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Good morning, 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 it has to be announced that the key of Lourens van Niekerk, ZS6AKB, a member of the East Rand Club, became silent on the 22nd of January after a heart attack.

Our sincere condolences to his relatives and friends.


In today's SARL News:




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


The next INTECNET will be held on Tuesday 11 February at 19:30 as part of the SARL Youth week. Radio amateurs are invited to join a debate what they think should be done to attract more young people into the hobby. We were hoping to have featured a number of young radio amateurs to join the net but to date non have come forward. This is perhaps even more reason to debate the issue how to attract more young people in into Amateur Radio and how to keep them involved.

Intecnet will be carried on repeaters in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria, as well as on echolink. If you are a young radio amateur put your name forward to be selected to be part of the panel. To have your repeater linked to the network, please send an email to by today 18:00 (Sunday 9 February).


This is a fun activity to celebrate the Youth and to promote contacts between young radio amateurs in Southern African countries. Call "CQ Youth Day" on Saturday 15 February 2014 from 10:00 to 12:00 local time. The exchange is a RS report and the operator's age. It is a phone sprint on the 40-metre band (7 063 to 7 100 and 7 130 to 7 200 kHz).

Log sheets and summaries shall be submitted within 7 days after the contest and must be sent to The closing date for log submissions is 22 February 2014. The age of the operator must be shown on the summary sheet. All the logs received will be entered into a draw for a Student Membership of the SARL and many other prizes. Listen to SARL News next week for more details. Visit for more details.

Are you and your club facilitating young people?


Three United Kingdom amateurs will be taking to Internet television later this month with a new amateur radio based video podcast program of their own.

Amateur Radio Newsline's Norm Seeley, KI7UP, says that the new show is called The TX Factor. Its hosts are Bob McCreadie, G0FGX, Mike Marsh, G1IAR and Nick Bennett, 2E0FGQ. All are broadcast professionals who plan to explore all aspects of amateur radio's fascinating hobby as the show progresses month to month.

For example, episode one later this month will visit the United Kingdom's Marconi Centre. It will also spend time with the Norman Lockyer Observatory Group learning about how repeaters function and also visit a mountaintop location to discuss the Summits on the Air project. Episode 2 in March will include a visit to the world famous Bath Buildathon and a close up look at the FUNcube Dongle.

Down the road look for shows dealing with such topics as the history of amateur radio, the gear available to amateurs, antennas, operating modes, propagation, radio sports, current news and just about anything related to the magical world of amateur radio.

The downloadable video podcast stream should be compatible with most smart phones, tablets and smart TV's as well as traditional laptops and desktop PC's. The TX Factor is sponsored by Yaesu Musen Company of Japan and United Kingdom ham radio supplier Martin Lynch & Sons Ltd. It will be available free of charge to download beginning on February 21st at


All affiliated clubs wishing to administer a RAE examination centre must re-register for 2014, before 21 February 2014, even if you are not sure if there will be any candidates for this coming examinations.

The SARL is currently changing to an online registration system. Therefore we need all the most recent information of the examination centres. The planned date for roll out is March 2014. This new online registration will be an improvement on the current manual system. Exactly how the system will work will be communicated to all clubs and chief invigilators of the exam centres to help the candidates register. We thank everyone for their support.

To register your Exam Centre, on the SARL website go to Licencing / Radio Amateur's Examination and follow the link to "Exam Centre Registration" on the left-hand side.


Our modern amateurs have a lot to be grateful for to our early radio amateur pioneers, who experimented, persevered and laid the foundation of amateur radio in this country against all the odds.

One notable name in the history of radio in South Africa is John Samuel Streeter who became interested in radio in 1909 but owing to an unfavourable letter from the then postmaster-general it was considered best to lie low, and it was not until after World War 1 in 1919, that a fresh start was made with crystal sets and spark transmitters.

The first valves were used in South Africa in the early 1920s such as the type M-OR that heralded experiments with AM telephony on long and medium waves. John Streeter used the call sign A4Z and was the first amateur on phone, and made the first music broadcasts in South Africa to the public in Cape Town who listened in on their crystal sets. John Streeter became Mr. Radio of the time with regular headlines in the local newspapers. He also made the international news headlines when he established the first "wireless" contact on 20 metres between South Africa and the USA. The Radio Informer, a Canadian publication wrote in its December 1925 edition: "South African radio amateur talks with the US for the first time".

By the way our first radio amateur and pioneer was W. E. Dixon Bennett FO-A3V (ZS4F, ZS4W, ZS5EG) who completed his coherer receiver and spark transmitter in 1903 and became the first licensed radio amateur in 1904 while resident in Pretoria, i.e. 110 years ago. Dixon Bennett had to wait another year before he made his first spark contact with a new amateur, named Ensor, in Pretoria. All the above events occurred long before the discovery of propagation modes on VHF. You can read more in "The Dawn of Amateur Radio in South Africa" in the "Radio Amateurs and Events of bygone days forum" as posted on the SARL General Forums.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the expected solar activity will be at active levels. Sunspot AR1968 has a "beta-gamma-delta" magnetic field that harbours enough energy for X-class solar flares.

If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 120.

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. With the higher solar activity there may be some good 6 m openings in the early evenings as well.

Please visit the website for further information.


11 February Intechnet on Youth in Amateur Radio at 19:30 CAT.
15 February Youth Sprint on the air, 10:00-12:00 CAT.
21 February Last day to register radio amateur examination centres.
22 February Logs for Youth Sprint to be in to
28 February - Closing date for Youth Essay Competition
15 March - Last day to submit proposals for papers for the 2014 SA AMSAT space symposium to

The 2014 SARL Diary of Events will be available for download in the coming week from Get a copy and keep it handy in your radio shack.

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 17 760 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 16:30 UTC on 4 895 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.


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Last modified: 14 April 2003