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SARL Today HF Update with ZS4BS Focus on VHF/UHF/Microwave Morse Code News with Mike ZS6MSW SARL Forum current topics Commercial Hamads
South African COVID-19 Corona Virus Resource Portal:


December 2020 - YOTA Month Activity - An activity for the youngsters during the month of December when several young peope from IARU member countries will be active on the air with YOTA as suffix in the callsigns.

From Tuesday, December 1 to Tuesday December 31, 2020 international YOTA stations will attempt to make many contacts worldwide with each other. This event is aimed at young people and is a golden opportunity for clubs to get youngsters who are interested in or want to find out more about Amateur Radio on the air.

The SARL has registered the callsign ZS9YOTA on the IARU R1 website as an educational callsign for use by clubs and individuals during this December.

To reserve a slot to make use of the ZS9YOTA callsign on a daily basis or for information please contact Noel ZR6DX via email at or alternatively to Nico, ZS6QL at

The Press Release provides additional links with the Booking Schedule available here and the rules here.

Looking forward to hearing our younger generation active on the air working local and DX during this month!

Radio ZS. The December Radio ZS is available for download, go to Publications on the left-hand menu and click on Radio ZS Download. 

The 2021 National Convention will take place over the weekend of 16 and 17 April 2021. Members are invited to submit motions for discussion at the 2021 AGM, to nominate their fellow Radio Amateurs for SARL Awards and Trophies and to nominate at least five radio amateurs to serve on Council for the next two years. The relevant documents are available on the AGM Documents page in the Members Only section. 


SARLNEWS in English with Dave Reece ZS1DFR  Listen/Download here

SARLNUUS in Afrikaans met Jan Kramer ZS6JRK  Luister/laai hier af

AMATEUR RADIO TODAY,  SARL's weekly actuality programme about Amateur Radio and technology hosted by  Hans van de roenendaal ZS6AKV    download or listen here  

Sundays at 08:00 UTC on repeaters around South Africa including 145,750  and 145,725 MHZ in Pretoria. On HF 7 082 kHz by Louis, ZS5LP

Sundays @19:00 on the 145.750 Tygerberg repeater, a rebroadcast by Andre, ZS1F

Amateur Radio Today on 80 metres on Mondays - On Mondays Amateur RadioToday is transmitted at 19:30 local time on 3 620 kHz by Andy, ZS6ADY.

Reception reports are invited. Please send your report to Please give details of the signal strength antenna and location. 

Text bulletins from 1 March 2020 to today can be found at


Join the SARL today and pay the half year rate. The Council has decided to institute the half year rate from Monday 30 November 2020. Ordinary members pay R250, Senior members pay R150, spouse members pay R90 and student members pay R60. Fill in the online membership application form on and do an EFT into the SARL bank account using your call sign as the reference.

TAKE NOTE: The SARL Newbie QSO Party has been moved from Saturday 21 November to Saturday 19 December 2020.

The SARL  Noise Floor Project - The presentation by Hans, ZS6AKV during the C7 - EMC meeting atthe Region 1 Virtual General Conference, can be seen here.

The #IARUMS Region 1 Newsletter October 2020 is now available. Click on and read it!

DECEMBER AMATEUR RADIO EXAMINATION (RAE) Saturday 5 December 2020 at 10:00 CAT (08:00 UTC) - The Registration process will close on Friday 6 November 2020 - NO LATE Registrations will be accepted! 

AMATEUR RADIO LICENCE RENEWAL – ICASA still operate the old system in parallel with the new online system.

Legacy System

If you licence was issued on the old system, you will receive an invoice. ICASA informed the SARL that the invoice will be mailed during the next few weeks. However with the huge postal backlog caused by the lockdown you may not receive it for some time.

You may pay it with out the invoice as follows:

2020/21 Amateur Radio License fee

1 year licence –  R 154.00.

2 year licence –  R 294.00

3 year licence –  R 422.00

4 year licence -  R 537.00

5 year licence – R 642.00

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 inconvenience 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 e-mail to and 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.  


"The ICASA license  renewal phase is very important for the new online system to work and for the protection of call signs issued to radio amateurs. The Authority extended the renewal date to 30 June 2020 and this is the process that they are busy with. The fact that a payment was made earlier in the year does not mean that the licence is renewed", Dewald Kuhrau told the SARL

The new online system puts control over the licence in the licensee`s hands. All amendments and/or renewals are done online by the licensee. For those radio amateurs who applied for their licences online the process is extremely easy. If you are not yet registered on the system then you need to register, create your legal entity, and then press the renewal button on the manage page. The system will then prompt you to indicate for how many years the licence must be renewed, and an invoice will be rendered after submission. Thereafter you can pay online through your manage portal or upload the proof of payment if payment is made through another method. Renewal for the following year will then be an easy exercise.

If this process is not followed, radio amateurs not only stand a chance to get the licence cancelled but more importantly lose their call signs. These call signs will then be available and assigned to other radio amateur which can cause much unhappiness.

To access the portal, go to

It is important to note that the above process is only for licences that were already issued on the new online system. Any licence issued on the Authority`s old legacy system should still be renewed by payment of the prescribed licence fees only.

ICASA indicated that it will start with the process to transfer the existing licences to the online system during the next year where after all renewals will be done on this system. Please note that any amendment to your licence such as change of call sign or change of address should from now on be done on the online system through a legacy amendment application and the licence will be transferred immediately to the new system.

Please do not call the SARL or any of the SARL officials as they cannot assist you.  They do not have access to your ICASA account. The system is identity driven. If you are experiencing any problems, send an email to

New Satellite Book now available - The new ARRL Amateur radio satellites for beginners is now available in South Africa. With the opening of e-commerce, Postnet is operating again and books can be sent to your nearest Postnet. You can make contacts through amateur radio satellites, and even with the International Space Station, using equipment you probably own right now! All it takes is the right information, which you will find in Amateur Radio Satellites for Beginners by Steve Ford

There are dozens of spacecraft in orbit just waiting for your signals, and more are being launched every year. This book is your guide to a whole new world of operating enjoyment.

Amateur Radio Satellites for Beginners will introduce you to new experiences that you may have thought were out of your reach. Start reading and discover how easy it can be! To order the book visit 115 pages plus index.

Report interference and unauthorised use of amateur frequencies - If your transmission or repeater is interfered with by an unlicensed person (s), note as much detail as possible and report the case for investigation to the ICASA  regional office in your area. By policing the amateur bands and reporting transgressions by non-licensed persons we protect the future of the amateur radio spectrum. Send a copy of your email to   to allow   the SARL to monitor how wide-spread the problem is.  For a  list of  ICASA Regional managers and contact details visit  or 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. Download while still available .

Guidelines for a non SARL member to use the SA-QSL system- Phone Kelley at NARC (011 675 2393) and check that your correct information is on the database – license number and e-mail address are important.

Click on SA-QSL system link (on the left-hand side of the web page) and then click on “Need to Register”. Follow the instructions on the screen. Your username and password will be e-mailed to you which you can use to logon in future.

SARL and not yet SARL Members are requested to check their Electronic QSLs on a regular basis.

2020 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 January 2020)

Display (cameo) on home page and Radio ZS Strip advertisement (10 cm by 2 columns) - R600 pm - R3 000 for 6 months - R5 000 per annum

Commercial Hamad on home page - R100 pm - R400 for 6 months - R900 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. A design service is available at R400 per advertisement.

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/1 - 28 November 2020 

Malawi, 7Q. (Surprise, Still There!) Vasily, R7AL, reports that two of the 7Q7RU team have tested positive for COVID-19 and now must stay in Malawi for at least another week while self-isolating. They are currently running simple wire antennas at their new QTH and hope to be active during the CQ WW DX CW Contest this weekend.

South Shetlands, HL_ssh. Lee, DS4NMJ is a member of the 34th overwintering team at the King Sejong Station on King George Island, South Shetlands (AN-010). The icebreaker "Araon" is expected to reach first the Jang Bogo Station in Terra Nova Bay (Antarctica) around 4 December and then King George Island by mid-January 2021. Lee will be QRV as DT8A through the end of the year. QSL via DS5TOS. The log will be uploaded to LoTW and Club Log.

Iraqi, YI. Giorgio, IU5HWS (previously active as YI/IU5HWS and YI9/IU5HWS) has received his licence and has been active as YI9WS since 25 November. He expects to remain in Iraq and be active in his spare time until around 20 January. QSL direct to Giorgio Toma, Via Settembrini 5, 57128 Livorno LI, Italy; the YI9WS log will be uploaded to LoTW.

Bulgaria, LZ2020. Look for special event station LZ2020XMAS from Sliven to be active between 1 December 2020 and 1 January 2021. QSL via LZ1VKI.

England, G. During the month of December, the Welland Valley Amateur Radio Society will be running special callsigns GB1XMS (from the shack of G1IVG), GB2XMS (from the shack of G4ISN), GB5XMS (from the shack of G4XEX) and GB9XMS (from the shack of G0SFJ) to celebrate Christmas and say farewell to 2020. QSL via eQSL and LoTW.

France, TM20/TM21. Members of the "Radio Cluub du Val D'Issole" (F8KGH) located in the south of France on the Côte d'Azur near the Mediterranean Sea, 28 kilometres north of the port of Toulon, will be active with the special call signs TM20XMAS and TM21HNY to celebrate the Christmas and New Year holidays. QSL Manager is F4GPB. Logs will be uploaded to eQSL,, LoTW, ClubLog and HRDLOG for only a digital QSL.

France, F. TM63SC ("Santa Claus") is a special call sign for Jean-Pierre, F8DZU to use between 30 November and 30 December to celebrate this year's Christmas Holiday Season. QSL via home call, direct or bureau.

Italy, I. II1DCC ("Drake & Collins Collectors") is the special call sign for a "vintage activity" to be conducted from 1 December 2020 until 31 December 2021. Marco, IK1RAE and other operators will use exclusively Drake and Collins pieces of equipment and will be active on the HF bands (30, 17 and 12 metres excluded) SSB, CW and maybe AM. QSL via the bureau to IK1RAE. A certificate will be available; see for information.

Portugal, CT. Valdemar, CT7AQD will be active as CQ750RSI throughout 2021 to commemorate the 750th anniversary of the birth of Elizabeth of Aragon (1271 - 1336), queen consort of Portugal and patron saint of the city of Coimbra. QSL via home call.

Spain, EA - Special callsign EF42C will be active from 28 November to 13 December to commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the promulgation of the Spanish Constitution of 1978, which marked the culmination of the transition of Spain to democracy. QSL via LoTW, eQSL, or direct to EB5R.


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 - Send your record claim to


Focus on VHF and Above 15 November 2020

Audio version

 It seems as if this week has been very quiet regarding VHF and above activities. 

Along the East Coast Phil, FR5DN was hoping for a contact with Dave ZS5DJ, but the conditions just did not allow it to happen.

Along the West Coast, the tropoducting stretched inland for some distance, but at the time of preparing this week’s Focus on VHF, I had not seem any reports of good long distance contacts up the West Coast. 

The VHF/UHF analogue contest has also been on the go from 12:00 UTC on Saturday afternoon. The Cape Radio Group ZS1CRG has set up a field station on Piketberg mountain where they are hoping to get a lot of contacts from St Helena all the way down to Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs. 

The Inland 46 Group was also on the air. Trying to make as many contacts as possible. Inland, VHF propagation seems to be more favourable late at night and in the early mornings. 

Jose PA4AQA also posted two images showing possible Sporadic E conditions between Africa and Brazil. 


I attended a HAMNET Gauteng training exercise that took place in the form of a Fox Hunt or Amateur Radio Direction Finding on Saturday morning. Being able to locate transmitters whether it is a Fox that has been hidden, or an ELB which is an emergency locator beacon of a downed aircraft or a missing hiker, or a rogue interferer causing problems on the amateur frequencies, is a skill all amateurs should master. You never know when you will need to use these skills. I thoroughly enjoyed the morning practising to locate the hidden transmitters and honing those skills again.

Apart from that it was a great morning spent outside with my fellow amateurs enjoying the hobby.


ARDF is a very popular radio sport in both Europe and the US. There is even an IARU ARDF Working Group and these guys are passionate about it.

For some reason ARDF has not been popular in South Africa for a while. Maybe it is time for the more senior amateurs, or the elmers as they like to call us, to teach the younger crowd how it is done. A great activity for a club afternoon and you do not even need anything fancy to hunt for a fox. Just a hand held radio, a hat and some sun block. Just a word of warning. The cheap Chinese radios like the Baofeng radios which are SDR based cannot be successfully used for a fox hunt. A hand held from the big three and some of the Chinese radios like Wouxun that have a proper RF front end will do the job. Once you have mastered some of the basic skills then you can maybe add a tape measure Yagi and an offset attenuator to your fox hunting toolbox.



I have seen that Charles ZS1CF has already proposed a date for the West Coast fox hunt again in early December. 

What other groups have a regular fox hunt? Let us know at 

The VHF Work Group are planning to replace the Bethlehem ZS0BET beacon’s radio and the Cape Town ZS1TWO beacon’s radio with Next Generation Beacon hardware. In parallel we are going ahead to complete a third Next Generation Beacon that will be deployed at a suitable site in the Karoo. 

We have been given the go ahead to find sponsors for the project and require in the region of R60 000.00 for the hardware for the project. We already have in the region of R26 500 available for the beacon project, thanks to the SARL, AMSAT SA, Brian ZS6YZ and Dennis ZS4BS. 

Donations can be made by EFT. The account is SARL, ABSA Account No  407 158 8849, Branch code 632 005. The reference must be Beacon and your call sign and surname. Please send a copy of the EFT to 

The RF modules have arrived on my workbench and I have already tested all of them to ensure that they are fully functional. I am still waiting to hear when we can place the order for the NGN beacon hardware. The availability of the VCO modules are currently a challenge. 

The new power supply for the Bethlehem Beacon will be sent to Rickus ZS4A early next week to replace the one that was mistreated by the lightning. 

That’s all for the week. Keep trying to make those long distance contacts on VHF and above and do let us know at when you make those contacts.

Also send us your beacon reports, or tell us about that interesting project that you have been working on. 

Focus on VHF and above is compiled, edited and presented for Amateur Radio Today by Brian Jacobs ZS6YZ.


I would like to request all RSA registered amateurs that do and are active using CW to e-mail me zs6msw@gmail.comThe plan is to collate a census of the CW growth in South Africa at our current state.  Once I have built a list of all active amateurs doing CW, I will e-mail it back to the editor for publication in Radio ZS. Then the amateurs can contact the ones they have NOT worked to encourage them to make a contact for their WAZS 100.

Four CW Contacts per Day Certificates

The ZS-CW group have started a new initiative to get more people active on CW on all bands, this will get you a certificate at the end of the year. Make four CW contacts per day and qualify for the following certificates: 200 to 250 days - Bronze certificate, 250 to 300 days - Silver Certificate and 300 plus days - Gold Certificate. Send proof of your contacts by Excel log submission to Mike, ZS6MSW ( or Andy, ZS6ADY (

SARL Forum Active Topics
DIY 12v Distribution Unit  04/12/2020  18:54:19
by: ZS1TE
Tedelex TE6000  01/12/2020  20:36:21
by: ZS1BO
Start of Cycle 25? 
 1  2  3  4  5
01/12/2020  11:42:13
by: ZS6P
Saamry geleentheid vir 'n pakkie  27/11/2020  16:54:42
by: ZS1IK
Big Gun 160m CW Station needed  26/11/2020  11:56:11
by: ZS6DEZ
Importing a radio from DX Engineering etc  26/11/2020  09:57:36
by: ZS6J
West Rand Amateur Radio Club Bootsale / Fleamarket  25/11/2020  13:37:51
by: ZS6JJK

Commercial Hamads 


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. 

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

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.

 Ernst du Plessis, ZR6BDZ


Sam's Radio 

visit our web here

Call us on 011 802 2976 


Conical Technologies

CDS Advert 


 Click here to visit website 

Advert - Kevtronics 

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Advert - Electronics FG 


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 .
Visit the official SAMMNet Website or their facebook page for more information.

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This page last modified: 1/10/2020