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SARL News Bulletin Archive


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Good morning and welcome. You are tuned to a bulletin of the South African Radio League read by ……………………………………. from ………………………………

You can tune in to our news bulletin on Sunday mornings at 08:15 CAT in Afrikaans and at 08:30 CAT in English on HF and on many VHF and UHF repeaters around the country. Echolink listeners can connect to ZS0JPL for an audio stream. A podcast is also available from the South African Radio League webpage at

You will find this bulletin and previous bulletins in text format on the League web page under the News link on the left-hand side. While you are there, you can sign up to receive future bulletins by e-mail.

In the News today






The leading story this week

** South African Radio League representatives met with ICASA on Friday for a workshop to discuss various licensing issues. The discussion included reciprocal licensing, expansion of the 160 metre band, increased power on HF and some VHF bands, repeater planning and coordination and updating of the memorandum of understanding which covers the radio amateur examination and other administrative issues.

The South African Radio League tabled a number of documents covering these subjects. ICASA will now look at the various proposals and provide feedback to the South African Radio League over the next few weeks on how these issues can be addressed as expeditiously as possible.

The workshop was attended by South African Radio League President Geoff Levey, ZS6C, Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, Nico van Rensburg, ZS6QL, and Colin de Villiers, ZS6COL.

** The next South African Radio League Radio Technology in Action symposium will be held at the National Amateur Radio Centre at Radiokop on 23 August. Booking is now open. If you are planning to attend, please make your booking as soon as possible to help the organisers with their planning and catering. Full details can be found on the home page of the South African Radio League.

Tony Voorveld, ZS6CCD, will be delivering the keynote address entitled "The Magic Lamps". Amongst the other interesting presentations are - Antenna Modelling with NEC2 presented by Vincent Harrison, ZS6BTY, digital modes as applied in amateur radio - how does it work?, presented by Riaan Greeff, ZS4PR, and the South African Radio League Isolated USB Transceiver Control Interface kit presented by Frik Wolff, ZS6FZ . Get the full details on the web.

The Pretoria RTA will be held on 13 September at the Innovation Hub.

** One of the largest Solar storms that hit the Earth occurred on 13 March 1859 dur-ing Solar Cycle 10, which was caused by a very large X-15 class solar flare or coro-nal mass ejection (CME) that appeared on the surface of the Sun three and a half days earlier. Aurorae were visible around the world. In the northern hemisphere as the Aurora Borealis and seen as far south as the Caribbean. It could also be seen as the Aurora Australis in the southern hemisphere in Queensland, Australia. It was bright enough at night to enable one to read a newspaper.

Five days later it was followed by another CME that travelled to the Earth within 17½ hours and produced even a brighter aurora than the first one. Telegraph pylons threw sparks and some telegraph systems failed, while telegraph operators received electrical shocks. Another CME happened in May 1921 where telegraph services were interrupted and undersea cables effected during the storm, but radio reception of intercontinental radio signals on MW and LW improved.

In 1989 a solar storm created a major blackout in Quebec, Canada, when it effected their 735 kilovolt power lines and burnt out several high voltage transformers at sub-stations. The Earth had a near miss when an X-class flare was ejected in March 2012. A direct hit from a super CME would cause havoc to our electronic systems on Earth as well as to satellites - we could be without electrical power for months that will make our Eskom power outages look like a kindergarten picnic!

** Subscription for South African Radio League Membership was due on 1 July. If you have as yet not paid, please do so now. If you cannot locate your invoice, please call Vonnie at 011 675 2393 on Monday. Being a member of the South Afri-can Radio League Radio is important if you are serious about your hobby and the privileges radio amateurs enjoy. Membership also gives you discounts when attend-ing the RTA, ordering kit or purchasing books from the SA Amateur Radio Develop-ment Trust.

** ICASA confirmed that all paid amateur licenses have been issued and mailed. If you have not received your license, check that you have informed ICASA of your correct address. All queries about non receipt of licenses should be addressed by e-mail to

** Andrew, ZS2G, says, “Hi everyone, unfortunately our attempt at the SOTA activa-tion of Kompasberg, ZS/EC-002, on Sunday 3 August was unsuccessful due to the high winds. The group leader would not let us proceed up the very steep part of the Kompasberg for safety reasons.

A few of us are planning to operate from Lady's Slipper, ZS/EC-016, early one Sun-day morning in the near future. We'll make an announcement on the South African Radio League Forum a bit closer to the time. The radio will run 20 Watts SSB on 40 m and 4 Watts FM on 2 m.

Dave, ZS2DH, Mandy, ZS2AV, and I hope to activate Ben Macdhui, ZS/EC-001 over the Dec 2014/Jan 2015 period, so as to each get in two activations (20 points). That could be an extra 60 points for the chasers!”

You are listening to a bulletin of the South African Radio League and now we look at contesting news and news from the Clubs.

** The South African Radio League HF Digital Contest will be held on Sunday 17 August from 13:00 to 16:30 UTC with activity on 20, 40 and 80 metres. The ex-change is a RST report and a consecutive serial number starting at 001. Participa-tion can be as a single operator single band; a single operator all band; a multi oper-ator single band or a multi operator all band station. Digital contacts count 2 point, count two points for each call area on each band and count 2 points for each station contacted on all three bands. There will be a lucky draw for an ARRL Antenna book valued at over R900. To enter the lucky draw, a participant must submit a log with a minimum of 15 contacts. Get the complete rules in the SARL Contest Manual.

Please note that the rules for this contest differ from the rules for the other three digital contests run during the year.

** The International Lighthouse and Lightship weekend takes place on 16 and 17 August and it is not a contest, but a fun activity to contact lighthouses worldwide and encourage the preservation of these structures. At present thirteen South African lighthouses are registered at for the Lighthouse weekend. Robben Island will be active, so you can claim a lighthouse number as well as IOTA AF-064.

** The next South African Radio League Youth net will be held on 7 September at 15:00 CAT and the net will operate on 7 070 kHz. Clubs are invited to activate their club station and facilitate young people to join the net. The net is held on every first Sunday of the month.

** The bands were quite active for the Winter QRP Contest held on 19 July. Eight logs and one check log were received. The results are as follows:

Home Station
Wicus Ross, ZS1WWW, 12 points

Field Station
West Rand ARC, ZS6WR, 406 points
Pretoria ARC, ZS6PTA, 182 points
Bloemfontein ARC, ZS4BFN, 96 points, operating from SOTA FS-018

Ultra Light portable field station
Rudi Venter, ZS6DX, 1 260 points
Pierre van Deventer, ZS6A, 306 points
John Kramer, ZS5J, 204 points
Eddie Leighton, ZS6BNE, 90 points

Johannes Geldenhuys, ZS2JO, submitted the check log. Congratulations to the winners

** By yesterday afternoon 23 logs had been received for the SARL HF Phone Con-test held on Sunday 3 August. The majority of participants read the contest rules and submitted the logs in the correct format and included their call sign in the name of the log.

Unfortunately there are participants who did not read the rules and submitted a log without a call sign in the name and the two logs received as jpg files will become check logs. You have until midnight this evening to submit your log or corrected log to

** Applications for membership of the South African Radio League have been re-ceived from the following persons:
Bianca Wessels, ZSL1114; Cedric Mashaba, ZSL1115, and Timothy Venn, ZR6TTV.
Louw Murray Erasmus, ZS6LME has applied to re-join the South African Radio League

Any objections against the acceptance of these applications must reach the Secre-tary before or on the Tuesday after this bulletin. To date, 1 156 members have re-newed their membership and there are 27 clubs already affiliated to the South Afri-can Radio League for this year

** The Boland Amateur Radio Club and the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre news bulletins are now available on Echolink. The Boland bulletin is transmitted on Sundays at 05:45 UTC in Afrikaans and the Cape Town bulletin at 06:45 UTC in English. The Echolink node is ZS1DCC-R. The Echolink transmission automatically switches on 10 minutes prior to the bulletin and will switch off again after the bulletin.

** At the recent AGM of the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre held on 26 July, the new committee was elected:

Chairman - Rob Bareham, ZS1SA
Vice Chairman - Noel Futter, ZS1FW
Secretary/Newsletter Editor, Anne Bareham
Treasurer - Danny Blanckenberg, ZS1BL
Public Relations - Shaun Overmeyer, ZS1RA
Bulletins - Tony McKewen, ZS1TM
Western Cape Repeater Working Group Representative - Paul Johnson, ZS1S
Meeting Logistics/WCRWG Representative - Paul Kennedy, ZS1PXK
QSL Manager/Clubhouse security - Deon Erwin, ZS1ZL
Photographer and BlogSpot - Nick Curwell, ZS1ZD

** Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the expected solar activity will be at low levels with very little chance for major solar flaring. If you want to do your own fre-quency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 60. The three DX bands from 20 to 15 m will provide some DX fun with 20 m providing the best openings with 15 m not far behind.

Please visit the website for further information.

** What is in the Diary of Events?

16 and 17 August – The International Lighthouse and Lightship weekend
17 August – the South African Radio League HF Digital Contest
23 August – RTA at the National Amateur Radio Centre
31 August - South African Radio League HF CW Contest
7 September - South African Radio League Youth Net
13 September – RTA at the Innovation Hub

You can get more information on these and other happenings on the South African Radio League website at

We end this week’s news with a look back at our top story

South African Radio League representatives met with ICASA on Friday for a work-shop to discuss various licensing issues. The discussion included reciprocal licens-ing, expansion of the 160 metre band, increased power on HF and some VHF bands, repeater planning and coordination and updating of the memorandum of understanding which covers the radio amateur examination and other administrative issues.

That brings us to the end of this week’s news broadcast

The South African Radio League invites you to listen to Amateur Radio Today every Sunday morning at 10:00 CAT on 145,750 MHz in the Pretoria area, on the 145,650 MHz network in Johannesburg with relays on 7 082, 7 205, and 17 660 kHz. There is a podcast by Dick, ZS6RO. For web-streaming and Echolink by Chris, 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.

South African Radio League 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, no later than the Thursday preceding the bulletin date.

You have listened to a bulletin of the South African Radio League compiled and edited by Dennis Green, ZS4BS, and read by ……………………………………………….

Thank you for listening and enjoy the week ahead.


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Last modified: 14 April 2003