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SARL NEWS SUNDAY 16 JUNE 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 www.sarl.org.za, 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 www.sarl.org.za and also subscribe there to receive future bulletins by e-mail.

SILENT KEYS

The key of Pieter (Louwtjie) Louw, ZS1MV, went silent on Tuestday 28 May 2013 stil geword. Louwtjie was 82 years old and a radio amateur for more than 60 years.

We convey our sympathy to his family and friends.

We are also sorry to announce that ZS1ANO,Captain Brain Greenwood, became a silent key on Friday, June 7th, after a short illness in the Panarama Hospital near Cape Town. He leaves 4 children, and 5 grandchildren.

'his key is silent but his memory lives on'

Your news reader 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).

IN THE NEWS TODAY:
MORE ON THE FIVE YEAR LICENCE
ATTEMPT TO PROVE THE PERTH TO SOUTH AFRICA PATH
SARL RE-INTRODUCE ITS ELMER PROGRAMME

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

MORE ON THE FIVE YEAR LICENCE

The confusion around the five year license was discussed at the ICASA/SARL liaison meeting last week. It was agreed that ICASA will check all R501 payments made and issue a 5 year license accordingly. This process may take four to six weeks.

If you have renewed your license for 5 years and have paid R501 and have not received the 5 year license document by end of July, please send an email to Dewald at dkuhrau@icasa.org.za with a copy to Gareth at gthumbran@icasa.org.za. This information is also available on the SARL web home page.

CORRECTION TO THE RADIO REGULATIONS

The subject of corrections to the radio regulations published on 1 April 2011 is on every ICASA/SARL Liaison meeting agenda but as the issue was pending the outcome of a court case between ICASA and one of the cellular companies no progress could be made. Indications are that there is light at the end of tunnel and the issue could be resolved in the next two months. The corrected regulations are ready in draft format and from the amateur side address the issue of power for both class A and Class B licenses on certain bands and a few other issues. The draft still has to be approved at the ICASA council.

Another issue discussed was the guest licensing between SADC countries. The draft document to be circulated prior to the next CRASA meeting was approved. The document proposes that any licenced amateur from a SADC country visiting another SADC country may operate as a guest for up to three months without the need to apply for permission.

The next meeting of the ICASA/SARL liaison committee will be held on 12 September 2013. It was also agreed to hold a follow up regulatory workgroup meeting to discuss the outstanding issues from the meeting held in December last year.

RASPBERRY PI MICRO COMPUTER LONG DISTANCE CONTACT CHALLENGE

In SARLNEWS of 7 April radio amateurs in South Africa were challenged to try their hand at covering distance with Milliwatt power into the antenna using a Raspberry Pi.

This was in response to Eddie Bennett, G3ZJO, of Northampton in the United Kingdom who used the 10 milliWatt of RF that can be generated from the Raspberry Pi computer board and was heard at over 2000 km on the 7 MHz band. The Raspberry Pi board can be made to operate as a WSPR mode transmitter covering Low, High and VHF frequencies up to 250 MHz. G3ZJO connected the board via a low pass filter to a dipole for the 7 and 14 MHz bands.

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer board that plugs into a TV and a keyboard. The Raspberry Pi Model A and Model B boards are supplied as board only, and come without operating system, SD card, power supply, keyboard, case or cables.

SARL Elmer, Jaco le Roux, ZS6PX, responded to the challenge. He received reports from several stations; the furthest was some 900 km from ZS2CX.

He said that when he heard about the challenge on SARLNEWS he was immediately interested and ordered a Raspberry Pi. "When I received the unit, I loaded a new SD card with Raspbian Wheezy and followed the instruction that I found on the Web. I could not believe that 10mW could travel that far" Jaco received the book prize.

LOTS OF OVER THE HORIZON RADARS ON THE UPPER HF BANDS

The latest Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System Region 1 newsletter reports that a United Kingdom military station identified as STANAG 4285 station has been heard on the 20 metre band. Reports are that the station which is believed to be in Norwich, England has been on 14.236.8 Megahertz.

Also in the newsletter, DGZ0JBJ reported during May no less than 11 Over The Horizon or OTH radar systems have been heard on 20 metres, with 30 on 10 metres and an almost unbelievable 65 of these radar devices heard and logged on the 15 metre band. The newsletter says that these figures do not include the numerous frequency jumping Iranian Over The Horizon radars.

You can read the entire monitoring service intruder report on the web at tinyurl.com/hamband-intruder-alert. It's a real eye opener for those who are new to HF and not quite certain of the source of the noise that may be causing harmful interference to a QSO.


ATTEMPT TO PROVE THE PERTH TO SOUTH AFRICA PATH

A new 2m beacon on 144.950MHz is being established in Perth, Western Australia, by the Northern Corridor Radio Group in an attempt to prove the Perth to South Africa path. The beacon, VK6RIO, will use Chirp modulation which can be detected some 50dB below the noise floor in a 2kHz bandwidth. The beacon will run 100W into 4 by 8 element yagis directed towards South Africa. With the processing gain from using Chirp modulation the Effective Radiated Power is 100 Megawatts.

The beacon is GPS locked both in frequency, time and Chirp synchronisation. Tests across Australia have proven the effectiveness of Chirp modulation for detecting very weak signals.

An article explaining Chirp modulation, and its application to propagation measurements and beacons, can be found in the March edition of the RSGB RadCom magazine. There is also an article explaining the Chirp beacon in Dubus 4-2011.

In order to detect the Chirp beacon the receiving station will require a GPS locked Software Defined Radio, a GPS locked 2m converter and 1 pulse per second from a GPS receiver to time stamp received signals. Open source PC software by Hermann, DL3HVH, will be provided for processing the received signals.

This beacon can only be detected if there is someone on the other end with "similar equipment" and a desire to be the first to receive these signals in South Africa or surrounding countries. Is that someone you?

Anyone interested in more details regarding the new beacon should contact Keith Bainbridge, VK6RK, vk6rk@wia.org.au.

LEAGUE NEWS

SARL RE-INTRODUCE ITS ELMER PROGRAMME

Jaco Le Roux took over the SARL Elmer portfolio and is ready to answer any amateur related questions. If he does not know the answer he will find someone to answer the question. Send your questions to elmer@sarl.org.za.

The SARL has further expanded the Elmer concept by creating webpages that cover topical subjects about amateur radio. The first series of questions deals with the Raspberry Pi and will go live on Sunday on the SARL members only section of the SARL website at www.sarl.org.za, select members only on the top right hand and enter your pin number.

SARL MEMBERSHIP
Applications for listener membership of the SARL have been received from the following persons:
Na-aim Jordan and
Petrus Pelser.

Any objections against the acceptance of the applications must reach the Secretary before or on the Tuesday after this bulletin.

CONTEST NEWS

WORLD QRP DAY
Tomorrow, Monday 17 June, is World QRP Day. Switch off the amplifier, turn down the power on your rig and try QRP power. How many kilometres per watt can you achieve. You will be amazed at what you can achieve with QRP.

SARL TOP BAND QSO PARTY
The SARL Top Band QSO Party is a fun activity to promote contacts on 160 metres between radio amateurs in Southern African countries and to encourage radio amateurs to apply for the SARL Top Band Award.

The QSO Party runs from 00:00 UTC on Thursday 20 June 2013 to 00:00 UTC on Monday 24 June 2013, with phone from 1 840 - 1 850 kHz and CW activity from 1 810 - 1 838 kHz. Each station can be worked once per mode i.e. once on Phone and again with CW.

The exchange is a RS(T) report and provincial or country abbreviation. Following the QSO, the station must change the dial frequency by at least 2 KHz for the next QSO, unless a period of 10 minutes has lapsed between contacts. The frequency of each QSO must be shown on the log sheet. The event is open to all licensed amateurs that have access to the 160 metre band.

Each contact will count three (3) points. Bonus Points: Each South African call area and each DXCC country worked will be awarded with five (5) additional bonus points. Total Score = (Total QSO points) and (Bonus points). Log sheets must be submitted by 1 July to contest@sarl.org.za.

HF PROPAGATION REPORT

Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at low levels. Sunspot AR1768 continues to grow but it is not yet actively flaring.

If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 40.

All the bands from 20 to 10 m will provide lots of DX fun with 20 m providing the best openings with 15 m not far behind. There will also be some 10 m openings on sunlit paths.

Please visit www.spaceweather.co.za for further information.

DIARY OF EVENTS

15/16 June - First weekend of International Museums Weekend special event, register your museum station at www.ukradioamateur.co.uk/imw.
17 June Due date for ZS4 Sprint log sheets
20-24 June QSO Party runs from 00:00 UTC on Thursday 20 June 2013 to 00:00 UTC on Monday 24 June.
22/23 June - Second weekend of International Museums Weekend special event.
1 July - QSO Party log sheets must be submitted.

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 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 17 660 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 16:30 UTC on 3 230 kHz. The website also lists various other retransmissions. Reception reports, comments and suggestions are invited. Send an email to artoday@sarl.org.za. 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 Louis Kirstein, ZS1LK.

Thank you for listening, 73.

/EX


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Last modified: 14 April 2003