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Many Special Events Will Be on the Air to Mark the Total Solar Eclipse in August


Radio amateurs from several states will gather in southern Illinois on August 17-21 to operate special event station W9E, leading up to and during the 2017 solar eclipse on August 21. W9E will operate from Marion, Illinois.

“This will be the first total eclipse on American soil since 1991, the first on the mainland United States since 1979 and the first to sweep across the entire country since 1918. It will be an event you do not want to miss!” the W9E announcement said. “The far southern tip of the state of Illinois is the only place viewers can see the totality of the eclipse.”

W9E plans to operate on 80, 40, and 20 meters (and perhaps other bands, if conditions permit), on CW, SSB, and digital modes (JT65, JT9, and PSK31). All amateur operators visiting the area for the eclipse are invited to visit. A copy of your license and photo ID are required to operate. Amateur Radio license testing also will be offered during the event.

While the W9E special event is under way, organizers are planning a joint exercise with ARES® Illinois District 11 Emergency Coordinator W. Bruce Talley, WA9APQ, hoping not only to assist with local communication during the eclipse but to coordinate with other ARES groups as the eclipse travels from northwest to southeast.

“Our plan is to be proactive and ready to respond, as needed,” said Talley. “Local volunteers and those from outside the area are welcome to sign up on the database. We are especially interested if you are coming to the area to view the eclipse and know where you will be stationed.”

Solar Eclipse QSO Party

The Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP), sponsored by HamSCI, will take place on August 21, 1400 to 2200 UTC. As the QST article “The Solar Eclipse QSO Party — Are You Ready?” explains, “The objective…is to flood the airwaves with contacts, all measured by the automated receiver networks of the Reverse Beacon Network, PSKReporter, and WSPRNet. When those observations are combined with the logs from individual stations, the result will be one of the largest ionospheric experiments ever performed.”

Other Total Eclipse Special Events

The South Dakota’s Black Hills Amateur Radio Club in South Dakota plans to operate special event K0E on the day of the eclipse, August 21, 1500-1930 UTC, from Harrison, Nebraska. Operation will be on 20 meters (14.260-14.280 MHz) and on VHF and UHF. Contact Bob Ewing, W0RE, for more information.

The Near Zero Sunlite, Great American Eclipse N0S special event will take place August 20-22, 1400-2200 UTC, in Crystal City, Missouri, sponsored by the Jefferson County Amateur Radio Club. Operation will be on or about 3.850, 7.250, and 14.300 MHz. QSL with SASE to Jim Berger, WA0FQK, 131 Ozark Dr, Crystal City, MO 63019.

K7E will be on the air for the Great American Total Solar Eclipse 2017 special event, August 21-22, 1500-0300 UTC, from Laramie, Wyoming, near the path of totality, on or about 7.183 and 14.256 MHz. QSL Perry Lehman, N7FST, 19828 N. 78th Ln, Glendale, AZ 85308.

The North East Wyoming Amateur Radio Association (NEWARA) will field special event W7S from historic downtown Gillette, Wyoming, August 19-21, 1200-0600 UTC, on or about 3.945, 7.265, and 14.265 MHz as well as on 147.360 MHz. QSL to Garth Crowe, WY7GC, PO Box 2208, Gillette, WY 82717.

The Lincoln County Amateur Radio Club (LCARC) will operate special event N7E, August 20-22, 1600-1900 UTC, from Newport, Oregon, on or about 3.820, 7.200, 14.245, and 28.350 MHz. Contact Michael Eastman, N7ONP.

Total Solar Eclipse special event N9E will be on the air on August 21, 1400-2000 UTC, from Hopkinsville, Kentucky, 7.180-7.190 MHz. Contact Peter Herman, KD9VV.

The Lewis and Clark Radio Club (LCRC) will operate special event K9HAM from Godfrey, Illinois, on August 21, 0900-1700 UTC, on or about 7.225 and 14.280 MHz. Contact the LCRC for more information.

In North Carolina, the Greater Gaston Amateur Radio Society (GGARS), will be on the air as N4S from Lexington, South Carolina, on August 21, 0000-1900 UTC, on or about 7.180 and 3.895 MHz. QSL to Robert Wells, W7CSA, QSL. Robert Wells, 409 Elizabeth St, Gastonia, NC 28054.

The Southern Illinois University Amateur Radio Club (SIUARC) will sponsor W9S, August 18-22, 0000-2359 UTC, from Carbondale, Illinois, CW on 160 meters and all modes on 80 through 10, with a focus on the lower bands. Satellites and 6 meters are also possible. QSL to Martin A Schuette, N9EAT, PO Box 29, Fulton, IL 61252.

Ole Virginia Hams Amateur Radio Club (OVHARC) will sponsor W4E from Lexington, South Carolina, on August 21, 1500-2015 UTC, on or about 3.810, 7.230, and 14.263 MHz and 146.52 MHz FM simplex. QSL to Terry Erlacher, KC4DV, 10855 Felicia Ct, Manassas, VA 20110.

N4C will be on the air from Franklin, North Carolina, August 13-26, 0401-0359 UTC, with members of the Franklin Amateur Radio Club (K2BHQ) operating on or about 7.076, 7.180, 14.076, and 14.230 MHz. A certificate and QSL is available. Franklin ARC, 505 North Sugar Creek Dr, Franklin, NC 28734. The special eclipse US postage stamp will be included.

The AA0RC Solar Eclipse Party will take place August 20-21, 1200-1600 UTC, from Mexico, Missouri, sponsored by Audrain Emergency Communications Inc (AECIMO). Operation will be on 3.970, 3.980, 7.265, and 14.240 MHz. A certificate is available. Mike Wood, WB0IXS, 22374 Audrain Rd 320, Mexico, MO 65265.

The W9J “Historic Route 66 and Solar Eclipse Special Event” will take place from August 20 until August 24, sponsored by Jim Georgias, W9JUG, and Marie Getty Stan, KD9CAE. The event will operate from a state park on US Route 66 near Eureka, Missouri, on the day of the eclipse. Operation will be on or about 7.240 and 14.250 MHz. Operation will be portable and mobile. QSL via and LoTW. Contact W9JUG to request a certificate.

This is not a comprehensive list. Search the ARRL Special Events Calendar for additional total eclipse special event operations.



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