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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.

You can download this bulletin and previous ones from 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).


It is with deep regret that the passing of Victor le Grange, ZR6VLG, on Tuesday 14 February 2012 at the age of 71 is announced.

We extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends.


In the news today:




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


It's official! Delegates attending the 2012 World Radio Communication Conference have approved a new 7 kilohertz wide secondary allocation between 472-479 kHz for the Amateur Radio Service. Agenda Item 1.23 had both its first and second readings in Plenary Session on Tuesday, February 14; to become part of the ITU’s Radio Regulations, each Agenda Item must be read twice in Plenary Session. While the Final Acts was signed on Friday, February 17 at the close of the Conference, the new allocation will not take effect until it is entered into the Radio Regulations. No date has been set for this, but it is unlikely to be earlier than January 1, 2013. No amateur may use the band until ICASA has revised and published the table of amateur frequency allocations.

"This is a fantastic achievement for the Amateur Radio Service," IARU President Tim Ellam. VE6SH, said. "A new allocation for spectrum is always something that should be celebrated. The success on this issue is due to the hard work over the last four years from our IARU representatives, as well as the volunteers from the numerous IARU Member-Societies who have worked within the ITU process on behalf of their national administrations. This is excellent work from our team in Geneva, and from those who have assisted from their home countries."

Agenda Item 1.23 originally called for a 15-kilohertz-wide spectrum in parts of the band 415-526,5 kHz, taking into account the need to protect existing services. The initial idea was 495-510 kHz, but according to ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, this was in conflict with the Maritime Mobile Service. WRC-12 delegates approved Agenda Item 1.10, which called for a worldwide exclusive allocation to the Maritime Mobile Service of 495-505 kHz. Discussion of this allocation to Maritime Mobile "has been in the works throughout the conference preparation (i.e. since 2008)," Sumner explained, "and was the reason why the MF amateur allocation could not be made in this band as some amateurs had hoped. That's why we had to look elsewhere and is what put us in conflict with aeronautical radio navigation."

According to Colin Thomas, G3PSM, CEPT Coordinator for Agenda Item 1.23, WRC-12 delegates moved forward early in the Conference with what he called a "compromise proposal" for the new allocation. "Progress was made with a compromise proposal on Agenda Item 1.23, drafted to take into consideration the views of those for and those against an Amateur Service allocation around 500 kHz. This proposal suggested a 7-kilohertz segment between 472-479 kHz, very close to the CEPT position of 472-480 kHz."

The new allocation calls for a worldwide secondary allocation to the Amateur Service at 472-479 kHz, with a power limit of 1 W EIRP. A provision has been made, however, for administrations to permit up to 5 W EIRP for stations located more than 800 km from certain countries that wish to protect their aeronautical radio navigation service (non-directional beacons) from any possible interference.

One of the responsibilities of each WRC delegation is to set the agenda for the next WRC. WRC-12 delegates approved an Amateur Radio-related agenda item for the upcoming WRC-15: To consider the possibility of making an allocation of an appropriate amount of spectrum, not necessarily contiguous, to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis within the band 5 250-5 450 kHz. This will be Agenda Item 1.4 at WRC-15.

"It is always a challenge to have items placed on the agenda for future WRCs," IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, said. "I am pleased that we were successful in having an Agenda Item for a potential allocation at 5 MHz on a secondary basis. There will be much work to do over the next ITU study group cycle. Much appreciation is owed to the IARU and the national delegation teams in Geneva for their hard work on this issue."


Book now for the SARL National convention which will be held in Pinetown from 20 to 22 April 2012. Full details are now online at, including the registration form. On the Friday evening, at the “getting to know you” finger supper, there will be an interesting presentation on how South Africa's electronics Industry started in Pinetown. The Saturday afternoon session will include two presentations covering the building of VHF antennas and the Logbook of the world.


Download an interview with Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP reporting on the progress made on SA AMSAT's KletsKOUS CubeSat project, from SA AMSAT has launched a fundraising campaign and is asking Radio Amateurs to make financial contributions to the project.


A group of Radio Amateurs hopes to establish a world distance record for an unmanned helium-filled balloon. The BLT-28 balloon will undertake a journey across the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and then on to Nanjing, China. The South Texas Balloon Launch Team released the balloon on 11 February from Katy, Texas, just outside of Houston.

During the trans-Atlantic crossing, when out of range of shore based stations, the balloon's APRS beacon will operate on the International Space Station (ISS) packet digipeater frequency of 145,825 MHz. The balloon payload package weighs only about 5 ounces and contains a high altitude GPS tracking system and a 144 MHz FM APRS Amateur Radio transmitter. To conserve weight and battery life, no camera equipment is on board. The maximum altitude is expected to be above 26 km, with horizontal speeds of between 160-180 km per hour.


On 13 February a European Space Agency Vega rocket lifted off from Kourou, French Guiana on its inaugural flight. It carried the Laser Relativity Spacecraft to orbit, along with eight student-built MicroSats and CubeSats. The student satellites will transmit telemetry in the VHF, UHF and microwave amateur bands, with one satellite also including a voice repeater.

Here are the details:
ALMASat-1 from the University of Bologna, Italy, transmitting 1 200-baud packet data at 437,465 and 2 407,850 MHz.
Xatcobeo, a collaboration between the University of Vigo and INTA, Spain, transmitting telemetry at 437,365 and 145,940 MHz.
Robusta, from the University of Montpellier, France transmitting 1 200-baud packet telemetry at 437,325 MHz with one 20-second data burst every 3 minutes.
E-St@r, a project of Politecnico di Torino, Italy, sending 1 200-baud packet telemetry at 437,445 MHz.
Goliat, from the University of Bucharest, Romania, transmitting 1 200-baud packet data at 437,485 MHz.
PW-Sat from the Warsaw University of Technology, Poland, which includes a voice repeater mode in addition to its telemetry functions. The voice repeater will listen for transmissions at 435,020 MHz FM and retransmit at 145,900 MHz SSB. PW-Sat telemetry will be sent as 1 200-baud packet and CW at 435,020 MHz.
MaSat-1 from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, sending 625/1 250 bps GFSK data at 437,345 MHz. Ground station software is available here.
UniCubeSat GG from the University of Rome, which will transmit 9 600-baud data at 437,305 MHz.

South African Radio Amateurs are encouraged to listen out for the satellites and send reports to


Recently amateurs in the USA have been requesting contacts with South Africa on 17 meter, as it is a long time since some of them heard any one in Africa or South Africa on 17 meter. The 17 meter band is normally quite open to USA from 21:00 till 23:00 CAT. Sometimes 17 meter is open for longer periods. Recently US stations have been heard in South Africa with signals of between 59 and 44 depending on the station. 17 meter is also open from South Africa to the Far East and Europe between 16:00 and 18:30 CAT.


SARL Digital Contest. The first in the series of SARL Digital Contests will be on the air on Sunday 26 February from 13:00 to 16:00 UTC with PSK and RTTY activity on 20, 40 and 80 metres. The exchange is a RST report and a serial number starting at 001 and stations maybe contacted twice per band, once on PSK and once on RTTY. Find the full set of rules on page 57 of the 2012 SARL Contest Manual.

SARL National Field Day logs. The closing date for logs for the February leg of the SARL National Field Day is midnight Sunday 19 February - that is tonight! By Friday 17 February logs had been received from ZS6XT, ZS6A, ZS6BNE, ZS2EC, ZS4BFN, ZS6STN, ZS4B, ZS3R, ZS5ZLB, ZS6WR, ZS6AWW and ZS4BS.

If you made 1 QSO or 100 QSOs, please submit your log by midnight. Send it by e-mail to You may have the winning entry!


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the Solar activity is expected to be at low levels with a slight chance of M-class activity. Hopefully old region 1 408 will improve matters when it rotates into view in the next couple of days.

If you want to do your own frequency predictions the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 50.

All the bands from 20 to 10 m and especially 15 m will provide lots of DX fun with 10 m only opening sporadically due to the low solar activity.

Please visit for further information.


19 February, Today! - last day for submitting logs for SARL field day contest.
20 February, Tomorrow! - Last day for submission of logs for Antique Wireless Association ty day.
26 February – SARL digital contest.
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

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 17 760 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 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.

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Last modified: 14 April 2003