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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

MARCH MONTHLY MEETING

Ed,Paul,Jeff
Ed (AB4IQ), Paul (ND4X) and Jeff (WB9BVL) preparing the computer and projector for the meeting.

PARA Meeting Minutes 3/14/2016

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held Monday, March 14 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center in Paducah, KY.  Among the 25 attendees present one came for an FCC exam, one came as a new licensee, and another one came to observe, get acquainted with PARA members and learn about Amateur Radio.  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 February meeting, also accepted by the members present.

Old/New Business

Items discussed but not moved or voted upon include:

  • W4NJA QSL cards.  The newly printed cards were shown by Jeff (KB9BVL).  The cards will be available in time for Field Day 2016 for contacts requesting confirmations.
  • Field Day.  Ken (KW4DI) announced that he had reserved Keilor Park for the 2016 Field Day Activities.  Ken also spoke of the liability insurance that had been secured.
  • New Extra Class Question Pool.   VE license testing chairman Bruce (KS4V) reminded us that the extra class question pool would change July 1st, 2016.
  • Local Hamfests.   Reelfoot Hamfest:  March 26, 2016.  Princeton, KY hamfest:  June 4th 2016.
  • Net Logging.  It was suggested that we should look into the ARRL/ARES recommendations for the logging of check-ins on the PARA Sunday night training net. There is a different net control each night.  Secretary Ron Cowherd will keep a record of check-in totals until the login requirements are reviewed.  Net controls may give their totals to Ron (K4GYD) at the end of each session or if Ron is not available they may email their totals to roncowherd@aol.com.  Total records will be posted on this web site starting with the March 20 session.
  • The McCracken County Amateur Radio Emergency Services along with McCracken County Emergency Services will offer an entry level class for anyone interested in obtaining a Technician Class Amateur radio License.  Classes start Saturday April 9th for four weeks and will conclude May 7th with a test session.  Contact:  KJ4OKY@gmail.com  Please pass the word!

Net Controls for late March/early April

March 20 Logan KG4VKB      11 check-ins
March 27 Jeff KB9BVL            17 check-ins
April 3 Frank KY4LDS        10 check-ins
April 10 Ken KW4DI               9 check-ins

Contest Success

The results for the North American QSO Party RTTY–July 2015 have been announced:  PARA placed 23rd world-wide, with only a three man team.    The  PARA team consisted of ND4X Paul Smith with 30,555 points, AB4IQ Ed Pflueger with 5,559 points and NU4N Dave Tucker with 165 points.  Total points came to 36,279.  This score is very commendable considering they were competing against many full five man teams.  Perhaps PARA will be represented by a five man team in 2016 with an even higher total.

The National Park Service On the Air Event Leader Board reveals two PARA hams in top 10 of 79 Kentucky Chaser scores:  Bruce (KS4V) 103 confirmed contacts and Ron (K4GYD) 65 confirmed.  This is a year long event sponsored by ARRL to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

New License Successes

Jason Brambach
Jason Brambach

We are happy to report that two March meeting attendees are new Technicians.  Michael Matzafol passed his Technician exam.  Brent Robertson (W4CHE) just received his Tech license and Jason Brambach came to the meeting to become acquainted with our club members and gain additional knowledge of the testing procedure.  Congratulations Michael and Brent.  I’m sure we will be congratulating Jason soon.

 

Bren t Robertson
Brent Robertson W4CHE
Michael Matzafol
Michael Matzafol

February Monthly Meeting

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held Monday, February 8 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center in Paducah, KY.  A prediction of snow showers for the evening did not deter approximately 20 members.  There was much anticipation for the presentation to be given by Dave Perry (N4QS) later in the meeting.  It was ironic that Dave’s subject about emerging technology in amateur radio was to be presented at the Emerging Technology Center . See presentation info below.

PARA Meeting Minutes 2/9/16

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 read the minutes from the January meeting, also accepted by the members present.

Old Business.  

President Wielgos touched on an item from the January meeting in which it was    suggested that the club may want to look into the possibility of participating in the ARRL National Parks On The Air (NPOTA), a year long event.  After some discussion it was decided that we should look into the rules to determine whether Paducah’s “foot of Broadway” location qualifies as an activator spot on the “Trail of Tears.”  It was decided that we have all year to look into the matter to properly plan for this event during a warmer a time.

New Business

 Liability Insurance.  Bruce Huyck reminded us that it was time to pay the club liability insurance in the amount of $240.00.  A motion was moved, seconded and passed to pay for the insurance.

Treasurer Huyck requested that an additional person’s name be added to the checking account to provide check writing continuity in case he, for some reason, he wasn’t available to write a check.  It was suggested that the secretary would be the likely person.  Ron agreed to the request.

Past treasurer Paul Smith announced that the web domain fee would be due later this year.  He suggested that the present web master’s name should appear on the application before the due date for fee payment.  Ron Cowherd agreed to contact past web master, Rob Larrison, to get the account in order.

Secretary Cowherd read a letter addressed to Kevin O’Neill who is Dir. Community Education West Kentucky Community & Technical College.  The intent of the letter was to thank him and WKCTC for the use of the Emerging Technology Center facilities this past year.  The letter gave a brief description of PARA’s purpose and goals as an organization as well as short list of our educational and public service events in which we have participated.  It is our hope that PARA may continue to use the facilities throughout 2016.

Net Controls for Late February/Early March

                              February 14          Frank KY4LDS

                              February 21          Jeff KB9BVL

                              February 28          Frank KY4LDS

                              March 6                Logan KG4VKB

                              March 13               Ken KW4DI

Presentation

D.Perry2:8:16

Dave Perry, N4QS gave us some very exciting news about new software for remote control of a local or distant amateur radio station.  This “free” cutting edge software requires only (1) an internet connection, (2) smart phone, tablet or laptop, and (3) client software from www.remotehams.com.  Dave demonstrated by using his smart phone to control his station at home.  He was able to control all aspects of the process by clicking on the knobs and buttons shown on the screen of his phone.  It was amusing when he accidentally touched the CQ macro button on 80 meters CW and a DL station from Germany came back to him with a 5/9 signal report.  Dave stressed how easy to install and user friendly the software is.  Unfortunately the software does not work on any Apple products at this time.

Nice job Dave.  Your enthusiasm was infectious.  Several of the club members with laptops with them, were signed up and had the software installed before the end of the meeting.

Reminders:

PARA meets at Emerging Technology Center, WKCTC on 2nd Monday, 7 pm of each month except December.

New License and upgrades are offered on odd months 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

Respectfully submitted,

Ron Cowherd (Sec. PARA) roncowherd@aol.com

 

 

January Monthly Meeting

Monthly Meeting

The first PARA meeting of 2016 was held Monday, January 11 at Paducah’S WKCTC Emerging Technology Center.  Despite the icy cold evening there were about 15 brave souls in attendance including two new prospective amateurs.  See names and pictures below.

PARA Meeting Minutes 1/11/16

The meeting was opened by President Ken Wontor (KW4DI) followed by the treasurer’s report given by Paul Smith (ND4X) and subsequently approved and accepted by members.
The primary item of business, election of officers for the new year, was conducted  with the following results:  pictured L to R.

 

PARAOFF'16

Secretary:  Ron Cowherd (K4GYD); Vice President:  Ken Wontor (Kw4DI);  President:  Jeff Wielgos (KB9BVL); and Treasurer:  Bruce Huyck (KS4V).

Old/New Business.  Ken Wontor showed the new W4NJA QSL design proposed by Paul Smith followed by discussion and a vote of approval by the club.  The front of the card depicts a montage of attractive images that we have come to accept as icons of our community including a picture of the Atomic Energy Plant, Quilt Museum, Railroad engine, River Front and White Haven.  Incoming President Jeff Wielgos will order 500 cars @ $100, money allocated in a previous meeting.

Net Controls for Late January/Early February

January 17 Jeff KB9BVL
January 24 Frank KY4LDS
January 31 Malckolm KK4RGM
February 7 Ken KW4DI

Presentations 

Ron (K4GYD) gave information about the ARRL National Parks On The Air (NPOTA), a year long event somewhat akin to the very popular 2014 event celebrating the ARRL Centennial.  The event is set up so that amateurs may participate, by individual or group operating as Activators or Chasers, earning credit for each contact made.  There is a leader board to show the progress of Activators and Chasers with certificates available to those who have excelled in their number of contacts during the year.  After only two weeks, 27 KY scores have been posted.  Of the 27 postings, five local hams have already made their presence known:  Ron Cowherd (K4GYD), Bruce Huyck (KS4V), John Hudson (KO4XJ, Forest Summers (N4FZ) and Bill Osborne (K5ZQ).  Not only will this event celebrate the National Park Centennial but very positive PR will be generated for amateur radio.

Jeff (KB9BVL) introduced his newly created W4NJA Facebook page.  It is a public page intended for timely items of interest related to Paducah area hams.  Items listed include news of current expeditions, ham gear reviews, weather, etc.  The page can be accessed by simply typing W4NJA Paducah Amateur Radio Association in the “f” header of any Facebook page.

New License and Upgrade Successes

We are happy to report that Jim Skiles (left) and Clint Houser (right) passed their FCC exams and are now new Technicians.  Congratulations to Jim and Clint.

JimSkilesClintHouser

Contest Participation

The recent ARRL RTTY contest found several of our members busy:  Paul (ND4X) 23,636 points, Craig (KD9MS) 1,083 contacts, Dave (N4QS) 700 worked, Ed (AB4IQ) 204 contacts, and Bill (K5ZQ) results unknown.

Dave Perry earned over 5,000 points with 400+ contacts in the North America QSO Party (CW).

A Few Words From the Web Master

I will be pleased to post any successes that you have earned, contest results, DX worked, awards, etc.  Also, I am trying to add as many pictures of your antenna systems, shacks, pictures, contest log summaries or projects in which you are involved.  I like to think of this web-site as a running historical record of PARA’s life.  You members are the life-blood, so send those news items and pictures to the email address below.  I will add your submissions as quickly as possible.

73’s

Ron (roncowherd@aol.com)

 

DECEMBER HAPPENINGS

 

The annual PARA Christmas Dinner was celebrated Monday, December 14, 2015 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 30 members and guests in attendance enjoyed excellent food and spirited conversation as shown below:  (click on images for larger view)

 

Contest Success

PaulS&MikeNPaul Smith (ND4X), club treasurer, has distinguished himself this December by surpassing last year’s success in the ARRL 10 meter CW/SSB contest.  The 2014 Award recognized his Score of 16,758 which placed him in First Place in the single operator, unlimited mixed mode, low power Kentucky Section.  Paul most surely will again receive First Place with this year’s magnanimous Score of  108,346.  This is quite an achievement Paul.   We are proud of you!

 

 

Bruce Huyck presentation

Bruce HuyckBruce Huyck has passed along a copy of his PowerPoint presentation, given at a club meeting earlier this year, entitled “Exploring HF Signals.”  It is a great overview of the many digital modes that are available to today’s amateur radio operators.  New hams and anyone who has not explored these new modes can benefit from the info in Bruce’s presentation by clicking on the following link:                 Exploring HF Signals    Thanks Bruce

 

Net Controls late December/early January

December 20    Dave W4WKN

December 27    Frank KY4LDS

    January 3    Jeff KB9BVL

           January 10    Tanya KM4NPZ

Meeting Reminder

Don’t forget!  The next regularly scheduled PARA meeting will kick off the new year on Monday, January 11, 7:00 pm at the West Kentucky Community and Technical College on Alban Barkley Drive, Paducah, KY.  The primary business for the evening will be the election of officers for 2016.  Please be present and cast you vote for the candidate of your choice.  Remember, empty seats can’t vote.  (at least at PARA elections)

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Great DX and Best 73’s.

 

 

 

 

 

NOVEMBER MONTHLY MEETING

2015 Field Day results announced.   In the 3A category, W4NJA was: 1st in Kentucky, 28th World-Wide.  Overall, W4NJA was:  3rd inKentucky, 161st World-Wide.   Pictured above (L-R) posing after successfully raising an antenna  are:  Mike Newman (WD4EFZ), Jim Rudd (AK4PS), Ken Wontor (KW4DI), and Bruce Huyck (KS4V).  Other operators and support team members include:  Gene Summers (N4FZ), Paul Smith (ND4X), Ed Pflueger  (AB4IQ),  Jeff Wielgos (KB9BVL), Dave Dewey (W4WKN), John Hudson (KO4XJ), Frank Baumer (KY4LDS), Mike Thomasson (KY4OEM), and Ron Cowherd (K4GYD).  Congratulations to these and others, not listed, who may have participated to make Field Day 2015 a smashing success.  See additional 2015 Field Day pictures:   


PARA MEETING MINUTES 11/9/2015

The November PARA meeting was opened at 7 pm by vice-president Mike Newman (WD4EFZ) pinch hitting for president Ken Wontor (KW4DI) who was in attendance, but had lost his voice due to laryngitis.  Attendees around the room introduced themselves by giving their name and call.  Also present were were Lewis Gregg Hicks, John Griffin and Jim Gilmore, who had come to take exams for an upgrade or new amateur license.  (See pictures and results below)

Old Business

The Minutes from the October meeting were reviewed followed by a motion to accept.  The motion was approved.

Paul Smith (ND4X) gave the treasure’s report.  He then spoke of the need for the club to pay $35 for continued membership in the Southeast Repeater Association.  Paul stressed the importance of being a represented by the association in order to hold our 2 meter 147.060 mhz frequency.  A motion was made and passed to pay the $35 fee.

Paul also spoke of the need to choose a new trustee to oversee the operation of the 06 repeater.  The previous long-time trustee had asked to be relieved of his duties.  There were several questions and comments about the responsibilities required of a trustee.  After some discussion Paul asked for a volunteer for the trustee job.  Mike Newman (WD4EFZ) stepped up and was accepted by acclamation.

Garry Wheatley (KD4GCY) brought to our attention that Ron Alvey (WD4ITB) had recently become a Silent Key.  Various comments were given in honor of Ron.  It was also noted that his father Don, also a long-time ham, had died recently making a hardship for Mrs. Alvey who has no relatives locally.  Both of these men were highly respected for their expert work at WSPDTV.

New Business

Dave Dewey reminded us of Skywarn to be observed December 6.  On this day NOAA and ARRL celebrate the partnership of the two services with ham operator visits to NWS offices to make contacts with other radio operators across the world.

We were also encouraged to write our congressmen to ask them to support/co-sponsor the ARRL Antenna Radio Parity Act of 2015 which is (hopefully) soon to be voted on.  The act, if passed, would give amateurs the right to erect a reasonable antenna in neighborhoods where amateur antennas of any sort are now restricted.

We were reminded that the PARA annual Christmas Party is planned for Monday, 6:00 pm, December 14th at Casa Mexicana restaurant located at 4793 Village Square Drive directly behind Walmart in the Strawberry Hill area.  This event will replace the December meeting and testing.

Net Controls for November and December are:

        November 15      Jeff KB9BVL

            November 22      Charlie K9DUE

            November 29       Frank KY4LDS

                December 6       Tanya KM4NPZ

        December 13      Ken KW4DI

             December 20      Dave W4WKN

              December 27     Frank KY4LDS

                January 3      Jeff KB9BVL

                    January 10     Tanya KM4NPZ

Presentation

Jerry Foland (WA4TTL) gave an update and projected images showing the progress of his new 40′ tower installation.  It is obvious that he is meticulous taking his time with each step of construction.  We are looking forward to completion of the project at which time we will document his step by step work with photos and commentary.

New License and Upgrade Successes

We are happy for report that Jim Gilmore (upper right) upgraded to General.   Lewis Gregg Hicks (lower left) passed element 2 and 3 to go from nothing to a brand new General.  Congratulations Jim and Lewis.  Anyone interested in upgrading or obtaining a new Ham License may find testing information on this website.

Jim Gilmore Lewis Gregg Hicks

October Monthly Meeting

George Langton (W4TPC) October 2015, 89 years young, licensed in 1952, a model for us all.  Also pictured are Mike Newman (WD4EFZ), Malckom Williams (KK4RGM), Ed Sobkowiak (KC9UVO) and Don Fuller (KC4DR).

PARA Meeting Minutes 10/12/2015

The September PARA meeting was opened at 7 pm by president Ken Wontor (KW4DI) with a moment of silence in memory of Sam Jackson, (W4THY) who recently became a silent key.  Attendees around the room introduced themselves by giving their name, call and a brief comment on their activities since the last meeting.  There were 19 present, including Wesley Calvert, John Broadbent, and Tanya Gilmore who had come to take the exam for their new amateur license or upgrade.  (See pictures below)

Old Business

The Minutes from the September meeting were reviewed followed by a motion to accept.  The motion was approved.

The Treasurer’s report was given by President Ken Wontor (KW4DI) in absence of Paul Smith (ND4X) who was on vacation. A motion to accept was made followed by a vote of approval.

New Business

There was discussion concerning the new PARA QSL cards that were approved in the September meeting.  Several members commented on the appropriate design that Paul Smith had chosen.  The cards should be available soon.

We were reminded that the PARA annual Christmas Party was planned for Monday, 6:00 pm, December 14th at Casa Mexicana located at 4793 Village Square Drive in the Strawberry Hill area.  This event will replace the December meeting and testing.

It was also announced that the annual election of officers is scheduled for the January meeting.  The nominating committee will meet to choose a slate for nomination.

Net Controls for September are:

Oct. 18      KY4LDS     Frank

Oct. 25     KG4VKB     Logan

Nov. 1     KK4RGM     Malckom

Nov. 8     KW4DI     Ken

Presentation

Ron Cowherd (K4GYD) Webmaster, encouraged PARA members to use the W4NJA web-site to stay informed of the schedule of club activities to come and news of club happenings that have past.  The site contains a wealth of information, both historical and technical with links to other important information on the web.  It was interesting to see statistical data showing the site’s use in 2014 and 2015.  Numerical data was displayed graphically on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis along with a world map to indicate from where the check-ins originated.   For example there have been 10,304 views in the past 22 months from the US and 76 countries.  Ron’s goal is to surpass 2014 view numbers by the end of 2015.

Club members may contribute photos and text items to the site by emailing to roncowherd@aol.com.  Comments, corrections and additions are welcome.

Respectfully Submitted,

Ron (K4GYD webmaster


New License and Upgrade Successes

Wes Calvert passed his Tech, General and Extra test to get the Extra license in one setting. Wow, Congratulations Wes.Broadbent

From left to Right:  Wesley Calvert passed his Tech, General, and Extra tests to get his Extra license in one setting.  Tanya Gilmore upgraded to General.  John Broadbent passed his Technician.  Congratulations Wesley, Tanya and John.  Also pictured:  Jerry Foland ((WA4TTL) and Mike Newman (WD4EFZ).