron (K4GYD) with 92 confirmed are still in the top 11 NPOTA “chasers” in Kentucky.
  • Ron (K4GYD) made a few comments about Sunday night net control logging responsibilities.  It is the opinion of John Hudson (Ko4XJ) a past Emergency Coordinator, the PARA emergency practice net does not need to report their activities.  However, Gerry Wheatley (present Emergency Coordinator) will add our activity to his report, therefore we will continue to publish checkin numbers on the club web page for his benefit.  The local ARES net which operates one Sunday night a month following the club net, should report their activities to the state coordinator.   Logan Blewett (KG4VKB) is net control.

Net Controls for late April/early May

 

April 17 Brent W4CHE                 12 checkins
April 24 Frank KY4LDS                15 checkins
May 1 Jeff KB9BVL                     14 checkins
May 8 Ken KW4DI                      11 checkins

Presentation

President Wielgos brought a video of the latest BS7SH Scarborough Reef Expedition, April 2007.  It was a very controversial decision by the DXCC commission to include Scarborough Reef in the DXCC list.  Many believed the location in the South China Sea, about half way between the Phillippines  and China to be too small, too dangerous and too politically sensitive.  Many thought that an island small enough to be measured with a tape measure was too small anyway.  At high tide, the coral reef was inundated so the scaffolding for the generator, antennas and gear had to be constructed during low tides.  Even so, the crew was able to complete 5,000 QSO’s. The cinematography was quite good, very well depicting the hardships involved.  Thanks Jeff, for bringing this informative video to the club meeting.

New License successes

We are happy to report that two April meeting attendees have earned new license status.  Benjamin Crabtree passed his Technician exam.  Brent Robertson (W4CHE) who had just received his Tech license in March, upgraded to General Class.  Perhaps Brent will move up to Extra in May.  Congratulations Benjamin and Brent.

Benjamin Crabtree
Benjamin Crabtree
Bren t Robertson
Brent Robertson W4CHE

MARCH MONTHLY MEETING

Ed,Paul,Jeff
Ed (AB4IQ), Paul (ND4X) and Jeff (WB9BVL) preparing the computer and projector for the meeting.

PARA Meeting Minutes 3/14/2016

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held Monday, March 14 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center in Paducah, KY.  Among the 25 attendees present one came for an FCC exam, one came as a new licensee, and another one came to observe, get acquainted with PARA members and learn about Amateur Radio.  See pictures and names below.

The meeting was opened by President Jeff Wielgos (KB9BVL) followed by the treasurer’s report given by Bruyce Huyck (KS4V), which was subsequently approved by the members.  Then Secretary Ron Cowherd (K4GYD) read the minutes from the February meeting, also accepted by the members present.

Old/New Business

Items discussed but not moved or voted upon include:

  • W4NJA QSL cards.  The newly printed cards were shown by Jeff (KB9BVL).  The cards will be available in time for Field Day 2016 for contacts requesting confirmations.
  • Field Day.  Ken (KW4DI) announced that he had reserved Keilor Park for the 2016 Field Day Activities.  Ken also spoke of the liability insurance that had been secured.
  • New Extra Class Question Pool.   VE license testing chairman Bruce (KS4V) reminded us that the extra class question pool would change July 1st, 2016.
  • Local Hamfests.   Reelfoot Hamfest:  March 26, 2016.  Princeton, KY hamfest:  June 4th 2016.
  • Net Logging.  It was suggested that we should look into the ARRL/ARES recommendations for the logging of check-ins on the PARA Sunday night training net. There is a different net control each night.  Secretary Ron Cowherd will keep a record of check-in totals until the login requirements are reviewed.  Net controls may give their totals to Ron (K4GYD) at the end of each session or if Ron is not available they may email their totals to roncowherd@aol.com.  Total records will be posted on this web site starting with the March 20 session.
  • The McCracken County Amateur Radio Emergency Services along with McCracken County Emergency Services will offer an entry level class for anyone interested in obtaining a Technician Class Amateur radio License.  Classes start Saturday April 9th for four weeks and will conclude May 7th with a test session.  Contact:  KJ4OKY@gmail.com  Please pass the word!

Net Controls for late March/early April

March 20 Logan KG4VKB      11 check-ins
March 27 Jeff KB9BVL            17 check-ins
April 3 Frank KY4LDS        10 check-ins
April 10 Ken KW4DI               9 check-ins

Contest Success

The results for the North American QSO Party RTTY–July 2015 have been announced:  PARA placed 23rd world-wide, with only a three man team.    The  PARA team consisted of ND4X Paul Smith with 30,555 points, AB4IQ Ed Pflueger with 5,559 points and NU4N Dave Tucker with 165 points.  Total points came to 36,279.  This score is very commendable considering they were competing against many full five man teams.  Perhaps PARA will be represented by a five man team in 2016 with an even higher total.

The National Park Service On the Air Event Leader Board reveals two PARA hams in top 10 of 79 Kentucky Chaser scores:  Bruce (KS4V) 103 confirmed contacts and Ron (K4GYD) 65 confirmed.  This is a year long event sponsored by ARRL to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

New License Successes

Jason Brambach
Jason Brambach

We are happy to report that two March meeting attendees are new Technicians.  Michael Matzafol passed his Technician exam.  Brent Robertson (W4CHE) just received his Tech license and Jason Brambach came to the meeting to become acquainted with our club members and gain additional knowledge of the testing procedure.  Congratulations Michael and Brent.  I’m sure we will be congratulating Jason soon.

 

Bren t Robertson
Brent Robertson W4CHE
Michael Matzafol
Michael Matzafol

February Monthly Meeting

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held Monday, February 8 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center in Paducah, KY.  A prediction of snow showers for the evening did not deter approximately 20 members.  There was much anticipation for the presentation to be given by Dave Perry (N4QS) later in the meeting.  It was ironic that Dave’s subject about emerging technology in amateur radio was to be presented at the Emerging Technology Center . See presentation info below.

PARA Meeting Minutes 2/9/16

The meeting was opened by President Jeff Wielgos (KB9BVL) followed by the treasurer’s report given by Bruyce Huyck (KS4V) which was subsequently approved by the members.  Then Secretary Ron Cowherd read the minutes from the January meeting, also accepted by the members present.

Old Business.  

President Wielgos touched on an item from the January meeting in which it was    suggested that the club may want to look into the possibility of participating in the ARRL National Parks On The Air (NPOTA), a year long event.  After some discussion it was decided that we should look into the rules to determine whether Paducah’s “foot of Broadway” location qualifies as an activator spot on the “Trail of Tears.”  It was decided that we have all year to look into the matter to properly plan for this event during a warmer a time.

New Business

 Liability Insurance.  Bruce Huyck reminded us that it was time to pay the club liability insurance in the amount of $240.00.  A motion was moved, seconded and passed to pay for the insurance.

Treasurer Huyck requested that an additional person’s name be added to the checking account to provide check writing continuity in case he, for some reason, he wasn’t available to write a check.  It was suggested that the secretary would be the likely person.  Ron agreed to the request.

Past treasurer Paul Smith announced that the web domain fee would be due later this year.  He suggested that the present web master’s name should appear on the application before the due date for fee payment.  Ron Cowherd agreed to contact past web master, Rob Larrison, to get the account in order.

Secretary Cowherd read a letter addressed to Kevin O’Neill who is Dir. Community Education West Kentucky Community & Technical College.  The intent of the letter was to thank him and WKCTC for the use of the Emerging Technology Center facilities this past year.  The letter gave a brief description of PARA’s purpose and goals as an organization as well as short list of our educational and public service events in which we have participated.  It is our hope that PARA may continue to use the facilities throughout 2016.

Net Controls for Late February/Early March

                              February 14          Frank KY4LDS

                              February 21          Jeff KB9BVL

                              February 28          Frank KY4LDS

                              March 6                Logan KG4VKB

                              March 13               Ken KW4DI

Presentation

D.Perry2:8:16

Dave Perry, N4QS gave us some very exciting news about new software for remote control of a local or distant amateur radio station.  This “free” cutting edge software requires only (1) an internet connection, (2) smart phone, tablet or laptop, and (3) client software from www.remotehams.com.  Dave demonstrated by using his smart phone to control his station at home.  He was able to control all aspects of the process by clicking on the knobs and buttons shown on the screen of his phone.  It was amusing when he accidentally touched the CQ macro button on 80 meters CW and a DL station from Germany came back to him with a 5/9 signal report.  Dave stressed how easy to install and user friendly the software is.  Unfortunately the software does not work on any Apple products at this time.

Nice job Dave.  Your enthusiasm was infectious.  Several of the club members with laptops with them, were signed up and had the software installed before the end of the meeting.

Reminders:

PARA meets at Emerging Technology Center, WKCTC on 2nd Monday, 7 pm of each month except December.

New License and upgrades are offered on odd months throughout the year.  See W4NJA web site at w4nja.org.  For info click at the top of the page on About Us, then VE License Testing.

The Sunday Night Net meets each Sunday night at 9 PM. All amateur radio operators are invited to check in. 147.060 PL 179.9

Respectfully submitted,

Ron Cowherd (Sec. PARA) roncowherd@aol.com

 

 

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