Not Logged in
SARL News Bulletin Archive


Bulletin by e-mail
Bulletin Archive

Good morning and welcome, you are tuned to a newscast of the South African Radio League read by __________________________ (Name and Calsign) from _____________________(QTH). You may tune in to our newscasts on Sunday morning at 08:15 local time in Afrikaans and at 08:30 local time in English on HF VHF and UHF frequencies around the country. Echolink listeners may connect to ZS0JPL for a relay and a podcast is also available from the official SARL webpage

You may find this and previous bulletins in text vorm on the SARL webpage under the news link on the left. While you are there you may also sign up to receive future bulletins via e mail.






>> It has been said so many times "when all communication fails, you can depend on amateur radio. This was again proven on 9 August when an important message from Gough Island to the department of environmental affairs could not be sent as their links were down.

The story started when Pierre Tromp, ZS1HF, volunteered to go to Gough Island in February 2014, after a member of the 2013/2014 Gough Team sadly passed away on the island. Pierre passed the necessary tests and was shipped to Gough Island, where he was allocated the call sign ZD9M.

Pierre and Trevor, ZS1TR started the 7110 SARL Hamnet Emergency Net in January 2014, and established daily communication on 30 and 40m depending on propagation. "We tried to maintain daily calls, but obviously due to the distance to Gough, we had to adjust our frequencies." Trevor told SARL News. "In the summer months we could work all bands, but as the winter approached it was trickier, mainly favouring the lower frequencies."

Communication later developed into a regular call-in at 10 minutes after the hour. As the winter approached the satellite signal from Gough to RSA became intermittent due to the cloud cover and other climatic conditions. Pierre's more reliable communication with home became HF Radio with Trevor relaying messages to the DEA's technician to try and get the satellite system reset and working again.

During the weekend of 9 August, a serious incident occurred on Gough Island. As the Satellite connection to RSA had been bad since the first week of August Pierre decided to radiogram it to Trevor for relay via email to Cape Town. The message contained 836 words, excluding the many email recipients, and was sent a few words at a time and corrected and repeated back for confirmation. The entire process took about 1 hour 45 minutes to transfer via HF radio, which forced them to alternate between 20 and 30m as conditions were fading in and out on both frequencies. "Cramping hands and wrists with worsening handwriting was the result, as typing is much easier, believe it or not! Thereafter the message was retyped into email format for sending to the recipients."

It again showed that when all fails, use amateur radio. Congratulations to Pierre and Trevor.

>> The next SARL Radio Technology in Action symposium will be held at the National Amateur Radio Centre at Radiokop on 23 August. Booking closes on Thursday this week but please do it as soon as possible. to help the organisers with their planning and catering. Full details can be found on the home page on the SARL web.

Tony Voorveld ZS6CCD will be delivering the keynote address entitled "The Magic Lamps". Another interesting presentation will be will be by Stewart Moss ZS6SGM talking about the WSPR 5 MHZ propagation research project and how easy it is to join it. Other presentations include : 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 SARL 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, booking is already open.

>> The recent Canadian Transatlantic VHF DX-pedition, V1CT, has once again focused the attention on the proposed VK6RIO chirp beacon project, currently being planned across the Indian Ocean between Perth and Port Elizabeth.
The purpose of this beacon in Perth is to detect possible openings on 144 MHz via Tropo Ducting across the Indian Ocean, which has never been accomplished before. It is currently the greatest terrestrial challenge for VHF radio amateurs, and is even more difficult than EME. The beacon will be chirp modulated, and its signal can be detected at - 50 dB below the noise floor with suitable chirp receiving equipment and a high gain Yagi array. The receiver will be linked to a computer network that can be accessed by subscribers in Australia and South Africa who would like to monitor results.
The receiving station will be located in Port Elizabeth and co-ordinated by Mike Bosch ZS2FM.
The cost of the chirp equipment entails AU$1000 (R10 000) plus shipment to South Africa. On our side we have to provide the antenna Yagi array and the PC with server connection. Fortunately the antenna mast, with stainless steel guy cables, is already available.
Several years ago a Port Elizabeth team, comprising Andre Botes ZS2ACP, Jim Francis ZS2JF and Mike Bosch ZS2FM ran a series of CW tests on 144 MHz with Bill Hosie VK6ACY, now ZS6CCY, at Perth but unfortunately not even a trace of a CW signal was received over this 8000 km sea path.
>> During the past week the SARL and SA AMSAT met with representatives of the South African National Space Agency to develop a memorandum of understanding covering the establishments of a cubesat ground station a SANSA Space Operations at Hartbeesthoek. The station will support South African amateur and international cubesat missions. The objective of the MOU is to create closer ties between SANSA and the radio amateur fraternity and to jointly work with the regulatory authority to develop a legal frame work under which the ground station can be established.
>> Applications for membership of the SARL have been received from the following persons:
Kelvin Killian ZSL-5227
Michael Derek Johannes ZR1MDJ
Any objections against the acceptance of the applications must reach the Secretary before or on the Tuesday after this bulletin.
To date 1187 membership have renewed their membership of the SARL There are 27 clubs affiliated with the SARL
>> The Westrand Amateur radio club is hosting its next flea market 12:00 on Saturday 30 August 2014 at their clubhouse in Kroton street, Weltevredenpark, Roodepoort. Everybody is welcome. For more information contact Noel ZR6DX 082 490 9934.

>> This afternoon from 13:00 to 16:30 UTC you can participate in the South African Radio League HF Digital Contest with PSK and RTTY activity on 20, 40 and 80 metres. The exchange is a RST report and a consecutive serial number starting at 001. You can take part as a single operator single band; a single operator all band; a multi operator 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. Please note that the rules for this contest differ from the rules for the other three digital contests run during the year. Get the complete rules in the South African Radio League Contest Manual.
You can submit your log in Cabrillo or ADIF format or make use of the MS Excel spreadsheet available from Send your log as 'your call sign' log, e.g. ZS2BS log.xls. Remember to indicate your club - it goes towards the Club Completion.
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.

>> Thirty logs were received for the South African Radio League HF Phone Contest held on 3 August 2104 and all the logs were for the single operator categories, no multi-operator stations. Thank you to everybody who submitted logs.
1st Jan Botha, ZS4JAN, 235 points
2nd Hans Kappetijn, ZS6KR, 182 points
3rd Karel Bezuidenhout, ZS6WN, 181 points 4th Roger Jones, ZS6RJ, 161 points
Jan also achieved the highest score on a single band.
1st Bloemfontein ARC, 443 points
2nd West Rand ARC, 440 points
3rd Pretoria ARC, 430 points
4th Soutpansberg ARC, 285 points
The winner of the lucky draw in the HF Phone contest is Johan van Zyl ZS4DZ. Congratulations to the winners. The complete results are available in HF Happenings 618 as well as on the South African Radio League Forum.

>> Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that solar activity has been at low levels for more than a month with very little chance of matters improving in the near future. All the sunspots that are currently visible 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 50.
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?

You ma stil participate in the International Lighthouse and Lightship weekend today and also today is 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

To end this bulletin we recap on our top story: Amateur radio once again was the bright star when all other communications between Gough Island and the mainland failed recently
And that brings us to the end of this news bulletin you may find more interesting stories and other happenings by visiting the SARL website at
You are invited to submit news items of interest to the SARL by following the news inbox link on the SARL webpage. News items should reach the news team not later than the Thursday preceding the bulletin date for inclusion in the bulletin.

You may also join us every Sunday morning for the weekly amateur magazine program Amateur Radio Today at 10:00 local time. The program may be heard on 7082 Lower side band and on 7205kHz and 17660kHz Am . A. replay may be heard on Monday evenings 18:30 local time on 3230kHz AM. The non transmissions on the non amateur bands are sponsored by Sentech

You have listened to a news bulletin compiled by Johann ZS6PSS and edited by Dawie ZR6DHC. Thank you for listening and from me _________________________ (Name) and the entire news team, best wishes for the week ahead, 73


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