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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 deep regret that it must be announced that the keys of three radio amateurs went silent recently. They are of:

Jenny Brotton, ZS6JEN, XYL of Dave, ZS6DBM, on 11 March after having been hospitalised on 10 March. Jenny was active in the Sandton Radio Club about 15 years ago.

Tony, ZS1AET, on 12 March.

Gys van Rooyen, ZS6BJX, from Orkney, on 14 February after a battle since 2000 with cancer. Gys was an active Hamnet member, a founder member of the SA Air Force Amateur Radio Siciety and was active with ZS6MUS and ZS75SAAF. Gys leaves his wife Rita, 5 children (of which Johann, ZS6L, the only radio amateur), 9 grand children and 6 great grand children behind.

Our sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of the deceased.


In the news today:




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


The date for the RTA to be held at the National Amateur Radio centre has been changed to one week earlier. This is at the requests of the West Rand Amateur Radio Club who are holding their fleamarket on 30 August. The RTA date for the NARC is now 23 August. More details on how to book will be available soon.


Following the successful SARL@Home held in January the SARL presents the project again on 22 March 2014. The project will be presented by Frik Wolff ZS6FZ at the SARL National Amateur Radio Centre from 09:00 - 13:00. Cost is R150 which includes a PC board and components to construct a very low power FM transmitter. The fee includes a CD with tutorials, circuits etc. Non Members pay a premium at R300.

Booking is essential and only a maximum of 20 delegates can be accommodated. You will need to bring your own soldering station with a fine soldering bit, a tweezer, some hand tools and a magnifying glass. The SARL also has a special offer on a magnifying glass should you wish to buy one. Details are on the registration form which is available from the home page on You can also check the status of your booking. Bookings close on Monday 17 March 2014


Are you ready for a exciting amateur radio challenge? Deploy as a portable station, make five contacts, walk one kilometre, deploy again and make five contacts. Continue for the four hour period. You could do the same moving three kilometers via car, motorcycle, bicycle or other vehicle. You have entered the world of rapid deployment amateur radio aka radar. You will enjoy making trade offs in radio, antennas, and choice of operating frequencies. The four hour period puts you under a little stress to manage all the factors in real time. Hams worldwide practice radar any time they can but there is the four hour radar contest the first Saturday of April and November. The next radar contest is 5 April 14:00 UTC to 18:00 UTC.

In addition to on foot and vehicle categories, there are also portable and at home categories. Each category has a multiplier. Power is your choice, QRP and up with multipliers. All amateur bands, besides the WARC bands, are allowed including cross band contacts via amateur radio satellites. Modes - CW, SSB, AM, FM or any digital mode. QSOs via terrestrial repeaters will not be allowed. Call sign, name, rs(t) report, QTH and grid locator at least 6 characters and 10 preferred. There is a bonus for your first satellite or digital mode QSO. Also there is a bonus for your first radar to radar intercontinental QSO. Full details can be found in the SARL contest manual available on


The SARL has launched a new online registration system for the Amateur Radio Examination. Candidates who wish to write the May examination should visit the SARL website for details of how to register form the examination.


After 2 April there will be frequency changes for Amateur Radio Today. On Sundays at 10:00 local time there will be transmissions on 7 205 and a new frequency of 17 660 kHz. On Mondays at 18:30 local time the frequency changes to 3 230 kHz. Reception reports are invited. Email your reports to


Registration for the SA AMSAT space symposium is now open. The symposium will be held on Saturday 24 May 2014 at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria. You get discounts for booking early and if you are an SARL or SA AMSAT member. Get all details on


SARL Members please note that the notice of the annual general meeting, the agenda and supporting documentation are all available online at Click on the members-only button on the top right hand corner and follow the various links to download the documents.

Members who cannot attend are requested to please give their proxies to another member who is attending the AGM. The proxy form can be downloaded separately. Completing a proxy is extremely important in order to ensure that we have a quorum at the AGM. Please make a special effort to give your proxy to somebody who will be attending the AGM.

If you are going to attend, book your attendance and accommodation now. Even though attendance of the AGM is free, we request that you book. It helps with the arrangements we have to make, especially the catering arrangements.

We look forward to seeing you at the AGM in Pretoria on Saturday 12 April.


At the 2013 AGM council was tasked with the development of an electronic voting system for election of SARL councillors.

Such a system has been developed by the SARL Webmaster, Peter Hers, ZS6PHD. The system is now available online as a demonstration. Remember that this is not an actual vote, only a test of the system. The developer specifically used names of film stars so that no-one could possibly get the impression that it is a live system.

Please test the voting system and provide feedback if you pick up any errors. The system prevents a member from voting more than once, so try it twice to check out how it behaves.

The address is . Send your feedback to the webmaster at

A motion for the future use of this system is contained in the Notice of the SARL AGM, available on the members-only section of the website. It contains further information on this matter.


As postage continues to rise, the QSL bureau is making every effort to make sure that we stay within our budget. This bulletin is a call from the QSL bureau to members to please use the correct size and type of card, in order to keep costs down for everyone. We have noticed that some countries appear to send only the standard size card; we will not go that far yet, but rising postage might force us.

The correct standard is 140 mm x 90 mm on 220-330 gram board; the maximum weight per card is three grams . If you still have some oversize cards you may use them, but make the next batch the correct size. It is unfortunately so that oversized cards get damaged very badly in the packing process.


Applications for membership of the SARL have been received from the following persons:
JP Human, ZS6BZ;
Cornelius Taljaard, ZSL1092;
Gawie Botha, ZSL1093;
Philip Dyse,l ZSL1094;
Fred Gibson, ZR4CFG

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

The SARL now has 1 704 paid-up members


In 1934 a young Bert Howes, ZS1AL (ZS6HS), climbed Table Mountain and worked several stations in the peninsula with his 5 metre (56-60 MHz) super-regenerative transceiver. These stations included Denis Richardson, ZS1B, and Guy Swart, ZS1AX. Around this time Henry Rieder, ZS1P, experimented with the Baird mechanical scanning disk type TV system. Bert acquired a Hallicrafter Ultra Skyrider communications receiver in 1937 and picked up the TV sound on 41,5 MHz from Alexandra Palace, London. Before the war started Guy Swart, ZS1AX, tested 5 metres from de Waal Drive in Cape Town, and worked Johnny du Plessis, ZS2EH, in Johannesburg cross band on 20 Metres via an unexpected short skip (Sporadic-E) opening.

After the war the new 6 metre (50 MHz) band was allocated and Henry, ZS1P, on 6 metres made a cross band contact on 10 metres with Hilton O'Hefferman, G5BY. ZS6HS, now Major Bert Howes, made the first two-way 6 metre DX contact from Johannesburg with Major Ken Ellis, MD5KW, in Port Said, followed a few days later by Charles Rieder, ZS1T, and his brother ZS1P who worked David Saayer, PA0UN, at Eindhoven for a new world distance record of 9 380 km. They were joined the next day by Guy Swart, ZS1AX, followed later by Frank Stayner, ZS1DJ, who also worked PA0UN.

The first two-way Sporadic-E contact in South Africa was made on 15th November 1947 when Major Guy Swart, ZS1AX, hooked up with Major Ted Cooke, ZS6BT, and Major Bert, ZS6HS, on 6 metres. In 1948 Henry, ZS1P, made headlines when he picked up the TV picture and sound of the Oxford/Cambridge boat race in London. Frank Burrell, ZS2CY, at Port Elizabeth and Braam Fouche, ZS3G, in Tsumeb, Namibia, established an ES record of 1 812 km in 1957 that stood for 38 years. A year later Denis Richardson, ZS1B, worked JA1AXE to create a new 6 metre world record of 14 730 km that was only broken 21 years later by Jack de Villers, ZS6LN. Cape Town was truly the cradle of VHF in South Africa!


There were 19 stations on the air and of those 19, 4 were DX stations in the Digital Contest held on the 23rd February 2014. The results of the contest are as follows:
1st - Roger Jones - ZS6RJ
2nd - Karel Bezuidenhout - ZR6K
3rd - Marius Snyman - ZR6MS
4th - Suid Kaap Amateur Radio Club - ZS1SKR
5th - Theunis Potgieter - ZS2EC

Congratulations and thanks to those who submitted logs.


Braam Devenier, ZS6AYE, made a SSB contact with E51CG in BG08CT, in South Cook Island on 2014:03:11 at 19:31 South Cook Island. Signals 5/5. Braam was beaming North long path over the North pole.

The operator confirmed he was on South Cook Island, distance 25 311 km.

Barnie, ZS6TQ, also saw it on the cluster that E51CG spotted Braam’s QSO, so his contact is definitely legitimate.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the expected solar activity will be at moderate levels. There are various small to mid sized sunspots visible with Sunspot AR2002 having a complex magnetic field and harboring 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 100.

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 may also be some 6 m openings in the early evenings.

Please visit the website for further information.


17 March – Booking closes for the SARL@Home which takes place on 22 March at the NARC.
31 March - Closing date for submission of proposals for the School Satellite Project to SA AMSAT. Visit
10 April - Closing date for May RAE registration.
11-13 April - SARL National Convention.

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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