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SARL NEWS SUNDAY 06 January 2013

You are listening to ZS6SRL, the official radio station of the South African Radio League, the national body for amateur radio in South Africa. The SARL broadcasts 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. For audio via Echolink, connect to ZS0JPL-R.

You can download this bulletin and previous ones from and also subscribe there to receive future bulletins by e-mail.

Your newsreader this morning is (name), (call sign), on 145,725 from Pretoria, with relays on 7,066 MHz and 3,695 MHz SSB. (Other news readers change to suit).





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


In his New Year message the SARL President, Rassie Erasmus, ZS1YT, said that for the next four months the SARL will focus on celebrating the theme "Amateur Radio - entering its second century of disaster communication."

He said "In my Christmas message I focused on Ham spirit and the Amateur Code and likened it to the spirit of Ubuntu - that profound African sense that we are human only through the humanity of other human beings. Nelson Mandela once said that it is not a parochial phenomenon, but it has added globally to our common search for a better world.

As we are at the beginning on a brand new year I would like to single out the sixth and last item in the amateur code "The Radio Amateur is Patriotic..... Their knowledge and their station are always ready for the service of their country and their community."

As the SARL we have lived up to the amateur code as clearly demonstrated through the activity of our disaster communication division "HAMNET" and the many amateurs who freely give of their time and expertise to support it.

On 18 April this year, the world celebrates world amateur radio day with the theme "Amateur Radio - entering its second century of disaster communication."

We believe it is fitting that we dedicate the next four months to support the theme and to celebrate a century of disaster communication support to South Africa and, indeed many times, to countries far beyond our borders.


I would like to invite clubs to take turns in setting up public event stations to demonstrate how amateur radio contributes to South Africa and South Africans though disaster communication support, search and rescue operations, communication support for sporting events and technological innovation.

Amateur Radio was the first to use Voice over IP. Echolink was established many years before commercial operators introduced voice over IP in their networks. Radio amateurs build and operate satellites, have developed sophisticated software to enable communication under weak signal conditions and share these experiences to develop a culture of technological advancement.

The SARL will soon have a brochure available that demonstrates our abilities in providing disaster communication and technological advancements in communication. We need you to show it to the world."

Listen to the full message on Amateur Radio TODAY this morning or download it from the web


Newsline this week entered a belated happy birthday to an electronic device whose invention revolutionised telecommunications and made possible the technology that we have today.

On December 16, 1947, Bell Labs researchers William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain created an amplifier from a germanium crystal that boosted the level of an input signal by 100 times. Various researchers had tried to develop a solid-state alternative to the vacuum tubes during World War II but none had succeeded. The Bell Labs Trio demonstrated it for lab officials a week later on December 23 where Shockley deemed it a magnificent Christmas present.

Bell Labs announced the invention of the transistor six months later. The device went on to become one of the signature scientific achievements of the 20th century, ranking up with splitting the atom, manned flight, and the discovery of DNA. One could argue, in fact, that the transistor was the most important breakthrough of the 20th century because subsequent advances in those other fields relied on the computing power made possible through integrated circuits and semiconductors. In essence, information has become a science itself. As a result of their achievement Electronics Magazine put a photo the three men on its cover. The three went on to share the Nobel Prize for physics in 1956. John Bardeen became a laureate a second time in 1972 for his work on superconductivity. And very apropos the entire story is on-line at


If you are not yet a SARL member you can now become one for only R240 covering the period from now until the end of June. This offer is only available to radio amateurs joining now or re-joining after more than a year of non-membership. The offer regretfully does not apply to members who have not yet paid their fees for the 2012/2013 year. For details visit or call 011 675 2393 on Monday when the SARL office at the NARC opens.


The PEARS National VHF/UHF contest will take place on 18 - 20 January 2013, and is open to all licensed amateurs in South Africa and the neighbouring states. The aim of the VHF/UHF contest is to stimulate activity on the bands, make many long distance contacts possible, establish new records and encourage the improvement of VHF/UHF equipment. This is a 44-hour dual contest for digital and analogue modes; it will reflect changes of propagation over the two days and offer a wonderful camping period with lots of fun for field stations. Amateurs are requested to participate in both the contests and keep the bands alive. Stations in the first three categories can compete in both the national and divisional sections.

The first 22-hour session of the contest starts at 16:00 UTC on Friday 18 January and closes at 14:00 UTC on Saturday 19 January. The second 22-hour session commences at 14:01 UTC on Saturday and ends at 12:00 UTC on Sunday 20 January 2013.

You can participate as a Base station, a Field station, a Club or Multi-Operator station, a Limited Category (a) Base or (b) Field or Stationary Mobile station or a Rover station. The activity is SSB, CW, Digital and FM on 6, 4 and 2 metres as well as 70 and 23 cm. A valid contact consists of an exchange of call signs, signal reports and location such as the 6 digit Maidenhead Locator or co-ordinates.

The SARL Summer QRP Contest will take place on Saturday 26 January 2013 from 12:00 to 15:00 UTC. The QRP contests are intended to be fun activities to promote QRP operation between radio amateurs. Using homebuilt equipment or operating as a portable / field station and using temporary antennas is encouraged, but is not a requirement. SSB and CW may be used with 5 watts (PEP) output or less and a station may be worked once per band per mode. There are no antenna restrictions.

The first hour is limited to the 40 m band only, the remaining two hours the contesters are free to use any HF (non-WARC) band as they see fit. The exchange is a RS(T) report and Grid locator.

The rules for both contests can be found in the 2013 SARL Contest Manual, please take note that the rules for the QRP contest have been changed from the 2012 contests.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the expected solar activity will be at moderate levels. Sunspot AR 1 640 is crackling with low-level C-class flares and harbours energy for an X-class flare.

If you want to do your 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 15 m providing the best openings with 20 m not far behind. There will also be frequent 10 m openings.

Please visit for further information.

12 and 13 January Hunting Lions-in-the-Air activity.
15 January Last day to provide feedback on the DRAFT NATIONAL RADIO FREQUENCY PLAN to
18 - 20 January - PEARS National VHF/UHF contest.
26 January - SARL Summer QRP Contest 12:00 to 15:00 UTC.
31 January Last day for submission of nominations for councilors for the next term and motions for the 2013 AGM.
31 January Last day for submission of a brief outline of a proposed paper at the SA AMSAT Space Symposium on 18 May 2013 to
23 February - SARL Youth Sprint 10:00 to 12:00 CAT with a special event starting at 09:00.

SARL News invites clubs and individuals to submit news items of interest to radio amateurs and short-wave 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 18:30 UTC on 4 895 kHz ((A new time and frequency!). Reception reports are invited. We are particularly interested in reports of the 4 895 kHz transmission on Mondays at 16:30 UTC as the frequency is close to the proposed new amateur allocation near 5 MHz. Reception reports from all areas in South Africa would be useful in our bid to ICASA for frequencies pilot studies. Send reports to

Sentech sponsors the transmissions on the non-amateur frequencies.

From the SARL News team we wish all listeners a happy and prosperous new year. May your radio amateur activity bring you lots of pleasure.

You have listened to a bulletin of the South African Radio League compiled and edited by George Honiball, ZS6NE.

Thank you for listening, 73.


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Last modified: 14 April 2003