APRIL MONTHLY MEETING

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April 2017 Meeting

PARA Meeting Minutes 4/10/2017

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held  Monday, April 10, 2017 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140, in Paducah, KY.  There were 18 present including 1 prospective FCC examinee.  See examinee picture and exam result below.

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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 was given by Bruce Huyck (KS4V).  The March 2017 meeting minutes was read by Secretary Ron Cowherd (K4GYD).  Both treasurer and secretary reports were accepted without vote.

Old/New Business

  • Gary Wheatley reminded us of the McCracken ARES will offer General Class upgrade study sessions to be held at the County ARES Emergency Meeting Room, 3700 Coleman Road, Paducah.  There will be two training sessions, Saturday April, 29th and Saturday, May 6th starting at 9:00 am, continuing until approximately 2:00 pm.  A General Class Study Guide will be available for purchase at the sessions.  The participants may then take the FCC General Class exam on the following May 8th PARA Club at the end of the meeting.  Observers are welcome.
  • It was announced that the National Weather Station will present a Web Spotter’s Class, Tuesday, April 18th, 6:00 pm in the big meeting room at the weather station located near Barkley Field.  Registration will be required.  A registration form may be found on the internet by Googling the National Weather Service Paducah.
  • The question was asked as to the number of paid-up members of PARA.  Treasurer Bruce Huyck said there were 54 paid-up members as the end of 2016 and there are 37 members currently for 2017.
  • Charlie Richey (K9DUE) announced that the Metropolis hams along with the Illinois ARES are planning a Fort Massac Encampment Special Events Station during the festival October 20th, 21st, and 22nd.  ARRL & FCC will grant them a special call and special QSL cards will be sent out to those who request them.  The purpose will be to help celebrate the occasion by raising awareness of the history of Southern Illinois as well as the Amateur Radio Emergency Service.  Charlie invited PARA members to join in with them; they have more radio equipment than they have hams.  Additional info available from Charlie by calling (270) 816-5551 or email k9due@k9due.net.

Demonstration

Paul Smith and Ed Pflueger showed us the Club Log app by bringing it up on the overhead projector.  The program can be easily accessed by typing in clublog.org in the web address and follow the simple registration instructions.  You may then create an ADIF file from QSOs on your original log book and upload the data to the Club Log app.  There are a number of ways to view your contacts by selecting specific filters that create charts with the info you need.  For example, you may select only your confirmed 20 meter CW DX contacts over a certain period of time or practically any other specific data.  In addition there are many tables and logging tools available in the program.  It will be valuable for our club DX contest.  At the end of the contest period we can simply submit our DX charts to Paul so he can quickly determine the winner.

Net Control Operators for Late April/Early May

Sunday night nets are at 9:00 PM on 147.060 PL 179.9

April 16   Jeff KB9BVL         7 chk-ins

April 23   Frank KY4LDS   14 chk-ins

April 30   Brent W4CHE   12 chk-ins

May 7       Ken KW4DI 12 PARA – Logan KG4VKB 9 ARES

New License and Upgrade Success

We are happy to report that Richard “Allen” Poole passed the FCC Technician exam at the close of the April meeting.  Congratulations Allen.  You are cordially invited to join us again at future club meetings.

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Richard “Allen” Poole

Remember our next Scheduled Meeting will be Monday, May 8, 2017 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140, Alben Barkley Drive, Paducah, KY.

MARCH MONTHLY MEETING

PARA Meeting Minutes 3/13/2017

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held  Monday, March 13, 2017 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140, in Paducah, KY.  There were 23 present including 2 prospective FCC examinees.  See examinee pictures and exam results below.

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 was given by Bruce Huyck (KS4V).  The January 2017 meeting minutes was read by Secretary Cowherd (K4GYD).  Both treasurer and secretary  reports were accepted, moved and seconded.

Old/New Business

  • President Wielgos asked if anyone had any info about the State Parks on The Air contest which was mentioned during the last club meeting.  No info was known.
  • Jeff asked if anyone had any club contest DX results to report.  1)  Paul Smith so far has 114 countries, 289 band slots, 98 CW,  67 phone and 27 RTTY.  2)  Ed Pflueger had 101 countries, 165 band slots, 100 CW and 1 on phone.  Fred Carter reported over a 100 countries.
  • Upcoming dates of interest were discussed:

  • 1)  Thursday, March 23, 6:30 ARES Tornado Spotting class.  contact:  gwheat@comcast.net  Jeff Wielgos’s meteorologist wife may be the instructor.        
  • 2)  Saturday, March 25, Reelfoot (Union City) Amateur Radio Club Hamfest, http://www.reelfootarc.com/Hamfest2017Flyer.html  Ed Pflueger will give seminar. 3)  Saturday, April 8, 2017 Memphis Hamfest,  freefest@maraonline.org
  • 4)  Saturday, June 3, Princeton Hamfest,  w4lb.org
  • 5)  June 24 and 25, ARRL Field Day, Kyler park.
  • 6)  August 14, PARA meeting:  DX Engineering PowerPoint presentation.
    Several announcements were made by various members:
     
    1)  John Hudson announced that he knew of someone that had coax, CB antenna and some type of rotator that they wanted to give away.  For contact info email:  jdhudson@comcast.net.  
    2)  Paul Smith suggested an easy way to keep track of club contest QSOs.  If you use LOTW you can up load that same file to “Club Log” which will give a nice graph that breaks down the data.  Club Log is a free program that allows you to upload any adif file.  Paul suggested that anyone interested in Club Log could bring an adif file loaded onto a flash drive to the next meeting and he will load the file and the program back on the drive for further use for the rest of the contest.  
    3)  Garry Wheatley told of the McCracken ARES will meet Thursday, 3 -16-2017,  7:00 PM in the meeting room at the EM facility 3700 Coleman Road. Final plans for the General study sessions on April 29 and May 6 need to be determined.  Garry asked for others to help and take responsibility for presenting the class study guide material, a great chance to help Elmer some newer Hams.  
    4)  Ed Pflueger announced that today was Mike Newman’s 60 birthday.  Unfortunately he wasn’t present for “Happy Birthday” to be sung to him.
    Ed also announced that he had reserved seating for the club’s Christmas Party at the Casa Mexicana restaurant 6:00pm, Monday, December 11.   
    5)  Ken Wontor announced that the 2017 Field Day site at Kyler park, including pavilions 2 and 3, has been secured for the last weekend in June, the 24th and 25th.
    6)  A letter of gratitude from George Langton’s family was passed around for club members to read.
    7)  Frank Baumer stressed the necessity of having our stations emergency-ready in case the electric grid should become unusable.

    Net Control Operators for Late March/Early April

    Sunday night nets are at 9:00 PM on 147.060 PL 179.9

    March 19           Jeff KB9BVL         12 PARA check-ins

    March 26           Frank KY4LDS     12 PARA

    April 2                Logan KG4VKB    10 PARA – 10 ARES

    April 9                 Ken KW4DI            8 PARA

    New License and Upgrade Successes

    We are happy to report that two fellows became new hams when they passed their FCC Technician exams at the close of the March meeting.  Congratulations to both of you.  You are cordially invited to join us again at future club meetings.

     Left to Right:  Kenneth Barlow                     Phillip Klingeman
    Remember our next Scheduled Meeting will be Monday, April 10, 2017 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140, in Paducah, KY.

FEBRUARY MONTHLY MEETING

PARA Meeting Minutes 2/13/2017

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held  Monday, February 13, 2017 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140, in Paducah, KY.  There were 23 present including 3 prospective FCC examinees.  See examinee pictures and exam results below.

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 was given by Bruce Huyck (KS4V).  The January 2017 meeting minutes was read by Secretary Cowherd (K4GYD).  Both treasurer and secretary  reports were accepted, moved and seconded.

Old/New Business

  • Secretary Cowherd reported on the letter written to Kevin O’Neill, Dir. of Community Education, WKCTC.  The letter was written in January to express the clubs appreciation for the use of the two classrooms in 2016.  Dir. O’Neill replied with a very nice note as follows:  “Ron, I received your letter this week.  It is a pleasure to be able to provide space.  You can rest assured that you can have the space again in 2017.  We are happy to do so.”  Kevin.
  • There was discussion concerning the Intra-club contest.  The rules are:
         1)  Work as many countries and states as you can during calendar year 2017, January 1, 2016 thru December 31, 2017.  If your 1st contact was in February, the month the contest was announced, then you may use February 1, 2017 thru January 31, 2018.                                               
         2)  Log all contacts so they may be uploaded to LOTW / EQSL for verification.  
         3)  Each verified country counts once per band, 1 point per QSO.  (include RST} 
  • Garry Wheatley (KD4GCY) announced that the McCracken Co. ARES group is planning to sponsor another training session this spring as they did very successfully last year.  The difference being, this year’s session will concentrate on the FCC Amateur General Class License.

Net Control Operators

February 19            Logan KG4VKB          6 check-ins

February 26            Frank KY4LDS          13 check-ins

March 5                    Jeff KB9VBL      11 PARA.   9 ARES

March 12                   Ken KW4DI

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Bryan Pickering

Bryan Pickering Battery Presentation

Ken Wontor (KW4DI) introduced Bryan Pickering from a local Paducah retail battery establishment that specializes in battery and light bulb sales.  Their stock is extensive in both categories and repair practically all the modern day battery packs.  Bryan brought us a most enlightening PowerPoint presentation covering all the parameters of understanding, maintenance and operation of lead acid batteries.  Bryan suggested that more information could be found at batteryuniversity.com.  The PowerPoint presentation may be seen here:  battery-radio-club-sanitized

New License and Upgrade Successes

We are happy to report that three fellow hams that passed their FCC Technician exams in January, have passed their General License this February.  Congratulations to all.

Left to Right:  Gerald Wasko, Jay Smock, and Devon Caldwell.

Remember our next Scheduled Meeting will be Monday, March 13, 2017 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140, in Paducah, KY.

JANUARY MONTHLY MEETING

PARA Meeting Minutes 1/9/2017

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held  Monday, January 9, 2017 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140, in Paducah, KY.  There were 29 present including 5 prospective FCC examinees.  See examinee pictures and exam results below.

The meeting was opened by President Jeff  Wielgos (WB9BVL).  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 November 2016 meeting minutes was read by Secretary Cowherd (K4GYD) followed by comments about the PARA annual Christmas Party held at Casa Mexicana Restaurant.  The success of the party was evident by a brief slide presentation showing 26 smiling faces enjoying their good food and company.

Old/New Business

  • Several members expressed the feelings of the entire club by sharing memories of Silent Key, George Lankton (W4TPC) who passed away December 2nd, on his 90th birthday.  George was a long time member of PARA and contributed much of his time and leadership to the club during those years.  Bruce Huyck (KS4V) made a motion to send a donation of $25 to the Paducah Cooperative Ministry as a memorial to George.  The motion was seconded followed by a unanimous vote of approval.
  • Ken (KW4DI) announced that a representative from “Batteries and Bulbs” of Paducah would be at the February meeting to give a presentation.
  • It was brought to our attention that a national independent group has organized another Parks On The Air contest for 2017.  The popularity of ARRL’s NPOTA (National Parks On The Air) has generated a sequel based on state parks instead of national parks.  Details and rules may be found at:  parksontheair.com/rules/  Additional ‘real time’ info may be found at:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/parksontheair/  We have several state parks in our area that we may choose to activate sometime this year.
  • Jeff (KB9BVL) told us of some ideas he has for an intra-club challenge with awards/trophys for winners.  After some discussion it  was suggested that the challenge could possibly begin February 1st.  An email will be issued or look on this web site later for more details.

Net Control Operators

January 15                 Brent W4CHE          5 check-ins

January 22                Logan KG4JXH         9 check-ins

January 29                Frank KY4LDS        13 check-ins

February 5                Logan KG4JXH       10 PARA; 7 ARES

February 12              Ken KW4DI              11 check-ins

New License and Upgrade Successes

We are happy to report that five fellows passed their FCC Amateur Radio exams after this month’s meeting.  Congratulations to all.   We want you to know that you all are cordially invited to attend future PARA meetings with us.

Left to Right:  Gerald Wasko, Tech;  Kyle Walker, Tech & General;  Devon Caldwell, Tech;  Casey Lynn, Tech;  Jay Smock, Tech.

2016 Statistics

  • Meeting attendance:  Year total, 261;  Monthly ave. 22
  • ARRL License:  21 examinees; 23 exams passed (12 tech. 4 gen. 5 extra, 2 VE)
  • PARA net check-ins:  10 months 400; mon. ave. 40, about 10/wk.
  • ARES net check-ins:  6 months 42, about 7 per week ave.

Rare DX

Fred Carter (AI4EY)  worked Mongolia  (JT1CO).

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Congratulations Fred

Ham Station, Evansville, Indiana

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Remember next Scheduled Meeting will be Monday, February 13, 2017 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140, in Paducah, KY.

DECEMBER HAPPENINGS 2016

The annual PARA Christmas Dinner was celebrated Monday, December 14, 2016 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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Silent Key

It is with great sadness to report that George Lankton (W4TPC) passed away at 5:02 a.m. on Friday, December 02, 2016 (on his 90th birthday) at Baptist Health Paducah.  George was a long time member of PARA and dearly loved and respected by his fellow hams.  Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. on Monday, December 5, 2016 at Milner & Orr Funeral Home of Paducah with Rev. Jae Gotten and Rev. Erin Cash officiating.  Burial followed at Mt. Kenton Cemetery.

Net Controls

December 18     Brent W4CHE-6 ch.ins

December 25     Frank KY4LDS-2 ch.ins via 147.120 mach.

January 1             Jeff KB9BVL-7 ch.ins/Logan KG4VKB-ARES 6

January  8            Ken KW4DI-9 ch.ins

Sunday night nets are at 9:00 PM on 147.060 PL 179.9

NPOTA Chaser News

National Parks On The Air current (1/9/17) confirmed contacts:  Bruce Huyck (KS4V) 363;  Brent Robertson (W4CHE) 362;  Ron Cowherd (K4GYD) 213;  Paul Smith (ND4X) 112;  Dave Dewey (W4WKN) 58;  Gene Summers (N4FZ) 23;  Dave Tucker (NU4N) 22;  Dave Perry (N4QS) 16;  Jeff Wielgos (KB9BVL) 10;  Ed Pflueger (AB4IQ) 6.

 

Don’t forget!  The next regularly scheduled PARA meeting will kick off the new year on Monday, January 9, 7:00 pm at the West Kentucky Community and Technical College on Alban Barkley Drive, Paducah, KY.

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

November Monthly Meeting

PARA Meeting Minutes 11/14/16

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Paducah Amateur Radio Association was held  Monday, November 14, 2016 at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center, Room 140, in Paducah, KY.  There were approximately 12 present plus one prospective FCC examinee.  See picture below.

The meeting was opened by President Jeff  Wielgos (WB9BVL).  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 October meeting minutes was read by Secretary Cowherd with explanations as needed.

Old/New Business Ken (KW4DI) reported on his conversation with the manager of “Batteries and Bulbs,” a new business establishment in the Concord area of Paducah, selling a large variety of batteries and related items.  Ken related the manager’s offer of a business representative to possibly be available for a program at the January 2017 PARA meeting.  Ken will follow up on this.

  • Ken (KW4DI) also suggested that the club secretary write a letter to Kevin O’Neill, Dir. Community Education, West Kentucky Community & Technical College, to express our appreciation for the use of two rooms in the Emerging Technology Center this past year.  We have found that the two rooms are excellent for our purposes and we certainly want to be considered when the rooms are assigned for the coming year.
  • Ed (AB4IQ) reminded us that the PARA annual Christmas Party is planned for Monday, 6:00 pm, December 12th 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.
  • Jeff (KB9BVL) told us of some ideas he has for an inter-club challenge with awards/trophy for winners.  Several ideas were tossed around from various members.  It was decided to continue the discussion in January and possibly adopt something for the new year.
  • Ron (K4GYD) spoke about an article concerning the setting up and programming of the Baofeng UV5R, an inexpensive, high quality handie-talky owned by many of the PARA club members.  The article attempts to replace the “cryptic and incomplete manual” that is supplied with the unit.  This article will teach you how to set up the UV-5R and how to program frequencies into its memory manually.  Click on  LWRA.US to bring up Lake Wales Radio Amateurs then click on links and select Baofeng UV5R.
  • At end of the meeting President Jeff announced that the election of officers for the new year would be held at the January meeting.  After some discussion it was learned that all of the presently elected officers were willing to serve another year. Without delay, a head count determined there was a quorum of members present and the entire slate of officers were quickly accepted (without discussion) by acclamation.  No sarcasm intended, however there were a number of “railroaders” in attendance.

Net Control Operators for Late November/Early December

Sunday night nets are at 9:00 PM on 147.060 PL 179.9

     November 20     Brent W4CHE-7 checkins

     November 27     Frank KY4LDS-10 checkins

     December 4        Jeff KB9BVL10-checkins/Logan KG4VKB-6 ARES

     December 11       Ken KW4DI-8 checkins

NPOTA Chaser News

National Parks On The Air current count: (12/13/16) Kentucky confirmed contacts:  Bruce Huyck (KS4V) 352;  Brent Robertson (W4CHE) 294;  Ron Cowherd (K4GYD) 210;   Dave Dewey (W4WKN) 51; Dave Tucker (NU4N) 22;  Paul Smith (ND4X) 16;  Gene Summers (N4FZ) 16;  Dave Perry (N4QS) 14; Jeff Wielgos (KB9BVL) 10;   Ed Pflueger (AB4IQ) 2;  (W4NJA) 1

2016 Field Day Scores

Ed (AB4IQ) sent Email reporting:  “Looks like we came in 24th in 3A in the country and Numero Uno in KY.”  A great report for the Field Day gang.

License Upgrade

James Oliver passed his FCC General Exam at the close of the November meeting just after passing the Technician exam in October.  Congratulations James, you are rapidly ascending the ladder of success in Amateur Radio.

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James Oliver:  New General

OCTOBER MONTHLY MEETING

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.

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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.

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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.