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SARL News Bulletin Archive


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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 every Sunday at 08:15 CAT in Afrikaans and at 08:30 CAT in English. To listen to a webstream, visit, click on ARMI and follow the links for details. PLEASE NOTE: for audio via Echolink, connect to ZS0JPL-R.

You can download this bulletin and previous ones from and subscribe to receive future bulletins by e-mail.

Your news reader this morning is (name), (call sign), on 145,725 and 7,066 MHz from Pretoria, with relays on 28,325, 14,235, 10,130, 7,066 and 3,695 MHz SSB, as well as 52,750, 438,825 and 1 296 MHz FM in the Pretoria area. (Other newsreaders please change to suit).


It is with deep sympathy that the passing of George Jillings, ZS1YZ, on Saturday 11 April 2009, is announced. George was licensed in 1960 and did valuable work in the Congo, operating an amateur radio station for the Red Cross. We extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends.


In the news today:




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

All roads lead to Cape Town for the 2009 SARL National Convention. The Convention opens on Friday evening 24 April with a spit braai as well as all the trimmings at the Barloworld Toyota Showroom in Durban Road, Durbanville.

At 08:00 on Saturday 25 April, the registration for the AGM will start at the Oakdale Sports Club. The AGM starts at 09:00 and lunch will be available at the club. For the spouses there is a shopping spree at the Waterfront – transport will leave from Oakdale at 09:15. During Saturday afternoon, there is a champagne cruise on the Tigresse, or you can visit Cape Town Radio.

The SARL Annual Awards Dinner will be held at the Oakdale Sports Club, starting at 19:30 for 20:00. The dress code for the dinner is smart casual. The guest speaker will be Dr. Sias Mostert from SunSpace. The National Convention closes with breakfast at Poplars Restaurant at the D'Aria Estate at 09:00 on Sunday 26 April.

The March/April edition of Radio ZS was mailed on Friday and is now also available on In this edition Eli Kovo, 4X4LH, describes an interesting variation on the Slim Jim antenna, which he calls the 4X4 “Slimtenna”, an interesting concept worth taking a closer look at. In his new Satellite column, Eddie, ZS6BNE, describes how to build a hand-held antenna for satellite use and – by the way – you can hear Eddie speak at the 2009 series of Radio Technology symposiums. The first one is at the NARC on 9 May.

Frank van Wensveen, ZS6TMV / PA3GMP, describes how to build simple balun-housing. In an article entitled Science and Technology, ‘A two-way street’, establish for yourself why amateur radio is still leading the pack. This is another edition you can not afford to miss. If you’d like a sample copy of the electronic version of this edition, send an email to with ‘Radio ZS’ in the subject line.

Hans, PB2T, the President of Region 1 of the IARU says, “Those of you, who have visited the IARU Region 1 website recently, must have noticed that it looks different. The IARU Region 1 Executive Committee decided that the website would use a content management system to allow the EC, Committees and Working Groups easy use of our website. The past month our new webmaster, Marko, 9A8MM, and Hani, OD5TE, have been busy transforming the old pages into a Joomla environment. Amateur Radio Day 2009 is a good occasion to officially launch our new website. Do not hesitate to make suggestions to further improve” Marius, ZS4MP, is a participant of the new website.


The Autumn QRP Sprint will take place this afternoon, Sunday 19 April; from 14:00 to 16:00 CAT. It is a CW and Phone contest in the 40 metre band. Participation is limited to a portable or fixed station running 5 W, 1 W or 100 mW. The exchange is a RS or RST report and the year first licensed. The rules can be found in the SARL Contest Manual at

The contest committee has not yet released the results of the Hamnet 40 metre Simulated Emergency contest held on Sunday 1 March.

Local contests for May are: The ZS3 Sprint on 3 May, the Antique Wireless Association’s Valve QSO Party on 9 and 10 May and the ZS4 Sprint on 24 May.


The West Rand Amateur Radio Club is holding its next flea market on Saturday
2 May 2009 at the club house in Kroton Street, Weltevredenpark, Roodepoort at 12:00. Everyone is welcome. For more information, contact Willem at 082 890 6775.

The Bloemfontein Radio Amateur Club was asked to operate ZS4AFV on behalf of the SA Armour Museum from the Bloem Show, over the period 30 April to 9 May. ZS4AFV is the call sign of the SA Armour Museum. The museum will have a number of military vehicles, armaments and uniforms on display at the show. The Bloemfontein RAC has been asked to set up a display of military radios, from the No. 19 radio set, to modern transceivers. In addition, the station will be operated using some of these radios. Activity will be on HF and VHF. QSL via the bureau and the SARL Electronic QSL system.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the expected solar activity will be very low. The geomagnetic field is expected to be predominantly at quiet levels. The expected Effective Sun Spot number for the coming week will be less than 5. Currently there are no physical sunspots on the surface of the sun. We are experiencing indeed a very deep minimum. The sun's failure to create sunspots is playing havoc with some frequency prediction programmes that uses stored sunspot values, and of course, with our HF comms as well. The frequency prediction programmes tend to give optimistic results and must be treated with caution.

The imminent change of season, with less energy from the sun reaching the Southern ionosphere, is having an impact on propagation as well. 15, 17 and 20 m will provide best opportunities for DX. Conditions to the East and the West will be good from the early afternoon onwards. During the late afternoon and early evenings it will be good towards the North. The North-Easterly, North-Westerly, South-Easterly and South-Westerly paths will be challenging. 10 MHz seems to be promising in the late afternoons and after dark for the CW and digital enthusiasts.

Local conditions will be good on 40 m during the daytime. 80 m may perform well during the early mornings and late afternoons over the shorter distances, e.g. between ZS5 and ZS6. 30 m may perform well during the middle of the day between ZS6 and ZS1. With winter on its way, 20 m is preparing for hibernation, but may still give surprising results before lunchtime. 80 m is the frequency of choice in the evenings. Unfortunately the static noise levels are still a bit high, making contacts over the longer distances a challenging.

Remember that this is only a prediction and that HF has the capability to pleasantly surprise you, but you will never know unless you switch your rig on, listen and also call CQ.

Please visit for further information.


19 April – Autumn QRP Sprint;
23 April – Last day to enter for the May RAE;
24 - 26 April – SARL National Convention, Cape Town.
25 April – Open Day of the Antique Wireless Association;
30 Apr - 9 May – ZS4AFV at the Bloem Show;
2 May – West Rand flea market;
9 May – RTA at the NARC;
15 May – Closing date for SARDT award nominations.

SARL News invites clubs and individuals to submit news items of interest to radio amateurs and shortwave listeners. Submit news items – if possible in both English and Afrikaans – to, not later than the Thursday preceding the bulletin date.

The SARL also invites you to listen to the Amateur Radio Mirror International programme every Sunday morning at 10:00 CAT on 145,750 MHz in the Pretoria area, with relays on 7 082, 7 205 and 17 860 kHz. There is also a podcast by ZS6RO. For the webstream and Echolink by ZS6FCS, visit, 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.

You have listened to a bulletin of the South African Radio League, compiled by Dennis, ZS4BS, and edited by Jannie, ZR6PHD. Thank you for listening, 73.


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Last modified: 14 April 2003