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SARL NEWS - SUNDAY 15 August 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 web stream, 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 also 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 7,066 and 3,695 MHz SSB.


Bill Gibson, ZS6ZC, also known as "Uncle Bill" to many radio amateurs, has become silent key on Monday the 9th of August after a long illness.

Our sincerest condolences to his relatives 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.


The SARL Radio Technology in action 2010 symposium will be held in Port Elizabeth on Saturday 21 August on the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University North campus. The venue is in building 23, lecture theatre M223.

The programme covers a wide range of interests. Find out how DSP can improve the audio from your receiver, get up to date with space weather research in South Africa, understand what the SKA project will hold for science in South Africa, learn about the first 3 unit CubeSat being built at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and how to get started on Amateur Radio Direction Finding.

The registration fee, payable at the door, is only R50 which includes refreshments and a light finger lunch. It also includes entry into the attendance prize competition sponsored by RS Components and others. Learners and students enter free on presentation of their student cards.

The full programme can be down loaded from Click on the RTA button in the left hand menu on the home page. A map is also available from the RTA pages. To get a programme mailed to you, send an email to with PE RTA in the subject line.

Don't miss this great annual SARL event.


The SA AMSAT committee this week reviewed all the names proposed for its CubeSat project but found none of the names proposed suitable for the project. The committee decided to hold the naming of the project until the payloads have been finalised. Many different payload options were discussed but no final decision was made. The committee however narrowed down the options for a payload to two. The first option is centered around a payload that would promote satellite use by radio amateurs in South Africa and the second option is a project of a scientific nature that would also have appeal to the education sector.

The committee also decided to hold regular satellite nets to be called SATNET. It will be run on the basis of the Intecnet with host stations in various cities. The first SATNET is planned for Sunday 29 August at 19:30. The question of payloads for the CubeSat project will be the subject for discussion. More details will be on and will be included in next week's SARL NEWS.


ICASA is writing new regulations for all radio services. The regulations will complement the Table of Frequency Allocations published last week in the Government Gazette. In addition supplementary band plans will be developed which, in the case of amateur radio, will cover the amateur frequency allocations and specify the conditions under which the bands may be used, such as modes and permitted power levels.

In the table of frequency allocations amateur radio acquired a VLF allocation namely from 135,7 - 137,8 kHz. Use of this allocation will however have to wait till the supplementary band plan is promulgated. At the SARL - ICASA liaison meeting held during last week ICASA agreed as an interim measure to add the VLF allocation to the current radio regulations. This would require a notice in the Government Gazette. ICASA undertook to have this completed by the next liaison meeting in early November.

The SARL requested ICASA to expedite the SADC agreement which would allow radio Amateurs in SADC countries to operate in each other’s countries without the need for additional licenses or permits. As the SARL requested this action over a year ago, ICASA was urged to complete the agreement as soon as possible, also before the next meeting. The Chairman of the meeting indicated that this was already in place for commercial vehicle travelling across borders and that he would expedite the process.

Since the establishment of the Liaison committee a number of issues have been resolved including the expansion of the 40 metre band, operation in South Africa by all licensed amateurs during the recent World Cup Soccer event, operation by delegates attending the 2011 IARU Region One conference in August 2011 and simplification for applying permission to operate Spread Spectrum.


During the past week the paid up membership reached 1 100. However this is still a long way off the 1 600 target. If you have not yet renewed please do so as soon as possible before August 31. If you have already renewed, thank you for your support. If you would like to join as a new member, call Mariska at 011 675 2393 on Monday to get the details or visit


The results of the SARL 80 m Club Contest held on Wednesday 28 July have been released. The committee received 20 logs from three clubs. The committee is concerned about the lack of participation by other clubs.

1st West Rand ARC with 215 points from 14 logs;
2nd The ZS Contest Group with 79 points from 2 logs;
3rd The Southern African Antique Wireless Association with 56 points from 4 logs.

Thank you to all the participants, the next 80 metre Club contest is the digital contest on 29 September.


The Overberg Amateur Radio Club will be operating from Danger Point on International Lighthouse Weekend - 21/22 August. Other club members, ZS1AZ, ZR1NET & ZS1HR will be operating from Cape Infanta. Please call in if you hear them.


The Kempton Park Amateur Technical Society has started with their Class A RAE course for the October exam. On the 21st August 2010 they will present the HF operator’s training in view of their HF assessment on the 9th October 2010.
Any student is welcome to join them for these two days. Look at the club web page at for contact information.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is still at low levels. August 11th marked the 46th day in a row with an official NOAA Sunspot number and this represents a new record for Solar Cycle 24. With the continuous stream of new sunspots, it looks like the record will stretch even longer. The previous best was set March 5th, 2010 with 45 days. On Wednesday there were 5 visible sunspot groups (1 093, 1 095, 1 096, 1 097 and 1 098). It now looks like only 1 093 and 1 098 remaining as the others have faded to simple magnetic plages. Sunspot 1 093 is an interesting double sunspot. The effective sunspot number is expected to be less than 25 for the coming week.

20 m will provide the best opportunities for DX followed by 40 m. Conditions to India will be good from the late afternoons till after sunset. During sunset it will be good towards Europa. Contacts with the USA are still challenging. Contacts with Australia and New Zealand are possible at sunrise on 20 m and on 40 m after sunset. Weak 15 m openings to Brazil and South America are possible during the afternoons.

For the CW and digital enthusiasts 30 m may be very rewarding with openings to many parts of the world.

Locally is 40 m the work horse for contacts around the country with 30 m also being very useful for contacts over the longer distances. 80 m will be best during the early mornings and late afternoons as well as over the shorter distances.

80 m is the frequency of choice during the evenings.

Please visit for further information.


16 August – Logs for SARL HF phone competition must be in;
21 August - RTA symposium in Port Elizabeth;
21 August – HF operators course in Kempton Park, visit for information;
21/22 August – International Lighthouse weekend;
24 August – Logs for the YL sprint to be in to zs4bfn@];
29 August – SATNET at 19:30 on the air;
31 August - Closing date for submission of proposals for the 2011 SARL Contest Manual.

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 17 560 kHz. There is also a podcast by ZS6RO.For a web-stream and Echolink by ZS6FCS, visit, click on 'ARMI' and follow the links. A repeat transmission can be heard on Mondays at 22:05 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.


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