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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 a silent key.

It is with regret that we pass on the news that the key of Peter Lunow, ZR2PEL, went silent on Monday. Peter had just celebrated his 79th birthday earlier this month. The funeral is set for Monday 27 February.

PEARS would like to offer Peter's family and friends our sincere condolences and assurances that Peter will be missed.


In the news today:







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

** The South African Radio League Digital Contest is on the air this afternoon from 13:00 to 16:00 UTC with activity on 80, 40 and 20 metres. The aim of the contest is to establish as many contacts as possible between radio amateurs in Southern Africa using PSK31 and RTTY modes. PSK31 is preferred at the lower end of the specified frequencies and RTTY at the upper end. Please note that USB must be used at all times. The exchange is a RST report and a sequential serial number starting at 001. See the 2017 Blue Book for all the information.

** The SARL Amateur Radio Hall of Fame honours individuals who have made lasting contributions to Amateur Radio in Southern Africa and aims to preserve its history. SARL members elected nine inaugural members last year. It was decided to allow another batch of up to ten members this year after which a maximum of two members will be inducted annually.

Nominations for this year close at the end of this month. The Hall of Fame page is accessible from the SARL Home Page. More than a dozen nominations have been received and ten of them have been posted on the Web.

Several stalwarts of Amateur Radio did not make it in the initial round, in some cases because they had not been nominated. Let us ensure that all the Deserving get included, so that their contributions can be preserved for posterity.

With less than a week to the deadline, there is no time to waste. A nomination template is available on the SARL Web site. The nominations already listed can be used as an example of what is required.

** The South African Radio League Hamnet 40 m Simulated Emergency Contest is on the air next Sunday afternoon. This SSB Contest is open to all Radio Amateurs in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mozambique, Lesotho, Marion Island and South African Antarctica. Only contacts with these areas will count. The Contest runs from 12:00 to 14:00 UTC on Sunday 5 March 2017 and it is a phone contest in the band segments 7 063 to 7 100 kHz and 7 130 to 7 200 kHz. You can participate as a Single operator stationary mobile; a Single operator portable; a Multi-operator portable or a Single operator base station. Get the complete rules in the 2017 Blue Book.

** The Contest Committee received twenty-six logs and one check log for the first leg of the National Field Day. The results will be published in HF Happenings 743 in the coming week and in SARL News next Sunday.

** The March 2017 issue of Radio ZS will be available for download from Tuesday 28 February. In this issue, you can find out how to build the K3NG keyer and a double bazooka antenna. The East Rand Branch and the Sasolburg ARC share their Field Day weekend with readers. We have a look at keeping new radio amateurs in the hobby and Mike, ZS2FM, tells us more about why bridging the Atlantic is still the greatest challenge on 144 MHz.

** Poor Tropo conditions limited the analogue range to 390 km, as well as the number of contacts made in the PEARS national contest. ZS3JPY at Kleinzee and ZS5LEE in Durban stated that they only worked one station each, ZS3CVB in Port Nolloth and ZS4A at Bethlehem, respectively. Nevertheless at least 25 logs were received countrywide covering all six categories of the contest. What Tropo lacked Meteor Scatter made up for in the Digital contest where new records were established. Last year the overall analogue winner scored 82 075 points, whereas the current digital overall winner has now surpassed the 100 000 mark for the first time in the history of the PEARS contest. PEARS can now claim to be truly a National VHF/UHF Contest.

Overall Digital Winner
Pieter Jacobs, V51PJ (Base) - 101 430 points
1st Runner-up: Rickus De Lange, ZS4A (Base) - 19 250 points
2nd Runner-up: Paul Smit, ZS6NK (Base) - 17 552 points

Overall Analogue Winner
Cape Radio Group ZS1CRG (Club) - 24 956 points. (Operated by ZS1DUP, ZS1HE, ZS1ABU, ZS1DWH)
1st Runner-up: Christo Greyling, ZR6AUI (Field) - 19 680 points
2nd Runner-up: Rickus De Lange, ZS4A (Base) - 3 261 points

Longest Distance on Digital
50 MHz: Pieter Jacobs V31PJ and Paul Smit ZS6NK - 1347 km
70 MHz: Pieter Jacobs V51PJ and Paul Smit ZS6NK - 1347 km
144 MHz: Pieter Jacobs V51PJ and Rickus De Lange ZS4A - 1 138 km

Winner Limited Category (Digital): Andre Botes ZS2ACP (Base) - 43 832 points

Rover Category:
Winner: Alex Gogos ZR2T (Rover) - 4142 points
1st Runner-up: Andrew Gray ZS2G (Rover) - 915 points.

Winners of the Divisional FM Category:
Division 6: Max Bouckley ZS6MAX (Base) - 490 points
1st runner-up: Kevin Suckling ZS6KGS (Base) - 280 points
Division 2: Dakota Watson ZU2DW (Field) - 180 points
1st Runner-up: Hugo Ras ZS2HR (Field) - 120 points

Divisional Analogue Winners:
Division 1: Cape Radio Group ZS1CRG (Field) - 24 956 km
Division 2: Al Akers ZS2U (Base) - 1 574 points
Mike Higgs ZU2MOO (Field) - 1710 points
Division 4: Rickus De Lange ZS4A (Base) - 3 261 points
Division 6: Christo Greyling ZR6AUI (Field) - 19 680 points

** Now for some beacon news. Listeners are reminded of the Beacon Workshop to be held at National Amateur Radio Centre on Saturday 11 March 2017 starting at 08:30. There is a small entrance fee of R20 to cover expenses. Enrolments can be sent to Leon Uys, ZR6LU, via SMS or WhatsApp on 082 573 5580. If you are unable to attend but would still like a copy of the papers please contact the organisers who will gladly send you a copy.

This is also a further call for anybody who is running a beacon anywhere in South Africa to contact Leon Uys, ZR6LU, with information about your beacon. He is currently busy compiling a list of beacons and will publish the first results in March after which the information will be kept up to date.

** Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at low to moderate levels. None of the active regions visible on the Sun poses any threat for strong flares. If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 12. The 15 to 30 m bands will provide lots of DX fun. Please visit the website for further information.

** Let’s look at some upcoming events:

Today – the SARL Digital Contest
4 March – CTARC Bumper Flea Market
5 March – SARL Hamnet 40 m Contest
11 March – Beacon Workshop at NARC
11 – 12 March – SARL VHF / UHF Contest
11 – 12 March – RSGB Commonwealth Contest
25 - 26 March – CQ WPX SSB Contest

** To conclude our bulletin a quick overview of our main news item:
The SARL Amateur Radio Hall of Fame honours individuals who have made lasting contributions to Amateur Radio in Southern Africa and aims to preserve its history. Nominations for this year close at the end of this month.

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, edited by Dennis Green, ZS4BS, and read by ..............

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


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Last modified: 14 April 2003