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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. A podcast is available from the League’s web site.

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.

In the news, today:





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

** In a Government Gazette no 40733 of 31 March 2017, ICASA published its regulatory position on Type Approval. Based on the international bench marking study, written and oral representations, the authority has taken the following position in relation to exemption from Type Approval.

No exemption will be granted based on the type of equipment. The authority will develop a framework for the exemption of equipment operating under the circumstances published in a list in the Gazette. Amateur Radio equipment described as follows is included in the list, "Radiocommunication services for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs on a non-commercial basis."

ICASA shall embark on the process of reviewing the current Type Approval Framework and work towards a multi-level Conformity Assessment Framework based on the relevant criteria to deal with equipment intended to be made available commercially in the South African market. The broader framework will incorporate the circumstances under which mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) may be entered and provide for robust market surveillance.

The ICASA notice 248 of 2017 recognises the submission made by the South African Radio League and its position regarding Type Approval. The document is included in a 600 page plus Government Gazette. As soon as the notice is available on its own, it will be published on the League web site.

** SARL News has been informed that since midnight on Friday 31 March 2017, the status of a radio amateur over the age of 25 and holding a ZU qualification has unfortunately changed to no longer being legally licenced. This is because of the age restriction clause in the radio regulations coming into power on 1 April 2017, making South Africa the only country in the world with an age restriction on a licence class.

** Radio amateurs are invited to submit interesting VHF news items for posting on the SARL Homepage and help to advance Amateur Radio. This is where League members and non-members can view the VHF news in South Africa and it is also exposed worldwide. A few news items have been received from as far afield as North and South America, such as the reception report received from Florida, USA, of the ZS2X 50,007 MHz FSK MHz beacon near Port Elizabeth. Please e-mail your news items to Mike, ZS2FM, at

** On Thursday evening 6 April, you can participate in the first leg of the popular SARL 80 m QSO Party. The contest starts at 17:00 UTC and ends 3 hours later with phone activity in the segments 3 603 to 3 650 kHz and 3 700 to 3 800 kHz. The exchange is your name and call sign and a RS signal report. Contacts with stations in South Africa count 10 points and contacts with stations outside South Africa count 15 points. Log sheets, ONLY in MS Excel format, must be submitted by 13 April 2017 by e-mail to

** The April 2017 issue of Radio ZS is available for download from the League's website. Do you have antenna problems there in your living complex, there is an article on Moxon antennas into the attic. Leon ZR6LU, tells us more about solar panels and Mike ZS2FM discuss VHF and UHF news in his regular column.

You are listening to a news bulletin of the South African Radio League. Have you shown amateur radio to a friend?

** The low sunspot count could provide exciting challenges on VHF and UHF. After World War I, radio amateurs discovered worldwide DX on the HF bands via F2 propagation. The experts claimed that the so-called Ultra High Frequencies above 30 MHz were only suitable for Line-of-sight communications. Today we know differently that there are many other propagation modes present on VHF and UHF and we do not have to depend only on F2 propagation anymore. Many commercial and military stations have already relocated to Satellites for more reliable communications. Then we have worldwide amateur EME that is not affected by tropospheric or ionospheric conditions either. Solar Cycle 24 is the weakest in a century and is now heading to the next Solar minimum. So instead of hanging up your amateur equipment like the proverbial saddle, start exploring the exciting VHF bands and learn more about the vagaries of VHF communications. It is worth a try.

** The Autumn QRP contest will be on the air on Saturday 8 April from 12:00 to 15:00 UTC. This contest is intended to be fun activities to promote QRP operation between radio amateurs. Using homebuilt equipment or operating as a portable/field station and using temporary antennas is encouraged, but is not a requirement.

The first hour is limited to the 40 m band only, the remaining two hours the contesters are free to use any HF (non-WARC) band as they see fit. Comply with the contest-preferred segments as detailed in the general rules. You may use SSB and CW with 5 watts (PEP) output or less and a station may be worked once per band per mode.

The exchange is a RS or RST report and your Grid locator, please use the full 6-character grid locator. e.g. KG41ad and please consider exchanging realistic RS(T) signal reports. With DX contacts the locator information can be omitted. Each contact counts 1 point, each South African call area 0 through 9 counts as a multiplier and each DXCC country worked counts as a multiplier. There is also a Station type multiplier.

Logs, in ADIF, Cabrillo or MS Excel format and labelled “your call sign QRP Contest,” must be submitted by 15 April 2017 by e-mail to and a photo(s) of the station operating (JPG format) MUST accompany every log entry.

** The provisional results of the SARL Hamnet 40 m Simulated Emergency Contest have been announced.

Category A: Single Operator, stationary mobile.
Philip van Tonder, ZS6PVT, 1 440 points
Kevin Smith, ZS6KVN, 144 points
Lucas Swart, ZS6ACT, 4 points

Category B: Single operator, portable
Brian Jones, ZS6BV, 900 points
Al Akers, ZS2U, 744 points
Robert Higgs, ZU2GH, 24 points

Category C: Multi operator, portable
Port Elizabeth Amateur Radio Society, ZS2PE, 120 points

Category D: Single operator, Base station
Jan Botha, ZS4JAN, 2 380 points
Hamnet, New Germany, ZS5DCC, 1 638 points
Arthur Duvenhage, ZS5DUV, 1 386

Congratulations to the category winners. The full results will be published in HF Happenings.

** Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at low levels. All the visible sunspots are stable with no threat of major storming. If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around seventeen. The 15 to 30m bands will provide lots of DX fun. With the equinox here, the 10 m band may also hold some surprises on sunlit paths. Please visit the website for further information.

A diary of some upcoming events:

6 April – SARL 80 m QSO Party
8 April – Autumn QRP Sprint
15 April – Closing date for May RAE registration
18 April - World Amateur Radio Day
19 April – Closing date for SARL National Convention registration
22 April –SDR Workshop in the Cape and SARL Noise Floor Workshop at the NARC
23 April – ZS4 Sprint
6 May - The South African Radio League National Convention

** To conclude our bulletin a quick overview of our main news item

In a Government Gazette no 40733 of 31 March 2017, ICASA published its regulatory position on Type Approval. Based on the international bench marking study, written and oral representations, the authority has taken a position in relation to exemption from Type Approval.

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 with a change in frequency from Monday 27 March 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 Dennis Green, ZS4BS, edited by Dave Reece, ZS1DFR, and read by ..............

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


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Last modified: 14 April 2003