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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 the country. Echolink listeners may connect to ZS0JPL for a relay.

This audio bulletin may be downloaded from the League website at whereyou 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.


It is with regret that we have to announce that the key of Martin Nortman, ZS6TMN has gone silent on the morning of Saturday, 3 December, after losing the fight with cancer.

Martin was an exceptional example of what a Ham should be. Martin supported the East Rand Radio Branch, Kempton Amateur Radio Technical Society and Hamnet Gauteng South with his time, money and knowledge. He was always willing to learn, and in turn passed that knowledge onto others.

He will be dearly missed by his wife Mina ZS6MNT, family and many radio friends. Rest in peace old friend, until one day, we meet again.







Stay tuned for more on these and other interesting stories.

** On Friday ICASA published the proposed National Frequency Band plan in a 230 page document as part of a mega Government Gazette of over 500 pages. The band plan creates a number of challenges for Amateur Radio which will have to be addressed and documented for submission to ICASA by 27 January 2016 followed by public hearings which may be held on 2 and 3 February 3017. It is expected that ICASA will publish the draft National Radio Frequency Plan on Watch the SARL homepage for more information as and when it becomes available.

Some good news is that ICASA has agreed to allow members of the South African Radio League to operate on 5260 and 5290 kHz. Since the original authority to operate on these two frequencies expired on 31 October 2015 there were some interim on off arrangements. ICASA has now confirmed that under a trial license these frequencies may be used by SARL members for the next 8 months.

On Wednesday 14 December the SARL will present it reasons why amateur radio equipment should be considered for exemption of type approval regulations.

It is a busy time for the SARL Manager Regulatory and his committee. Details will be published on the SARL home page as the committee reviews the new National Frequency Band Plan and information about type approval will become available.

*** Today 11 December 2016 marks the 95year anniversary of reception of a radio signal in Ardrossan, Scotland,transmitted from the official test station of Minton Cronkhite, 1BCG, in a small shack on the corner of Clapboard Ridge Road and North Street in Greenwich, USA, helped to usher in the age of global communication. Reception in Scotland of the 1BCG signal was part of the second series of ARRL transatlantic tests. For the receiving end, the ARRL Board had selected a receiver designed by Paul Godley, 2ZE, and Godley traveled to the UK to oversee that end of the circuit.

Joining Godley in a field in Ardrossan, southwest of Glasgow, was Marconi Company District Inspector D.E. Pearson. The two attempted to keep out of the driving wind and rain by sheltering themselves and their equipment in a tent. This rough listening post was comprised of a superheterodyne and a regenerative receiver, a 1,300-foot Beverage antenna suspended 12 feet above ground, batteries, and auxiliary equipment. CW signals of 1BCG, which had been designed and constructed by the Radio Club of America members -- were solidly copied on 230 to 235 meters (about 1.3 MHz). They were the only signals heard that morning in Ardrossan. By the end of the tests, eight spark and 18 CW stations had been heard as well.

*** The Sporadic-E season in the southern hemisphere appears in December and peaks in January and providing very strong SSB or FM signals on the 50 MHz band. These elusive band openings can easily be missed as they usually last only about half an hour or sometimes up to an hour, so one has to keep an eye on distant VHF beacons for early warnings.

Division 1 has worked Divisions 5 and 6 on Es in the past, while Division 2 has logged many stations in Division 6 and as far afield as Namibia. Division 6 stations have worked as far north as 9U5D over a distance of 2269 km. On very rare occasions super Es openings have been recorded up to three hours long, such as experienced by Hannes Vorster, ZS2BE, and Owen Wheeler, ZR2HZ, at Port Elizabeth who enjoyed an Es field day with Kosie du Buisson, ZS3E, at Outjo Namibia on 50 MHz at S9 plus. Last year VK and ZL stations worked each other on Es using frequencies as high as 144 and 432 MHz. So beware and watch the 50 MHz beacons!

**** The West Rand Amateur Radio Club has submitted a proposal to the Council of the South African Radio League to host the 2017 National Convention in the West Rand. The Council has accepted the proposal. The Club is busy with negotiations for venues and will notify League members of the dates early in the New Year.

The Council invites Clubs who would like to host the 2018 SARL National Convention to submit a motion to the 2017 AGM with their proposal.

**** New committee for the SABC Amateur Radio Club ZS6RTV.
At the club's AGM held on the 2nd of November 2016, the following committee members were chosen:

Chairman: Pieter ZS6PVW
Vice Chairman: Yvonne ZR6TBL
Secretary: Miemie ZR6JL
Treasurer: Lizette ZS6LZT
Webmaster: Marianne ZS6ANA
Social: Magda ZS6MVW
Technical/Repeater: Pieter ZS6PVW & Mark ZS6MAE
Technical Assistants: Magda ZS6MVW & Riaan ZS6BAR

The AGM was followed with a social gathering in the form of a bring& braai. We thank the previous committee members for their hard work and wish the new committee the best of luck.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at 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 less than 5.

The 15 to 20m bands will provide lots of DX fun.

Please visit the website for further information.


11 Dec Youth Net.
17 Dec Bo Karoo Amateur radio club year end function and AGM.
25 Feb 2017 West Rand Branch Flea market.
4 Mar 2017 Cape Town bumber flea market.

To end this bulletin a short summary of our main news item.

ICASA published the latest band plan over 230 pages in the latest 500 page Government Gazette. The regulatory committee meets with the ICASA delegation on 14 Dec 2016 on reasonswhy amateur radio equipment should be considered for exemption of type approval regulations.

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.

Copyright 1997- 2006  South African Radio League
Last modified: 14 April 2003