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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]

The South African Radio League broadcasts a news bulletin each Sunday in Afrikaans as well as English, at 08:15 and 08:30 Central African Time respectively, on HF as well as on various VHF and UHF repeaters around the country. The bulletin is relayed via Echolink by ZS6JPL. A podcast is available on the League website.

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 President, Council and members of the SARL would like to congratulate Al Akers, ZS2U on his 70 years of membership of the League, since 1 February 1948.

Al says, "Those early days, solid state was rectifiers like copper oxide, Selenium and detectors like Galena. Valves were used for amplification. At my first meeting in February 1948, the chairman, Rex Bosman ZS2X, stood up and said, 'Gentlemen, they have just invented a crystal that can amplify, it is called a transistor.' At that time, I thought how the dickens can a crystal amplify, but I have since found out."

Well done Al!


The Pretoria ARC hosts the 2018 SARL National Convention over the weekend of 13 to 15 April with the SARL AGM on 14 April 2018. Our aim this year is to promote amateur radio as a service within our community. To this extent we will make available Information kiosks to Radio Amateur organisations, which will allow these organizations to showcase their involvement in amateur radio. To date we have AMSAT SA, SDR, BACAR, RaDAR, the AWA and other organisations that will participate in our drive to promote Amateur Radio as a service and a science. The SARL and some surrounding radio amateur clubs have already booked their information kiosks and will showcase their services and role they play within amateur radio. PARC will also host a mega flea market and we invite all radio amateurs who would like to sell their excess shack equipment to book a table to avoid disappointment and to ensure you have your table for the flea market. The flea market is open to all radio amateurs.

The Farm Inn Country Hotel and Wildlife Sanctuary venue, where the AGM and expo will be hosted, is ideally situated and we expect the wider public to visit the expo during the day. We would like to invite surrounding clubs to participate in the expo and showcase their club activities, projects and services. Please note that information kiosks will be made available to Amateur Radio organisations free of charge. To book a table and to find our more information please contact Almero du Pesani, ZS6LDP, at or 083 938 8955 or you can contact Etienne Naude at or on 082 553 0542.

The programme for the day has been finalized as well. The day will start with the AGM which will start at 09:00 with a light lunch at 12:30. The Expo and flea market will open as soon as the AGM has been completed and will close at 16:00. There will also be an opportunity, for those interested, to go on a game drive later the afternoon at R150 per person. The Gala Dinner, which will be something special, will start at 19:00. The Farm Inn provides various luxury accommodation for those who would like to stay over on Friday and/or Saturday evening. The accommodation rates for their economy rooms are Single Rooms at R650 per person per night and if you are sharing at R550 per person per night. All delegates who would like to stay over must arrange and book accommodation in advance. To book your accommodation online go to or contact Farm Inn reservations on 012 809 0266 or 0277. There are also many other guesthouses and lodges within the immediate vicinity of Farm Inn which provides alternative accommodation should you not want to stay over at Farm Inn. More information on this in next week’s bulletin.


Midnight on Wednesday 31 January is the closing date for nominations for SARL awards and motions to be discussed at the SARL AGM. Nominations to serve on Council must also be in on that date. Send it to


ICASA has informed the SARL that the licence fee will be increased by 5,3% on 1 April 2018. The new fees will be:
1 Year - R 141.00
2 Year - R 269.00
3 Year - R 386.00
4 Year - R 492.00
5 Year - R 588.00

ICASA will start the invoicing process for the 2018/2019 period from 5 February 2018. Radio Amateurs are reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure their license is up to date. If for some reason no invoice is received, check that ICASA has been informed of any address changes. Full instructions on how to apply for a multiyear license have been published on


The ARRL reports that the Republic of Kosovo (Z6) has been added to the DXCC List of current entities, increasing the total number of current DXCC entities to 340. This change qualifies as an "event," effective from 00:00 UTC on Sunday 21 January 2018. Nothing is retroactive.

The ARRL Board of Directors approved a motion to amend the DXCC Rules, when it met on 19 and 20 January. Section II, Subsection 1 of the DXCC Rules now will include a new Subsection (d): The entity has a separate IARU member society and is included on the US State Department Independent States in the World.

The full story can be read at This item is from the ARRL DX Bulletin dated 23 January 2018.

You are listening to a news broadcast by the South African Radio League


The February 2018 issue of Radio ZS is available for download. This 60-page issue is filled with antenna articles and the winners of the Radio ZS Antenna Design Competition is announced. There is an article about pico-balloons, Mike, ZS2FM, completes his series on the history of amateur radio between the two world wars and Henry, ZS1AAZ, has provided three interesting articles.


AMSAT SA has issued a second call for submission of papers for the annual Space Symposium to be held at the Innovation Hub, Pretoria on 19 May 2018. The theme is Exploring Amateur Radio with satellites and new space frontiers. The date for submission has been extended to 28 February 2018. For details visit


Tony Allen, ZR2TX, the event coordinator for PEARS has sent out the provisional list of events for the year and preparations are currently under way for the events covering the first quarter of the year. PEARS with the assistance of Hamnet Eastern Cape will be providing logistical and emergency communications for the following events:

The Herald Mountain Bike race in the Addo mountains on 18 February, followed a week later by the Herald Road Race on 25 February.

The Addo Trail Run - an event which includes a 160 km ultra-trail run and several smaller events is held annually in the Addo National Park. Once again, the local amateurs will be strutting their stuff and making sure everyone stays in contact and that information gets to those who need it. This is a great event as the operators get to camp in the park - often in areas closed to the public. This event takes place from 2 to 4 March.

April will see the full Ironman event in Port Elizabeth and once again the communications for the event has been entrusted to the local ham radio community.

Other events for which PEARS and the Hamnet Eastern Cape radio amateurs will be providing communications include the Great Zuurberg Trek, the VW rally, the Trans Baviaans Mountain Bike Race (both weekends), the Ironman 70.3 World championships and the 5150 Triathlon.

As radio operators we get a front row seat to all the action. If you would like to join us for any of these events, please contact Tony Allen, ZR2TX, on e-mail for further details.


Sunday afternoon 4 February is the AWA CW Activity Day running from 15:00 to 17:00 CAT. The aim of the CW Activity Day is for participants to contact as many amateurs as possible on the 20, 40 and 80 metre amateur bands using CW. There are 5 categories using QRP and High Power. Certificates for the categories will be given to the highest points scored. Frequencies between 14 000 to 14 060 MHz; 7 000 to 7 035 MHz and 3 500 to 3 560 MHz can be used, the exchange is a RST report, your call sign and grid square. Logs to be ADIF or Excel spread sheets to be sent to Please refer to the 2018 SARL Contest Manual for all the relevant information.


Dennis Green, ZS4BS, Secretary of the SARL stated that he submitted copies of the news Item, “Calling all VHF Amateurs in Sub-Saharan Africa" to 25 African Member Societies, which could help to promote and expand VHF activities in those countries. Strong Sporadic-E openings occur almost daily from mid-November to about the beginning of February when the Sun moved as far south as the Tropic of Capricorn. These single-hop Sporadic-E openings appear around noon and last for an hour or two as the ionized cloud in the E-layer below follows the Sun's movement westward and have been recorded as far south as Port Elizabeth. Countries as far north as the Equator, such as the Congo and Kenya, could be easily worked via double-hop Sporadic-E.

Meteor Scatter is another mode that could provide VHF communications throughout the year to Africa. Then there is the Tropic Tropo propagation that is apparently also affected by wind shear, and its vagaries of which we have no knowledge. If VHF could start off in at least one or two of these Sub-Saharan countries then it could grow in time and open up a new VHF world, which could be of great benefit to all VHF amateurs in South Africa.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at very low levels. There are currently no sunspots visible. The prediction is that during 2018 this will be the case for at least 50% of the time. 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. Please visit the website for further information.

Finally, a Diary of some upcoming events:

31 January – Closing date for Nominations for Council, SARL Awards and AGM Motions
3 February – East Rand Radio Club Flea Market
4 February – AWA CW Activity Day
10 and 11 February – the SAL National Field Day and the CQ WPX RTTY competition
13 February – World Radio Day
17 February – SARL Youth Sprint
17 and 18 February – the ARRL DX CW competition
24 February – the West Rand ARC Flea Market
25 February – the SARL Digital competition
28 February – closing date for proposals and synopsis for AMSAT SA Space Symposium papers and the closing date for nominations for the SARL Amateur Radio Hall of Fame

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

The President, Council and members of the SARL would like to congratulate Al Akers, ZS2U on his 70 years of membership of the League, since 1 February 1948.

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 Emile Venter, ZS6V, edited by Dennis Green, ZS4BS, and read by ……………………................

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


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Last modified: 14 April 2003