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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).

In the news today




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


You are invited to participate this afternoon, Sunday 2 August, in the Premier SARL Contest, the SARL HF Phone Contest. The aim of the HF Phone contest is for participants to contact as many radio amateurs in Southern Africa as possible on the 20, 40 and 80 metre bands. By participating and sending in a log, you are automatically entered into the draw for a copy of the new ARRL Basic Antenna Handbook. Full details are available on the highlight on


The SARL will participate in the National Science week programme from 3 to 7 August presented at Sci Bona Science Discovery Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg. The SARL team will present two sessions each day covering communication principles and a demonstration of a parrot repeater similar to what will fly on SumbandilaSat. Jon Willescroft, ZS6EF, Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, and Francois Botha, ZS6BUU, will present the sessions.

ZS6SCI, the radio station at Sci Bona, will be active with volunteer Radio Amateurs in attendance. More volunteers are needed. If you can help, please call Chris Gryffenberg on 083 543 5668.

The multimedia presentation will be made available on after the event.


Bacar will be launched from a private airfield near Hartbeespoort between 08:00 and 08:15 on Saturday 8 August.

The payload includes an APRS system operating on 144,800 MHz, which will be switched on two minutes before the launch and allow APRS stations to follow the flight of BACAR. The call sign of the APRS beacon is ZS6SAT. A VHF beacon on 144,825 MHz will be operating every two minutes for the first 30 minutes of the flight on voice, MCW and CW, for the following 119 minutes every five minutes, and then revert to every two minutes.

A 40 metre beacon will be operating on 7 022 kHz with telemetry information every one minute. The information includes the inside and outside temperatures and the pressure in millibar. Visit for more information on the flight.

Radio Amateurs submitting a telemetry line of the 40 metre transmission together with details of their location will be awarded a BACAR certificate of participation. Telemetry details must be sent to on the day of the launch.

Ground control will be situated at the SARL National Amateur Radio Centre where the flight can be followed on a video display. If you are not planning to track BACAR yourself, you are invited to visit the NARC and participate in the activity from there. Learners will be invited to visit the centre and participate in various tracking and telemetry experiments. The NARC will be operational from 07:00. Launch coverage will be on 145,750 in Gauteng and on HF on 7 082 kHz from 07:45.


Earth is entering a stream of dusty debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, the source of the annual Perseid meteor shower. Although the shower will not peak until 11 and 12 August, the show is already getting under way.

We are just on the outskirts of the debris stream now. If you go out at night and watch the sky, you will probably only see a few Perseids per hour.

According to Science at NASA, the Earth passes through the densest part of the debris stream sometime on 12 August when dozens of meteors can be seen per hour. Perseids can appear in any part of the sky, their tails all pointing back to the shower's radiant in the Perseus constellation.

For radio amateurs, meteor showers provide increased opportunities for meteor scatter communication. Since 2000, several digital modes implemented by computer programs have replaced voice and Morse code communications in popularity. The most popular program is "Weak Signal Communication, by K1JT" (WSJT) which offers specific digital protocols optimised for meteor scatter, ionospheric scatter, EME at VHF/UHF, as well as HF sky wave propagation. The programme can decode fraction-of-a-second signals reflected from ionised meteor trails and steady signals 10 dB below the audible threshold.

SARL members can find out more about meteor scatter communication on the members’ section of On the home page, click on the members-only button at the top right-hand corner and log in using your PIN.


The SARL has sent an invitation to clubs to operate the World Cup Soccer special event station, ZS10WCS. The period between September and the event in June/July 2010 has been divided into slots. Clubs have been invited to submit their choice of slot or slots by 15 August 2009. The final slots will be decided in a ballot to be held at the Radio Technology in Action symposium to be held in Cape Town on 22 August. Full details have been sent to clubs in the latest SARL Letter. A copy can be downloaded from – select news and then Club Talk.

If you are interested in operating ZS10WCS from your radio station, contact your club committee. To date only a request from the Boland Amateur Radio Club has been received.


The first workshop of Public Information Officers will be held via teleconference on Monday 3 August at 20:00. There is still an opportunity for a club to register a PIO by completing the form and sending it by email to not later than 08:00 on Monday morning.


SARL 160 metre QSO Party. The contest committee received six logs and the results are as follows:

Restricted Class
1st Johan Visagie, ZR4LP/6, 134 points.

Unlimited Class
1st Jacques Vermeulen, ZS1WC, 202 points;
2nd Geoff Levey, ZS6GRL, 134 points;
3rd Jan Botha, ZS4JAN, 117 points;
4th SA Armour Museum, 61 points (operated by Dennis, ZS4BS);
5th Dennis Green, ZS4BS, 24 points.

The first SARL YL Sprint will take place on National Women’s Day, Sunday 9 August, and will run from 11:00 to 12:00 CAT on 40 metres. A contact between two YLs counts 5 points, a contact between a YL and an OM counts 2 points and a contact between two OMs counts 1 point.

The SARL 40 metre mobile contest takes place on Sunday 9 August and runs from 15:00 to 17:00 CAT.


A special word of thanks goes out to all the radio amateurs of HAMNET Gauteng South who co-operated during the municipal strike on Monday 27 July 2009. Thank you not only to those individuals who assisted at disaster management, but also to all those who cleared the frequencies to allow emergency traffic to pass without interruption. We appreciate your help and patience.

A HAMNET Gauteng South and Disaster Management Volunteers’ meeting will be held on Thursday evening 6 August 2009 at 19:00 at the Leon Ferreira Fire Station in Boksburg. Anyone and everyone are welcome. For more information, contact HAMNET Gauteng South by email to

The Overberg Amateur Radio Club will be operating a station at the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory on 8 August in conjunction with their open day. The Overberg Club invites all amateurs to come and join in the fun. HF, digital and APRS will be demonstrated. For more information, contact Andre, ZS1AZ, at 072 729 1680 or Sam, ZS1OR, at 028 316 1470.


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. There are currently no official sunspots, but hopefully it will not remain that way for too long

20 and 40 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. Contacts with New Zealand may be possible on 40 m during the evenings. During the early mornings and evenings, 40 m contacts may be possible with Brazil. The north-easterly, north-westerly, south-easterly and south-westerly paths will be challenging.

10 MHz is looking promising late afternoon and after dark for the CW and digital enthusiasts.

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 and are very enlightening. Select "Ionospheric Data" and then "HF Propagation Conditions" to see which beacons were recently and not so recently received.

Vincent, ZS6BTY, publishes an excellent graphical link reliability prediction for all the Ham bands on the Pretoria Amateur Radio Club's website. This prediction is available at Click on the "Propagation" tab.

The best way to defeat the current low solar activity is to improve your antenna setup. Dipole or preferably directional antennas at least 12 metres above ground level are required to ensure that the radiation angle is low enough for long distance propagation. A good antenna system is one of the best investments a radio ham can make.

Local conditions are going to be good on 40 m during the daytime, especially for this afternoon's HF contest. 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 between ZS6 and ZS1.

80 m is the frequency of choice in the evenings. Fortunately, the static noise levels are on the decrease, making contacts over the longer distances a bit more pleasant. Now is the time to start making those contacts for your 80 m "Worked All ZS" award!

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

Please visit for further information.


2 August – SARL HF SSB Competition;
3-7 August – National Science Week and ZS6SCI active;
3 August – First teleconference meeting of the SARL Public Information Officer network at 20:00;
6 August – HAMNET Gauteng South meeting;
8 August – BACAR flight and Overberg ARC/HMO open day;
9 August – SARL YL Sprint and SARL 40 metre mobile contest;
22 August – Western Cape RTA;
30 August – SARL HF CW Contest.

SARL News invites clubs and individuals to submit news items of interest to radio amateurs and shortwave listeners. Submit news items in both English and Afrikaans if possible, only 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 17 570 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 Hester van der Walt.

Thank you for listening, 73.

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Last modified: 14 April 2003