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SARL NEWS - SUNDAY 08 JANUARY 2012

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 'Amateur Radio Today' 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 WEB NOW FULLY WITH NEW ISP

ARRL DIAMOND DXCC CHALLENGE

ARISSAT-1 RE-ENTERS EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE, FALLS SILENT

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

SARL WEB NOW FULLY WITH NEW ISP

The final change over of the SARL web and sarl.org.za addresses to the new ISP on 31 December was not painless. Despite earlier requests the domain registration authority did not make the changes before they closed for the New Year weekend so we entered the New Year without the SARL web and working email addresses. The process restarted on 3 January and required a lengthy administrative process which finally culminated in the domain being transferred to the new ISP, Altech Technology Concepts, on 4 January 2012.

The SARL apologizes for the interruption. A team led by Peter Hers, ZS6PHD, continue to work on the web. Details were shared with members in a recent SARL letter which is now also available for download on the web should you have missed it.

Many thanks to Peter and his team for their unselfish work.

ARRL DIAMOND DXCC CHALLENGE

During 2012 the ARRL will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of the DXCC. To celebrate this important milestone, the ARRL has gone back to the beginning -- the 1937 DXCC List. The Diamond DXCC Challenge will test DXers ability to contact all the 231 entities on the original DXCC List.

The ARRL tried to find corresponding entities today that would represent the places listed in 1937. There are a few places that were merged, like French and British New Hebrides, and the Papua and New Guinea Territories. In those places, for 2012 if you work a YJ or a P29 (on the main island of New Guinea) you will get credit for working two entities! Many other oddities are sprinkled throughout the list, too. Returning to the air in 2012 will be the Canal Zone (any HP operating within 8 kilometers of the Panama Canal), the Cities of Gdansk, Poland, as well as Ifni, Morocco and Balochistan.

For some entities that now consist of multiple countries, you may work any of today's entities to qualify for that single 1937 country. For example, French Equatorial Africa will be considered worked if you log a station in TL, TN, TR or TT in 2012. The Diamond DXCC country tables show the current entity names and prefixes that qualify for the 1937 countries. For more information visit www.arrl.org.

ARISSAT-1 RE-ENTERS EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE, FALLS SILENT

AMSAT reports that ARISSat-1 stopped transmitting on the morning of January 4. It is believed that the satellite re-entered the Earth's atmosphere around 07:00 UTC (+/- three hours) and was destroyed soon after. Telemetry reports showed that the temperature aboard ARISSat-1 had been rising as the atmospheric drag began to affect the satellite. The predicted decay location is an open part of the South Atlantic, well west of Angola.

The last telemetry reports indicated that the internal temperature had topped 75 degrees Celcius and was rising rapidly. Konstantin Vladimirovich, RN3ZF, sent a reception report of a pass at 08:42 UTC and stated, "The telemetry was absent, voice messages were not legible, very silent and interrupted. Most likely, I saw the last minutes in the life of the satellite." The last full telemetry captured was received from ground stations as the satellite passed over Japan at 06:02 UTC on January 4.

ARISSat-1 was deployed from the International Space Station on 3 August 2011 during EVA-29 on by Cosmonaut/Flight Engineers Sergei Volkov, RU3DIS, and Alexander Samokutyaev. The satellite carried a student experiment from Kursk State University in Russia that measured atmospheric density. Students from around the world provided the voices for the FM voice announcements.

AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW, said that ARISSat-1 marked a new type of satellite that captured the attention of the national space agencies around the world. "With ARISSat-1, we have we have been able to design, launch, and operate a unique educational opportunity," he explained. "By designing an educational mission aligned with NASA's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics goals, radio amateurs around the world have been able enjoy a new satellite in orbit."

ARISSat-1 achieved several "firsts" for Amateur Radio in space, including the first flight test of the AMSAT Software Defined Transponder, which included an FM voice downlink cycling between student messages, spoken telemetry and SSTV; a 16 kHz bandwidth linear transponder; a CW beacon carrying telemetry and call signs of radio amateurs (noting their significant contributions to Amateur Radio in space) and a robust, forward-error-corrected 1 kbps BPSK digital downlink carrying satellite telemetry and Kursk experiment telemetry.

MATERIAL FOR RADIO ZS

The editor of Radio ZS requests members to provide articles and photographs for the 2012 issues of Radio ZS. Suitable photographs are required for the front cover and should show radio amateurs in action. Articles can be of a technical nature, or about a club project or club activities, a DXpedition or related activities.

Articles can be sent in MS Word, OpenOffice or RTF format, pictures should be sent as JPG files. Material can be sent by e-mail to radiozs@sarl.org.za or by post to PO Box 12104, Brandhof, 9324.

PEARS VHF CONTEST TO INSPIRE CONTACTS BETWEEN DIVISIONS

The PEARS National VHF/UHF Contest will take place on 20-22 January 2012 and will feature SSB, CW, FM and digital modes. The first session commences on Friday at 18:00 CAT until Saturday at 16:00 CAT. The second starts immediately thereafter and ends Sunday 14:00 CAT.

The main objective for the PEARS National VHF/UHF contest this year will be to inspire VHF contacts between the divisions in the RSA and promote VHF activity. They wish to appeal to all the Radio Clubs in the RSA to encourage field and base stations in their area for this VHF contest and make it successful. This can also result in a special competition between Club stations country-wide.

The main long distance contest frequencies are on 50,200 MHz SSB and 144,200 MHz SSB. In recent contests weaker distant stations have been drowned out by strong local stations and long conversations. To avoid this problem in the future, VHF stations are kindly requested to work all local stations, which are within 100 km from them, on the FM contest channels of 50,400 MHz and 144,400 MHz where they can compare notes and have short chats. If the SSB contest frequency is occupied then QSY 5 or 10 kHz higher in frequency.

Wishing you good luck and help to make it a real national VHF contest.

HAMNET GAUTENG SOUTH MEETING

All persons with a passion for community service and emergency communications are invited to the first HAMNET Gauteng South Meeting for 2012.

Details are as follows:
Date: Thursday 12 January 2012
Time: 19:00 - 21:00
Venue: 9th Benoni Scout Hall, Arrowe Park Benoni.

Community Activities and your possible involvement will be discussed for 2012.
We will be QRV on 145,675 MHz FM and 438,700 MHz FM.

Take biscuits along, HiHi.

PROPAGATION REPORT

Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP reports that the solar activity is expected to be at low levels with a slight chance for isolated M-class activity. Currently all the sunspots on the earth facing side of the sun are magnetically simple and quiet.

For the people doing their own frequency predictions the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 88.

All the bands from 20 to 10 m will provide lots of DX fun with the higher bands typically opening first and the lower bands opening later during the day.

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

DIARY OF EVENTS

8 January ARRL Kids Day events, information on www.arrl.org/kids-day.
12 January - HAMNET Gauteng South Meeting at 19:00.
15 January - Last day for submission of summaries of proposed papers for the Radio Technology in Action Symposiums 2012 to artoday@sarl.org.za.
20-22 January - PEARS National VHF/UHF Contest.
31 January - Last day for submission of nominations for Council members and also for submission of motions for the 2012 SARL AGM.
31 January - Closing date for submitting papers for SA AMSAT Space Symposium.
Remember also to submit nominations for SARL awards which will be presented at the gala dinner which will take place over the weekend of the 2012 SARL AGM. Send nominations to secretary@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 17 760 kHz. There is also a podcast by ZS6RO. For a web-stream and Echolink by ZS6FCS, visit www.sarl.org.za, 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 17:30 UTC on 4 895 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, Z6SNE.

Thank you for listening, 73.
/EX


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