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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.











** A joint SARL/AMSAT SA workshop about enhancing the SDR experience is being planned for early August at the NARC and later in the month in Cape Town. The workshop will focus on getting more fun from a VHF SDR dongle. The second part of the workshop will focus on how to kick start the SARL monitoring of the increase in the RF noise floor project using the SDR waterfall.

Both a HF and VHF dongle will be available as well as a memory stick with the required SDR and some fun software.

More details will be published soon. If you are interested in attending the workshops, please send an e-mail with your details to and you will be added to a mailing list to keep you up to date with details of the workshops in Gauteng and the Western Cape.

** The Hammies Sprint is a fun activity to promote contacts between radio amateurs in Southern African countries with an emphasis on ZU stations. The Hammies Sprint takes place from 14:00 to 15:00 UTC this afternoon and is a phone contest on the 40 metre band between 7 063 and 7 100, and 7 130 and 7 200 kHz. The exchange is a RS report and your provincial abbreviation. Stations outside South Africa give a RS report and DX.

Contacts with stations in the same ZS region are worth 1 point and contacts with stations in other ZS regions or DX stations are worth 2 points. Contacts with the Hammies ARC ZS6ZU or ZS2U and/or any other Hammies club that may be registered at the time of the Sprint are worth 5 points. Contacts with any ZU station is worth 3 points and contacts between ZU stations are worth 5 points.

Logs, in ADIF, Cabrillo or MS Excel format and labelled "your call sign Hammies," must be submitted by 18 June 2017 and sent by e-mail to or Certificates will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places and certificates will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places for ZU stations.

** Radio astronomers have discovered a very long time ago that the antenna system is the most important part of radio astronomy, to pick up the faintest of very distant radio emissions in the Universe. They started off with a 76 meter parabolic dish at Jodrell Bank in England, and now they are focussing on the construction of 3000 fifteen-meter dishes in the Karoo for the SKA. Radio amateurs should learn from this as they can no longer build their own VHF transceivers, except for a few very skilled guys, but they can still construct high gain Yagi or dish type antenna masterpieces. It has been proven that horizontal polarization is more effective on terrestrial VHF, UHF and SHF communications than vertical, and also picks up less noise. So start building a high gain horizontally polarized Yagi for your favourite VHF band or above, and the results will more than surprise you.

** An e-mail was received by ZS4A and ZS2FM from the UK Six Metre Group with reference to the recent Lightning Scatter report on the SARL Homepage. It reads:

Hello gentlemen. Please allow me to introduce myself. I write the 'What's On Six' column for the Six News magazine published by the UK Six Meter Group. Recently an article about your observations of lightning scatter observed at 2 meters was forwarded to me. I noticed in the article some discussion about the possible use of lightning scatter on 50MHz. Would you please tell me if you have utilized that mode of communication successfully on six meters? If you have, would you consider writing me a report about this propagation mode, and your experiences with it on 50MHz? I think it would be of great interest to the readers. I've attached a recent copy of the magazine so you can see what it is. Thank you. 73, Chris Patterson W3CMP.

** And now for some beacon news. This past week saw Graham ZS6GL becoming the fourth member of the high-kilometer club when his beacon was spotted in Hawaii by AH6GT in grid square BK29ap. The distance was 19,193km with 250mW output on 14.097MHz. Graham says he waited nearly six months but his patience eventually paid off handsomely. Congratulations to Graham! For more information on what the Beaconeers are doing you can contact ZR6LU Leon Uys on e-mail or WhatsApp on 082 573 5580.

** As you may be aware, the Scouts Jamboree on the Air weekend is fast approaching and is being held over the weekend of the 20th to 22nd October 2017.

This is a great event and with it being in its 60th year, has become an integral event for Hams and Scouts to get together and make those all important contacts with other scouts from around South Africa and the World. The Jamboree is the largest scouting event in the World, with approximately 1.5 million Cubs, Scouts and Guides taking part from every continent on Earth.

What can Amateur Radio Clubs and individuals do for this great event? How about setting up a small station, or inviting a Group to your station for either the day or the weekend. A simple field day type station is all that is required. Show the youth what Amateur Radio is all about and get them making contacts. Smaller events held with either a troop, or a district are encouraged as this gives the youngsters more time and chances to operate.

Last year, we saw a 400% growth in Amateur Radio stations, with a total of 18 Amateur Radio stations in operation.

If you are able to assist or would like more information regarding this fantastic event, please contact Richard Hooper on and he will put you in direct contact with the District Commissioner and the Scouter in charge of the nearest Scouting group to you.

The youth are the future of our fantastic hobby, and with Scouting, they work so well together.

** The following are the results of the AWA Valve QSO Party held on 13 and 14 May 2017.

First place: Helge ZS6HB
Second: Patrick ZS1PDY

First Place: Helge ZS6HB
Second: Theunis ZS2EC
Third: Patrick ZS1PDY

There were a total of 2 logs submitted for the AM session and 5 logs submitted for the SSB. Conditions were really not great and even with these poor conditions there were still a fair number of stations taking part, most just giving away points.

Also noted is there are really not that many valve rigs being used, but nice to see the FT101s making an impact as the most used valve rig. It is a hybrid and only scores 2 points, but that's one more than minimum. If you are using an FT101 and contact an FT101, that's 4 points.

I need to remind people to read the Contest rules carefully before submitting logs. One of the areas which could be losing many points is not filling in the rig the calling station is using and secondly not filling in the rig contacted.

Valve rigs give additional points and where this field is left blank, you only score minimum points.

Thanks to all who took part and succeeded in breaking through the poor conditions.

Your certificates will be e-mailed in the next few weeks.

** Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at low levels. There is currently no threat of strong solar flares.

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

The 18 to 30m bands will provide lots of DX fun.

60m will be the best band for local contacts.

Please visit the web site for further information.

** Let’s look at some upcoming events:

11 June – Hammies Sprint
17 June – World QRP Day
22 – 26 June – SARL Top Band QSO Party
1 July – SARL Newbie Sprint
2 July – ZS5 Sprint
8 – 9 July – IARU HF Championships

** To conclude our bulletin a quick overview of our main news item: A joint SARL/AMSAT SA workshop about enhancing the SDR experience is being planned for early August at the NARC and later in the month in Cape Town. The workshop will focus on getting more fun from a VHF SDR dongle. The second part of the workshop will focus on how to kick start the SARL monitoring of the increase in the RF noise floor project using the SDR waterfall.

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