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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 begin this bulletin with news of three silent keys

The key of Josιe Demaio, ZS1CJ, went silent unexpectedly but peacefully on 28 April. We extend our condolences to Geno Demaio, ZS1GI.

The key of Raymond Worthing, ZS5BM, went silent on 5 June. He joined the South African Radio League in 1954 and had been a member for the past 62 years. He was a very active member in the Durban Branch and Club, a keen constructor and participating in all amateur radio events over many years. We extend our condolences to his wife June and to his children Aubrey, Ivan, Karen, Leanne and Janice.

The key of Dawid Petzer, ZS1PC, went silent on 7 June. We extend our condolences to his family and friends.


In the news today,





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

** The ZS6 Hammies Sprint is on the air this afternoon from 14:00 to 15:00 UTC and is a fun activity to promote contacts between radio amateurs in ZS6 and radio amateurs in Southern African countries with an emphasis on ZU stations. The exchange is a RS report and your provincial abbreviation. All stations outside South Africa will give a RS report and DX. It is a phone contest on the 40 metre band - 7 063 to 7 100 and 7 130 to 7 200 kHz.

Scoring for ZS6 stations - contacts with stations in ZS6 are worth 1 point and contacts with stations in other ZS call areas or Southern African countries are worth 2 points. Scoring for all other stations - contacts with stations in ZS6 call area or Southern African countries are worth 2 points and contacts with stations in own call area is worth 1 point. Contacts with any ZU station are worth 3 points.

Scoring for all ZU Stations - contacts with the Hammies ARC, ZS6ZU, is worth 5 points and contacts between ZU stations are worth 5 points. Log sheets in ADIF, Cabrillo or MS Excel format and labelled “your call sign Hammies,” must be submitted by 19 June 2016 by e-mail to Certificates will be awarded to the first, second and third places and to the first, second and third places for ZU stations.

** On invitation of the Department of Telecommunication and Postal Services (DTPS), the South African Radio League has joined the National Preparatory Working Group for WRC-19. The first meeting was held on 9 June 2016 in Pretoria. The working group discussed all the WRC-19 agenda items. The League will be part of discussions on agenda item 1.1 and 1.7.

Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, will be the rapporteur for agenda item 1.1, which covers the consideration of an allocation of the frequency band 50 to 54 MHz to the amateur service in Region 1 in accordance with WRC-15 Resolution 658. Resolution 658 invites ITU-R to study spectrum needs in Region 1 for the amateur service in the frequency band 50 to 54 MHz taking into account sharing between the amateur service and the mobile, fixed, radiolocation and broadcasting services in order to ensure protection of these services.

Agenda item 1.7 covers the study of the spectrum needs for telemetry, tracking and command in the space operation service for non-GSO satellites with short duration missions and to assess the suitability of existing allocations to the space operation service and if necessary to consider new allocations, in accordance with WRC-15 Resolution 659. Some non-amateur satellites have used frequencies for telemetry, tracking and command in the bands 144 to 146 MHz and 435 to 438 MHz, which are allocated to the amateur and amateur-satellite service and such use is not in accordance with 1.56 and 1.57 of the radio regulations.

Telemetry, tracking and command functions for satellites should normally be provided within the service in which the space station is operating. This generally is not happening. These satellites fall in the CubeSat range and are projects initiated by educational institutions. ICASA has been nominated as the lead group for Africa to study possible other frequency bands. In resolution 659, the 2 m and 70 cm bands were excluded as possible targets. The League will be supporting ICASA in preparing for this agenda item.

** Two metre beacon now operational in Cape Town. The Western Cape Repeater Working Group is pleased to announce that the ZS1TWO beacon on 144,435 MHz CW is now active from central Cape Town. The beacon is located on a high rise building in the CBD, running 20 w into a five element horizontal Yagi pointing North-North East. Thanks to Mike, ZS1TAF, and Ryan, ZS1AJ, for the installation and for donating the equipment.

Please send reports by e-mail to For more VHF and repeater information in the Western Cape, visit

** The Special General Meeting of the South African Radio League will be held on Saturday 30 July at the National Amateur Radio Centre at Radiokop. The relevant information is on The express purpose of the meeting is to decide on the financial statements to be submitted by the treasurer, to approve the budget proposed for the 2016/2017 financial year and to appoint a new League Council consisting of the members elected by electronic voting according to rule 16.4. Registration of members and proxies will start at 09:00 and the SGM will start at 10:00. The financial documents and a proxy form will be available on from 30 June 2016

Calls for nominations for the Council of the League are invited. The prescribed form should be used and be submitted with an amateur radio related CV by no later than 25 June to If more than 10 nominations are received, an electronic vote will be held starting on 30 June 2016 as per Rule 16.4. The nomination form is available on the League web page. Please consider having yourself nominated as a councillor.

As is normal, the terms of office of half the councillors expired at the AGM and though many agreed to have the terms extended until the SGM, some declined. Some councillors resigned after the AGM. At present there are five councillors keeping the SARL running. They are Johann Marais, ZS1JM, Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, Geoff Levey, ZS6C, Nico van Rensburg, ZS6QL, and Fritz Sutherland ZS6SF. Fritz, ZS6SF, is the acting Secretary and can be contacted at

The new yearly subscription fees are listed on the League web page. The AGM approved these separately from the budget. Invoices for subscriptions will be mailed next week at the latest.

** The theme for the July issue of Radio ZS is the youth. The editor requests all youth clubs and those involved with young people to send in photos and articles for this edition. The closing date for material is Tuesday 21 June 2016 and can be sent to

You are listening to a news bulletin of the South African Radio League read by ………………………………………… [your name, call sign.]

** The Western Cape Repeater Working Group (WCRWG), in collaboration with repeater coordinators from the Eastern Cape, will be recommissioning the VHF repeater link-up that starts in the Western Cape and travels along the South Coast to Port Elizabeth, East London and beyond. Currently, the repeaters at Brenton-on-Sea and Plettenberg Bay are non-functional. There are not many radio amateur users living in these areas that can maintain or sponsor the equipment and repairs needed there.

Hamnet Western Cape and the Port Elizabeth Amateur Radio Society have already committed to sizeable contributions. The WCRWG would like to invite amateurs from the rest of the country who holiday in the Southern Cape or have holiday houses in the area and who might use the repeater system while on holiday, to make a donation to this project, to help raise a further R7 500 to recommission these repeaters. The bank account details are available on the website of the WCRWG at

Any size donation will be gratefully accepted and acknowledged and ring-fenced for the project. Please use your call sign, followed by the word BRENTON in your bank account transfer and your donation will be allocated to the project accordingly. We thank you in anticipation.

The Group has also posted objects of the ZS1SIX 50,080 MHz FSK beacon and the ZS1TWO 144,435 MHz CW beacon on APRS and you can view them and their details in your own APRS software or at On our webpage, you will also find Google forms for reception reports of either of these objects and you are cordially invited to send your reports through. That website again,

** If there are Scouts and Voortrekkers, who want to get a radio licence before JOTA or CQ Hou Koers, then this is a great opportunity! We are having a "Hammies Boot Camp" from 17:00 on 30 June to 15:00 on 3 July, in which we will cover the material required for the Class B licence. The class B licence allows youngsters to get their own call sign and to operate without supervision on certain bands.

The course will include operating procedures, regulations, building antennas, setting up a field station, basic electronics and many fun activities. Yes, you will get an opportunity to talk on a real "ham radio" on camp - perhaps even to someone overseas!

The cost of the camp is R600 per person and includes all food, training materials and accommodation. If you know someone who might be interested, please let him or her know about it! For more information, please contact Dave Higgs, ZS2DH, on

** The Square Kilometre Array or SKA, an International science project located in South Africa and Australia, will be the world's most powerful radio telescope once completed, comprising 3 000 dishes. This is the greatest scientific project of the 21st Century, whereas the Large Hadron Collider in Europe was the greatest science project of the 20th Century.

After completion of the design phase of the SKA telescope last year, scientists mapped out the size and shape of the land required to protect the site from radio frequency interference. About 131 500 hectares of land surrounding the telescope's 176-dish core, which lies 80 km from Carnarvon, needs to be free from radio frequency interference. As a result, radio frequencies in the spectrum 100 MHz to 25,5 GHz could be banned from a large portion of the Karoo.

A possible ban of certain radio frequencies in the Karoo because of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project could see aircraft flying the Johannesburg to Cape Town route being redirected via Port Elizabeth, the Atlantic Ocean or over Upington. Anyone who contravenes these regulations could face a fine up to one million rand or even imprisonment. For more information, see the Government Gazette dated 23 November 2015.

The SKA radio frequency ban excludes aviation and safety services. SKA SA project director Rob Adam said the Astronomy Management Authority within the department had discussions with the CAA and ATNS regarding the matter. "The net result of these draft regulations is that commercial air traffic would not be affected. As low-level flight directly over the SKA could damage the sensitive SKA equipment, we will continue to engage with the CAA to ensure that this does not happen," he said.

** On Saturday 18 June 2016, the Highway Amateur Radio Club will be celebrating its 20th birthday with a special event at the New Germany Sports Club. The Club members will be active on the air using the club call sign, ZS5HAM, and they will be looking forward to making as many contacts with fellow amateurs on the day.

** The Cape Town ARC (CTARC) will be celebrating its 70th anniversary on 25 June at the Wild Fig Restaurant in Observatory. There will be a PowerPoint presentation of the club’s history along with some photos taken in the early days when Cape Town was the headquarters of the SARL. This will bring back many memories to members past and present. Seating is limited. For more information, please contact the secretary, Anne, by e-mail

** Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to remain at low levels. Only a single, stable sunspot is visible. There is 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 24. The 20 to 15 m bands will provide lots of DX fun. Please visit the website for further information.

Now for the diary of events

This afternoon, 12 June – the ZS6 Hammies Sprint
17 June – World QRP Day
18 June – the Highway ARC 20th birthday and the ARRL Kid’s Day
21 June – closing date for articles for the July issue of Radio ZS
23 to 27 June – the SARL Top Band QSO Party
25 June – the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre’s 70th birthday
30 July – the Special General Meeting at the National Amateur Radio Centre

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

The ZS6 Hammies Sprint is on the air this afternoon from 14:00 to 15:00 UTC and is a fun activity to promote contacts between radio amateurs in ZS6 and radio amateurs in Southern African countries with an emphasis on ZU stations. The exchange is a RS report and your provincial abbreviation. All stations outside South Africa will give a RS report and DX. It is a phone contest on the 40 metre band - 7 063 to 7 100 and 7 130 to 7 200 kHz.

** 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