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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.


The Minister of Communication has reappointed Dr Marcia Socikwa to the Council of ICASA. After graduating at the University of the Witwatersrand, Dr Socikwa completed her postgraduate studies at City University and the University of Stirling in the United Kingdom. She has served as Acting Executive Director: Corporate Affairs, Deputy Chair of the Department of Communication Science and Senior lecturer and Section Head of the Telecommunications Programme at the University of South Africa. She was involved in projects commissioned by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and USAID.

She served in national policy review committees and in the ICT Empowerment Charter working group. She has contributed towards projects dedicated to increasing regulatory capacity in the region through a regional body known as Nettel@Africa. She has also presented several papers on a variety of regulatory issues, ranging from interconnection to trade in e-commerce.

Dr Socikwa chaired the recent public hearings on the draft Frequency Spectrum Regulations.


It was disappointing that ARISSat did not transmit from the International Space Station to celebrate Yuri Gagarin's first flight of man into space. Many antennas were pointed skywards but nothing was heard. Lou MacFadin, the principal designer and builder of ARISSat, recently had a teleconference with his Russian colleague. It emerged that the Russian suit battery that was intended for use on ARISSat was used during testing both on the ground and on board the International Space Station when it first arrived. When it was tested prior to the planned April 12 operation, it was discovered that the battery was low on charge.

The suit’s battery is specified for only five cycles of charge. It was decided to not recharge the battery at this time in order to keep the number of cycles as low as possible and thus saving the battery for the actual mission. That deployment is currently scheduled for July 26.

MacFadin said, ‘We are still trying to get more information on the storage status and the battery health from the Russian team.’ For more on ARISSat, visit


This week we welcome the following new members to the SARL. We trust that our association will be mutually beneficial:

ZS1ABV - Anthony van Tonder
ZSL1014 - Gabriel Swart
ZSL1016 - David MacGregor
ZU5GB - Graham Bowles
ZR1LSK - LS Kirstein

With the new financial year ahead, we invite non-members to join now and enjoy member benefits free of charge during May and June. The fee for ordinary members is R380 which is payable on application. Details of the fees for other classes of membership can be found on Click on 'members’ on the left-hand side of the home page.


Tom Medlin, W5KUB, says that he will once again be streaming live audio and video from the Dayton Hamvention.

The webcast from Hamvention has become very popular over the years, especially with amateurs who have never attended Hamvention or have no way to get there. Medlin says there are viewers in over 150 countries and during the 2010 Dayton Hamvention broadcast, he had over 50 000 radio amateurs watch and follow the entire show.

During this year's netcast, Tom will also be giving away over $5000 in prizes to lucky viewers. Some of the prize donors include Heil Sound, Kenwood, Yaesu, MFJ, Kantronics, LDG and the ARRL. That alone is something that you won't want to miss.

So if you cannot make it to Hamvention 2011, you can attend from 18 to 22 May thanks to Tom Medlin, W5KUB, and his crew at


Nominations for the 2011 Nokia Siemens Networks Radio Amateur of the Year Awards are invited. There are three awards:

Garth Milne Technical Innovation Award

The award is made for the support, development and application of technological innovation in amateur radio in South Africa. The recipient will be a person who has promoted the use of technology in amateur radio at club level, nationally, at schools or tertiary education institution.

NSN Radio Amateur of the Year Award

The award is made for the support and development of the amateur radio service in South Africa, not for individual achievements such as DXCC and other operational awards or contests. The recipient will be a person who has given of his or her expertise and time to the promotion of amateur radio in South Africa.

NSN Amateur Radio Community Service Award

The South African Amateur Radio Development Trust annually recognises a radio amateur or a group of radio amateurs for service to the community.

Community service can be assistance to a handicapped radio amateur, communications support during a sporting event or a disaster situation like a road accident or a natural disaster like a flood, veld fires, or an earthquake. Nominations are invited for an individual or a group of people like a radio club, or an association.

Nominations close on 25 May 2011 and the awards will be presented on 8 June 2011 at the Midrand Protea Hotel. For full details and a nomination form visit


Following an overwhelming decision at the SARL Annual General meeting to limit participation in the forum to SARL members from 1 July 2011, the Council of the SARL has decided to remove the active forum slot from the public home page. It will remain on the members' only home page.

Till the end June 2011 non-members will be able to access the forum by clicking on the forum link at the top of the public home page. If you are not yet a member and would like continue to have access to the forums, join now. Application forms and rates are available on, select members on the left hand page menu.


Diarise Saturday 7 May 2011 when the SARL Radio Technology in Action Symposium will be held at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. As in previous years it will be a great event with a mixture of presentations covering technology in amateur radio as well as operational amateur radio.

Learn about field programmable gate arrays (FPGA): how they work, where you can use them, and how they are used in amateur equipment. This presentation will show you how to start using FPGA in your projects.

Find out why amateur radio is a valuable resource for further education and how you can enhance your enjoyment of amateur radio.

The day will cost members R50 and for non-members R70. This includes refreshments and a light lunch as well as participation in the lucky prize draws throughout the day.

You can pay at the door or register and pay online at – select RTA on the left-hand menu.


It is with great pleasure that Eddie Leighton, ZS6BNE, announces the winners in the 3rd RaDAR Contest.

68 stations were logged during the contest. The last date for log submissions was 17 April and the following logs and scores were taken into consideration:

Home stations:
ZR6NGB, 104 points
ZS2EC, 38 points
ZS6A, 40 points
ZS6GRL, 32 points with a check log

Field stations:
ZS6XT, 468 points
ZS6AGF, 128 points

RaDAR stations:
ZS6AG, 792 points
ZS6BNE, 360 points
ZS2J, 252 points
ZS1AFU, 144 points

Many thanks to all that competed.

On a special note, the log submitted by Pieter, ZS6XT, is one of the most complete, neatest logs Eddie has ever seen. Pieter also did very well in the contest. Those QRP signals were AWESOME!

The overall winner was Anton, ZS6AG, who worked as a ‘True RaDAR’ station and QRP. Congratulations, Anton!

Anton was assisted by Nico, ZS6MAJ, as Anton's eyesight is not good. Anton and Nico climbed a hill, carrying their equipment to the top. Their log was also well documented.

Anton and Nico will be receiving RaDAR shirts sponsored by Eddie, ZS6BNE.

Results of the second SARL 80 m Club Championship Contest.

Only 4 logs were received for the contest.

1st West Rand ARC, ZS6WR, 20 points from 2 logs
2nd Antique Wireless Association, ZS0AWA, 5 points from 1 log
Dirk, ZS6AKU, submitted a check log worth 10 points.

Looking at the combined scores for the January and March contests, the results look as follows:

1st West Rand, ZS6WR, 162 points and 11 logs
2nd Antique Wireless Association, ZS0AWA, 51 points and 5 logs
3rd PEARS, ZS2PE, 17 points and 1 log
4th Sandton, ARC, ZS6STN, 9 points and 1 log.

ZS3 Sprint.

The ZS3 Sprint, a phone and CW contest on the 40 metre band, will be on the air on Sunday 1 May 2011 and runs from 14:00 to 15:00 UTC. This is a fun activity to promote contacts between radio amateurs in the Northern Cape and radio amateurs in Southern African countries. The exchange is RS(T) and provincial or country abbreviation.

The scoring for ZS3 stations is 1 point for a contact with a ZS3 station and 2 points for a contact with stations in other ZS call areas or Southern African countries. For stations outside ZS3, the scoring is 2 points for a contact with a ZS3 station and 1 point for a contact with stations own or other ZS call areas (excluding ZS3) or Southern African countries. Contacts with the Northern Cape ARC, ZS3NC, Namaqualand Aero Sport Association, ZS3FLY, or the Kalahari Karoo ARC, ZS3ARK, are worth 5 points each. Only one contact per station is allowed.

Log sheets shall be submitted within 7 days after the contest and can be sent by e-mail to or by normal post to ZS3 Sprint, PO Box 1049, Kathu, 8446. The closing date for log submissions is 7 May 2011.

Marconi day celebrations.

The Boland Amateur Radio Club is airing a DX station with callsign ZS1BAK on Saturday 30 April, Marconi Day. The object of the station is to give amateurs and visitors the opportunity to experience this wonderful mode at first hand. The station will be on the air between 09:00 and 14:00 SAT from the Kuils River Voortrekker site. The preliminary frequencies are 3,520 and 7 020. Visitors are welcome to try their hand on different types of keys. The proceedings will close at 14:00 with a bring and braai. For more information contact Raoul, ZS1REC, at 082 466 4327.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is at moderate levels. Numerous C-class flares are taking place around sunspots 1193 and 1195 and the new sunspot 1196. The massive sunspot group 1193 stretches more than 130 000 km from end to end. Its leading dark core is more than three times wider than our entire planet. With such dimensions, you'd think the active region would be, well, more active; but the behemoth is quiet, producing no more than a few minor C-flares over the past several days. So why is this giant so quiet? It has an uncomplicated magnetic field with relatively little mixing of polarities. Explosive magnetic reconnection is simply not happening. The situation could change if the sunspot's continued growth results in a tangling of magnetic field lines. For the people doing their own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week is about 60.

With the increase in the solar flux the improvement of the DX conditions are also very noticeable. DX openings are now once again occurring on a daily basis and even 6 m is showing signs of life.

Please visit for further information.


30 April – Marconi Day, also ZS1BAK on the air.
30 April - West Rand Amateur Radio Club flea market from 12:00 CAT.
1 May - ZS3 Sprint runs from 14:00 to 15:00 UTC a phone and CW contest on the 40 metre band.
7 May – RTD in Cape Town.
18 to 22 May – Follow Dayton Hamvention via
25 May – Closing date for nominations for NSN awards, visit
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 and checked by George, ZS6NE.

Thank you for listening, 73.

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Last modified: 14 April 2003