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Combined Cherokee County ARES/WCARS-Murphy Chapter Newsletter




November, 2018


The Month of October was relatively quiet on the amateur radio front, with the exception of Hurricane Michael which hit the Panhandle of Florida and Southwest Georgia, and then travelled through our own state across many counties that had already been affected by Hurricane Florence.  Once again, by just about one hundred miles, our area was spared any major weather, receiving only a couple of 35 plus MPH wind gusts and about 1.5 inches of rain.

Some of our members did take the opportunity to test their digital HF capabilities during a scheduled drill conducted on October 25th immediately following our weekly net.  We tested our ability to communicate in a net style fashion using PSK-31 on both 80 and 40 meters.  Many thanks to Dick  KJ4GTK, Bob KK4NUJ, and Wayne N4CWA for participating in this event.   All of those involved learned some valuable lessons which will help in future operations. 

Although tactical communications on VHF and UHF remain an important facet of ARES/AUXCOMM operations, FEMA and NCEM are slowly moving toward using Winlink on both amateur bands with Winmoor and SHARES Network HF frequencies using PACTOR IV for the passing of formal messages.  PACTOR IV is not permitted in the Amateur Radio Service at this time because it exceeds the maximum bandwidth authorized by the FCC.  The ARRL has petitioned the FCC to modify the Part 97 rules to allow a digital bandwidth large enough to accommodate PACTOR IV.

We highly recommend that everyone involved in emergency communications obtain the free Winlink RMS program from and install it in a portable computer for deployment, along with an external sound card if your HF rig is not equipped with an internal sound card.  If you have a technician license, you can still operate Winlink on VHF packet and via Telnet so you can practice the creation and sending of official message forms such as the ICS-213 FEMA message form. 

Under the auspices of Cherokee County ARES/AUXCOMM, we hope to hold a Winlink Peer to Peer and Radio Only test session in the near future.  This will be a scheduled event, hopefully at a time when most people will be available. 

We would like to congratulate Ron Parks, KX4IU, for his appointment to the position of Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Clay County ARES/AUXCOMM.

In other news, please remember that we have committed ourselves to assisting the Town of Andrews with their Christmas parade this year on the evening of Saturday, December 8th, 2018.  All members who are able to provide portable VHF communications for this event are encouraged to participate.

The WCARS-Murphy Club group has decided to, once again, have the annual Christmas Holiday dinner at Comfort Grub in lieu of a formal meeting in December.  The exact date has yet to be determined. 

National SKWARN Recognition Day is normally held on the first Saturday of December from 0000 to 2400 UTC.  On the calendar, that would be December 1st, however; there has not yet been any official announcement from the ARRL or NWS on the exact date planned for this year.   The purpose of SKYWARN Recognition Day is for Amateur Stations at the various National Weather Service Offices to make contact both with each other and other participating ham operators both to recognize the SKYWARN program, but also as an opportunity for them to test their equipment.  It is held in contest form where the exchange is name, location, and a brief weather report.

Remember, Daylight Saving Time ends in the United States at 2:00 a.m. (0600 UTC) on Sunday, November 4th.  Don’t forget to “Fall back,” or move your clocks one hour backwards to Eastern Standard Time which is +5 UTC time.


Kevin Heyboer KD4UYR                            Dick Leineke KJ4GTK

Emergency Coordinator                              Club President-Murphy Chapter WCARS

Cherokee County ARES/AUXCOMM      Assistant Emergency Coordinator

SW NC SKYWARN Net Manager          Cherokee County ARES/AUXCOMM          


Thursday, November 1st, 2018 

Combined WCARS-Murphy and Cherokee County ARES/AUXCOMM Emergency and Information Net at 7:00 PM on the K4AIH repeater (147.045 MHz, - offset,151.4 Hz tone). This net meets weekly on Thursdays. On the first net of the month we encourage operating on emergency power. Inform the Net Control if you are on emergency power when you check in. (Nets held most Thursdays.).   

Appalachian Emergency Net meets at 8:00 PM EST Thursday nights on the Clay County ARES/AUXCOMM repeater K5PRE (146.955 MHz, - offset, 100 Hz tone). (Nets held most Thursdays) 

Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 

Amateur Radio Informal Social Brunch at 10:00 a.m. at Main Street USA Diner on Hiwassee Street in Murphy.  Any and all radio amateurs are invited to attend, along with their family and friends. 

DMR World Wide Net at 12:00 noon local time:  This Net occurs every Saturday on DMR talk group 91.  Those without DMR equipment can listen to the net at 

Sunday, November 4th, 2018:  

Daylight Saving Time ends in the United States:  Set your clocks back one hour on or before 2 a.m. (0600 UTC). 

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018: 

Clay County ARES/AUXCOMM informal lunch meeting.  Clay County ARES/AUXCOMM meets at 12:00 Noon at various locations each Wednesday.   Check into the previous Appalachian Emergency Net on the K5PRE repeater, 146.955+ PL 100.00 to find out where the group is meeting for lunch.   

Saturday, November 10th, 2018: 

Amateur Radio License Exam Session  

Sponsor: Edwin Flowers, KG4LVO

Location: Andrews Public Library-Conference Room

Time: 10:00 AM (Please e-mail for an examination appointment if you wish to test at this session) 

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018: 

Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society/Cherokee County ARES/AUXCOMM combined meeting:  The meeting is held on the second Tuesday of each month at the Robert Penland Senior Center, 69 Alpine Street, Murphy, NC and begins at 7 pm Eastern Standard Time. 

Saturday, November 17th, 2018:
Amateur Radio Informal Social Brunch at 10:00 AM EST at Main Street USA Diner, located on Hiwassee Street in downtown Murphy.  Any and all radio amateurs are invited to attend, along with their family and friends  

Planning for the future:

SKYWARN Recognition Day is normally held the first weekend of December.  The Andrews Christmas Parade is December 8th.