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SARL NEWS - SUNDAY 15 MAY 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:

158 CANDIDATES TO WRITE RAE THIS WEEK

NEW 40 m BEACON TO TEST NAVIS CONDITIONS

ARRISAT TO BE LAUNCHED LATE JULY

JOIN US AT THE RTA IN PORT ELIZABETH ON SATURDAY 4 JUNE

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

158 CANDIDATES TO WRITE RAE THIS WEEK

158 Candidates will write the Radio Amateur Examination on Thursday this week at 16 venues across the country. The SARL wishes all candidates the best of luck for the examination and would like to thank all of the clubs that have been involved with the teaching and guiding the candidates.

The examination starts at 19:00 and continues until 22:00. Candidates are urged to arrive at the examination venue before the starting time and present their ID documentation and exam number. The exam number can be found on www.sarl.org.za. Candidates without an ID will not be allowed to write the exam.

The examiner and moderator's advice to candidates is "read the question several times before answering. There is plenty of time to complete all the questions."

NEW 40 m BEACON TO TEST NAVIS CONDITIONS

On 7 May 2011 a new beacon was switched on in Bloemfontein to test NAVIS conditions from the central Freestate. The beacon operates on 7 027 kHz running 50 mW into a dipole antenna 6 metre above the ground.

The purpose of the new beacon is to test propagation conditions from central South Africa. The antenna in use is set up for NVIS conditions. NAVIS is the acronym for Near Vertical Incidence Skywave. It is a radio-wave propagation method that provides usable signals in the range between ground wave and sky wave distances, usually between 50 to 650 km. The radio waves travel upwards into the ionosphere, where they are refracted back down and can be received within a circular region up to 650 km from the transmitter. If the frequency is too high, refraction fails to occur and if it is too low absorption reduces the signal strength. The usable frequencies for NVIS communications are between 1,8 and 15 MHz.

The beacon sends the following message in an endless loop in CW at 5 words per minute: "VVV DE ZS4BOT/B KG30BV." The beaconís position is KG30BV.
The beacon and software was designed and built by Jan, ZS4JAN. Reports can be sent to wirelesscomms@vodamail.co.za.

ARRISAT TO BE LAUNCHED LATE JULY

The cosmonauts on the International Space Station reported that they activated the satellite and confirmed that they heard the signal on the amateur radio equipment on board the ISS. Since the battery was nearly depleted of its original charge, they switched the satellite off after six hours of operation in order to prevent over-discharging the battery. The battery was then removed from the satellite and stored separately as per their normal battery handling procedures.

RSC-Energia reported that their plan is to recharge the battery about three weeks prior to the EVA deployment. This will give the cosmonauts time to reinstall the battery and test the satellite to make sure it is working properly. The EVA deployment is planned for late July of this year.

Find out more about ARRISAT and how you can enrich the lives of young people at the SA AMSAT Space Symposium next Saturday 21 May. Get details and the registration form on www.amsatsa.org.za.

JOIN US AT THE RTA IN PORT ELIZABETH ON SATURDAY 4 JUNE

The next SARL Radio Technology in Action Symposium will be held in Port Elizabeth hosted at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in cooperation with PEARS. The cost is R50 for SARL members and R70 for non-members. The fee includes refreshments and a light lunch as well as entry into the lucky draws that take place at various times during the symposium.

You can pre-book online or pay at the door. Visit www.sarl.org.za and select RTA from the left hand menu for pre booking and the full programme.

NOMINATIONS FOR NSN RADIO AMATEUR OF THE YEAR AWARDS CLOSE SOON

You have a few more days to nominate someone for the Nokia Siemens Networks Radio Amateur of the Year Awards. There are three categories:

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 institutions.

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

Annually the South African Amateur Radio Development Trust is recognising 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.

Details are available on www.amateurradio.org.za or request a brochure from saardt@intekom.co.za.

DONATION TOWARDS IARU 2011 CONFERENCE IN AUGUST

The Vaal Triangle and the Sasolburg radio clubs have, as a result of various fundraisers, put together R5 000 as donation to be used by the SARL in the coming International Amateur Radio Union Conference for 2011 at Sun City.

They, the organising committee of the 2011 AGM and National Conference in the Vaal, would also like to use this opportunity to once again thank everybody who came to support the event.

NEW 4 m METEOR SCATTER RECORD

At 04:18 UTC on 23 April ZS1AGF and ZS6NK completed a meteor scatter QSO on 70,200 MHz over a distance of 1 527 km improving on the existing record of 1 348 by 179 km.

ZS1AGF used an Icom 746 driving a Spectrum transverter and a 5 element YAGI and ZS6NK used a Yaesu FT847 and 9 element LFA YAGI for the contact. Congratulations to you!

CONTEST NEWS

The ZS4 Sprint will be run on Sunday 22 May from 14:00 to 15:00 UTC. It is a phone and CW contest on the 40 metre band. This is a fun activity to promote contacts between radio amateurs in the Free State and radio amateurs in Southern African countries.

On Wednesday 25 May, the third SARL 80 m Club contest will be run and it is a CW contest. The contest starts at 17:30 UTC and ends at 18:30 UTC.

Read more on page 20 and 53 in the 2011 SARL Contest Manual.

ZS4SRK TAKES FIRST LEG OF 80 METRE QSO PARTY

The three hour contest was held on 7 April with the aim to create an interest in and activity on the 80 m band. It is a phone only contest.

The Sasolburg Amateur Radio Club won the contest with 550 points. Their club station, ZS4SRK, was operated by ZS4MP. Second place was shared by ZS6XT and ZS1WC who both scored 510 points. 57 radio amateurs took part but only 13 submitted logs. The second leg will be held on 6 October 2011.

The preliminary results (Logs that are posted excluded) for the ZS3 Sprint are the following:

1st: ZS3SVD, Sian van Deventer with 115 points
2nd: ZS6APT, Pam Momberg with 60 points
3rd: ZS1SKR manned by ZS2CX with 59 points.

105 stations participated in the sprint on 40 m phone and CW, however only 11 logs and two check logs were received.

PROPAGATION REPORT

Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is at low levels. There is currently no chance for strong solar flares. Currently sunspots 1 208 and 1 210 are the only real visible sunspots on the earth facing side of the sun. A small sunspot is trying to form towards the southwest portion of the visible solar disk. For the people doing their own frequency predictions the expected effective sunspot number for the week is about 35.

15 m will provide the best opportunities for DX followed by 20 m.

Please visit www.spaceweather.co.za for further information.

DIARY OF EVENTS

21 May - SA AMSAT space simposium at SARL NRC at Radiokop
18 to 22 May - Follow Dayton Hamvention via W5KUB.com.
22 May -ZS4 Sprint from 14:00 till 15:00 UTC.
25 May - Closing date for nominations for NSN awards, visit www.amateurradio.org.za.
25 May -3rd SARL 80 m Club contest 17:30 to 18:30 UTC.
18 June - Programming in Windows course in Gauteng. Book at www.sarl.org.za.

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 17 750 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 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 Gustav, ZS6BWN.

Thank you for listening, 73.
/EX


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