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)
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:
Meetings – 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.
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.
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: 184.108.40.206, 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.