SOUTH AFRICAN RADIO LEAGUE NEWS FOR SUNDAY 22 APRIL 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.
In the news, today:
THE ZS4 SPRINT THIS AFTERNOON
THE ZS9YOTA CHALLENGE
SDR WORKSHOP AT NARC ON 5 MAY
Stay tuned for more information on these and other interesting news items.
THE ZS4 SPRINT THIS AFTERNOON
The ZS4 Sprint is a fun activity to promote contacts between radio amateurs in the Free State and radio amateurs in Southern African countries and takes to the air from 14:00 to 16:00 UTC on Sunday 22 April 2018. This is a phone and CW contest on the 40-metre band with SSB activity between 14:00 - 15:00 UTC on 7 063 - 7 100 and 7 130 - 7 200 kHz and CW activity from 15:00 - 16:00 UTC on 7 000 to 7 040 kHz. Listen out for the Radio Clubs in the Free State, a QSO is worth 5 points.
Logs, in ADIF, Cabrillo or MS Excel format and labelled "my call sign ZS4 Sprint," shall be submitted by 30 April 2018 by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. A certificate will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in both categories. Consult the 2018 Blue Book for the contest rules.
THE ZS9YOTA CHALLENGE
Last Saturday at the SARL AGM, Noel, ZR6DX, challenged all radio amateurs to donate R100 towards the ZS9YOTA fund for the upcoming YOTA Summer Camp to be held in August in South Africa. The Centurion ARC challenged all Radio Clubs to donate R500 towards the ZS9YOTA fund.
Your financial support as an individual or as a club is of utmost importance to the ZS YOTA fund. No amount is too small, your name will be added to the Individual Sponsors List on www.zs9yota.co.za and in Radio ZS. Please support ZS9YOTA with a contribution via PayPal or an EFT to the SARL bank account and please use YOTA-your call sign as a reference, e.g. YOTA-ZS4BFN. Please forward an e-mail to us via the "Become a sponsor" page to inform us of your contribution. Visit www.zs9yota for all the details.
SDR WORKSHOP AT NARC ON 5 MAY
The SDR Workshop at the National Amateur Radio Centre on 5 May will address antenna issues for the SARL RF Noise Monitoring Project. This is a joint SARL/AMSATSA project with special rates for members of both organisations. Thee Workshop on Saturday 5 May will start at 09:00 and there will be a report back on the SARL RF Noise Monitoring Project. Other subjects to be covered include how to automate the uploading of the data to the server, an introduction to GNU Radio by Anton Janovsky, ZR6AIC, and a discussion on the best antenna to use for the noise monitoring project with Vincent Harrison, ZS6BTY.
The cost will be R50 for SARL and AMSAT SA members and R100 for non-members. Registration details are on www.amsatsa.org.za. There will be no cash facilities at the workshop to handle cash. Please use EFT.
At the SARL National Convention held last weekend, the SARL distributed a pamphlet on the RF Noise monitoring project. The pamphlet is now available for download from the SARL home page at www.sarl.org.za.
AFRICAN STATES BELOW THE EQUATOR ARE PRIME METEOR SCATTER TARGETS
It is a little-known fact that from Gauteng to almost the equator, a vast area exists to enhance the strong meteor scatter propagation on 50 MHz during major annual meteor showers. Many African HF operators already own HF transceivers that are equipped for 50 MHz SSB operation. The SARL meteor scatter record into Africa currently stands at around 2 000 km on 50 MHz SSB, as established by ZR2DX and TO4E, but this distance could be improved. This will open a new amateur radio VHF world in Africa that could also benefit our RSA operators down south. In the days before the digital era, US VHF operators made many 50 MHz AM, FM, SSB and high-speed CW meteor scatter contacts. In December and January, you will experience an exotic Sporadic-E season in mid-Africa with almost daily openings. In next week's news item, a simple method will be described how to make many 50 MHz analogue meteor scatter contacts on SSB or FM the easy way.
You are listening to a news Bulletin of the South African Radio League.
26 APRIL IS INTERNATIONAL GIRLS IN INFORMATION AND TELECOMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES DAY
"Girls Can Do ICT!" is the theme of International Girls in Information and Telecommunication Technologies (ICT) Day on 26 April. An initiative of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), International Girls in ICT Day aims to "create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing ICT field," the ITU said. International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of April. To date, more than 300 000 girls and young women have taken part in some 9 000 celebrations of International Girls in ICT Day in 166 countries.
"Girls in ICT Day will provide a much-needed boost to female participation in the ICT sector," said the ITU Secretary-General. "With many countries now forecasting a shortage of skilled ICT professionals within the next 10 years, it is vital that we attract young women into technology if we are to sustain healthy growth rates for the industry overall." Girls in ICT Day encourages girls to let personal interests and talent, not stereotypes, define their career paths. "It promotes an interest in technology, computer science, new communication media, and engineering," ITU said.
AMSATSA SPACE SYMPOSIUM
Book now for the AMSATSA Space Symposium on Saturday 19 May and save on the registration fee. The early booking advantage closes soon after which the full registration fee is applicable. The symposium features interesting subjects from how to build a SDR transponder, to a ground station for the first amateur radio geostationary satellite which will deliver DX 24 hours around the clock. Many of the presentations include practical demonstrations. There are also great attendance prizes to be won. Book now on www.amsatsa.org.za and view details of the presentations.
WORKED ALL AMATEUR BANDS
Brian Justin, WA1ZMS, in Virginia, saved the lowest band for last. On 11 April, he completed a CW contact on the new 2 200-metre band with K3MF in Pennsylvania, wrapping up a sweep of completed contacts on all 29 Amateur Radio bands. Justin is a bit of an old school guy, he worked K3MF on CW and now he is awaiting a QSL card. A paper QSL card!
Justin said he started working his way through the bands at the high end of the spectrum, those allocations above 24 GHz. By 2003, he had confirmed contacts (and paper QSLs) on each band from 1,8 MHz to 300 GHz. He submitted his cards to the New England Weak Signal Group (NEWS), which presented him with a framed award and plaque - the very first "Worked All Bands Award."
When 630 and 2 200 meters became official in 2017, Justin had his work cut out for him. As one of the ARRL WD2XSH Experimental stations, he made quick work of 630 meters contacting NO3M on SSB the day after the band opened for Amateur Radio work. His CW QSO on 2 200 meters came last week over about 250 kilometres. He is hoping to see the QSL card this week.
Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to remain at very low levels. There is a new sunspot visible on the east limb, but no flaring activity is expected.
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 may provide lots of DX fun. Please visit the website spaceweather.sansa.org.za for further information.
Finally, a Diary of some upcoming events:
Today - the ZS4 Sprint and registration for the May RAE closes
24 April - the closing date for articles for the May Radio ZS
26 April - International Girls in Information and Telecommunication Technologies Day
27 April - Freedom Day
28 April - The Cape Town ARC meeting and the closing date for the Autumn QRP logs
30 April - the closing date for ZS4 Sprint logs
1 May - Worker's Day
5 May - the SDR Workshop at the NARC
5 and 6 May - the AWA Valve QSO Party
To conclude our bulletin a quick overview of our main news item:
Last Saturday at the SARL AGM, Noel, ZR6DX, challenged all radio amateurs to donate R100 towards the ZS9YOTA fund for the upcoming YOTA Summer Camp to be held in August in South Africa. The Centurion ARC challenged all Radio Clubs to donate R500 towards the ZS9YOTA fund. Visit www.zs9yota for all the details.
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 email@example.com. 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.