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SOUTH AFRICAN RADIO LEAGUE NEWS FOR SUNDAY 5 JANUARY 2020

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 in English at 08:15 and 08:30 Central African Time respectively on HF and 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 www.sarl.org.za where you can also sign up to receive future bulletins by e-mail.

In the news, today:

ZS6JON ACHIEVES 2 M DXCC

REGION 1 144 MHZ TROPO RECORD NOW EXTENDED TO 4 776 KM

and

THE SARL 80 M CLUB SPRINT ON 15 JANUARY

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

ZS6JON ACHIEVES 2 M DXCC

John Sygo, ZS6JON has finally completed the long overdue paperwork to receive his 2 metre DXCC through a mix of paper QSL cards and LotW confirmations on Tuesday 31 December 2019. John is well known worldwide in the VHF, UHF and SHF community as a pioneer in his field with a multitude of his excellent projects and ideas being used and copied by others.

John not only maintains a VHF/UHF beacon farm near Johannesburg, but he was also the main driving force behind the recent successful Z21EME, 3DA0MB and A21EME VHF, UHF and SHF EME DXpeditions. He has also been instrumental in helping several other local EME stations to get on the air by providing advice, equipment and the building of numerous complete antenna arrays and phasing cables for the VHF and UHF bands.

Congratulations John!

THE SARL 95 UNLOCKING AMATEUR RADIO TECHNOLOGY SYMPOSIUM

The Unlocking Amateur Radio Technology symposium is to be held at the Wanderers Conference Centre in Johannesburg, starting at 13:00 CAT with registration on Friday 3 April 2020. the symposium will start at 14:00 and will conclude at 19:00 with a cocktail event. The same format as the 2019 Symposium will be followed with speaking slots of 20 minutes and 10 minutes allocated for questions and answers. There will also be four "quick fire" sessions of 10 minutes each. The final programme will be published by Friday 31 January 2020.

Prospective authors are invited to submit a short synopsis of their proposed paper, in a Word file, by Tuesday 21 January 2020 for review. Send your proposal to artotoday@sarl.org.za

The Unlocking Amateur Radio Technology Symposium is part of the SARL National Convention which includes the Annual General Meeting and SARL 95 Dinner Dance. Diarise the weekend of 3 to 5 April 2020 as an Amateur Radio experience not to be missed.

REGION 1 144 MHZ TROPO RECORD NOW EXTENDED TO 4 776 KM

Over the last week, there has been some remarkable conditions on the VHF bands allowing lots of DX contacts across Europe. While this is nothing new, it has coincided with a sea duct running down as far as the west coast of Africa.

On 28 December, a new IARU Region 1 tropo record for 144 MHz was set when Ian, GM3SEK managed to work the Monteverde Contest Club, D41CV, at 4 565 km.

On 1 January 2020, the New Year was hardly a few hours old when Callum, GM0EWX on the Isle of Skye in the west of Scotland managed to work the Monteverde Contest Club, D41CV on FT8. This now extends the IARU Region 1 144 MHz tropo record to an amazing 4 776 km.

30 METRE BANDPLAN

The IARU Region One 30 MHz bandplan allows a segment for SSB, 10 120 to 10 140 kHz, during daylight hours in areas south of the equator while no bulletins are allowed. With the propagation conditions prevalent to the 30 Metre band, it would be of interest in Southern Africa to allow SARL News and Amateur Radio Today to be transmitted on 10 MHz. The SARL IARU workgroup has initiated a propagation study with Ean Retief, ZS1PR which will be discussed in a Skype discussion meeting later this month.

All Radio Amateurs who regularly use the 10 MHz band are invited to share their views and experience. Send an e- mail to artoday@sarl.org.za.

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

THE 2020 CQ DX MARATHON

The CQ DX Marathon is a year-long DX hunt, with participants competing to see who can work the greatest number of countries ("entities") and CQ zones during the calendar year. The 2020 edition started at 00:00 UTC on 1 January and will end at 23:59 UTC on 31 December. Complete details can be found at www.dxmarathon.com/.

THE SARL WEDNESDAY 80 M CLUB SPRINT ON 15 JANUARY

The first leg of the Wednesday 80 m Club Sprint will be held from 17:00 to 18:00 UTC on 15th January. The scoring has changed from the 2019 Sprint in that grid squares are used in the calculations and not call areas.

The PEARS National VHF/UHF Contest will be run over two sessions from 17 to 19 January. The first 22-hour session starts at 16:00 UTC on Friday 17 January and closes at 14:00 UTC on Saturday afternoon 18 January. The second 22-hour session commences immediately after 14:00 UTC on Saturday and ends at 12:00 UTC on Sunday 19 January with activity on 6, 4 and 2 metres and 70 and 23 cm.

The rules for both these contests can be found in the 2020 Blue Book and in the January 2020 Radio ZS.

THE RADIO AMATEUR EXAMINATION

Noel Hammond, ZR6DX has sent out an e-mail stating that all the exam centres have been de-activated. If your Club is going to run RAE courses and conduct exams, then please e mail Noel indicating that your Club is willing to hold RAE courses/exams for both May and the October session. The exam centre will remain inactive until we receive your e-mail. If there are any changes to the Club venue, invigilators, helpers, courier addresses and HF assessors, either e-mail the details to Noel or go to the following link to update the information www.sarl.org.za/Web3/RAE/ExamCentreRegistration.aspx, the e-mail for Noel is rae@sarl.org.za

The May 2020 RAE will be written on Saturday 16 May. Registration for this RAE opens on Saturday 1 February and closes on Friday 24 April 2020.

LIGHTNING CAUSES PROBLEMS WITH THE UPLOADING OF SARL NEWS

Lightning caused damage to an electrical distribution point in Bloemfontein last Saturday afternoon that left large parts of the city without power. It also affected the upload of SARL News. According to information, the Afrikaans bulletin was distributed but only 300 members received the English bulletin. With the upload of both bulletins, the League website is the first to receive it. So, if you do not receive the bulletin by e-mail, visit the League website.

PROPAGATION REPORT

Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, reports that the solar activity is expected to remain at low levels. There is currently a single, small 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 will provide some good DX fun. Please visit the website spaceweather.sansa.org.za for further information.

Finally, a diary of some upcoming events:

15 January The SARL Wednesday 80 m Club Sprint
17 to 19 January the PEARS National VHF/UHF Contest
21 January - the closing date for submitting the synopsis of papers for the SARL 95 Symposium
25 January the Summer QRP Contest
31 January the closing date for AGM motions, SARL Award nominations and Council nominations.
1 February the SARL VHF/UHF QSO Party and registration opens for the May RAE
2 February AWA CW Activity Day
7 and 8 February Council meeting at the NARC
8 and 9 February the SARL National Field Day

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

John Sygo, ZS6JON has finally completed the long overdue paperwork to receive his 2 metre DXCC through a mix of paper QSL cards and LotW confirmations on Tuesday 31 December 2019. John is well known worldwide in the VHF, UHF and SHF community as a pioneer in his field with a multitude of his excellent projects and ideas being used and copied by others.

Well done John!

This concludes our bulletin for this morning.

We invite clubs and individuals to submit news items of interest to radio amateurs and shortwave listeners, in both English and Afrikaans if possible, by following the news inbox link on the South African Radio League web page. News items to include 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 by Andy, ZS6ADY can be heard on Monday evenings at 19:30 Central African Time on 3 620 kHz. We welcome your signal reports, comments and suggestions; please send these by e-mail to artoday@sarl.org.za.

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