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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. 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 MHz from Pretoria, with a relay on 7,066 MHz SSB. (Other news readers change to suit).


It is with regret that the key of Pieter Jacobs, ZS1UH, went silent on Wednesday 7 August.

Our deepest sympathies to his wife Johanna and children







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


According to measurements from NASA-supported observatories, the sun's vast magnetic field is about to turn over. The Sun's magnetic field changes polarity approximately every 11 years. It happens at the peak of each solar cycle as our home star's inner magnetic field generator reorganizes itself signalling the mid-point of a Solar Cycle.

Todd Hoeksema is the Director of Stanford's Wilcox Solar Observatory which is one of the few that monitor the sun's polar magnetic fields. He says that we are no more than 3 to 4 months away from a complete field reversal and that this change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system. This is because of the Sun's magnetic influence, also known as the Heliosphere, which extends billions of kilometres beyond the minor planet Pluto and almost to interstellar space.

When solar physicists talk about solar field reversals they are also referring to something known as the Sun's Current Sheet. This is a sprawling surface jutting outward from its equator where it's slowly rotating magnetic field induces an electrical current. During field reversals, the current sheet becomes very wavy. As Earth orbits the sun, it dips in and out of the current sheet. Transitions from one side to another can stir up stormy space weather around our planet which in turn can affect radio propagation to some degree.

As the field reversal approaches, data from the Wilcox Solar Observatory shows that the sun's two hemispheres are out of synch. According to Solar Physicist Phil Scherrer the Sun's North Pole has already changed sign, while the South Pole is racing to catch up. Soon both poles will be reversed, and the second or downhill half of Solar Max will be underway. For amateur radio it likely means that good DX openings especially on the higher bands could be fewer and far in-between.


The RTA will come to Gauteng on 31 August 2013 and will be held at the Innovation Hub, Pretoria. It is a very modern venue easily accessible from the N1 Highway. Take the CSIR turn off and you will find the access road is opposite the CSIR entrance. Booking for this event is now open. Get all the detail from, select the Radio Technology in Action link on the left hand side of the home page.

The first event was held in Port Elizabeth last weekend and was great success. Diarise 14 September for the RTA in Durban. Booking for the Durban event will open next week. The event in Cape Town will be held in early October.


The SARL Digital contest will be held on the 18th August and the CW HF Contest on the 25 August. The contests are from 13:00 to 16:30 UTC (15:00 to 18:30 CAT). The bands that can be used are 80, 40 and 20 metres. These contests are not only aimed at the individuals but Clubs can also participate. This is an ideal opportunity to get your Club members involved and turn these occasions into a Club event.

There are various trophies that are presented at the AGM for the winners of the individual contests in the various categories.

There will also be a lucky draw prize for each contests. The winner of the draw will be drawn from the logs that are submitted, so even if you have made only a few contacts submit your logs. That is the only way that you stand a chance of winning the prize. The prize is a 2013 ARRL Antenna handbook.

If you use a logging program, which you should be in this day and age, it is so easy to submit your log in Cabrillo or adif format. An Excel spread sheet is available for those who do not use a logging program.

If you are a paper chaser or would like to become one, then these contests will help you to achieve your WAZS certificates. So uncover your rigs, or blow the dust off them and come and join in the fun of contesting.


A Japanese HTV-4 cargo vessel carrying the amateur TV gear was successfully launched to the International Space Station on Saturday,3 August.

Once activated, the primary mission of Amateur TV is to perform contacts between the astronauts on the ISS and school students by adding real time video to the current voice only QSO's within the ARISS programme.

The European Space Agency's Columbus module on the ISS will host the 2,4 GHz video transmitting station in addition to the existing 2 metre FM amateur radio station. The new equipment can broadcast images from the ISS during the school contacts or other downlinks of pre-recorded video images up to 24 hours a day.

The IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel has announced frequencies of 2 422,0 MHz and 2 437,0 MHz for use by the Amateur TV project. It is currently planned to transmit using the DVB-S signal format with 10 watts of power. More about the project later.


To date 1 236 individual members have renewed their membership of the SARL.

Affiliation of clubs to the SARL is free and so far the following clubs have renewed their affiliation for the 2013 - 2014 year:
. Bloemfontein Amateur Radio Club (ZS4BFN),
. Border Radio Club (ZS2BRC),
. Centurion Amateur Radio Club (ZS6CEN),
. Durban Amateur Radio Club (ZS5D),
. Magalies Radioamateurklub (ZS6MRK),
. Pretoria Amateur Radio Club (ZS6PTA),
. Southern Suburbs Amateur Radio Club (ZS6SSC),
. Soutpansberg Amateur Radio Club (ZS6PB),
. Vaal Triangle Amateur Radio Club (ZS6VTB),
. Vrystaat Amateur Radio Club (ZS4B),
. Kempton Park Amateur Radio Technical Society (ZS6KTS).

Clubs that were affiliated in the previous financial year, and have not made significant changes to their constitution, only have to fill in and submit the club affiliation form.


Mike Bosch, ZS2FM, reported that lately there has been a lot of discussions and interest shown in Aircraft Scatter on the SARL VHF Forum. There were also many reports of radio signals heard and some contacts made were via reflections from aircraft. The longest two-way contacts of 430 - 470 km were established on 144 MHz SSB by "Van" v.d. Watt, ZS6LW, in Germiston with John Fielding, ZS5JF, and Ben Smit, ZS5QM, in Natal.

The ZS6JON beacon on 50,050 MHz was often seen on the WSJT waterfall and heard in Port Elizabeth when the PE/JHB plane crossed the area of the Orange River. These aircraft scatter signals lasted for a minute or longer and could easily have sustained SSB contacts. It is high time that we start exploring long distance operation on Aircraft Scatter propagation in South Africa too as done in other countries such as Australia. Read more about Aircraft Scatter on the SARL VHF Forum.



The Boland Amateur Radio Club will, as is done annually, put the southernmost lighthouse in Africa, L’Agulhas under the call sign of ZS1BAK on the air. The station will be on the air from Friday night till Sunday morning.

The Overberg Amateur Radio Club will be taking part in International Lighthouse Weekend. Sam, ZS1OR, will be operating from Danger Point using the call sign ZS1OAR/L. Andre,ZS1AZ, will be operating from Cape Infanta using the call sign ZS1AZ/L. Visitors are welcome at Danger Point and unfortunately there is no access to Cape Infanta for the public.

The West Rand Amateur Radio Club will be holding its Spring Boot Sale on the 7th September. Save those bucks and come bargain hunting. Meet old friends and make new ones. Boerie rolls and an assortment of refreshments will be available.

Time to clean out the shack and turn all those unused items into cash.

Time: 12:00
Venue: WRARC, Kroton St, Weltevreden Park.

For further details contact the secretary on or any committee member on

See you all there.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to remain at low levels. All the visible regions on the solar disk are stable with very little chance of flaring.

If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 49.

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 can also be some short 10 m openings on east-west sunlit paths.

Please visit for further information.

12 August – Logs for the SARL HF contest to be in to
17 August – Logs for the SARL YL Sprint to be in to
17-18 August – International Lighthouse weekend.
30 August - East Rand Radio Branch AGM at 14:00.
31 August - Gauteng RTA at the Innovation Hub, Pretoria.
07 September – West Rand spring boot sale at 12:00 at Kroton Street, Weltevreden Park.

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 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, 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 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.


Copyright © 1997- 2006  South African Radio League
Last modified: 14 April 2003