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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.

Audio and text bulletins may be downloaded from the League website at where you can also sign up to receive future bulletins by e-mail.

In the news today:





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


The aim of the Pears HF DX Contest is to encourage Southern African radio amateurs to work DX and takes place from 12:00 to 16:00 UTC this afternoon. You may use SSB, CW, PSK, RTTY and JT65 on 20, 15 and 10 metres. Participation can be as a single operator - base or field station or a multi operator - base or field station. Stations may use the maximum power permitted according to the regulations in the country of operation. The exchange is your call sign and a RS or RST report.

One point is earned for each QSO. A station may be contacted once on each contest band. Field stations must multiply their score by two (2) and a further multiplier of two (2) is available if the station uses a non-gain antenna with reference to a dipole. Then the score is multiplied by the number of countries contacted. Should more than three logs be received per category, a certificate will be awarded to the winner in each category. Log sheets must be submitted by 20 November 2017 to the Port Elizabeth Amateur Radio Society, PO Box 10402, Linton Grange, Port Elizabeth, 6015 or by e-mail to No late submissions will be considered.


Dennis, ZS4BS has lost the antenna design articles submitted for the Radio ZS Antenna Design Competition following a glitch on the hard drive of his laptop - the only entry he has is the one submitted by post.

Members who submitted antenna articles, Dennis remembers that ZS6BNE, ZS4CGR, ZS2U, ZS5U and ZS6TVB submitted, there were more, must PLEASE re-submit your antenna design article to by Friday 17 November 2017.


ICASA has informed the League that they have printed around 1 400 multi-year amateur radio Licences. Mailing will start towards the end of next week. If you paid for a multi-year license, please look out for it in the mail. Allow at least two weeks for postal delivery.


The SARL has again joined forces with AMSAT SA to present another workshop in the SDR series. It will be held at the NARC on Saturday 18 November 2017. The agenda includes: Feedback on the HF RF Noise Floor monitoring project discussion at the IARU Region 1 Conference, the way forward in the SARL Noise floor monitoring project including electing a steering committee, practical demonstration on setting up a monitoring system on both a Raspberry Pi and a laptop PC, tracking of satellites, receiving weather satellites using a dongle, downloading and processing of weather pictures and downloading and working with Fun Cube telemetry. For booking details, software and dongles visit


The allocation for access to the portion of the 5 MHz amateur secondary allocation as agreed at WRC-15 is contained in the revised band plan, submitted by ICASA to the Minister of Telecommunication and Postal Services (DTPS) for approval. In June this year, the Minister issued a statement that Cabinet had approved the plan, but a few days later cancelled the approval and instructed ICASA to hold back publication until certain aspects of the plan have been discussed between DTPS and ICASA. No details are available, but from some media source the SARL has learned that it is about issues around the allocation of frequencies for broadband services.

The Minister, through his spokesperson, has been requested clarification on the delay in releasing the band plan. It has also been suggested to the Minister that the portion of the plan, like amateur radio, which is not affected by the disagreement between ICASA and DTPS, be released. Speaking with the DTPS Minister spokesperson on Thursday, the SARL was told that the Ministry will comment in the next few days on why the delays.

Recently the DTPS Minister issued a statement that 9 draft bills around communication will be published for public comment, several new ones and some amended bills. The proposed Bills deal with the establishment of a Wholesale Open Access Network (WOAN). Drafts of the new and amendment bills are expected from around mid-November. The SARL will be closely monitoring the proposed Bills as some may affect amateur radio.
You are listening to a news Bulletin of the South African Amateur Radio League.


Contrary to the myth that Microwave equipment is too expensive, a modern trend is developing where DX operation is slowly shifting to the Microwave frequencies where there are already a lot of Microwave activities in the rest of the world. Here are the main reasons: In the earlier days analogue EME required 1 kilowatt of power on CW with expensive large dishes on 2,3 GHz and 5,7 GHz as operated by the late Ivo Chladek, ZS6AXT. HF DX operation depends on conditions in the ionosphere as affected by the Sun and the sunspot number during the Minimum Solar Cycle, whereas EME DX is possible daily as long as two distant stations can see the Moon, except, of course, when the Moon is too close to the Sun.

When the digital era arrived, things started to change on Microwave EME. There was no longer a need for high power or large dishes. For example, Rex Moncur, VK7MO, tested a small portable EME station on 10 GHz JT4, using a 77-cm dish fed with 45 Watts and worked Charlie Suckling, G3WDG, over 17 410 km. Then he tried a 47-cm dish on 24 GHz and copied W5LUA, but the latter could not detect the QRP 4-Watt signal. On 5 March 2014, VK7MO established a new World EME record on 24 GHz with G3WDG. VK7MO used a 1,14-metre dish with 10 Watts and G3GWGB also ran 10 Watts into a 3-metre dish. Their equipment was GPS-locked and could cope with a wider liberation spreading on this band. All this will also open a new world for townhouse EME DX operation!

As future activity increases on Microwaves, so the manufacturers will start thinking about producing suitable equipment for the amateur fraternity. Although this country was trailing far behind on digital microwave operation, Alex Artieda, ZS6EME (HB9DRI), put South Africa back on the Microwave Digital Map. He recently had two-way EME contacts with several DX stations on 10 GHz as well as 5,7 GHz while using 50 Watts into a 1,5-metre dish and last year he covered 2,3 GHz on digital. Alex also wrote a comprehensive article for DUBUS, the German Amateur Radio VHF/UHF and Microwave Magazine, describing how to obtain 300 Watts from a pair of MRF51P21180R6 LDMOS devices on 13 cm (2,3 GHz).


At the 2017 IARU Region 1 General Conference, Committee 5 created a new Contest Working Group who is responsible for organising future Region 1 VHF and above contests. This Working Group is looking for the opinions of the contesters and/or contest teams who submit their logs to the contest robot or to the national contest manager. They also want input from the amateurs who are "giving away points" and do not submit their logs. This is very important to improve the activity on our bands, so it would be good if as many people as possible answer this survey.

To participate in the survey, which takes about 15 minutes, follow the link The survey will close on 30 November 2017.


The SARL has been dealing with ICASA at the highest level to resolve this issue. On 10 October the SARL lodged an official complaint with the Chairman of the ICASA Council as well as the CEO and followed up with a reminder last week. On Thursday 2 November the impasse was discussed with one of the ICASA Councillors and other senior officials who undertook to take up the SARL complaint with the relevant officials. At no stage was homebrew affected by the ban on the sale of amateur radio equipment. In a recent publication in the Government Gazette ICASA stated its position on Type Approval as follows:

"Based on the International Benchmarking Study, written and oral representations from stakeholders, the Authority has taken the following position in relation to exemption of equipment from Type Approval:

8.1. No exemption will be granted on the basis of the type of equipment. The Authority considers such exemption to be pre-mature at this stage and has the potential of possibly yielding irreversible unintended consequences.

8.2. The Authority will develop a framework for the exemption of equipment operating under the circumstances included but not limited to those listed in Table 1."

Amateur Radio is amongst the categories to be considered for type approval exemption. It reads: "Amateur Radio Radiocommunication services for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs on a non-commercial basis."

The SARL ICASA liaison meeting will be held later this month. The items are also on the agenda for this meeting.


The Durban ARC has the pleasure to announce the final results of the SARL 80 Metre QSO Party for 2017. The results from the second leg held in October

1st Keverne Thurling, ZS1ABU - 600 points
2nd Pieter Jacobs, ZS6XT – 505 points
3rd Thanie Gibson, ZS4AZ – 510 points

Congratulations to Keverne!

The combined results of the April and October legs.
1st Thanie Gibson, ZS4AZ – 1 090 points
2nd Woody Collet, ZS3WL – 805 points
3rd Barry Nugent, ZS2NF – 700 points

Congratulations to Thanie, who is also the first amateur to achieve more than 1 000 points in this contest. Well done!


The following are the results of the Antique Wireless Association Valve QSO Party held on 7 and 8 October 2017.

1st Barrie Nugent, ZS2NF
No other logs were received.

1st Thanie Gibson, ZS4AZ
2nd Theunis Potgieter, ZS2EC
3rd Barrie Nugent, ZS2NF

Congratulations to these stations! Your certificates will be in the mail soon.


The following committee was elected at the AGM held on 1 November 2017:

Chairman: Lucas Swart, ZS6ACT
Secretary, repeaters and technical: Detlev Hoffmann, ZS6BAB
Treasurer: Gert Botha, ZS6GC
Training: Phillip O’Neil, ZS6PJO
Contests: Christo Kriek, ZR6LJK
Projects: Christo Kriek, ZR6LJK, Willie Taljaard, ZS6WBT and Cor Rademeyer, ZS6CR
Media liaison: Elna Botha, ZS6EB


On 11 November, the Overberg Amateur Radio Club will be holding their end of the year function at Stanford. This will be the usual bring and braai. Coals and salads will be available and if you want to camp overnight, that can be arranged. It will be at the QTH of John and Judy and visitors are welcome. Just bring your meat and whatever. For further details contact Andre, ZS1AZ, at 072 729 1680 or 028 514 2018.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at very 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 15 to 30 m bands will provide lots of DX fun with some weak 10 m openings also possible. Please visit the website for further information.

Finally, a diary of some upcoming events:

Today – the PEARS HF DX Contest and Hamnet Gauteng South at the Tshwane Classic Race
11 November – the Overberg Amateur Radio Club Year-end function in Stanford
18 November – the SDR Workshop at the NARC; the Antique Wireless Association Museum Open Day, Flea market and AGM, also on 18 November, the Bo Karoo ARC AGM and ZS40VDK Bash
25 November – the SARL Newbie Sprint and the West Rand Flea Market
25 and 26 November – the CQ WW DX CW Contest
1 December – the start of the YOTA month
3 December – the SARL Digital Contest

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

The aim of the Pears HF DX Contest is to encourage Southern African radio amateurs to work DX and takes place from 12:00 to 16:00 UTC this afternoon. You may use SSB, CW, PSK, RTTY and JT65 on 20, 15 and 10 metres. Participation can be as a single operator - base or field station or a multi operator - base or field station. Stations may use the maximum power permitted according to the regulations in the country of operation. The exchange is your call sign and a RS or RST report.

This 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 4 895 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