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SOUTH AFRICAN RADIO LEAGUE NEWS FOR SUNDAY 15 OCTOBER 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 our country. Echolink listeners may connect to ZS0JPL for a relay.

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.

In the news today,

TELEPHONES DOWN AT THE NARC

CONGRATULATIONS TO ZS1C

and

FINAL TOUCHES ON KLETSKOUS THIS WEEKEND

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

TELEPHONES DOWN AT THE NARC

The telephones at the NARC have not been working since Monday afternoon. The problem has been reported to Telkom. The e-mail service is still operational as the NARC has an ADSL line.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ZS1C

In the latest listing of 9 Band DXCC, the name of Raoul Coetzee, ZS1C, appears. Raoul has achieved 9 Bands on CW to become the first ZS1 to reach this milestone and the fifth radio amateur in South Africa to achieve this.

Congratulations Raoul!

SARL AMATEUR RADIO HALL OF FAME NOMINATIONS FOR 2018

The SARL Amateur Radio Hall of Fame honours individuals who have made significant contributions to amateur radio in South Africa. Their memory is preserved on a page on the SARL Web site, accessible via a link on the home page.

The first two groups of members were inducted into the Hall of Fame during 2016 and 2017. From 2018, a maximum of one living member and one deceased member will be inducted annually.

Nominations will be accepted from early December to the end of February. Online voting will take place in March.

Please view the existing profiles on the Hall of Fame page and come up with ideas on nominees that should be included in 2018. A nomination template will be provided on the Web when nominations open. However, existing profiles give members an indication of the type of facts that need to be researched now, so that final nominations can be assembled when the time comes.

FINAL TOUCHES ON KLETSKOUS THIS WEEKEND

The AMSATSA Kletskous team will be busy this weekend with the final touches on the CubeSat to get it ready to fly next Saturday on BACAR. BACAR is scheduled to be launched at 9 am from an airfield near Secunda. The transponder frequencies are as follows: Uplink 435,135 - 435,165 MHz with the downlink on 145,850 - 145,880 MHz.

Kletskous is a crowd funded project. Please become part of the project by donating to the Kletskous fund. Details and regular updates can be found on www.amsatsa.org.za. All donors are acknowledged on the website.

Another interesting payload on BACAR is a XinaBox (pronounce X-in- a-box) satellite. XinaBox is a rapid IoT and electronics development solution, without the requirement of soldering, wiring or other hardware knowledge ... just coding! Ben Dixon, one of the developers of the XINABOX system hails from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and joined MEDO Space to assist with their STEM programme. This led to the development of XinaBox.

Ben and his team have been flying projects on party balloons reaching somewhere around 8 000 metres but on 21 October 2017 they will take their project to near space with BACAR 5 arranged by the Secunda Amateur Radio Club.

The core of the satellite is the CR03 Lora Radio operating on 915 MHz. It is also equipped with a CPU to handle all the communication and runs the flight software. The module is based around the RFM96W chip transceiver featuring the LoRa TM providing ultra-long range spread spectrum communication. The CR03 is connected with a PB04, a smart battery solution which will also measure the battery voltage and current. A number of other sensors will be included in the array. The SWO-1, which is based on the BME28, measures temperature, humidity and pressure. Other sensors measure UVA, UVB and acceleration. On the ground the XinaBox team will be using a CW01 module, a Wi-Fi processor which will be handling all the data and write the information to a kibana server.

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

TRY SOME 50 MHz SKEDS DURING THE LIGHTNING SEASON

The Johannesburg area is renowned for their late afternoon lightning storms, so this will be a great time to experiment with lightning scatter propagation. Of course, only stations outside the lightning area would be able to participate, as those inside this area will have their antennas grounded. We already know that clear FM broadcasting signals have been heard for about ten seconds or so in East London, which emanated from Durban over a distance of about 450 km, after lightning flashes during a distant thunderstorm. Skeds should be arranged with amateurs outside the thunderstorm area, making brief CQ calls after a lightning flash or radio burst and listening during the next burst and so forth. It would be interesting to find out how directional the ionized trails of lightning are. So, who would take up the challenge and establish that first lightning scatter contact on 50 MHz?

CQ HOU KOERS

CQ Hou Koers is the Voortrekkers' national amateur radio day and takes place on Saturday 21 October, with most Voortrekker stations active from 08:00 until 12:00 on 40 and 20 m and local repeaters. The event overlaps with JOTA, so interesting QSOs between young Voortrekkers and Scouts may be expected. Please make the effort to chat to the great young people and to expose them to amateur radio. The KLETSKOUS activities on the day provides further opportunities. We hope to hear many hams and young people on the air. Enquiries to orionvoortrekkers@gmail.com

THE TINUS LANGE 7066 TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE AWARD

The award is bestowed annually on the SARL member who submits a technical project in any of the following categories:
Design and/or construction of projects such as a pre-amp, SWR bridge, patching unit, automatic IDer, practical antenna ideas, mast, portable gear, power supplies, etc., or
Any software for use in Amateur Radio

The submission must include the actual items (if size and mass allow) or photographs (particularly in the case of antennas, masts, etc.,) and a complete write-up in article form with illustrations/pictures, ready for publication in Radio ZS. All entries to be displayed (where practical, otherwise photographs) at the AGM and the award to be presented at the annual dinner. The Award is a framed certificate and a cash award of R1 000.

The closing date for entries is Wednesday 31 January 2018 and must be sent to secretary@sarl.org.za.

BEACON NEWS

Graham Busse, ZS6GL, has set yet another South African Beaconeer record. He managed to obtain 661 spots in a period of 24 hours by using his 250 mW Ultimate3S beacon to band-hop across six bands straight into a G5RV antenna. Congratulations to Graham and we are looking forward to your next challenge! Anybody interested in joining the fun is welcome to contact Leon Uys, ZR6LU, on 082 573 5580.

EME DXPEDITION TO SWAZILAND

Vincent, 3DA0VV, John, ZS6JON andrew, ZS6AVH, Bernie, ZS4TX, Dan, HB9CRQ, Sam, HB9COG, Chris, PA2CHR and Lins, PA3CMC are on an EME DXpedition to Swaziland from 13 to 18 October. They are active on 6 and 2 m, 70, 23, 13, 9, 6 and 3 cm as 3DA0MB on CW and JT65. QSL via PA3CMC, direct or via the bureau. Read more at www.pa3cmc.nl

STANAG-4285 ON 40 M

The IARU Region 1 Monitoring System newsletter reports a Stanag-4285 transmission appeared on 7 001.8 kHz for several days. It is believed to be located in Istanbul, Turkey. They also note that on 14 001.0 CW someone transmitted a loop "freedom for Catalonia" at 1710 UTC on 26 September.

The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System (IARUMS) Region 1 September 2017 newsletter can be read at www.sarl.org.za/public/monitor/monitor.asp

PROPAGATION REPORT

Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at very low levels. There are currently no visible sunspots. If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around one. The 15 to 30 m bands will provide lots of DX fun with some 10 m openings also possible. Please visit the website spaceweather.sansa.org.za for further information.

Finally, a diary of some upcoming events:

20 to 22 October Jamboree on the Air
21 October the Radio Amateur Examination, CQ Hou Koers and the Kletskous/BACAR flight
28 and 29 October the CQ WW DX SSB Contest
4 November the RaDAR Challenge and the SDR Workshop in Cape Town
5 November the PEARS HF Contest
18 November SDR Workshop at the NARC

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

The telephones at the NARC have not been working since Monday afternoon. The problem has been reported to Telkom. The e-mail service is still operational as the NARC has an ADSL line.

This brings us to the end of this bulletin

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 pod cast 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 and read by ..............

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

/EX


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Last modified: 14 April 2003