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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 this bulletin with news of three silent keys

It is with sadness that we must report that the key of CL “Tippy” Marais, ZS1CL, went silent in his 83rd year on Thursday 16 June 2016. He was a member of the League and the Cape Town ARC for almost 58 years and served as a Councillor of the League. We extend our sincere condolences to his wife Marlene, the family and his many friends.

It is with deep regret that the passing of Hendrik van Riel, ZR1HMV, on Wednesday 22 June after a heart attack. We extend our sincere condolences to his brother, Len, ZS1LEN, and the family.

It is with deep regret that we must report that the key of Des Pettit, ZS2ABU, went silent on Thursday morning 30 June 2016. Des was a keen operator, an avid supporter of the Maritime Net and a regular on the local 6 and 4 m nets in Port Elizabeth. We extend our sincere condolences to his family and many friends.


In the news today,





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

** Documentation for the SGM to be held on 30 July 2016 is now available on the members section of the League web site at A link is provided on the Home page.

Electronic voting for the new Council is now also open and will remain open until midnight on Friday 22 July. The address for the voting system is, where you will also find CVs for all the nominees.

Please study the CVs of the nominees carefully and select those that you believe will take the South African Radio League forward. There are 17 nominations for Council to fill the 10 vacancies and you may vote for up to 10 nominees. If you have forgotten your password, there is an option to have this e-mailed to your registered email address.

** The ZS5 Sprint is on the air this afternoon from 14:00 to 15:00 UTC with CW and phone activity on 40 metres. Find all the information on page 52 of the 2016 SARL Blue Book. Here is you chance to get those ZS5 QSOs for your Worked all ZS award.

** Many years ago, the South African Radio League and Sentech signed a memorandum of understanding which enabled amateur radio repeaters to the located on Sentech sites and towers. Last year Sentech revised its policy about hosting equipment on their sites and introduced a facilities leasing arrangement. A workshop was held in September last year to clarify the way forward and discuss the importance of Sentech's continued support.

Sentech has reviewed the League’s proposals and found it necessary to give notice of cancellation of the MOU. In a letter to the League, Sentech wrote that the company is willing to enter into a new Electronic Communications Facilities Master Agreement for facilities the League currently uses.

A survey of which repeaters are hosted on Sentech sites was conducted last year. In order for the League to discuss with Sentech the way forward, it is essential that this list is updated. All clubs and amateur radio groups that currently have a repeater or a beacon on a Sentech site, should with immediate effect, advise the South African Radio League of the details. Please e-mail all the information to

The League is planning to meet with Sentech in the immediate future. The cut-off to compile an up-to-date list is Wednesday 13 July 2016. Please treat this as important and bring this information to the notice of your club chairman and repeater coordinator.

** The July issue of Radio ZS is available on the League’s website, look under publications on the left-hand menu. The theme of this issue is the Youth. To date only 195 copies have been downloaded. Only 600 copies of the June issue have been downloaded.

** It has come to the attention of the South African Radio League that during a conversation on the Pretoria Amateur Radio Club repeater on Sunday 26 June, just before the SARL News broadcast, an operator used foul and derogatory language. This conversation entered the network via an Echolink node.

The Council and members of the South African Radio League would like to state that as a national body for amateur radio in South Africa, we will not tolerate such behaviour and will act upon such behaviour in the strongest possible way. The League would also like to urge all Clubs to condemn such behaviour and act against any members making themselves guilty of such acts.

In the mean time, the Club involved has taken the lead by acting against this person. The Club further took it upon themselves to keep the League updated on the progress of the matter.

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

** To date the South African Radio League already has 805 members for the 2016/2017 financial year. Nineteen Clubs have renewed their affiliation. Membership fees are payable on 30 June, but the database will only be cleared at the end of August. If you wish to pay in instalments, please arrange with the League office.

** The IARU HF Championships takes to the air from 12:00 UTC on Saturday 9 July and ends 24 hours later. It is CW, phone or mixed on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters. The rules are available at If you would like to participate as a member of the SARL HQ Station, please contact Geoff, ZS6C, at as soon as possible. You do not need to be in Johannesburg to participate.

** AMSAT SA is planning to arrange a weekly satellite day to encourage radio amateurs to operate satellites. The proposal is to dedicate preferred slots for satellite operation, for example Tuesday between 18:00 and 23:00. There are a number of relatively easy to operate satellites. These will be identified and operating slots with details about the orbit and time over South Africa and neighbouring countries will be published in advance. AMSAT SA is seeking input from radio amateurs who would be interested in participating. Please send your proposals and ideas to

Last week AMSAT SA invited Radio Amateurs who have an interest in being part of discussions on SDR projects to send their contact details including their Skype address to Only a few persons responded. For more information on SDR, visit the AMSAT SA website at and down the SDR presentation delivered by Deon Coetzee, ZR1DE, at the recently held Space Symposium. Join the conversation!

** Our Sun, a yellow star, will be at aphelion on 4 July 2016, that is the maximum distance of 152 103 775 km from Earth. Perihelion, when the earth is the closest to the Sun at a distance of 147 100 998 km, will take place on 4 January 2017. The Sun is responsible for both short and long distance communications on the HF bands and lower, when it ionizes the F2, F1, E and D layers in the ionosphere, while at night, the F2 and F1 layers combine to form the F layer and the D layer completely disappears.

The Maximum Usable Frequency (MUF) rises above 30 MHz during the peak of the Solar Cycle when the maximum number of sunspots is visible and provides worldwide propagation on the lower VHF bands. This always occurs around equinox time in March and September when the 50 MHz (6 metre) band opens up and yields extremely strong DX signals. Ironically, this is also the time, for a week or two, when the MF band on 160 metres also opens up for DX operation, which occurs about two hours before sunrise until half an hour or so after sunrise. It was during such a period that both the East and West coasts of the USA were first worked from East London on CW with a legal power limit of only 10 Watts. So try it with higher power!

** During the week, Dennis, ZS4BS, received notification that the ZSFF programme has been accepted for the Worldwide Flora and Fauna Awards. A list of the protected areas of South Africa, Namibia and Botswana has been complied from data found on the World Database of Protected Areas and in Wikipedia. The ZSFF team would like input from radio amateurs in these three countries before the official list will be uploaded to WWFF. You can find a copy of the provisional list at Send your comments to

Dennis will be activating Mokala National Park, ZSFF-0028 from 4 to 6 July, listen out in the afternoons on 7 144 kHz.

** Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to remain at very low levels. There are still no sunspots visible. If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 10.

The 20 m band will provide lots of DX fun. Please visit the website for further information.

Now for the diary of events

This afternoon – the ZS5 Sprint
9 and 10 July – the IARU HF Championships
10 July – the SARL Youth Net
16 July – the Winter QRP Contest
16 to 23 July – the IARU Region 1 Summer Youth Camp in Austria
24 July – the ZS2 Sprint
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.

Documentation for the SGM to be held on 30 July 2016 is now available on the members section of the League web site at A link is provided on the Home page. Electronic voting for the new Council is now also open and will remain open until midnight on Friday 22 July.

The ZS5 Sprint is on the air this afternoon from 14:00 to 15:00 UTC with CW and phone activity on 40 metres.

** 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