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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 a silent key.

It is with deep regret that it must be announced that the key of Colin McNally, ZS6MAC, went silent on Monday 8 August 2016.

We extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends.


In the news today,





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

** The monthly South African Radio League Youth Net will be held this afternoon at 15:00 UTC. Join Koos Fick, ZR6KF, on 7 070 kHz this afternoon. Clubs are invited to use the opportunity to introduce young persons to amateur radio by inviting them to join the event and get to talk on the air under the supervision of a licensed radio amateur.

** One of the initiatives from your new Council is a regular News Flash. The first News Flash will be sent to all members this week and will be available on the SARL website. The purpose of the News Flash is to provide a "State of the League" message to radio amateurs from the President of the League.

** If you hold a ZU license and are older than 25, your license will expire on 31 March 2017 and will not be renewable. ICASA recommends that the affected persons enrol for a Class A license course and write the next RAE in October 2016.

The revised regulation stipulates that persons under 20 years old can write the Class B examination and if successful, can hold a ZU or Class B license until 25 years old after which, if they would like to continue with Amateur Radio, they have to sit the Class A examination to qualify for a Class A (ZS/ZR) license. On 31 March 2017, the grace period that the SARL negotiated with ICASA expires.

If you are over 25 and still hold a ZU license do not lose out. Write the October examination. Tutorial material is available free of charge. Download it from

** SCS Space (subsidiary of the privately owned South African SCS Aerospace group) partnered with AMSAT SA to assist with internationally distributed ground station facilities for their up and coming QB50 satellite, "nSight-1". The use of multiple ground stations will multiply the downloaded science and imagery (32 m resolution) data generated by the satellite. QB50 is a constellation of 50 CubeSats that will be launched into a low earth orbit to study the earth's lower thermosphere. QB50 will provide multi-point, in-situ measurements. Each satellite will carry one of three science sensors that will generate data that must be downloaded to the ground daily.

This is a unique opportunity for Radio Amateurs in South Africa to participate in an interesting satellite project. To participate please send details of your station, such as transceiver and antennas available as well as your location to The next step will be to participate in a briefing session that will be conducted on Skype in two weeks’ time. More details on

** The next AMSAT SDR Conversation takes place on Wednesday 24 August. The second AMSAT SDR Conversation was held last Wednesday when a basic mind-map to develop a SDR transponder was proposed and discussed. During the next two weeks, the participants will populate the mind-map, which will be discussed at the next SDR Conversation on Wednesday 24 August. For more information and how to take part in the conversation, visit

** VHF DX can be worked during poor HF conditions. There are many countries across our northern border that includes Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique. Several of these countries are already on VHF and what is needed is to encourage VHF activity in as many sub-Saharan countries as possible. Our long coastline covers many islands such as Madagascar, Reunion, Marion, Tristan da Cunha, Ascension and St Helena. Reunion Island has been worked many times on both 144 and 432 MHz, up to a maximum distance of around 3 240 km on 144 MHz SSB and digital. Division 2 and 5 stations made contact with Marion Island on 50 MHz CW, SSB and FM over a maximum distance around 1 880 km.

The distance between Cape Town and Lόderitz is about 845 km and has been worked on both 144 and 432 MHz SSB. Cape Town is about 3 000 km from St Helena Island and it should be an easy target on 144 MHz SSB or FM. The challenges are there, it only requires serious amateurs to accept them and advance amateur radio, but you will need a horizontal Yagi and about 100 Watts to do it.

Then there is the TEP season that stretches from September to November and again from February to April, which enables Divisions 3, 4, 5 and 6 to work DX around the Mediterranean on 50, 70 and 144 MHz.

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

** The closing date for your SARL HF Phone Contest logs is midnight tonight and they must be sent to

** The closing date for the SARL YL Sprint logs is midnight on Tuesday 16 August and they must be sent to

** The oldest and original International Amateur Radio Lighthouse Weekend event takes to the air on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 August. You will find all the information at The event is NOT a contest. There are no prizes, certificates or other enticements to participate and, therefore, participation is free.

There are fourteen lighthouses from South Africa taking part. Look out for ZS9V from the lighthouse on Robben Island, IOTA AF-064 and ZS1DJR from the South Head Lighthouse at Saldanha Bay – this will be a first time activation for South Head. Other lighthouses are ZS1BAK at Cape Agulhas, ZS1C at Cape Hangklip, ZS1CT at Green Point, Cape Town, ZS1FC at North Head, Saldanha Bay, ZS1FRC at Slangkop Point, ZS1OAK at Milnerton Lighthouse, ZS1OAR at Danger Point, ZS2EC at Cape Recife, ZS2PE at Seal Point, ZS2ZU at Donkin/The Hill, ZS5D at Cooper Lighthouse and ZS5HAC at the North Sands Bluff Lighthouse. Try to work all fourteen.

** The aim of the HF Digital Contest is for participants to contact as many amateurs in Southern Africa as possible using RTTY and PSK31 on the 20, 40 and 80 m amateur bands. The Contest takes place from 13:00 to 16:30 UTC on Sunday 21 August 2016 with activity on 3 580 to 3 600 kHz, 7 040 to 7 060 kHz and 14 070 to 14 099 kHz. You can participate as a Single Operator Single Band station, a Single Operator All Band station, a Multi Operator Single Band station or a Multi Operator All Band station. The exchange is a RST report and a consecutive serial number starting at 001. Digital contacts count 2 points. Get all the rules in the 2016 Blue Book. Submit your log in ADIF, Cabrillo or MS Excel format and labelled “your call sign HF Digital,” by 28 August 2016 by e-mail to

** The Sasolburg Radio Club is currently busy with tests on an alternative frequency for their Leeukop repeater on the N3 near Warden, in the eastern Free State. This repeater forms part of the VHF network established in 1993 and gives coverage for the west, north and eastern Free State province. Through the years, the club has kept the network operational and from time to time, it has been upgraded to allow reliable communications for the amateurs travelling along the N1 and the N3.

The purpose of this test is to minimise interference by and from amateurs in the West Rand and greater Gauteng region. The frequency has been changed from 145,625 MHz to 145.7375 MHz with an 88.5 Hz CTCSS tone. The Club requests reports from users in the region, these can be sent to

** Applications for membership of the South African Radio League have been received from the following persons - Ingo Berger (awaiting his call sign) and Sinovuyo Nojoko, ZSL-1166

Any objections to the acceptance of these applications must reach the League Secretary by e-mail to before or on Wednesday 17 August 2016. The League now has 1 203 members and 34 affiliated clubs.

** Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to remain at low levels. The visible sunspots do not pose a threat for solar flares. If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 31. The 15 to 20 m bands will provide lots of DX fun. Please visit the website for further information.

Now for the diary of events

Today – the SARL Youth Net at 15:00 UTC on 7 070 and the closing date for SARL HF Phone logs
16 August – closing date for SARL YL Sprint logs
20 and 21 August – International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend
21 August – SARL HF Digital Contest
24 August - AMSAT SDR Conversation
28 August – SARL HF CW Contest and closing date for HF Digital logs
4 September - closing date for HF CW logs
10 and 11 September – SARL National Field Day

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

The monthly South African Radio League Youth Net will be held this afternoon at 15:00 UTC. Join Koos Fick, ZR6KF, on 7 070 kHz this afternoon.

If you hold a ZU license and are older than 25, your license will expire on 31 March 2017 and will not be renewable. ICASA recommends that the affected persons enrol for a Class A license course and write the next RAE in October 2016.

** 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