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SARL NEWS SUNDAY 02 JANUARY 2011

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 www.sarl.org.za, click on 'ARMI' and follow the links. PLEASE NOTE: for audio via Echolink, connect to ZS0JPL-R.

You can download this bulletin and previous ones from www.sarl.org.za 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. (Other news readers change as applicable).

SILENT KEY

It is with regret that it has to be announced that the key of Scotty Vallance, ZS5SV, a member of the Highway Amateur Radio Club, became silent on 29 December 2010.

Our sincere condolences to his wife, Merle, family and friends in this difficult time.

(PAUSE)

In the news today:

SARL PREPARING DOCUMENTATION TO INCREASE 160 METRE ALLOCATION

MAJOR EFFORT TO "CLEAN" SARL DATA BASE UNDERWAY

BOOKING NOW OPEN FOR THE PIC COURSE IN GAUTENG

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

SARL PREPARING DOCUMENTATION TO INCREASE 160 METRE ALLOCATION

The SARL is preparing documentation to have access to more of the 160 metre band for amateur communication in South Africa. You are invited to make input by sending your views why it is necessary to expand the very narrow allocation currently available to South African amateurs. Please include in your motivation items such as propagation studies and of what benefit an expanded 160 metre allocation will be. Send the information to zs6akv@sarl.org.za by end January. The SARL proposal will be presented at the next SARL/ICASA liaison meeting planned February 2011.

MAJOR EFFORT TO "CLEAN" SARL DATA BASE UNDERWAY

A team of volunteers under the leadership of the SARL Data Base Administrator, Colin de Villiers, ZS6COL, are working on the SARL data Base in order to update the call book and free-up many call signs that appear not to have been in use for many years.

The SARL maintains a database of members of the SARL at the SARL offices at the National Amateur Radio Centre. The database is designed specifically to administer membership subscriptions, print labels for the distribution of Radio ZS and conduct the operation of the QSL Bureau. It is a rather complex database that takes into account duplicate call signs held by members, Special Event call signs and also retains details of Silent Keys for a number of years in order to handle QSL cards that have been known to arrive as much as 10 years after the contact was made. This is of particular significance to the efficient operation of the QSL Bureau. It is also used for AGM communications to members and more recently has an added SMS facility for alerting members in the various regions of SARL sponsored events in their area.

Please support this effort by doing the following"
1) Please go to the Web call book and check your callsign details for accuracy. The team has made many corrections to the database and want to be sure that we have not introduced any errors.

2) If you find that your call sign is not on the Web callbook and you know that it was previously there, then this means that you were one of the 650 people that the team has removed from the callbook as the ICASA database shows you are not licensed. We hope that you do not find this to be the case as only call signs where there had been no recorded activity for 16 years and where ICASA has shown you as being unlicensed for most of those years were removed.

If you feel that this is not correct i.e. you have a valid paid up licence for 2010, you are invited to send Colin a scanned copy of your licence for further investigation. The email address is dataproject@sarl.org.za.

3) Please do not communicate on behalf of somebody else unless you are able to send a copy of their licence. Please note that only communications that are accompanied by this proof will be actioned or responded to.

For detailed discussion on the process, visit www.sarl.org.za. You find all the information on the home page.

BOOKING NOW OPEN FOR THE PIC COURSE IN GAUTENG

The SARL will be presenting the popular course "learn how to work with Microchip PIC's, how to programme them and use them in projects" on 29 January in Gauteng.

During 2011 only two PIC courses will be presented, Gauteng on 29 January and in Cape Town on 16 July. Booking for the Gauteng course is now open. Visit www.sarl.org.za and select RTA on the left hand menu and follow the links.

ARE YOU A SHORTWAVE LISTENER?

With many changes for Amateur Radio Mirror International planned for introduction later this month, including a name change, new web pages, and new features, the SARL is looking for a keen Shortwave Listener to present a 5 minute slot on all aspects of shortwave listening. If you are the person to take up the challenge and have your own regular radio column send an email to armi@sarl.org.za with your telephone number and we will contact you to discuss the details and logistics.

SATELLITE MEETING IN GAUTENG

Eddie Leighton,ZS6BNS, will be anchoring a meeting on satellites on Saturday 15 January at the National Amateur Radio Centre. Learn more about operating amateur satellites, how to build a simple satellite antenna, how to track and all the ins and outs of this fascinating part of Amateur Radio. It starts at 10 am. Find out how you can get involved in the SA AMSAT CubeSat project.

The NARC is situated at Sender Technology Park, Octave road, Radiokop, Roodepoort.

HUNTING LIONS IN THE AIR

The radio amateurs and the Lions Club of Eshowe are planning to observe Saturday 15 January as an opportunity for Lions Clubs to exchange greetings on the air via Amateur Radio. The birthday of the founder of Lionism, Melvin Jones, born in 1879 at Ft. Thomas, Arizona USA is commemorated on 13 January.

The Eshowe Lions will be on the air from 14:00 CAT and want to exchanging greetings with other Lions and radio clubs in South Africa and/or the rest of the world - no prizes - but exchange QSL cards and 'make friends.'

If there are Lions and radio clubs around the country interested in joining the radio amateurs and the Eshowe Lions Club on Saturday 15 January 2011, please contact Willie, ZS5WI, at zs5wi@telkomsa.net, and give him your information.

PROPAGATION REPORT

Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is still at low levels. 2010 came to a close with a flurry of new sunspots. One region rotated into view on the eastern limb, and at the same time, three new sunspots have suddenly popped up. One of these regions located in the northern hemisphere appears to be growing at a good pace. Another region in the south is existing region 1 139. May 2011 be full of sunspots for all of us! The effective sunspot number is expected to be less than 20 for the coming week.

15 m will provide the best opportunities for DX followed by 20 m. Conditions to India will be good from the afternoon till after sunset. During the afternoons conditions will be fair towards Europa on 15 m, later to be followed by fair 20 m openings. Early evening 15 m contacts with the USA are possible. Contacts with Australia are possible on 20 m during the late afternoons. 15 m openings to Brazil and South America are possible during the afternoons. With the good 15 and 20 m openings 17 m will also be full of surprises.

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 work horse for contacts around the country with 20 and 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 www.spaceweather.co.za for further information.

DIARY OF EVENTS

15 January Hunt Lions on the Air from 10:00 CAT;
15 January Satellite meeting at 10:00 CAT the NARC;
20 January 2011 Closing date for submission for application for the May 2011 RAE bursaries; visit www.amateurradio.org.za for application forms;
20 January - Closing date for submission of proposals and synopsis of papers for 2011 SA AMSAT Space Symposium to saamsat@intekom.co.za;
29 January PIC course at the NARC in Gauteng;
30 January 2011 - Closing date for phase 1 of the construction competition;
31 January Proposals for extension to 160 m-band to be in to zs6akv@sarl.org.za.

SARL News invites clubs and individuals to submit terms 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.

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 www.sarl.org.za , 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.

/EX


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Last modified: 14 April 2003