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SARL News Bulletin Archive


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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 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.

In the news today:




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


On Friday 27 August ICASA published the new licence fee structure in the Government Gazette no 33 495. The minimum fee for any radio licence is R120. The new fee structure will become effective on 1 April 2011, at the start of ICASA's financial year. All licenses in the amateur service will cost R120 per annum from that date.

On 29 April 2009, the SARL submitted a memorandum to ICASA objecting to the proposed increases and argued that it would not be in the interest of retired persons and the youth. However, ICASA declined the SARL proposals for lower fees. Putting the new fee in perspective, it is well within the average inflation figure of the past 25 years, amounting to less than 8% per annum increase.

From 1 April the following licenses will increase to R120 per annum:
. ZU, ZR and ZS licenses
. Beacon licence
. Change of call sign request
. Special event licence
. Listener licence
. Repeater station including radio link
. Digipeater/bulletin board
. Experimental station for weather satellite reception and retransmission.

There is a discount for advance payments as follows:
If the licence is paid 2 years in advance it will cost R240; 3 years R329; 4 years R419 and 5 years R500.


SARL News has vacancies for bulletin compilers, editors and translators. The successful candidates must have enthusiasm and language ability in English or Afrikaans or both. The reward is the satisfaction of seeing the bulletin in print and being read on the air. SARL News is produced by teams working with George Honiball. Currently each team works every second month. News is collated on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings, then edited and translated and finally checked by George before being distributed on the internet on Saturday evenings. If you would like to get some experience in editing, call George on 012 664 4155. Your assistance will be appreciated.


August 31 was the cutoff date for paying the SARL 2010/2011 membership fee. The number of paid-up members was touching the 1 200 mark, and will by now have been exceeded. If you have not paid your SARL subscription you have another 7 days’ grace to do so before losing all benefits.

Please don't let this happen and pay those few rand in the next day or so. If you lost the invoice or the reminder that was sent a few days ago, call Mariska on 011 765 2393 on Monday morning.


Dr Robin Drennan, Executive Director of the National Research Foundation, will deliver the opening address at the SARL Radio Technology in Action 2010 on Saturday 18 September at the National Amateur Radio Centre. He will also inaugurate the real-time space weather display that is being installed in collaboration with the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory. The hardware has been donated by Acer South Africa.

The full programme can be downloaded from Click on RTA and follow the links. If you would like a copy in your mailbox, send an email to with RTA in the subject line.


An exciting development is taking place in the world of amateur radio digital audio. David Rowe, VK5DGR, announced the release of Version 0.1 alpha of Codec2, which is a fully function 2 550 bits per second codec for amateur radio digital voice.

Codec2 is an open-source low bit rate speech codec released under the GNU Lesser General Public License designed for communications quality speech use. Applications include low bandwidth HF and VHF digital radio. Its supporters say that Codec2 fills a gap in open source, free speech voice codecs operating below the 5 000 bps rate. When you listen to some sample audio in both male and female voices, you have to believe that Rowe has succeeded. You can hear it on Amateur Radio Mirror International later this morning.

Those who support Codec2 claim that the lack of a copyright-free codec has impeded the development of amateur radio digital voice communications on both the HF and VHF bands. They hope that Codec2 will eventually be incorporated into DV software such as WinDRM and FDMDV which has so far relied on a non-open source codec.


If you missed the ISAT presentation by John Williscroft, ZS6EF, you can listen to it on The presentation describes an imaginary CubeSat and was devised by John to stimulate the discussion which ensued on last Sunday’s SAT Network. You can still submit your ideas of what should be considered for inclusion in the payload on the planned satellite. Send your comments to


As always, the latest edition of Radio ZS contains plenty to read. You will enjoy reading about adding AM to the FT-102 by André Botes, ZS2ACP, and building a foot switch for contest operation, by Kevin McDonald, ZS6KMD. If you sported a flag on your car during the World Cup, there is an interesting recycling project titled Recycling the World Cup by John Williscroft, ZS6EF. Take a trip to Friedrichshafen with Dennis Green, read about amateur radio and the World Cup, about satellites and to QSL or not to QSL. The July/August edition is on its way to you. If you are not a member and want to see what you are missing, send an email to with RadioZS in the subject line and we will mail you a complimentary trial copy. A warning to members: if you have not renewed by 10 September, you will lose access to the member pages and the online version of Radio ZS.


On 24 July 2010, Sci Bono in co-operation with radio amateurs unsuccessfully tested the High Altitude Balloon Experiment Payload, also known as HABEX. The payload was lost through electronic failure and we had to return to the workbench to fix all the problems.

Radio amateur clubs and individuals are invited to attend the second attempt at success by the hopeful team.

Details are as follows:

Venue: Klerksdorp Airport FAKD
Time : 07:00-13:00 CAT
Date: 25 September 2010.

Details of the payload will be posted on the SARL forum and you are invited to share in the fun.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is still at low levels. A rash of small sunspots is breaking out across the sun's northern hemisphere. Unfortunately they all appear to be fairly inactive. 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. With the change of season 15 m is also starting to show signs of life. Conditions to India will be good from late afternoon until after sunset. During sunset it will be good towards Europe. 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 40 m is the workhorse for contacts around the country with 30 m also very useful for contacts over the longer distances. 80 m will be best during the early mornings and late afternoons and over the shorter distances.

80 m is the frequency of choice during the evenings.

Please visit for further information.


10 September – Last day to pay SARL membership fees;
18 September - RTA symposium at the NARC;
25 September – Launch of HABEX at Klerksdorp.

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 Gustav, ZS6BWN, and edited by Hester van der Walt.

Thank you for listening, 73.


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Last modified: 14 April 2003