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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).





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


The RTA will come to Gauteng on 31 August 2013 and Durban on Saturday 14 September. The Gauteng event will be held at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria, just off the N1, Polokwane highway. Take the CSIR turn off and you will find the access road is opposite the CSIR entrance. Booking for this event closes on Wednesday when the caterers have to be given the final number. Only a limited number of walk-in registrations can be accepted. Please do your booking this weekend. Get all the detail from, select the Radio Technology in Action link on the left hand side of the home page.

Delegates stand to win one of 5 digital multimeters in the attendance draw at the end of the symposium.

The booking for the Durban event on 14 September at the University of KwaZulu-Natal opens on Monday. The RTA will be in Cape Town early in October,


Amateur Radio recently offered a means for European Space Agency Astronaut Luca Parmitano, KF5KDP, to reconnect with Earth from the ISS during a period when it was difficult to see the planet from space. His experience, recounted in his blog, also gave him a greater appreciation for the amateur radio gear aboard the station as well as for the greater amateur radio community on Earth. As Parmitano explains, the space station's "beta angle" had resulted in long periods in sunlight, putting Earth in shadow and making him feel a little isolated.

"It's like looking out of the window at night when you have the lights on in the room, and there's not one streetlight lit outside," he said. "We've been travelling immersed in completely black space." With no available photo opportunities, Parmitano thought about the ESA Columbus module's amateur radio gear, which he described as "sometimes a little neglected by us astronauts."

Parmitano has used amateur radio to chat with student groups on Earth as part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station programme, but he concedes that he has "never been into Amateur Radio." Yet he found himself sitting at the radio looking for the first time "to establish some kind of 'contact' between the station and Earth." Not knowing what to expect, he set the radio in simplex mode while somewhere above Europe. "Suddenly, a voice surfaced above the other sounds." It was a man's voice calling NA1SS, the US Amateur Radio call sign for the ISS.

"I was taken aback by the emotion that rose in me as I tried to reply to the call, using the Italian call sign IRΨISS," Parmitano recalled. "But my excitement was nothing compared to the sheer astonishment and disbelief I heard in that voice, thousands of kilometres away. Speaking English with a beautiful Portuguese accent, the radio operator on the other side of the signal only managed to say a few words -- 'I don't know what to say. This is a dream come true for me!' -- before our conversation was interrupted and buried by swarms of other calls."

For the next 15 minutes as the ISS passed above Western, Central and Eastern Europe, he tried to reply the dozens of other callers "sending their messages into the ether with the hope that, thousands of kilometres away, the Space Station antennas would pick up their signal and that I'd be able to decipher what they were saying," he said.

The different voices from different countries soon "became members of one family, scattered over thousands of islands and in contact with each other through nothing but these 'messages in a bottle," as Parmitano characterised the radio calls.

The larger Amateur Radio community, he found, had "wrapped me in a warm blanket of friendship and gratitude, oblivious to the fact that I'm the one who should be thanking them for opening up the doors to an experience that began with that young man in Portugal, and that crossing space and time, reaches the heart of each and every Amateur Radio operator even before it reaches their ear."


To date 1 274 individual members have renewed their membership of the SARL with a large number still outstanding. Also a hearty welcome to two new members Hugh Young ZS1YS, and Claus Muller ZR6CMU.

The cut-off date is 31 August to retain your membership benefits. If you have not yet renewed do so without delays. If you need details on how to pay, call Mariska on Monday at 011 675 2392.

So far the following clubs have renewed their affiliation for the 2013 - 2014 year:
. OTL Radioklub - ZS6OTL ;
. Highveld Amateur Radio Klub - ZS6HVB
. Antique Wireless Association of SA - ZS0AWA

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, The form can be found on the web at, select club in the left hand menu and select affiliation form.

Remember, affiliation of clubs to the SARL is free.


The SARL HF CW Contest is on the air this afternoon from 13:00 to 16:30 UTC on 20, 40 and 80 metres. This contest is 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.

Contest Results

12 logs were received for the QRP Contest held on the 20th July 2013, for which the results are as follows:

1st – Eddie, ZS6BNE - 285 points
2nd – Andre, ZS2ACP - 280 points
3rd – Ed, ZS6UT - 272 points
4th – Dennis, ZS4BS - 180 points
5th – Pam, ZS6APT - 145 points
6th - West Rand ARC - 144 points
7th – Barry, ZS2NF - 125 points
8th – Allan, ZS1LS - 60 points
9th – Heather, ZS6YE - 42 points
10th – Vincent, ZS6BTY - 36 points
11th – Bruce, ZS6BK - 24 points
12th – Jan, ZS6BMN - 14 points

Congratulations to Eddie who went the extra mile by operating as a Ultra Light portable station

For the SARL YL Sprint held on 9 August 2013 the Contest Committee received eleven logs, eight from YLs and three from OMs. The results are:

1st Francis Marais, 7P8BFN, 146 points (operated by Francis, ZS4AM)
2nd Jenni Reilly, ZS4J, 126 points
3rd Pam Momberg, ZS6APT, 116 points


The Centurion Radio Amateur Club will be hosting a Technical Open Day on the 14th September 2013 at the Scout Hall, Springbok Street, Wierda Park, commencing at 10:00. There will be HF and VHF stations on the air, together with a QRP station.

Bring your unfinished projects along, as well as any technical queries you have and there will be people on hand who will do their best to assist you.

Fires will be available for a midday bring and braai, to be followed by the Club meeting which will commence at 14:00. All are welcome.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to remain at low levels despite Sunspot AR1820 having a "beta-gamma" magnetic field harbouring enough energy for M-class solar flares. All other sunspots remain stable or in a state of decay.

If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 66.

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

Please visit the new website h t t p:// for further information.

30 August - East Rand Radio Branch AGM at 14:00.
31 August - Gauteng Radio Technology in Action symposium at the Innovation Hub, Pretoria.
07 September – West Rand spring boot sale at 12:00 at Kroton Street, Weltevreden Park.
14 September - Radio Technology in Action symposium in Durban.
14 September - Centurion Radio Amateur Club Technical Open Day at the Scout Hall, Springbok Street, Wierda Park, commencing at 10:00.

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 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