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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


Amateur Radio Today and SARL NEWS

Listen to  these programmes on line or download to retransmit on local nets, a SARL service to Radio Amateurs. Get the transmission schedule here .

Sunday 11 March 2018

SARLNUUS met Irene Jan Kramer ZS6JRK Luister hier

SARLNEWS with  Dave Reece ZS1DFR download/listen here 

AMATEUR RADIO TODAY with Hans van de Groenendaal ZS6AKV listen here or for more details click here 

Are you planning to visit one of our neighbouring countries and need information about amateur radio operation? Visit for more information.

National Convention Accomodation - It is important that SARL members book your accommodation for the weekend as soon as possible to avoid any disappointment. Farm Inn has various accommodation types available from Deluxe to Economy rooms at various rates. There is still ample accommodation available for the weekend and members are requested to mention that you are attending the SARL AGM when making your booking. Upon confirmation received this morning, it can be confirmed that there is still ample accommodation available over the weekend and members are urged to ensure you book your accommodation soon rather than later. Accommodation can be booked online at or by phone on +27 12 809 0266/77

There is also various alternative guesthouse accommodation available around the immediate vicinity of the Farm Inn which can be used as alternative accommodation should you wish not to stay at the Farm Inn, to name but a few - Casa Flora Guesthouse, The Links guesthouse, The Lakes Executive, Villa Africa, Peter’s Guesthouse If you are planning to bring your caravan, you can try the Nkwe Resort

SDR Workshop at NARC to address Antenna issues -The next SDR workshop  which was to  be held at the NARC on Saturday 5 May 2018

March/Maart 2018 Radio ZS - Now available to all! Click here to download a copy

  • The Bouvet 3Y0Z DXpedition in Cape Town
  • Ham Radio "A Special Hobby"
  • Bringing More Youth into our Hobby
  • Die Oos-Transvaal Laeveld (OTL);
  • Ultra-Light Portable Iambic Key (download this article)
  • Learn CW (Morse Code) as a language and
  • Cell Phone Headset Interface

IARUMS News February 2018 can be downloaded from Also visit

EQUINOX CRACKS IN EARTH'S MAGNETIC FIELD: The vernal equinox is less than 10 days away. That means one thing: Cracks are opening in Earth's magnetic field. Researchers have long known that during weeks around equinoxes fissures form in Earth's magnetosphere. Solar wind can pour through the gaps to fuel bright displays of Arctic lights. Even a gentle gust of solar wind can breach our planet's magnetic defenses.

This is called the "Russell-McPherron effect," named after the researchers who first explained it. The cracks are opened by the solar wind itself.  South-pointing magnetic fields inside the solar wind oppose Earth's north-pointing magnetic field. The two, N vs. S, partially cancel one another, weakening our planet's magnetic defenses. This cancellation can happen at any time of year, but it happens with greatest effect around the equinoxes. Indeed, a 75-year study shows that March is the most geo-magnetically active month of the year, followed closely by September-October--a direct result of "equinox cracks."

NASA and European spacecraft have been detecting these cracks for years. Small ones are about the size of California, and many are wider than the entire planet. While the cracks are open, magnetic fields on Earth are connected to those on the sun. Theoretically, it would be possible to pick a magnetic field line on terra firma and follow it all the way back to the solar surface. There's no danger to people on Earth, however, because our atmosphere protects us, intercepting the rain of particles. The afterglow of this shielding action is called the "aurora borealis."


DURBAN SDR Workshop well attended - over 30 delegates from across KZN attended the SDR workshop held in Durban on Saturday 3 March. It was hosted and arranged by the Highway Amateur Radio Club in cooperation with AMSATSA and the SARL. (Pic by Pravin Kumar ZS5LT)



Chris Burger ZS6EZ wins EE Publishers best technical article award - Chris Burger ZS6EZ , from the CSIR Meraka Institute won EngineerIT’s Best Technical Article Award for 2017 for their article “TV white space for South Africa” which was published in the October 2017 issue of EngineerIT. It was co-authored by and Dr. Moshe Masonta.

This article provides information on recent developments in policy formulation for TV whitespace wideband networks in South Africa as a solution for the ever-increasing demand for additional radio spectrum.

 2018 National Convention and AGMThe 2018 SARL AGM Booklet is available for download. Go to the Members Only section of the web site to get all the information.

TAK-tenna antenna information required - We are looking for any owners and users of the TAK-tenna antenna willing to share information and operational experience for a test project to be conducted at the Paardefontein National Test Range on the outskirts of Pretoria. Although there is a lot of construction information available on the internet, a commercial model is now available with limited information. The commercial version will be formally tested later in the year at the National Test Range. If you have any information to assist with the test project, please contact L.P. Lindeboom on 083 629 1767 or e-mail to

2018 ARRL HANDBOOK -  The Handbook has been extensively updated, and includes significant new content. Each chapter has been authored and edited by experts in the subject.

For the new ham…you will be amazed at how quickly you become familiar, not only with the theory, but also with the practical aspects of radio – from long waves to microwaves. 

For the experienced ham…you’re in for a surprise and delight when you see the extent of the latest revisions. This edition is the most comprehensive revision since the 2014 edition.“ For more  details click here. Only 5 copies available

Amateur Radio License fee increase

ICASA has informed the SARL that the licence fee will be increased by 5.3% on 1 April 2018. The new fees will be 

1 Year   -              R 141.00

2 Year   -              R 269.00

3 Year   -              R 386.00

4 Year   -              R 492.00

5 Year   -              R 588.00  

ICASA will start the invoicing process for the 2018/2019 period from 5 February 2018. 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.

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 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 callsign. 

2018 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. To place an advertisement in Radio ZS, contact Dennis, ZS4BS, at To advertise on the League web site, contact Hans, ZS6AKV at

Advertising Rates

Display (cameo) on home page and Radio ZS Strip advertisement (10 cm by 2 columns) - R500 pm - R2 500 for 6 months - R4 500 per annum

Commercial Hamad on home page - R60 pm - R300 for 6 months - R500 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 17 March 2018 

Get your weekly copy of HF Happenings 

Kosovo, Z60A. Z60A went QRT at 20.20 UTC on 12 March. This initial activation of DXCC's newest Entity totalled 98 450 QSOs with 30 541 individual call signs from 174 DXCC Entities. The delegates to a variety of support functions and radio operating represented 12 countries. "They worked well together in a real ham's spirit and assisted local Kosovar amateurs in many ways now that they will be on their own among the global amateur radio community". The operators were Z61DX, Z61FF, Z61VB, Z62FB, Z63DBB, DD2ML, DJ5IW, DL3DXX, DL5AXX, DL5CW, DM5TI, ES2RR, G3TXF, IK0FVC, K9JF, OG2M, OH0XX, OH2BH, OH1MA,OH3JR, OM3PC, OM5RW, PB2T, OZ1IKY, S50A, S51F, S57AW and VE7NY. A LoTW upload will be done soon and QSLs are at the printers next week.

Rebel DXers' Projects. Members of the Polish Rebel DX Group launch "an extended transoceanic project called Travel Cheap to Top DXCCs". They plan to "activate interesting and difficult-to-reach rare DXCC Entities in the coming years". Plans for 2018 include a DXpedition to Central Kiribati (T31) in May, followed first by Tokelau and Swains Island, and then by Bouvet Island (3Y0I). They "invite all interested amateurs to join our extraordinary project". See for further information.

Peru, OA. Special call sign OC4SP will be active on 23 and 24 March from the archaeological site of Pachacamac, Peru. Two stations will operate CW, SSB and various digital modes on 80 to 10 metres. QSL via OA4O.

Belize, V3. Victor, WB0TEV will be active again as V31VP from Blackman Eddy in central Belize between 22 and 27 March, including an entry in the CQ WPX SSB Contest. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, or via WB0TEV (direct or bureau).

Marshall Islands, V7. Nobu, JA0JHQ ( will be active from Majuro (OC-029), Marshall Islands between 22 and 25 March. He will collect his licence and callsign upon arrival. Main activity will be during the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest, with a focus on 20 metres FT8 outside the contest. QSL via JA0JHQ, bureau or direct, and LoTW.

Vanuatu, YJ. Chris, VK2YUS will be active again as YJ0CA from Efate (OC-035), Vanuatu approximately between 18 and 24 March. He will operate SSB on 40 and 20 metres during the local evenings. QSL direct to home call.

Vietnam, 3W. Yuri, RM0F (ex RA0FU) will be active as 3W9CI from the city of Hoi An (mainland Vietnam) and the Cham Islands (AS-162) between 18 and 27 March. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, LoTW or via home call (direct or bureau).

Croatia, 9A. Sergio, IZ3NXC will be active as 9A8NXC from Pag Island (EU-170) from 30 March to 2 April. He will operate SSB and digital modes on 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 metres. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, or via IK3GES.

Bahamas C6. Joe, W8GEX and Janet, W8CAA will be active holiday style as C6ADX and C6AYL from Exuma (NA-001), Bahamas on 19-26 March. They will operate SSB and digital modes on 40-6 metres. QSL direct to home calls

VHF+ UHF+ MICROWAVE NEWS by Mike Bosch ZS2FM 11 March 2018 


Tutorial 6 – Aircraft Scatter Propagation

It is known that an aircraft flying at a high altitude, when at the midpoint of two distant VHF stations, can reflect signals between each other over a distance of about 800 km for up to a minute or so. There are daily many trans-continental passenger planes flying to Europe over Africa or the return trip. Try and obtain a flight chart of these Trans-continental flights, and determine when the midpoint of any of these aircraft will occur between your station and a distant station you would like to work. Transmit or listen ten minutes or so before and up to ten minutes after the midpoint is reached.

A better idea is to get the distant station to run a beacon transmitter and this way you could monitor all the flights throughout the day and alert other stations of the beacon signals. The writer regularly tracked passenger planes leaving Port Elizabeth en-route to Johannesburg and monitored the ZS6JON beacon on 50,050 MHz CW at Krugersdorp. Whenever a plane crossed the midpoint somewhere near the Orange River, then a trace of the beacon signal would appear on the WSJT waterfall and on occasions also via audio. The distance between Krugersdorp and Port Elizabeth is 900 km. 

A number of Aircraft Scatter contacts have been made over the years in South Africa on SSB and FM on the VHF bands. 

Next week we will take a look at Satellite Communication.


Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, promoter of the ARTODAY radio programme, stated that Sentech, who broadcasts Sunday morning programmes to the African States in English, requests more technical and experimental data about amateur radio. This could open up a vast field in VHF experiments, which could be of great benefit for their southern neighbours in the RSA. 

Many of the radio amateurs in the African States own HF transceivers that are already equipped for operation on 50 MHz. In those countries with FM repeaters on 144 MHz amateurs will be able to operate on this band, but if the transceiver is not all-mode then you will have to acquire a SSB rig for future long distance experiments. 

The 50 MHz band, or Magic band, produces the strongest signals over the entire radio spectrum on most propagation modes. This means that 50 MHz could provide strong Sporadic-E contacts across Southern Africa and also via Meteor Scatter. While 144 MHz, the Tropo band, yields the longest distances across the oceans via Tropo Ducting, but is still the best on Tropo Enhancement and Tropo Scatter. The longest distances on 144 MHz of almost 5000 km was recorded across the Pacific Ocean, and 3245 km between Reunion Island and Port Elizabeth across the Indian Ocean. On 144 MHz you could record the longest distances via Tropo Ducting along the African coasts or even inland. 

UNLOCKING THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE – Long ago, about 400,000 years after the beginning of the Universe (the Big Bang), the Universe was dark. There were no stars or galaxies, and the Universe was filled primarily with neutral hydrogen gas. Then, for the next 50-100 million years, gravity slowly pulled the densest regions of gas together until ultimately the gas collapsed in some places to form the first stars.

Radio Astronomy

To find these fingerprints, Bowman's team used a ground-based instrument called a radio spectrometer, located at the Australia's national science agency (CSIRO) Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Western Australia. The signals detected by the radio spectrometer in this study came from primordial hydrogen gas that filled the young universe and existed between all the stars and galaxies. These signals hold a wealth of information that opens a new window on how early stars - and later, black holes, and galaxies - formed and evolved. 

Unexpected results 

The results of this experiment confirm the general theoretical expectations of when the first stars formed and the most basic properties of early stars. "What's happening in this period," says co-author Rogers of MIT's Haystack Observatory, "is that some of the radiation from the very first stars is starting to allow hydrogen to be seen. It's causing hydrogen to start absorbing the background radiation, so you start seeing it in silhouette, at particular radio frequencies. This is the first real signal that stars are starting to form, and starting to affect the medium around them. "Now that we know this signal exists," says Bowman, "we need to rapidly bring online new radio telescopes that will be able to mine the signal much more deeply."

CONTEST NEWS WITH ZS6C Updated 25 February 2018 

SARL Digital Contest: Aim: To establish as many contacts as possible between radio amateurs in Southern Africa using the FT8 / RTTY mode(s). The contest is open to all radio amateurs in Southern Africa. Date and Time: 14:00 UTC to 17:00 UTC on Sunday 25 February 2018. Bands: 80 metres (3 580 to 3 600 kHz), 40 metres (7 040 to 7 060 kHz), 20 metres (14 070 to 14 099 kHz): Modes: FT8 + RTTY. Contacts: A station may be contacted twice on each band once on RTTY, once on FT8. Exchange: RST report and your grid square (first 4 digits) e.g. KG33. (See Blue Book for more info)

ARRL Inter. DX Contest, SSB: Objectives: W/VE amateurs work as many DX stations in as many DXCC entities as possible on the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands.  DX stations work as many W/VE stations in as many of the 48 contiguous states and provinces as possible.  Date and Contest Period:  First full weekend in March (March 3-4, 2018). Contest Period: 0000 UTC Saturday through 2359 UTC Sunday. Contest Exchange: W/VE stations send signal report and state or province. DX stations send signal report and power (number or abbreviation indicating approximate transmitter output power).

UBA Spring Contest 2018: The UBA section of DST (Diest) invites all radio amateurs to take part in the 35th edition of the UBA SPRING-CONTEST. Contest dates: HF-80m CW: 4 March 2018 (07.00 -11.00 hour UTC). Foreign stations: Only contacts with ON stations are valid.

SARL Hamnet 40 m Simulated Emergency Contest: Aim: This SSB Contest is open to all Radio Amateurs in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mozambique, Lesotho, Marion Island and South African Antarctica. Only contacts with these areas will count. Date and Time: 12:00 to 14:00 UTC on Sunday 4 March 2018. Frequencies: It is a phone contest in the band segments 7 063 to 7 100 kHz and 7 130 to 7 200 kHz. Antennas: Antennas are limited to antennas with less than unity gain relative to a dipole. Stationary Mobile stations shall use antennas that rely solely on their vehicles for support and shall not exceed a height of 5 metres above ground. Portable station antennas may not be erected and installed before the day of the contest and no permanent manmade structure may be used to either house equipment or for antenna supports. See Blue Book for more info

RSGB Commonwealth Contest: It promotes contacts between stations in the UK&CD, Commonwealth and Mandated Territories. Objective: To achieve a good score by working as many stations and bonuses as possible. Date & Time: 10th - 11th March 2018 10:00 - 10:00 UTC. Frequencies and Power: CW only. 3.5, 7, 14, 21 and 28 MHz. On 3.5 MHz , DX contacts only may be made below 3510 kHz. On 14 MHz no operation is allowed above 14060 kHz. Only one signal may be transmitted at any one time.

SARL VHF/UHF Analogue Contest  (SSB/AM/FM/CW): Aim: The VHF/UHF contest is a test of operator ability and station design. To promote activity on the VHF/UHF and microwave bands. To encourage Amateurs to work greater distances than usual by operating portable/ field stations in favourable locations and by optimising equipment and operating techniques at both field and home stations. To provide opportunities for Amateurs to activate and work new grid squares. The Contest is open to all licensed Radio Amateurs in South Africa, Namibia (V5), Botswana (A2), Zimbabwe (Z2), Mozambique (C9), Lesotho (7P) and Swaziland (3DA). Only contacts with these states will count. The general rules covered in pages 4 – 9 of the SARL Contesting Manual (Blue Book) are to be followed. Dates and Times: 10:00 UTC Saturday 10 March to 10:00 UTC Sunday 11 March 2018. ( See Blue Book for more info)

BARTG HF RTTY CONTEST: A 48hr contest with the emphasis on accuracy. The BARTG HF RTTY contest is the longest running RTTY contest. The contest forms round two of the four contest series for the single operator championship. Period of Operation: The contest runs on the third full weekend of March from 0200z on Saturday until 0159z on the Monday. BANDS: 10m, 15m, 20m, 40m, & 80m. EXCHANGE: RST, MESSAGE NUMBER. The number must be a three or four figure number starting at 001 and incrementing by one per contact. TIME UTC. A full four figure UTC(GMT) time must be sent as part of the exchange. Example: G3XXX 599 156 1749.

CQ World-Wide WPX Contest: I. Objective: For amateurs world wide to contact as many amateurs and prefixes as possible during the contest period. SSB: March 24-25, 2018 Starts: 0000 UTC Saturday Ends: 2359 UTC Sunday Period of Operation: 48 hours. Single Operator stations may operate 36 of the 48 hours – off times must be a minimum of 60 minutes during which no QSO is logged. Multi-operator stations may operate the full 48 hours. Bands: Only the 1.8, 3.5, 7, 14, 21, and 28 MHz bands may be used. Observance of established band plans is strongly encouraged. EXCHANGE: RS(T) report plus a progressive contact serial number starting with 001 for the first contact.

Russian WW MultiMode Contest:  We invite all fans of all modes to take part in 5th RUS-WW-MM from 12.00 UTC on Saturday 31st March till 11:59 UTC on Sunday 1st April, 2018. Types of modulation: BPSK63, CW, RTTY45, SSB. The repeated contacts are permitted on different bands and different modes providing that a contact will be made not earlier than in 3 minutes. The output power should not exceed the resolved power according to the radio amateur license of the participant. The operator may change the bands no more than 10 times within calendar hour (with zero on 59-th minute of each hour). Only one transmitted signal is permitted at any time. Bands: 160 m, 80 m, 40 m, 20 m, 15 m, 10 m.


SARL Forum Active Topics
Import Tariff?  19/03/2018  14:31:14
by: ZS1V
WHAT TO DO WITH ANTIQUE RADIOS etc etc., ??  19/03/2018  13:03:30
by: ZS1ZC
My last 2 weeks in DX  19/03/2018  12:52:25
by: ZR6GR
Who is the Youngest & the Oldest in our hobby.???  19/03/2018  12:44:32
by: ZS1AU
Licence renewals - ICASA on the ball 
 1  2
19/03/2018  12:37:16
by: ZS3WL
The "Cub" FM/AM/SW Broadcast Receiver  19/03/2018  12:33:07
by: ZS5LT
AGM Motion 9 Spending of SARL Surplus funds 
 1  2
19/03/2018  09:00:16
by: ZS6LME
1296Mhz (23cm) Activity 
 1  2  3  4
18/03/2018  21:53:40
by: ZS6CBQ
DMR Club progess 
 1  2
18/03/2018  20:42:12
by: ZS5BG
Benefits of QRO  18/03/2018  19:39:06
by: ZS2AAR

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.


Light Engineering Works

General engineering, part remanufacturing  turning, milling, drilling.Specialised welding of steel, stainless steel, aluminium and cast iron.Gear repair and remanufacturing.Prototype industrial and automotive  parts and brackets made to specification,  Heavy duty antenna support and Mobile brackets including standoff brackets and antenna parts manufactured.Tower and tower part repairs also undertaken. Contact Willie Wright ZS6WC.0823351356.


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.

 Sydney N Smith, ZS1TMJ


RF Design


 Click here to go to the Kevtronics web 

Conical Technologies

CDS Advert 


 Click here to visit website 

Sam's Radio

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: 27/7/2017