SOUTH AFRICAN RADIO LEAGUE NEWS SUNDAY 26 MARCH 2017
Good morning and welcome to the weekly news bulletin of the South African Radio League read by ................ [your name, call sign and QTH]
You may tune in to the South African Radio League news bulletin on Sunday mornings, at 08:15 Local Time in Afrikaans and at 08:30 Local Time in English, on HF as well as on many VHF and UHF repeaters around the country. Echolink listeners may connect to ZS0JPL for a relay. A podcast is available from the League’s web site.
This audio bulletin may be downloaded from the League website at www.sarl.org.za where you will find this as well as previous bulletins in text format under the news link on the left-hand side of the web page. While you are there, you may sign up to receive future bulletins by e-mail.
We start the bulletin this morning with news of 2 silent keys.
The key of Ken Victor, ZS2OC, went silent in the early hours of Monday 20 March 2017. Ken got his amateur licence in the early 1950's and has been a very active and much liked radio amateur ever since. Ken's voice will be missed on the air - especially on the Monday night 4 m net and the Wednesday night 6 m net - both of which he participated in for many years until recent health issues prevented him from doing so.
Danie Brynard, ZS6AWK, lost his long battle against cancer on Monday, 20 March. He was an excellent CW operator, owned a micro light aircraft and loved adventure touring with his multipurpose motor bike. He found it very exciting to operate his homebrew KX3 transceiver from these remote locations. He worked as an RF engineer at a major defence contractor. Danie loved microcontrollers and did many projects with PICs and Arduinos. He was especially renowned for his willingness to share his experience and knowledge with anybody, especially the younger persons. His pleasant personality will be sorely missed by his many friends.
We extend our sincere condolences to family and friends.
In the news, today:
THE SOUTH AFRICAN RADIO LEAGUE NATIONAL CONVENTION ON SATURDAY 6 MAY
THE RADAR CHALLENGE ON SATURDAY 1 APRIL
VHF BEGINNERS SHOULD START EXPERIMENTING ON 144 AND 50 MHz BANDS
Stay tuned for more on these and other interesting news items.
** The South African Radio League National Convention which includes the Annual General Meeting and the Awards Dinner takes place at Bergvallei in Muldersdrift just north of Johannesburg on Saturday 6 May 2017. The event is being hosted by the West Rand Amateur Radio Club.
If you are attending the AGM and Awards Dinner it is essential that you book no later than Wednesday 19 April to secure your place. The cost of the dinner is R200 per head for SARL members and R300 per head for non-members. If you are attending the AGM and wish to enjoy lunch provided then you to let us know by 19 April so that we can advise the caterers. Lunch costs R65 per head.
The guest speaker at the Awards Dinner is Mark Comninos, co-founder of Marcom Aeronautics and Space, Pty Ltd. Their mission is the development, testing and operation of a family of commercial satellite launch vehicles around common core technologies. Mark's address will inspire and motivate you.
To secure your place, please e-mail email@example.com or call Kelley at the SARL office on 011 675 2393 or Geoff Levey, ZS6C, on 082 546 5546. Please note that your reservation is not effective until you have made payment in full.
Be advised that the official notice and documentation for the AGM will be sent out by Thursday 6 April 2017, so please watch out for it. If you cannot attend yourself, please make sure that you appoint a proxy whom you trust to vote as you would.
Don't delay - book your place today!
** Just a few days remain before voting for the South African Radio League Amateur Radio Hall of Fame ends on Friday 31 March 2017. The Hall of Fame preserves the memory of individuals who have made significant contributions to amateur radio in South Africa. The first group of members was inducted during 2016. Another group of up to ten will be inducted at the SARL Awards Dinner in May. From next year, a maximum of only two new members will be inducted annually.
Essays outlining the contributions of the 21 nominees can be found on the Hall of Fame page, accessible through a link on the SARL Web site front page. About 400 votes have been received from League members. Reading the nominations is well worth your while, as the nominees have shaped our hobby. They include historical stalwarts like Dixon Bennett and Koos and Annie van der Merwe, as well as modern-day contributors to our hobby.
** Book now for a workshop on the rising RF noise floor. The South African Radio League is convening a Saturday morning workshop to discuss the rising RF noise floor and to develop a coordinated programme and form a study group with the objective of establishing a monitoring system to assemble more information while also considering mitigation 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. It will be held on Saturday 22 April from 09:30 to 12:30 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details. Please register now. The form is available for download on www.sarl.org.za.
** The RaDAR “Challenge” is a unique event aimed at promoting the use of Rapidly Deployable Amateur Radio stations. Categories may be changed at any time during the challenge. The points system is so structured as to encourage portable RaDAR operations especially moveable RaDAR stations. RaDAR operators are encouraged to be self-sufficient during each challenge, with not only power supply and communications equipment but food, water, protective clothing and shelter, not forgetting the first aid kit.
The first RaDAR Challenge for 2017 takes place on Saturday 1 April from 00:00 to 23:59 UTC, but each radio amateur can decide his or her maximum, single period, four-hour activity. All amateur bands are allowed including cross band contacts via amateur radio satellites. Modes – CW, SSB, AM, FM or any legal digital mode. The exchange is your call sign, your name, a RS or RST report, your QTH and grid locator.
Information about the scoring, multipliers, bonus points and log sheets can be found on page 26 of the 2017 Blue Book. Are you going to take up the challenge?
You are listening to a news bulletin of the South African Radio League.
** SANSA CEO to deliver keynote at AMSAT SA space symposium. The newly appointed CEO of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), Dr Val Munsami, will deliver the opening keynote address at the AMSAT SA 2017 Space Symposium on Saturday 27 May 2017 at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria. His keynote is entitled: "Reinvigorating South Africa's Satellite Capabilities".
The symposium features a diversity of presentations including: Get ready for amateur radio's first geostationary satellite to be launched in the third quarter of this year, Software Defined Radio on Raspberry as an entry level system and many more. Also learn about modulation techniques and applications for Information transfer. For more details and an early bird booking form, visit www.amsatsa.org.za. This is the symposium of the year you do not want to miss.
** The South African Radio League received applications for membership from the following radio amateurs.
Werner Muller, V51JP
Oleg Neruchev, ZS1OIN
Leslie McGregor, ZS2CD
Chris Smit, ZS6FCS
David Botha, ZS6O
Any objections to these membership applications must reach the League Secretary before Wednesday 29 March 2017. Please send your objections to email@example.com
** Beginners on VHF should be encouraged to start on 144 and 50 MHz (2 and 6 metre) bands. The 144 MHz band is the best Tropo band on VHF or above as the cut-off frequency of the Tropo duct rarely extends down to 50 MHz. It produces strong signals over 400 km or longer via Tropo Enhancement and up to 5 000 km on Tropo Ducting across the sea.
The Magic Band, 50 MHz, excels on most other propagation modes and produces extremely strong signals on Meteor Scatter, Sporadic-E, TEP, worldwide DX via F2 when the sunspot number is high, plus another seven propagation modes including SSSP and EME (except Satellite). You will find these two bands very exciting, and as you increase the gain of your horizontal Yagi so you will increase the distances and the number of VHF stations worked.
** The SA Armour Museum will be participating in the 2017 Stars of Sandstone event on the Sandstone Estate just north of Ficksburg. The Museum call sign, ZS4AFV, will be on the air from Thursday 30 March until Sunday 9 April and operated by Dennis, ZS4BS, when he is not involved with the museum vehicles. Activity will be on HF using phone and some digital modes. Visiting radio amateurs can bring along their morse keys. QSL via the bureau and ZS4BS.
** Thursday 6 April sees the running of the first leg of the SARL 80 metre QSO Party. This popular phone contest starts at 17:00 and ends at 20:00 UTC.
The Autumn QRP Contest is on the air from 12:00 to 15:00 UTC on Saturday 8 April with phone and CW activity on 40 metres for the first hour and then on all HF contest bands for the next two hours.
Get all the information in the 2017 Blue Book.
** Monday 27 March is the closing date for your article for the April issue of Radio ZS. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
** Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at very low levels. Only a single sunspot is visible with no threat of major storming. If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around one. The 15 to 30m bands will provide lots of DX fun. With the equinox here, the 10m band may also hold some surprises on sunlit paths. Please visit the website spaceweather.sansa.org.za for further information.
** Amateur Radio Today Monday Frequency to change. From Monday 27 March the 16:30 UTC transmission frequency will change to 3 230 kHz. Reception reports are invited. Please send to email@example.com. Amateur Radio Today frequencies will thus be as follows - Sundays 10:00 CAT 7 205, 7 082 kHz and 17 760 kHz. Mondays at 18:30 CAT 3 230 kHz.
A diary of some upcoming events:
27 March – closing date for Radio ZS articles
31 March – closing date for SARL Hall of Fame voting
30 March to 9 April – ZS4AFV for the Stars of Sandstone
1 April – the RaDAR Challenge
6 April – SARL 80 m QSO Party
8 April – Autumn QRP Sprint
15 April – closing date for May RAE registration
18 April - World Amateur Radio Day
22 April –SDR Workshop in the Cape and SARL Noise Floor Workshop at the NARC
6 May - The South African Radio League National Convention
** To conclude our bulletin a quick overview of our main news item
The South African Radio League National Convention which includes the Annual General Meeting and the Awards Dinner takes place at Bergvallei in Muldersdrift just north of Johannesburg on Saturday 6 May 2017. The event is being hosted by the West Rand Amateur Radio Club.
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 magazine programme 'Amateur Radio Today' at 10:00 Central African Time. The programme 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 with a change in frequency from Monday 27 March on 3 230 kHz AM.
We welcome your signal reports, comments and suggestions; please send these by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sentech sponsors the radio transmissions on the non-amateur frequencies.
You have listened to a news bulletin compiled by Andy Cairns, ZS6ADY, edited by Dick Stratford, ZS6RO, and read by ..............
From the news team, best wishes for the week ahead.