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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 start the bulletin this morning with news of a silent key.

It is with deep regret that we must announce that the key of Dawn Snyders, ZS5ME, went silent on Friday 19 October 2018. She was the wife of Jo, ZS5PO and mother of Warren, ZS5WOZ. Dawn was a member of the SARL and the Zululand Amateur Radio Club and she served as Club secretary for many years.

We extend our sincere condolences to Jo, Warren, family and friends.


In the news, today:





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


Brian Jacobs, ZS6YZ presented a paper entitled Beacon Coordination to gain maximum benefit. In his paper, he highlighted the need for setting up a proper coordinated beacon system which should include an automated monitoring system much like the HF noise floor monitoring system which automatically uploads data to a central server. Much discussion followed; it was agreed to set up a workgroup coordinated by a beacon coordinator. Persons interested in joining the Beacon workgroup are invited to take part in a Skype discussion planned for Thursday 1 November at 20:30. To take part send your skype details to by Wednesday evening 31 October 2018.

Dick Coates, ZS6BUN started the ball rolling by posting the following request, "About 9 years ago a number of beacons/keyers were sent round the country by Jon, ZS6JON. Out of these I believe that just one is operational, in Cape Town, on 2 m, managed by ZS1TAF (thanks Mike). Could the original recipients of this equipment please let me know if you still have this kit and I will make arrangements to collect it if it is not being used." SARL News is aware of the ZS4AFV beacon active on 144,415 MHz from Bloemfontein.

Dick also asked for the following information - who has ex-PMR equipment that they would be prepared to sell/donate to a beacon project? Who would be able to design/programme a reliable keyer (CW) for such a beacon? Who has access to a suitable location for such beacons bearing in mind we need to link the activity centres in all provinces. Beacons need to run 24/7, not be located at a station currently active on VHF/UHF and be capable of supporting say a 7 element Yagi horizontally polarised. Please respond to Dick by e-mailing him at with a copy to

There were many other interesting papers and discussions. For more information, tune in on Sundays to Focus on VHF and Above presented by Brian Jacobs, ZS6YZ on Amateur Radio today. The presentations are available on The next VHF/UHF and Microwave workshop will be presented at the National Amateur Radio Centre by AMSAT SA and SARL on Saturday 9 February 2019. Proposal for papers and presentations are invited and should be sent to by not later than Saturday 15 December 2018.


The next World Radio Conference will take place in the last quarter of 2019. There are a number of agenda items that may impact amateur radio. The IARU has developed a position that organised amateur radio should take. As the SARL, we have the opportunity to lobby the South Africa delegation to the conference to support our position. One of the concerns is agenda item 1.12 that calls for the global harmonisation for the implementation of a transport system under the existing mobile service allocation. In Region 1, Amateur Radio has an allocation 5 650 - 5 850 MHz that needs to be protected. The band is also challenged by Agenda item 1.16 seeking additional spectrum for the Mobile service.

In order to strengthen the SARL position when talking with DTPS and ICASA, we need to show how extensive the band is used in South Africa. If your Club or interest group operates on the 5 GHz band, please send detail of the operation and the frequencies used to by Monday 5 November 2018.


What is the Fiddle Factor? Find out in the November 2018 Radio ZS. We have a look at a selected history on receiver innovations over the last 100 years, antennas for 70 MHz and a beacon for 40 meters. There is JOTA and SOTA news and a home-brew loop tuning capacitor. Which is better on VHF and higher - vertical or horizontal polarisation or maybe circular polarisation? There is a review of the Xiegu X5105 radio and more in this issue.

The November Radio ZS will be available for download from Monday 29 October from


The Sandton Amateur Radio Club is giving a presentation on Logging. This presentation is aimed at all those who want to find out more about where and how to log those QSOs. The presentation will cover the following topics - reason and legal requirements for logging; electronic logging software; online logbooks; online QSL centres such as eQSL; LoTW and DXCC; SARL QSL system and awards; radio interfaces and useful tools.

The presentation takes place from 09:30 CAT on Saturday 3 November at the National Amateur Radio Centre (NARC). Tea and coffee will be served. RSVP to Noel, ZR6DX at e-mail

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


The last RaDAR Challenge for 2018 takes place from 00:00 UTC to 23:59 UTC on Saturday 3 November 2018. The RaDAR Challenge is a unique event aimed at promoting the use of Rapidly Deployable Amateur Radio stations. Categories - fixed, field or moving, may be changed at any time during the challenge. RaDAR operators are encouraged to be self-sufficient during each challenge, with not only power supply and communications equipment but food, water, protective clothing and shelter.

RaDAR operators define their own operating time schedule. It is up to each individual to plan his or her maximum, single period, four-hour operation. All amateur bands are allowed including cross band contacts via amateur radio satellites using CW, SSB, FM or any legal amateur radio digital mode. The RaDAR challenge requires more than a minimalistic information exchange; accurate information exchange is considered more important than a large QSO count. Exchange your call sign, your name, RS or RST report and your grid locator. The grid locator of six characters is acceptable but should preferably be accurate to 8 or 10 characters for higher position accuracy (especially for moving RaDAR stations). Get all the information in the 2018 SARL Blue Book.


The draft copy of the 2019 Contest Manual can be downloaded from the SARL website. Custodians of the various contests must please check their contests for any errors/changes. Please send any changes to by Sunday 18 November 2018.


The results of the 80 Meter QSO Party held on 4 October have been released. Approximately 36 stations participated in the QSO party, while 9 contest logs were submitted, a 25% return.

1st Woody Collet, ZS3WL - 275 points
2nd Roy Walsh, ZS3RW and Jadra Daviddovic, ZS6DJA - 220 points each
4th Romeo Nardini ZS6ARQ - 200 points

The combined results for the first and second legs of the 80 meter QSO Party. Some 91 stations participated in both legs and 23 logs were received, a 25 % return. Certificates will be sent to the top three.

1st Jan Botha, ZS4JAN - 635 points
2nd Woody Collet, ZS3WL - 595 points
3rd Thanie Gibson, ZS4AZ - 525 points
4th Garth Moore, ZS2AAR - 490 points

The full set of results will be published in HF Happenings 819.

The results of the Spring QRP contest held on 13 October 2018 have been released. Two logs and 1 check log were received, which is very disappointing. Results are as follows:

1st the West Rand ARC, ZS6WR - 198 points
2nd Johannes van Zijl, ZS4DZ - 36 points
Checklog PEARS, ZS2PE

The combined results of the 4 QRP contests are as follows:

1st West Rand ARC, ZS6WR - 2 424 points
2nd Mike Boatwright, ZS5MAB - 804 points
3rd the Cape Radio Group, ZS1CRG - 456 points

The full results can be seen on the SARL website under Contest Results.


From Monday 29 October, the AR Today rebroadcast on Monday evenings at 18:30 CAT will change from 3 230 kHz AM to 4 895 kHz AM. The Sunday frequencies will not change.


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to remain at low levels. Currently there are no sunspots visible. If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around one. With the equinox approaching the 15, 20 and 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:

Until midnight UTC the CQ WW DX SSB Competition.
This afternoon the PEARS HF Competition, check the 2018 Blue Book.
31 October Get you Skype details to for the Skype meeting
1 November Beacon Workgroup meet on Skype
3 November the RaDAR Challenge and the Logging Workshop at the NARC.
5 November 5 GHz input to
10 November the AWA AGM and the closing date for RaDAR logs.
10 and 11 November the SARL VHF/UHF Analogue Contest.
11 November Remembrance Sunday, 100 Years since the end of WW1.
19 November the closing date for PEARS HF logs and the VHF/UHF contest logs.
22 November the closing date for the December Radio ZS.
23 November the Cape Town ARC End of Year Function at the club house.
24 November the SARL Newbie Sprint and the West Rand ARC Flea Market.
24 and 25 November the CQ WW DX CW Contest
15 December - Proposal for papers and presentations for the February 2019 VHF/UHF Workshop to

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

Brian Jacobs, ZS6YZ presented a paper entitled Beacon Coordination to gain maximum benefit. In his paper, he highlighted the need for setting up a proper coordinated beacon system which should include an automated monitoring system much like the HF noise floor monitoring system which automatically uploads data to a central server. Much discussion followed; it was agreed to set up a workgroup coordinated by a beacon coordinator. Persons interested in joining the Beacon workgroup are invited to take part in a Skype discussion planned for Thursday 1 November at 20:30.

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