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SARL NEWS - SUNDAY 6 FEBRUARY 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 for details. 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.

In the news today:

SARL MEMBERSHIP REACHED 1 500

WHY SHOULD YOU JOIN THE SARL?

LEARNING TO PROGRAM IN WINDOWS

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

SARL MEMBERSHIP REACHED 1 500

The SARL membership reached 1 500 during the past week, the highest number it has been for many years. Welcome to all the new and rejoining members.

The lucky winners of the joining competition which ran over the Christmas period and ended on 15 January 2011 are Lucas Holtzhausen ,ZR6LH, and Stephen Waries, ZS1BSW. Congratulations. Both are the lucky winners of a 2011/2012 SARL Membership.

WHY SHOULD YOU JOIN THE SARL?

There are still many radio amateurs in South Africa who are outsiders looking in, expecting the same access to services and information as members. As one person wrote on the SARL forum this week and we quote a shortened version of what he wrote "Some of info costs money, rands and cents, mostly rands. Some non-members prefer to be non SARL members. It is their own free choice. But some of these non-members demand certain services from SARL without contributing towards the cost of these services. They demand it for free."

And that is the point of joining the SARL. For example, from membership dues the SARL pays affiliation fees to the International Radio Union supporting the efforts the IARU makes at the ITU level. It is through the collaborative efforts that we today have the 10, 18 and 24 MHz allocations and more recently the expansion of 40 metres. These efforts cost money, people have to travel to attend ITU meetings, lobby regional telecommunication organisations and attend ITU world radio conferences. It does not come for nothing.

The WRC-12 Conference Preparatory Meeting (PM) will open in Geneva in slightly more than a week. Duration will be 2 weeks. Amateur radio will be represented. The IARU will be following not only Agenda Item 1.23 (500 kHz) but also several others, which might pose a threat to our bands. The IARU delegation will also be watching the development of the draft agenda for the next WRC in 2015 or 2016.

Joining the SARL is little to pay for what is done locally and internationally to make amateur radio prosper.

This year the SARL, for the first time since the formation of the IARU in 1925, will be hosting the Region 1 triennial conference in August. Delegates representing more than 90 national societies will be in South Africa to discuss strategies to keep Amateur Radio the most exciting of all scientific hobbies. In addition the IARU Administrative Council will also meet in South Africa immediately after the Regional conference.

So if you are serious about amateur radio, join the SARL. It is now the time. Visit www.sarl.org.za to get application forms and information or call Mariska at 011 675-2393 on Monday,

LEARNING TO PROGRAM IN WINDOWS

The next course the SARL is presenting is "Learning to program in Windows. Produce your own applications in Windows to run peripherals from a USB port. The course includes a USB interface that will switch relays and read push buttons and voltages. The course will be presented by John Willescroft, ZS6EF. The first course will in Cape Town on Saturday 19 March 2011. John will teach you how to design your own shack control program with stand-alone applications. Your very own EXE files.

Registration is R350 for members and R500 for non-SARL members. Bookings are now open, so visit www.sarl.org.za , select RTA and follow the links.

GAUTENG PIC COURSE A GREAT SUCCESS

The course on learning to programme micro controllers, held at the NARC last Saturday, was a great success with very positive comments received from participants both from radio amateurs and delegates from industry.

The next PIC course will be held in Cape Town on 16 July. Unfortunately there are no further PIC courses on the schedule for 2011.

The SA Amateur Radio Development Trust has the ARRL book "PIC programming for beginners in stock. It comes with a CD containing MPLab IDE software, device documentation, video files and exercise program files. It is available by mail order at www.amateurradio.org.za, select books and follow the links.

TECHNOBYTE TODAY IS ON SELECTING THE RIGHT HEAT SINK

In Amateur Radio Today, John Willescroft, ZS6EF, will discuss how to decide on what heat sink is required for your project. Also in the programme is an interview about the SKA with Dr Bernie Fanaroff.

ANOTHER CHANCE TO ENTER THE SPACE WEEK ESSAY COMPETITION

On request from the Gauteng Department of Education the entry date for the Space Week essay competition has been extended to 31 March. The main reason is that because of the disruption in education during the second half of last year, learners had to focus on catching up on their studies, which left them very little opportunity to devote time to researching the subject and write an essay. The subject for the Essay is "If you were an astronaut on the international space station, what experiment would you like to carry out and why?" Full details on www.amsatsa.org.za.

CONTEST NEWS

The committee received 12 logs from four radio clubs for the first SARL 80 metre Club contest. The results are:

1st West Rand ARC, 152 points from 9 logs
2nd Antique Wireless Association, 46 points from 4 logs
3rd Port Elizabeth ARS, 17 points from 1 log
4th Sandton ARC, 9 points from 1 log

The SARL National Field Day will be run next weekend, 12 and 13 February with phone, CW and digital activity on 160 to 10 metres. The complete rules can be found in the 2011 SARL Contest Manual. The rules have changed, thus it is important the rules are read before the contest starts.

CLUB NEWS

The Overberg Amateur Radio Club will be operating a field station on 12 February on the farm Lochinvar just outside of Stanford. They will also be holding their AGM at the same QTH at 10:00. That evening the Loch Rock party will also take place, so it seems it is going to be a fun week end. Visitors are welcome. Contact ZS1AZ by email to andre@zs1az.co.za for more details.

PROPAGATION REPORT

Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is still at low levels. Sunspot 1 150 is decaying with no substitute at the moment visible. The effective sunspot number is expected to be less than 15 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 Europe on 15 m, later to be followed by fair 20 m openings. 15 m contacts with the USA are possible during the evenings. Contacts with Australia are possible on 20 m at sunrise. 15 and especially 20 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 is 40 m the workhorse 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

5-6 February - CW Activity day of the Antique Wireless Society.
12-13 February - SARL National Field Day and ZS85SARL on the air for the last time from Saturday 12:00 CAT to Sunday 12:00 CAT.
12 February - Overberg Amateur Radio Club field station and AGM on Lochinvar near Stanford.
21 February - Logs for the SARL field day to be in to the Bloemfontein ARC
25 February - Logs for AWA CW Activity day to be in to Andy, ZSADY.
28 February - Offers to host a station at Sun City during IARU Region 1 conference to be in to iaru2011@sarl.org.za.
25 March - SAiSAT briefing session at the NARC.
31 March Entries for the Space Week Essay Competition to be in.

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 www.sarl.org.za/newsinbox.asp, not later than the Thursday preceding the bulletin date.

The SARL also invites you to listen to Amateur Radio Today 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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