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Today′s Events
October 21

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SARL Today HF Update with ZS4BS VHF/UHF News with Mike Bosch ZS2FM Contest News with Geoff ZS6C SARL Forum current topics Commercial Hamads


RTA CAPE TOWN - book now for the RTA in Cape Town on 1 November at the Cape Penisula University of Technology. Full details here. Learn about antenna modelling, find out how a magnetic loop antenna works, build a no-tears computer interface. See how telemetry is downloaded from Tshipsosat and much more. 



ATTEND THE SECOND ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL  AFRICA CUBESAT WORKSHOP IN CAPE TOWN - F'SATI invites radio amateurs and persons interested in satellites to attend the second International CubeSat workshop  at CPUT  Bellville Campus on  3 and 4 November. Registration is free. Get more details and a registration form here 


@X-FLARE: Solar activity increased sharply on Oct. 19th when huge sunspot AR2192 unleashed an X1-class solar flare.  The blast produced an HF radio blackout on the dayside of Earth and it likely hurled a CME into space. Check for pictures of the flare and more information about possible Earth-effects.


Afrikaans  English  

The 57th Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) and the 18th Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI) takes place over the weekend of 18 and 19 October. It is the largest Scouting event in the world, with close to a million Scouts participating across 160+ countries. JOTA-JOTI is the only event offering each individual Scout the experience that he or she really belongs to a worldwide Movement.

JOTA is the annual event in which Scouts and Guides all over the world make contacts with each other by means of amateur radio. Short-wave radio signals carry their voices to nearly every corner of the world. They then engage in live conversations with fellow Scouts or Guides across their country and around the world. JOTA is truly a Jamboree during which Scouting experiences are exchanged and ideas are shared.

The use of amateur-radio techniques offers an extra educational dimension for Scouts. Many grasp the opportunity to discover the world of wireless radio technology and electronics. Tens of thousands of volunteer amateur radio operators assist the Scouts over the JOTA weekend with their expertise, equipment and enthusiasm.

Similar to JOTA, JOTI connects Scouts using computers over the Internet. Using proven techniques like text chat or even more sophisticated ones with live video connections. Units can choose to take part by radio, via internet or both, whichever they prefer.


 IARU REGION 1 Conference

SARL President, Geoff Levey ZS6C, congratulating the newly elected IARU Region 1 President, Don Beattie.

The three South African Radio League delegates, Geoff Levey, ZS6C, Rassie Erasmus, ZS1YT, and Riaan Greeff, ZS4PR, who attended the IARU Region 1 General Conference in Albena, Bulgaria, reports that real progress was made at the meeting on a number of topics that are of key concern to radio amateurs. This came from getting people together over several days and facing them with the realities that we need to protect our spectrum as well as address the declining numbers of active Radio Amateurs. It was heartening to see the real progress made by Lisa Leenders, PA2LS, the Region 1 Youth Coordinator in this latter respect. 

The Conference reviewed the strategy of IARU Region 1, its finances and membership. Other matters reviewed includes the work of a number of permanent Committees, Working Groups and coordinators, including EMC, Political Relations, Emergency Communications, Youth, ARDF, Development of Amateur Radio in developing countries (STARS Working Group), Spectrum development and protection via ITU, CEPT and the World Radiocommunication Conferences (External Relations Committee), Intruder Watch, Space and High Speed Telegraphy. 

Of particular importance was the amendment of the Terms of Reference for the EMC and Political Relations Committees that now provides a clear requirement for Region 1 to lobby at political, governmental and business levels on matters of EMC and related legislation and standards. 

Conference also reviewed policy in the key spectrum areas of LF/HF and VHF/UHF/Microwave. Discussions extended over a range of areas, including band planning, contest, remote working and innovative developments in the areas of satellites and digital TV. The position on future World Communication Conferences was also discussed. 

Conference considered and made recommendations in the areas of trans-border QSL management, responsible QSLing, malicious QRM, Youth Initiatives, copyright and article reproduction and CW procedures. A full report of the proceedings of the final Plenary will be published in due course on the IARU Region 1 web site at 

The Region 1 Roy Stevens, G2BVN, Memorial Trophy was awarded to Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, for his meritorious service to amateur radio over many years. Gaston was the chairman of the Eurocom Working Group and then the chairman of the ARSPEX Working Group. Gaston, aged 87, has decided to step down as ARSPEX EG chairman. He received a standing ovation when the award was announced. 

A new Executive Committee was elected during the Final Plenary of the 23rd IARU Region 1 General Conference. 43 member societies were present at Conference with 17 member societies represented by proxy. The South African Radio League held the proxy of the Namibian Amateur Radio League. 

The Executive Committee for 2014 to 2017, who will start their term of office on 31 October 2014, are

President: Don Beattie, G3BJ

Vice President: Faisal Al-Ajmi, 9K2RR

Treasurer: Eva Thiemann, HB9FPM

Secretary: Dennis Green, ZS4BS


Thilo Kootz, DL9KCE

David Court, EI3IO

Oliver Tabakovski, Z32TO

Ivan Stauning, OZ7IS

Ranko Boca, 4O3A 

The 24th IARU Region 1 General Conference will be held in September 2017 in Wildbad Kreuth, near Munich, Germany, hosted by the DARC. Thanks to the RSGB for this summary report. The conference was plagued by server breakdown and poor internet connectivity particularly during the last few days of the conference hence the lack of coverage on the SARL web for the last two days of the conference. Once settled back, the SARL delegates will prepare a full briefing. Watch this space for details 

 Jamboree on the Air and CQ Hou Koers. These two events will be on the air over the

 weekend of 17, 18 and 19 October and hopefully you and your club have made contact with the local Scout Group, Guide Company or Voortrekker Commando and started the arrangements. If you are looking for a Scout Group near you, visit, for Girl Guide Companies, visit  and for the Voortrekkers, visit or contact Andries, ZS6VL, at Do something special for the youth of our country.  If you would like a special JOTA or CQ Hou Koers call sign, complete the ICASA application form, add a motivation and submit it via the South African Radio League

 @THE VK6RIO AMATEUR RADIO SCIENCE RESEARCH PROJECT – The recent Canadian Transatlantic VHF DX-pedition, VC1T, has once again focused the attention on the proposed VK6RIO chirp beacon project, currently being planned on 144,950 MHz across the Indian Ocean between Perth and Port Elizabeth. Read more here

@RTA KIT  2013 AND CD NOW AVAILABLE- Supplies of the RTA2013 SDR VFO kit and CD are now available for shipping. The kit and CD combo are available at R250 each including packaging and shipping. The CD alone is available at R70. Place your order now. The booking from is available here. There is a premium for non-members,


HF UPDATE WITH ZS4BS (updated 20 October 2014) 

3B8 & 3B9, Mauritius and Rodriguez Islands. Olof, G0CKV, will be active from both Mauritius (AF-049) and Rodrigues Islands (AF-017) starting mid-week through late November. His tentative schedule is as follows: 22 October to 12 November - Mauritius; call sign 3B8HA 16 to 22 November -

Rodrigues Island; call sign 3B9HA- Olof will use a basic setup (dipoles for 20/15/10 m) at Mauritius, operating mainly CW, but will be active in the CQ WW DX SSB Contest (25 and 26 October) as a Single-Op entry before he heads to Rodrigues Island. QSL via G0CKV, direct, LoTW or eQSL. On Rodrigues Island, he will take a different approach and use his K3 radio into SpiderBeam poles and beverages for the lower bands. Activity will be holiday style. He will return to Mauritius to be part of the 3B8MU team for the CQ WW DX CW Contest (29 and 30 November) in a Multi-Op entry. The 3B9MU operators mentioned are Olof, G0CKV, Kazu, JK3GAD, Seppo, OH1VR, Jorma, OH2KI andOlive, W6NV. 

3Y/B, Bouvet. The is reporting, "Last Wednesday (a well known op) received word from the Norwegian Polar Institute, that, 'It's a go for a one man DXpedition for 3 months, time frame half January 2016 through half April 2016 to Bouvet Island." Bouvet Island (AN-002) is ranked number 3 in the DX Magazine's 2013 Most Wanted Countries Survey (the results of the 2014 survey will not be known until January 2015). The last two operations from Bouvet took place - December 2007 - by Petrus, ZS6GCM, as 3Y0E and December 2000 - Chuck, N4BQW, as 3Y0C. Both operations were one man operations. The last large DXpedition that took place there was 3Y5X (December 1989). Stay Tuned For Updates!           

5R, Madagascar (5R8M Press Release #001). Mediterraneo DX Club reported on Friday 17 October [edited]: "In less than few days, 5R8M, Nosy Be Island (AF-057) the DXpedition organized by the Mediterraneo DX Club, in Madagascar from 21 October to 4 November, will be on air. Recently we have had new great arrivals and now our complete team, with so many well know and experienced guys, is the following - Antonio, IZ8CCW (Team Leader); Jean-Jacques, F5NKX; Gabriele, I2VGW (co Team Leader); Marco, IZ2GNQ; Francois, ON4LO; Michele, IK5ZUI; Eric, ON7RN; Mario, IK4MTK; Alain, F6ENO; Fabio, IK4QJF; Patrick, F2DX; Karl, OE3JAG; Michel, F5EOT; Ovidio, YO9XC; Henri, F1HRE, and Feri, YO5OED

The whole team is very motivated and so ready to work hard 24/24 hours each day to give the greatest number possible of DXers from all over the world the greatest number of possible new ones, bands/modes, with four stations (2 CW; 1 SSB and 1 RTTY) plus maybe a mixed station more and really daily time monitoring Six metre propagation. If, as all of us wish, the internet connection will allow it on our official Web-site, we'll keep in touch every day with the DX community and we'll update our log in real time. During our permanence on Nosy Be, we kindly ask you to send any question only to our  pilots IK7JTF (for Europe), N1DG (for USA) and IK0FTA for Six metres. 


African Tours (Update). As mentioned last week, Nick, G3RWF, is heading back to Southern Africa for a 5-week holiday starting in Lesotho and being active as 7P8NH between 11 and 14 December. Nick informs OPDX that this is "real holiday" with the entire family coming to Southern African between Christmas and the New Year. However, he will be there longer with his wife, Liz. Nick states [edited], "I shall be on the air from South Africa from about 18 December to 5 January as ZS1/G3RWF, and then from Namibia from about 6 to 13 January as V5/G3RWF. All CW only (taking my K2)." Listen for him on the higher bands on CW (no SSB). He "doesn't anticipate any 80 or 160 m (and not 6 m for those who always ask)." Nick also mentioned one other thing to OPDX that his 7P8 license is good for a year and he may well return there sometime not too far off. QSL via G3RWF.

VHF+ UHF+ MICROWAVE NEWS by Mike Bosch ZS2FM (19 October 2014) 


AMATEUR RADIO 100 YEARS AGO! – World War I began on 28 July 1914, and all amateur spark transmissions with its damped waves, using Morse Code, came to an end. In 1904 the first spark transmitting licence was issued to W. E. Dixon Bennett, (FO-A3V, ZS4F, ZS4W, ZS5EG) in Pretoria, and amateurs could choose their own call signs. During the war years Edwin Howard Armstrong invented the regenerative and super-regenerative receivers based on Lee de Forest’s triode tube. Many years later he developed the superheterodyne receiver as well as Frequency Modulation. His continuous wave oscillator formed the basis of all future transmitters. With amplitude modulated (AM) broadcasting looming on the horizon on long and medium waves when the war ended, governments began to realize the true value of the radio spectrum. There was no place for radio amateurs on the air anymore. Hiram Percy Maxim, president of the ARRL, made many trips to the US Congress to persuade them to reallocate some radio spectrum for amateurs, and they finally acceded to his request by granting all the useless wavelengths below 200 metres for amateur use. This is where radio amateurs made their greatest contribution to radio science by discovering F-layer DX propagation at night on 160 metres. John Samuel Streeter A4Z (FO-A1A, ZS1W) who in 1919 became the first licensed amateur in Cape Town, experimented with AM and made weekly musical broadcasts to the public. He also had the honour of working the first DX station, a US ham 1CMX at Fall River, Connecticut, on 36 metres. In 1922 he received his new call sign FO-A1A. The South African Radio Relay League (SARRL) was founded in 1925 and all S.A. amateurs were members. The FO series of call signs was changed four years later to the ZS series by the Government of the Union of South Africa. Those were the days! (Read more in “ The Dawn of Amateur Radio in South Africa” on the General Forum). 

WSPR DX ON 50 MHz – Johan Visagie, ZS6AF, at Nelspruit reported about experiments conducted with the digital mode, WSPR, on 50,293 MHz with Gideon Grobelar, ZS6GJG, at Phalaborwa about 180 km way, and that with a dipole. Gideon runs 20 Watts and Johan received him at –12 dB to –13 dB, but they cannot communicate with each other. Both of them heard KD4YDD over a distance of 13 800 km, as well as VA3XCD at 13 500 km during last week. 

EME NEWS BY JAN “PINE" PIENAAR ZS6OB – Moon conditions during the past 2 weeks have varied from good to challenging and sky temperatures went from very high reaching a maximum of 303,8 Kelvin on the 1st October to a low of 231 Kelvin on the 7th October. Sky temperature is currently on the increase again and today we have 415 Kelvin High sky temperature occur when the moon travels through sections of the sky where there is noise caused by terrestrial constellations and stars. Degradation is fair at –4,4 dB. Moonset today will occur at 06:32 UTC. Declination is at 17,7 degrees north of the equator. The Moon position will continue moving further north of the equator during the next week. Local operators active during the past 2 weeks were ZS6WAB, ZS6JON and ZS6OB There was activity from LU, CX, VK, ZL, Europe and State side. Conditions varied from only working the big guns to single antenna, low power stations. 

VHF IN GAUTENG – “After being away for 2 weekends in a row I am glad to say that I fill up more than a page in my logbook this weekend, a total of 27 contacts. Conditions were good this morning (12 Oct.) and most stations could work Jerry ZS6BTL with his 12 G2BCX antenna. Jan ZS6HA from Ermelo was on his post but QSB made contacts with Jan difficult. Thank you Theo ZS6TVB for activating SOTA ZS/GP-012 on Sunday afternoon and made use of 144,300 MHz USB to log stations in Gauteng. Please remember that VHF/UHF Meeting and Braai will be on 1st November at the Westrand Club House, everybody is welcome. So far it looks like we will have a good turn-up for the day. I am also pleased to report that the activity on 144,300 MHz is not just limited to week-ends, stations were active on the frequency just about every evening. Most of the stations I heard were from the Kempton Park and Johannesburg area. Come and join us next week-end from 06:00 to 08:00 CAT or give a call on 144,300 MHz when you have time. On Tuesday morning (14 Oct.) the ZS4N beacon (144,415 MHz) at Bloemfontein was 5/9 over distance of 371 km, and the ZS6WAB beacon (144,410 MHz) at Polokwane was also 5/9 over 300 km. 73 Carl ZS6CBQ”. 

NEWS FLASH! COMET PASSING MARS ON SUNDAY – A comet as hefty as a small mountain will pass mind-bogglingly close to Mars on Sunday, approaching within 140,006 kilometres at a speed of 202,767 km per hour.


CONTEST NEWS WITH ZS6C Updated 17 October 2014 

JARTS WW RTTY CONTEST 2014: Contest Period: 0000UTC Saturday, Oct. 18 thru 2400UTC Sunday, Oct.19 -  You can operate whole 48 hours. Bands: 3.5, 7, 14, 21, 28 MHz - MODE: Baudot only - Classes:          SOHP - Single Op, All Band, High Power (No Power Limit), SOLP - Single Op, All Band, Low Power (RF output is not greater than 100W), MO - Multi Op, All Band (permitted multi TX, No Power Limit) - There is no limitation to use any DX Cluster - Exchange: SOHP and SOLP : RST and Operator Age. 00 (zero zero) acceptable for YL and XYL.

MO  : RST and Callsign Holder's Age. If the Club Station :  RST and 99 - Cabrillo logs are required - The Cabrillo log should be attached as a file. The files must be named the participants callsign,  for example  JA1YCQ.cbr - Put the callsign in the "Subject:" line of the email,  for example  JA1YCQ  - Submit log to  - Deadline:            Logs must be received by October 31 2014 to qualify. 

Worked All Germany (WAG) Contest: Contest periods: 1500 UTC Saturday to 1459 UTC Sunday  18./19. October - Modes and bands: SSB, CW: 3,5 - 7 - 14 - 21 - 28 MHz - To reduce interference with the participants of JOTA, contest operation is not allowed in the following contest-free sections - 80m: CW - 3560 - 3800 kHz, SSB – 3650 – 3700 kHz - 40m: CW - 7040 - 7200 kHz, SSB – 7080 – 7140 kHz - 20m: CW - 14060 - 14350 kHz, SSB – 14100 – 14125 kHz and 14280 – 14350 kHz - 15m: SSB – 21350 – 21450 kHz - 10m: SSB – 28225 – 28400 kHz -  Categories: Single operator, CW, low power, Single operator, CW, high power, Single operator, mixed, low power, Single operator, mixed, high power, Single operator, mixed, QRP, Multi operator, SWL, single operator - Output power: QRP = up to 5 watts (hint), low power = up to 100 watts, high power = more than 100 watts. 

The 2014 CQ World-Wide DX Contest SSB: Starts 00:00:00 UTC Saturday 25 October ends 23:59:59 UTC Sunday 26 October - OBJECTIVE: For amateurs around the world to contact as many other amateurs in as many CQ zones and countries as possible - BANDS: Six bands only: 1.8, 3.5, 7, 14, 21 and 28 MHz. Observance of established band plans is strongly encouraged. CONTEST EXCHANGE: SSB: RS report plus CQ Zone number of the station location (e.g., 59 05). CW: RST report plus CQ Zone (e.g., 599 05) - All entries must be sent WITHIN FIVE (5) DAYS after the end of the contest: no later than 2359 UTC October 31, 2014 Resubmitting an entry after the deadline will result in it being considered as a late log. 

Ukrainian DX Contest: - Date & time: The 1st full weekend of November 1-2 of November - 12:00 UTC Saturday to 12:00 UTC Sunday - Bands: 1.8 - 28 MHz (excluding WARC bands) - Modes: CW, SSB - Contest exchange: For Ukrainian stations: RST(RS) + two letters (oblast abbreviation); For all other participants: RST(RS) + serial number starting from 001. List of ukrainian oblasts abbreviations: CH CN CR DN DO HA HE HM IF KI KO KR KV LU LV NI OD PO RI SL SU TE VI VO ZA ZH ZP - 

DARC 10-m-DIGITAL-Contest (Corona): Dates: the first complete weekend in November Sundays, from 1100 to 1700 UTC - Participants: All amateur radio stations and receiving stations (SWL) at home and abroad - Single Operator stations and Shortwave - Call: CQ TEST CORONA - Digits Exchange: RST + serial number from 001 

SARL Forum Active Topics
2014 November 1st - At SUNSET  21/10/2014  10:33:24
by: ZS6BNE
Packet Radio Software  21/10/2014  09:52:18
by: ZS6BNE
Interesting Thoughts  21/10/2014  09:31:07
by: ZS6BTY
5MHz Propogation Research Sub-Forum  21/10/2014  09:29:05
by: ZS6SGM
Letter from members  21/10/2014  08:55:48
by: ZS1QO
TX7G Marquesas Island  21/10/2014  06:06:58
by: V51B / ZS3AP
Configuring Repeaters on your Radio  21/10/2014  00:38:09
by: ZS5PL

Commercial Hamads 

Battery Clinic Midrand: Car batteries; truck batteries; alarm/gate motor batteries; Intelligent chargers & other accessories; new or ‘Re-new’ batteries. Discounts where possible for Ham Radio operators. Contact Nigel (ZR6NGB) 011 028 1146, Email: 

MEGE electrical control & automation
Mege electrical control & automation is in the business of designing and manufacturing of control panels for the industry. Installation of frequency drives, PLCs, mimic panels. Temperature controllers, thermocouples, RTDs, electric and gas ovens.  Gas detectors, hygrometers. Fire, heat and smoke detectors. Back-up generators. Solar panels, regulators. Earthing and lightning protection. Contact Eddie (ZS6DAY) at 082 330 3558, or 

Your first choice for power supplies, swr meters, antenna tuners, HF, VHF and UHF antennas as well as antenna analysers and much much more. Check it all out at here Remember that SARL members get FREE postage on most orders over R700,00. T's & C's apply.

Patsau Communications
We supply and repair HF/VHF/UHF Radios. Antennas, cabling and accessories also available. Please leave your details on our site. Click  here and we will contact you.


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

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.

 Stewart Moss, ZS6SGM


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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.
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lboat034a.gif (1979 bytes)SA Maritime Net
The South African Maritime Net operates 7 days a week, and provides weather reports from around the coast, and maintains contact with boats off the coast of South Africa and up into the Mozambique channel.  There are two regular schedule times as follows:
  • 06:30 UTC: Starts on 14316 kHz for 5-10 minutes, and then moves to 7,120 kHz.

  • 11:30 UTC:  Starts on 14316 kHz for approx. 30 mins and then moves down to 7,120 kHz.


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