SEPTEMBER MONTHLY MEETING

PARA Meeting Minutes 9/12/2016

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held Monday, September 12, 2016 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140, in Paducah, KY.  There were approximately 25 present plus one prospective FCC examinee.  See picture below.

The meeting was opened by President Jeff  Wielgos (KB9VBL).  Jeff invited each attendee around the room to introduce themselves with their name and call.  The Treasurer’s report was given by Bruce Huyck (KS4V).  The July meeting minutes was read by the President Wielgos  with explanations from Secretary Cowherd as needed.  Both the Treasurer’s and Secretary’s reports were approved by the members present.

Old/New Business

  • Treasurer Huyck announced that the club needed to approve the reimbursement of $16.17 to member Rob Larrison for the renewal of the W4NJA yearly web domain fee.  Rob, the former W4NJA web administrator, had automatically paid the fee.  The reimbursement was approved by the membership present.
  • Secretary Cowherd gave a report on the plans for the National Parks On The Air activation that had been discussed in previous meetings.  Club officers Wielgos, Wontor, Huyck and Cowherd met before the meeting to finalize the details.  It was decided that one or more days, Monday, October 3 thru Saturday 8,  would be registered with ARRL to activate the Trail of Tears, code number TR12, in Shultz park at the foot of Broadway.  The National Parks Commission has chosen the site for a historical marker to be erected in the near future.  It is planned that two stations will be set up for portable operation.  Club members (operators, loggers and spotters) are encouraged to participate and will be notified by email as final decisions are made about specific day/days of operation.  The following activation description will be posted on the nota.arrl.org web page: “Registered Events Within 10 Days
  • The Paducah Amateur Radio Assoc. will be activating a Trail Of Tears historical site at Paducah, KY on the Ohio River. Paducah, on the trail’s southern route, is the only location where their boat stopped to take on supplies. Activation depends on weather. Operating details will be posted on ARRL NPOTA Facebook page.
  • Bruce Huyck announced updated plans for the “Compressed Air Antenna Launcher,“AKA “Spudgun” project with a demonstration.  See Two PDF files concerning building instructions and part list.  Ten members signed up for the project.  See feature picture above.

Net Controls for Late September/Early October

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

September 18                              Brent W4CHE

September 25                              Frank KY4LDS

October 2                                      Jason KY9I

October 9                                      Ken KW4DI

License Upgrade

Ronald Wilson successfully passed his FCC Technician Exam at the close of the September meeting.  Congratulations Ronald and feel welcome to join us again at future PARA meetings.

 

ron-wilson
Ron Wilson (new tech)

NPOTA scores

National Parks On The Air current (9/22/16) Kentucky confirmed contacts:  Bruce Huyck (KS4V) 298;  Ron Cowherd (K4GYD) 140; Dave Dewey (W4WKN) 26; Dave Tucker (NU4N) 19; Dave Perry (N4QS) 9; Ed Pflueger (AB4IQ) 2; Brent Robertson (W4CHE) 2; Paul Smith (ND4X) 1; Gene Summers (N4FZ) 1 and (W4NJA) 1

Next scheduled meeting will be Monday, October 10,2016 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140.

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 “compressed air” antenna launcher 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.  See Spud Gun Pdf
  • 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              11 checkins

September 4                   Logan KG4VKB    8 checkins PARA/8 ARES

September 11                 Ken KW4DI                11 checkins

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 (9/12/16) Kentucky confirmed contacts:  Bruce Huyck (KS4V) 292;  Ron Cowherd (K4GYD) 138; Dave Dewey (W4WKN) 26; Dave Tucker (NU4N) 18; Dave Perry (N4QS) 9; Ed Pflueger (AB4IQ) 2; Paul Smith (ND4X) 1; Gene Summers (N4FZ) 1 and (W4NJA) 1 ????

Proposed NPOTA Activation Registration draft:

code-tr12

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