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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 start the bulletin this morning with news of two silent keys.

It is with deep regret that we report that the key of Chris Nagel, ZS6BGH, ex ZS6BGD and ZS3B, went silent on Sunday 6 November 2016. Chris was well known for his travels around South Africa and Namibia with his three-wheel vehicle or Tukkie under the call sign ZS3B tricycle mobile.

We extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

The key of Dawie Pansegrouw, ZS1PRF, ex ZS4DR, went silent of Sunday 6 November 2016.

We extend our sincere condolences to his wife Alethea, his son Didi, ZS1DFP, family and friends.






Stay tuned for more on these and other interesting news items

** The President and Council of the SARL hereby advise the members that Vonnie Oelofse the SARL office administrator has due to personal circumstances, tendered her resignation with immediate effect.

The SARL office at the NARC will consequently be closed for the next few days and may operate on a part time basis until a replacement administrator can be found. Geoff Levey, ZS6C, the Councillor responsible for the NARC, will answer any urgent enquiries.

The SARL has a vacancy for an office administrator with immediate effect. If you are interested in applying for this post, then please contact Geoff Levy, ZS6C, on 082 546 5546 or via e-mail for a job description and further details.

** The Web Site Team is looking for Beta Testers of the new software/site that was setup as a Trial/Test.

All positive comments for this site can be made on the site itself.

Advanced features has been added for example the illusive thumbs up button and direct photo upload, not mentioning the New improved Swop Shop but to name a few.

Registration is automated. If unsure what to do, please look in the Q & A section for the correct information.

Please do not use the SARL Forum for the discussion about the Beta Test Site should there be one, as it is only a test site and we need all correspondence in one central place and prefer to have it on the New Test Site.

On confirmation that you are a SARL member, you will be "upgraded" to the SARL Member group and all additional features will become live.

Your test begins here:

As this is a new site being tested, you will be required to register to test this site as explained in the Q & A section on the site. It has nothing to do with the current SARL FORUM /Web Site.

** 12 November 2016 is the 25th anniversary of the first South African Internet networking system. In 1988, Mike Lawrie led the Rhodes University team that established the very first South African Internet networking system. The following year saw Rhodes use e-mail for the first time.

South Africa has solid Internet foundations built by visionary South Africans who saw the potential of a new technology that has today flourished and built many local centres of Internet excellence such as ZACR which is tasked with administering second-level domains within the greater ZA.

** We have seen how the Maximum Usable Frequency no longer reaches the lower VHF frequencies, but hovers only in the HF spectrum during the mimimum Solar Cycle. According to the ARRL, the Sun's magnetic field is weakening, probably to the lowest levels in our lifetimes, and with a weak solar magnetic field, more galactic cosmic rays will be able to get into Earth's atmosphere. We are now seeing unprecedented high neutron counts (neutrons are one of the byproducts of cosmic rays). Since galactic cosmic rays are mostly very energetic protons, they can get down to low atmospheric altitudes, causing collisional ionization in the D region and lower E region. A cursory estimate using cosmic ray ionization rates confirms greater ionization in the lower atmosphere, and 160 meters is not too tolerant of more absorption. The Solar mimimum in the 2020's may be even too deep for 160 metres!

** Each year the Eastern Cape branch of the Mountain Club of South Africa's Search and Rescue (S&R) division have mountain rescue exercises and now, as a matter of course, Hamnet Eastern Cape get invited to tag along and play radio.

The weekend of 5th and 6th November 2016 was the second exercise in the current format which involves the South African Air force with their BK helicopters, EMS, and of course, Hamnet Eastern Cape.

Search teams comprising MCSA S&R members and medics were deployed to various remote parts of the Groendal nature reserve. Most of the exercise involved trooping teams (or sticks in S&R lingo) around the mountainous area of Groendal outside Uitenhage. Teams were required to board the helicopter, practice "spotting" while in flight, disembark from the helicopter, establish their coordinates, perform some small task and then select a new landing zone for the helicopter when they get collected, and finally to navigate the pilot in to their location. More advanced training was done on the Sunday and this included hoisting patients and other advanced techniques.

From a radio perspective, the Hamnet team deployed mobile repeaters to cover the terrain, linking the teams on the ground with the Joint Operations Centre (JOC). The repeaters gave generous VHF coverage to the sticks who enjoyed very good communications with the JOC and other teams.

One of our Hammies - Graydon Higgs (ZU2GH) was with the Hamnet Eastern Cape team and assisted in deploying the Hamnet repeater and manned the digital gateway which provided access to Whatsapp, SMS, Internet, and phone calls to the JOC.

Basically, from a high point (where the repeater was placed) Graydon enjoyed excellent radio coms. We located the repeater on a high point with known 3G coverage. This meant the JOC had an internet connection and phone capabilities at their disposal. This proved valuable as the Air Force operations centre was informed of the activity and was even needed to resolve an issue with the flying time of one of the aircraft.

The JOC was run with the help of the following radio hams: Gert ZS2GS, Colin ZR2CRS, Mandy ZS2AV and Andrew ZS2G. Hamnet Eastern Cape can be proud of the way they performed.

Once again, Andrew Gray and his team showed what can be done. Special thanks to Glen ZS2GV and Colin ZR2CRS for assisting the Hamnet Eastern Cape team.

I believe the exercise was hugely beneficial and a big "Well done!" to all involved. I believe we all enjoyed it and added value to the exercise.

** The Westrand Amateur radio club is hosting its next flea market at 12:00 on Saturday 26 November 2016 at their clubhouse in Kroton street, Weltevredenpark, Roodepoort. Everybody is welcome. For more information contact Geoff ZS6C on 082 546 5546.

** On the 19th November the Overberg Amateur Radio Club will be having their end of the year function at Stanford. This is a bring and braai and salads and snacks will be available for all. Visitors are welcome. Bring a tent and enjoy the weekend with us. For further details, contact Andrι, ZS1AZ, on 0727291680 or

** 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 17.

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:

13 November – SARL Youth Net
19 November – Antique Wireless Association AGM & Swopmeet
26 November – Westrand Flea Market
26 - 27 November – CQ WW DX CW Contest
3 - 4 December – UK/EI DX SSB Contest
4 December – SARL Digital Contest
10 – 11 December – ARRL 10m Contest
11 December – SARL Youth Net

** To conclude our bulletin a quick overview of our main news item: The President and Council of the SARL hereby advise the members that Vonnie Oelofse the SARL office administrator has due to personal circumstances, tendered her resignation with immediate effect.

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 pod cast 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 Emile Venter, ZS6V, and read by ..............

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


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Last modified: 14 April 2003