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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 'Amateur Radio Today' and follow the links for details. PLEASE NOTE: for audio via Echolink, connect to ZS0JPL-R.

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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 High Altitude Balloon Experiment launched from the Klerksdorp Airfield on 2 July was a great success. The balloon lifted off shortly after 08:00 CAT and headed in an easterly direction. All payload systems operated successfully with all the chase vehicles being able to track the APRS packets being transmitted from the respective units. During the early part of the lift, the balloon averaged an ascent rate of 16,2 km/h slowing to a more pedestrian speed of 11 km/h for the remainder of the flight. Horizontal ground speeds peaked at 183,59 km/h with a final altitude recorded on ZS6ERB-9 of 33 661 m.

Overall the launch was a success with the team very happy with the results. There are some issues to be rectified and the team will be back in the not too distant future to test those. The launch was part of the Klerksdorp Hamfest activities.

The payload consisted of 4 independent units. First in line was a controller board which was specifically designed and built by the HABEX group. The controller is able to accept a combination of either 8 inputs or outputs in either digital or analogue mode. Also built onto the board is its own APRS tracking unit and PIC unit which can communicate with ground stations via an on board VHF radio.

Next in the payload string was a second APRS tracking unit and Cross Band repeater which was used extensively during the flight for both team contact as well as general contacts. Below the repeater was a CW beacon transmitting on 7,020 and lastly a video camera with a third APRS unit.

The main objective of the 2 July launch was to establish that the APRS components being used on the controller board functioned properly at altitude. In previous flights, the GPS unit stopped operating around 12 000 m due to restrictions in its operating altitude.

Once the controller has proven itself, various experiments can be taken to altitude without the additional weight of back up APRS units which have been used in the past.

More information, photographs and a video can be found on


Super 8, a film set just outside Dayton, Ohio in 1979 -- uses Amateur Radio in a crucial scene. The story revolves around a group of six middle-schoolers who witness a mysterious train crash in the fictional town of Lillian. Soon after the crash, the Air Force arrives and strange things start happening in the small town. The kids, a group of young film makers (hence the title of the movie) begin to investigate the creepy phenomena.

One of the kid’s dad is Deputy Lamb. After the Sherriff mysteriously disappears, Deputy Lamb takes over and holds a town-wide meeting to help allay the fear. One woman thinks that all the strange goings-on are the work of the Soviet Union. But when Deputy Lamb calls on Mr McCandless to ask a question, the man complains that he is hearing strange transmissions on his amateur radio. As soon as Mr McCandless mentions amateur radio, the residents at the meeting just ignore him.

But when Deputy Lamb privately questions Mr McCandless, he tells the deputy that he can no longer listen to 13,201 (no reference is made to kHz or MHz) due to the strange noises he is hearing. Deputy Lamb mentions this to another deputy, and that deputy says he can bring in his scanner and voice inverter from home so they can monitor the frequency. After the rigs are set up, the deputies overhear vital information about what the Air Force is trying to hide.

While credit has to go to Super 8 set decorator Fainche MacCarthy for finding a radio of the right era, the “scanner” that the deputy brings in is a Heathkit Seneca VHF-1, a 2 and 6 metre CW and AM transmitter. Introduced in 1959, this rig complemented Heathkit’s TX-1 Apache transmitter, RX-1 Mohawk receiver and KL-1 Chippewa linear amplifier.

Super 8 premiers in South Africa at Sterkinekor cinemas on 29 July 2011. To watch a trailer visit 8/.


The programme of the Radio Technology in Action Symposium scheduled for Durban on 30 July will include an update on ARISSAT, the replacement of SuitSat 2. ARISSAT is expected to be launched from the International Space Station at the end of July or early August during a spacewalk by the Russian Cosmonauts on the ISS. Eddie Leighton, ZS6BNE, will present on RaDAR, a presentation that attracted a lot of interest at the RTAs in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. In the technology slot John Willescroft, ZS6EF, will talk about FPGA’s and their application. The full programme is available on, select RTA from the left hand menu.


The SARL welcomes the following new members: ZSL1028, Hendrik du Plessis, ZS6XXX, Andries Nortje and ZSL1029, Nico Coetzee.


707 Members have thus far renewed their membership. Membership became due on 1 July 2011. Members are urged to pay their fees as soon as possible. If making a bank transfer or bank deposit please ensure that you indicate your name and callsign. We value your continued support.



The ZS4 Sprint results made available last week has been queried and updated by the competition committee of ZS4SRK. Congratulations to Pieter Human, ZS6PA, for the third place which he now occupies due to his confirmed 62 points.

RESULTS OF THE TOP BAND CONTEST held from the 23 - 27 June 2011.

It is still clear that amateurs do not read the contest rules before taking part in contests. Apart from wrong call signs, some did not change frequency after making a contact.

8 logs and 1 check log were received. Stats from the logs show that 43 stations were on the air. No contacts were made from Div 3. There were 6 stations that operated CW and SSB.

The results are as follows

1st ZS6LH - Lukas Holtzhausen 145 points
2nd ZS6UT - Ed Willers 127 points
3rd ZS6PVT - Phillip van Tonder 118 points

The winner of the Lucky draw prize is Keith Liddle, ZS6AGF.

Congratulations to the winners. The full results will be published in HF Happenings.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at very low to low levels. Sunspot 1 243 is producing B-Class and C-Class flares as it continues to rotate across the visible solar disk in the northern hemisphere. A couple of new sunspots have formed towards the northeast limb and one of these was numbered 1 245 on Thursday. There is not yet a chance for strong solar flares around this region.

For the people doing their own frequency predictions the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be less than 25.

With the winter here 20 m will provide the best opportunities for DX followed by 30 m. There will be little chance of 15 m openings.

Please visit for further information.


16 July – 3rd leg of SARL QRP Competition.
27 July – 4th leg of SARL Club Competition.
30 July – RTA in Durban.
07 Aug. - SARL HF Phone Competition.
09 Aug. - SARL YL Sprint.
21 Aug. - 3rd leg of SARL Digital Competition.
28 Aug. - SARL HF CW Competition.

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 'Amateur Radio TODAY', go down the green column and click on 'LISTEN ON THE WEB'. 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 George, ZS6NE.

Thank you for listening, 73.

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