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SARL News – SUNDAY 18 APRIL 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, 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 email.

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.

Silent key

It is with deep regret that the passing of John Andrew Friend, ZS6FJ, on Friday 09 April 2010 at the age of 54, is announced. Sincere condolences go to his family and friends.


In the news today:






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


It is World Amateur Radio Day today. The theme this year is "Amateur Radio: combining communication experience with modern digital techniques”.


SA AMSAT announced at the Space Symposium held at the University of KwaZulu-Natal that it would be building its own CubeSat. The project will involve radio amateurs, students and learners. The proposed payload will include a FM transponder with a 30 kHz bandwidth, a telemetry beacon and science projects. The project will start with inviting input from radio amateurs before the final payload is decided on, and project teams will then be set up. If you are interested in becoming involved, you are invited to send an email with your contact details and areas of expertise to


Registration for the various activities at the SARL National Convention which will be held next weekend in Port Elizabeth will close on Tuesday 20 April. As numbers for the various events have to be finalised and booked, it will not be possible to accept late bookings after Tuesday. This does not apply to attendance at the AGM as those registrations and acceptance of proxies will close at the venue at the start of the meeting.

The SARL office will be closed on Friday 23 April and no emails or telephone calls will be attended to. All proxies by fax or email must be sent by Wednesday 21 April or handed in at the AGM venue on Saturday morning.

Bookings for the PIC Course will also close on Tuesday. Please ensure that the correct form is used where you are able to select the two free PC project boards. No PIC course bookings can be accepted after Tuesday.

For information, bookings forms and venue details visit


The South African Amateur Radio Development Trust annually recognises amateur radio stars. The awards are sponsored by Nokia Siemens Networks and nominations close on 30 April. There are three awards:


The award is made for the support, development and application of technological innovation in amateur radio in South Africa. The recipient will be a person who has promoted the use of technology in amateur radio at club level, nationally, at schools or tertiary education institutions.


The award is made for the support and development of the amateur radio service in South Africa, not for individual achievements such as DXCC and other operational awards or contests. The recipient will be a person who has given of his or her expertise and time to the promotion of amateur radio in South Africa.


The Community Service Award goes to a radio amateur or a group of radio amateurs for service to the community. Community service can be assistance to a handicapped radio amateur, communications support during a sporting event or a disaster situation like a road accident or a natural disaster like a flood, veld fires, or an earthquake. Nominations are invited for an individual or a group of people like a radio club, or an association.

More details and the nomination form are available on


The dates for the 2010 Radio Technology in Action Symposiums have been finalised. Make a note in your diary now as the RTA is another SARL event not to be missed. Programme details will be announced at the SARL National Convention and thereafter will be available on the web.

A new feature of this year’s RTA is that three kits will be available. Although the kits may be pre-booked and paid for in advance, they will only be available at the RTA venues and not before or after the event. In other words, to buy a kit you have to attend the RTA. The three kits are:

• DSSS kit complete with common cables 100 mW on 40 m.

• TDR 1GHz sampling scope, runs on a USB port on PC or laptop.

• DSP Kit – digital signal processing speaker kit.

Full details and kit pre-order forms will be available on the SARL web pages after the SARL National Convention.

The RTA dates to diarise are:
Durban: 29 May 2010
Cape Town: 24 July 2010
Port Elizabeth: 21 August 2010
Gauteng: 18 September 2010

Stay tuned for more information.


The Autumn QRP Sprint will be run from 12:00 to 14:00 UTC today, Sunday 18 April. Please take note that items 5, 7 and 9 of the rules previously announced have been amended.

1. Aim
This is a fun activity to promote QRP contacts between radio amateurs in Southern African countries (General Rules paragraph 1.b).

2. Date and Time
World Amateur Radio Day, today 18 April 2010, 12:00 to 14:00 UTC (14:00 to
16:00 CAT).

3. Categories and Power
Portable or fixed station.
CW or phone or mixed.
Power – 5 W, 1 W or 100 mW.

4. Exchange
The exchange is RS(T) and year first licensed (e.g. 59 89).
5. Frequency and modes
40 meter band (contest-preferred segments).
Modes permissible are SSB and CW.
A station may be worked once on CW and once on phone per band.
Cross-band or cross-mode operation is not permitted.

6. Antennas
Only wire antennas may be used.

7. Scoring
Each contact counts 2 points.
Each prefix worked counts 2 points.
Power multiplier: 1 for 5 W; 5 for 1 W; 10 for 100 mW.

Score = [(no. of QSOs x 2) x (no.of prefixes x 2) x (power multiplier)]

8. Log sheets
Log sheets to be submitted by 3 May 2010 and can be sent by to West Rand Amateur Radio Club, P.O. Box 5344, Weltevredenpark, 1725, or emailed to

9. Results and awards
All the logs are evaluated as one group, regardless of the station's category status, mode or power used. A list of call signs with their scores and placements will be made available within a week of the closing date. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place positions will receive a certificate for their achievement.


It has been decided to change the transmission time of the Western Cape Hamnet bulletin on Wednesday evenings to 19:30, from the 20:30 time in summer. This is because the 80m band relay on 3 760 kHz now dies out before the bulletin is over. This bulletin is relayed on 3 760 MHz by ZS1DDK, on 70 2625 MHz in the 4 m band by ZS1BSD, and on Echolink, via ZS1TX-R on the South African list. You can also access the Echolink node 4 043 using DTMF tones. We look forward to hearing you call in if you listened.


The closing date for entries for the May 2010 Radio Amateur Examination is Friday 23 April 2010 at 12:00 CAT. Please note that no late entries will be accepted at all.

Any queries can be directed to Mariska at the SARL office. Please visit the SARL home page for contact details and the application forms.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is declining. Sunspot 1 062 has faded and the visible disk of the sun is currently blank of any sunspots. The effective sunspot number is expected to be less than 10 for the coming week.

15 m will provide the best opportunities for DX followed by 17 and 20 m. Conditions to India will be good from the afternoon onwards. During the late afternoons and early evenings contacts will be good towards Europe. Contacts with the USA are once again becoming challenging. Contacts with Australia are possible at around 08:00 while contacts with New Zealand will be challenging. During the afternoons and evenings good 15 m contacts may also be possible with Brazil.

Local conditions are going to be good on 40 m during the daytime. 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. 20 m is very useful for contacts over the longer distances during most of the day.

80 m is the frequency of choice in the evenings. With the change of season the noise levels are also decreasing and some top band activity will once again become possible.

Please visit for further information.


18 April – World Amateur Radio and the Autumn QRP Sprint contest.
23 April – SARL office is closed.
23 April – Entries close for the May RAE.
23-25 April – SARL National Convention, Port Elizabeth.
24 April – West Rand Amateur Radio Club flea market.
7 May – Closing date for stage 2 of the Construction Competition.
8 May – Technological High School John Vorster Amateur Radio Club flea market.
29 May – RTA symposium in Durban.
24 July – RTA symposium in Cape Town.
21 August – RTA symposium in Port Elizabeth.
31 August – Closing date for submission of proposals for the 2011 SARL Contest Manual.
18 September – RTA symposium in Gauteng.

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 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, 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 by Leon, ZS4V, and edited by Hester van der Walt.

Thank you for listening, 73.

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Last modified: 14 April 2003