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Combined Cherokee County ARES/WCARS-Murphy Chapter Newsletter


August, 2017


This month, amateur radio operations will be centered around the Great American Total Solar Eclipse on August 21st, 2017.  Cherokee County ARES/AUXCOMM has been called up to provide a second level of redundancy for communications by the Cherokee County Department of Emergency Management.  Current plans are to operate from the EOC and at least two venues, one each in Murphy and Andrews during the period of Friday, August 18ththrough Monday, August 21st.   The operational period will be 0800-2000 EDT each of the four days.  However, this is a fluid situation and plans may change between now and August 21st.


This is a very important operation for us as it is the first time Cherokee County EM has invited us to participate in any form of exercise or real world event.  This will be our opportunity to show our public safety officials that the term “amateur radio operator” in no way means that we cannot be professional.  The impression our group makes in our preparation and communication is critical in maintaining a good working relationship with our local DEM and Sheriff.


Everyone, regardless if you have volunteered to work this event, should stock up their pantry and freezer, and fill up their gas tanks, at least a week in advance of the eclipse.  Due to the number of eclipse viewers expected to arrive in Cherokee County, the grocery shelves are expected to be quickly depleted and some gas stations may run out of gas.


If you have not yet volunteered, but you would like to participate in providing communications for this event, please contact Kevin Heyboer KD4UYR, Cherokee County ARES/AUXCOMM Emergency Coordinator as soon as possible.  Even if you are not available for the entire weekend, you can still volunteer and we will work with you on scheduling.


Our duties will primarily be centered around tactical VHF communications and volunteers will need to be able to provide full power VHF equipment and be self sufficient in terms of food and drink.  More details will become available by the August 8th WCARS/ARES meeting.


For those not participating in providing emergency communications, there is a National Solar Eclipse QSO Party contest.  See the August issue of QST for details.


For additional information on the Solar Eclipse specific to Western North Carolina, go to


                                                                        Charlie Earle K4CTE

Kevin Heyboer KD4UYR                              Club President-Murphy Chapter WCARS

Emergency Coordinator                                  Assistant Emergency Coordinator

Cherokee County ARES/AUXCOMM          Cherokee County ARES/AUXCOMM

SW NC SKYWARN Net Manager                SW NC SKYWARN Assistant Net Manager                


Thursday, August 3rd, 2017:


Cherokee County ARES Emergency 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.). 


Clay County ARES Emergency Net meets at 9:00 PM Thursday nights on the Clay County ARES/AUXCOMM repeater K5PRE (146.955 MHz, - offset, 100 Hz tone). (Nets held most Thursdays)


Friday, August 4th, 2017:


Clay County ARES informal lunch meetingClay County ARES Informal Monthly Meeting at 12:00 Noon at various locations.  Check into the Thursday night nets to see where the group is having lunch. (Lunch meetings most Fridays)


Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society-Murphy Chapter Net at 8:00 PM on the K4AIH repeater (147.045 MHz, - offset,151.4 Hz tone). (Nets held most Fridays.)


Tuesday, August 8th:


Combined WCARS Murphy Chapter and Cherokee County ARES/AUXCOMM business meeting at the Robert A Penland Senior Center, 69 Alpine Street, Murphy NC.  This meeting will include the WCARS-Murphy Chapter business meeting combined with ARES/AUXCOMM preparations for the Great American Solar Eclipse.  Everyone who has volunteered to operate as an Auxiliary Emergency Communicator for the Eclipse Event is requested to attend.



Saturday, August 12th:


Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society-Murphy Chapter social brunch meets on the second Saturday of each month at 10 AM at Main Street USA located on Hiwassee Street in Murphy.


Amateur Radio License Exam Session

Sponsor: Edwin Flowers, KG4LVO

Location: Andrews Public Library-Conference Room

Time: 10:00 AM (Walk-ins allowed)


Saturday, August 19th:

Cherokee NC ARES Social Brunch normally held on the third Saturday of each month is cancelled due to operations supporting the Solar Eclipse operation.  Anyone not participating in the event operation is certainly welcome to meet informally but should be aware that traffic may be very heavy on the highway and at the Main Street USA diner.


Monday, August 21st:


The Great American Total Solar Eclipse:  For the first time in over 100 years, the moon will eclipse the sun across the entire continental United States.  The path of totality begins in Oregon and ends in South Carolina.  The beginning of the eclipse in our area will be near 1 pm and it will end near 4 pm, however; the total eclipse will be just over 2 and ˝ minutes long, beginning at 2:34 pm in Murphy and 2:36 pm in Andrews.