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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:






** The South African Radio League National Convention which includes the Annual General Meeting and the Awards Dinner takes place at Bergvallei in Muldersdrift just north of Johannesburg on Saturday 6 May 2017. The event is being hosted by the West Rand Amateur Radio Club.

If you are attending the AGM and Awards Dinner it is essential that you book no later than Wednesday 19 April to secure your place. The cost of the dinner is R200 per head for SARL members and R300 per head for non-members. If you are attending the AGM and wish to enjoy lunch provided then you to let us know by 19 April so that we can advise the caterers. Lunch costs R65 per head.

The guest speaker at the Awards Dinner is Mark Comninos, co-founder of Marcom Aeronautics and Space, Pty Ltd. Their mission is the development, testing and operation of a family of commercial satellite launch vehicles around common core technologies. Mark's address will inspire and motivate you.

To secure your place, please e-mail or call Kelley at the SARL office on 011 675 2393 or Geoff Levey, ZS6C, on 082 546 5546. Please note that your reservation is not effective until you have made payment in full.

Be advised that the official notice and documentation for the AGM has been sent out on Thursday 6 April 2017. If you cannot attend yourself, please make sure that you appoint a proxy whom you trust to vote as you would.

Don't delay - book your place today!

** Two South African built satellites about to be launched. The South African satellite industry is taking another step forward as a player in the international space arena with the launch of two South African built nanosatellites from Cape Canaveral in Florida USA.

Two CubeSats, ‘nSight1’ designed and manufactured by Cape Town-based SCS Space, a member of the SCS Aerospace Group and ‘ZA-Aerosat’ designed and manufactured by CubeSpace of the Stellenbosch University, are to be launched as part of a batch totalling 28 CubeSats from 23 different countries

The launch is set for 18 April 2017 at 17:11 South African time. Their initial destination is the International Space Station (ISS), where they will be unloaded by the ISS crew with the help of robotic arms. The satellites will eventually be deployed into low-earth orbit over a period of 30 to 60 days as the ISS orbits the Earth.

Both the South African satellites are part of the QB50 project funded by the European Union and managed by the von Karman Institute to conduct research in the lower thermosphere between 200 to 380 km altitude. The data collected from this experiment over a period of 18 months will be used to complement current atmospheric models especially applicable to re-entry trajectories of spacecraft. All CubeSats will eventually burn up at the end of their operational lifetimes.

All the CubeSats in the QB50 project will mainly operate on frequencies in the 2 m and 70 cm amateur bands. To avoid interference to terrestrial amateur radio activity the frequency was coordinated by the IARU Satellite Adviser and his advisory panel.

** RF Noise Floor Workshop. The half-day workshop to discuss the increasing levels in the RF Noise Floor will be held on Saturday 22 April at the SARL National Amateur Radio Centre starting at 08:30 for 09:00. The agenda and registration form can be downloaded from The workshop is sponsored by the South African Radio league as a service to amateur radio. Attendance is free but registration is requested to assist with catering and seating arrangements.

The SARL has this week finalised its investigation into the interference created by load controllers deployed in the Groot Drakenstein municipality. The outcome will be presented at the workshop. Other presentations with include measurement standards and the use of SDR dongles in monitoring the amateur bands. The discussions will also include the formation of a permanent work group.

** Big Turnout Expected at the AMSAT SA SDR Workshop in Cape Town. If you have not yet booked for the AMSAT SA SDR Workshop to be held at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology on Saturday 22 April 2017, there is still time to do so. The closing date is Thursday 20 April. The full programme and registration form are available on

The programme includes presentations about "What is Software Defined Radio", GNU Radio Software platform for developing SDR, Satellite Ground station using SDR, Using a RTL Dongle and the SA Large Telescope.

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

** The major meteor shower season has started. The Lyrids meteor shower appears between 16 April and 25 April each year, and peaks around 22 April with a visible trail rate of 18 per hour. Radio bursts from major showers last longer and are stronger, and can support analogue communications such as SSB, FM or even fast CW. A major meteor shower will be active almost every month from now on until beginning of January next year. Digital communications are possible daily as there are 88 major and minor showers scattered throughout the year. So, give it a try.

** Short opening to Reunion Island. Hugo van Zyl, ZS5HV, at Scottburgh says that Lee, ZS5LEE, in Durban reported an opening to Reunion Island on 5 April 2017, in the morning between 05:38 and 11:06 CAT. Philippe Mondon, FR5DN, was using his OPERA beacon as a test. Unfortunately, they missed out on this opening and only realized it in the evening. The signals reported on OPERA was between -17 dB and -21 dB. OPERA sounds like CW, no timing accuracy is needed and reports are routed to PSKreporter. Info: OPERA is less stress on the beacon, but is slightly less sensitive than JT65. TX is around 30 seconds with adjustable periods in between.

** Some gremlins crept into the results of the VHF/UHF contest. The following should have been the correct results.

Base station Unlimited - Analogue and Digital
1st Dick Coates, ZS6BUN - 95 996 points
2nd Jacques Louw, ZS4WW - 37 534 points
3rd Harry Holtzhausen, ZR6AMC - 9 861 points

Base station Limited - Analogue only
1st Carl Minne, ZS6CBQ - 132 003 points
2nd Pierre Lindeque, ZS4PF - 33 693 points
3rd Hennie Rheeder, ZS6ALN – 1 800 points

** The Pretoria Amateur Radio Club will host their next boot sale on Saturday 29 April 2017 at their usual place at Pretoria Old Motor Club, in Keuning Street, Silverton. The starting time is 10:00 and the gates will open for sellers at 09:30. Our famous boerewors rolls and drinks will be available. Come and enjoy the morning with us. To book a table or to get more information, please contact Almero du Pisani on 083 938 8955 or send an email to

** RAE Registration Date 21 April. There are still quite a few RAE candidates who have not finalised their RAE registration. Due to the registration closing date falling during the Easter Weekend, it has been decided to extend the registration closing date to Friday 21 April. No late registrations will be accepted after this date.

** Update your e-mail address. Kelly at the NARC asks that SARL Members will check and update their e-mail address. Kelly receives about 55 bounced e-mails each time a SARL Communication is sent out. Go to your call book entry and update your email address today.

** AWA Valve QSO Party Dates Revised. Due to the AGM being held on Saturday 6 May, the AWA Valve QSO Party in AM and SSB has been moved to Saturday 13 May for AM and Sunday 14 May for SSB. All other requirements as per the SARL Blue Book Remain.

** Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at low levels. The visible sunspot is relatively stable with only a minor chance for C-class solar flares.

If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around 10.

The 15 to 30m bands will provide lots of DX fun. With the effect of the equinox still lingering the 10m band will also hold some surprises on sunlit paths.

Please visit the website for further information.

A Diary of some upcoming events:

18 April - World Amateur Radio Day
21 April – Final closing date for RAE Registration
22 April –SDR Workshop in the Cape and SARL Noise Floor Workshop at the NARC
23 April – ZS4 Sprint
29 April- PARC Boot sale at Pretoria Old Motor Club
6 May - The South African Radio League National Convention
13 and 14 May - AWA AM and SSB QSO Party

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

The South African Radio League National Convention which includes the Annual General Meeting and the Awards Dinner takes place at Bergvallei in Muldersdrift just north of Johannesburg on Saturday 6 May 2017. The event is being hosted by the West Rand Amateur Radio Club.

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 Andy Cairns, ZS6ADY, edited by Dick Stratford, ZS6RO, and read by ..............

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


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Last modified: 14 April 2003