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SARL Today HF Update with ZS4BS Focus on VHF/UHF/Microwave Contest News with Geoff ZS6C SARL Forum current topics Commercial Hamads



Sunday 23 June 2019

SARLNUUS with Anette Jacobs ZR6D luister/laai hier af 

SARLNEWS with Dave Reece ZS1DFR Listen/download here

AMATEUR RADIO TODAY, a weekly actuality programme about Amateur Radio and technology hosted by  Hans van de Groenendaal ZS6AKV Download/Listen .

More details about Today's programme here. Transmission times and frequency details click here

Amateur Radio Today on 80 metres on Mondays - On Mondays Amateur Radio Today is transmitted at 19:30 local time on 3620 kHz by Andy Cairns ZS6ADY. Reception reports are invited. Please send your report to Please give details of the signal strength antenna and location.  The SARL thanks Andy for coming forward to do the weekly relay. The SARL is inviting more amateurs to come forward to become relay stations. Send your details to 

Logging workshop on Saturday 29 June from 9 to 12 at the NARC - 
The Sandton ARC will once again be offering a logging workshop for all the newbies or any interested radio amateur.  This is open to all radio amateurs and all clubs.  Please RSVP to

We will be covering the following topics: Reason for Logging; Legal requirements for Logging HF contacts; Paper logs; Electronic logging Software; Online logbooks/databases; Online Electronic QSL card Centres; LoTW and DXCC; SARL QSL system; Computer and Radio interfacing and Useful tools

 Inspire young people to take up amateur radio

JOTA JOTI 2019 will be held on the weekend of the 18 to 20 October. This is the largest Scouting event of the year with around 2 million Cubs, Scouts and Guides taking part. Richard Hooper is looking for amateurs to assist with running stations for the events. A simple field station at your local Scout hall, or within a Scouting district is all that is required. Over the last 3 years, we have seen a 400% growth is stations; predominately in Division 6. 

No need to run the whole weekend either, as most of the activity is on the Saturday. If you are keen to get Youth involved in Amateur Radio and give back to your local Scouting community, please contact Richard and he will assist with getting a local troop in contact. Email Richard at


SARL/AMSAT SA VHF WORKSHOP -  Horizontal vs Vertical antenna polarisation – the debate  Check new date 20 July 2019.  Dick Coates ZS6BUN has carried out extensive technical paper research and reviewed experiential data from world-wide resources and will present his findings and share his own experiences at the workshop. Jan "Pine" Pienaar ZS6OB will talk about Antennas, the most important link in VHF communication and discuss what is really important to look out for. 

Other discussions at the workshop include: Update on the Bethlehem and Karoo two metre beacon projects, the West Coast propagation phenomena, and three quick fire   10-minute sessions covering the Reverse beacon project, increasing levels of the HF noise floor a growing concern and why VHF and UHF have an important future in Amateur Radio.  

The workshop will be held at the SARL National Amateur Radio Centre from 08:30 and ends at 13:30.  Midmorning light refreshments will be served. The registration fee is R50 for SARL and AMSAT SA Members and R100 for non-members. To register get and download the programme click here

The June 2019 Radio ZS is available for download - go to Publications on the menu on the left hand side and click on Radio ZS download.

Only 455 copies of the May 2019 Radio ZS have been downloaded.

SARL on Facebook

Worldwide list of HF Beacons - Click here

Worldwide list of 6 Metre Beacons - Click here  

Unlocking Amateur Radio Technology - The SARL hosted a very sucessful synposium on 12 April 2019 in Stellenbosch.  It was attended by over 60 delegates. The symposium was supported by contributions from  RF Design, Comtest, F'Sati, Giga Technology and AMSAT SA. The powerpoint presentations are available for download here.

2019 RSGB Cricket World Cup Amateur Radio Marathon -The RSGB is pleased to invite all radio amateurs across the world to join us in celebrating the Cricket World Cup which is being held in England and Wales in 2019.  We are organising an International Amateur Radio Marathon for the duration of the competition.

2019/2020 Amateur Radio License fee increase

ICASA has informed the SARL that the licence fee will be increased by 4,7% on 1 April 2019. The new fees will be 

1 Year   -              R 148.00

2 Year   -              R 283.00

3 Year   -              R 406.00

4 Year   -              R 517.00

5 Year   -              R 617.00  

ICASA will start the invoicing process for the 2019/2020 period from 4 February 2019. Radio Amateurs are reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure their license is up to date. If for some reason no invoice is received, check that ICASA has been informed of any address changes. 

Avoid the hassles of having to renew each year, opt for a multi-year licence. Simply, when renewing pay the appropriate amount. On the EFT state 5 Year licence and your callsign. Also send an email to with a copy of the EFT payment.

The correct account for your ICASA Licence Fee is NEDBANK Account number: 14 62 00 29 27, Branch Code: 146245 - Corporate Client Services – Pretoria and in the reference field type in your licence number and call sign. 

ICASA Licence Fees - DO NOT pay the ICASA licence fee into the SARL bank account, all moneys wrongfully paid into the SARL account will be refunded less the bank charges associated with these transactions. 

LOW SUNSPOTS TRY 16O M, you cannot be without this book - ON4UN's Low Band DXing -  Dozens of new propagation maps based on DX Atlas, as well as an in-depth analysis of the influence of sunspot cycles on 160-metre ducting. A new discussion of cutting edge technology including Software Defined Radio and the revolutionary LP-500 Digital Station Monitor. Chapters include 

  • Propagation
  • DXing on the Low Bands
  • Receiving and Transmitting Equipment
  • Antenna Design Software
  • Antennas: General, Terms, Definitions
  • The Feed Line and the Antenna
  • Receiving Antennas
  • The Dipole Antenna
  • Vertical Antennas
  • Large Loop Antennas
  • Phased Arrays
  • Other Arrays
  • Yagis and Quads
  • Low Band DXing from a Small Garden
  • From Low Band DXing to Contesting

CD-ROM included! The CD-ROM includes the entire book in a fully searchable PDF format as well as ON4UN’s software (Windows XP only), antenna modeling files, photographs and more. Now R950.  Delivery via Postnet R120. Special offer  for September and October 2019 free postnet delivery

2019 Advertising in Radio ZS and the SARL Web site

Radio ZS and the SARL web welcomes advertising. It is a source of information for readers. Send your advertisement for the League website to Hans, ZS6AKV at and for Radio ZS to Dennis, ZS4BS at

Advertising Rates (effective 1 February 2019)

Display (cameo) on home page and Radio ZS Strip advertisement (10 cm by 2 columns) - R550 pm - R2 750 for 6 months - R4 750 per annum

Commercial Hamad on home page - R70 pm - R350 for 6 months - R550 per annum

Terms and conditions

All contract advertisements content may be changed monthly on 5 working day notice

The rates are based on the complete supply of material in Jpeg unless otherwise negotiated. For artwork additional charges may apply as agreed

The content of the advertisements must comply with regulations and norms acceptable in South Africa

All advertisements are playable in advance by EFT to SA Radio League, ABSA, account no 4071 588 849 branch code 632 005

All correspondence and material must be sent to with a copy to

HF Update with Dennis, ZS4BS - 22 June 2019 

Get your weekly copy of HF Happenings at 

Southern African Fauna and Flora

South African SOTA 

Contacts with stations on the African continent count towards the SARL’s All Africa Award

Worlswide List of HF Beacons 

Uganda, 5X. Anders, SM0HPL is active again as 5X7W from Kampala, Uganda until 6 July. In his spare time, he operates FT8, FT4, JT65 and CW running QRP. QSL via LoTW, or direct to home call; log search on Club Log.

South Sudan, Z8. Diya, YI1DZ will be back to Juba, South Sudan from 22 June to 10 October, and be active again as Z81D. In his spare time, he operates FT8 on various bands, 60 m included. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, or via OM3JW. He does not use LoTW. 

DXCC Approved. The recent 3D2CR DXpedition to Conway Reef has been approved for DXCC credit. According to Club Log's latest - but apparently not final - update, between 1 and 9 June the two operators made 33 828 QSOs with North America (39%), Asia (40%), Europe (15%) and the rest of the world (6%). The most productive band was 20 m (11 005 QSOs); the most productive mode was FT8 (22 677 QSOs), followed by CW (7 708) and SSB (3 444).

Already approved for DXCC credit are also the upcoming DXpedition to Banaba Island (T33T) and the A82Z and A82X DXpedition to Liberia (28 September-11 October).

South Korea, HL. Look for HL18FINA to be active on all bands and modes from Gwangju between 1 July and 18 August. The special event station celebrates the Federation Internationale de Natation's 18th World Championships from 12 to 28 July and World Masters Championships from 5 to 18 August. This is of course Water Polo. QSL via HL4CCM, Club Log, eQSL.

Sweden, SM. Once again, the unique and still operational long wave transmitter, with call sign SAQ, at the Grimeton Radio Station will be activated on VLF of 17,2 kHz on 30 June at 09:00 and 12:00 UTC. The amateur radio station SK6SAQ will operate SSB on 3 755 kHz, as well as CW on 7 035 and 14 035 kHz. QSL SK6SAQ via the bureau or direct. See for more information. Built in 1922 to 24, the Grimeton Radio Station has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2004. It is "an exceptionally well-preserved monument to early wireless transatlantic communication", representing "the process of development of communication technology in the period following the First World War".

Afghanistan, T6. Robert, S53R (YA5T in 2002) is returning to Afghanistan on 24 June and will be working there for two years with the UN World Food Programme. In his spare time, he will operate CW, SSB and digital modes on 160-6 m (call sign to be announced).

Ukraine, UR. Special call sign EM2019ARDF is active from 15 June until 15 July to mark the 3rd IARU World Youth ARDF Championship that will take place in Vinnytsia, Ukraine from 30 June to 4 July). QSL via the bureau and LoTW; log search on Club Log.

Gibraltar, ZB. The Gibraltar Amateur Radio Society will be active as ZB2IG19 between 5 and 31 July for the XVIII NatWest International Island Games. QSL to GARS, PO Box 292, Gibraltar.

Malta, 9H. Andrea, IK0PUL will be active as 9H3IK from Malta (EU-023) between 5 and 12 July. Plans are to be active holiday style on 30, 20 and 17 metres. QSL via IK0PUL and log search on Club Log.


VHF, UHF and Microwave Record Table the latest table of records is available from the VHF SA Record page. Click here to get a copy. Compiled and updated by Paul, ZS6NK - latest version 10 June 2019. Updates to

Focus on VHF and Above 23 June 2019

Audio version  

The highlight this week must be the historic contacts being made across the Atlantic between the Cape Verde Islands and the Caribbean Island of Guadeloupe. 

The first contact was made on Sunday 16 June 2019 when the Atlantic was spanned for the first time when D41CV on Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa managed to work FG8OJ in Guadeloupe on 144.174 MHz using the FT8 digital mode.  A distance of 3,867 kilometres

Tropo prediction maps show a path right across the Atlantic and suggest that even more incredible contacts may be possible.

The operator was Mark EA8FF using the beacon antenna as the "Pinocchio Yagi" had to be taken down to be improved after severe bad wind. The beacon antenna is an array of 6 horizontal polarised dipoles with an omnidirectional pattern.


Since this contact there have been numerous contacts across the Atlantic from D41CV. See the post Historic Trans-Atlantic Contact made on 144 MHz from Cape Verde to Guadeloupe on the blog of John EI7GL from Ireland for more information. The URL for John’s blog is

Now the challenge is to cross the Southern Atlantic between the West Coasts of South Africa or Namibia and Brazil. 

Using AIS metadata to monitor propagation in the 2m band. Prognosis, monitoring and analysis of propagation conditions are a basis for kilometres and points in DX competition. As a new tool to monitor propagation in the 2m band, D4C has started receiving vessel AIS data.

AIS is a maritime NMEA standard, through which ships continuously transmit signals at approximately 12.5 Watts using a ground plane antenna. The evaluation of the AIS position data - which can, for example, be visualized by DXMaps under "AIS" - show when and how periods of enhanced propagation occur, in real time. Therefore, log data of successful radio connections are not used, but rather received signals on the 2 AIS channels at 162 MHz (+- 25KHz).

To receive AIS signals at D4C’s location (also D4Z and D41CV) on the Cape Verde Islands, the team concluded an antenna partnership with the company in Germany, through which they received their AIS receiver equipment free of charge.

While at the preparatory meeting for WRC19 that I recently attended, I had the opportunity to chat to the folk from the Maritime Safety Authority about AIS. There are various AIS systems that are deployed on vessels. Some of these AIS systems make use of RF while others are satellite based, so when one uses websites like then one needs to drill down to the vessel concerned to see which system the ship is using. Some of the long distances being reported could be from vessels using the satellite based systems. 

Please remember that here in South Africa, you need a license to receive signals outside of the amateur bands so it is better to view the data on the websites than to receive the AIS signals yourselves. 

While you are on the blog of John EI7GL, take a look at the post about Noctilucent Clouds. 

In this week there have been reports about these clouds in Space Weather News as well.  

The 2019 season for noctilucent clouds (NLCs) has been remarkable, maybe the best ever, with NLCs appearing as far south as Los Angeles CA and Albuquerque NM. What's going on? NASA satellites have just found an important clue. An unusual wave of moisture is surging through the mesosphere, boosting water concentrations to their highest level in at least 12 years. Visit for the full story and look at the fantastic photos of the Noctilucent clouds. 

Hans ZS6AKV alerted me to this and I dug a little into it to find out more and whether there may be any chance of seeing these clouds locally and experiencing their effects on the VHF and above bands. 

The Mesosphere is a layer between the Stratosphere and the Thermosphere. The Stratosphere being above the Troposphere. The  Ionosphere also overlaps the Mesosphere. Looking at the numbers, the Troposphere is around 12 km thick. The Stratosphere extends to approximately 45 km, then the Mesosphere extends from 45 km to 85 km. Noctilucent clouds exist at a height of 76 km to 85 km. The D layer of the Ionosphere is from 60 km to 90 km and the E layer is 90 km to 150 km. 


The Mesosphere is the same layer where the meteors burn up in. We know that we get ionisation when the Meteors burn up that causes signal enhancement. We also know that the E layer of the Ionosphere is where Sporadic E propagation takes place.

Noctilucent clouds are known to exhibit high radar reflectivity in a frequency range of 50 MHz to 1.3 GHz. These radar echoes are called PMSE (polar mesosphere summer echoes). There are a lot of theories as to the cause of the radar echoes.

NASA has been studying these clouds through their AIM program since 2007.


AIM’s data has led to more than 200 papers on Earth’s upper atmosphere. Here are a handful of key scientific discoveries:

·       Overturning assumptions about the sun and noctilucent clouds: Observations from the 1980s and ’90s suggested that the appearance of noctilucent clouds is linked to the sun’s activity, which rises and falls in about 11-year patterns. But AIM’s data tell a different story: noctilucent clouds have been steadily increasing over the past decade, despite the sun’s regular changes in activity. The precise reason for this is still unknown.

·       Noctilucent cloud and greenhouse gases: Scientists suspected that increased sightings of noctilucent clouds could be related to increasing greenhouse gases. Combining AIM’s data with 36 years of measurements from satellite instruments showed a correlation between more frequent noctilucent clouds and increases in water vapor, a greenhouse gas, and decreasing upper-atmosphere temperatures — a side effect of warming near the surface. 

·       Meteors help create noctilucent clouds: The ice crystals that form noctilucent clouds must form on a foundation of some kind. AIM’s data showed that this base is actually smoke from meteors — tiny microparticles produced when meteors burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

·       Tracking meteoric smoke: Before AIM’s launch, scientists primarily watched meteoric smoke — the tiny particles created when meteors burn up in the atmosphere — from just a few viewpoints with sounding rockets. AIM’s measurements have given scientists a new tool to watch this meteoric smoke, revealing for the first time the dynamics of how meteoric smoke moves through the atmosphere.

·       Understanding the upper atmosphere: AIM helped scientists track how heat moves in the upper atmosphere, showing that heating in the mesosphere is more likely linked to circulation in the atmosphere rather than direct heating from the sun. 

·       Studying atmospheric waves caused by Earth’s rotation: AIM measures planetary waves, planet-scale waves caused by Earth’s rotation, that can influence weather across the globe. Over its 10-year mission, AIM has observed three of the four most extreme springtime planetary wave events seen since satellite observations began in 1978, raising questions about possible changes in the dynamics of the atmosphere.

·       Teleconnection between the poles: AIM’s data showed that conditions in the stratosphere near the North Pole influence conditions in the mesosphere near the South Pole days or weeks later — even going so far as to influence the transition between seasonal conditions.

·       How Earth’s weather affects the upper atmosphere: AIM’s measurements have also helped scientists track how air in the atmosphere moves vertically, as well as between the hemispheres. This helps scientists understand how events near Earth’s surface — like thunderstorms — might trigger changes in the upper atmosphere.

·       Understanding the atmosphere from bottom to top: This new understanding of vertical linkages in the atmosphere was integrated into the first weather model that describes the entire atmosphere from the surface all the way to the upper mesosphere.

·       The source of radar echoes: AIM solved the mystery of radar echoes in certain regions of the atmosphere during the summer. The same ice layer that produces noctilucent clouds is to blame for radar echoes, and the size of the ice crystals can even play a role.

Thanks for NASA for the information supplied.

Could we see these clouds in Southern Africa? Most likely not, but if they were to be seen it will probably be in the Southern Cape.

Could there be propagation enhancement from these clouds? Very possible, however there are very few amateurs at the latitudes where these clouds exist, so it could be more possible over the Northern Hemisphere than the Southern Hemisphere.

RF Noise just how bad is it? Recently large parts of South America were without electricity. When Argentina was plunged into darkness by a nationwide power cut Luciano Petruccelli LU3DX made a video showing just how much RF pollution is produced by electronic devices.
Watch his video showing how little interference there was during the power cut on June 16, 2019, followed by massive RF pollution when power was restored. At 42 seconds into the video clip you will see and hear a sudden increase in noise when the power was restored.


Do not forget about the VHF workshop that will take place on 20 July 2019 at the National Amateur Radio Centre in Honeydew.

For registration and the agenda go to either the AMSAT SA website at or the SARL website


Looking forward to seeing you there.


The next meeting of the VHF Work Group will be via Skype at 20:00 on 27 June 2019. If you want to join the VHF Work Group, send us your Skype name to and we will add you to the call.


Please send your news snippets and information about activities on VHF and Above to


Focus on VHF and Above 16 June 2019 

Audio Version 

Last week we listened to what typical Meteor Scatter signals sound like. You could clearly hear the bursts of ionisation caused by the meteors burning up in the atmosphere.

This week we are going to listen to a couple of other VHF propagation modes. 

Here in the inland areas of the country the long distance VHF communications are most likely Tropospheric Scatter. This type of propagation is also normally associated with changing weather such as a high pressure cell moving away and temperature inversions. 

This first recording is a typically weak but stable CW tropospheric scatter signal of a beacon. 

Tropospheric Scatter f5xal Beacon.mp3 

And here is a SSB tropo scatter signal 

Tropospheric Scatter 7x2ls SSB.mp3

Now along the coastal areas especially on the West Coast we get tropoducting taking place. Here is what tropoducting sounds like.

Tropoducting rw1zd.mp3

And another one recording locally the West Coast and St Helena Island.

Tropoducting ZS3JPY QSO ZD7GWM.mp3

Here in South Africa, Sporadic E season is usually late December and January. Sporadic E is strongest on the lower VHF bands. So what does Sporadic E propagation sound like over the radio? 

This recording is a very strong SSB signal. 

Sporadic E cn8st.mp3 

Here is another recording, this time of a CW signal 

Sporadic E yo6afp.mp3


While I have just said that usually Sporadic E openings occur in the summer months, this past week has seen Sporadic E openings between the northern provinces and Cape Town. 

Mike ZS1TAF reports that he worked Willem, ZS6WAB and Servaas, ZS6SER on 50.200 MHz SSB between 16H10 and 17H20 UCT on 7 June.

QSB on band but great contacts both ways.

ZS6TWB Beacon was also heard on 50.044 MHz CW with a report of 57. 

There were multiple ZS1 stations that worked both Willem and Servaas. 

On 11 June Mike only worked Carl, ZS6CBQ. There were however other ZS1 stations who worked Carl and a few other ZS6 stations as well.

The following beacons were also heard:

ZS6TWB Beacon on 50.044 MHz CW reported as 56

ZS6WAB Beacon on 50.025 MHz CW reported as 59

ZS6JON Beacon on 50.050 MHz CW reported as 54 

Mike says “This was a Sporadic E opening which is usually concentrated during the summer months.... Maybe this changes that Theory somewhat....” 

That was a great opening and congratulations to all the guys that managed to exploit the favourable conditions. 

We have previously reported that the frequency bands allocated to the Amateur Service are under attack. This threat has come to our attention. 

France proposes 144-146 MHz for Aeronautical Mobile Service 

The next meeting of the CEPT WRC-19 Conference Preparatory Group takes place June 17-21 in Prague 

France has submitted a paper with the subject Agenda Item 10 revised proposal for an agenda item for new non-safety aeronautical mobile applications. 

The paper says: 

"The list of bands that are proposed for study of possible new allocations to the aeronautical mobile service on a primary basis is revised by adding the band 144-146 MHz, the bands 5000-5010 MHz and 15.4-15.7 GHz being maintained." 

"The decisions of previous conferences have introduced some restrictions to the use and have imposed constraints on the development of aeronautical mobile applications within some existing mobile allocations traditionally used by the aeronautical mobile applications. 

At the same time, the number of manned and unmanned aircraft equipped with sensors has grown significantly in the past 20 years together with the need of bidirectional low to high data rate communications. 

Aeronautical applications like fire surveillance, border surveillance, air quality and environment monitoring, traffic monitoring, disaster monitoring, terrain modelling, imagery (visible, infrared, radar, meteo), video monitoring require non-safety communications between various types of aeronautical platforms. 

Consequently the need of non-safety data communications between various types of aeronautical platforms increases and so the need for new frequency bands." 

Remember, we are part of Region 1 and this is how it starts. It will now not be long and we will need to justify and defend our usage of the 2m band here as well. 

Do not forget about the VHF workshop that will take place on 20 July 2019 at the National Amateur Radio Centre in Honeydew.

For registration and the agenda go to either the AMSAT SA website at or the SARL website 

Looking forward to seeing you there. 

The next meeting of the VHF Work Group will be via Skype at 20:00 on 27 June 2019. If you want to join the VHF Work Group, send us your Skype name to and we will add you to the call. 

Please send your news snippets and information about activities on VHF and Above to

Focus on VHF and Above 9 June 2019

 Audio version

We have previously in tutorials spoken about the various propagation modes. 

Bernie ZS4TX sent VHF news an email this week with some great information which I’m going to use as an introduction to how do you identify what VHF mode of propagation you may be experiencing and what it sounds like on the radio. 

The ZS5KT beacon is being heard very well in Bloemfontein. Bernie says “I have been hearing the ZS5KT 144.420 CW beacon from grid KF50MF in grid KG30BX almost all the time during the few days I have been monitoring since I was alerted about the beacon being active.” The ZS5KT beacon has a 9 element Yagi with an output of 25W and Bernie has a 4 x 14 element Yagi array. The distance between KG30BX & KG50MF is 483.55 km. 

Bernie also attached two screen shots with an audio recording at about the time the screenshots were taken. You need listen carefully and sometimes it may be difficult to hear the changes in the signal, but it will get easier over time.



Bernie says “On the first recording you will hear a short meteor burst at the beginning followed by the normal troposcatter signal. 


Recording 1



On the second recording you will hear the signal enhancement for a few seconds as typically caused by aircraft scatter. The 2nd screenshot of the WSJT waterfall clearly shows the stronger signal and doppler shift caused by the aircraft scatter.


Recording 2 

In the first recording Bernie sent you probably did not recognise the meteor burst. So what do meteor scatter bursts sound like? 

Here is a recording of more pronounced meteor scatter pings recorded during the Leonids meteor shower in 2002. You will clearly hear the pings when the ionisation of the air takes place and then a burst of radio activity being reflected or scattered by the ionisation. 



Here is another recording of some meteor scatter bursts 



and lastly one of two short FSK441 meteor scatter reflections


If you now again carefully listen to the recording sent by Bernie, you will recognise the meteor burst.


Thank you Bernie for this information and thanks to EA6VQ for providing the other MS recordings.


The screenshots and recordings are available on the SARL web page.


Next week we will listen to another VHF and above propagation mode. 

Now for some VHF and above news.

For those of you who like to play with Slow Scan TV or SSTV, the Raspberry Pi magazine, MagPi has a very nice article that describes how to set up a Raspberry Pi and a RTL-SDR dongle to receive SSTV pictures from the International Space Station. Follow the link 

The ISS regularly transmits SSTV images on the downlink frequency of 145.800 MHz. To find out when the ISS will be making SSTV transmissions keep an eye on the Amateur Radio on International Space Station (ARISS) SSTV blog page at 

Talking about satellites, Lightsail-2 is scheduled for launch June 22 and will have a Beacon on 437.025 MHz 

LightSail is a citizen-funded project from The Planetary Society.

This cubesat will be propelled solely by sunlight, to Earth orbit. LightSail 2 is scheduled to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy on June 22, 2019, and they will attempt the first, controlled solar sail flight in Earth orbit. 

LightSail 2 will ride to space aboard the Department of Defense Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) mission which will send 24 spacecraft to 3 different orbits. LightSail 2 itself will be enclosed within Prox-1, a Georgia Tech-designed spacecraft originally built to demonstrate close-encounter operations with other spacecraft. Prox-1 will deploy LightSail 2 seven days after launch. 

After a few days of health and status checks, LightSail 2's four dual-sided solar panels will swing open. Roughly a day later, four metallic booms will unfurl four triangular Mylar sails from storage.

The sails, which have a combined area of 32 square meters [344 square feet], will turn towards the sun for half of each orbit, giving the spacecraft a tiny push no stronger than the weight of a paperclip.

For about a month after sail deployment, this continual thrust should raise LightSail 2's orbit by a measurable amount. 

LightSail 2 will fly in a 24-degree inclination, 720 km, circular orbit.

At latitudes of 42 degrees north it will reach a maximum elevation of 10 degrees above the horizon. 

Lightsail-2 has been issued an experimental radio license WM9XPA and transmit on 437.025 MHz. A morse beacon will transmit the callsign every 45 seconds. A packet beacon will transmit AX.25, FSK 9K6 bps data. 

Beacon information is available at:

Documentation of the downlink telemetry data structure is posted at: 

The VHF workshop will take place on 20 July 2019 at the National Amateur Radio Centre in Honeydew.

The main topic will be: Which is better, Vertical or Horizontal polarisation?

Come to the VHF workshop and listen to what Dick ZS6BUN has to say  about Vertical vs Horizontal propagation.

We are also privileged have a presentation by Jan Pienaar ZS6OB or "Pine" as we all know him, and he will talk about Antennas, the most important link in VHF communication and discuss what is really important to look out for.

There will also be feedback on the progress of the two new beacons, a discussion on the West Coast propagation phenomenon and some quick fire sessions on the Reverse Beacon Project, a growing concern regarding the HF noise levels and why VHF and UHF has an important future in Amateur Radio.

The registration fee is R50 for SARL and AMSAT SA Members and R100 for non-members. For registration and the agenda go to either the AMSAT SA website at or the SARL website 

Looking forward to seeing you there. 

The next meeting of the VHF Work Group will be via Skype at 20:00 on 27 June 2019. If you want to join the VHF Work Group, send us your Skype name to and we will add you to the call.  

Please send your news snippets and information about activities on VHF and Above to


 Check the 2019 SARL Blue Book
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CTARC Fox hunt antenna building day  22/06/2019  18:07:19
by: ZS1YT
Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre RAE Course  22/06/2019  14:55:48
by: ZS1F
TCXO for the FT-847  22/06/2019  09:09:57
by: ZS5WO
80m is not dead  21/06/2019  21:08:45
by: ZS2CX
ZS and ZR... any difference?  21/06/2019  09:27:10
by: ZS5EFP

Commercial Hamads 

Just Curious Designs

Promotional Branding & Gifts for all your requirements relating to:

*T-Shirts * Cards * Caps *Mugs *Banners *Etching *Canvas

Visit our website and online shop for more information on our wide range of products at or email us

Johan ZR6JC – 082 821 5759


Direct importer of a wide selection of SWR meters, H.F., V.H.F. and U.H.F. base and mobile antennas. Amateur radio transceivers, antenna analyzers, etc. Affordable shipping costs for out of town customers and subsidized shipping to SARL members.
Check out all my amateur radio goodies here. 0720268909.

Place your commercial hamads on the home page.  Book a six months space for R300 or 12 months at R500 prepaid with order   The advertisements will be  text only up to 60 words including address, telephone number and click through URL to advertisers' website and email address. Adverisement can be changed  Send your contact details to and we will contact you or call the NARC at 011 675 2393

What is Amateur Radio ? 

Tell me more  about Amateur Radio

Radio Amateurs, or "Hams" use two-way radio communication to make contact with other radio amateurs all over the world. They are even able to use satellites and on occasion speak with astronauts. Radio Hams can do this from home or while mobile in cars, boats or on foot.

Radio Hams have a full range or communication modes at their disposal. These include plain voice, Morse code, numerous digital computer modes and even graphical modes like television. As a licensed amateur radio operator you will be able to join in experiments using all these modes.

mateur radio can be enjoyed by young and old, male and female, even the most severely disabled can make friends around the world from their own home. This hobby knows no boundaries.

Random Photo from the Call book.

 Desray de Vos, ZR1VOX


CDS Advert 


 Click here to visit website 

Conical Technologies


Sam's Radio



 Click here to go to the Kevtronics web 

Worked All ZS award
An interesting operating goal

The entry level for the WAZS award is 100 different call signs. The programme has recently been expanded to include higher level endorsements, such as WAZS-200, WAZS-300, etc. Endorsements may also be obtained for specific modes, eg: CW, SSB, etc.
Click here for more information...

lboat034a.gif (1979 bytes)SA Maritime Net

The South African Maritime Mobile Net provides weather reports and maintains contact with sailing vessels from around the coast and high seas.
The net operates 7 days a week.

There are two regular schedule times as follows:

  • 06:30 UTC and 11:30 UTC on 14 316 kHz high seas net.
  • 06:35 UTC and 11:35 UTC on 7 120 kHz coastal net - the net lasts approximately 30 minutes .


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This page last modified: 25/11/2018