May Monthly Meeting (Virtual)

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held 7:00 PM, Monday, May 11, 2020 via the W4NJA repeater in Paducah, KY.  This virtual meeting was necessary due to the Covid-19 pandemic which required the closure of public buildings and social distancing.

22 members and guests were checked in.  The meeting was opened by PARA President, Jeff Wielgos, KB9BVL.  The meeting had elements of both an emergency net and a formal club meeting.  Jeff welcomed us and then asked each attendee to check-in by the order of the first letter of their call sign suffix

Club Business Items

  • The Treasurer’s report was given by Treasurer Roger Good.  Roger announced that two generators had been purchased by the club and would probably be stored at Dave Perry’s Amateur Radio Ranch until needed.
  • Secretary Ron Cowherd read the minutes which reviewed the business items of the April 13th meeting which was concerned primarily with the KY QSO Party and Field Day.
  • The May 11 meeting continued the discussion of the previous month but nothing was settled concerning the location of a 2020 Field Day site.
  • Fortunately, the KYQSO Party and Field Day particulars can follow the procedures established in past years, although a Field Day location is yet to be determined.

Items of interest being discussed on the W4NJA repeater since last virtual meeting.

  • Garry Wheatley, KD4GCY, has been doing a fine job of leading the local hams on the exploration of the best simplex frequencies that could be used in case the repeaters were to become unusable.  In addition to providing an hour or so of entertainment, it gave us the opportunity to test our individual station’s ground wave communication abilities.  Garry is planning another evening of simplex exploration on Tuesday, May 26, 7:00 pm.  As before, he will meet us on the W4NJA repeater for instructions.
  • Paul Smith ND4X, reminds us that the Kentucky QSO Party will happen June 6-7, 2020. 14:00 UTC June 6 until 02:00 UTC, June 7 (09:00 AM CDST) – (9:00 Pm CDST) Saturday, June 6.  See www.kyqsoparty.org for additional information.
  • The National Weather Service Office in Paducah will be giving a free webinar mini course covering subjects such as “Tornado Extreme Risks” and “A Guide to Basic Radar Products using RadarApps.”  Click on the following link for more info:  https://www.weather.gov/pah/NWSMiniCourses
  • It was suggested that we try a ZOOM virtual June 8th PARA monthly club meeting.  In order to prepare for that  meeting.  Garry Wheatley and President Jeff Wielgos will host a practice session on Tuesday, 7:00pm, June 2nd.   The purpose of the “dry run” session will be to help everyone get acclimated to the Zoom app.  Everyone should download the Zoom app for their respective devices before the practice session.  Hopefully this session will help us quickly get down to business on June 8th with everyone on board.  The Zoom allotted session time is only 45 minutes or so.  Please watch for further email, text, and Facebook announcements stating meeting ID number and password as we approach the Tuesday, June 2nd practice session.  Also pertinent PARA announcements will be included in the Sunday Night PARA Emergency Net.  (more details below in Remember info)
  • Jeff noted that there was some confusion about where to find the correct, up-to-date W4NJA Facebook page.  The following link should take you there:
  • https://www.facebook.com/W4NJA-Paducah-Amateur-Radio-Association-1655765178031645
  • Please subscribe to the (free) W4NJA Webpage.  Just fill in the blank on the webpage right sidebar for automatic delivery of the webpage each month.

Net Control Operators

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

May 17       Jeff KB9BVL           13 PARA ck-ins

May 24       Steve NW9W         14 PARA ck-ins

May 31       Frank KY4LDS       13 PARA ck-ins

June 7         Jeff KB9BVL

Remember:

  • PARA meets at Emerging Technology Center, WKCTC on 2nd Monday, 7 pm, each month except December.  Prospective hams in search of general info concerning the hobby may Google ARRL.com and click on relevant headings.
  • New License and upgrade exams will not be offered until we get back in the WKCTC facility.  Exams or normally given at the close of each meeting night throughout the year.  See W4NJA web site for info.  Click button at the top of the page:   About Us, then VE License Testing.  Also, you may call Fred Carter (AI4EY) and leave a message at (270)210-3628 if you wish to take a test at the next meeting.
  • The Sunday Night PARA Emergency Net meets each Sunday night at 9 PM.  All amateur radio operators are invited to check in. 147.060 PL 179.9  The ARES monthly net convenes immediately following PARA net on the first Sunday night of each month.
  • CW round table for on-the-air operating practice, 6:30 pm Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  Meet on W4NJA 147.060 repeater at 6:30 to get instructions.
  • Amateur Radio Emergency Services meetings are held at 7:00 pm on 3rd Thursdays, 3700 Coleman Road EOC building in the Jack Johnston meeting room.
  • Metropolis net  Thursdays 8:15, 146.655 – 600, PL179.9, The Massac club call is now known as W9DUE.  147.225 is old repeater freq.
  • Draffenville net Wednesdays 9:00 145.390 PL118.8

April Monthly Meeting (virtual)

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held 7:00 PM, Monday, April 13, 2020 via the W4NJA repeater in Paducah, KY.  This experimental virtual meeting was necessary due to the Covid-19 pandemic which required the closure of public buildings and social distancing.

25 members and guests were checked in.  The meeting was opened by PARA President, Jeff Wielgos KB9BVL.  The historic meeting had elements of both an emergency net and a formal club meeting.  Jeff welcomed us and then asked each attendee to check-in by the order of the first letter of their call sign suffix.

Club Business Items

  • The Treasurer’s report was given by President Wielgos due to Treasurer Roger Good’s illness.
  • Secretary Ron Cowherd read the minutes which reviewed the business items of the March 9th meeting.
  • We found it difficult to make any definite plans concerning the KY QSO Party and Field Day not knowing how long the pandemic restrictions were going to be in place.  There was discussion about how we could proceed with alternate locations.  However, without knowing the future it was decided to wait till next month’s meeting and hope that we would know more by then.

Items of interest being discussed on the W4NJA repeater since last virtual meeting.

  • Garry Wheatley, KD4GCY, on behalf of the club, is trying to determine the best frequency for local ops to meet simplex.   For those who are interested, Garry will host the next meeting at 7:00 pm, Tuesday, May 12 with other bands and modes to explore.  Tune in to the W4NJA repeater for instructions at 7:00 pm.
  • Paul Smith ND4X, reminds us that the Kentucky QSO Party will happen June 6-7, 2020. 14:00 UTC June 6 until 02:00 UTC, June 7 (09:00 AM CDST) – (9:00 Pm CDST) Saturday, June 6.  See www.kyqsoparty.org for additional information.
  • The National Weather Service Office in Paducah will be giving a free webinar mini course covering subjects such as “Tornado Extreme Risks” and “A Guide to Basic Radar Products using RadarApps.”  Click on the following link for more info:  https://www.weather.gov/pah/NWSMiniCourses
  • Paducah Amateur Radio Association virtual meeting will be held 7:00 PM, Monday, May 11, 2020 via the W4NJA repeater in Paducah, KY.

NET CONTROL OPERATORS

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

April 19         Michael KN4TIP       16 PARA ck-ins

April 26         Frank KY4LDS          14 PARA ck-ins

May 3             Steve NW9W            17 PARA ck-ins

May 10           Jeff KB9BVL              19 PARA ck-ins

May 10           Logan KG4VKB           9 ARES ck-ins

 

Remember:

  • PARA meets at Emerging Technology Center, WKCTC on 2nd Monday, 7 pm, each month except December.  Prospective hams in search of general info concerning the hobby may Google ARRL.com and click on relevant headings.  (Monday
  • New License and upgrade exams are offered at the close of each meeting night throughout the year.  See W4NJA web site for info.  Click button at the top of the page:   About Us, then VE License Testing.  Also, you may call Fred Carter (AI4EY) and leave a message at (270)210-3628 if you wish to take a test at the next meeting.
  • The Sunday Night PARA Emergency Net meets each Sunday night at 9 PM.  All amateur radio operators are invited to check in. 147.060 PL 179.9  The ARES monthly net convenes immediately following PARA net on the first Sunday night of each month.
  • CW round table for on-the-air operating practice, 6:30 pm Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  Meet on W4NJA 147.060 repeater at 6:30 to get instructions.
  • Amateur Radio Emergency Services meetings are held at 7:00 pm on 3rd Thursdays, 3700 Coleman Road EOC building in the Jack Johnston meeting room.
  • Metropolis net  Thursdays 8:15, 146.655 – 600, PL179.9, The Massac club call is now known as W9DUE.  147.225 is old repeater freq.
  • Draffenville net Wednesdays 9:00 145.390 PL118.8

 

 

March Monthly Meeting

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held Monday, March 9, 2020 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140, in Paducah, KY.  There were 21 members and guests present.  The meeting was opened by PARA President, Jeff Wielgos KB9BVL.  Jeff welcomed us and asked each attendee around the room to give their name and amateur call.

Club Business Items

  • Secretary Ron Cowherd read the minutes from the February meeting.   A motion to accept minutes was made, seconded and passed.
  • Treasurer Roger Good brought us up to date with the club’s finances.  Roger reported that he had talked with the Paducah Parks administrator and was told that nothing had changed from previous years concerning insurance requirements.  Roger reviewed our liability insurance with Beth Gupton.  Roger announced that the W4NJA domain fee had been paid.  He also ordered new checks with updated treasurers name.  Jeff called for the motion to approve the Treasures report which was subsequently moved, seconded and passed.
  • President Jeff Wielgos told us about the present condition of the 06 repeater. The power supply had failed a couple of times in the past week.  After finding that a simple reset did not permanently solve the problem, Jeff replaced the supply with one of his own until new supply could be obtained.  Jerome Mansfield told Jeff that McCracken Co. Emergency Services had budgeted funds that would be available to replace the supply later in the summer.
  • There was further discussion of the selection of a club polo shirt.  Jeff is taking care of communication with a dealer.  There was discussion about obtaining the Field Day Permit from Paducah Parks.

Demonstration

President Jeff gave us an in-depth synopsis of the recent KY/TN tornado outbreak.  Jeff had a good bit of data from the Paducah National Weather Service where his wife, a registered meteorologist, is employed.  He reviewed the path of the cold front with pictures and data about each tornado outbreak that occurred along the way.  Radar snapshots and computer data was exhibited showing the moment that damage was happening.  The big one was on the ground for 53 miles through the Nashville area and continued East to Putnam County.  It was estimated to be a F4 tornado with winds reaching speeds up to 175 mph killing 25 people, most of which were in their beds asleep at 1:30 in the morning.  Jeff projected vivid photos of the damage which leveled structures leaving only foundations.   The conditions and results thereof were considered to be very unusual and will probably serve as a case study for meteorologists in the future.  All in all, this was reminder of what can happen, perhaps in our own backyard, further emphasizing the need for us to be prepared.  Everyone agreed that Jeff’s timely presentation was outstanding.  Thanks Jeff.

NET CONTROL OPERATORS

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

March 15         Dave W4KN – 22 PARA ck-ins  (new record)

March 22          Jeff KB9BVL – 15 PARA Ck-ins, (Metro. & Pad.)

March 28          Frank KY4LDS – Emergency WX net 45 ck-ins

March 29          Roger KC9WPS – 13 PARA ck-ins

April 5               Frank KY4LDS – 21 PARA ck-ins

April 5               Logan KG4VKB – 14 ARES ck-ins

April 12             Jeff KB9BVL – 16 PARA ck-ins

February Monthly Meeting

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held Monday, February 10, 2020 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140, in Paducah, KY.  There were 26 members and guests present.  Five came for FCC VE testing.  (See results below) The meeting was opened by PARA President, Jeff Wielgos KB9BVL.  Jeff welcomed us and asked each attendee around the room to give their name and amateur call.

Club Business Items

  • Secretary Ron Cowherd read the minutes from the January meeting.   A motion to accept minutes was made, seconded and passed.
  • Treasurer Roger Good brought us up to date with the club’s finances.  Roger asked us to OK the payment of $250 for Field Day liability insurance.  It was further brought to our attention that our Field Day liability insurance may have not been reviewed in several years.  President Wielgos suggested a motion to check with City Hall to see if our policy still meets city standards for such event and, if not, our policy be upgraded to meet current regulations.  Mike Newman suggested that if the cost of upgrading was too much, we could change the location to another site off city property.  There was much discussion about the pros and cons of moving to another location.  Roger will look into city park use requirements.  A motion to accept the treasurer’s report was made, sec.  seconded and passed.
  • Jeff announced the PARA Vice President office was open and asked for any nominations or anyone that would volunteer to be considered for the position.  Mike Newman finally volunteered and subsequently a motion was made, passed and voted to select Mike for the position.
  • It was suggested that a letter of thanks be sent to Kevin O’Neill who oversees the use of the Emerging Technology Center building.  A letter has been mailed.
  • Regarding the KYQSO Party, Paul Smith stated that all the logging program people have been notified that there are no changes this year, all the contest calendar people have been notified of the new date, the webpage changes have been made, so right now we are pretty much on auto pilot.  We need to find out if any other clubs would like to operate a bonus station so we can get them listed.  It was also suggested we try to encourage more stations to become bonus stations since we only had two last year.
  • It was discussed that we look into PARA logo polo shirts for the club.

NET CONTROL OPERATORS

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

February 16     Jeff KB9BVL       19 PARA  ck-ins

February 23     W4NJA repeater inoperative.  No count avail.

March 1            Roger KC9WPS  16 PARA ck-ins on .120 repeater

March 1            Logan KG4VKB  9 ARES ck-ins on .120 repeater

March 8            Jeff KB9BVL      18 PARA  ck-ins

New License Successes

We are happy to report that (pictured L to R) Ronnie Stone and Justin King passed the Technician Exam.  Shane Martin and Christopher Jenson passed both the General. Christopher Jenson also passed the Extra.  Congratulations to all.  We cordially invite all of you to enjoy your new licenses and join us at future monthly meetings.

Remember:

  • PARA meets at Emerging Technology Center, WKCTC on 2nd Monday, 7 pm, each month except December.  Prospective hams in search of general info concerning the hobby may Google ARRL.com and click on relevant headings.
  • New License and upgrade exams are offered at the close of each meeting night throughout the year.  See W4NJA web site for info.  Click button at the top of the page:   About Us, then VE License Testing.  Also, you may call Fred Carter (AI4EY) and leave a message at (270)210-3628 if you wish to take a test at the next meeting.
  • The Sunday Night PARA Emergency Net meets each Sunday night at 9 PM.  All amateur radio operators are invited to check in. 147.060 PL 179.9  The ARES monthly net convenes immediately following PARA net on the first Sunday night of each month.
  • CW round table for on-the-air operating practice, 6:30 pm Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  Meet on W4NJA 147.060 repeater at 6:30 to get instructions.
  • Amateur Radio Emergency Services meetings are held at 7:00 pm on 3rd Thursdays, 3700 Coleman Road EOC building in the Jack Johnston meeting room.
  • Metropolis net  Thursdays 8:15, 146.655 PL179.9, 147.225 is old repeater freq.
  • Draffenville net Wednesdays 9:00 145.390 PL118.8

 

JANUARY MONTHLY MEETING

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Michael Durr (KN4TIP) – photo by Marianna Durr. (details below)

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held Monday, January 13, 2020 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140, in Paducah, KY.  There were 22 members and guests present.  No one came for FCC VE testing.  The meeting was opened by PARA President, Jeff Wielgos KB9BVL.  Jeff welcomed us and asked each attendee around the room to give their name, amateur call and tell of any amateur equipment that they may have received for Christmas.

Club Business Items

  • Secretary Ron Cowherd read the minutes from the October meeting, the last regular business meeting of 2019.  Motion to accept minutes was made, seconded and passed.
  • Treasurer Roger KC4WPS brought us up to date with the club’s finances.  Roger told us that at the end of 2019 we had a positive cash flow of $857 over the previous year.  Following the clubs instructions from the last meeting, he renewed the current $500 CD along with an additional $500 and purchased a 60 month CD which improved the interest rate from 1% to 1.85%. A motion was made, seconded and passed to accept the Treasurer’s Report.
  • Paul Smith, ND4XA explained that we realized a $300 profit due to other KY clubs that donated toward the expense of the award plaques.
  • President Jeff brought us up to date on the association of the National Weather System and Amateur Radio.  Jeff had spent over 4 hours at the weather station operating their ham station during the NWS nationwide QSO party/contest.
  • There was some discussion about the election of officers for 2020.  We normally elect officers in January, but since we didn’t have Vice President Ken Wontor present at this time, it was decided to delay the election until the February meeting when perhaps all the current officers could be present.  Jeff, Ron and Roger agreed to continue to serve in their respective positions for 2020 if no one else was nominated.
  • There was a brief discussion about plans for the 2020 KY QSO Party.  Ed Pflueger reported that the plaques are under construction.  Paul Smith said volunteers are needed regarding various logging requirements, much of which is already mechanized.  Dave Perry will also participate in the same capacity as last year.  The date is June 6, 2020, first Saturday in June.  Same as last year.
  • Garry Wheatley announced that The McCracken County Amateur Radio Emergency Services group will be offering a class for acquiring the FCC Technician License.  The Tech Class will be a two part presentation with the official test given at the close of the second class period. The first class will be Thursday Feb. 20th. Starting at 6:00 PM. The second class will be Saturday Feb. 22nd. Starting at 9:00 AM, with testing about noon time. Both classes will be conducted at the Ledbetter Vol. Fire Dept. located at 1481 US-60, Ledbetter, KY 42058.  If interested, you may reply to KJ4OKY@gmail.com to register or obtain additional information.

Demonstration

Michael Durr (KN4TIP), brought us an outstanding presentation entitled “Talking to the Birds.”  The subject of amateur satellite communication was thoroughly covered in a very short 30 minute period. Michael used printed documentation, visual media and personal experience to cover this very interesting topic.   See the following link: https://1drv.ms/p/s!AkcUWDGnpyTk7XvzbYRrHV-edADW  His home-brew 5 element, 2 band (VHF/UHF) “hand-held tape measure yagi” was quite impressive.  In addition, Michael surprised us with a multiple answer, 10 question “pop quiz” at the close of his program.  Jim Ruud (AK4PS) received a reward for being the only one who correctly answered all the questions.  Thank you Michael, for giving us a great overview of yet another one of Amateur Radio’s many facets.

IMG_1436
Michael Durr KN4TIP

NET CONTROL OPERATORS

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

January 19       Roger KC4WPS     8  PARA ck-ins

January 26       Jeff KB9BVL          9  PARA ck-ins

February 2      Michael KN4TIP  12 PARA ck-ins

February 9       Jeff KB9BVL         22 PARA ck-ins

February 9       Logan KG4VKB   11 ARES ck-ins

Remember:

  • PARA meets at Emerging Technology Center, WKCTC on 2nd Monday, 7 pm, each month except December.  Prospective hams in search of general info concerning the hobby may Google ARRL.com and click on relevant headings.
  • New License and upgrade exams are offered at the close of each meeting night throughout the year.  See W4NJA web site for info.  Click button at the top of the page:   About Us, then VE License Testing.  Also, you may call Fred Carter (AI4EY) and leave a message at (270)210-3628 if you wish to take a test at the next meeting.
  • The Sunday Night PARA Emergency Net meets each Sunday night at 9 PM.  All amateur radio operators are invited to check in. 147.060 PL 179.9  The ARES monthly net convenes immediately following PARA net on the first Sunday night of each month.
  • CW round table for on-the-air operating practice, 6:30 pm Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  Meet on W4NJA 147.060 repeater at 7:00 to get instructions.
  • Amateur Radio Emergency Services meetings are held at 7:00 pm on 3rd Thursdays, 3700 Coleman Road EOC building in the Jack Johnston meeting room.
  • Metropolis net  Thursdays 8:15, 146.655 PL179.9, 147.225 is old repeater freq.
  • Draffenville net Wednesdays 9:00 145.390 PL118.8

December Happenings 2019

The annual PARA Christmas Dinner was celebrated Monday, December 9, 2019 at Casa Mexicana Restaurant on Village Square Drive in Paducah.  The special occasion has traditionally convened in lieu of a formal December club meeting.  Snapshots of the approximately 26 members and guests in attendance enjoying excellent food and spirited conversation are shown below:  (click on image for slide show)

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PARA Net Controls (late December/early January)

December 15         Jeff KB9BVL             PARA 13 check-ins

December 22        Steve NW9W             PARA 10 check-ins

December 29       Steve NW9W             PARA 9 check-ins

January 5              Garry KD4GCY             PARA 17 check-ins

January 5              Logan KG4VKB          ARES 15 check-ins

January 12           Frank KY4LDS           PARA 15 check-ins

PARA 2018 Statistics

PARA Statistics 2020

Remember:

  • PARA meets at Emerging Technology Center, WKCTC on 2nd Monday, 7 pm, each month except December.  Prospective hams in search of general info concerning the hobby may Google ARRL.com and click on relevant headings.
  • New License and upgrades exams are offered at the close of each meeting night throughout the year.  See W4NJA web site at w4nja.org.  For info click button at the top of the page:   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  The ARES monthly net convenes immediately following PARA net on first Sunday nights.
  • CW round table for on-the-air operating practice, 6:30 pm Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  Meet on W4NJA 147.060 repeater at 8:00 to get instructions.
  • Amateur Radio Emergency Services meetings are held at 7:00 pm on 3rd Thursdays, 3700 Coleman Road EOC building in the Jack Johnston meeting room.