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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


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 19 August 2018

SARLNUUS met John Keulder  ZS6BXLLuister/laai af

SARLNEWS  with Dennis Green ZS4BS listen/download 

AMATEUR RADIO TODAY with Hans van de Groenendaal ZS6AKV Download/Listen . More details about Today's programme here 

YOTA 2018 WAS A MIND-BLOWING EXPERIENCEYOTA2018 was a mind-blowing experience, these were the comments from the participants who represented 23 countries in Europe and Africa. It was the first time that the event was held on the African continent and the first time attended by a large group of young people from African countries. Scroll down for more pics

The other first for YOTA was the train the trainer theme. While the participants had fun, learned more about amateur radio and experienced great technology first hand, time was spent on how to take that experience to other young people in their own countries. The future of Amateur Radio is our youth, Nico van Rensburg ZS6QL, SARL President said. “I believe YOTA 2018 made a major contribution to foster that”, he said. “The SARL will not sit back, we will take hosting the YOTA 2018 experience to develop local YOTA events to immerse more of our youth into amateur radio and the great technology that will drive amateur radio forward.” (Photo left the African group attending YOTA2018. Scroll down for more YOTA photos)

A special word of thanks Lisa Leenders PA2LS, the IARU Region 1 Youth Working Group Chairman for choosing South Africa to host YOTA2018 and the trust she placed in us to present the event.  I would like extend a sincere thank you to the organising team, our members and sponsors for their generous contributions to deliver on our promise to make YOTA2018 the best YOTA ever. 

Finally, a word of thanks to every participant for your support and co-operation during the week, you were an awesome group of young people!

A hole in the Sun's atmosphere -  A ragged horseshoe-shaped hole in the sun's atmosphere is turning toward Earth, spewing a stream of high-speed solar wind toward our planet. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the structure earlier today:This is a "coronal hole," a region in the sun's atmosphere where magnetic fields open up and allow solar wind to escape.

Coronal holes are a primary form of space weather during solar minimum--that is, now. Studies show that coronal holes not only open more frequently, but also last longer when sunspots are absent. During the last solar minimum in 2007-2009, one coronal hole stayed open for 27 consecutive solar rotations. As the sun slowly turned on its axis, that hole fire-hosed Earth with a stream of solar wind almost once a month for nearly two years. For comparison, this coronal hole has only been around twice. It is a youngster.

The 2018 Southern African Lighthouse Award - The International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend takes place on 18 and 19 August with some 400 odd lighthouses active all over the world – Argentine 10; Australia 52; Canada 20; Cuba 10; Denmark 11; England 28; Germany 62; Namibia 2; the Netherlands 15; Scotland 19; South Africa 14; Sweden 14; USA 52; Wales 10; Switzerland 2.

The 2018 Southern African Lighthouse Award will be issued to radio amateurs/Clubs who make a QSO with 10 of the lighthouses listed below during the ILLW (18 and 19 August 2018) – a Namibian lighthouse MUST be one of the QSOs.

A listing containing the date, time (UTC), call sign and name of the lighthouse must be sent to The Award certificate will be available in PDF format and will be sent via e-mail.

 NA0001 - V51WW – Swakopmund Lighthouse; NA0003 - V51NAM - Pelican Point Lighthouse; ZA0004 - ZS5D - Cooper Lighthouse, Durban; ZA0005 - ZS1OAR - Danger Point Lighthouse, Gansbaai; ZA0006 -ZS1CT - Green Point Lighthouse, Cape Town; ZA0007 - ZS2BRC - Hood Point Lighthouse, East London; ZA0008 - ZS9V - Robben Island Lighthouse (IOTA AF-064, ZSFF-0322); ZA0010 - ZS1CRG – Cape Hangklip Lighthouse, Betty’s Bay; ZA0011 - ZS70BAK - L'Agulhas Lighthouse (ZSFF-0002); ZA0013 and 14 - ZS1EZ - Cape Point New and Old Lighthouse. Possible cancellation; ZA0015 - ZS1FRC - Slangkop Lighthouse, Kommetjie; ZA0018 - ZS5HAM - Green Point Lighthouse, Clansthal; ZA0022 - ZS2ABZ - Cape Recife Lighthouse, Port Elizabeth; ZA0023 - ZS2PE - Donkin Reserve Lighthouse, Port Elizabeth; ZA0029 - ZS3VDK - North Head Lighthouse, Saldanha Bay (ZSFF-0343) and ZA0031 - ZS3ZU - South Head Lighthouse, Saldanha Bay (ZSFF-0021)

YOTA 2018

YOTA2018 Building A BACARSAT



THE AUGUST RADIO ZS - The August issue of Radio ZS will be available for download from the League web site, on the left-hand side click on Publications – Radio ZS Download.  In this issue you can read about SA radio amateurs aiming to link up with scientists, WPT-EV - the end of shortwave and how the sunspot cycle is more intricate than previously thought. For the homebrewers we look at a compact multiband dipole, a VHF and UHF rhombic antenna design for SOTA/POTA, a CW QRP transceiver for the 20 m band and information about the 23 cm band. We also look at the radio equipment used in the cave rescue in Thailand and Roger Davis takes us down memory lane in the Museum Piece.

Linking with science Two South African amateur radio associations, the South African Radio League (SARL) and AMSAT SA, are planning to launch an umbrella association that will link up with scientists in various electronic and physics disciplines to enhance research opportunities. Read full article here 

The latest VHF, UHF and Microwave Record Table is available from the VHF SA Record page. Click here to get a copy. Compiled by Mike Bosch, ZS2FM (SK) and updated by Paul, ZS6NK - 27 July 2018. Updates to   

FOCUS ON VHF HAS A NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: Share your VHF activity and news with Focuson VHF and above. Brian Jacobs,ZS6YZ welcomes your input on Please send your news snippets and information about activities on VHF and Above to Send a photograph of your radio room, and antennas.

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. Total special package R960 including Postnet. Purchase supports YOTA2018. Get orderform here

AMSAT SA Space Symposium papers - A number of papers are now availble for download. View here 1080


5 MHz Allocation world-wide in PDF 60 Metre Allocations World-wide

UPDATE YOUR AMATEUR LIBRARY -  For the next two weeks the SAARDT Online Bookshop offers an additional 10% discount on ARRL Books. The SA Amateur Radio Development Trust is supporting YOTA 2018 and will use funds from book sales to sponsor SDR dongles for participants.  There is still one 2018 ARRL Hanbook in stock. Two 2017  ARRL Handbooks are available at only R600. Other books of interest are Satellite Handbook, ARRLAntenna Handbook (23rd ed), Basic  Antennas, Simple and Fun Antennas and Radio Science for the Amateur. Visit for the complete list and orderform or click here

Young South African Radio Amateurs invited to apply for YOTA 2018 - South Africa will host 80 young Radio Amateurs from 34 countries in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East, for a week-long international event from 8 – 15 August 2018. This is the first time that YOTA (Youngsters–on–the–Air Summer Event) is presented in South Africa and hosted by the South African Radio League (SARL).  

Applications are now invited for the South African Team and anyone aged between 16 and 25 is invited to apply for selection as a team member and participate in this amazing amateur radio event.

“This annual event creates, in addition to amateur radio, the opportunity to learn about different nationalities and cultures, foster international friendships and goodwill as well as learning new radio communication and technical skills”, says SARL president, Nico van Rensburg. YOTA brings together young radio amateurs under the age of 26 who have a passion for amateur radio and technology to learn new skills, discuss and share ideas about amateur radio and its future. This year’s camp will not just focus on teaching individual skills but look at empowering the group to become mentors and transfer the skills they have learned. 

The week long programme includes building a radio transceiver kit, becoming involved in launching and tracking of a high altitude balloon with various radio equipment on-board, hone their communication skills using multi frequency amateur radio stations and other technology and communications based activities. 

To be considered for selection in the South African team visit,   complete the online application in full and submit before 30 May 2018. The SARL YOTA Team Selection Committee will notify successful applicants by 17 June 2018. Full details about the 2018 event can be found on For additional information contact the team at 

Radio Amateurs and companies can become involved in YOTA 2018 by financially contributing. For banking and PayPal details visit Support the future of amateur radio.

ARRL HANDBOOK -   only 2 copies of the 2017 edition are available. The 2018 is no longer available. For details visit

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 - 18 August 2018 

Get your weekly copy of HF Happenings at 

4U1UN. "We're one step closer to being back on the air", James Sarte, K2QI (President of the United Nations ARC, posted to Facebook on 16 August. "As some may know, Dmitri Zhikharev RA9USU along with Adrian Ciuperca KO8SCA have been working with me behind the scenes to get the station operational again. Through the generous donations of Dima and his associates (notably Ed Kritsky NT2X), we were able to get a rack mounted K3, Acom 2000 linear amplifier and associated network-enabled control hardware. We were also granted another K3 to act as a remote head from SK Tony N2UN via his widow and delivered to us by Andrew Bodony K2LE. Finally, Adrian has been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes networking and legwork with his counterparts to help get things done from within the United Nations.

Yesterday represents an additional milestone for the club as Adrian (who did most of the work) and I, finally erected a brand new SteppIR BigIR vertical antenna on the Secretariat's roof. All that remains is to connect and lay the ground radials, fine-tune the rack mounted devices and setup and configure the remote K3. Once done and after almost a decade off-air, we can finally call CQ 20 de 4U1UN".

"With regards to remote", K2QI explained in late July to DX World (see, "the operators will still be inside the UN proper. Just now, everything will be done by IP where the control heads are located on the first floor and the transceiver on the 41st floor to minimize coax length to the antennas. There will be no true remote operations of the station from outside the compound as dictated by current UN network security protocols".

Czech Republic, OK and Slovak Republic, OM. OL100CSR from the Czech Republic and OM100CSR from the Slovak Republic are two special event callsigns commemorating the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic (CSR) until 31 October. The activity is organized jointly by the Czech Radio Club and the Slovak Amateur Radio Association. QSL OL100CSR via LoTW and Club Log's OQRS; traditional cards via the bureau or direct to OK1MP; QSL OM100CSR via Club Log's OQRS or via OM2FY. See for the award available for working these stations.

Netherlands, PA. PF36CAVENTE will be active from a large youth camp in Vaassen between 21 and 25 August. Operators are PA1DV, PD0WR, PA7HPH, PA5TS, PA5VK, and PA3HS. Cavente is the organisation responsible for the large camp visited by kids between 4 and 12 years of age. They will be active on 40, 20, 15, 10, and 2m on FM, PSK, and RTTY. QSL via bureau or direct to PA7HPH.

Austria, OE. OE18BALLON, operated by members of the Austrian club ADL031, will be active between 18 and 25 August around the 23rd FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championship. . The special station will be active on HF, 6 and 2 m and 70 cm. QSL via the bureau or direct to OE3RNS. There are two South Africans participating in the Championships – one from the Free State and the other from Kwazulu-Natal.

Easter Island, CE0Y. Otis, NP4G will be active holiday style as CE0Y/NP4G from Easter Island (SA-001) between 26 and 29 August. He will operate CW and FT8 on 40 to 10 metres. Announced "Fox & Hound" FT8 frequencies are: 7 056, 10 131, 14 090, 18 095, 21 091, 24 911 and 28 091 kHz. QSL via LoTW.



Focus on VHF and Above 19 August 2018

Audio version here 

In today’s tutorial we will be talking about beacons and activity on VHF and above. 

There are beacons running in the Southern parts of Africa, but they are all over the VHF spectrum, so for a beginner or someone who wants to monitor beacons this is now a difficult problem. Could this be a reason for the lower activity on the VHF spectrum? 

When we go back many moons ago, we can remember when Hal Lund, ZS6WB was lobbying for a single frequency beacon on each band. He also mentioned that time synchronizing was needed as well, otherwise we do not know who is who. 

A new system was adopted by the IARU Region 1 meeting held in South Africa a few years ago. This accepted a total new standard for beacons to be utilized all over Region 1. Looking at the concept it is a very well thought through concept, but we as hams know the money is always a major factor implementing something. 

Yes, with the latest explosion in technology it is now easier to assemble a beacon that can accommodate this new standard but, who is paying for this? We come back to the money issue as only a few hams actually operate beacons in Africa. With WSPR a lot of HF beacons suddenly went up to create more RF, and we can see the results. Unfortunately, WSPR is not a good idea for VHF and above because we talk about absolutely frequency accuracy on both the transmit and receive side, and most hams don't have very accurate radios on the VHF and above bands. 

What is the purpose of a beacon, and let's also look at a beacon antenna. 

Most beacons operate with a gain antenna. Yes, we need gain to reach somewhere, but we loose the reason for a beacon in the first place. 

What is the purpose of a beacon pointing North or South when there are also propagation conditions in the bigger part of the 360 degree circle. A beacon has to be omnidirectional in radiation pattern. Now all will think that a vertical antenna with gain will solve this issue. It is a start but, the best propagation over long distances is horizontally polarized because one of the reasons is that all man made noise is mostly vertically polarized, unless you stay right next to a noise generator. 

The IARU Region 1 Beacon Policy states that the new generation beacons all operate on the same frequency portion. This means you register your beacon and a specific time slot on a specific frequency in that portion of the band will be allocated to that specific beacon. 

We are talking money again because now GPS and very stable transmit units are involved. 

We in Southern Africa are slowly moving in that direction and first we need to decide where are we going to operate our beacons until we gradually change over to the new technology. 

This is going to be challenging as some would have to provide funding, others building the beacons and others running it from their QTH 24/7. 

Team work needed 

So teamwork is needed. We can ask for funding and expertise from the SARL and members for such a project. Remember this was a discussion long before IARU Region 1 finalized the beacon project in the meeting at Sun City and this is not something new that we are putting on the table right now. We need to get things finalized and get direction. 

Back to the antenna design. We need horizontal polarization, and we need omni directionality to successfully study propagation across Southern Africa.

We need a system that operates on a PC, Laptop or Raspberry PI to monitor for these beacons 24/7 and get this to a server where the people with the experience can actually analyse this propagation information that has been gathered. 

Firstly, do we need to start with an elaborate GPS timed system? No, we need to get RF into the air first.

CW is the standard protocol for beacons since beacons started. Most of the beacons, actually all of them are operating CW, so we have a start already.

Where are we going to operate them in the spectrum? Well someone decided that all analogue beacons move up to the top of the spectrum because the new generation beacons are going to occupy the bottom or pre historic CW Beacon portion. 

Band Openings

Here is some information for those not familiar with propagation and openings on the VHF and above bands. 

When a band opens up, it starts from the lowest frequency and slowly or quickly moves up in the band.

Where does it put beacons now that are all high up in the band because they are still CW only or maybe a digital FT8 beacon. Yes, correct, the beacons mean nothing for band opening conditions. 

Locally if Sporadic E or Tropo conditions do appear then of course the band is wide open and the Maximum Usable Frequency locally suddenly rises because of the e-Cloud above us or whatever happened. This normally happens very fast and these openings are also not very often, but they do happen with absolutely no warning. If we monitored the beacons we would have picked up the opening immediately. 

Coming back to the immediate issue. Beacons are all over the bands. Some or most don't even know where to listen for a beacon because there is a beacon list on the SARL web page, but in case of an opening who goes to the beacon list first to see where does he listen for an opening. Most are at work and most don't even listen anyway and when the opening is over everyone is suddenly active and hoping for another opening while the radios are switched on. 

So back to beacons again. We need to get them organized, Pieter, V51PJ’s suggestion is CW and all in a specific portion of the band. If the same frequency is used, then so much better because if you hear a beacon or beacons then at least you know there is a band opening in Southern Africa and will start calling on the specific USB or FM frequency. At least everyone will then be monitoring for a beacon as well as the FM and SSB calling frequency. There are only three frequencies you have to actually scan on your radio so no list of beacon frequencies will be required.

The existing beacons running on other portions of the spectrum can all be changed to operate on this single frequency and maybe the original frequency too. The same antenna will be able to occupy both frequencies. All that is needed is a radio that can transmit on channel 1 and then channel 2 and then back to channel 1 and this is the sequence. Sequencers can be easily built, and we used to call them flip-flops in the pre IC era. Suddenly cost is not an issue any more.

We can decide to either operate dual frequency depending on the radio used or changing and adding a second radio or a second channel. With this idea I think we can definitely contribute to the propagation study because now you also only have to monitor one frequency. 

What we need next is software with time stamping that actually monitors the frequency using the sound card input. These files can then be saved in one hour recordings. We will leave this for the programmers amongst us. Again we ask for them to help us in this project.

If you have picked up a beacon or beacons with either Meteor Scatter pings or bursts and Tropo Scatter or Ducting then only those files need to be sent to a server of some kind. If a Sporadic E opening does occur at least we will have the actual data with the correct time stamps to know where and where to these openings occurred. Accurate timing may help us in working out what conditions are required to create the opening. Now if we can also send a decoded call sign immediately to the DX clusters worldwide we can immediately get the Maximum Usable Frequency information from these sites that will help us call on the other bands too. If for example the Maximum Usable Frequency is 94 MHz we will be able to listen on 4m as well and if it goes higher, then 2m may also be possible.

We saw in Europe this summer where the Maximum Usable Frequency went up to almost 200 MHz and even 23cm records were broken. 

The biggest success story of a beacon project can be seen in the latest success of the D4C beacon project. A 2m beacon with only 14 W output into an omni-directional horizontally polarised antenna heard over a distance of 4800 km. 

I used to have CW beacon monitoring software but I lost it due to a hard drive failure. With this I could time stamp CW beacons heard at my QTH and a lot of beacons were logged at the time.


CW or FT8 or the suggested PI4 digital mode can be used for beacons. The main thing here is to standardize and get a system in place for Southern Africa. We want to generate interest further up in Africa, and we need to decide on something that will be easy for them to use as well as cost effective and simple. 

Pieter’s suggestion is a single frequency at the bottom of each band for a universal CW beacon, and we already have our standard calling frequencies. The existing beacons can add a channel or stay as it is. We just need a single frequency to monitor for openings locally down South of the Equator. 

This information was provided by Pieter Jacobs, V51PJ, and sent to me via Winlink 2000 which we have discussed in the past. Pieter lives on a farm in Southern Namibia and does not have the luxury of a stable Internet.

Let us now look at some news about VHF and Above bands... 

Pieter, V51PJ reports that his 2m system is up and running again. Wind vibration causes the nuts and bolts to loosen even though they were tightly fastened. Everything that flashed over has been replaced and repaired and the antennas have been retuned with no change in the SWR when the power is increased. 

Everyone has most probably read about the new Region 1, 2m Tropo record setup by D4Z on Sunday 5 August 2018 when Mark Turner EL3KD and D4Z made contact on CW over a distance of 4800 km.

EL3KD used an 11 element F9FT antenna, 7 m above ground with a receiver pre-amplifier and 400 W transmit power.

The D4Z Beacon Antenna is 3 horizontal dipoles spaced around a mast to give an omnidirectional pattern and 100 W transmit power. 

What is amazing is that the beacon of D4C running at 14 W on this same antenna array was heard over this distance of 4800 km. The success of the D4C Beacon network is because of team spirit and the fact that VHF is still an unexplored spectrum for radio amateurs and that all share the same passion called VHF and above.

Because we do not know where the signals will pop out we need to keep monitoring and also be active on the spectrum as well. 

Yes, cold weather does have a massive impact on VHF and above activity. Not because of propagation conditions but because a hot bed is much more comfortable than a cold shack. 

With September or should we say Spring around the corner we must keep an eye out for 6m and above activity towards Europe as the TEP or Trans Equatorial Propagation Season is in the air. Keep an ear out for those very faint call signs in the background of the Italian wall of noise. Those are the ones that are TEP with enhanced Sporadic E propagation that do give you that extra boost reaching up to the Scandinavian countries.

Do not forget to also monitor 4m and 2m during TEP season. You don't know what can happen. Do not forgot to log onto the ON4KST web page to see and announce if you hear something or want to call in a Northerly direction towards Europe. Also remember that the US and Japanese openings occur in an Easterly direction and South American openings towards the West. 

The second leg of the SARL VHF/UHF Competition is also around the corner. Hopefully we may experience an active E-Cloud above South Africa that may provide very interesting contacts on VHF and above around Africa. or lots of Tropo ducting and Meteor Scatter activity. 

Let us not forget the dream to get VHF activity going in our neighbouring countries and further north to the Equator.

When talking to a ham in Africa on HF please share that we want to get VHF activity boosted in Africa and tell them about the various types of propagation such as Meteor Scatter, Tropo Ducting, Tropo Scatter, Aircraft Scatter, Lightning Scatter, etc.

If you are yourself not familiar with the various modes possible on VHF and above please contact any VHF operating radio amateur on the SARL Forum and let’s discuss it or arrange skeds. 

Do not forget to also try FM 2m Rigs on Digital modes. You might be surprised at what you may achieve during a sked. 

Pieter says, as the sun is rising earlier I am available for skeds as well on 6m, 4m, 2m and 70cm. 23cm is still in budgeting phase. The linear is here but a good transverter and antenna is still in the pipeline. Contact me at for any skeds. Don’t forget the //WL2K at the start of the subject line of the email. During the daytime I am available on 7.090 MHz monitoring for SOTA/POTA/RADAR/QRP activities and my grid square is JG82ie for those who also want to activate a GRID for the Worked All V5 Grid Square Award. There is also a very special grid added to this Award. Please visit the NARL website for further info. Will it not be nice to do it all on VHF instead of HF? 

Conditions along the coasts will return to normal again once the cold fronts have passed, but we do need the rain too.

Well that is all the VHF and Above news for this week.

 Thank you again Pieter, V51PJ for all your contributions to Focus on VHF and Above.

Please send your news snippets and information about activities on VHF and Above including information for the tutorial to 


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

CONTEST NEWS WITH ZS6C Updated 30 July 2018 

 SARL HF Phone, Digital and CW Contests: The aim of the HF Contests is for participants to contact as many amateurs in Southern Africa as possible on the 20, 40 and 80 m amateur bands. Dates: SSB - 14:00 to 17:00 UTC on Sunday 5 August 2018, Digital - 14:00 to 17:00 UTC on Sunday 19 August 2018, CW - 14:00 to 17:00 UTC on Sunday 26 August 2018. Exchange: RS(T) and a consecutive serial number starting at 001. Log Sheets: Submit logs in ADIF, Cabrillo or MS Excel format and labelled “your call sign HF Phone or HF Digital or HF CW,” by 12 August 2018 (Phone), 26 August 2018 (Digital) and 2 September 2018 (CW) by e-mail to See Blue book for more info.

WAE DX Contest: CW: August, second full weekend Saturday, August 11, 2018, 0000 UTC until Sunday, August 12, 2018, 2359 UTC, SSB: September, second full weekend Saturday, September 8, 2018, 0000 UTC until Sunday, September 9, 2018, 2359 UTC. Bands: 3.5 - 7 - 14 - 21 - 28 MHz.  Exchange: A contest QSO can only be conducted between a European and a non-European station. The exchange consists of RS/RST and a progressive serial number starting with 001.

SARTG WW RTTY Contest: Date: Third full weekend in August 18 - 19 August 2018. Time: Three (3) separate periods: 0000 - 0800 UTC Saturday, 1600 - 2400 UTC Saturday, 0800 - 1600 UTC Sunday. Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 m. Exchange: RST + QSO number, starting with 001.

SCC RTTY CHAMPIONSHIP: 1. OBJECTIVE: For amateur radio stations around the world to contact as many other amateur radio stations as possible on HF bands using RTTY Baudot mode. Date: 12.00 UTC Saturday to 11.59 UTC Sunday (24 hours); in 2017 (26 - 27 August). BANDS: All amateur bands from 3.5 through 28 MHz, except WARC bands (80/40/20/15/10m). EXCHANGE: RST report and four-digit number of the year of operator's first ever official amateur radio licence irrespective from which station operation takes place or which Call Sign is used in the contest. All submitted logs in Cabrillo format must be uploaded from the Log Submission page no later than 48 hours after the contest (Tuesday 11.59 UTC).

Russian "RADIO" WW RTTY Contest: Start: September 1, 00:00 UTC -  September 1,  23:59 UTC Freq: 80 m, 40 m, 20 m, 15 m, 10 m. Exchange: Russian participants consists of RST and two-letter symbol region (Russian Federation), Foreign participants is RST and the WAZ zone.

ALL ASIAN DX CONTEST: CONTEST PERIOD: Phone: From 00:00 UTC the first Saturday of Sept. to 24:00 UTC the next day (Sept. 1-2, 2018) BANDS: 160m(CW only), 80m, 40m, 20m, 15m, 10m. EXCHANGE:  For OM stations: RS(T) report plus operators' age, For YL stations: RS(T) report plus operators' age, but if the operator does not want to send her age, RS(T) report plus "00" (zero zero) can be sent.

SARL National Field Day: Aim- To work as many stations as possible on all the HF amateur bands (excluding the 60, 30, 17 and 12 m bands). In doing so, to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions. Date and Times: 10:00 UTC on Saturday 8 September to 10:00 UTC on Sunday 9 September 2018. Frequencies and Modes: HF amateur bands, excluding the WARC bands. Phone, CW and Digital (PSK, FT8 and RTTY), Phone, CW and Digital modes on a band are considered as separate bands, A station may be worked only once per band under this rule. Exchange: The number of transmitters, the Field Day operating class and the Provincial abbreviation. The sending of a RS or RST is optional – it has nothing to do with the scoring. Logs in ADIF, Cabrillo or MS Excel format with a summary sheet labelled “your call sign NFD,” shall be sent by e-mail to  .The closing date for log submissions is 18 February 2018 and 9 September 2018. See Blue Book for details

SARL VHF/UHF Digital Contest: Aim - The VHF/UHF Digital contest is a test of operator ability and station design. To promote Digital activity on the VHF/UHF and microwave bands. Dates and Times: 10:00 UTC Saturday 15 September to 10:00 UTC Sunday 16 September 2018. Exchange: Contacts must be two-way point to point. Stations shall exchange signal reports as well as their location e.g. (latitude and longitude or full six-digit Maidenhead locator or accurate area/address/location). Log sheets shall be submitted by 8 October 2018 by e-mail to See Blue Book for details

Africa All Mode International DX Contest: Aim - The objective of this all mode contest is to stimulate contesting from Africa. All participating stations worldwide may work any country during the contest period. African DXCC entities are defined as those valid per the ARRL DXCC AF listing published at the time of the contest. Date: 12:00 UTC on Saturday 15 September to 12:00 UTC on Sunday 16 September 2018. Both single and multi-operator stations may operate for the entire 24-hour period. Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 metres, in accordance with your country and specific licensing requirements governing the portion(s) of these bands that you may use. No contest QSOs are allowed on 12, 17, 30 or 60 metres. Modes: CW, RTTY and SSB. Contestants may elect to enter a single mode category (where offered – see “Entry Categories” below) or take part as a mixed-mode entrant. Mixed-mode entrants may work the same station once on each mode per band (see “Entry Categories” for more details). Contest Exchange: The exchange is your RS(T) (not checked during the log checking process), followed by an incremental serial number commencing at “001”.  Submissions and Deadlines: No paper entries will be accepted for contest or checking purposes. Entries must be submitted in Cabrillo format only and be received no later than 15 days after the contest – Monday 1 October 2018. Entries must be sent to See Blue Book for details

CQ WW RTTY Contest: September 29 - 30, 2018, Starts: 0000 GMT Saturday Ends: 2359 GMT Sunday. OBJECTIVE: For amateurs around the world to contact as many other amateurs in as many CQ zones, countries, and W/VE QTHs as possible. BANDS: Five bands only: 3.5, 7, 14, 21 and 28 MHz.  CONTEST EXCHANGE: RST report plus CQ zone number of the station location (e.g., 599 14). Stations in the continental USA and Canada also send QTH (e.g., 599 05 MA). See IV.C.3. below.

SARL Forum Active Topics
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Robben Island 2018 ILLW/IOTA  20/08/2018  11:43:31
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In loving memory of my wonderful XYL JOAN .  20/08/2018  09:55:01
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23CM QSO's and contacts  20/08/2018  08:19:34
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Network Radios 
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19/08/2018  07:45:15
by: ZS5BG

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.

 Herman Y Rothenberg, ZS6JH


CDS Advert 


 Click here to visit website 


Conical Technologies

 Click here to go to the Kevtronics web 

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: 27/5/2018