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SOUTH AFRICAN RADIO LEAGUE NEWS SUNDAY 27 March 2016

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

You may tune in to the South African Radio League news bulletin on Sunday mornings, at 08:15 Local Time in Afrikaans and at 08:30 Local Time in English, on HF as well as on many VHF and UHF repeaters around our country. Echolink listeners may connect to ZS0JPL for a relay.

This audio bulletin may be downloaded from the League website at www.sarl.org.za where you will find this as well as previous bulletins in text format under the news link on the left-hand side of the web page. While you are there, you may sign up to receive future bulletins by e-mail.

IN THE NEWS TODAY

PROJECT LEXICON REACHES YET ANOTHER MILESTONE

HOW TO WORK TROPO SCATTER ON VHF


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

**** Project Lexicon achieves yet another milestone. The website which is used for the translation of the English words and phrases into Afrikaans is now officially open for use. There are currently 500 words on the website. The purpose of the web site is one to facilitate and to manage the translation of the English words into Afrikaans and secondly to integrate the translation process with a workflow at the backend which will assist the translation team in finalizing the translated words and to lock these the words already translated. This helps in that the wordlist will get shorter as words get translated and only remaining words will be available on the site for translation.
All radio amateurs and members of the public are invited to register as a user on the website and start translating. We have a milestone of end of September 2016 by which all words have to be translated. Persons who would like to participate is hereby requested to visit the website at www.projeklexicon.co.za , register as a user with a username and password and Bob's Your Uncle, you are ready to start translating.
Up till now we have 13 registered users on the site, 2 from division 1, 2 from division 4, 8 from division 6 and 1 from overseas. Clubs are invited to challenge each other to translate as many words as possible. Your participation will be highly appreciated. For more information please contact the project leader Etienne Naude at etienne@afrigrid.com.

**** The scattering of VHF radio waves as well as light waves are caused by dust particles and disturbances in the atmosphere, where VHF signals or higher could travel a long way. Tropo Scatter is present daily throughout the year, but produces very weak signals on 50 MHz to 10 GHz over distances up to 1000 km, which can be worked with high gain Yagi arrays, high power and sensitive receivers. The deep QSB cycles are caused by phase differences of signals travelling along different paths to the receiver, When you hear a Tropo Scatter signal fading out then stay tuned, it will return to its full strength within a minute or so. John ZS2AH at East London and the author at Port Elizabeth used to work each other nightly over this 250 km path on 144 MHz FM during very poor propagation conditions when there were no temperature inversions present, it was like surfing a wave at the peak of the QSB cycle.

Two-way contacts have been made between Divisions 1 and 5 during the early morning as well as at night via this mode, which was proven by Naz ZS1NAZ in Cape Town and Ben ZS5QM at Hilton across the Drakensberg while using 400 Watts. It is possible to work distances of several hundred kilometres almost daily via this scatter mode using a VHF transmitter with only 100 Watts output and a horizontal Yagi beam antenna, but signals are strongest during early morning and late evening. Tropo Scatter signals with its deep QSB are always very weak in comparison with Tropo Enhancement and Ducting, which are both weather related.

**** As you might have heard, the EAST RAND high site had been broken into over the last week end and damage to the amount of R30000-00 had been incurred. K A R S had undertaken to pledge R500-00 to assist our neighbors in repairing and rebuilding the high site. We would like to challenge all other clubs to equal or beat our pledge to assist ZS6ERB


**** The SARL Amateur Radio Hall of Fame honours individuals who have made significant contributions to amateur radio in South Africa. Their memory will be preserved on a page on the SARL Web site. The first group of members will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the SARL AGM in May.

Essays outlining the contributions of the 18 nominees can be found on the Hall of Fame page, accessible through a link on the Web site front page.

Reading the nominations is well worth your while, as the nominees have shaped our hobby. They include historical stalwarts like John Streeter, Dixon Bennett and Dave Larsen, as well as modern-day contributors to our hobby.

Vote today! Over 300 votes have already been cast, and voting closes on Thursday.


**** SA AMSAT GETS A NEW NAME
SA AMSAT has changed the SA in its name around and will now be known as AMSAT SA. The amateur radio satellite group made the decision to line up its name with the organisation's web address. It was confusing having the name and web address different. It now also follows the international trend of other AMSAT organisations. AMSAT SA has also been registered as a non-profit company and is in the process of applying for tax exemption status with SARS.
Membership conditions of the organisation remain the same. To get more information visit the www.amsatsa.org.za or down load a free copy of the March 2016 Ezine available from Monday 28 March 2016

FREQUENCY CHANGES FOR AMATEUR RADIO TODAY From Sunday 3 April some Amateur Radio Today AM frequencies will change. The AM frequencies will be as follows:
Sundays 08:00 UTC 7205 and 17 660 KHz and Mondays 16:30 UTC 3230 kHz. Reception reports are invited and can be sent to artoday@sarl.org.za or if you would like to receive a QSL card send your QSL card to ARTODAY P O Box 90438 Garsfontein 0042 including a DL size self-addressed and stamped envelope.

40 STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT AMATEUR RADIO AND SATELLITES On Wednesday last week 40 leaners from schools around Pretoria attended a morning workshop about amateur radio and satellites. The workshop was part of the Innovation Hub holiday programme during which grade 10 and 11 leaners are exposed to various work and science situations. AMSAT SA was invited to talk about space related activities. The workshop was presented by Nico van Rensburg ZS6QL and Hans van de Groenendaal ZS6AKV. The workshop started with a talk about amateur radio illustrated by short video clips. During practical demonstrations the learners were shown how a transponder works, how satellites orbit around the world and how antennas are used to track satellites including using smartphone applications.

**** The West Cape amateurs are holding a social event in the form of a bring and braai. The Boland Amateur Radio Club invites all Western Cape amateurs for a social get together on Saturday 2 April 2016. The event will be held at the Ou Skip caravan park in Melkbos Strand. You are more than welcome to attend the event on the Saturday but you are also welcome to stay over for the whole weekend from the 1st to the 3rd of April.

Day tariffs are R50 per person
Caravan stands are R175 per night
There are also self-catering units available.

Please note that you must bring your own braai utensils with including eats and drinks. There will be lucky draw or two which will be done at noon on Saturday afternoon. A luck winner of the lucky draw can win a Eco Zoom oven - (briquette burning oven) which is sponsored by Norman Tinkler, and wine from various surrounding wineries, sponsored by BARC. Ou Skip also provides many other forms of enjoyment like a swimming pool and mini golf. There is also a small convenience store on site. Bring your XYL and children with. Remember the date 2 April 2016.

**** The SARL news team is constantly on the lookout for new talent to join our team. You may assist with the actual compilation or translation, proofreading or recording of the weekly SARL bulletins.
Interested parties may contact Dawie, ZR6DHC, on email zr6dhc@zs6rtb.co.za



PROPAGATION REPORT

Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected remain at very low levels. Currently only a few small sunspots are visible and none of them poses a threat for serious solar flares.

If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 25.

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

Please visit the website spaceweather.sansa.org.za for further information.


**** Applications for membership of the SARL have been received from the following persons:

C J van Wyk - ZS6CVW

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

Membership of the SARL currently stands at 1642 plus 47 affiliated clubs

JOIN THE SARL NOW AT HALF PRICE
You can join the SARL for the remaining period of the financial year for only R240 as a full member. If you are a pensioner and over 65 years of age the rate is R140. If you join now you will be a member till 30 June 2016 when the SARL will invoice you for the next year's membership. Full details are on www.sarl.org.za and select membership in the left-hand column. For more information call Vonnie at the NARC at 011 675 2393. Join the SARL today, it is the right thing to do if amateur radio is important to you.



DIARY OF EVENTS

31 March - closing date for proposed papers for the SA AMSAT Conference, send them to saamsat@intekom.co.za
2 April - the RaDAR Challenge
3 April - closing date for SARL VHF contest logs
7 April - SARL 80 m QSO Party

And to end this bulletin a quick recap of our main news item this morning. The Amateur radio on board the International Space Station, ARISS, reached a thousand contacts recently. This marks a milestone for this station after 15 years of talking to schools and individuals.


And that brings us to the end of this bulletin


** Clubs and individuals are invited to submit news items of interest to radio amateurs 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 evenings at 18:30 Central African Time on 3 230 kHz AM.

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

You have listened to a news bulletin compiled by Etienne Naude, ZS6EFN, edited by Brian Utterson, ZS6AE, and read by ..............

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

/EX


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Last modified: 14 April 2003