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Combined Cherokee County ARES/WCARS-Murphy Chapter Newsletter

 March, 2018

 Severe Weather Awareness Week 

In North Carolina, Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 4th through March 10th.  In Tennessee, Severe Weather Awareness Week is February 26th through March 2nd.  The purpose of Severe Weather Awareness Week is to educate the public about severe weather, and to work with school and other government entities to test their readiness for potential severe weather prior to the beginning of the Spring severe weather season.

Although our weather is forecast from the Morristown, TN Weather Service Forecast Office, we follow the North Carolina state emergency plan.  Therefore, we will activate the SKYWARN Net on 147.045-, Echolink node 821243, and Zello Group SW Carolina SKYWARN at exactly 9:30 a.m. EST (14:30 UTC) on Wednesday, March 7th in conjunction with the statewide drill tornado warning which will be sent out over the NOAA Weather Radio transmitters located in North Carolina.  If actual severe weather is threatening on March 7th, the drill will be conducted on March 9th,  at 9:30 am.

The purpose of this drill is to determine how many spotters will activate in the event of an actual severe weather event in the SW North Carolina area.  Because the Tennessee planned drill is on February 28th, WX4MRX is not expected to be activated on March 7th.

With regard to SKYWARN Spotter Training, there is a scheduled in-person training class on Tuesday, March 13th, in Cleveland (Bradley County), Tennessee from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  This is the closest live training session this year.  We will plan to sponsor a training class in early 2019 for re-certification of existing spotters and training for new spotters.  The entire spotter class schedule is available at the WFO Morristown website,  Training and certification from is also available online.  Check the website for the links.

In Other News:

The North Carolina QSO Party, hosted by the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, took place on Sunday, February 25th, from 10 am to 8 pm.  Despite poor propagation conditions, there were many participants, especially on 40 and 80 meters.  Jim Howard W4SDJ is defending his title of First Place in the single operator-low power-digital only category.  We will not find out the results until after the March 22nd deadline for log submissions.

Ken Bryant, K1DMR, gave an excellent presentation on DMR (MotoTRBO) digital radio at the February meeting.  This form of DMR radio uses dual-slot TDMA technology and is rapidly growing throughout the United States.  Currently, there are no DMR repeaters within range of the Murphy area, however; there are ways to create a computer hot spot and access the DMR talkgroups using several different interface devices, a high speed internet connection, and a low power DMR portable radio.

Congratulations to member Ron Parks, KX4IU (formerly KN4GWB) who obtained his extra class license this month.  We would also like to welcome our newest member of WCARS-Murphy, Allan Whitman, KN4JEN, who only recently obtained his license. 

At the February meeting, the membership voted to approve the allocation of $200 to reimburse past-president Charlie Earle K4CTE for the new tires he put on the communications trailer at his own expense.  The membership also voted to approve expenditures not to exceed $400 to complete repairs to the communications trailer with the goal of making it completely ready for use no later than Field Day 2018. 

Member Gary Gobeo, NC4GG, will be heading up a fund raising project involving a rifle raffle fund raiser.  This raffle will be held with the cooperation of a local gun dealer.  Members will be asked to sell tickets for the raffle at some time in the near future.  The actual process of transferring the rifle to the winner will be handled by the gun dealer after the drawing is held.  No precise dates have been set as of this newsletter for the raffle. 

The North Carolina ARRL Section Meeting and Charlotte Hamfest will be held March 9th-March 10th, 2018.  The location for the event is the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, 4551 Old Airport Road, 4571 Hwy 49 North, Concord, NC 28025.  See for information. 

We would like to remind all members of WCARS-Murphy that have not paid their dues that they will be dropped from the official roster if their dues are not paid by 03-31-2018.  Contact Treasurer Jim Blue N5YVV to pay your dues. 


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, March 1st, 2018 

WCARS-Murphy Chapter and Cherokee County ARES/AUXCOMM Combined 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/9:00 PM EDT Thursday nights on the Clay County ARES/AUXCOMM repeater K5PRE (146.955 MHz, - offset, 100 Hz tone). (Nets held most Thursdays) 

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018: 

Clay County ARES/AUXCOMM informal lunch meeting.  Clay County ARES/AUXCOMM meets at 12:00 Noon at various locations.   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 

Severe Weather Awareness Week Tornado Drill:  The SW Carolina SKYWARN Net will activate at 09:30 EST in conjunction with the drill tornado warning.  If there is severe weather in the area at the time of the scheduled drill, it will be postponed to Friday, March 9th.

Friday, March 9th, 2018: 

The NC Section Meeting and Charlotte HamFest:  This event begins at 3:00 pm and continues through Saturday, March 10th.  See for information. 

Saturday, March 10th, 2018: 

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) 

Sunday, March 11th, 2018: 

Daylight Saving Time Begins: Eastern Daylight Saving Time begins in most of the United States at 02:00 a.m. (0700 UTC).  Move your clocks ahead one hour (Spring forward).  This changes the UTC offset to -4 hours as well. 

Tuesday, March 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 Daylight Time. 

Weather Spotter Training: The National Weather Service from WFO Morristown is holding a class at the George R. Johnson Cultural Heritage Center, Cleveland State Community College, 3535 Adkisson Drive NW, Cleveland, TN  37312, beginning at 6 pm EDT. 

Saturday, March 17th, 2018:

Cherokee NC ARES Social Brunch at 10:00 AM EDT at Main Street USA Diner, located on Hiwassee Street in downtown Murphy.  All members, family members, and other interested parties are invited to attend.

Planning for the future: 

The Warrior Veterans Outreach has once again honored us with an invitation to provide public service real time tactical communications during its annual 22 Mile March.  This annual event brings public awareness to the approximately 22 US military veterans who take their own lives every day.  The March takes place on Saturday, May 26th, 2018 (Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend).  Jim Blue N5YVV, AEC Operations for Cherokee County ARES/AUXCOMM will be in charge of planning and commanding the mission this year.  As always, we will use the appropriate ICS forms and treat this as an AUXCOMM exercise even though we will be operating under the auspices of public service communications provided by the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, a part of the ARRL Field Organization.