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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.


We received the following from Dennis Green. ZS4BS.

It is with deep regret that we must announce the passing of two radio amateurs in the past week. The information was found on the SARL Forum.

The key of Peter Venter, ZS6BYZ, went silent in the past week. He was licenced in 1975 and worked for Hamrad in the 1970s and 80s.

The key of Selwyn Staples, ZS6SS, went silent on Saturday 22 October 2016.

We extend out sincere condolences to their families and friends.







*** SARL Awards Manager Tjerk Lammers ZS6P has announced that nominations are now open for the next round of inductees into the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame recognizes lasting contributions to the development of Amateur Radio in southern Africa and seeks to preserve its history.

After the successful inaugural induction of nine members at this year's Awards Dinner, League members have decided to allow another group of up to ten individuals to be inducted in 2017. A nomination template is available through the SARL home page. Nominations have to be submitted no later than the end of February 2017.

SARL members will vote for nominees during March, and new inductees will be announced at the SARL Awards Dinner in April.

From 2018, a maximum of one living and one deceased member will be inducted annually. 2017 therefore represents the last major opportunity to honour those individuals who have left a lasting legacy in our hobby. Now is the time to start working on those nominations!

*** Mike Bosch, ZS2FM, sent us the following interesting information. According to Mike there are three different types of Tropospheric Propagation, namely Tropo Enhancement, Tropo Ducting and Tropo Scatter. Tropo Enhancement and Ducting occur on frequencies between 50 MHz and 10 GHz, and are caused by temperature inversions,

A temperature inversion is formed when a boundary layer separates cold moist air from warmer dry air above. This happens almost nightly during the warmer months, when an hour or so after sunset the cold air rushes in from the sea underneath the warm air on land, and creates a boundary between the two air masses. It is this boundary layer that refracts VHF, UHF and SHF radio signals back to Earth over 400 km or more, it lasts until the temperature stabilizes in the atmosphere. However, an approaching cold front could create a temperature inversion higher up in the atmosphere in the form a duct, and if this occurs between 500 and 2000 metres asl it will propagate strong signals over very long distance of thousands of kilometres across the sea. The size of the duct determines the low cut-off frequecy that normally favours 144 MHz and frequencies above.

Tropo Scatter is present at all times also on 50 MHz - 10 GHz, but with slow and deep QSB cycles It is caused by scattering of radio signals in the atmosphere by dust particles etc, an effect that is similar to the sky being lit up at night by car lights from beyond the horizon. Unfortunately the scatter signals, though reliable, are very weak, and communication requires high gain Yagis and high power to cover long distances up to 800 km or longer. Scatter communication on VHF can be used when Tropo Enhancement is not present, even with small Yagis and medium power over distances of 250 km or so.

*** Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, says that the Software Defined Radio workshop on Saturday 26 November will get you going with SDR projects. The workshop hosted by AMSATSA in co-operation with the SARL features presentations on the SDR basics, and how to get started. Anton Janovsky ZR6AIC will demonstrate a SDR repeater he has developed using a dongle and a Raspberry Pi. Cor Rademeyer ZS6CR will talk about a SDR transponder for incorporation in a CubeSat. There will also be an update on the Kletskous project.

The cost is R20 for refreshments plus a donation to the Kletskous Development Fund. For the full programme and details of how to book visit Payment can be made in advance or in cash at the door. Please use the booking form to assist the organisers with venue and catering arrangements. The workshop starts with registration at 9 am, the programme starts at 09:30 and ends at 13:00.

** The RaDAR "Challenge" is a unique event aimed at promoting the use of Rapidly Deployable Amateur Radio stations. This challenge is for all licensed radio amateurs not limited to South Africa. The Challenge takes place from 00:00 UTC to 23:59 UTC on Saturday 5 November 2016
All amateur bands are allowed including cross band contacts via amateur radio satellites. Modes - CW, SSB, AM, FM or any legal digital mode. QSOs via terrestrial repeaters will NOT be allowed.
The RaDAR challenge requires more than a minimalistic information exchange. Accurate information exchange is considered more important than a large QSO count. Call sign, name, RS(T) report, QTH and grid locator. Note the grid locator can change as RaDAR operators are allowed to move position at any time.

The scoring is 1 point per QSO. There are various multipliers and bonus points. Log sheets must be submitted by 15 November 2016 and sent by e-mail to
Please read the 2016 Blue Book as well as visit as Eddie has made some changes to the rules.

** The aim of the PEARS HF DX Contest is to encourage Southern African radio amateurs to work DX. The contest will take place on Sunday 6 November 2016 starting at 12:00 UTC and ending at 16:00 UTC. It is a phone only contest with activity on the 20, 15 and 10 metre band .

You can participate as a single Operator, Base or Field Station or a Multi Operator, Base or Field station. Stations may use the maximum power permitted according to the regulations in the country of operation.
One point is earned for each QSO and a station may be contacted once on each contest band. Field stations must multiply their score by two (2) and a further multiplier of two (2) is available if the station uses a non-gain antenna with reference to a dipole. Then the score is multiplied by the number of countries contacted.

The exchange is your call sign and RS report. Log sheets must be submitted by 20 November 2016 to the Port Elizabeth Amateur Radio Society, PO Box 10402, Linton Grange, Port Elizabeth, 6015 or by e-mail to No late submissions will be considered.

** The November Radio ZS is available for download from the League's web site. In this issue, you can read the JOTA and CQ Hou Koers reports. Read about the Heard Island VKEK DXpedition, from the Cape Town point of view. There are two articles about the International Light Weekend and find out how to use beer cans to build antennas. There is more in this 56-page issue.

**** Tjerk Lammers ZS6P, the SARL's Awards Manager, has announced that several new milestones have been achieved in the SARL"s Worked All ZS awards programme. Early in October, Pieter Jacobs ZS6XT became the second amateur to pass the 1000 mark.

Not to be outdone, perennial leader Jan Botha ZS4JAN submitted applications for WAZS-1600, and for 1500 on SSB and on 7 MHz. He also upped his 3,5 MHz total to 800 and added WAZS on CW, a new mode for him.
Chris R. Burger ZS6EZ submitted applications for WAZS-300 on CW, and for basic WAZS on 28 and then 21 MHz. These two bands complete his Five Band Worked All ZS, as he has complied with the requirements on each of the classic HF bands. A specific certificate was issued to commemorate this achievement. Chris also added the first WAZS-200 on 14 MHz to his collection.
Chris reports that the hardest requirement by far was to meet the quota of ZS5 stations. Both on 28 and 21 MHz, all the other requirements were in the bag more than a year before he finally caught the last required ZS5 stations.
The Worked All ZS has become the SARL's most popular award. Over 600 certificates have been issued since the rules were revised in 2000. It is now possible to confirm over 1000 South African callsigns using only the League's SA-QSL online system. One might mention that the ground-breaking firsts generally involve effort over several decades, with lavish use of paper QSLs.

**** Following are the results of the second leg of the 80 METRE QSO PARTY which took place during October..

1.Thanie Gibson, ZS4AZ, 690
2.Pieter Jacobs,ZS6ERB, 585
3.Barry Nugent, ZS2NF, 545


1.Romeo Nardini, ZS6ARQ, 745
2.Johan van Zijl, ZS4DZ, 735
3.Thanie Gibson, ZS4AZ, 690

The full results are available on the SARL website

**** The results of the SARL QRP contest held on the 1st October are as follows:

1st Thanie Gibson ZS4AZ 348 points
2nd East Rand Branch ZS6ERB 264 points
3rd Hammies ZS6ZU 260 points

Overall results after 4 contests are as follows:

1st Hammies ZS6ZU 1654 points
2nd West Rand ZS6WR 1142 points
3rd East Rand Branch ZS6ERB 1092 points

Congratulations to the Hammies

The full results are on the SARL website. Our sincere thanks to Geoff Levey, ZS6C, for sending us these results


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at very low levels. No major solar flaring is expected.

If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 6.

The 15 to 20m bands will provide lots of DX fun. There is a chance of 10m openings on north-south sunlit paths.

Please visit the website for further information.

** Let's look at some upcoming events:

Today 30 October - CQ WW DX SSB Contest
5 November - RaDAR Challeng
5 November - Pretoria Amateur Radio Club Flea Market
6 November - The PEARS HF DX Contest
13 SARL Youth Net
19 November - Antique Wireless Association AGM & Swopmeet
26 - 27 November - CQ WW DX CW Contest
26 November - West Rand Flea Market

**** We end this bulletin with a short summary of the main news item: Tjerk Lammers, ZS6P, anounced that nominations for the SARL Hall Of Fame is now open. Nominations for this presigeous award closes at the end of February 2016.

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 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; 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 by Dawie Conradie, ZR6DHC, edited by Dick Stratford, ZS6RO, and read by ..............

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

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Last modified: 14 April 2003