NEW SARL COUNCIL - the newly elected Council of the SARL will take office on 30 July 2016 at the SGM. The new councillors are in callsign sequence and no indication of the votes received: ZS1AX Ettienne Vosloo, ZS1V Paul van Spronsen;ZS1YT Rassie Erasmus;ZS4BS Dennis Green, ZS6C Geoff Levey, ZS6GM Chris Turner, ZS6LME Louw Erasmus, ZS6QL Nico van Rensburg, ZS6YI Gary Immelman and ZS6ZSB Shane Bailey . Congratulations.
SGM - please advise the SARL if you are attending - The SARL Special General meeting with be held at the National Amateur Radio Centre on Saturday 30 July 2016 starting at 10 am. Registration will start at 8 am. Only the items on the SGM agenda published on the web will be discussed. The agenda is as follows: SGM administrative issues, update on the financial reports, the revised budget, appointment of an auditor, formal announcement of the new council, the ADF and a report on the Hall of Fame. No other matters can be discussed at an SGM. If you are attending please send an email to email@example.com to confirm your attendance, this will assist with the arrangements to accommodate everyone. The NARC has seating arrangements for 55 persons. Because of the short nature of the meeting no catering arrangements will be made. If you are not attending please give your proxy to someone who is attending
SARL NEWS 24 July 2016
Amateur Radio Today for 24 July is now available. The delay was due to a major power outage.
Afrikaans met Dawie Conradie ZR6DHC luister hier
English with Dennis Green ZS4BS Listen here
Amateur Radio Today with Hans van de Groenendaal ZS6AKV listen here or get more details here
Strongest solar flare of 2016 - Departing sunspot complex AR2565-AR2567 erupted on July 23rd, twice, producing two strong solar flares in quick succession. The first @ 0211 UT registered M5 on the Richter Scale of Flares. The second @ 0516 UT registered M7.6, making it the strongest flare of 2016 so far. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the flare's extreme ultraviolet flash:
YOTA-ISS CONTACT -In the Youngsters On The Air camp in Austria the first YOTA contact ever was made with the International Space Station. More than 100 young radio amateur from about 30 countries were attending this contact. 20 of the young Ham’s had the chance to talk to astronaut Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ. The contact was setup as a telebridge contact via VK4KHZ.
SA GROUP AT YOTA 2016
SARL HALL OF FAME NOW ON THE WEB - At the SARL Annual General meeting Awards Dinners the first inductees into the SARL Amateur Radio Hall of Fame were announced. A short article on each person is now available on www.sarl.org.za. click here
The SARL Amateur Radio Hall of Fame is on the agenda of the Special General Meeting. Tjerk Lammers ZS6P will explain the election process followed during the first round. He will also table a proposal to amend the rules to allow for another 10 persons to be inducted at the next AGM. If approved the nomination process will open for the 1917 round shortly after the SGM.
STRIKE ACTION AT ICASA - The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has informed SARL that its staff will embark on an industrial action from Monday, 04 July 2016 until further notice. The spokesperson said that ICASA would like to assure all stakeholders that operations will still continue and that they intend to resolve all staff issues on an expedited basis to ensure that business is back to normal as soon as possible. UPDATE: the strike is now entering its second week. Rumours have it that the strikers have abondoned their Union and are now negotiating directly with ICASA Management.
TIME RUNNING OUT FOR ZU LICENSEES OVER 25 TO UPGRADE TO CLASS A - With the publication of the new radio regulations last year, the much talked about age restriction for ZU license holders was implemented. The Authority has announced that all persons over 25 years old on 1 April 2017 can no longer renew their ZU licence. ICASA recommends that the affected persons enrol for a class A license course and write the next RAE in October 2016. That will be the last opportunity.
The revised regulation stipulates that persons under 20 years old can write the class B examination and if successful can hold a ZU or class B license until 25 years old after which, if they would like to continue with Amateur Radio, have to sit the class A examination to qualify for a class A (ZS/ZR license).
During the discussion stage of this new regulation the SARL was requested to approach ICASA to review their decision, which the SARL did on two occasions when ICASA invited comments on their proposal. ICASA strongly believes that the class B license prime purpose was to create opportunities for young people to enter Amateur Radio and based on that premises implemented the new regulation.
The SARL requested ICASA to allow a reasonable period for ZU licences over 25 to upgrade. ICASA agreed to this and set the final date as 31 March 2017.. If you are over 25 and still hold a ZU do not loose out. Write the October examination. Tutorial materials is available free of charge. Download here
SARL JOINS WRC19 DTPS WORKING GROUP - On invitation of the Department of Telecommunication and Postal services (DTPS) the SARL has joined the National Preparatory Working Group for WRC19. The first meeting was held on 9 June 2016 in Pretoria.The working group discussed all the WRC19 agenda items. The SARL will participate in discussions of agenda item 1.7 and 1.1.
Hans van de Groenendaal ZS6AKV will be the rapporteur for agenda item 1.1 which covers the consideration of an allocation of the frequency band 50-54 MHz to the amateur service in Region 1 in accordance with WRC15 Resolution 658. Resolution 658 invites ITU-R to study spectrum needs in Region 1 for the amateur service in the frequency band 50-54 MHz taking into account sharing between the amateur service and the mobile, fixed, radiolocation and broadcasting services in order to ensure protection of these services.
Agenda item 1.7 covers the study of the spectrum needs for telemetry, tracking and command in the space operation service for non-GSO satellites with short duration missions and to assess the suitability of existing allocations to the space operation service and if necessary to consider new allocations, in accordance with Resolution 659 [COM6/19] (WRC-15).The SARL will support ICASA who are the African leaders for this agneda item.
2016/2017 SARL Subscriptions - Invoices for the 2016/2017 will be emailed to members this week. Please pay your subscription as soon as possible. Please remember on EFTs and Bank deposits to include your name and callsign. To view the new rates click here.
SARL ANNUAL REPORT download here
The South African Radio League Hall of Fame -
the SARL Hall of fame recognises South African licenced radio amateurs who have contributed significantly to amateur radio. Its purpose is to recognise lasting contributions to the development of amateur radio and to preserve its history in South Africa. An initial group of inductees was inducted at the 2016 South African Radio League National Convention. The first inductees are Brian Austin, G0GSF (ex ZS6BKW), Mike Bosch, ZS2FM, Chris Burger, ZS6EZ, Iris Hayes, ZS2AA (SK), Gary Immelman, ZS6YI, Tjerk Lammers, ZS6P, Dave Larsen, ZS6DN (SK), John Streeter, ZS1W (SK) and Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV. Congratulations! (The picture insert:John Streeter who made the first ever radio contact between South Africa and The USA)
2016 ARRL Handbook is now available - The SA Amateur Radio Development Trust online bookstore has the 2016 ARRL Handbook in stock. Also amongst new arrivals is the McGraw Hill Arduino Projects for Amateur Radio. Visit www.amateurradio.org.za for details and an orderform
ICASA RULES ABOUT ZU LICENSES FOR PEOPLE OVER 25 - With the publication of the new radio regulations earlier this year, the much talked about age restriction for ZU license holders was implemented. Persons under 20 years old can write the class B examination and if successful can hold a ZU or class B license until 25 years old after which, if they would like to continue with Amateur Radio, have to sit the class A examination to qualify for a class A (ZS/ZR license).
HF UPDATE WITH ZS4BS (updated 24 JULY 2016)
Turkish amateur radio status. There has been conflicting reports over the state of amateur radio licenses in Turkey. Early reports indicated that the airwaves had gone silent after the Turkish President had revoked 3 213 amateur licenses along with those of more than 20 TV and radio broadcasters. Then it was reported that restrictions against radio and TV operations had not yet affected that nation's amateur licensees.
Tevfik, TA1HZ, reported to us in an e-mail on the 21st that, as of then, there was no curfew imposed on amateur radio in Turkey. The country is now under extraordinary circumstances law but the Communications Authority has not released any announcement about amateur radio restrictions.
Prepare for IOTA next weekend. The flagship RSGB HF event of the month is the IOTA Contest, which takes place for 24 hours over the weekend of 30 and 31 July.
The exchange is a signal report, a serial number and your IOTA reference. A full list of islands can be found at www.rsgbiota.org and details of the contest itself are at www.rsgbcc.org/hf/iotahelp.shtml. For those interested in finding out which islands are going to be activated by DXpeditions, a visit to NG3K's website at
www.ng3k.com/misc/iota2016.html will put you in the picture.
CQ WW DX Contest Triumvirate. Newly appointed CQ WW DX Contest Director Doug Zwiebel, KR2Q, has announced a restructuring of the contest committee's leadership as his first formal act. He is changing the director's position to a "triumvirate,” with Scott Robbins, W4PA, and Bob Naumann, W5OV as co-directors. "We will all share the various tasks of 'Director' and we all will provide backup or contingency coverage for each other for most, if not all, aspects of CQ WW Committee leadership", Doug stated in his 16 July announcement on the CQ WW DX Contest blog http://cqww.com/blog/.
International Tribunal Rules against China's Claims Regarding South China Sea Reefs. An international tribunal ruling discounting China's claims with respect to Scarborough Reef and the Spratlys could complicate efforts to mount another DXpedition to the rare and remote South China Sea DXCC entities. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has ruled in favour of the Philippines in a dispute with China over Scarborough Reef - also known as Scarborough Shoal. The last DXpedition to Scarborough was the 2007 BS7H operation. A 2016 DXpedition has been reported to be in the works.
China. BG5TLT, BG5TRH, BM9AAQ, BO2AB, BV2KI, BV2NT, BX2AB, BX4AF, JA1CTB, JA3EIZ, JG3DOR, JH3BDB, JH3GCN, JH3GVJ, JO3LVG and ZL1JAP will be active on 40 to 6 metres mainly SSB and CW as BW/home call from Kinmen Island (AS-102) from 29 July to 1 August. QSL via home calls. They will participate in the IOTA Contest as BO0KS (QSL via BV2NT, direct or bureau).
Wales. A team from Germany and Wales (DJ6OI, DJ8NK, DL9GFB, GW0ANA, GW1CUQ and MW0USK) will be active as GB5FI from Flat Holm Island (EU-124) from 28 July to 1 August. During the IOTA Contest, they will be using GW8K. QSL both call signs via GW0ANA.
Spitsbergen. Helge, LB5WB will be active as JW/LB5WB from Spitsbergen (EU-026) from 29 July to 1 August. QSL via home call (bureau preferred) and LoTW.
VHF+ UHF+ MICROWAVE NEWS by Mike Bosch ZS2FM 24 July 2016
# Link to SARL VHF, UHF & MICROWAVES DX TABLE Click here
VHF NEWS FROM DIVISION 3 – Kobus vd Merwe, ZS3PJY, reported from Kleinzee that he had great 2 metre QSO’s on 145,500 FM simplex on Tuesday night (19th) along the West Coast of South Africa. It covered Oranjemund V51LZ, Kleinzee ZS3JPY, Langebaan ZS1CF, Vredenburg ZS1HO for a hour and a half with good S9 signals on 2 metre FM. ZS1CF beamed at the Picketberg mountain with 10 element Yagi vertical polarized, they also tried the 145,625 MHz repeater on Picketberg but it did not even make a noise, again great back scatter playing a roll. V51PJ with 1000 Watts was on frequency, but was beaming to Oranjemund horizontal, and V51LZ received him but no one else could hear him. ZS3NC was asked to listen as well as Andre ZS3AG in Kimberly, who could hear only traces of audio. It was a small opening with great results again.
WHAT COULD WE EXPECT ON VHF IN THE COMING MONTHS – Warmer conditions will start to appear in the month of August. So what could we expect during the months ahead. Tropo Enhancement and Ducting should produce strong signals again for the next 8 months or longer over the frequency range of 50 MHz – 10 GHz. Although Meteor scatter on digital could be worked throughout the year on 50 – 432 MHz, analogue contacts are only possible during meteor showers from April to beginning of August, and again from October to beginning of January. The TEP season runs from September to November and February to April producing DX signals on 50 –144 MHz to Southern Europe. The Sporadic-E in the Southern Hemisphere peaks in December and January with very strong signals on 50 – 144 MHz up to 2500 km.
Then of course, we have year round propagation such as the following. Aircraft Scatter and Tropo Scatter that manifests on 50 MHz – 10 GHz, but Tropo Scatter requires a high gain antenna and higher power. EME DX could be worked daily on 50 MHz – 24 GHz, as long as the Moon is visible at both ends. Then local and DX Satellite contacts are possible from 144/432 MHz and even up to 2,4 GHz if suitable satellites are on the air. (Also see the colour propagation chart on the front cover of the September/October 2013 issue of RADIO ZS).
AIRCRAFT SCATTER TESTS ON 50 MHz – Ettienne Vosloo, ZS1AX, informed us about his new Aircraft Scatter experiments: “Christo ZR6AUI and I had some fun with Aircraft Scatter (AS) yesterday evening (a distance around 1200 km). We experimented with AS on 50,230 MHz Digital. I ran about 100 Watts and Christo about 80 Watts. It was a lot of fun and the word patience has got a new meaning. Thanks Christo, we will give it a try again. 73 Ettienne, ZS1AX, JF96ib.”
Ettienne at Cape Town and Pine ZS6OB in Pretoria established an Aircraft Scatter contact over a distance of 1290 km on 50 MHz Digital around midday on 17 January 2015, when there were a lot of aircraft flying between Cape Town and Pretoria, and the AS was probably enhanced by high altitude Tropo Ducting. The record distance of copying AS signals in the USA reached 1300 km!
ZS1TAF REPORTS FROM CAPE TOWN – “Nice group chat we had on 144,300 MHz SSB pn last Thursday (14th) with ZS1K, ZS1PDY, ZS1TAF, ZS1WWW, ZS1AX, ZS1ROD and ZS1ALJ.
“Patience has paid off! Sunday 17 July at 06:25 CAT, myself and ZS3VIC made contact on 144,300 MHz SSB, 5/1 RS report exchanged both ways over 253 km. Vic was monitoring the ZS1TWO beacon on 144,435 MHz CW. When the beacon signal came up to an S2, Vic called on !44,300 MHz. 73 de Mike ZS1TAF, Mobile & WhatsApp 076 278 5622.”
FSK441 METEOR SCATTER CONTACTS ON 50 MHz – “ Me ZR6AUI and Andre ZS2ACP worked 6 metre FSK441 on Wednesday 13 July at 06:00 CAT. Signals were 6 dB and rocks were not too scarce. Distance worked was 880 km. Contacts with V51PJ were also made on a regular basis at Rosh Pinah in the South of Namibia. The distance from ZS6 is approximately 1200 km. Come and join us every morning. 73 de Christo ZR6AUI.” Note: V51PJ’s 6m antenna is currently out of action due to a high SWR. But it will be sorted out this weekend with the help of ZS6OB.
THE MEERKAT RADIO TELESCOPES IN THE KAROO MADE HISTORY – It was reported from thr USA that a South African radio telescope has revealed hundreds of galaxies in a tiny corner of the Universe where only 70 had been seen before. The images, taken by MeerKAT telescope, are an indication of the detail the southern hemisphere's most powerful radio telescope may be able to provide when it is fully operational later this year. At present, 16 of MeerKAT's 64 dishes are scanning the skies. As well as its scientific goals, the project serves as a technological demonstration of South Africa's capability to host the Square Kilometre Array, a huge multiradio-telescope project to be built in Australia and South Africa comprising dozens of dishes. The SKA, intended to be operational by the 2020’s, will consist of around 3,000 dishes spread across a one square kilometre area and will allow astronomers to peer deeper into space than ever before. SKA says it will have a discovery potential 10,000 times that of the most advanced modern instruments and will explore black holes, supernovae, dark energy and look into the origins of the Universe.