SUNSPOT COUNTS REACH 7-YEAR LOW: The face of the sun has been blank (no sunspots) for 15 consecutive days. The last time this happened was April of 2010, near the end of a deep Solar Minimum. The current stretch of blank suns heralds a new Solar Minimum expected to arrive in 2019-2020. Is space weather coming to an end? On the contrary, now is when things get interesting: Solar Minimum brings extra cosmic rays, pink auroras, and more. (Pic SDO)
A G1-class geomagnetic storm is underway on March 21st as a high-speed stream of solar wind buffets Earth's magnetic field. The stream is broad and Earth could remain inside it for the next three days.
G1 can cause
Power systems: Weak power grid fluctuations can occur.
Spacecraft operations: Minor impact on satellite operations possible.
Other systems: Migratory animals are affected at this and higher levels; aurora is commonly visible at high latitudes
NVIS PROPAGATION - UNDERSTAND THE BASICS - Radio Communication via Near Vertical Incidence Skywave propagation can be used for communication over a wide area. It is very well suited for emergency communication. It uses frequencies between 3 and 10 MHz with amateur allocation in the 5 MHz particularly attractive. Two propagation researchers, Ben Witvliet and Rosa Ma Alsina-Pages wrote an interesting paper with lots of reference to other papers for additional reading.
You can download it here
SARL TO HOLD WORKSHOP ON THE RISING RF NOISE FLOOR - Recently, following a concern raised by the South African Radio League at the SABS TC73 meeting, it was agreed that the question of the increasing level of the RF noise floor should be included in the Strategic Business Plan of the technical committee and added to the work schedule of Working Group 6.
Noise in this context denotes unwanted radio frequency (RF) energy from man-made sources. Like many spectrum users, Radio Amateurs have reported that the noise floor in the radio spectrum is rising as the number of devices in use that emit radio energy grows. However, in search for concrete evidence of an increased noise floors, it appears that only limited quantitative data to support this presumption is available.
The SARL is convening a Saturday morning workshop on 22 April 09:30 - 12:30 to develop a coordinated programme and form a study gro p with the objective of establishing a monitoring system to assemble more information while also considering mtigation methods to deal with manmade noise affecting amateur radio frequencies.
This will be an open meeting and everyone who has an interest in the subject is invited to attend. The workshop will be held at the NARC. If you have a special interest, expertise or experience in this field please share this at the workshop. For more details please email email@example.com with your contact details. Register now get form here
HAVE YOU PAID YOUR LICENCE?- You are advised to make sure that you have paid your amateur radio license for this year. If not it is recommended that you do it without delay. ICASA is not obliged to send out statements, the onus is on the license holder. If you have not paid for the 2016/2017 year, pay R559 and you are covered for this year and the next 4 years with no increases. The fee for the current 2016/2017 year is R134. Advise Dewald at DKuhrau@icasa.org.za of your payment for a five year license.
ICASA is in the process of implementing an ICASA Council decision to cancel all licenses that are not renewed within 30 days of 1 April. While still in the implementation planning stage make sure you have paid this year’s licence fee. Failing do so will mean that you may have to apply for a new license. You may just find that some else has applied and obtained your callsign.
SARLNEWS: AMATEUR RADIO TODAY - listen to these programmes on line or download to retransmit on local nets, a SARL service to Radio Amateurs.
Sunday 19 March 2017
SARLNUUS met Dawie Conradie ZR6DHC luister/laaiaf hier
SARLNEWS with Rory Norton ZS3BL download/listen here
AMATEUR RADIO TODAY with Hans van de Groenendaal ZS6AKV download/listen here or visit the Amateur Radio Today page with more details and download links here
RAE Examination details for 2017 - It's the time of year again when clubs get ready to run RAE courses. This year sees a major change in the day of the exam. In the past, the exam was always written on Thursday evenings, but this year the RAE exam will be written on Saturday mornings starting from 10:00 to 13:00. This should make it easier for the candidates who can't always make the exam, due to work pressures.
To register go to: http://www.sarl.org.za/public/licences/rae.asp
The RAE dates for 2017 are as follows:
21 January 2017 - RAE registration process opens.
15 April 2017 - RAE registration closes.
20 May 2017 - RAE examination (Saturday morning)
14 July 2017 - RAE registration process opens.
16 September 2017 - RAE registration closes.
21 October 2017 - RAE examination (Saturday morning)
4 Bursaries available for under 26 to study for class A - If you are under 26 and planning to study for the Class A amateur radio examination there are bursaries available.. For more detail and application forms click here.
SDR workshop in Cape Town on 22 APRIL - Following on a very successful symposium on Software Defined Radio held in Gauteng towards the end of last year a similar event will be presented by AMSAT SA in the Cape on Saturday 22 April 2017 at the Bellville Campus of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Register now here
The programme includes topics relevant to amateur radio, and will provide some background on SDR. A practical approach of how to use readily available dongles in conjunction with your PC to set up a receiving system operational from the low MHz frequencies up to nearly 2GHz. will be described. (Pic shows Andre ZS1F signing up)
To give attendees an insight into the development of such systems some of the software available to perform this task will be demonstrated. Hardware availability suitable for the development of embedded systems required for standalone transmitters and receivers will be introduced.
Looking at the rapid development of radio communication, and the future challenges within this field of technology, it is of importance for young as well as established Radio Amateurs to keep abreast thereof. More details and registration form soon
RSGB HANDBOOK NOW AVAILABLE IN SA- The new RSGB Radio Communication Handbook is now avaiable in South Africa. Also available are the ARRL 2017 Handbook (hardcover version) and Low Band DXing. For a list of books locally stocked and a mailorder from click here. SARL Members get up to 10% discount .
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. To advertise on the League web site, contact Hans, ZS6AKV at email@example.com
Display (cameo) on home page - 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
Radio ZS Strip advertisement, 10 cm x 2 columns on top of the page - R100 pm - R500 for 6 months - R1 000 per annum
Display (cameo) on home page and Radio ZS Strip advertisement (as above) - R550 pm - R2 700 for 6 months - R4 900 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy to email@example.com