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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 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 whereyou 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.







Stay tuned for more on these and other stories this week

** If all goes according to plan the Qatar Satellite Company's second satellite, Es'hail-2, will be placed in a geostationary orbit by a Space-X rocket in December 2016. It will carry an AMSAT linear transponder as a secondary payload, giving amateurs for the first time access to a geostationary satellite. The transponder uplink frequency will be 2.4 GHz, downlink frequency 10.489 GHz and the bandwidth 250 kHz. Hannes Coetzee ZS6BZP will present at the AMSAT SA space symposium a paper on how to get ready for the first amateur Radio geostationary satellite. The operational parameters of the transponder are analysed and possible technical solutions for the up- and downlink requirements are presented. Emphasis will be placed on low cost equipment in the best Ham tradition.

Book now for the event which will be held on 28 May at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria. Visit for more details and the registration form. Discounted early bird registration for SARL and AMSAT SA members is available.

** In ancient times people believed that our Earth was at the centre of the Universe with the stars, Sun and the Moon orbiting around it. But this attitude started to change after Galileo first pointed his small telescope into the night sky. Our solar planets are not alone anymore, over 2000 exoplanets have been confirmed out of about 6000 discovered so far in our galaxy, the Milky Way. Our star, the Sun, is 4,5 billion years old and there are an estimated 200 billion other stars in our galaxy where some are millions of years older. If life had also started on some of those older exoplanets then they could be more advanced than us.

Let us imagine that there could be aliens out there who have also played around with radio in their distant past, then some of those signals could only reach us now or are still on their way. This is why SETI, Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, have embarked on a more advanced programme this year to search for alien radio signals with two of the largest radio telescopes in the world, and a sponsorship of 100 million dollars. They will be exploring the frequency spectrum from 1 - 10 GHz, a wavelength of 30 to 3 cm, which is the quietest part of the entire radio spectrum. If they are not successful, then hopefully, when our Square Kilometre Array in the Karoo with its 3000 dishes come on stream in 2024, it might make history and discover the elusive weak alien radio signals in our Milky Way. A CQ DX from outer space!

** The SARL and ICASA quarterly liaison meeting held this past week discussed several regulatory issues. The SARL 5 MHz report and proposal for the way forward was discussed and is receiving attention by the frequency spectrum and licensing departments. The next step is to submit the SARL request to the ICASA Executive and Council. The exemption of amateur radio equipment was discussed and the SARL and ICASA will be in the next month to discuss how best to deal with the issue and what type of equipment should be exempted from type approval. ICASA expects to release a discussion paper around August. It is expected public hearings will be held during September. A full report on the meeting will be available in the next two weeks and published in the April letter to SARL members. The SARL was represented by Hans van de Groenendaal ZS6AKV, Fritz Sutherland ZS6SF and Geoff Levey ZS6C.

** Registration for the May 2016 RAE has now closed. Examination numbers will now be generated. These will be communicated to the students in the next two weeks. These examination numbers will be published on the SARL website. Best wishes to all students with their preparation for the Radio Amateur Examination. If any student has not received an examination number they need to contact the RAE manager at

** Project Lexicon, the project aiming to set up a bilingual amateur radio dictionary, is well on the go. The webpage membership is growing steadily and the organizers invite one and all to join the team.

The team hopes to finalise the project by end September 2016. Visit their webpage at, register and be part of this exciting project. Thanks to all who have already become involved in the project as well. Our next meeting will be held on22 April 2016.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at low to moderate levels. Big sunspot AR2529 will be the source for C-class solar flares.

If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 38.

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

Please visit the website for further information.

Letís look at some upcoming events

17 April - closing date for Autumn QRP contest logs
18 April - World Amateur Radio Day
24 April - the ZS4 Sprint
25 April - closing date for the May Radio ZS articles

To conclude our bulletin a quick overview of or main news item: By December AMSAT hopes to have their first geostationary satellite in orbit. During the AMSAT SA symposium to be held on 28 May 2016 Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, will focus on the operational requirements for this exciting new arrivalvisit the AMSAT SA webpage for more information and registrations

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 Sentech sponsors the radio transmissions on the non-amateur frequencies.

You have listened to a news bulletin compiled by DawieConradie, ZR6DHC, edited by Brian Utterson, ZS6AE and read by ..............

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


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Last modified: 14 April 2003