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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 SARL News Team wishes all the Mothers a very happy Mother’s Day!


SARL President, Nico van Rensburg, ZS6QL and SARL Regulatory Affairs Manager, Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV met with the ICASA CEO Willington Ngwepe and some of his senior staff to discuss several long outstanding issues that could not be resolved by the liaison committee. Ngwepe told the SARL that ICASA was currently piloting a new spectrum management system which will solve the current disconnect between licenses and payments creating the impression that licenses have been cancelled. The SARL was assured that call signs were not cancelled on the system, although the SARL database may show licenses cancelled. ICASA will supply the SARL with a full database where call signs that have a payment dispute will be identified by an asterisk. The SARL will implement the revised database in the SARL callbook early next month.

Once the new ICASA system is released later this year, applications, address changes, payments and renewals will be done on-line. The problem with commission being charged for payments made at the Post Office will be corrected. If you received an outstanding account for R12.50, please ignore this as ICASA will credit your account. For any current license payment queries, please send an e-mail to Dewald at with a copy of the EFT payment and call sign.

The CEO also agreed to revisit the SARL application for special call signs for amateurs who participate in international contests. He also confirmed that the dispute with DTPS and ICASA has been resolved and that the new radio frequency spectrum plan will be gazetted soon. Other regulatory issues that have been on the liaison committee agenda for some time will be referred to the various departments for speedy resolution. "I believe that our meeting was fruitful for both ICASA and the SARL", Nico van Rensburg said. "It gave us the opportunity to discuss how the SARL operates, the benefits that Hamnet delivers to the country and the technology such as propagation research, investigation into the rising RF noise floor and satellite technology that radio amateurs and the amateur service are involved with."


At the SARL AGM last month, Noel, ZR6DX, challenged all radio amateurs to donate R100 towards the ZS9YOTA fund for the upcoming YOTA Summer Camp to be held in August in South Africa. The Centurion ARC then supported Noel and challenged all Radio Clubs to donate R500 towards the ZS9YOTA fund.

Please continue to support ZS9YOTA with a contribution via PayPal or an EFT to the SARL bank account. Make sure to use YOTA-your call sign as a reference, e.g. YOTA-ZS4BFN. Please forward an e-mail to us via the "Become a sponsor" page on to inform us of your contribution. All financial support as an individual or as a club is of utmost importance to the ZS YOTA fund. No amount is too small; we sincerely thank those who have already contributed to the future of amateur radio by donating to the YOTA 2018 fund.


Following a recent communicated trend of on air abuse including misconduct on 20 m, the Namibian Amateur Radio League (NARL) President Werner, V51JP and the SARL President Nico, ZS6QL engaged with the respective individuals and were able to resolve the matter.
Unfortunately, this did not end there; we are currently facing a situation where South African radio amateurs are now themselves guilty of misconduct on the air.

Amateur radio is a self-governing hobby and we as respected amateurs operate in accordance with a code of conduct which stands for cooperation, assistance, loyalty, good-will, patience, consideration and friendship when operating on the air.

The SARL Council would like to appeal to our South African amateurs to refrain from bad behaviour and poor operating practices. Please promote fair play and adhere to the amateur code of conduct on the air in the spirit of amateur radio.


The SARL wishes all the candidates writing the radio amateur exam on Saturday 19 May the best of luck. A big thank you to all the clubs, lecturers and invigilators who have made this happen. We hope to have many new voices on air soon.

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


Don't miss the AMSATSA Space Symposium next Saturday. Bookings are still open for the AMSATSA space symposium which will be held on Saturday 19 May 2018 at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria. Learn more about what is in store for BACAR this year, learn about how to build an Es'hailsat ground station and how to test it even before the satellite is launched later this year. Other interesting items on the programme are how to build an SDR transponder, having fun with the Funcube telemetry, an update on Kletskous, a demonstration of the new transponder, a preview of the UADC4 or Universal Analog to Digital Converter to be launched by Alex, ZS6EME at the EME conference in the Netherlands in August and why noise also matters in weak signal communication. Get the full programme and registration form on You can also check your registration status. Registration closes at 20:00 CAT on Thursday 17 May.


SARL Hamnet had a national training exercise on the weekend of 5 and 6 May. The exercise ran from noon on Saturday until noon on the Sunday. During the 24-hour period, teams operated off the power grid, relaying messages all around the country. Teams were required to have a VHF team with internet access and an HF team for relaying messages between teams. Teams also had various tasks to perform - such as sending their location in various GPS formats and grid locators.

The internet was simply used to get the messages to the VHF teams and to allow the VHF teams to log messages received. This allowed the organisers to monitor in real time the messages getting through. All message sending was done by radio.

The professionalism and courtesy with which the messages were sent is a tribute to the kind of people we have in SARL Hamnet and in the amateur community in general. Eleven teams took part and just fewer than 350 messages were sent, many of them relayed via a third party.

We have proof that the Free State was a little chilly, thanks to a photo posted by ZS4DCC! SARL Hamnet would like to thank all those who gave up their time to take part.


Congratulations go to Dave Higgs, ZS2DH and his team who ran a special RAE boot camp which saw 17 youngsters from a rural community write the Class-B RAE on 30 April. These youngsters are from the Bhisho Scout Group and were encouraged by their Troop Scouter Lunga Nqini, to become radio amateurs.

This group was sponsored by the local community church but will need further sponsorships/donations to continue with their amateur radio activities. The ZS2ZU and ZS6ZU Hammies clubs have each sponsored a VHF radio for this group. We are appealing to the amateur community for further donations. If you are willing to help, please contact Dave Higgs at or Noel Hammond at


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to remain at very low levels. Currently there is only a single small, stable sunspot 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 may provide lots of DX fun. Please visit the website for further information.

Finally, a Diary of some upcoming events:

Today – Mother’s Day
15 May – the International Day of Families
16 May – the start of Ramadan
18 to 20 May – Hamvention 2018 in Xenia, Ohio
19 May – the May RAE, AMSATSA Symposium and the Royal Wedding
20 May – the ZS3 Sprint
21 May – the closing date for AWA Valve QSO Party Logs
24 May – the closing date for June Radio ZS articles
26 May – the Cape Town ARC Meeting
26 and 27 May – the CQ WPX CW Contest
27 May – the closing date for ZS3 Sprint Logs
1 to 3 June – Ham Radio 2018 in Friedrichshafen
2 June – the West Rand ARC Flea Market
10 June – the Hammies Sprint

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

SARL President, Nico van Rensburg ZS6QL and SARL Manager Regulatory, Hans van de Groenendaal ZS6AKV met with ICASA CEO Willington Ngwepe and some of his senior staff to discuss several long outstanding issues that could not be resolved by the liaison committee. Ngwepe told the SARL that ICASA was currently piloting a new spectrum management system which will solve the current disconnect between licenses and payments creating the impression that licenses have been cancelled.

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 Emile Venter, ZS6V, edited by Dennis Green, ZS4BS/1 and read by ……………………................

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


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Last modified: 14 April 2003