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SARL News Bulletin Archive


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Good morning and welcome to the weekly news bulletin of the South African Radio League read by ………………………………………… [your name, call sign and QTH]

You can tune into the South African Radio League news bulletin on Sunday morn-ings at 08:15 Central African Time in Afrikaans and at 08:30 Central African Time in English on HF and on many VHF and UHF repeaters around our country. Echolink listeners can connect to ZS0JPL for a relay. A podcast is available from the League web site.

This audio bulletin can be downloaded from the League website at You will find this bulletin and previous bulletins in text format under the news link on the left-hand side of the web page. While you are there, you can sign up to receive future bulletins by e-mail.

The bulletin commences with news of a silent key

It is with deep regret that KARTS announces that the key of Ray Steedman, ZS6QM, went silent on Tuesday 5 May 2015. Ray passed away in hospital after being hospi-talised two weeks ago suffering from pneumonia. All of us at KARTS and everybody who knew him will sorely miss our beloved club sheriff. His great sense of humour, words of encouragement, leadership and active participation within KARTS and the AWA will live on in our memories.

We extend our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to his wife Margaret, his family and all his friends.


In the news today





Stay tuned for more on these and other interesting news items.

** We wish all Mothers a very special Mothers Day!

** The monthly Youth Net will take place this afternoon at 16:00 CAT on 7 070 kHz. Join Koos Fick, ZR6KF, and other young radio amateurs to share the magic of ama-teur radio. Clubs are encouraged to use the opportunity to invite young people to their club and operate under the auspices of a licensed club member.

** Also this afternoon from 13:00 to 17:00 UTC you can participate in the AWA Valve SSB Contest with activity between 7 063 and 7 100 kHz and 3 603 to 3 650 kHz. The exchange is your call sign, a RS report, a consecutive serial number starting at 001 and the type of radio used. Find the complete set of rules in the 2015 Contest Manual.

** It was a day they will long remember! Learners from the Sol Plaatje Primary School in Mmabatho linked up on Saturday 2 May 2015 with the Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on the International Space Station via a link established by an amateur radio ground station located in Casale Monferrato, in the north of Italy, operated by Claudio Arrotti, IK1SLD.

While negotiating to secure a slot for a South African school, the Italian Embassy approached the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) to assist with identifying a school for this project. The fact that the Sol Plaatje Primary School team beat 1 101 other schools to win SAASTA's National As-troQuiz in 2014, secured them this exciting opportunity.

The original plan was for the learners to talk with Samantha Cristoforetti during a morning pass, but due to work pressure on the ISS, the contact was moved to a late afternoon pass, which resulted in the link to be shared with an Italian school.

Tensions were running high when it was established that the telephone line extended to the hall could not receive incoming calls. "We frantically arranged with the telebridge in the USA that we would be calling them,” Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, said.

Prior to the ISS contact, Koos Fick, ZR6KF, who is a learner at the Helpmekaar High School and the South African Radio League's youth coordinator, made a brief presentation about amateur radio and how it is helping him in his school career and how this scientific hobby is providing communication during emergencies, community and sporting events. "He said that the link up with the ISS would not have been possible without amateur radio."

As the last few seconds ticked away, the learners were poised to ask their questions and, with the audience, were visibly on tender hooks, but when the first words "Hi, I am Samatha Cristoforetti” was heard across the speakers, there was a spontaneous applause followed by an intense 10 minutes of silence as Sol Plaatje learners and learners at the Italian school alternately asked the questions. It was an event to re-member for a lifetime.

The link to the audio of the contact is available on

You are listening to a news bulletin of the South African Radio League.

** The March/April issue of Radio ZS is available for download from the member’s only section on the League web site. In this issue, you are introduced to Koos Fick, ZR6KF, the League’s Youth Coordinator; you can read the League’s annual report and the list of awards handed out at the SARL 90 Awards dinner; Tim, ZS6IM, askes the question “to yagi or not to yagi?”; Mark, ZS6USA, tells about the Easter Week-end – the radio amateur way; Eddie, ZS6BNE, and his grandson participated in the RaDAR Challenge and Kevin, ZS6KMD, shows you how to construct a Simple RF Current Meter for an ATU. That is not all in this issue! Download your copy of Radio ZS today, 383 members have already done so!

** Application for membership of the South African Radio League has been received from Gavin Howard Badenhorst, ZS6BG, Koos Greyvenstein, ZS6KSG, and H J Beukes, ZR5RPC.

Any objections to the acceptance of the applications must reach the League Secre-tary before or on the Tuesday after the bulletin. Membership of the League currently stands at 1 637 members and 38 affiliated clubs.

** The Magalies Radio Amateur Club will be holding their next club meeting on Sat-urday 16 May 2015. The meeting starts at 14:00 at the Magalies clubhouse on the corner of Breyer and Mills Avenue in Waverley, Pretoria. Adolph Smith, ZSL5385 will be presenting a very interesting presentation on three-dimensional printing. Adolph has also built his own 3D printer and printed his own components such as a distributor for his car. You can build almost any component using a 3D printer.

Everyone in the Pretoria area or even further afield that would be interested in at-tending this presentation is welcome. Come and enjoy the afternoon with fellow amateurs over a cup of coffee or something cooler.

** SARL News has received a request asking radio amateurs to confirm their QSL records on the League’s electronic QSL system as many amateurs are trying to ob-tain the Worked All ZS award.

** Over the weekend of 30 and 31 May, you can participate in the CQ WPX CW Contest with activity on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 metres. The exchange is a RST report and a serial number. Find all the rules at

The second SARL Digital Contest will be run on Sunday 31 May from 13:00 UTC to 16:00 UTC with PSK and RTTY activity on 80, 40 and 20 metres. The rules are on page 45 of the 2015 Contest Manual.

** In the propagation report, Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the expected solar activity will be at low to moderate levels. Sunspots AR2335 and AR2339 have complex magnetic configurations and may produce M- or X- class solar flares.

If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 99. The 20 to 10 m bands will provide lots of DX fun, especially during the late afternoons and in the evenings. Please visit the web-site for further information.

And now for the diary of events

10 May – the AWA Valve SSB Contest and the Youth Net on 7 070 kHz
16 May – the monthly meeting of the Magalies Radio Amateur Club
21 May – the Radio Amateur Examination
30 and 31 May – the CQ WPX CW Contest
31 May – the South African Radio League Digital Contest
6 June – the KARTS and AWA open day
20 June – the SA AMSAT Symposium

To end this bulletin, a recap of our main news item this morning.

The monthly Youth Net will take place this afternoon at 16:00 CAT on 7 070 kHz. Join Koos Fick, ZR6KF, and other young radio amateurs to share the magic of ama-teur radio. Clubs are encouraged to use the opportunity to invite young people to their club and operate under the auspices of a licensed club member.

In addition, this afternoon from 13:00 to 17:00 UTC you can participate in the AWA Valve SSB Contest.

** Clubs and individuals are invited to submit news items of interest to radio ama-teurs and shortwave listeners, if possible, in both English and Afrikaans, by following the news inbox link on the South African Radio League web page. News items for inclusion in the bulletin should reach the news team no later than the Thursday preceding the bulletin date.

You are welcome to join us every Sunday morning for the weekly amateur radio magazine programme ‘Amateur Radio Today’ at 10:00 Central African Time. The programme can be heard on VHF and UHF repeaters countrywide and on 7 082 kHz lower side-band and on 7 205 kHz and 17 760 kHz AM. There is also a podcast available from Dick Stratford, ZS6RO. A rebroadcast can be heard on Monday eve-nings at 18:30 Central African Time on 3 230 kHz AM.

We welcome your signal reports, comments and suggestions; send these by e-mail to Sentech sponsors the radio transmissions on the non-amateur frequencies.

You have listened to a news bulletin compiled by Dennis Green, ZS4BS, edited by Dave Reece, ZS1DFR, and read by ……………..…………………

From the entire news team, best wishes for the week ahead.

73's and thank you for listening


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Last modified: 14 April 2003