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SOUTH AFRICAN RADIO LEAGUE NEWS FOR SUNDAY 15 JULY 2018

Good morning and welcome to the weekly news bulletin of the South African Radio League read by ...................................................... [your name, call sign and QTH]

The South African Radio League broadcasts a news bulletin each Sunday in Afrikaans as well as English, at 08:15 and 08:30 Central African Time respectively, on HF as well as on various VHF and UHF repeaters around the country. The bulletin is relayed via Echolink by ZS6JPL. A podcast is available on the League website.

Audio and text bulletins may be downloaded from the League website at www.sarl.org.za where you can also sign up to receive future bulletins by e-mail.

We start the bulletin this morning with news of a silent key.

It is with deep regret that we must announce that the key of Ronald David Clark, ZS6AQH aged 84, went silent on Tuesday 3 July after a short illness.

We extend our sincere condolences to his wife, Heather, children David, Peter and Jenny, family and friends.

PAUSE

In the news, today:

THE SARL WINTER QRP CONTEST ON SATURDAY

AMATEUR DESIGNED GEAR USED IN THE THAILAND CAVE RESCUE

and

THE ZS2 SPRINT ON SUNDAY

Stay tuned for more information on these and other interesting news items.

THE SARL WINTER QRP CONTEST ON SATURDAY

The QRP contests are intended to be fun activities to promote QRP operation between radio amateurs. Using homebuilt equipment or operating as a portable/field station and using temporary antennas is encouraged but is not a requirement. The Winter QRP Contest is on the air from 12:00 to 15:00 UTC on Saturday 21 July 2018. The contest is SSB and CW with power output of 5 watts (PEP) output or less. A station may be worked once per band per mode and there are no antenna restrictions. The first hour is limited to the 40-m band only, the remaining two hours the contesters are free to use any HF (non-WARC) band as they see fit.

The exchange is a RS or RST report and your Grid locator. Please consider exchanging realistic RS(T) signal reports and please use the full 6-character grid locator. e.g. KG43EU. You can also give a SOTA and/or ZSFF reference number if you are on a summit or in a nature park. Each QSO counts 1 point. The Prefix/Country multiplier are each South African call area 0 through 9 and each DXCC country. The Station type multiplier is x 1 for Home stations; x 2 for Portable stations; x 3 for ultra-light portable field station and x 3 for Homebrew stations (pictures are imperative).

Logs in ADIF, Cabrillo or MS Excel format with a summary sheet and labelled "my call sign QRP Contest," must be submitted by 28 July 2018 by e-mail to contest@sarl.org.za. Refer to General Rules 3.6 and 5.1 to 5.6 for detail about logs and summary sheets. A photo(s) of the station operating (JPG format) MUST accompany every log entry.

AMATEUR DESIGNED GEAR USED IN THE THAILAND CAVE RESCUE

Unless you live in a cave, you have probably heard a little about the thirteen people, mostly children, trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand. What you may have missed, though, is the amateur radio connection. The British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC) was asked for their expert help and Rick Stanton, John Volanthen and Rob Harper answered the call. They were equipped with HeyPhones, which is a 17-year old design from John Hey, G3TDZ. Sadly, G3TDZ is now a silent key so he did not get to see his design play a role in this high-profile rescue, although it has apparently been a part of many others in the past.

The HeyPhone is considered obsolete but is still in service with some rescue teams. The radio uses USB at 87 kHz. The low frequency can penetrate deep into the ground using either induction loop antennas like the older Molephone, or more commonly with electrodes injecting RF energy directly into the ground. The system is somewhat dated, but apparently works well and that is what counts.

What we find interesting is that in today’s world, people take wireless communications for granted and do not realize that cell phones do not work underground or in the face of widespread disasters. We would imagine most amateurs know how cell phone towers operate to support more than a handful of phones. Ask some non-technical friend if they know how a cell phone works and you will be surprised how few people understand this. Amateur radio operators are vital in building and deploying specialized radio systems in times of disaster or in this case, where people need rescuing from an odd environment.

We were glad to see a nod to some hacker gear in the popular press, but we almost wish there had been more reporting on the volunteer divers and their hacked radio gear.

THE VHF/UHF AND MICROWAVES RECORD TABLE HAS BEEN UPDATED

The newest VHF/UHF and Microwave Record Table as at 13 July 2018 is available from www.sarl.org.za/public/local/VHF_SA_Records.asp. Paul, ZS6NK has added the DXCC and VUCC listing to the Record Table. There is a section of the Table entitled ‘Incomplete data,’ may you can assist with some information.

You are listening to a news Bulletin of the South African Radio League.

THE ZS2 SPRINT ON SUNDAY

This is a fun activity to promote contacts between radio amateurs in the Eastern Cape and radio amateurs in Southern African countries and is on the air from 14:00 to 15:00 UTC on Sunday 22 July 2018. The ZS2 Sprint is a phone and CW contest on the 40-metre band with CW activity between 7 000 to 7 040 kHz and phone activity between 7 063 to 7 100 and 7 130 to 7 200 kHz. The exchange is a RS or RST report and your provincial or country abbreviation.

A QSO with a station in ZS2 is worth 2 points while a QSO with a station in your own or other ZS call areas (excluding ZS2) or Southern African countries are worth 1 point. QSOs with the Port Elizabeth Amateur Radio Society, ZS2PE, or the Border Radio Club, ZS2BRC, are worth 5 points each. Only one contact per station is allowed. For ZS2 stations, a QSO with stations in ZS2 are worth 1 point and QSOs with stations in other ZS call areas or Southern African countries are worth 2 points.

Logs, in ADIF, Cabrillo or MS Excel format and labelled "my call sign ZS2 Sprint," must be submitted by 29 July 2018 and sent by e-mail to zs2ec01@gmail.com. A certificate will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the competition, this will only happen if more than five logs are received.

OCTOBER RAE REGISTRATION

Listeners are reminded that the registration of candidates for the October RAE opened yesterday, 14 July 2018. Please inform any possible candidates that you are aware of.

SARL TOP BAND QSO PARTY RESULTS

Eleven logs were received for the SARL Top Band QSO Party held at the end of June. The results are as follows:

1st Johannes van Zijl, ZS4DZ - 167 points
2nd Lukas Holtzhausen, ZS6LH - 140 points
3rd Thanie Gibson, ZS4AZ - 128 points

Congratulations to Johannes, ZS4DZ!

PROPAGATION REPORT

Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at low levels. Currently there are no sunspots visible. If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around one. The 20 and 30 m bands may provide lots of DX fun. Please visit the website spaceweather.sansa.org.za for further information.


Finally, a Diary of some upcoming events:

16 July – the closing date Newbie QSO Party Logs
17 July – Provincial schools open
21 July – The Winter QRP contest and the Pretoria ARC Flea Market
22 July – the ZS2 Sprint
28 July – the Annual General Meetings of the Cape Town ARC and the Namibian Amateur Radio League, the closing date for RaDAR and QRP Contest logs
28 and 29 July – the RSGB Islands on the Air (IOTA) contest
29 July – the closing date for ZS2 Sprint Logs
5 August – the SARL HF Phone Contest

To conclude our bulletin a quick overview of our main news item:

The Winter QRP Contest is on the air from 12:00 to 15:00 UTC on Saturday 21 July 2018. The contest is SSB and CW with power output of 5 watts (PEP) output or less. A station may be worked once per band per mode and there are no antenna restrictions. The first hour is limited to the 40-m band only, the remaining two hours the contesters are free to use any HF (non-WARC) band as they see fit.

This concludes our bulletin for this morning.

Clubs and individuals are invited to submit news items of interest to radio amateurs and shortwave listeners, if possible, in both English and Afrikaans, by following the news inbox link on the South African Radio League web page. News items for inclusion in the bulletin should reach the news team no later than the Thursday preceding the bulletin date.

You are welcome to join us every Sunday morning for the weekly amateur radio program, 'Amateur Radio Today' at 10:00 Central African Time. The program can be heard on VHF and UHF repeaters countrywide and on 7 082 kHz lower side-band and on 7 205 kHz and 17 760 kHz AM. There is also a podcast available from Dick Stratford, ZS6RO. A rebroadcast can be heard on Monday evenings at 18:30 Central African Time on 3 230 kHz AM.

We welcome your signal reports, comments and suggestions; please send these by e-mail to artoday@sarl.org.za. Sentech sponsors the radio transmissions on the non-amateur frequencies.

You have listened to a news bulletin compiled by Emile Venter, ZS6V, edited by Dennis Green, ZS4BS and read by ……………………................

From the news team, best wishes for the week ahead.

/EX


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Last modified: 14 April 2003