PARA Concludes Successful 2012 Philipsburg Heritage Days W3P Special Event Station


From July 11th through July 13th the Philipsburg Amateur Radio Association operated Special Event Station W3P from a vendor style tent at the Philipsburg Heritage Days Street Fair. PARA has operated from the Heritage Days celebration for the past four years and it has become our biggest public outreach effort of the year.

During the event we had two high-frequency stations set up and operating, a CW station and a SSB station. This year there was some significant solar flair activity which made band conditions more challenging. As a result the large majority of the special event station's contact were made using CW. Station contact logging was performed using a laptop computer for each station. The antennas this year were once again home-brew creations by the PARA antenna wizard Lou WB3AAI.

During the Heritage Days Street Fair the public freely wondered past the PARA booth, many asking questions and interacting with our operators. It was our opportunity to shine in front of the general public and demonstrate what amateur radio really is. Some people who stopped had friends or relatives who were hams, while others were just curious what all the high-tech looking equipment was for. Our operators answered many questions and gave promotional materials to anyone who had an interest.

The real success of the event wasn't the W3P station contact log, rather it was the list of people that we gathered who are interested in becoming a licensed amateur radio operator. PARA officials will be following up with these people and mentoring them along toward the goal of achieving their FCC Technician Class license.

PARA would like to thank Dave AA3EJ, Lou WB3AAI, Filip AB3HK, Leo K3UMT, John N3SPW and Rich KB3QKR for volunteering their time to make this event the success it was. We also saw several local ham radio operators who have become inactive over the years. Noteworthy of mention were Bill N3ZCN and Russ N3SFJ. Both stopped by and chatted with the special event station operators on duty. Now we're looking forward to the 2013 event and pondering how we can improve on what has become an annual tradition for PARA member.

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