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SARL NEWS SUNDAY 14 April 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 and 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.


The ICASA Council has last week approved two 5 MHz frequencies for the South African Radio League to carry out propagation research. This is in response to the SARL's application for two channels to collect information about country wide propagation conditions on 5 MHz. The SARL expects the licenses to be issued next week.

The SARL applied for access to 5 MHz in 2010, 2011 and again in 2012. The licences are being issued for an 8 month period at a license fee of R2 900. At the end of the period the SARL can apply for an extension.

In the application the SARL told ICASA that while the propagation of signals are fairly well known for high power broadcasting, there is still quite a lot that can be learned by radio amateurs, especially on "inland" work away from the coastline.

Some years ago the then SOEKOR observed that on the Cape South-coast seawards of Mossel Bay in the late afternoon and early evenings 5 MHz will provide E-layer propagation for about an hour or two. This also occurred "up and down" the Outeniqua coastline. Propagation modelling showed that the E-layer at those times was between 110 and 80 km above the Earth, much lower than the F layer. As the signal path was much shorter, very strong signals could be obtained with relatively low ERP (effective radiated power). It would be interesting to see how far and wide this propagation mode does actually occur in South Africa.

The SARL is in the process of creating a special webpage for the project. It is planned to schedule transmissions on one channel from various parts of South Africa at various times and radio amateurs will be requested to send in reception reports. The SARL is looking for volunteers in all parts of South Africa to transmit Amateur Radio Today at various times. If you like to be a transmitting station please send your details to

The second channel will be available for individual QSOs. To use the 5 MHz band, it will be required to register with the SARL. Details will be available on the web by next weekend.

There is an item on the WRC15 agenda requesting a permanent secondary allocation for amateur radio in the 5 MHz band. The SARL hopes through its propagation research project to contribute to the body of knowledge and to lobby for support by the delegations of South African, SADC and African Union countries to support the call for the new allocation.


The closing date for booking for the SARL National Convention is 21 April. No late fee booking fee will be charged. At the AGM the SARL legal adviser will report on the status of the Antenna Defence project and there will a discussion on proposals to change the SARLNEWS transmission to a weekday evening. The SARL will also launch a new standard QSL card available to members and launch the theme for the coming year.

There are still a few places available on the SANSA Hartbeeshoek visit. The SA Amateur Radio Development Trust books store will open during registration and the refreshment break.

The Annual Dinner with its award presentations and guest speaker, Anthony Turton, as well as the lucky number draw for a number of prizes, including an ICOM handheld donated by Radio Accessories and Data Modems, is something not to be missed. Getting you into the mood of a weekend of Amateur Radio is the welcoming event at the West Rand amateur radio club house on Friday evening. Just don't miss the SARL National Convention! Book today!

Get all the details from and from the landing page follow the links, or call Geoff Levey, ZS6GRL, on 082 546 5546.


The Youth Sprint results have come to hand, here they are. It was a busy miring for many of the participants. The winner of the event is 23 year old Dirk van Vuuren, ZS6DVV, who scored 103 points. Besides the certificate he also wins a 2012 ARRL Handbook. Fifteen year old Mitchell Mynhardt, ZS6YH, took second place with 101 points. He wins a 40 metre Receiver Kit and in third place came Hendrik Veldman, ZU6LD. He is 16 years old and scored 95 points.

The winners of the lucky draw are Eduan Leighton who operated ZS6BNE who will receive an ARRL Antenna Book and Renier de Jager, ZU1K, who will win a SARL Student membership as well as a RTA SDR Kit and CD.

The contest manager, Geoff Levey, ZS6GRL, said that it was a great show and thanks all amateurs who made it possible for young people taking part in the event. For 2014 greater things are in store when the SARL will hold a youth week around mid-February. Stay tuned for more information soon.


Here is another great amateur radio event. SA AMSAT will hold its annual space symposium in Pretoria at the Innovation Hub on Saturday 18 May 2012. The keynote speaker will be by McLean Sibanda, the CEO of the Innovation Hub with the subject "Innovation is everyone's business". The agenda is packed with interesting presentations and demonstrations. The symposium is sponsored by Telkom.

Make your booking now to benefit from the early registration package. Full details and the registration form are available on

SARL and SA AMSAT members enjoy preferential rates. The registration fee includes a CD of all the papers as well as refreshments and a light lunch.


The SARL Autumn QRP Contest takes place on Saturday 20 April 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.

You may use SSB and CW 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. Comply with the contest-preferred segments as detailed in the general rules. It would be advantageous to use the standard QRP calling frequencies as the starting point.

The exchange is a RS or RST report and Grid locator. Please consider exchanging realistic RS or RST signal reports. Please use the full 6-character grid locator. e.g. KG10xw. If the station's grid locator is unknown, then use some other means that identifies the station's location: E.g. the name of the closest town or city e.g. Bedford, or 25 km NW of Maseru. With DX contacts the locator information can be omitted, the RS(T) will suffice as the minimum required exchange as per the general rules.

Read the complete rules on page 33 of the 2013 SARL Contest Manual.

The ARRL Rookie Roundup. If you got your license in the past three years, the ARRL Rookie Roundup is for you and 21 April is the SSB edition. Grab a microphone and have a go at it! Thanks to Bruce, WA7BNM, results will be compiled and published automatically on an online web page immediately following the score submission deadline. If you are not a Rookie - find somebody who is and show him or her how to give HF a try! Get all the details at

The Day of the YLs. For the third time in the world, 'The Day of the YLs' will be held on 18 and 19 May 2013. This weekend is intended to be an on-the-air gathering of amateur radio women around the world and of course, all men are invited to participate. A worldwide meeting that you cannot miss, so please participate! For more information, please visit


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the strongest solar flare in quite some time took place on 11th April around Sunspot 1 719. Geomagnetic storms can be expected as well as further M- or even X-class flares.

If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 81.

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 10 m openings on sunlit paths.

Please visit for further information.


Today onwards Book for the SA AMSAT annual space symposium in Pretoria at the Innovation Hub on Saturday 18 May 2012, visit
18 April World Amateur Radio Day and ZS9DCC on the air. Operators required, email Geoff to or call him on 082 546 5546.
20 April - SARL Autumn QRP Contest from 12:00 to 15:00 UTC.
21 April - ARRL Rookie Roundup.
April 20-May 1 Commemorative station PB33BQ on the air, see for more information.
26- 27 April SARL National Convention, register now, get details on
15/16 June First weekend of International Museums Weekend special event, register your museum station at
22/23 June Second weekend of International Museums Weekend special event.

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, 7 025, and 17 570 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 16:30 UTC on 3 230 kHz. Reception reports, comments and suggestions are invited. Send an email to

Sentech sponsors the transmissions on the non-amateur frequencies.

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