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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 Central African Time in Afrikaans and at 08:30 Central African 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.

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.


Friday 24 November is Black Friday, visit and you may catch the deal of the year.


The second leg of the SARL Newbie QSO Party takes place from 08:00 to 20:00 UTC on Saturday 25 November 2017 with phone activity on 80, 40 and 20 metres. The aim of this QSO Party is a fun activity to encourage all new radio amateurs to become active on the radio.

Log sheets in MS Excel format only must be submitted by Monday 11 December 2017 by e-mail to A certificate will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.

The exchange and the scoring depend on the length that you have been a radio amateur, so please consult page 56 of the 2017 Blue Book for those details.


This week the quarterly ICASA/SARL liaison meeting spent most of the two-hour long meeting discussing type approval and how to overcome the legal obstacles that require all equipment using the frequency spectrum to be type approved. It should be made quite clear that home construction as part of the ethos of the amateur radio service and the ITU definition of the amateur radio service is not under consideration for type approval as contained in the current type approval regulation.

When the type approval regulations were promulgated a few years ago in terms of the ECA (Electronic Communication Act) ICASA did not meet all the requirements of the act which required that there should be a defined exemption regime in the regulation. When ICASA realised that they had erred on this, the authority initiated public consultation in which the SARL participated. This led to the publication of a government gazette earlier this year which defined ICASA's thinking on the issue and acknowledged that amateur radio equipment could be considered a candidate for exemption. According to legal experts this process is slow and lengthy and could take up to two years.

Last week's meeting was attended by staff from the ICASA department working on Type Approval and provided the SARL the opportunity to explain in detail how the amateur service operates, its role within society and the value it adds to the country. The main objective of the discussion was to find an interim solution to bridge the gap until the final exemption regulations have been finalised and gazetted. ICASA will now consider how best to deal with this and make a recommendation to the ICASA Council. The long discussion on Type Approval and attendance by Type Approval Department personnel was the outcome of SARL correspondence and discussions with the ICASA CEO, Chairman of the Council and individual councillors.

The SARL was represented by Nico van Rensburg ZS6QL, Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV and Colin de Villiers ZS6COL.


AMSAT SA will hold its annual Space Symposium on Saturday 19 May 2018 at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria. The theme of the symposium is "Exploring Amateur Radio with satellites, and new space frontiers." Proposal for papers are now invited. Send your proposals and a synopsis by not later than 30 January 2018 to For more information visit


The 2018 SARL National Convention, which includes the AGM and Awards Dinner, will be hosted by the Pretoria ARC in April 2018. Council and PARC are busy deciding on the date. The date of the event and the Convention packages will be made known in an upcoming bulletin.

In terms of Rule 16.9 of the Constitution, five councillors will retire at the 2018 AGM. This serves as an early warning to members to be ready to submit nominations for Council and to submit nominations for SARL awards and trophies. The call for motions for discussion at the AGM will go out as soon as all the pre-AGM documentation is in place.

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


The new edition of the ITU News Magazine (04/2017) features an article by IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, about the International Amateur Radio Union, the
International Radio Consultative Committee (CCIR) and ITU–R.

The IARU has been and continues to be a regular contributor to the CCIR and the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU–R) Study Groups and Working Parties, on behalf of more than three million licensees of the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite Services throughout the world. They share what they learn with one another and with the wider telecommunications community, in part through ITU–R Recommendations and Reports. ITU–R Study Group 5 and Working Party 5A (WP 5A) are home to both the Amateur and the Amateur-Satellite Services.

The article is on page 55 of the magazine which can be downloaded from


A new and exciting operating event will kick off on 1 January 2018, when the ARRL International Grid Chase gets under way. The year-long event's objective is to work stations on any band (except 60 m) in as many different Maidenhead grid squares as possible and then upload your log data to the ARRL’s Logbook of The World. Registration for LoTW is free and it costs nothing to use LoTW. Once you get active in the chase and start uploading your log data, each new grid square contact confirmed through LoTW will count towards your monthly total.

Getting started is simple: Turn on the radio and call CQ or “CQ Grid Chase,” or listen for others doing the same. Make the contact, exchange grid squares, log it, and move on to another. Any contact in 2018 can count for your Chase score; it doesn’t have to involve an exchange of grid squares. If the other operators participate in LoTW, you will get credit automatically when they upload their logs. This means that contest contacts will also count.

Read more in the December issue of Radio ZS


What is the correct term to use in modern times, is it frequency or wavelength? In the 1920's when AM broadcasting started, all radio dials were only calibrated in wavelengths and radio amateurs operated only on wavelengths measured in metres. This continued until 1927 when the International Telegraph Union (International Telecommunications Union) held the first International Radiotelegraph Convention of Washington. This is where they allocated the frequency bands with the wavelengths for the five official radio services, Broadcasting, Maritime Mobile, Fixed, Mobile and Amateur. Somewhere along the line the ITU and the IARU dropped wavelengths and all their band plans are only given in a frequency of megahertz. ICASA has adopted the same method in their band plans. If we compare the frequency bands with the wavelength bands we find quite a number of errors, for example the 7 MHz band is actually in the 41-metre band, while the 21 MHz band is in the 14-metre band next to the 13-metre shortwave broadcasting band. Today all dials on receivers or transceivers are calibrated in frequencies only.


The West Rand Amateur Radio Club is hosting its next flea market at 12:00 on Saturday 25 November 2017 at their club house in Kroton street, Weltevreden Park, Roodepoort. Gates open at 10:30 for refreshments and social. Traders are welcome to set up shop from 11:30 onward and trading starts at 12:00. Everybody is welcome, bring your surplus and support the vendor on the day. For more information contact Geoff, ZS6C, on 082 546 5546.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at very low levels. The single visible sunspot poses no threat for strong solar flaring. 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 may provide lots of DX fun. Please visit the website for further information.

Finally, a Diary of some upcoming events:

24 November - Black Friday on
25 November – the SARL Newbie QSO Party 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
9 and 10 December – the ARRL 10 metre contest
1 January – start of the ARRL International Grid Chase and the 2018 CQ Marathon
30 January – closing date for proposals and synopses for AMSAT SA Symposium papers
31 January – closing date for nominations for Council and SARL Awards and for AGM motions

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

The second leg of the SARL Newbie QSO Party takes place from 08:00 to 20:00 UTC on Saturday 25 November 2017 with phone activity on 80, 40 and 20 metres. The aim of this QSO Party is a fun activity to encourage all new radio amateurs to become active on the radio. Get all the details on page 56 of the 2017 Blue Book.

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 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 Dennis Green, ZS4BS/3, 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