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SARL NEWS - SUNDAY 15 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:

UK RADIO AMATEURS EXPERIENCE DELAYED ECHO PHENOMENA ON 80 METRES

TREAT YOURSELF TO THE 2012 ARRL HARDCOVER HANDBOOK

APPLICATIONS FOR 2012 MAY EXAM BURSARIES NOW INVITED

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

UK RADIO AMATEURS EXPERIENCE DELAYED ECHO PHENOMENA ON 80 METRES

Two UK amateurs have reported hearing strong echoes on their 80 metre CW signals in the evening. Tony Roskilly, G3ZRJ, in Herefordshire and Andrew Fairgrieve, GW3OQK, in Swansea were in QSO on 1 January when they could hear another signal underneath theirs. It turned out to be an echo of their own signals.

Roskilly said the echoes were initially so strong that he had trouble monitoring his CW keying. The delay in the echoes was of the order of a quarter to a half second and the echo strength hit S9. Tests by Fairgrieve on the evening of 3 January revealed the same phenomena at around 21:00 UTC, albeit weaker in signal strength.

Steve Nichols, G0KYA, is the chairman of the RSGB's Propagation Studies Committee. He says that these were unlikely to be round-the-world echoes, but could be due to a form of magnetospheric ducting where signals follow the earth's magnetic field lines down to the southern hemisphere before being bounced back along the same duct. Nichols said that this was quite rare and not really understood.

Amateurs are being urged to look out for any echoes on their 80 metre signals and report any findings to G0KYA@qsl.net.

TREAT YOURSELF TO THE 2012 ARRL HARDCOVER HANDBOOK

The SA Amateur Radio Development Trust has the 2012 ARRL Handbook in stock. The hard cover version comes at a special price of R600 plus R50 for packing and posting. The handbook is fully updated and includes: New Test Equipment and Measurements chapter, New projects, including High-Power RF Samplers, RF Current Meter, and a Two-Tone Audio Oscillator from the ARRL Lab, Updated ElsieT filter design software, Expanded content on CD-ROM, including an operating supplement for Space Communications, Digital Communications, Image Communications and a New comprehensive treatment of Noise. More details and order forms are available on www.amateurradio.org.za.

APPLICATIONS FOR 2012 MAY EXAM BURSARIES NOW INVITED

If you are under 26 years of age and are planning to write the May Radio Amateur class A Examination, you are invited to apply for a bursary from the SA Amateur Radio Development Trust. The bursary value is R1 000 and will pay for the exam fee, your first year license, student Membership of the SARL and tuition fees. Get details from www.amateurradio.org.za.

HOW TO MAKE LONG DISTANCE VHF CONTACTS DURING THE PEARS CONTEST

The PEARS National VHF/UHF contest starts on Friday 20th January and ends on Sunday 22nd January 2012 and is divided into two sessions. For full details and rules see the latest Blue Book. Please note that in the PEARS contest SSB and CW share the same contest frequencies. This is a wonderful opportunity to work long distances especially on 50 and 144 MHz with many VHF amateurs on frequency from other divisions. Here are some pointers.

1. Make regular short CQ calls on the contest frequencies of 50,200 MHz USB and/or 144,200 MHz USB and carefully listen for weak long distance VHF signals. When the frequency is occupied then call five to ten kilohertz higher in frequency. Do not have chats on these long distance frequencies.

2. If the SSB signals are marginal or unreadable then give a call on CW, which could result in a two-way contact. A CW signal is readily audible on Upper Sideband when it is transmitted about one kilohertz higher in frequency.

3. It is important to know when and in what direction to point your beam antenna, It is recommended that on the hour to the half hour transmit or listen in a northerly/southerly direction, and on the half hour to the hour turn the beam in an easterly/westerly direction.
This way many distant contacts can be made.

4. Keep an eye on VHF beacons for band openings, such as ZS2X on 50,006 MHz, V51VHF on 50,300 MHz, ZS6JON on 50,050 MHz and ZS6TWB on 50,040 MHz.

Even if you are not interested in contests, come on the air and work some long distance VHF stations for fun, and give the VHF contestants some points. Good luck in the contest and enjoy the challenge.

NOMINATIONS FOR SARL AWARDS

Members and clubs are again invited to submit nominations to Council for the following SARL awards:

Honorary Life Membership - the SARL's highest honour.

Willie Wilson Gold Badge
For the amateur that gave exceptional and meritorious service to the League.

Jack Twine Award
To recognise qualities such as unselfishness, clean operating and a genuine interest in Amateur Radio and its affairs. This prestigious Award will be made to Amateurs who, in the opinion of their fellow amateurs and the League's Council, exemplify the qualities desirable in a Radio Amateur.

Arthur Hemsley 2 metre Trophy
For a Radio Amateur for his/her individual achievements with transmissions in the 2 metre amateur band. This award is made for extraordinary performance on EME or modes such as tropospheric propagation. It is not for the longest distance worked but rather for persistence in achieving something special on 2 metres.

Barney Joel Trophy
For any member of the SARL for the best performance during the year whilst working HF mobile. This award could be made for performance by an individual in rally or other public event communication etc.

Icom Excellence Award
This award is bestowed annually on the amateur who through his/her activity in the Amateur Service has brought international recognition to South Africa by either the achievement of a VHF/UHF long distance record which is internationally recognized by the IARU, or by service to the Republic of South Africa or the SARL in the field of scientific research using the amateur spectrum, or in promoting the amateur service internationally or as Council may determine from time to time.

Joseph White Plaque
For any member of the SARL for exceptional achievements in the 432 MHz band during the past year. This is not awarded for the longest distance worked, but for all round achievements.

Bert Buckley Six metre Trophy
For any radio amateur for his/her individual achievements with transmissions in the six metre amateur band. This award is not for the longest distance worked but for outstanding work or activity on six metres.

Nominations can be sent by email to secretary@sarl.org.za. Please do it without further delay.

NATIONAL BAND PLANNING MEETING AT NARC

The national VHF/UHF/Microwave band planner and the repeater manager of the SARL invite all club repeater coordinators in the Gauteng area to attend a meeting at NARC on 21 January 2012 at 9:00. The focus will be around new repeater applications. Formal feedback and update session by them regarding the current state of affairs for repeaters and other VHF/UHF/Microwave matters. The updated band plans will also be discussed. Band planning correspondence may be done to vubandplanning@sarl.org.za. Specific repeater inquiries may be sent to repeaters@sarl.org.za. We look forward to hear from you!

PROPAGATION REPORT

Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at low level. Sunspot 1 393 has a "beta-gamma" magnetic field that harbours energy for M-class solar flares.
For the people doing their own frequency predictions the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 73.

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

Today 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.
21 January National VHF/UHF/Microwave band planning meeting at NARC at 09:00.
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 Gustav, ZS6BWN.

Thank you for listening, 73.
/EX


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Last modified: 14 April 2003