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SARL News SUNDAY 28 FEBRUARY 2010

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 newsreader this morning is (name), (call sign), on 145,725 and 7,066 MHz from Pretoria, with relays on 10,130, 7,066 and 3,695 MHz SSB.

In the news today:

WIN A MICROCHIP PICDEM TOUCH SENSE 1 DEVELOPMENT BOARD AND DIAGNOSTIC TOOL IN THE 2010 CONSTRUCTION COMPETITION

LEARN TO PROGRAM A PIC MICRO-CONTROLLER IN FOUR HOURS

ONLY 5 DAYS LEFT TO ENTER FOR TINUS LANGE AWARDS

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

WIN A MICROCHIP PICDEM TOUCH SENSE 1 DEVELOPMENT BOARD AND DIAGNOSTIC TOOL IN THE 2010 CONSTRUCTION COMPETITION

The South African Amateur Radio Development Trust is inviting entries in the 2010 construction competition which this year is a competition with a difference. We are looking for an innovative approach to a construction project that has application in Amateur Radio but based on microchip technology.

The overall winner will be awarded a PICDEMT Touch Sense 1 Development Board and Diagnostic Tool and a PICkit 2 Kit from Microchip as well as an ARRL handbook.

The competition is run in three stages. Stage one is a paper design stage in which the participant in the competition must develop a project of his or her choice using a microchip and submit a short write up of the project including a circuit diagram and description of operation. The closing date for stage one is 31 March 2010.

Three entries, which in the opinion of the judges are the most original coupled with their usefulness in Amateur Radio, will receive R500 to build a proto-type for entry in the second stage of the competition.

The second stage entry must be a complete, suitably packaged and operating unit. The entry must be accompanied by all the necessary paperwork as well as an article with circuit and illustrations for publication in Radio ZS.

The closing date for stage 2 is 7 May 2010. Full details and the stage one entry form can be found on www.amateurradio.org.za


LEARN TO PROGRAM A PIC MICRO-CONTROLLER IN FOUR HOURS

Staying with PIC Micro-controllers, the SARL PIC course has been fully revised and updated and will be presented in Gauteng, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Cape Town. The revised course is great for newcomers to micro-controller programming and also an ideal refresher course for those who are already constructing with PICs.

The course fee includes tuition, required software on a CD, a demonstration board with a PIC, a programmer to download your programs to the PIC and 2 project boards which can be selected when booking for the course. A USB programmer is available to course participants at a small additional charge.

The first course will be held at the NARC on 13 March 2010. Bookings are now open. Only a maximum of 20 persons can be accommodated on each course so don't delay.

Get full details and a booking form on www.sarl.org.za, click on RTA and follow the links.

INTECNET THIS EVENING

The first Intecnet for 2010 will be on the air this evening (Sunday 28 February 2010) at 19:30. The discussion will be about what if there is another opportunity to include an amateur payload in future South African satellites what should it be? Join the discussion on one of the repeaters or listen to the net on echolink or the webcast by Chris Smit, ZS6FCS. Get all the details on www.sarl.org.za and click on armi.

ONLY 5 DAYS LEFT TO ENTER FOR TINUS LANGE AWARDS

The SARL Tinus Lange 7066 Technical Excellence Award and Tinus Lange 7066 Junior Technical Excellence Award is bestowed annually on the persons who submit a technical project in any of the following categories:

Design and/or construction of projects such as a pre-amp, SWR bridge, patching unit, automatic ID-er, practical antenna ideas, mast, portable gear, power supplies etc.

The project that you may have built for your own shack will be a good entry.

OR

Any software for use in Amateur Radio.

The submission must include the following: - the actual items (if size and mass allows it) or photographs (particularly in the case of antennas/mast etc) and a complete write-up in article form with illustrations/pictures ready for publication in Radio ZS. Entries must be in MSWord.

The actual entry and the supporting documentation - i.e. a press ready article for Radio ZS plus any other documents must be delivered and mailed to the NARC to arrive not later than Friday 5 March 2010. Judging will take place on the morning of 6 March.

All entries will be displayed (where practical, otherwise photographs) at the AGM and the awards will be presented at the annual dinner to be held in Port Elizabeth on Saturday 24 April 2010.

The two awards made are the Junior Technical Achievement Award (Under 25 years of age), a framed certificate and a cash award of R500, and the Technical Achievement Award, a framed certificate and a cash award of R500. In addition the winners will each receive an ARRL Logbook valued at R75 sponsored by the SA Amateur Radio Development Trust and a complimentary invitation for one person to attend the awards dinner (Transport not included.)

CONTEST NEWS

Congratulations to Pierre, ZS6BB, on scoring the most points again in the Antique Wireless Association CW activity day. Once again, Pierre showed his prowess not by making the most QSO's but by using QRP to score the most points.

The following are the results:
ZS6BB, Pierre - 48 points
ZS4JAN, Jan - 34 points
ZS1TTZ, Adrian -11 points

There were a total of 27 stations recorded in the activity. Congratulations and thanks to all who took part.

The annual SARL HAMNET 40 Metre Simulated Emergency Contest will be run from 12:00 to 14:00 UTC on Sunday 7 March. It is a phone only contest using the band segment 7,060 to 7,100 MHz.

Radio amateurs in Southern Africa are invited to participate as a single operator stationary mobile, a single operator portable, a multi-operator portable or a single operator base station. The exchange is a RS report and a serial number determined by the class of participation.

The RSGB Commonwealth Contest is on the air on the weekend of 13 and 14 March and is a CW only contest.

The SARL VHF/UHF Digital Contest starts at 16:00 UTC on Friday 19 March with the first session ending at 12:59 UTC on Saturday 20 March. The second session starts at 13:00 UTC on Saturday and ends at 12:00 UTC on Sunday 21 March.

The SARL VHF/UHF Analogue Contest starts at 10:00 UTC on 20 March and ends at 10:00 UTC on 21 March.

The rules for the Hamnet 40 Metre contest and the SARL VHF/UHF Contests are to be found in the 2010 SARL Contest Manual.

CLUB NEWS

The next ZS6PTA Pretoria Amateur Radio Club Fleamarket will be held on Saturday 27 March 2010 at the Pretoria Motorclub in Silverton. The starting time is 08:00 and it may last until approximately 11:00. For further information or to book a table, Contact Almero du Pisani on cell number 082 908 3359 or send an email to almero@up.ac.za.


PROPAGATION REPORT

Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that there were 260 days without sunspots in 2009 and only 2 since 2010. The solar activity is still at low levels. Currently sunspots 1 050 and 1 051 are doing their bit for solar activity although they are fairly moderate sunspots. The effective sunspot number is expected to be less than twenty for the coming week.

20 and 15 m will provide the best opportunities for DX. Conditions to India will be good from the afternoons onwards. During the late afternoons and early evenings it will be fair towards Europa. In the afternoons there are good possibilities for contacts with the USA on 15 m. Contacts with Australia will be possible on 20 m for a short while during the mornings. During the afternoons and evenings good 20 and 15 m contacts may also be possible with Brazil.

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. 30 m will perform well during the middle of the day. With summer here 20 m is very useful for contacts over the longer distances during the majority of the day.

80 m is the frequency of choice in the evenings.

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

DIARY OF EVENTS
28 February Tonight at 19:30 Intechnet about possible future SA satellite payloads.
28 February Closing date for the SumbandilaSat essay Competition.
28 February Final date for entries in the ARRISS-SAT project to be submitted to youth@sarl.org.za.
5 March Last day to enter for the Tinus Lange Awards.
7 March - SARL HAMNET 40 Metre Simulated Emergency Contest from 12:00 to 14:00 UTC.
13/14 March - RSGB Commonwealth CW only Contest.
19/21 March - SARL VHF/UHF Digital Contest.
20/21 March - SARL VHF/UHF Analogue Contest.
27 March - Pretoria Amateur Radio Club Fleamarket at 08:00.
31 March SARL 80 m Club Contest with PSK and RTTY.
31 March Closing date for stage 1 of the Construction Competition.
17 April 2010 SA AMSAT Space Symposium.
23-25 April SARL National Convention, Port Elizabeth.
7 May - Closing dat for stage 2 of the Construction Competition.

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.

The SARL also invites you to listen to Amateur Radio Mirror International 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 a webstream and Echolink by ZS6FCS, visit www.sarl.org.za, click on 'ARMI' and follow the links. A repeat transmission can be heard on 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 and edited by George, ZS6NE.

Thank you for listening, 73.
/EX


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Last modified: 14 April 2003