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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.
If you cannot attend the SARL AGM next Saturday, you can follow the proceedings on the air and Echolink. Transmission will start just before 09:00 on 7 082 kHz and 14 250 kHz. In Gauteng it can also be heard on 145,750 MHz. The relay arrangements are by courtesy of the Magalies Amateur Radio Club.
The SARL has been in constant contact with various persons in ICASA about the corrections to the published regulations. The conference hosted by ICASA on the digital dividend took several role-players out of their offices, which has made it difficult to get any written confirmation. The official dealing with the license renewals has telephonically confirmed that as matters stand currently, class B license holders over 25 years of age can renew their ZU license as before for the next two years. He advises that during this two-year period they should work on upgrading to a class A license.
In general, discussion forums on the web carry interesting information and discussions, but forum postings are more often than not the opinion or perceptions of the author and not necessarily the facts.
The SARL forums are no exception to this. Bear in mind that people posting on the forums are not necessarily fully informed or aware of the latest developments. He or she conveys his or her own views.
In the case of the SARL, official information is disseminated in SARL News and on the home page of the SARL website. Specific information for members is also communicated in a new SARL TODAY slot on the members-only web pages. Currently the new radio regulations as published are available for download, as well as a recording of last weekend's President’s Net. Other information available is how a club can run their own Class B examinations and an explanation of how the SI metric system works and the correct abbreviations for metric units.
SARL members should click on the top right hand of the homepage on Members Only and enter their pin.
The Radio Technology in Action Symposium will be presented in Cape Town on Saturday 7 May 2011. The venue is the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Bellville Campus. Visit and click on RTA. The programme features a panel discussion on ‘How can older amateurs get more out of amateur radio?’ You will learn more about Field Programmable Gate Array devices (FPGA). The presentation will include a simple explanation of the FGPA, its advantages, were you can use it, how it is used in amateur gear and what to do to get started using FPGAs. If you live in the Western Cape,you do not want to miss this annual SARL event.
The ARISSat-1 satellite, presently still inside the International Space Station, will be turned on and use an external antenna to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first manned space flight. The transmissions will begin on Monday 11 April 2011 at 14:30 UTC and continue until 10:30 UTC on 13 April 2011.
The solar panels are currently covered, and the satellite will be powered only by the onboard battery, running in low power mode. This means that the transmissions will cycle, ON for 40-60 seconds and OFF for 2 minutes.
FM transmissions on 145,950 MHz will cycle between a voice ID, select telemetry values, 24 international greeting messages in 15 languages and SSTV images. One of the messages will be a conversation between Yuri Gagarin and ground control.
The CW transmissions on 145,919 MHz will be callsign ID, select telemetry, and callsigns of people actively involved with the ARISS programme. AMSAT will issue commemorative certificates to those receiving the transmissions and sending an email to or with your name or group, a description of what you heard and the UTC when you heard it. Recording the battery voltage values and the UTC will be especially helpful.
Send a report to SA AMSAT at and you could be the lucky winner of the SumbandilaSat first-day cover released by the Post Office on 1 April. More details on Include an audio recording if you can.
The BPSK transmissions on 145,920 MHz will feature a new 1kBPSK protocol developed by Phil Karn, KA9Q, to be readable in low-signal conditions. The BPSK data will transmit satellite telemetry. A free ground station soundcard demodulator and display software will be available. Watch for details of when it becomes available. The linear transponder will not be active during this event.
Roscosmos has announced that the satellite will be deployed into orbit during the next ‘space walk’ or EVA in July this year.
In this past week, SARL Councillor Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, represented the SARL at a joint meeting of three SABS technical committees held to discuss a new standard proposed for the use of powerline communications (PLC) in controlling the electricity network, metering and the so-called smartgrid applications. Eskom and some vendors had objected to the ratification of South African National Standard (SANS 50065-1) as they believe that the Standard does not meet all the Eskom and possibly Metro requirements for managing the electricity grid. Eskom is seeking to use frequencies up to 500 kHz while the Standard only covers applications between 3 kHz and 148,5 kHz. Specifications between 148 kHz and 500 kHz are yet to be coordinated around the world.
There is no agreement between various industry players. One of the arguments is that the band between 3 kHz and 2 MHz should be considered for use of PLC for power utilities as new development in smart grid applications point in this direction and there should be no argument as all equipment would have to comply with CISPR 22 which will protect users of the radio spectrum.
Amateur Radio has two allocations in this spectrum, the newly acquired 135,7-137,8 kHz and 1810 to 1850 kHz.
Currently, a revision to the 50065-1 standard is under consideration in Europe. It was resolved that various studies will be undertaken which should include the frequency spectrum management group of ICASA. The joint committee will meet again in mid June.
While broadband powerline communication is still on the horizon, there have been no further developments. The SARL is watching this space closely.
This week we welcome Dennis van Blerk, ZS1TC, and Anthony Van Tonder, ZS1AB, to the SARL. We trust your association with us will be mutually beneficial. This brings our membership total to 1529 this week.
With Hannes Coetzee not available this week, Hans, ZS6AKV, reports that the geomagnetic conditions are at quiet levels. Local HF working frequencies are unstable to near monthly average predicted values. The outlook for the next few days is that propagation conditions should be fair, with operating frequencies variable from the predicted monthly average HF working frequencies. A number of active areas are visible on the solar disk. Most of them are magnetically quiet, but one is developing the potential for C-class X-ray flares. Radiation events are unlikely. A small coronal hole on the solar disk should become geo-effective this weekend. The sunspot number outlook for this week is 97.
Openings to the USA east coast on 10 metres are predicted for the late afternoons and early evenings while 15 metres is likely to offer better results for contacts with the US west coast. For Europe the best results are expected in the late afternoon with 10, 15 and 20 metre openings peaking at around 18:00 CAT on 10 and 15. The 20-metre band is expected to give good results till well after 22:00. To communicate with stations in Australasia you will have to be an early riser. Conditions are like to peak at our local sunrise on 15 metres
Locally, 40 metres will provide good communication over medium distances while 20 metres is the frequency of choice between Cape Town and Johannesburg during the daytime. 80 metres remains the frequency of choice after sunset.
For the CW and digital enthusiasts, 30 m may be very rewarding with openings to many parts of the world.
Please visit for further information.
11 April – ARISSat-1 satellite celebrates 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first manned space flight.
15-16 April – SARL National Convention at Vaal University for Technology.
7 May – RTD in Cape Town.
18 June – Programming in Windows course in Gauteng. Book at
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 Today every Sunday morning at 10:00 CAT on 145,750 MHz in the Pretoria area, with relays on 7 082, 7 205 and 17 750 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 18:30 CAT on 3 230 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 Hester van der Walt.
Thank you for listening, 73.

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Last modified: 14 April 2003