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SARL News Bulletin Archive


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Added another silent key notification.


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 on Echolink by Johan, 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 with news of silent keys.

It is with deep regret that we must announce that the keys of four radio amateurs have gone silent.

The key of John Sutherland, ZSL-1190 of Ventersburg went silent of 23 March 2019. Our condolences to his wife Helena, family and friends.

The key of Doug Wetton, ZS6BXU went silent on Sunday 30 June 2019. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his wife Merle and children Beverly, Vaughn, Wayne, family and friends.

The key of Norman Arcus, ZS6SOA has gone silent. We extend our condolences to his family and friends.

The key of Koos Dames, ZSL-6774 who was currently doing the RAE went silent on Friday 5 July 2019. We extend our condolences to his family and friends.”


In the news, today:





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

The ZS5 Sprint is a fun activity to promote contacts between radio amateurs in Kwazulu-Natal and radio amateurs in Southern African countries. It is a CW and phone contest on 40 metres and takes place from 14:00 to 15:00 UTC on Sunday 7 July 2019. ZS5 stations will give an RS or RST report and their town name or abbreviation, other stations will give a RS or RST report and their provincial or country abbreviation. Logs, in ADIF, Cabrillo or MS Excel spreadsheet labelled “my call sign ZS5 Sprint,” must be submitted by 15 July 2019 by e-mail to The excel log sheet can be found on the Contest page on the League web site and the rules can be found on page 60 of the 2019 SARL Blue Book.


The SARL have received several requests for clarification and more information regarding the recent French proposal for expansion of frequencies for aeronautical mobile services including the 2 m amateur band. The SARL responds as follows:

The sharing of the 1 240 - 1 300 MHz band with the Galileo satellite navigation system and the proposal from France to study a range of frequencies, including the 144 MHz amateur band, for future primary aeronautical applications were discussed at the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) Project Team A, one of the groups leading WRC-19 preparations. The CEPT meeting considered views that the Galileo issue did not currently warrant a WRC-23 agenda item and should be first investigated within CEPT. The proposal for new aeronautical frequencies including 144 MHz was unfortunately not strongly opposed by other administrations and has been carried forward to the higher level CEPT- CPG meeting in August this year.

CEPT will make its final decisions during the 26 to 30 August 2019 at the WRC-19 Conference Planning Group Meeting for proposals that will then be put forward to ITU WRC-19 in October. If agreed at WRC, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) would start work on them in November 2019 and that would continue during 2020 to 2023 for WRC-23.
The various amateur radio organisations in CEPT countries are working with their authorities to block the proposal from being put forward as an agenda item for WRC-23. The IARU Region 1 raised its strong opposition at the CEPT Project Team A meeting and will continue to do so.

In South Africa, agenda items for WRC-19 and proposal for WRC-23 agenda items are discussed at the Department of Communications led National Preparatory Working Group for WRC-19 and South Africa's position agreed on. South Africa's positions are lobbied for support at SADC level and thereafter at the African Telecommunication Union for South Africa's approach to be adopted as the African position. The SARL is a permanent member of the NPWC and participates in all the meetings and discussion groups. The NPWC will meet in September to review the final agenda items and submit its position to Cabinet for approval to become the final position and as a briefing document to delegates attending WRC-19 in Egypt. South Africa will host the ATU APM4 at the end of August where the African position for Agenda items are finalised. The SARL is representing the IARU at this meeting.

"It is understandable that people are concerned about these developments," SARL president Nico van Rensburg, ZS6QL, said. The SARL is fully in touch with the discussions and will lobby at the NPWC meeting for South Africa to vote against the French proposal if it is supported by CEPT and tabled for discussion to become an agenda item for WRC-23." It should also be noted that if the French proposal makes the WRC-23 agenda, several study groups will be formed to look at the feasibility of the proposal. The SARL will lobby for South Africa authorities to have a member on the relevant study group and brief him or her accordingly.
Nico van Rensburg said he fully understands the concerns expressed in the various media but warns against unduly hype being created. "The SARL is fully on top of the situation. I urge radio amateurs to show how they value the frequency spectrum they have at their disposal by being active on the band. The band under discussion by others, the 2-metre band, offers so many interesting challenges and activities. I urge you to take part in the various activities, talk around town, take part in long distant activity, operate satellite with the recently launched AMSAT SA 2 m/70 cm Yagi, attend the VHF workshop to be held on 20 July 2019 at the NARC.

"Radio Frequencies are in demand by many organisations and commercial interests. There are groups that monitor band occupancy on a continual basis and look for bands where there is low activity. My advice is do not just listen but be active. No activity creates opportunities for others to start making claims to satisfy their needs for spectrum. Be radioactive let your voice be heard on the bands.”

The French proposal is a clear illustration, if ever there was one needed, for amateur radio on national and international level to speak with a unified voice, then it is now. A strong representative national society is most important to make that voice heard. If you are not already a member of the SARL, join now and be part of a strong national voice to ensure a future for Amateur Radio.”

The SARL are working on both national and international levels to contribute to a positive outcome for the forthcoming World Radio Conference-19 items and WRC-23 Agenda proposals.

You are listening to a news bulletin of the South African Radio League, which is relayed on the 145,750 MHz repeater by the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre.


The closing date for bookings for the SARL/AMSATSA VHF workshop on Saturday 20 July is approaching. Book now for this empowering event, find all the details on Book your place now!


Kelley at the NARC and Willem, ZS6X at the QSL Bureau ask that you will check your e-mail and postal addresses on the SARL Database. E-mails to the following members are bouncing – ZS5GMW; ZS6RAD; ZR6SA and ZR6SW. Willem says he is receiving envelopes of QSL cards back mark “Post Box Closed.”


The Winter RaDAR Challenge takes place from 00:00 UTC to 23:59 UTC on Saturday 13 July, but you need only to operate for four hours. Activity takes place on HF, VHF, UHF and higher and all modes are allowed. Read all the rules on page 30 of the 2019 SARL Blue Book.

The IARU HF Championships takes place from 12:00 UTC on Saturday 13 July and ends at 11:59 UTC on Sunday 14 July 2019 with CW and phone activity on 160 to 10 metres. The aim is to contact as many other amateurs, especially IARU Member Society HQ stations, around the world. IARU Member Societies will give a RS or RST report and Society abbreviation – 599 SARL; IARU Officers will give a RS or RST report and AC, R1, R2 or R3 and all other will give a RS or RST report and ITU zone. For South Africa that is Zone 57. The rules can be read on page 46 of the July 2019 Radio ZS.


The CW revival has begun, visit the ZS-CW Facebook page to find out more. Contact Mike, ZS6MSW at e-mail to join the fast growing WhatsApp group CW POTA/SOTA. Meet the operators on 7 035 kHz and 3 545 kHz after hours and over weekends.


Fourteen log sheets were received for the SARL Top Band QSO Party run from 20 to 24 June. The full set of results can be found on the Contest page on the League web site.

1st Lukas Holtzhausen, ZS6LH - 225 points
2nd Johan van Zijl, ZS4DZ - 180 points
3rd Kobus Boshoff, ZS6BOS - 148 points

Congratulations to Lukas!


Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to remain at low levels. There are currently no sunspots visible. If you want to do your own frequency predictions, the expected effective sunspot number for the week will be around one. The 18 to 30 m bands may provide some DX fun. Please visit the website for further information.

Finally, a Diary of some upcoming events:

Today – the ZS5 Sprint
13 July – the Radar Challenge and the registration for the October RAE opens.
13 and 14 July – the IARU HF Championships
14 July – the RSGB Cricket World Cup marathon ends, your last chance to work ZS19CWC
17 July – the SARL Wednesday 80 m Club Sprint
20 July – the SARL/AMSAT SA VHF Workshop at the NARC and the Winter QRP Contest
21 July – the ZS2 Sprint

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

The ZS5 Sprint is a fun activity to promote contacts between radio amateurs in Kwazulu-Natal and radio amateurs in Southern African countries. It is a CW and phone contest on 40 metres and takes place from 14:00 to 15:00 UTC on Sunday 7 July 2019.

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. A rebroadcast can be heard on Monday evenings at 19:30 Central African Time on 3 620 kHz courtesy of Andy, ZS6ADY. We welcome your signal reports, comments and suggestions; please send these by e-mail to

You have listened to a news bulletin compiled 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