PARA Meeting Minutes 10/10/16

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held Monday, October 10, 2016 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140, in Paducah, KY.  There were approximately 17 present plus one prospective FCC examinee.  See picture below.

The meeting was opened by Secretary Ron Cowherd (K4GYD) in the absence of President Wielgos.  Ron invited each attendee around the room to introduce themselves with their name, call and a comment on their amateur activities since the last meeting.  Everyone participated in the hobby in some way, so a Tootsie Roll was given to each as a reward for their efforts.  The Treasurer’s report was given by Bruce Huyck (KS4V).  The July meeting minutes was read by Secretary Cowherd, with explanations as needed.  Both the Treasurer’s and Secretary’s reports were approved by the members present.

Old/New Business

Secretary Cowherd reported on the Tuesday October 4th activation of the Trail of Tears, NPOTA code number TR12, at the Paducah Ohio River site in Schultz Park.  There were 61 contacts made with most QSOs accomplished early and late in the day.  The first two contacts were 5/9 from Italy and Slovenia.  Since band conditions were poor during most of the day, the pile ups that occurred during the late afternoon were quite welcome.  All contacts were made using 20 watts SSB to a vertical antenna.    See featured picture above.

Bruce Huyck reported on the Spudgun project with seven of the ten guns completed at Jerry Foland’s (WA4TTL) workshop.  Bruce also suggested a follow-up project that would make good use of  the new “compressed air antenna launchers.”  He sketched out a diagram on the white board of a 40 meter vertical monopole.  The two elevated radials could be easily launched with the new spudguns that recently have been constructed.  This may be a very easy future club construction project for a great DX antenna.

Frank Baumer (KY4LDS) told of a worthwhile exercise that he added to the last  Sunday evening training net in which he was net control.  Before the net closed, Frank asked for anyone that wanted to test their “direct” operation ability by calling in for a signal report.  Frank was emphasizing the need for all of us to know our rigs well enough that we can easily operate “direct”in case of emergency.  We also found out that successful direct communication is highly dependent on antenna height and power on both ends of the contact.

It was reported that the manager of “Batteries and Bulbs” offered to come to a future meeting to give a program.  This new business is located close to the intersection of Olivet Rd, and Rt. 60 in the strip mall close to Fire House Subs.

Net Control Operators for Late October/Early November

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

October 16                        Brent W4CHE            7 checkins

October 23                        Jeff KB9BVL               11 checkins

October 30                        Frank KY4LDS            5 checkins

November 6                     Logan KG4VKB      6 reg/8 ARES

November 13                    Frank KY4LDS            4 checkins

License Upgrade

James Oliver successfully passed his FCC Technician Exam at the close of the October meeting.  Congratulations James and feel welcome to join us again at future PARA meetings.

James Oliver:  New Technician

ARRL Centennial Success

Congratulations are in order to John Hudson (KO4XJ) for earning the ARRL Centennial Challenge Award, First Place in Kentucky with 18,939 points.  Way to go John, we are proud of you.


NPOTA Chaser News

National Parks On The Air current (11/14/16) Kentucky confirmed contacts:  Bruce Huyck (KS4V) 334;  Ron Cowherd (K4GYD) 200; Brent Robertson (W4CHE) 194;  Dave Dewey (W4WKN) 47; Dave Tucker (NU4N) 22; Dave Perry (N4QS) 12; Jeff Wielgos (KB9BVL) 10;  Ed Pflueger (AB4IQ) 2;  (W4NJA) 2;  Paul Smith (ND4X) 5; and Gene Summers (N4FZ) 1.

Next scheduled meeting will be Monday, November 14,2016 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140.

2016 NPOTA Activation Photos

The Paducah Amateur Radio Association activated the Trail of Tears (TR12) historical site designated by the NPS at Paducah, KY on the Ohio River.  Paducah was water route site that witnessed the passage of four of the 17 Trail of Tears detachments.  this is one of the few water route sites where detachments are known to have stopped.


The activation took place in Schultz Park Tuesday, Oct. 4.  Throughout the day, 61 NPOTA Chasers were contacted on 20 meters using a Kenwood transceiver running 20 watts to a Hustler vertical.  Members participating were:  Jeff Wielgos (KB9VBL);  Ken Wontor (KW4DI);  Jason Brambach (KY9I);  Ron Cowherd (K4GYD);  Mike Thomasson (KY4OEM) and Katherine Thomasson (KI4NXE).  Great fun was had by all.

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