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SARL NEWS SUNDAY 28 June 2009

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 www.sarl.org.za, 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 www.sarl.org.za 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).

In the news today

SA AMATEUR RADIO DEVELOPMENT TRUST AWARDS RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED

TONIGHT'S INTECNET TO FEATURE OPTICAL COMMUNICATION

BACAR TO FLY ON 25 JULY

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

SA AMATEUR RADIO DEVELOPMENT TRUST AWARDS RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED

At a gala function held in Midrand on Wednesday the South African Amateur Radio Development Trust presented the annual Radio Amateur of the Year and Construction awards.
Announcing the 2009 winners, Executive Chairman of the Trust, Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, said that it is important to celebrate successes and to recognise radio amateurs who make a major contribution to the hobby. He thanked Nokia Siemens Networks for their continued support. They are setting an example to industry to go beyond sport sponsorship and recognise opportunities in science and technology.
He also had a message for Government and Business. He said that Amateur Radio develops skills in communication and electronics, Amateur Radio promotes South Africa to the world, Amateur Radio is a community asset providing communication when it is most needed - during disasters and emergencies and that therefore Amateur Radio deserves their recognition and financial support.
Siseko Ngxola, Business Advisor at NSN said in reply that Nokia Siemens Networks would like to take their involvement a step higher and work with the Trust, the SARL and Radio Amateurs to take amateur radio into the schools that are currently part of their social responsible initiatives.
Dennis Green, ZS4BS, was presented with the NSN Radio Amateur of the Year award in recognition of his dedication to the development of Amateur Radio and his contribution as Editor of two communication channels: Radio ZS and HF Happenings. He was recently re-elected as a Councillor of the SARL and Secretary of the IARU Region 1 and continues to make a major contribution to the continued development of amateur radio in South Africa and Internationally.
SARL News is saddened to report that Dennis' wife, Willa, suffered a fatal heart attack the day after they returned from the award function to Bloemfontein. The Board of Trustees of the SA Amateur Radio Development Trust and the Council of the SARL extend their sincere condolence to Dennis and his family.
The Garth Milne Technology Award was presented jointly to Andrew Roos, ZS6AA, and Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BPZ, in recognition of their design and development of the Amateur Payload on SumbandilaSat which is due to be launched on 21 August on a Soyuz Rocket from Baikonur.
The NSN Amateur Radio Community Service Award was presented to Francois Botha, ZS6BUU, in recognition of his dedication, as National HAMNET Director, to the development of Amateur Radio as a support communication service during emergencies and disasters.
The Annual construction competition sponsored by Multisource was won by Carson McAfee, a second year student at the University of the Witwatersrand who built a Quadra Helix Antenna.

TONIGHT'S INTECNET TO FEATURE OPTICAL COMMUNICATION

How would you like to communicate with just a couple of Light Emitting Diodes? Join us on the SARL Intecnet tonight (Sunday 28 June) at 19:30 when we will talk about over the horizon optical communication.
A group of Australian radio amateurs are experimenting with optical communication devices and recently achieved up to 209 km with digital mode JT65a on cloud-bounce propagation using red light on a frequency of 478 Tera Hertz. They used banks of LED's focussed by small plastic lenses (as used in torches) and a large area avalanche photo diode (APD) receiver. Rex Moncur, VK7MO, will join the Intechnet this evening to share his experiences with us.
Clubs who would like to take part and link their repeater should send an email to armi@sarl.org.za with the telephone number to be linked before 12:00 noon today.

BACAR TO FLY ON 25 JULY

The long awaited BACAR flight will take place on Saturday 25 July 2009. A preparatory meeting will be held on Saturday 11 July at 09:00 at the NARC to test the complete payload, review launch venues and expected wind conditions as well as on the air reporting and activities at the NARC on 25 July and recovery operations. All interested in taking part in the event are urged to attend the briefing session.
More details will be available on www.amsatsa.org.za.

SARL EMBARKS ON FORUM MAINTENANCE

The newly appointed moderator for the SARL Forum, Gerhard Coetzee, ZS3TG, has started a maintenance project to streamline the SARL forum data base with the aim to enhance the ultimate user experience. Currently there are 1 830 users registered on the Forum of which only 500 are active, dated back to as far as April 2007.
The maintenance project will include the following actions:
Delete all users who visited the forum for the last time since 1 January 2007.
Gerhard will contact members who are still left but who do not have a callsign as a username and request either a callsign or name and surname as a Username.
All dormant user accounts will be cleaned out before the end of June. During July username issues will be handled.
The SARL requests that SARL Forum users give their full co-operation to Gerhard.

SOLAR CYCLE 24: NEW SUNSPOT GROUP EMERGES

There is some possible good news on the propagation and maybe the DX front as well. Thomas Giella, NZ4O, reports that on Monday, 22 June, a new solar cycle 24 sunspot group emerged in the South-West quadrant of the Sun. NOAA is expected to assign it the designation 11 023 with a beta magnetic signature.
Tom, who lives in Lakeland, Florida, notes that sun watchers have seen four solar cycle 24 sunspot groups this month and six during the past 30 days. He adds that it appears as if solar cycle 24 has finally become alive.

COMPETITION NEWS

The Durban ARC Mid-Winter Sprint takes place on Wednesday 1 July from 19:00 to 20:00 CAT. This is a fun activity to promote contacts between radio amateurs in Southern African countries. It takes place on 80 metres with activity between 3 603 to 3 650 and 3 700 to 3 800 kHz. The exchange is a RS report and age (ladies use 21). Contacts with stations in the same ZS call area or Southern African country is worth 2 points. Contacts with stations in different ZS call areas or Southern African countries are worth 4 points.
Log sheets shall be submitted within 15 days after the contest and may be sent by e-mail to zs5lp@sharksden.co.za or by snail mail to Durban Amateur Radio Club, 17 Brownlee Place, Bluff, Durban, 4052. The closing date for log submission is Thursday 16 July 2009.

PRESENTATION: RADIO WAVES IN SPACE

Satellites and space based radio are the cornerstone of much of our modern communication systems, without them modern phone calls, television, banking and other services would not exist. But satellites are not the only way to communicate via space. Come and visit the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory on Wednesday, 1st July 2009, at 19:00 for a presentation by Lindsay Magnus and Lee-Anne McKinnell on how you can get involved in space communications. They will present the types of communication technologies that are being studied at the HMO and how you as the person on the street can get involved in what they do.
Join them for a fun, interactive and informative evening of space based communication with interactive demonstrations by HMO staff and students taking you through the various ways in which communications can happen. There is no age or technological requirement ... only an enquiring mind!
This lecture will be in the HMO science centre and all are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to Priscilla at 028 312 1196 to reserve a seat as limited places are available.

PROPAGATION REPORT

Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the expected solar activity will be very low. The geomagnetic field is expected to be mostly at quiet levels. The expected Effective Sun Spot number for the coming week will be less than 5. This past weak the visible solar disk had two small sunspots that have since decayed. The solar disk is expected to remain blank for some time.
With the winter here less energy from the sun is reaching the Southern ionosphere and it is having an impact on propagation. 15, 17 and 20 m will provide best opportunities for DX. Conditions to the East and the West will be good from the afternoon onwards. During the late afternoon and early evenings it will be good towards the North. Early in the morning it may be possible to make contacts with Australia and New-Zealand. During the evening 40 m contacts may be possible with Brazil. The North Easterly, North Westerly, South Easterly and South Westerly paths will be challenging. Long path propagation towards the USA is also possible during the afternoons.
10 MHz is looking promising late afternoon and after dark for the CW and digital enthusiasts.
Local conditions are going to be good on 40 m during the day time. 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.
80 m is the frequency of choice in the evenings. Fortunately the noise levels due to static discharges are on the decrease making contacts over the longer distances a bit more pleasant.
Some exciting news is that the Northern California DX Foundation's international beacon network is monitored at the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory, ZS1HMO, and the signal strengths of the received beacons are automatically logged. The graphic results are available at http://spaceweather.hmo.ac.za and are very enlightening. Select "Ionospheric Data" and then "HF Propagation Conditions" to see which beacons were recently and not so recently received.
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 www.spaceweather.co.za for further information.

DIARY OF EVENTS

28 June Digital competition this afternoon and Intechnet tonight;
1 July Presentation on radio waves in space at Hermanus Magnetic Observatory;
13 July Closing date for submission of logs for the SARL Digital Contest;
16 July - Closing date for submission of logs for the Durban ARC Mid-Winter Sprint.

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 www.sarl.org.za/newsinbox.asp, not later than the Thursday preceding the bulletin date. Please do not send news items to the Office Administrator or one of the bulletin compilers an item sent that way might be missed and not be included in a bulletin.
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 17 570 kHz. There is also a podcast by ZS6RO. For the webstream 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.
You have listened to a bulletin of the South African Radio League, compiled by George, ZS6NE.
Thank you for listening, 73.

/EX


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