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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 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.







The AGM is around the corner. The AGM takes place 21 May 2016 in Vaalpark, Sasolburg. Register before 11 May 2016 to qualify for early bird benefits. For more information visit or

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.

Membership of the SARL currently stands at 1655 plus 48 affiliated clubs. This membership figure does not include the new RAE candidates for May 2016.

The electric power system (EPS) is the sub-system that provides the satellite with power. The sub-system started out as a set of specifications and requirements which evolved to a basic block diagram. From there a few simple conceptual experiments eventually led to the first prototype. The first prototype was based on 10 V (open-circuit) solar panels, a 2-cell lithium polymer battery and 2 switch mode step-down converters for 3.3 V and 5 V power conditioning. Taking the risk of fire or explosion was somewhat justified by the good energy to weight and power to weight ratio it offered. However, in the meantime a new battery technology has emerged from the laboratory stage to being (fairly) commonly available on the market. This new technology is the lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery. Also based on lithium it still offers a fairly high energy to weight but it is inherently much safer and has electrical characteristics that are very similar to the lithium polymer and lithium ion type batteries. Another advantage is the longer expected lifetime of the LiFePO4 battery. Learn more about Kletskous and other exciting satellite projects at the AMSAT SA Space Symposium in Pretoria on 28 May 2016. Book now to benefit from early bird discounts. Get details on

Join the SARL youth net on the air today at 17:00. Koos Fick ZR6KF will be standing by on 7070 kHz for your call. This is a peer to peer net for radio amateurs and young people under 25 years of age. Clubs are encouraged to host young people and let them experience the magic of amateur radio under the supervision of a licensed radio amateur even before they are licensed.

The May 2016 issue of CQ magazine carries the results of the 2015 CQ WW CW Contest and South Africa was well represented. Vidi la Grange, ZS1EL, participated in the 28 MHz high power category and with his 224 846 points, achieved 3rd place world wide. Congratulations Vidi.


The VK6RIO Trans-Indian Ocean beacon tests on 144,950 MHz between Australia and South Africa have been abandoned. The lack of local sponsorship and the depreciating ZA Rand have torpedoed this amateur science research project. This Trans-Indian Ocean project was conceived by the Northern Corridor Radio Group and would use chirp modulation based on the chirp radar system invented in Australia. It was hoped that this would achieve the first 144 MHz contact via Tropo Ducting between VK and ZS and contribute to the study of Trans-Indian Ocean propagation conditions.

The following e-mail arrived from Keith Bainbridge, VK6RK, spokesman for the research group at Perth, Western Australia. It reads: "Well Mike we have given up on the ZS hams. As of next week we will be dismantling your end of the link and selling off the gear. There is an expression here "I'm into flagellation, necrophilia and bestiality", i.e. I'm flogging a dead horse. Three years waiting is a bit too long I'm afraid. What we intend to do is reprogram the gear with a JT mode and point it to our east and when the guys in the east coast have had enough, we will swing it around your way. Obviously it won’t have anywhere near the signal penetration, but hey, no one is interested anyway. I just wish you could have raised the interest level, but I know what hams are like. Thanks for your efforts in the past and best wishes for the future. 73 Keith."

Notice of the AGM and the new committee of the DurbanARC.

The AGM was held on 2 April 2016 and attended by the majority of the paid up members.
The past committee was re-elected and the results are the following:
Chairman: Louis de Bruin ZS5LP Tel. nr 031 467 7357
Vice Chairman: Neil Slogrove ZR5NAS
Treasurer: Louis de Bruin ZS5LP
Secretary: Kurt Linsin ZS5KL Tel. nr 031 466 3728
Members: Sean Beukes ZS5TI; Denham Eva ZS5DE; Aubrey Worthington ZS5ACW; Glen Meyer ZS5GM
DurbanARC QSL manager: Kurt Linsin ZS5KL
DurbanARC RAE assessors: Louis de Bruin ZS5LP and Kurt Linsin ZS5KL
DurbanARC RAE invigliator: David Long ZS5FR
Durban RAE venue: University of Natal, Durban

The DurbanARC is and will remain an affiliated Club with the SARL as well as a registered educational Station (ZS5D) (will be renewed every year)

The latest edition of The 5 MHz Newsletter (No 16 Winter/Spring 2016) is now available for free pdf download from This edition features news on the latest 5 MHz allocations, a provisional band plan from IARU Region 1 and a cartoon that might bring back a few memories!

The ZS3 Sprint will be on the air from 14:00 to 15:00 UTC on Sunday 15 May and you have an opportunity to make phone and CW contacts with radio amateurs in the Northern Cape. The exchange is RS(T) and provincial or country abbreviation. Activity will take place between 7 000 to 7 040 kHz for CW and 7 063 to 7 100 and 7 130 to 7 200 kHz for phone. Contacts with stations in ZS3 are worth 2 points and all other contacts are worth 1 point. Contacts with the Northern Cape ARC, ZS3NC, Namaqualand Aero Sport Association, ZS3FLY, the Kalahari Karoo ARC, ZS3ARK, and the Sutherland ARC, ZS3OBS, are worth 5 points each. Only one contact per station is allowed. Logs, labeled "your call sign ZS3 Sprint," must be sent by e-mail to by 22 May 2016. The 2016 Blue Book contains all the details.

The results of the QRP contest held on 9 April 2016 are as follows:

1st ZS6ZU - Hammies ARC 410 points
2nd ZS6WR - West Rand ARC 270 points
3rd ZS6PTA - Pretoria ARC 186 points
4th ZS4DZ - Johan van Zijl 125 points
5th ZS6MHH - Tienie Herbst 96 points

Congratulations to the Hammies. The youngsters are really giving the "Big Guns" a run for their money. Once again the log submissions were pathetic.

It's not the first time I've heard such a statement, "I don't remember the last time I had this much fun!!!", the words from Julian OH8STN.

Looking at his profile on Julian writes, "My belief is all too often we rely on the comfort of fixed locations, the stability of a home or other grid tied shelter as operating locations for our radio communications. In contrast, learning to operate off-grid, out of a backpack, temporarily setup next to your car, from a hotel room, getting there with skis, bicycle, or hiking up the side of the mountain to setup your tent or shelter, that's a challenge, and also that's what it's all about for me. Operating QRP portable from unusual places provides an opportunity to learn about yourself, and your gear". Julian could not have said it better!

Not everyone submits a log after a contest or in this case, a challenge. That is quite the norm. Logs that were received for the April 2nd RaDAR challenge are:

Eddie ZS6BNE, Tienie ZS6MHH, Johan ZS4DZ, Sid ZS5AYC and Greg N4KGL. Julian OH8STN described his RaDAR ops on the Google+ RaDAR group.

ZS6BNE and N4KGL took on the RaDAR Challenge as on-foot operators which is by far the most challenging as everything needs to be carried. The operator needs to dismantle his station and antennas, pack up, move and redeploy at least a kilometer away each time.

ZS4DZ operated from a fixed location and these stations are necessary. They keep the band alive with RaDAR activity.

ZS6MHH operated "portable" from his vehicle parked at the top of Klapperkop in Pretoria.

ZS5AYC and OH8STN both operated from vehicles moving to the next destination six or more kilometers away after every five QSO's. If more than five QSO's were made from a particular deployment position the excess did not count for points. Sometimes propagation is not favourable so some stations move to the next destination with less than five QSO's.

Sid ZS5AYC, his wife Adele ZS5AYL, and a few friends made it a team effort and all had much fun. Sid's overall score was the highest which makes him the overall champion. Well done Sid and team!

Ideas exchanged and a forever changing RaDAR landscape will see the following changes for future challenges.

A suggestion has been made that the 24 hour period remain but it's up to each individual to plan his / her maximum, single period, four hour ops. He / she would take propagation into account with the ultimate goal of inter continental RaDAR to RaDAR communications in mind. (10 bonus points!)

Pre planning and making specific skeds beforehand is an acceptable practice. The only requirement is that the QSO takes place via radio with the necessary information exchange.

See for future challenge dates.


Advance amateur radio and don't let it become static and disappear.
Many Radio Clubs are guilty of doing the same old thing over and over again and not advancing Amateur Radio in any way. Amateur Radio was founded on experimentation and exploration, and that is how they made their mark in history and earned the many amateur bands. The commercial radio world has since moved on and higher up the radio spectrum, while the vast majority of radio amateurs have remained at the low end of the amateur spectrum. You do not have to sacrifice your HF interests, but supplement it with some challenging and exciting experiments on the VHF and UHF bands. You do not have to start off with fancy and expensive equipment, as many old-timers began with small horizontal Yagis and low power, and had to learn the secrets of VHF propagation.

There are many records that could still be broken on the VHF, UHF and Microwaves bands, and you could increase your radio knowledge tremendously. One of the greatest challenges for radio amateurs is to bridge the Atlantic and/or Indian Oceans on 144 MHz via Tropo Ducting. These are the most difficult projects that are currently challenging the VHF fraternity. By the way, a few keen and dedicated radio amateurs in Germany and the USA have already ventured to the top end of the microwave spectrum and beyond.

HF Propagation prediction
Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at very low levels. All the visible sunspots are currently stable with very little chance for serious solar flares.

If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 14.

The 20 to 15 m bands will provide lots DX fun with some 10 m openings also possible on sunlit paths.

Please visit the website for further information.

Lets look at some upcoming events

8 May – Antique Wireless Association Valve SSB QSO Party
15 May – ZS3 Sprint
19 May – RAE Examination

To conclude our bulletin a quick overview of or main news item: The SARL AGM is around the corner. The AGM takes place 21 May 2016 in Vaalpark, Sasolburg. Register before 11 May 2016 to qualify for early bird benefits. For more information visit or

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 pod cast 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 and edited by Emile Venter, ZS6V, and read by ..............

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


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Last modified: 14 April 2003