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SOUTH AFRICAN RADIO LEAGUE NEWS FOR SUNDAY 25 FEBRUARY 2018

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 Central African Time in Afrikaans and at 08:30 Central African Time in English, on HF as well as on many VHF and UHF repeaters around the country. Echolink listeners may connect to ZS6JPL for a relay. A podcast is available from the League’s web site.

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 announce that the key of Tony Coleman, ZS5ACB, went silent on Friday 9 February 2018.

We extend our sincere condolences to Sheila, ZS5SC, Peter, ZS6PLC, Louisa, ZS6LU, Harry and John, ZS6JON, other family and friends.

PAUSE

In the news today:

THE SARL DIGITAL CONTEST THIS AFTERNOON

THE SARL HAMNET 40 M SIMULATED EMERGENCY CONTEST NEXT SUNDAY

and

HAM RADIO "A SPECIAL HOBBY," YOUNG ARRL MEMBER TELLS COLLEGE PUBLICATION

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

THE SARL DIGITAL CONTEST THIS AFTERNOON

The SARL Digital contest runs from 14:00 UTC to 17:00 UTC with RTTY and FT8 activity between 3 580 to 3 600 kHz, 7 040 to 7 060 kHz and 14 070 to 14 099 kHz this afternoon. The contest is open to all radio amateurs in Southern Africa. A station may be contacted twice on each band - once on RTTY and once on FT8. The exchange is a RSQ report and the first 4 digits of your grid square e.g. KG30. Logs in ADIF, Cabrillo or MS Excel format with a summary sheet and labelled "my call sign Digital Contest," must be sent by e-mail to contest@sarl.org.za by Monday 5 March 2018. Check the 2018 SARL Blue Book before the contest starts!

NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2018 SARL AMATEUR RADIO HALL OF FAME CLOSE ON 28 FEBRUARY

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.

Nominations will be accepted until midnight on Wednesday 28 February. Please send your nomination to secretary@sarl.org.za. Online voting will take place during March. Please view the existing profiles on the Hall of Fame page at www.sarl.org.za/members/HallofFame/HoFMain.asp and nominate deserving candidates for 2018. A nomination template is available on the Hall of Fame page. Existing profiles serve as examples of good nominations.

Do not delay, you have only a few days left!

THE SARL HAMNET 40 METRE SIMULATED EMERGENCY CONTEST NEXT SUNDAY

The popular Hamnet 40 m contest is on the air from 12:00 to 14:00 UTC on Sunday 4 March 2018 with phone activity between 7 063 to 7 100 kHz and 7 130 to 7 200 kHz. The contest is open to all radio amateurs in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mozambique, Lesotho, Marion Island and South African Antarctica. Only contacts with these areas will count.

You and/or your Club can participate as a single operator stationary mobile station, a single operator portable station, a multi-operator portable station or a single operator base station. The exchange is a signal report followed by a three-figure number as per your category of participation.

Log sheets must be submitted by 11 March 2018 by e-mail to contest@peham.co.za or to Hamnet Eastern Cape, Al Akers, ZS2U, 53 Clarence Street, Westering, Port Elizabeth, 6025. Please consult the 2018 SARL Blue Book for all the information on the exchange, scoring and multipliers. You will find an easy to use Microsoft Excel log sheet for this contest on www.sarl.org.za/public/contests/contestrules.asp

HAM RADIO "A SPECIAL HOBBY," YOUNG ARRL MEMBER TELLS COLLEGE PUBLICATION

A rising star in the Amateur Radio world, 19-year-old Ruth Willet, KM4LAO, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, has caught the eye of her school, Kettering University in Michigan, where she is majoring in mechanical engineering and engineering physics. Willet already has attracted attention through her amateur radio activities. Last spring, she was the keynote speaker at the 32nd annual DX Dinner® held in conjunction with Hamvention®, where her topic was "Experiencing the Hobby of a Lifetime."

The previous summer, she was a member of the 2016 Dave Kalter Memorial Youth DX Adventure (YDXA)from the island of Saba. Last year, she won a QST Cover Plaque Award for the article she wrote about her YDXA experience. At the 30th Hamvention Youth Forum in 2017, Willet spoke on "Plugging into Your Valuable Club Resources." She is the recipient of the ARRL Rocky Mountain Division Scholarship. Kettering University News took notice of Willet in a 12 February article, "Kettering University Student Brings Ham Radio Hobby, Expertise to Campus," by Sarah Schuch. The article explains how an early fascination with Morse code led Willet into amateur radio and inspired her to obtain her license in 2015. She now holds an Amateur Extra-class license.

"I would encourage people to consider exploring Amateur Radio, because it's a hobby that allows you to explore anything from technical electronics to international friendships," Willet is quoted as saying in the article. "It's such a special hobby because there's so many people that want to get to know you and want to help you learn and grow. It really has enabled me to mature into who I am today."

"It's a stress relief for me," Willet said of amateur radio. "I really enjoy sharing this hobby with other students".

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

MARCH RADIO ZS

The March issue of Radio ZS will be available for download on Wednesday 28 February from the League web site.

RESULTS OF THE PEARS NATIONAL VHF/UHF CONTEST 2018

The Digital Contest. The overall winner is Pieter Jacobs, V51PJ, scoring 212 904 points as a base station on 50, 70 and 144 MHz, with Christo Greyling, ZR6AUI, in second place with 71 940 points as a base station and in third place Andre Botes, ZS2ACP, scoring 44 345 points in the four-hour Limited Category. The longest distance achieved on digital was between Willem Badenhorst, ZS6WAB, and Pieter Jacobs, V51PJ, who established a new distance record of 1 348 km on 50, 70 and 144 MHz. We would like to welcome new participants in our digital contest, they are Alan Saul, ZS1LS of Cape Town, Michael Steenkamp, ZS2MIC from Despatch and Andrew Prideauw, ZS2PA at Uitenhage.

The Analogue Contest. The overall winner is Carl Minne, ZS6CBQ, scoring 171 220 points from a base station in Krugersdorp. In second place is Pierre Lindeque, ZS4PF, scoring 45 240 points from a base station in Welkom and Rickus de Lange, ZS4A, takes third place with a score of 22 170 points as a base station in Bethlehem. The longest distance worked was between Carl Minne, ZS6CBQ, in Krugersdorp and Servaas Wahl, ZS6SER, at Louis Trichardt, recording 402 km on 144 MHz.

The Limited Category. The Cape Radio Group, ZS1CRG as a multi-operator station scored 4 176 points during the four-hour Limited Category. ZS1CRG was operated by Derrick du Plessis, ZS1DUP and Dieter Hoffman, ZS1DWH. In second place is Al Akers, ZS2U, scoring 700 points as a base station from Port Elizabeth.

The FM Category. Max Bouckley, ZS6MAX, scored 300 points on 145,500 MHz FM from his base station in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg.

The Divisional Analogue Winners.
Division 1: The Cape Radio Group, ZS1CRG - 4 178 points
Division 2: Al Akers, ZS2U - 700 points
Division 3: No entry - poor propagation conditions
Division 4: Pierre Lindeque, ZS4PF - 45 240 points
Division 5: Dave Jones, ZS5DJ - 650 points
Division 6: Carl Minne, ZS6CBQ - 171 220 points

It appeared that there were many amateurs active during the analogue contest, but only a few bothered to send in log sheets

RESULTS OF THE SUMMER QRP SPRINT AND THE NATIONAL FIELD DAY

The results of the Summer QRP Contest held on 27 January were delayed, hoping for more logs to be submitted. In the end only 4 logs were received, the results are as follows:

1st West Rand ARC, ZS6WR
2nd Derrick du Plessis, ZS1CRG
3rd Nick Dreyer, ZS6NCK
4th Eddie Leighton, ZS6BNE

Hopefully more logs will be received next time!

Results of the SARL Field Day Contest. Seventeen logs were received with 1 204 contacts made during the weekend. Unfortunately, quite a few contacts had to be removed from the logs because of incorrect call signs, duplicates and bands logged. The preliminary results are as follows:

Class A
1st West Rand ARC, ZS6WR - 137 280 points
2nd Highway, ARC, ZS5HAM - 126 840 points
3rd Welkom Radio Club, ZS4WRC - 62 520 points

Class D
1st Johan van Zijl, ZS4DZ - 16 632 points

Class E
1st Eddie Leighton, ZS6BNE - 2 880 points

Class F
1st Bo-Karoo ARC, ZS3VDK/6 - 20 040 points
2nd Roy Walsh, ZS3RW - 480 points
3rd Bruce Dunn, ZS5XT - 5 points

Some statistics from the weekend - 1 012 SSB, 7 CW and 124 digital contacts were made with 924 QSOs on Saturday and 280 QSOs on Sunday.




PROPAGATION REPORT

Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to remain at very low levels. There are currently 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 15 to 30 m bands will provide lots of DX fun. Please visit the website spaceweather.sansa.org.za for further information.

Finally, a Diary of some upcoming events:

This afternoon – the SARL Digital competition.
28 February – closing date for proposals and synopsis for AMSAT SA Space Symposium papers and the closing date for nominations for the SARL Amateur Radio Hall of Fame.
3 March - World Wildlife Day; the ARRL DX SSB contest and the Cape Town ARC bumper flea market/boot sale under the trees at the club house.
4 March – the SARL Hamnet 40 m contest; the ARRL DX SSB contest and the closing date for the Digital contest logs
8 March – International Woman’s Day
10 and 11 March - the SARL VHF/UHF Analogue contest and the 82nd RSGB Commonwealth contest.

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

The SARL Digital contest runs from 14:00 UTC to 17:00 UTC with RTTY and FT8 activity between 3 580 to 3 600 kHz, 7 040 to 7 060 kHz and 14 070 to 14 099 kHz this afternoon. The contest is open to all radio amateurs in Southern Africa. A station may be contacted twice on each band - once on RTTY and once on FT8. The exchange is a RSQ report and the first 4 digits of your grid square e.g. KG30. Logs in ADIF, Cabrillo or MS Excel format with a summary sheet and labelled "my call sign Digital Contest," must be sent by e-mail to contest@sarl.org.za by Monday 5 March 2018. Check the 2018 SARL Blue Book before the contest starts!

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 4 895 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 Andy Cairns, ZS6ADY, edited by Dick Stratford, ZS6RO, and read by ..............

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

/EX


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Last modified: 14 April 2003