• SA Radio League News Bulletin for Sunday 4 February 2001

    From Richard Peer@5:7106/22 to SA Radio League on Saturday, February 03, 2001 14:22:00

    This is Amateur Radio Station ZS6SRL transmitting Amateur Radio News, a
    service by the South African Radio League, the National Society for Amateur Radio in South Africa, for the interest of all Radio Amateurs, Short-wave Listeners and Electronic Enthusiasts. For a complete list of broadcast times and frequencies please send a SASE to Amateur Radio News, SARL, P O Box 1721, Strubensvallei 1735.

    This bulletin is also available on the SARL's web pages hosted by Intekom at www.sarl.org.za, as well as the packet radio bulletin board system. You may also request sarlnuus@mweb.co.za to e-mail it to you in either text or MSWord 6.0 format.

    Here are the headlines of today's news:






    You are listening to ZS6SRL. The news follows in detail.


    Sunsat Oscar 35 has gone silent. The last communication with South Africa's first satellite was on Friday 19 January 2001 at 15:22 when the ground
    control station at the University of Stellenbosch was engaged in routine maintenance on the satellite.

    The ground control station made this announcement yesterday after two weeks
    of intense recovery action. All efforts to make contact with SUNSAT have failed.

    Recovery efforts will continue but the confidence level that any success will be achieved is very low.

    SUNSAT was the University of Stellenbosch's first satellite and has
    contributed much to the development of satellite capability in South Africa. During its two years in orbit the original goals were set:

    Summary of achievements:

    to co-operate as OSCAR-35 with the amateur radio and amateur satellite communities worldwide, contributing new standards in the field. to
    demonstrate high resolution imaging not before considered possible with a satellite this size and costs. to stimulate challenging research and technology development at graduate student level ╖ to foster valued international ties in the science and engineering community and ╖ to promote science, engineering and technology among the school children of South

    Sunsat was launched on 23 February 1999 and by 19 February 2001 had completed 10 027 orbits. This translates to having travelled over 500 million km
    around the globe. During its operational life 51 high resolution photo were
    s taken at places all over the globe, in 3 spectral bands and 15 m pixel
    sizes on ground. Other statistics include:

    937 command dairies uploaded in operating SUNSAT
    241700 telecommands executed successfully
    161.144 Mbytes of whole orbit data (WOD) downloaded
    94868 GPS data points downloaded in support of JPL
    3.144 Mbytes APRS digilogs leading to a new activity
    1.656 Mbytes of Magnetometer data
    888 Kbytes international school experimental data
    7.052 Mbytes of data for the star camera experiment
    Several hours of PAL videotape data of Southern Africa

    For more back ground on SUNSAT visit : http://www.sunsat.ee.sun.ac.za or
    listen to Amateur Radio Mirror International today at 10:00 CAT on 21560 or 9750 kHz or on Monday at 20:00 CAT on 3215 kHz for details of recovery attempts.


    The next SARL Telkom Intecnet 2001 will discuss the search for
    extraterestrial Intelligence and how Radio Amateurs can get involved in the search. It will be on the air on Sunday 18 February 2000 at 20:00. Clubs wishing to link into the net and participate interactively should book a link as soon as possible by sending an email to armi@intekom.co.za giving details
    of the telephone number to be linked and the frequency they will
    interactively support. Requests may also be faxed to 012 991 5651


    At the 2000 AGM a proposal was accepted to form a Strategic Public Relations Committee which would proactively look at all initiatives that could impact
    on Amateur Radio. This committee has not started its work because clubs,
    while all having supported the formation of the SPRC, have not nominated a representative to serve on the committee. .

    This is an urgent appeal to clubs in each province of South Africa to get together and appoint a SPRC committee member. Nominations for the SPRC
    should be mailed to sprc@intekom.co.za.


    The Chief Examiner for the SARL RAE, Rassie, ZS1YT, informed SARL NEWS that
    the next Radio Amateur Examination will be conducted on 10 May 2001 at 19:00 SAST. Entries for this examination close on 10 April 2001. The entry fee is R100-00 and late entries will be accepted till 17 April at a fee of R200-00. Any entries received after 17 April wil be deferred to the November examination.

    Entry forms are available on the SARL website at www.sarl.org.za or by fax
    from the NARC at 011 675-2393. The syllabus and examples of RAE questions
    can be found on the SARL website. Clubs are requested to register their examination centres with Rassie soonest at rassie@ctech.ac.za


    An item in Q-NEWS reads as follows:

    The Belgian Minister of Telecommunications has signed a new decree on amateur radio which, among other changes, has reduced the Morse code test speed required for HF access to five words per minute. The decree will come into effect when it has been published in the official journal, which will be in a few weeks time.


    A recent press release from the Radiocommunications Agency in Great Britain says that with effect from the 1st of April 2001, Amateur and Citizen's Band Radio Licences will be issued free to those aged 75 years and over. New licence applications received on or after the 1st of April will be issued
    free of charge to any person aged 75 or over at the time of issue. Existing licence-holders whose licence renewal is due on or after the 1st of April,
    and who are 75 years of age or over at that time, will have their licence renewed at no charge. Licences will still need to be renewed each year, but
    no licence fee will be required.


    Russia's space centre announced on 21 January that the ageing Mir space
    station has been "practically stabilised" after a breakdown of its
    orientation system during last week. "The gyroscopes are running again, but they need some time to function normally," a spokesperson said.

    The latest glitch in a series of technical problems plagueing the 15-year-old station forced Russia's mission control to postpone blast-off on Thursday of the supply ship, Progress, which is now expected to dock at the Mir space station on January 27 at the start of a hazardous operation to ensure its
    safe destruction. The operation envisages Progress lowering Mir's orbit to
    an altitude of 80km above the earth, hitting the atmosphere at an angle at which most of it will burn up. The remains are expected to splash down into the Pacific Ocean on March 6, a week after February 27 to 28, the date originally set.


    The Alberton radio Amateur Radio Club will operate the special event station with callsign ZS6NOM at the National War Museum next Saturday 10 February.
    Look on all bands for ZS6NOM. Every one is invited to join them and enjoy
    the morning together especially the men with interesting war stories so that the younger amateurs can listen to them.


    Ean Retief, ZS1PR reports as follows on propagation conditions:

    At the end of last weekend, just after 18:00 SAST on Sunday a fairly large Solar Flare occurred. This was accompanied by a Coronal Mass Ejection

    On Wednesday the Earth's magnetic field received a glancing blow from the ejection, while the Interplanetary Magnetic Field also changed it's polarity southward. This makes for better coupling with the Earth's magnetic field
    and hence for a better transfer of energy.

    The Earth's magnetic field reached minor storm conditions at times while the Solar Flux also reached it's low point on Wednesday with a value of 153.

    You may have noticed that conditions were far from ideal . On the 20 metre band the signals were weak and the band closed between Johannesburg and Cape Town in the late afternoon. On the lower bands, especially 80 metres, the noise levels were very high.

    The coming week promises to be a good deal better. The Solar Flux is rising and values in the 170's can be expected. The Earth's magnetic Field should
    be mostly unsettled, but it is hoped that from Friday it will be mostly
    quiet, so things does not look too bad for next weekend.


    HAMNET bulletin on 1st Sunday of the month at 09:10 SAST on 145,750 MHz and 7070 and 10130 kHz and on other Sundays a get together . Every Sunday at
    17:20 meet on these frequencies for a get together followed by Gauteng North bulletin at 18:00 SAST on 145,725 MHz and 7070 kHz.

    SARL NEWS invites clubs to inform us of your websites so that it can
    published in the bulletin. Our overseas and local readers of the SARL bulletins will then be able to visit the various club's websites. Remember
    the SARL website where unbelievable interesting information can be obtained
    is: www.sarl.org.za.


    Entries for the Tinus Lange awards 15 February;

    Motivation for SARL awards 20 February.

    SARL AGM will be held in Cape Town over the weekend of 27- 28 April 2001.
    More details will be announced later.

    The SARL News Service invites Clubs and individuals to contribute information regarding Amateur Radio to sarlnuus@mweb.co.za with a copy to gth@mweb.co.za. Please submit in Afrikaans and English wherever possible.

    Also join us in the following activities:

    The President's Net on Sundays 12:00 on 7082 kHz. Amateur Radio Mirror International Sundays at 10:00 on 9750 and 21560 kHz which is repeated
    Mondays at 20:00 on 3215 kHz. Relays on various 2M repeaters can also be heard.

    Correspondence for Amateur Radio Mirror International is via armi@intekom.co.za. Include your telephone number to allow the producers to call you for a possible interview. Send written reports to PO Box 90438 Garsfontein 0042 and include a self-addressed envelope and sufficient postage so that you may receive a QSL card.

    These transmissions are sponsored by Sentech, the common carrier for broadcasting signals in South Africa and Telkom who provides the transmission lines. Various local repeater frequencies on 2 metres and 70 cm are also
    used in your area.

    We thank all contributors, individuals, clubs and other organisations to this bulletin and all stations who so reliably relay these bulletins. This
    bulletin was compiled by Marten, ZS6ZY, and read by ZS.... in.......

    You have been listening to ZS6SRL.

    This bulletin now ends and Sarlnews wish you a pleasant week.

    Goodbye to all.
    Internet feed from ZS6ZY moved by Richard de ZR6CK


    --- Msged/Q 1.60
    * Origin: QTHR KG44DG, Novell User Group, Pretoria, RSA (5:7106/22)