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SARL NEWS SUNDAY 30 DECEMBER 2007

You are listening to ZS6SRL the official Radio Station of the South African Radio League, the National Body for Amateur Radio in South Africa, with a news bulletin that is transmitted every Sunday at 08:15 CAT in Afrikaans and at 08:30 CAT in English. To listen to a web stream or Echolink by ZS6FCS visit www.sarl.org.za, click on ARMI and follow the links for details.

You can download this and previous bulletins from www.sarl.org.za and you can also subscribe there to receive future bulletins by email.

Your newsreader this morning is Hans, ZS6KR, on 145,725 and 7,066 MHz from Pretoria with relays on 28,325, 14,235, 10,135, 7,066 and 3,695 MHz SSB as well as 51,400, 438,825 and 1 296 MHz FM in the Pretoria area. (Other newsreaders please change to suit).

SILENT KEY

It is with regret that we must report that Ken Tremeer, ZS2BWB, a member of the PE Amateur Radio Society (PEARS) and the SARL, passed away on Saturday 22 Deceber 2007.

Our sincerest condolences go to his families and friends.

(PAUSE)

In the news today:

RTA 2008 TO FEATURE STATE OF THE ART TECHNOLOGY

SA AMSAT SPACE SYMPOSIUM 2008 TO BE HELD IN DURBAN

HAVE YOU LISTENED OUT FOR THE SPECIAL BEACON MESSAGES?

NEW YEAR GREETINGS

You are listening to ZS6SRL. Stay tuned for more detail on these and other important and interesting news items.

RTA 2008 TO FEATURE STATE OF THE ART TECHNOLOGY

State of the art technology will feature at RTA 2008 with the first event being held in Cape Town on 8 March 2008. Dates for the other centres are: KwaZulu Natal 10 May 2008, Eastern Cape 31 May 2008 and Gauteng 13 September 2008.

Some of the technologies to be discussed are WiFi in Amateur Radio, Spread Spectrum Communication and Propagation Research. In addition a high level panel discussion will probe what is in store for amateur radio in the future.

Watch www.sarl.org.za for frequent updates starting in January but more importantly, make a note of the dates, as you do not want to miss the event when it comes close to your area. Information on the SARL web will be under the index heading "Activities".

SA AMSAT SPACE SYMPOSIUM 2008 TO BE HELD IN DURBAN

The SA AMSAT Space Symposium will be held in Durban at the University of KwaZulu-Natal on 19 April 2008. Papers for presentation are invited. The closing date for a synopsis is 15 February 2008. Speakers will be advised a week after that and final papers ready for publication should be submitted by not later than 31 March 2008. Synopsis and final papers must be in word format. Authors are requested to submit written papers as well as PowerPoint presentations. Mail submissions to saamsat@intekom.co.za.

Updates on the conference will be available on www.amsatsa.org.za from early January 2008.

HAVE YOU LISTENED OUT FOR THE SPECIAL BEACON MESSAGES?

The SARL beacon competition is running till 19 January 2008. Listen out for ZS6SRL, ZS2LAW and ZS1HMO and send reports to bcn@sarl.org.za. Full details about the competition are on the web as well as interesting reading material. Go to www.sarl.org.za click on activities and select beacon project. Three SWL DX handbooks and a 2007 ARRL Handbook can be won.

NEW YEAR GREETINGS

The Council of the South African Radio League wishes all radio amateurs a prosperous and happy new year. May 2008 bring you many hours of pleasure with your amateur radio activity.

To SARL members a special word of thanks for your continuous support of the National Body for Amateur Radio, with your support the SARL is able to make the voice of Amateur Radio heard where it matters most, at regulatory level. If you are not yet a supporter of Amateur Radio, make it your new year's resolution to join the SARL. Details and applications forms are available on www.sarl.org.za.

RADIO AMATEURS TO THE RESCUE IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

What follows are exerpts from WIANews about assistance rendered by amateur radio emergency service groups in other parts of the world.

Hawaii was hit by an unusually cold and windy storm on 4th and 5th December causing some loss of power and telephone services in various islands. The National Weather Service used the Emergency Amateur Radio Club and the repeater system to pass severe weather information during and after the storm.

Storms in several other parts of the USA also saw amateurs providing a vital public service. The state of Washington was struck by wind gusts of over 180 km/hr and torrential rain, resulting in severe flooding. Members of Amateur Radio Emergency Services provided communications for various operations and evacuation centres. They also filled sandbags and manned phones. In Pacific County, ham radio was the only reliable means of communications once the landline and cell phones networks failed.

In Oregon, when even state police had difficulty reaching some of their own troops, amateur radio worked, allowing communication amongst emergency officials. State Governor Ted Kulongoski said, "The heroes were the ham radio operators. These people provided a tremendous communication link for us".

Fortunately these occurances are more rare over here but recently the Laingsburg flood almost occurred again thus illustrating that we must remain vigilant and be prepared to render our services. The way to do it is to join HAMNET.

PROPAGATION REPORT

Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the expected solar activity will be very low to low. The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet in general except on 6 till 8 January when unsettled levels are expected. The expected Effective Sun Spot number for the coming week will be less than 5. X conditions will generally be good on the North-East and the North-West paths and poor in the general Northerly directions.

15 m and 20 m will provide best opportunities for DX. There is a possibility of 15 and 20 m openings towards India from about 14:00 CAT. There may be short, weak 20 m openings to Australia from 14:00. From 18:00 there may be short, weak 20 m openings towards Europe. From 18:00 there may be 15 and 20 m openings towards the USA.

For the CW and digital enthusiasts it will also be worth monitoring 10 MHz.

Locally conditions on 40 m is going to be good during the day. 80 m is the frequency of choice in the evenings, thunderstorms and static permitting!

Remember that this is only a prediction and that HF always has the capability to surprise you. Who knows, maybe the new year is going to provide bags full of contacts for you, but you will never know unless you switch your rig on, listen and also call CQ.

Please visit www.spaceweather.co.za for further information.

DIARY OF EVENTS

7 January 2008 - NARC reopens;
21 January SARL-HMO competition closes;
26 January BACAR meeting at NARC ay 11:00;
31 March - Closing date for first stage of 2008 construction competition.

SARL News invites clubs and individuals to submit news stories of interest to radio amateurs and shortwave listeners. Submit news stories, if possible, in both English and Afrikaans to www.sarl.org.za/newsinbox.asp not later than the Thursday preceding the bulletin date.

The SARL also invites you to listen to the programme Amateur Radio Mirror International, on the air every Sunday morning at 10:00 CAT on 145,750 MHz in the Pretoria area with relays on 7 082, 7 205 and 17 590 kHz. For the web stream and Echolink by ZS6FCS visit www.sarl.org.za, click on ARMI and follow the links. A repeat transmission can be heard Mondays at 21:00 CAT on 3 215 kHz. Sentech sponsors the ARMI transmissions on the non-amateur frequencies.

On behalf of the news team many thanks to all who sent in news items, without your contributions there cannot be bulletins and your support during 2008 will again be appreciated. Also many thanks to the news readers and relay stations, of whom there are a few new ones this year, for your contributions. To all listeners, subscribers, yes all of you, a prosperous 2008, we trust that propagation conditions will improve, so enjoy the coming year.

Today's South African Radio League news bulletin was compiled by George, ZS6NE.

Thank you for listening. 73.

/EX


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Last modified: 14 April 2003