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SARL NEWS - SUNDAY 05 FEBRUARY 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 3,695 MHz SSB. (Other news readers change to suit).

SILENT KEY

It is with regret that w have to announce that the key of Henry Schoeman, ZS6AHS, became silent on 22 January in the age of 78 years. Years ago Henry compiled a question/answer type of study guide for the RAE and he also trained a number of radio amateurs. H was a honorary life member of the Centurion Amateur Radio Club. For the last number of years he and his YL Rhoda stayed near Paarl with a son of theirs.

Our deepest condolences to Rhoda, their other relatives and friends.

(PAUSE)

In the news today:

SUMBANDILASAT AMATEUR RADIO OPERATION MAY RESUME NEXT WEEK

SARL MEMBERSHIP CLOSE TO 1 600

NEW SARL FAX NUMBER

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

SUMBANDILASAT AMATEUR RADIO OPERATION MAY RESUME NEXT WEEK

Ingenuity and innovation by the SumbandilaSat ground control team has resulted in bringing the satellite back to life with a real possibility that Amateur Radio communication may resume next month while the satellite is in sunlight.

The ground stations at SANSA Space operations at Hartbeeshoek and the Electronic Systems Laboratory at Stellenbosch University are receiving telemetry when the satellite's solar panels are illuminated by the sun.

Johann Lochner, ZR1CBC, said that in early June 2011, for an unknown reason (but probably related to a major radiation event on 7 June), the primary controller on the power distribution unit (PDU) powering the On-Board Computer (OBC) stopped responding to commands from the ground station.

It later appeared that the battery had failed and nothing was heard from the satellite for some time. The ground segment software to monitor the passes over South Africa and to contact the satellite to initiate the recovery procedure was automated. After a month contact was made again. This was mid November. "We set in place a planned recovery procedure and within 3-4 days we came to the conclusion that the main battery had failed", Johann said. With SumbandilaSat responding when it is in full sunlight Johan Lochner is confident that some operations will be restored even to the point where it may be possible to do some imaging and have the amateur radio transponder back in operation. More on recovery efforts are on line at www.amsatsa.org.za.

SARL MEMBERSHIP CLOSE TO 1 600

The SARL membership reached 1 563 today, welcome all new members. If you have not yet taken the right step to join SARL, the national body for amateur radio, do it now. Call Mariska on Monday at 011 675 2393.

NEW SARL FAX NUMBER

The SARL has a new fax number. It is 086 299 0566. The old number will still operate for some time. The new number is a fax to email service. The number again 086 299 0566

AMATEUR SEGMENT AT 500 kHz STILL IN THE RUNNING AT WRC12

Rod Stafford, W6ROD, secretary for the International Amateur Radio Union says from his vantage point, it appears that there are several member countries that are in favour of granting the amateur radio service an allocation somewhere in the 415 to 526,5 kHz range. It had been proposed to carve out a 15 kHz section for amateur use.

However, Stafford says those engaged in the discussions say there is a need to protect existing services. Stafford says in a report on the WRC proceedings so far that there appear to be a couple of options:

First, a secondary allocation of up to 15 kHz to the amateur radio service on a worldwide basis between 472 kHz and 487 kHz.

Second, two non-contiguous worldwide secondary allocations to the amateur radio service between 461 and 469 kHz and 471 to 478 kHz, totaling 15 kHz.

Third, a proposal for a worldwide secondary allocation of 8 kHz from 472 to 480 kHz.

He says some countries are concerned that non-directional beacons that operate in the spectrum could be subject to possible interference from any new allocations to amateur radio. Stafford's assessment is that its still early in the process to determine whether radio amateurs will succeed in getting the spectrum allocation.

At WRC12 there is another item of concern to amateur radio. It is a bid for oceanographic radar applications in the 3 to 50 MHz range. Stafford says the IARU's position is that the oceanographic radar applications are incompatible with the amateur and amateur satellite services in that range.

WRC-12 wraps up on 17 February.

SARL NATIONAL CONVENTION

The 2012 SARL National Convention will be held in Pinetown from 20 t0 22 April at the Premier Hotel. The event kicks off with a finger supper at the Highway Clubhouse on Friday evening and a presentation highlighting how South Africa's electronic industry found its origin in Pinetown and the local development off SSB.

The AGM will be held on Saturday morning at the Premier Hotel followed by a light lunch and two presentations covering VHF antennas and Logbook of the World. The Awards banquet will also be held at the Premier Hotel.

The SARL National Convention will conclude with a breakfast at the Japanese Gardens.

The full programme and booking details will be available on www.sarl.org.za from early next week.

JOIN THE INTECNET TONIGHT

The first INTECNET of 2012 will be held this evening, Sunday 5 February, at 19:30. History will be made when this will be the first INTECNET that will be joined by members of the Namibian Amateur Radio League. The NARL repeater in Windhoek will be linked giving Namibian amateurs the opportunity to participate in the discussions.

The subject will be "Greater DXing with propagation forecasting". Two speakers will be looking at the science of forecasting and practical applications. Dr Donald Danskin from the Geomagnetic Lab in Ottawa, Canada will lead-in the discussion with an overview of how HF forecasts are made. He is currently a visiting scientist at SANSA Space Sciences at Hermanus. Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, will look at the practical aspects of using propagation forecast and how to put them to best use. The discussion will also be available on Echolink.

CLUB NEWS

The Overberg Amateur Radio Club will be operating a field station in the Malagas area on the Breede River during the Field Week End competition. Please contact Andre, ZS1AZ, at 072 729 1680 for further information and directions.

The ZS6KTS repeater is now active on 145,162 5/145,762 5 MHz for a test period. Everyone is invited to submit comments/reports to vubandplanning@sarl.org.za and also to vivdold@bestwebs.co.za.

COMPETITION NEWS

SARL National Field Day

The aim of the SARL National Field Day is to work as many stations as possible and in doing so to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions. A premium is placed on developing skills to meet the challenges of emergency preparedness as well as to acquaint the public with the capabilities of Amateur Radio. The first leg of the Field Day will take place on the second full weekend of February - 10:00 UTC Saturday 11 February to 10:00 UTC Sunday 12 February 2012.

Activity is on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 metres using Phone, CW and Digital modes. There are five categories of participation, namely:
Class A - Field Station -Multi operator:
Class B - Field Station -Multi operator - QRP:
Class C - Field Station -Single Operator;
Class D - Field Station -Single Operator - QRP
Class E - General stations.

The exchange is the Number of transmitters, Field Day operating Class and Province, e.g. 3AFS = 3 transmitters, Class A in the Free State.

Logs must be sent by e-mail to zs4bfn@netactive.co.za or by post to the SARL National Field Day, Box 12104, Brandhof, 9324. The closing date for your log submission is 19 February 2012. The full set of rules can be found on Page 24 of the 2012 SARL Contest Manual.

LEAP YEAR CHALLENGE

You are invited to take part in the Leap Year Challenge on Wednesday 29 February 2012 and make as many contacts as you can on this day. The challenge starts at 00:01 and ends at 23:59 CAT with phone, CW and digital activity on all bands - HF, VHF, UHF and microwaves. Work a station once only regardless of band, mode or call sign.

Submit your log by e-mail to zs4bfn@netactive.co.za by midnight Friday 2 March 2012. A SARL membership is up for grabs for the log received with the most QSOs made.

If you do not take part, you will have to wait until 2016 to put the date 29 February into your logbook!

PROPAGATION REPORT

Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the Solar activity is at low levels. All of the sunspots on the Earths side of the sun are quiet.

If you want to do your own frequency predictions the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 64.

All the bands from 20 to 10 m and especially 15 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

5 February - ANTIQUE WIRELESS ASSOCIATION CW ACTIVITY DAY
5 February Intecnet tonight at 19:30 CAT.
11 12 February SARL Field Day contest
19 February last day for submitting logs for SARL field day contest
20 February Last day for submission of logs for Antique Wireless Association CW activity day.
29 February Leap year Challenge from 00:01 till 23:59.
21 March ZS6ERB construction day.
20 22 April SARL Convention in Pinetown.

Remember, nominations for SARL awards, which will be presented at the gala dinner which will take place over the weekend of the 2012 SARL AGM may still be submitted. 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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