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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.

We begin this news bulletin with news of four silent keys:

It is with deep regret that we must announce that the keys of Richard McNally Snr ZS6BWS, Glen Duffy ZS5GD, Basil Mac Dougall, ZS6BDS and Mark Wilson, ZS4D went silent this past week.

Richard ZS6BWS, who headed up four generations of amateurs in the family, passed away during the weekend.

Glen ZS5GD, HARC committee member and treasurer of SARL Hamnet KZN, passed away on Tuesday 9 October after a long and valiant battle with the Big C. His daughter and granddaughter were at his bedside and his passing was peaceful.

Basil ZS6BDS, passed away on Tuesday 9 October.

Mark Wilson ZS4D passed away on Friday 12 October after a fight against cancer.

We extend our sincere condolences to the families and friends of these three radio amateurs.


In the news, today:





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


The closing date for booking for the VHF workshop is tomorrow, Monday 15 October. The workshop which will be held at the NARC on Saturday 20 October and includes topics like beacon coordination, build a simple 3 cm transmitter, aircraft scatter on 23 cm, linear amplifiers for VHF and UHF and the RSGB Video on meteor and tropo scatter. The programme and booking form are now available for download. Follow the link from the SARL homepage or go to


JOTA/ JOTI 2018 runs from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 October 2018. This is the 61st year this event is running and is the largest Scouting event on the calendar with approximately 1,5 million Cubs, Scouts and Guides taking part.

The Sandringham Scout Group, ZS6SSG will be among the 24 stations registered from South Africa to take part in this event. They will be active on 40 and 80 m and will be running an additional 2 m station for the youngsters. There will also be SSTV transmissions made throughout the weekend to enable Cubs and Scouts to swap badges and photos of the event with other stations. This will prove to be a huge draw card for the youth.

Look out for the many JOTA stations running over the weekend and contact very eager youngsters, and some eager Hams manning the stations. Let’s show the youth what Amateur Radio is all about! For more information, contact Richard ZS6RKE, or


CQ Hou Koers is the Voortrekkers' national amateur radio day and takes place on Saturday 20 October with most Voortrekker stations active from 08:00 until 12:00 on 40 and 20 m and local repeaters. Echolink is also a good option to use. The event overlaps with JOTA, so interesting QSOs between young Voortrekkers and Scouts may be expected. Please make the effort to chat to the great young people and to expose them to amateur radio. We hope to hear many hams and young people on the air. Enquiries to Andries, ZS6VL


At approximately 05:00 on Monday 11 November 1918, the Armistice was signed in a railway carriage of Marshall Foch's special train located in the forest at Rethondes in France on the western front. At 11:00 on this Monday, 11 November 1918, the roar of guns ceased, peace and silence finally descended on the western front ending the First World War. It is estimated that close to 9,5 million soldiers, sailors and airmen of all sides died in the Great War.

The special call ZS100WWI will be active from 1 to 30 November 2018 in remembrance of the South Africans who were involved in the 'War to end all Wars' - we think of the sinking of the SS Mendi, the battle for Delville Wood and the Battle of Square Hill.

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


On Monday 8 October, radio amateurs on the West Coast of South Africa took advantage of tropo propagation conditions and made long distance contacts on 145,500 MHz. At 06:00 Charles, ZS1CF in Langebaan heard Pieter, ZS3PV/mobile calling while driving from Kleinzee to Koingnaas for work. Later Andre, V51B from Oranjemund also called and they had a 3 way conversation. Andre was received in Langebaan with a S7 signal over a distance of 526 km. But the best was still to come, the West Coast Radio Group meet every Monday evening at 19:30 on 145,500 MHZ and 12 radio amateurs called in on the net.

Tropospheric propagation occurs in the lowest layer of the Earth's atmosphere - the troposphere. It is 100% weather-related. A Tropo DX mode is any abnormal condition that scatters, reflects or refracts VHF, UHF and/or microwave signals in the troposphere causing changes to their normal coverage. Looking at last Monday's tropospheric propagation forecast by William R. Hepburn, it showed fair to good conditions for the West coast.
For more about this tropo event tune in on "Focus on VHF and above" on Amateur Radio Today later this morning or download the insert from the link on the SARL home page.


Johan Coetzee, ZR6JC reports that for the past month or two there has been a lot of activity on the 145,7875 ZS6HVB repeater which started with Kobus Boshoff, ZS6BOS, Robbain Polly, ZS6RAT and Johan, ZR6JC. They call it ‘the evening drive’ and encourage radio amateurs to joining for a chat or just give their call signs. Through their efforts, they have attracted new operators and created excitement on the radio to support amateur radio.

On Friday 12 October 2018 a draw was held at the home of Berridge Emmett ZS6BFL and a call sign was drawn from the 20 call signs that report in and chat on a regular basis. Present at the draw were Berridge, ZS6BFL, Kobus, ZS6BOS and Robbain, ZS6RAT. The lucky winner of an Icom commercial radio for 2 metres (donated by Johan, ZR6JC) is Sakkie Coetzee ZS6BPA

The evening drive team are attempting to encourage radio amateurs in the south of Johannesburg to became active again and to make people aware of the awesome hobby we have.

Other Clubs are challenged to increase the activity levels on their repeaters.


The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring Service (IARUMS) reports interference on 40 metres from various Russian sources. The Russian coastal over-the-horizon (OTH) radar, "Sunflower,” was very active on 40 metres and audible in Europe in the evenings, transmitting FM on pulse. The site is believed to be northeast of Vladivostok. IARUMS Region 1 Coordinator Wolf Hadel DK2OM, said it was monitored in September. In addition, a Russian ship was observed transmitted on 7 110 kHz on F1B with 50 baud and 200 Hz shift. The vessel was believed to be in the vicinity of Cyprus and on the air daily in September. Another Russian ship was heard on 8 September, transmitting AT3004D with 12 Χ 120 baud PSK2A on 7 179 kHz with a 2,6 kHz bandwidth, also in the area of Crete. And a Russian military system, believed to be near Moscow, was heard transmitting on 7 198 kHz in AT3004D test mode. Elsewhere, fishing crews often were monitored on 3 500, 3 535, 3 540, 3 560, 3 585, 3 590, 7 000 kHz and 14 320 USB.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to remain at low levels. Currently there is only a single, small sunspot visible with no threat of solar flares. If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around one. With the equinox here the 10 to 30 m bands may, especially at sunrise and sunset, provide lots of DX fun. Please visit the website for further information.

Finally, a Diary of some upcoming events:

19 to 21 October – Jamboree on the Air.
20 October – CQ Hou Koers and the closing date for QRP logs.
22 October – the closing date for AWA Valve QSO Party logs.
24 October – the closing date for your article for the November Radio ZS.
27 and 28 October – the CQ WW DX SSB Contest.
27 October – the Pretoria ARC Flea Market.
28 October – the PEARS HF contest.
31 October – your input for the 2019 SARL Blue Book to
03 November – the RaDAR Challenge.
10 and 11 November – the SARL VHF/UHF Analogue contest.

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

The closing date for booking for the VHF workshop is tomorrow, Monday 15 October. The workshop which will be held at the NARC on Saturday 20 October and includes topics like beacon coordination, build a simple 3 cm transmitter, aircraft scatter on 23 cm, linear amplifiers for VHF and UHF and the RSGB Video on meteor and tropo scatter. The programme and booking form are now available for download. Follow the link from the SARL homepage or go to

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 Andy Cairns, ZS6ADY, edited by Dick Stratford, ZS6RO, and read by ..............

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


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Last modified: 14 April 2003