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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.

It is with deep regret that we must announce the passing of three radio amateurs this morning

The key of Neels du Plessis, ZS2ND went silent on 15 April 2016 having just celebrated his 66th birthday on 10 April. Neels lived in Gamtoos and was a keen fisherman and bird-watcher. He is survived by his wife, Susan.

The key of Mike van Niekerk, ZS6BPO, also went silent on 15 April 2016. He was a founder member of the Wolkberg Branch in Pietersburg and was awarded the Jack Twine Merit award. We think of his wife and children.

The key of Johan "Mossie" Mostert, ZS4XJ, has also gone silent. Mossie was a well-known CW operator and contributed a regular column to Radio ZS. Unfortunately, we could not determine the date of his passing.

We extend our sincere condolences to the families and friends of these radio amateurs


In the news today,





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

** The ZS4 Sprint is on the air this afternoon from 14:00 to 15:00 UTC. This phone and CW contest is a fun activity to promote contacts between radio amateurs in the Free State and radio amateurs in Southern African countries. The exchange is a RS(T) report and provincial or country abbreviation, ZS4 stations will send an RS(T) report and their town name or abbreviation. CW operation takes place between 7 000 and 7 040 kHz, while phone activity is between 7 063 and 7 100 and 7 130 and 7 200 kHz. Contacts with ZS4 stations count 2 points and contacts with other stations count 1 point. Contacts with ZS4BFN, ZS4B, ZS4WRC, and ZS4SRK is worth 5 points each and only one contact per station is allowed. Logs must be submitted by 1 May 2016 by e-mail to See the 2016 Blue Book for all the details.

** Notice is hereby given to all members of the South African Radio League that the Annual General Meeting will be held at 09:00 on Saturday 21 May 2016 at the Be My Guest Lodge in Sasolburg. Registrations for the AGM will start at 07:30. The registration form and Agenda, together with all supporting documentation, is published in the member’s only section of the League website at

In terms of the constitution, any member who is not able to personally attend an AGM, is entitled to appoint any member of the League, entitled to vote, to attend the AGM and vote on his/her behalf. Any vote so cast shall be binding as if cast by the member. The provisions of Rule 1.8 shall apply to any person appointed as a proxy holder. A proxy form is included with all the supporting documentation on the website referred to above.

Should you have any other enquiries, please contact the Secretary of the SARL at

** The International Amateur Radio Union has announced that Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, has been appointed to serve as IARU Satellite Adviser. He takes over from Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, who has served as Satellite Advisor since 1994 and to whom the IARU is grateful for his excellent work. Hans, PB2T, has also been nominated as the CEPT coordinator for WRC-19 Agenda Item 1.1, which will consider a formal 50 MHz amateur allocation in Region 1.

** Radio Amateur Examination news. The Examination numbers have now been generated and have now been published on the League website. All students have been notified by e-mail of their examination numbers and the Chief Invigilators have received a list of the students that will be writing the RAE at their examination centres.

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

** VHF DX is waiting for us, says Mike, ZS2FM. The start of the minimum Solar Cycle does not mean the end of DX on VHF so do not pack your equipment away. There are a number of neighbouring countries or Islands around our South African borders that have been worked on VHF during minimum Solar Cycles, as well as worldwide DX via EME and Europe via TEP. The neighbouring countries are Namibia have been regularly worked on 50 and 144 MHz via Tropo Ducting, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Marion Island and Namibia were logged on 50 MHz via Sporadic-E and contacts were also established on 50 MHz Meteor Scatter with Europa Island, Comoros Island, Mozambique, Namibia and Marion Island. The latter island has been worked several times on 50 MHz Tropo Ducting too. Reunion Island has provided many two-way contacts over the years on 144 MHz analogue SSB and FM, including digital JT65 on both 144 and 432 MHz during fantastic openings via Tropo Ducting.

On our west coast we have three islands, Tristan da Cunha, Ascension and St Helena Island where a very keen radio amateur Bruce Salt, ZD7VC, resides. He is at present acquiring portable equipment for 144 MHz to work South Africa and Namibia from a high site on the island, which is located about 3 000 km from Cape Town. Therefore, start building a high gain horizontal Yagi for 144 MHz and with 100 Watts you should have no problem in working ZD7VC on SSB or even FM during the frequent openings on Tropo Ducting.

Once you have achieved this then you can start thinking BIG and upgrade your equipment, and join Pieter Jacobs, V51PJ, including Kobus vd Merwe, ZS3JPY, and try to bridge the Atlantic Ocean to Brazil via Tropo Ducting, where many keen VHF’ers are waiting to work ZS on 144 MHz. This VHF project will require great skill and effort and is at present more difficult and challenging than EME, which after many attempts across the Atlantic has never been accomplished before. However, many do believe that it will happen in time!

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

** The Wizard-Blocks Tower BalloonSat. Willie Taljaard, ZS6WBT, be sharing details of the development of his Wizard-Blocks BalloonSat which is a simple package designed to carry lightweight experiments into near space. This presentation is all about a Science project for schools and other students on how to build a balloon satellite called the Wizard-Blocks Tower. Enjoy science while learning about technology, radio amateur, engineering principles and earth science. This one of the many interesting presentations at the AMSAT SA Space Symposium to be held at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria on 28 May 2016. Get the full programme on and book early to get a discount. SARL and AMSAT SA members enjoy a lower registration fee.

** The George repeater is back on the air. Members of the Western Cape Repeater Working Group, assisted by some PEARS members did a lot of work on the Cape Repeater network down the coast between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town and the George repeater has been brought back to life. An article about this work will be in the May 2016 issue of Radio ZS.

** The Port Elizabeth Amateur Radio Society or PEARS provides communications for a lot of sporting events and often in areas where communications are a problem. The Herald Mountain bike race, held earlier this year, required VHF and UHF repeaters to cover the mountainous terrain. It was followed the next day with the Herald Road race - also covered by PEARS. PEARS members covered the entire route of the recent Iron Man event held in Port Elizabeth. Stations were setup along the route in various places and operated during the different stages of the event. The event includes a swim in the ocean, a 180 km cycle race and a 42,2 km run. PEARS not only handled emergency communications, but also the relaying of operational information such as penalty information, the tracking of emergency vehicles, race leaders and so on.

During the rest of 2016, PEARS members will be providing communications for a number of mountain bike races as well as motor rallies in the Eastern Cape.

** The results of the 2016 SARL 40 m Hamnet Contest held on 6 March 2016 have been released. The contest committee received eight logs and two check logs for the Hamnet 40 metre Contest.

Single Operator Portable
1st Al Akers, ZS2U - 128 points

Multi-operator Portable
1st Dave Higgs, ZS2DH - 576 points

Single Operator Base
1st East Rand Branch, ZS6ERB - 1 224 points
2nd Johan van Zjil, ZS4DZ - 980 points
3rd Theunis Potgieter, ZS2EC - 792 points
4th Charly du Pont, ZS5DU - 660 points
5th Bill Hodges, ZS2ABZ - 440 points
6th Pam Momberg, ZS6APT - 232 points

** The Pretoria Amateur Radio Club will be hosting three more Flea markets during 2016. The dates of the Flea Markets are 28 May, 27 August and 5 November. Diarise these dates and make sure that you do not miss these very pleasant occasions. The Flea markets will be held at the usual place, at the Pretoria Old Motor Club in Keuning Street, Silverton. The starting time is 08:00 and everyone is welcome. For any inquiries regarding the Pretoria Amateur Radio Club’s Flea Markets, please contact Almero du Pisani, ZS6LDP, on 083 938 8955 or send an e-mail to

** Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at low levels. New sunspot AR2533 has a stable magnetic field with virtually no chance of strong solar flaring. If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 10.

The 20 to 15 metre bands and will provide lots DX fun with some 10 metre openings also possible. Please visit the website for further information.

Now for the diary of events

This afternoon between 14:00 and 15:00 UTC, the ZS4 Sprint
25 April – the closing date for the May Radio ZS articles
7 and 8 May – the AWA Valve QSO Party
8 May – the SARL Youth Net
12 May – the May RAE
15 May – the ZS3 Sprint
20 to 22 May – the SARL National Convention
21 May – the SARL AGM in Sasolburg
28 May – the AMSAT SA Space Symposium and the Pretoria ARC Flea Market

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

The ZS4 Sprint is on the air this afternoon from 14:00 to 15:00 UTC. This phone and CW contest is a fun activity to promote contacts between radio amateurs in the Free State and radio amateurs in Southern African countries. Get all the details in the 2016 SARL Blue Book.

** 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 Dick Stratford, ZS6RO, and read by ……………………………………………..

73 and 88, thank you for listening


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Last modified: 14 April 2003