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SARL NEWS - SUNDAY 29 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.


Jac Roux, ZS6QA, for 32 years a member of the Pretoria Amateur Radio Club and very involved in motor rallies, became silent key on 26 August. Our condolences to his wife Ann, daughters Clair and Jessica


In the news today:




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


SA AMSAT's first SAT NETWORK will be on the air this evening at 19:30. Join the discussion on the payload options for the proposed SA AMSAT CubeSat. John Williscroft, ZS6EF, will introduce the subject with a presentation on an imaginary satellite and its multi payloads built on the back of fold-out solar panels. The idea is to set the scene for a useful discussion. By courtesy of the SARL, SAT NETWORK will be facilitated by the same team as the President's Net and Intecnet on repeaters in the Cape Town area, the Eastern Cape repeater network, Durban and Gauteng and North West. Marten, ZS6ZY, will relay on 3 718 kHz and Chris, ZS6FCS, will take care of Echolink and the Webcast. Clubs wishing to arrange a last minute link for their repeater should send an email to by 11:00 this morning.


The US Amateur Radio Emergency Service, ARES, will be celebrating its 75th anniversary from September through December 2010. This programme of the ARRL has provided "ham radio" emergency communications for agencies such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, countless Emergency Operations Centers and other responders in the worst of times.

Their specially trained radio communications volunteers give thousands of hours of community service for free. The fastest way to turn an emergency into a disaster is to lose communications. In events from ice storms to Hurricane Katrina and Haiti, when normal communications systems were down or overloaded, the Radio Amateurs in the ARES programmes filled requests for communications aid. The first mention of an organized Amateur Radio emergency response organisation appeared in the September 1935 issue of QST Magazine.


When the SARL convinced the authorities at the time that South Africa needed an introductory license to introduce teenagers into amateur radio it was with that understanding that the ZU license was introduced as a stepping stone into amateur radio for young people who had not yet reached the educational level to be able to study for the ZS or class A license. While the regulations did not pin down an age limit, it is still perceived by ICASA that the ZU license is aimed at the young.

In the past imposing an age limit has been suggested. Should it be 18, should it be 25 which is the current age limit for SARL student membership. With the current rewrite of the regulations, all radio regulations, the question will undoubtedly be raised again. We have to wait and see what will come out of the wash when the draft regulations are published for comment in the Government Gazette. When is still unknown, perhaps in the next few months. Draft regulations are gazetted for comment. Comments are then considered before the final regulations are promulgated.

The ZU license stands apart from novice licenses in other countries and is not internationally recognized. The SARL is still standing by its original request to the then regulatory authorities and urge clubs to promote the ZU license as an introduction to amateur radio for young people. That is what is always was meant to be.

If you would like to comment and share your views send an email to


It is difficult to believe that only entries from overseas have been received in the Innovation competition that is being sponsored by the SA Amateur Radio Development Trust and ICOM. "Innovation in Amateur Radio" is an eighteen month project aimed at promoting innovation in Amateur Radio. "While Amateur Radio is one of the oldest and still the most rewarding of all the scientific hobbies, there comes a time when one has to look at innovation, new ideas and new technologies to keep the activities relevant and exciting". This is the view of Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, a technologist and a member of the Board of Trustees of SAARDT. Hannes was one of the principle architects of the Amateur Radio payload on SumbandilaSat.

Radio amateurs and technologists are invited to submit projects that will innovate amateur radio whether is it software, amateur radio and the Internet, the development of compact HF antennas for flat and complex dwellers or innovation in Emergency Communications. Read more about it on and visit the innovations page. See how D-star is changing the amateur radio experience in other countries.


The ZS6JVT 40 metre HF Youth Spring competition will take place on Saturday 4 September between 10:00 and 12:00 CAT.

Please carefully read the rules in the Competition Handbook prior to joining the competition. The frequencies to be used are 7,130 – 7,200 MHz. Competitors are earnestly requested not to use just one frequency, please move around.

ZS6JVT will be on the lookout for other young friends on 40 m and wish one and all strength for the competition.


At the AGM of the Magalies Radioamateur Club held on 22 August, the following members were elected to serve on the committee for the 2010/2011 period:
Chairman: Thys Maree, ZS6MJM;
Vice Chairman: Nic Smit, ZR6NSP;
Secretary: Johann Du Plessis, ZS6PSS;
Treasurer/finance: Louis Mitchell, ZS6LWM;
Technical: Sam van Zyl, ZS6JZ;
Teenspanning: Marko Nel, ZS6MJ.

Many thanks to the previous committee for their leadership and work during the past year and strength to the new committee for the year ahead.


Nico Schoonwinkel, ZS4NS, from an amateur family in Welkom, is known for his achievements on the 6 m band. He and his son Coenie, were members of a team of marksmen who took part in an air gun and .22 rifle target shooting competition from 26 July to 6 August in Plzen of the Czech Republic. Nico brought back one medal, Coenie a few môre and the team the gold medal. Congratulations, weel done!


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is still at low levels. Currently Sunspot 1 101 is big but quiet. The effective sunspot number is expected to be less than 10 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, late afternoons and evenings as well as over the shorter distances.

Please visit for further information.


29 August – SATNET at 19:30 on the air;
31 August - Closing date for submission of proposals for the 2011 SARL Contest Manual;
4 September - ZS6JVT 40 metre HF Youth Spring competition between 10:00 and 12:00 CAT;
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 17 560 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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