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SARL News Bulletin Archive


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Good morning and welcome, you are tuned to a newscast of the South African Radio League read by ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬-__________________________ (Name and Callsign) from ____________________ (QTH). You may tune in to this news bulletin every 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 form 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.

Unfortunately we start this bulletin with news of a silent key:

It is with regret to announce the passing of Peter Wren ZS5PJW (15-01-2015).

Peter was a well liked and respected HAM radio enthusiast for many years.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Colleen and family.







Stay tuned for more on these and other interesting stories

HAMNET once proved its worth to the community on Tuesday 13 January when a 60 year old male in distress, due to an injured ankle, needed rescue near the top of Platteklip Gorge on Table Mountain. Low cloud and gale force winds prevented the use of a helicopter. Many volunteers took off from work to respond to the call.

First on the scene was Hendre ZU1HV who managed to reach the patient who by now was almost hypothermic, with some warm and dry clothes. She was able to communicate a situation rapport about the patient's exact location and condition to EMS. The patient was about 10 minutes’ walk from the top of what is approximately a two hour, hike up the mountain.

Adriaan ZS1AVN and Phil ZS1VCC handled communications and logistics from the base. Two groups of rescuers were involved including Paul ZS1V.

Once the patient was stabilized, the party started carrying the stretcher down the narrow, rocky path. As the day progressed the rescue party swelled, with six teams, including Matt, ZS1MTF, and Johann, ZS1JHW, growing the numbers to a total of about 20 at the end of the operation. Between them they were able to carry the stretcher over the flatter sections pass it hand to hand down the steeper sections. The mission was completed just before 18:00 ending an arduous 4 hour mission.

** You still have time to partake in the VHF/UHF competition hosted by the Port Elizabeth Amateur radio society. This event will conclude this afternoon, at 14:00 local time. Various amateurs in at least 5 decisions have indicated that they will be active during this contest.

Be on the lookout for some tropo-ducting between 12:00 and 14:00 today as conditions are most favorable for these this time of year. Openings may occur between ZS and Namibia as well as Zimbabwe.

Two Radio Clubs and two private sponsors are each donating a prize to their divisional winner of the 144,400 MHz FM category. This incentive is to encourage the younger generation to become active on VHF.

The sponsors are:
Boland Amateur Radio Klub - Division 1;
Highway amateur Radio Club - Division 5;
Rory Morton ZS2BL - Division 2; and
Willem Badenhorst ZS6WAB - Division 6.
PEARS is awaiting the results with great interest.

International News

** The ARRL online Library goes live! The ARRL have announced a free repository of educational presentations and oral histories. It is aimed at helping to preserve Amateur Radio's history and to educate clubs and individuals.

ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X said that this long-term project will be home to what they hope will eventually become one of the largest repositories of Amateur Radio-related papers and presentations, created by and for the Amateur Radio community. This is also an opportunity to submit material for the betterment and education of all radio amateurs.

Kutzko said the Library would initially consist of three major areas. These will include PowerPoint presentations that may be used at club meetings, outreach efforts to the public or other public presentations; PDF files of general educational material about Amateur Radio and oral histories of radio amateurs describing their personal experiences with Amateur Radio.

Visit the free ARRL Online Library at

** A VK balloon reached African shores after being launched by Andy Nguyen, VK3YT, from Melbourne Australia on 27 December. This small balloon was tracked Easterly to the southern tip of New Zealand, across the Pacific and South America and over the Southern Atlantic Ocean to Namibia on the West coast of Africa., The small solar-powered foil party-type balloon, has spent days wandering off the African coast before floating over land.

Andy, says that ZS stations are doing a great job with the capture of telemetry packets from PS-30. While there was a massive international effort to track down the balloon after it was “lost” since 22:50 UTC on 7 January however at 06:10 UTC on 10 January, Ken Gurr, ZS6KN, in Pretoria, started to send in telemetry from the balloon, showing its location just over the coast off South Africa/Namibia.

A number of South Africa stations and further afield report tracking positions. The last reported position was at an altitude of 9 734 metres travelling at a speed of 43 km/h. The NOAA forecast indicated a flight path exiting the West coast of Africa.

PS-30 is the latest pico balloon launched by Andy who has been described as the 'master of miniaturisation'. The latest in the series, PS-30 includes a payload weighing 13 grams which includes a 25 Mw transmitter on WSPR and JT9, capable of sending locational and other data. Earlier balloon flights have lasted from a matter of hours up to several days. Some reached Tasmania, VK7, Queensland, VK4, New Zealand and Brazil in South America. This is the longest flight so far and it is continuing.

Originally, VHF APRS was used for tracking, but with the HF data transmitter now in the payload, long distance tracking is possible depending on the propagation. Andy, VK3YT, has thanked the new tracking stations that have made it a true international exercise. More tracking reports are needed and it is a simple process. For information including links please read

You are tuned to a news bulletin of the South African Radio League and next up we visit the SARL office as well as some clubs for news:

** The secretary of the league, Fritz Sutherland ZS6SF reports that one application for membership of the SARL has been received from Andrew David Geldenhuys, ZSL1131.

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

Membership of the SARL currently stands at 1604 plus 35 affiliated clubs

Upcoming Events

** The next SARL@HOME on Saturday 7 February features a surface mount technology workshop where you will learn how to work with surface mount components.

The workshop includes building a small project to put your new gained knowledge into practice. The cost for the workshop is R150 for South African Radio League members and R300 for non-members. This includes the PC board and components for the project and a CD containing a wealth of information and videos. The workshop starts at 08:30

Don't delay booking as the workshop will only be presented with a minimum of 7 participants. Get a friend to join you!

The second event on 7 February is a WSPR discussion starting at 14:00. Learn more about the South African Radio League's fascinating 5 MHz propagation research project with Stewart Moss, ZS6SGM, and Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV.

** The SARL invites clubs and individuals to participate in the 90th birthday celebrations of the SARL by making use of the special event call ZS90SARL. To book a one week slot send an email to:

The schedule of available dates can be found on the SARL Web home page.

** The East Rand Radio club hosts the next swop meet on 31 January 2015 from 12H00 till 16H00
at their Clubhouse in Ebenezer Road Benoni.

Contact Judy on 079 730 2030 or via email for table bookings R20 per table.

** All interested HAMNET members and others interested are invited to a DOPPLER Chat Session to be held on 22 January 2015, 18:00 - 21:00 at the East Rand Branch Clubhouse, Ebenezer Street, Benoni.

Call Leon Lessing ZS6LMG on 082 440 7733 or

Contest News

** The Summer QRP Contest will be on the air next Saturday afternoon, 24 January from 12:00 to 15:00 UTC with SSB and CW operation using 5 watts maximum output or less. The QRP contest is intended to be fun activity to promote QRP operation between radio amateurs. The use of homebuilt equipment or operating as a portable or field station is encouraged, but is not a requirement.

The first hour is limited to the 40 metre band only; the remaining two hours any HF band, excluding the WARC band, may be used. It would be advantageous to use the standard QRP calling frequencies as the starting point. A station may be worked once per band per mode and there are no antenna restrictions

The exchange is a RS or RST report and your grid locator. Each QSO counts 1 point, each South African call area is a multiplier and each DXCC country worked is a multiplier.

Your logs must be submitted by 31 January to Indicate if the operator is a YL or a youth and send a photo(s) of the station operating with your log entry. Find the complete rules in the 2015 Blue Book.

** Looking forward to February there are a number of contests to look forward to:

The AWA CW Day takes place on 7 and 8 February,
The National Field Day will be run on 14 and 15 February,
The Youth Contest on Saturday 21 February and
The first SARL Digital contest on Sunday 22 February.

Find all the rules in the 2015 Blue Book on

Propagation Report

** Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the expected solar activity will be at low levels. Sunspot AR2259 has a "beta-gamma-delta" magnetic field that harbors 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 80.

The 20 to 10 m bands will provide lots of DX fun.

Please visit the website for further information.

Diary of events.

18 January - today, ZS90SARL from KEMPTON PARK on the air.
18 January - you may still participate in the VHF UHF contest till 14:00
24 January - QRP contest.
31 January - final day for Nomination Awards.
31 January - ERB Flea market at the clubhouse in Ebenezer Road, Benoni
We end this bulletin with a quick recap of our leading story. HAMNET once again saved the day during a rescue on Table Mountain on 13 January.
You are invited to submit news items of interest to the SARL by following the news in-box 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 programme may be heard on VHF and UHF repeaters countrywide and also on 7 082kHz lower side-band and on 7205kHz and 17660kHz AM. There is also a podcast by Dick ZS6RO.A replay may be heard on Monday evening's 18:30 local time on 3 230kHz AM. The radio transmissions on the non amateur frequency bands are sponsored by Sentech.

You have listened to a news bulletin compiled and edited by Richard Startford ZS6RO, thank you for listening, from me _________________________ (Name) and the entire news team best wishes for the week ahead, 73’s.


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Last modified: 14 April 2003