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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.

In the news today,





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

** The aim of the PEARS HF DX Contest is to encourage Southern African radio amateurs to work DX. The contest will take place this afternoon 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.

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. Get the complete rules in the 2016 SARL Blue Book.

** Entering this amateur radio hobby as a newbie is a daunting undertaking and even more so, if you are young and you still have to cope with schoolwork and exams, not to mention a chronic shortage of money.

However, for the 27 young Hammies that passed their exams over the last eighteen months, there is good news. The core group of adult supporters, who have carried them through the initial stages of writing the Class B RAE, are now actively involved in finding some hardware projects to keep the youngsters’ interest piqued. The objective is very simple - to get them on the air with a simple project, which will increase their participation and does not cost a fortune.

The idea for starting the Hammies with a QRP beacon using a low cost Chinese kit called a Pixie came from Leon Uys, ZR6LU. Leon was already very involved in WSPR and QRSS beacons all over the world and it was just natural for him to extend his knowledge to the Hammies. However, after donating one of his Ultimate 3S beacons from QRP-Labs to Nic van Duffelen, ZR6AEZ, and seeing what a great opportunity this kit presented, the project took a sudden turn and the group decided to create a few fixed beacons against which the young Hammies can test their new kits.

Thus, it happened that six people, namely Leon Uys, ZR6LU, Nic van Duffelen, ZR6AEZ, Noel Hammond, ZR6DX, Nico van Rensburg, ZS6QL, Graham Busse, ZS6GL and Emil Bohme, ZS6EGB, got together for a “Buildathon” on Saturday morning, 29 October 2016 at the NARC at Radiokop to build their QRP-Labs kits. The day was a huge success and two of the kits were already operational when they closed for the day. The others are nearing completion and will be on the air soon. So keep a listen out on the WSPR and QRSS spots for the Hammies over the next few months.

** There are currently several West Coast amateurs who have become active on the 144 MHz band. They are Charles le Roux, ZS1CF, at Langebaan, Tienie Vermeulen, ZS1HO, at Vredenburg, Andre Grove, ZS3AG, at Kimberley, Kobus vd Merwe, ZS3JPY, at Kleinzee, Andre Coetzee, V51LZ, at Oranjemund and Pieter Jacobs, V51PJ, at Rosh Pinah. They started running Monday evening skeds on 145,500 MHz FM on vertical polarization. ZS1CF and ZS1HO managed to work V51LZ over a distance of 526 km and ZS3JPY over 380 km. One night ZS1CF beamed at the Piketberg and hooked up with V51LZ again, but the latter could not hear the Piketberg repeater at all.

Recently ZS1CF and ZS3JPY were testing on 144,300 MHz SSB, but V51PJ could not hear them until he turned his horizontal beam to 330 degrees and then they enjoyed a Back Scatter contact; their first-ever on 144 MHz via this propagation mode. Traces of V51PJ's signal were also copied by ZS3AG in Kimberley. Gerhard Coetzee, ZS3TG, has worked Kimberley with his 12 element Skeleton Slot over 240 km, while Eben Pienaar, ZS3EP, also from Kathu, has just constructed a 12 element Yagi too. Wynand, V51WW is also building a Yagi and will soon be joining the group. It looks as if the West Coast Group and amateurs in the adjacent area will become very active on 144 MHz in the future.

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

** Application for membership of the South African Radio League has been received from Natalia Nevskaya, ZS6ZN and Leon Hattingh, ZSL-1171. Any objection to the new membership applications must reach the SARL Secretary at e-mail on or before Wednesday 9 November.

The membership of the League at present is 1 497 members and 43 affiliated Clubs.

** ARISS packet switched to UHF operation on board the ISS. Due to the recent failure of the VHF amateur radio in the ISS Columbus module, the APRS packet system that operates at 145.825 MHz is not available. To mediate this situation, the crew has activated the ARISS UHF radio that had been in storage on the space station and packet is now operational on the UHF amateur band on 437,550 MHz. Licensed amateur and crewmember Shane Kimbrough, KE5HOD, installed this radio.

The packet operation is using the same protocol as with the previous VHF radio. Only the frequency band for operation has changed. Amateur operators using the system should adjust for the increased Doppler shift experienced when operating in the UHF amateur band. The ARISS team is currently working on Kenwood D710GA models to replace and unify all amateur radios on board the ISS. The target date for delivery is late 2017. For more information, see and (This item from Southgate News)

** Security expert discovered a new way to steal sensitive data without network. Security researcher Mordechai Guri from the cyber security labs at Ben Gurion University in Israel has found a new way to steal sensitive data from one computer to a mobile phone without the presence of a network.

Researchers said, "In highly secure facilities the assumption today is that data can not leak outside of an isolated internal network. It is called air-gap security. The common policy in such secure organizations is to leave your mobile phone in some locker when you enter the facility and then pick it up when you go out. We at the cyber security labs challenged this assumption and found a way to leak data from a computer inside the organization to a remote mobile phone without using Wifi or Bluetooth."

Researchers have created a keylogging app called AirHopper that can transmit radio frequencies by exploiting the PC's display. A companion app on an FM-equipped smartphone can decode those transmissions and record the host machine's keystrokes in real-time. (This item from Southgate News)

** Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to remain 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 8. The 15 to 20 m bands will provide lots of DX fun. There is a chance of 10 m openings on north-south sunlit paths. Please visit the website for further information.

Now for the diary of events

Today – the PEARS HF DX Contest
13 November - SARL Youth Net
19 November - Antique Wireless Association AGM and Swop meet
26 November – AMSAT SA SDR Workshop and the West Rand ARC Flea Market
26 and 27 November - CQ WW DX CW Contest

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

The aim of the PEARS HF DX Contest is to encourage Southern African radio amateurs to work DX. The contest will take place this afternoon 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. Get the complete rules in the 2016 SARL Blue Book.

** 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