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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's 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 this bulletin with news of a silent key

It is with deep regret that we must announce that Alain Krog, ZS2AK, passed away as the result of a motor vehicle accident on the evening of Sunday 23 July. While Alain was a new amateur, he made many friends and will be missed.

We extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends


In the news, today:





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


The first of the three SARL HF Contests, will be on the air next Sunday from 13:00 to 16:30 UTC. This is the HF Phone contest with activity on 20, 40 and 80 metres. See how many zones you can work per band and also how many stations on all three bands. You can participate as a single operator single band station, a single operator all band station, a multi operator single band station or a multi operator all band. Individual competitors and club stations are encouraged to compete. The exchange is a RS report and a consecutive serial number starting at 001.

There are three SARL trophies up for grabs in the phone contest, but you stand a chance to win more trophies if you participate in all three contests. Get all the information on page 34 of the 2017 SARL Blue Book.


There were a number of items discussed at the meeting and each is dealt with under its own heading.


The SARL, ICASA Regional Office and the supplier of geyser load controllers have resolved the problem of interference experienced in areas of the Western Cape. The controller supplied to the Groot Drakenstein municipality by Strike Technologies meets the specification as measured against the type approval specification. The interference problem is created when the geyser is some distance from the mains board where the controller is installed. The problem can be solved by installing a filter. Strike Technologies have agreed to supply filters free of charge to households who report interference on the HF spectrum. This is now a matter between ICASA and Strike Technologies. Radio Amateurs requiring a filter should send an email to with their details.


Persons who paid for a multi-year licence will still receive a one year licence. If the Licensee informed ICASA that the payment was for a multiyear licence, ICASA will rectify the records and issue the appropriate licence. ICASA explained that their old system cannot handle it automatically. A new software system is currently undergoing pilot studies. ICASA expects to have it fully operational by the end of this year. The new system will offer online applications, payments, change of address, printing of a licence and many other facilities.


The meeting discussed a letter sent by the European Communications Office (ECO) requesting the Communications Regulator's Association of Southern Africa (CRASA) to recommend that SADC countries join the CEPT system and adopt TR61-01 and 02. The ECO has also requested CRASA to consider the European Electronic Communications Commission (ECC) recommendation (05)06 which is proposing a CEPT novice licence.

The SARL recommended that CRASA accept the Electronic Communication Committee (ECC) proposal and that ICASA facilitates with CRASA to convince SADC countries to follow South Africa's example. The SARL undertook to arrange a meeting with the respective ICASA officials and discuss the proposal and recommend that, after discussion at CRASA, the SARL takes the initiative to lobby individual SADC countries to enter into an agreement with the ECO. The SARL also requested ICASA to update the ECO with the licence conditions in South Africa. ICASA agreed to set this in motion.


This proposal has been on the agenda since the January 2016 workshop at the NARC. ICASA informed the SARL that it will require a change in the regulations. The SARL will submit a request to ICASA once the new radio frequency band-plan is published and the impact on amateur radio is assessed.


In January 2016, the SARL requested ICASA to consider changes to the following regulation: In Part VII Item 31 (2) including 23 (35), antenna compliance regarding local authorities is covered. The SARL is seeking a revision of this regulation and potentially in a similar format as the FCC PRB1 agreement in the USA regarding the reasonable accommodation of amateur radio antenna installations and zoning ordinances. ICASA has now advised the SARL they will have to submit a formal proposal for a regulation change. It was agreed that the SARL will table all regulation changes in one document.


The SARL tabled the ECC documents for discussion. Although the licence is similar to the current Novice License, the Authority is of the opinion that the South African novice license, restricting it to an under 26 age group, was created to encourage young people to enter into amateur radio and then upgrade to a full licence. ICASA says it serves that purpose. A long discussion followed weighing up possible other advantages. It was resolved that the SARL will follow an internal consultation process and table a formal proposal for discussion at the next meeting (2 November 2017) or at the envisaged regulatory workshop.

The full summary report of all these discussions is available on the SARL web at

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


The SDR workshop will be held on Saturday 19 August at the SARL National Amateur Radio Centre at Radiokop, Roodepoort. The workshop will be presented in two sessions. Session one will deal with the VHF SDR dongle and how to enjoy more fun, such as listening to satellites, receiving weather satellites pictures and astronomy projects. The second session will discuss an HF Dongle and the SARL HF Noise floor monitoring project with details and a demonstration of how to automate this and how to build an autonomous system using a raspberry Pi. For more details point your browser to or send an e-mail to


The annual IARU Region 1 Youngsters On The Air (YOTA) summer event will take place at Gilwell Park on the outskirts of London in the UK during the week of 5 to 12 August this year. This year's YOTA camp has been organised to enable 80 young people from 30 different countries to come together to experience a range of amateur radio activities such as antenna building, portable operation, direction finding, kit building and operating the multi-station special event station GB17YOTA.

With excursions to Bletchley Park, the National Radio Centre and the Science Museum in London, it is certainly going to be an eventful week. Annually this event brings together youngsters from different nationalities to create in addition to amateur radio an opportunity to learn all about different cultures, foster international friendships and goodwill as well as learn new skills.

The team that will be representing South Africa and the South African Radio League at the YOTA 2017 annual event are, Philip Trenwith, ZS6TRE, Ruben van Rensburg, ZR6RJV, and Cameron Eales, ZS6CYE. The youngsters will be part of an unforgettable experience, learn a lot about amateur radio and make many new worldwide friends. We wish the team all the best to travel safely and enjoy the YOTA 2017 experience.

News from the Eastern Cape


The VW rally might have been reduced in sponsorship when compared to previous years, but this year the event was every bit as much fun as it has been in the past. Friday 21 and Saturday 22 July saw the rally taking teams from all over the country through their paces. Events took place near the VW Pavilion in Uitenhage, in the Longmore forest, and around the Bay West shopping Mall in Port Elizabeth.

PEARS once again provided the communications and managed the logistics from a JOC set up in the Bay West Mall. Tony ZR2TX and Bevan ZS2RL manned the JOC along with race officials, medics, and others. Several newcomers made their VW debut - well from an amateur point of view anyway - a special note of thanks to Barry Carr, ZS2BIC, Mike Steenkamp, ZS2MIC and Graydon Higgs, ZU2GH. A big thank you to the old faithful’s as well.

PEARS now looks forward to the TraansBaviaans MTB race and the light house weekend next month.


Sunday 23 July saw the ZS2 Sprint taking place. We mentioned prior to the event that the e-mail address as mentioned in the SARL blue book is incorrect. We would like to remind contestants of the new e-mail address and let everyone know that the deadline has been extended to 6 August to accommodate this inconvenience. Please submit your log in Excel, ADIF, or Cabrillo format, via email to THMJP200@GMAIL.COM by 6 August. Several logs have already been received, but if in any doubt, rather send it again!


In 1932, during the minimum Sunspot Cycle, Karl Guthe Jansky in the USA accidentally discovered cosmic noise from our Galaxy, the Milky Way, on a frequency of 20,5 MHz (14,6 metres wavelength). He was researching the cause of interference to the intercontinental radiotelegraph service for the Bell Laboratories. Jansky's company saw no value in this discovery and directed him to another field of research.

Fortunately he wrote two papers where he mentioned his discovery. Four years later Grote Reber, a radio amateur W9GFZ and engineer, came across these papers and read them. It fired up his imagination and he decided to construct a suitable radio receiver and dish antenna with which to continue the research. Grote Reber discovered many other radio sources in the sky and produced the first map of the radio sky. Today he is referred to as the Father of Radio Astronomy. Read his complete history in the August 2017 issue of RADIO ZS.


On Saturday 24 June the Cape Town ARC had its 71st AGM. The new committee consists of:

Chairman - Rob Bareham ZS1SA
Vice Chairman/Club House - Noel Futter, ZS1FW
Secretary - Anne Bareham
Treasurer - Danny Blanckenberg ZS1BL
Bulletin Coordinator - Tony Kahn ZS1TK
Meetings/Logistics - Paul Kennedy ZS1PXK
Assets Manager - Peter Cloete ZS1PGC
WCRWG Representative and Club house security - Paul Johnson ZS1S
QSL Card Manager - Barry Fletcher ZS1FJ
Photographer, Website and blog spot - Nick Curwell ZS1ZD


The Kempton Park Amateur Radio Technical Society (KARTS) annual flea market will be taking place from 10:00 on Saturday 5 August 2017 at the Dutch Reformed Church grounds on the corner of Marabou and Grasuil Street, Birch Acres, Kempton Park. All the regular dealers will be selling new and second-hand equipment and other goodies. There is a lot of space for individuals that would like to sell from their boots or they can make a table booking at no cost. Eats and drinks will be available from early morning onwards. This event promises to be a most interesting, enjoyable and memorable day.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at low levels. There are currently no sunspots visible. If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around one. The 20 and 30m bands will provide lots of DX fun. 60m will be the best band during day time for shorter distance, local contacts. Please visit the website for further information.

Finally, a Diary of some upcoming events:

05 August – KARTS Flea market
06 August – SARL HF phone contest
09 August – SARL YL Sprint
19 and 20 August – International Lighthouse Weekend
20 August – SARL HF Digital Contest

This concludes our bulletin for this morning.

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 program, 'Amateur Radio Today' at 10:00 Central African Time. The program 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 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