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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 in to the South African Radio League news bulletin on Sunday mornings 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 the country. Echolink listeners can connect to ZS0JPL for a relay. A podcast is available from the League’s web site.

This audio bulletin can be downloaded from the League’s 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.

We start the news with a silent key notification

It is with deep regret that the passing of Ken Harwood, ZS6BLI, known as "Captain Bligh" to his friends, on Tuesday 29 March 2016. Ken was a member of the South African Radio League and the Highveld Amateur Radio Club for the past 53 years. In 1974, he was awarded the Jack Twine Award.

We extend out sincere condolences to his wife, Unis, their three children and his friends.


In the news today,





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

** Radio amateurs are requested to please pay your ICASA license fees directly into the ICASA bank account and not into the South African Radio League bank account. It is not the League’s responsibility to pay your license fees to ICASA. All monies mistakenly paid into the League’s account, will be seen as a donation. Thank you very much for your cooperation.

** The April 2006 issue of Radio ZS is available for download from the League’s web site. Two hundred and twelve members have already downloaded a copy.

This 64-page issue contains a number of interesting projects that you can build. Daan, ZS6CD, shows you how to get your ‘Klaus’ mast singlehandedly into the air while John, KL7JR, shows you his OPAR or one-person antenna raiser. Kevin, ZS6KMD, provides you with a 40 m DC receiver to build and Wim, SP5DDJ, shows you how to build a 40 metre CW QRP Transceiver

Cor, ZS6CR, and Hannes, ZS6BZP, show us how to build their multiband magnetic loop antenna, this article is in Afrikaans. Hendrik, ZS2HC, has a voltage booster/monitor for your ICOM IC-7000; Tomi Engdahl tells about the Time Domain Reflectometer and how you can build one and Tim, ZS6IM, tells about the Collins 618T-2 radio in his aircraft in Mutterings From Afar. Eddie, ZS6BNE, has written a thought provoking article entitled ‘the future ham.’ In addition, there is more to read, get your copy today from the League web site.

** The Meteor Scatter (MS) season has started with the April meteor showers and will continue until the beginning of January next year. There are 88 annual meteor showers listed by astronomers of which the majority are minor showers, while a major shower will appear at least monthly from now until January. Meteoroids are debris from comets or asteroids and when these small particles, which vary in size, burn up in the upper atmosphere they leave visible meteor trails. These trails can also reflect VHF radio waves from 50 to 432 MHz and produce very strong radio bursts on 50 MHz and the radio bursts last a lot longer on this magic band.

Normally meteor bursts are only audible for a few seconds, but could increase up to several minutes during major showers. There are five minor showers present during the month of April to provide excellent contacts on the digital mode FSK441. A major shower, the Lyrids, will appear between 16 to 25 April 2016 and peak in the early morning of 22 April with an hourly rate that may vary from 18 trails to several dozen over different years and make possible SSB or FM communications which could cover distances up to 2 500 km. Meteor Scatter has a skip distance of 500 - 600 km on 50 MHz, but it increases on the higher VHF bands. Take up the challenge and give it a go on 50 MHz!

** You can now download the weekly HF Happenings newsletter from the League web site at Some VHF News is also included in each issue under the heading VHF Happenings.

** Frequency changes for Amateur Radio Today. From today the AM frequencies will be as follows - Sundays at 08:00 UTC on 7 205 and 17 660 KHz and Mondays at 16:30 UTC on 3 230 kHz. Reception reports are invited and can be sent to or if you would like to receive a QSL card send your QSL card to AR Today, PO Box 90438, Garsfontein, 0042 including a DL size self-addressed and stamped envelope.

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

** Registrations for the May 2016 Radio Amateur Examination closes on 14 April 2016. Candidates need to ensure that the following documents are uploaded, if not done yet – a copy of your ID document and the ICASA signature form. Payment needs to have been made before 14 April 2016.

The cost is – if you are over the age of 25 it is R475.00 and if you are 25 years and younger the cost is R 375.00. Enquiries can be sent via e-mail to

** You can join the League 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 and select membership in the left-hand column. For more information call Vonnie at the NARC at 011 675 2393. Join the South African Radio League today, it is the right thing to do if amateur radio is important to you.

** Application for membership of the South African Radio League has been received from the following persons - Richard Whiteway, ZR6WR, and Roger Mc Loughlin, ZS6RMC.

Any objections to the acceptance of these applications must reach the League Secretary before or on the Tuesday following this bulletin. The membership of the League currently stands at 1 648 members and 47 affiliated clubs

** The first leg of the SARL 80 m QSO Party will be held on Thursday evening 7 April from 17:00 to 20:00 UTC It is a phone contest in the segments 3 603 to 3 650 kHz and 3 700 to 3 800 kHz. The exchange is your call sign, name and a RS report. You score 10 points for every contact with a South African station and 15 points for every contact with a station outside South Africa. Log sheets in MS Excel format shall be submitted by 14 April 2016 by e-mail to

** The Autumn QRP Contest will be on the air from 12:00 to 15:00 UTC on Saturday 9 April 2016 with CW and phone activity. The first hour is limited to the 40 m band only, the remaining two hours the contesters are free to use any HF (non-WARC) band as they see fit. The exchange is a RS or RST report and your grid locator. Logs, in ADIF, Cabrillo or MS Excel format and labelled “your call sign QRP Contest,” must be sent by e-mail to by 17 April 2016. Note: A photo(s) of the station operating (JPG format) MUST accompany every log entry.
Consult the 2016 Blue Book for the rules of both contests.

** The theme for the May 2016 issue of Radio ZS is digital radio. Get your article to the Editor by 25 April. It can be in Afrikaans or English and one page or six pages. Send it to

** The Overberg Amateur Radio Club will be holding their AGM on 9 April at the QTH of John, ZS1DI, at Stanford. The meeting will start at 10:30 and after that there will be the usual bring and braai and fox hunt. There will also be a raffle, who knows what you might win. There will be coals for all as well as snacks and salads. Visitors and children are welcome to take part in the fun. We do know that this clashes with another AGM but it is the only date that suited the majority of members.

** Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected remain at very low levels. Earth-facing sunspot AR2526 has a stable magnetic field that poses no threat for strong solar flares.

If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 13. The 20 to 10 m bands and will provide lots DX fun. Please visit the website for further information.

Now for the diary of events

Today 3 April - closing date for SARL VHF contest logs
7 April – SARL 80 m QSO Party
9 April - SARL Autumn QRP Contest and the AGM of the Overberg ARC
10 April – the SARL Youth Net at 15:00 UTC on 7 070
14 April – closing date for the May RAE registrations and SARL 80 m QSO party logs
17 April – closing date for Autumn QRP contest logs
18 April – World Amateur Radio Day
25 April – closing date for the May Radio ZS

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

Radio amateurs are requested to please pay your ICASA license fees directly into the ICASA bank account and not into the South African Radio League bank account. It is not the League’s responsibility to pay your license fees to ICASA. All monies mistakenly paid into the League’s account, will be seen as a donation. Thank you very much for your cooperation.

** 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; 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 ……………………………………………..

73 and 88, thank you for listening


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Last modified: 14 April 2003