PARA Meeting Minutes 1/8/2018

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held  Monday, January 8, 2018 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140, in Paducah, KY.  There were 20 present, including 2 visitors.  The meeting was opened by Club President, Jeff  Wielgos (KB9BVL).  Jeff invited each attendee around the room to introduce themselves with their name and call.

Items Discussed and Passed

The business portion of the meeting was as follows:

  • The  Secretary’s report was given by Ron Cowherd  (K4GYD) followed by the Treasurer’s report by Bruce Huyck (KS4V).
  •  Secretary Cowherd told of an article requested by Steve Morgan (W4NHO), KY State Section Manager, regarding PARA being selected for ARRL Kentucky Section Club of the Month.  The article appears on the PARA web site:  December Happenings 2017.  The article, as it appeared on the ARRL Kentucky News page can be seen at:  www.arrl.org/sections/view/kentucky   Be sure to scroll to very, very bottom of page and click on NOV 2017 SECTION NEWS.
  • It was suggested that we update the “Show Us Your Shack” page on the W4NJA web site.  Let’s build another page from scratch.  Send your old and new shack and antenna pictures, to roncowherd@aol.com.
  • Ed Pflueger (AB4IQ) and President Jeff gave us  facts about the Bouvet 3Y0Z DXpedition which is expected to begin in late January.  This location ranks number 2 worldwide on the DXCC Most Wanted List.  Check QST 2018 issue, page 92 for four other January Expeditions.
  • Mike Newman (WD4EFZ) gave us an update on his new antenna installation which sports a 3 band yogi (80 – 30 & 40 mtrs.)  Mike said it was huge, weighing in at almost 500 lbs.  He told us of the extra strong components that were necessary to support the size and weight of the beam, boom and and elements.
  • President Wielgos commented on the ARRL Grid Contest and described a web application that will read an ADIF file and map the contacts on a Google map.  The app can be activated by clicking on www.www.levinecentral.com
  • Upcoming ham fests
  • Silent Keys:  Gerald Wyatt (K4UNW) Homer Gerald Wyatt, 77, of Paducah died at 9:37 a.m. Wednesday, December 20, 2017, at Lourdes hospital. Clyde Elrod (W4XCE Clyde Elrod, 93, of Kevil passed away on Thursday, December 21, 2017 at Life Care Center in LaCenter.
  • The election of officers for 2018 was brought up by President Wielgos.  It was suggested that all the present club officers be nominated.  The present officers were polled and found to be agreeable.  A motion was made, seconded and voted upon.  Jeff Wielgos, pres.; Ken Wontor, v.pres.;  Ron Cowherd, Sec. and Bruce Huyck, treas. were elected for the 2018.
L to R: Ron Cowherd Sec., Ken Wontor, V.Pres., Jeff Wielgos, Pres., Bruce Huyck, Treas.

Net Control Operators for Late January/Early February

January 14          Dave W4WKN     12 check ins

January 21           Jay KD9HRH        13 check ins

January 28           Frank KY4LDS    11 check ins

February 4          Logan KG4VKB      5 check ins

February 11        Jeff KB9BVL          12 check ins

ARRL International Grid Contest

(Leaderboard Results shows Ky position and Total Grid count as of  2/12/2018)                                                                    

1.  N4QS Dave Perry, 1477 grids;  10. KO4XJ John Hudson, 483 grids;  11. K4GYD Ron Cowherd, 478 grids;  17. KS4V Bruce Huyck, 393 grids;  18. W4WWS  Steve Parmley, 367 grids;  20. AI4EY Fred Carter, 349 grids.

6 PARA club members make up 30% of top 20 KY entries.


  • PARA meets at Emerging Technology Center, WKCTC on 2nd Monday, 7 pm of each month except December.
  • New License and upgrades are offered on meeting nights 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
  •  DX Engineering Skype presentation scheduled for March 12th meeting.

December Happenings 2017

The annual PARA Christmas Dinner was celebrated Monday, December 11, 2017 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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W4NJA Selected for ARRL Kentucky Section “December Club of the Month”

In late October, Steve Morgan, ARRL Kentucky section manager, informed us that PARA had been selected “December Club of the Month.”  Steve asked us to submit an article that including text and pictures that best represented what our club is about.  The following is the article submitted to Steve, prepared by Ron Cowherd.

All About PARA (W4NJA )


The Paducah Amateur Radio Association (PARA) Paducah, Kentucky, received the ARRL Charter of Affiliation on July 10, 1953, with the call of W4NJA. The club currently meets at 7 PM on the second Monday of each month in the Emerging Technology Center Building of the West Kentucky Community and Technical College. All amateur radio operators and their guests, along with anyone interested in finding out about the exciting hobby of amateur radio are encouraged to attend.

PARA is very active, providing opportunities for club members to learn about the many facets of amateur radio. We feel that we have something to offer each and every one. Club activities include:

brucespudgunMeetings – Our monthly attendance averages 22. Meetings include a business segment followed by a variety of activities including discussions and live demonstrations. Recently we had a Skype conference with DX Engineering representative concerning emergency operations. We have DXCC and WAS card checking and VE testing available after each monthly meeting. 23 new licenses or upgrades were produced in 2016.

Mobil Command copy

Community & Emergency Services – Our club maintains a close relationship with the Paducah/McCracken County Office of Emergency Management. PARA Members supplied 2009 Ice Storm emergency communications during several days of total electric blackout in Western Kentucky.


PARA sign #1

Member Communications – We sponsor and maintain the W4NJA FM repeater system at 147.060 mhz with a tone of 179.9 hz. W4NJA may be found on Echolink, node: 458276. Our Monthly online web newsletter, W4NJA.org includes past meeting minutes, discussion topics, and a calendar of club activities. PARA also sponsors a DX Cluster utilizing VE7CC software. The Cluster Address is:, Port: 7373. We advertise our local repeater with two signs on Interstate highway I-24 into Paducah. The Emergency Practice Net meets each Sunday night at 9 PM.  All amateur radio operators are invited to check in. Call W4NJA two meter repeater, 147.060 MHZ. PL 179.9.


Contesting – (local, national and world wide,): PARA sponsors a DX contest for its own members. Several members have participated in WW DXpeditions in six countries. We activated a “Trail of Tears” location for National Parks On The Air.  Our 2017 Field Day results earned W4NJA the top 3A score in KY; had the top score in KY out of 38 entries;was 18th out of 322 3A stations nationwide; was 77th out of all 2,965 stations nationwide. This is quite an accomplishment earned by our 16 operators participating.


Social – Each year the PARA Club December meeting is replaced by the Christmas Party at a local restaurant. Spouses and guests are welcome. In addition, there are two 11:00 a.m. lunch groups that meet each week. Thursdays at Michael’s, 9th and KY Avenue and Lone Oak Road Back Yard Burgers just south of I-24. When visiting in Paducah or passing through you are welcome to come to our club meeting or join us at lunch.

PARA 2016/2017 Meeting and Net Statistics

PARA 2016:17 Stats

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