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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 ZS6JPL 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.

We begin the bulletin this morning with news of a silent key.

It is with deep regret that it must be announced that the key of Garth Beresford, ZS6BER, went silent in December 2017.

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 SARL News team wishes all Fathers a Happy Father’s Day! It is also World QRP Day so switch off the amplifier, turn down the power on your rig and try QRP power. How many kilometres per watt can you achieve. You will be amazed at what you can achieve with QRP.


The SARL Top Band QSO Party is a fun activity to promote contacts on 160 metres between radio amateurs in Southern African countries and to encourage radio amateurs to apply for the South African Radio League Top Band Award and it takes place from 00:00 UTC on Thursday 21 June to 00:00 UTC on Monday 25 June 2018. The QSO Party is open to all licensed amateurs that have access to the 160-metre band.

Activity takes place on CW between 1 810 and 1 838 kHz and on phone between 1 840 and
2 000 kHz. The exchange is a RS or RST report and your provincial or country abbreviation. Each station can be worked once per mode i.e. once on Phone and again with CW and each contact will count three (3) points. Each South African call area and each DXCC country worked will be awarded with five (5) additional bonus points.

Logs in ADIF, Cabrillo or MS Excel format with a summary sheet labelled “my call sign Top Band,” must be submitted by 2 July 2018 by e-mail to Refer to General Rules 3.6 and 5.1 to 5.6 for detail about logs and summary sheets.


Lucas Swart, ZS6ACT, has made arrangements that the SOTA team of Sid, ZS5AYC and Adele, ZS5APT Tyler and Lucas, ZS6ACT and Magda ZS6MMS Swart will be activating two summits in the Sani Pass area over the weekend of 28 June to 1 July. The two 10 point summits are ZS/KN-010, Hodson's Peak South at 3 256 m and ZS/KN-011, Hodson's Peak North at 3 251 m, both are in Grid Locator KG40PJ. Chasers are needed, those that do not feel like going out in the cold, can chase from their shacks!

The team say it would be amazing if we made this a South African SOTA weekend with possible Summit to Summit (S2S) contacts. Maybe even S2S with other SOTA associations!

If anyone wants to join the team in Lesotho, you are more than welcome. The teams could be split and have S2S QSOs between the Hodson’s peaks. You need to have a valid passport and arrange for accommodation at the Sani Backpackers Lodge, there is a restaurant at the top of Sani Pass and the highest Pub in Africa - reasonably expensive. The team will be self-catering, the restaurant does however make a delicious soup that is served with Basotho bread and butter. Be prepared for snow!

The team plan on activating both summits on Saturday 30 June, final arrangements of the exact times and frequencies will be sent later. We will arrive at the top of Sani Pass on Friday 29 June to acclimatize! If you cannot join us, what about activating a SOTA in your area? Let us have fun and play radio, either by participating in SOTA, Parks on the Air (ZS Fauna and Flora) or RaDAR.


A few weeks ago, several prolific Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) nodes began spotting FT8 signals, using the combination of WSJT-X and an unreleased Aggregator Version 5. The purpose of this limited Alpha test was to get a feel for the load and other implications of carrying FT8 spots on the RBN. The most striking characteristic of FT8 spots is their sheer quantity and it seems obvious that adding FT8 spots to the spot flow could have a huge impact on the infrastructure of the RBN.

"We frankly do not know whether the RBN servers will be up to the task", the RBN Team says, "so we decided we had better find out before the autumn contest season is upon us".
Effective immediately and on a Beta test basis, the RBN's current spot feed port 7000 will only handle CW and RTTY spots, while port 7001 will be set up for FT8 spots only. See for more information.

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


Tom Adams, ZS6OMT from Potchefstroom notified SARL News that he advertised on the SARL Swap Shop for an Electronic Morse keyer and got a response from a Graham Mckinnon from Bredasdorp in the Western Cape with mobile number 083 338 0586. Tom deposited R350-00 into Mckinnon’s ABSA account on Friday 25 May 2018. Since then Tom gets no response via the mobile phone and he has not received the keyer.

Can anybody help Tom find where Graham Mckinnon is? It is thought that Mckinnon does work at the Naval Dockyard in Simonstown. Tom can be contacted by e-mail at


Preparations for the next World Radio Conference in 2019 have continued over the past few weeks with meetings at ITU HQ in Geneva and CEPT Project Team D in Estonia. Volunteers from IARU and Member Societies have been engaged on two key agenda items of interest to amateur radio; regarding a potential 50 MHz allocation for Region 1 and Wireless Power Transfer for charging electric vehicles.

For the latter topic, the RSGB has provided further information on Wireless Power Transfer, including IARU briefing slides and links to Ofcom measurements, on their WRC-19 focus page at
(RSGB News)


The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) "Ham Video" Digital Amateur Radio TV (DATV) transmitter on the International Space Station (ISS) is reported to be defective, with onboard repair not possible. Also known as HamTV, the DATV system stopped working in mid-April and a subsequent test on June 1 using a second L/S band patch antenna on the Columbus module also failed.

ARISS-EU Mentor Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, said ARISS plans to return the transmitter to Earth to repair, pending space agency approvals and availability of ARISS funds. "Schools and crew members performing educational ARISS school contacts are delighted to use Ham Video," Bertels said. "We will do the best we can to restart this service as soon as possible."

Following extensive testing, the Ham TV system was first used for an ARISS school contact in February 2016. (Southgate ARC News)

Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to be at low levels. Currently there is only a single, 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 20 and 30 m bands may provide lots of DX fun. Please visit the website for further information.

Finally, a Diary of some upcoming events:

Today – Father’s Day and World QRP Day
21 to 25 June – the SARL Top Band QSO Party
23 June – the Cape Town ARC meeting
28 June to 1 July – the ZS SOTA Weekend
1 July – the ZS5 Sprint
7 July – the SARL Newbie QSO Party

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

The SARL Top Band QSO Party is a fun activity to promote contacts on 160 metres between radio amateurs in Southern African countries and to encourage radio amateurs to apply for the South African Radio League Top Band Award and it takes place from 00:00 UTC on Thursday 21 June to 00:00 UTC on Monday 25 June 2018. The QSO Party is open to all licensed amateurs that have access to the 160-metre band.

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 Dennis Green, ZS4BS, 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