• SA Radio League News Bulletin for Sunday 16 July 2000

    From Richard Peer@5:7106/22 to SA Radio League on Saturday, July 15, 2000 15:50:00

    This is Amateur Radio Station ZS6SRL transmitting Amateur Radio News , a service from the South African Radio League 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.


    The next Telkom Intecnet 2000 will be held on Sunday 23 July 2000 at 20:00
    CAT. The subject will A new satellite for South Africa, Participants in
    the net will be asked to make input to the name of the satellite and what Amateur Radio Payload it should carry. Clubs wishing to link their local repeaters should Email: armi@intekom.co.za with the details of their link frequencies and the telephone number. Please send this information before Thursday 20 July 2000.


    The League's two premier operating events are just around the corner.
    According to the standing rules the Phone contest takes place on the first Sunday and the CW contest on the last Sunday of August. This year, the relevant dates are 6 August for Phone and 27 August for CW. The contest
    runs from 15:00 to 18:00 SAST.

    The contests provide an excellent opportunity to hone your operating skills
    and to renew old acquaintances, and also an excellent excuse to make those station improvements you've been thinking about.

    All radio amateurs in Southern Africa may participate. Here follows
    everything you need to know. The 20, 40 and 80 metre bands are used.
    Contact as many Southern African stations as you can, and exchange reports
    and serial numbers with each of them. For example, your first contact on
    phone is number 59 001. He might give you something like 57 002, depending
    on how quickly he got off the mark.

    You should also try to contact as many ZS call areas possible. There are
    two additional areas which are defined in the rules i.e our easterly and westerly neighbours.

    In the past the ZS3 call area has been the most difficult to find. If
    you're a ZS3, now is your chance to be in demand. Most participants will follow propagation conditions as sun moves. The activity starts on 20
    metres and within half an hour or so, most of the participants will move to 40m. Towards the end of the contest, most of the activity will be on 80m.
    You must try to catch as many stations and areas on each band as you can
    before the other participants move down to the next band.

    There can be only a handful of winners in the contest. However, the
    contests provide a good opportunity for anyone, regardless of experience
    and skill level to listen to the experts. You'll hear some slick operators
    who log stations at a furious rate and you'll hear some operating practices that you will definitely not want to emulate. Learn from the courteous and efficient operators, and you'll see how your own operating style changes
    for the better.

    If you're chasing the Worked All ZS award, you'll find no better
    opportunity to make rapid progress. Especially in the Phone contest, the leading operators come very close to meeting the full requirements in this contest.

    A full set of rules appear on the League's webpage.


    The SARL National Amateur Radio Centre hours of business are from 09:00 -
    13:00 Monday to Friday. During that period the telephones will be manned
    and the bookshop and the centre will be open for visitors.

    Outside these hours you are encouraged to make use of Email : sarl@intekom.co.za, the fax machine : 011 675-2793 or to visit the SARL web
    at www.sarl.org.za. You will find a wealth of information on the SARL web
    in an easy indexed format.

    The SARL Administrator informed SARL NEWS that he is almost smothered under
    all the membership renewal and hopes that the rate will increase to keep
    him warm in the cold weather. He asks politely that for the next few weeks only necessary calls be made to him so that he will be able to catch up
    with the back log.


    Al Akers, ZS2U, on behalf of Hamnet Eastern Cape announced the following contest results which took place on 9 April 2000.

    Category A: Single operator stationary mobile ZS5Q with 675 points Category
    B: Single operator portable: winner ZS2U with 1188 and second ZS4BS with
    1134 points and zs6xt third with 1098 points. Category C: Multi-operator portable: Winner ZS4BHF with 1314, second ZS6RTB with 846 and third ZS6BNE
    with 570 points. Category D: Single operator base station: winner ZS5CD
    with 804 and second ZS6COG with 672 points. Nine logs were received out of
    a total of 15 contestants. It is a pity that the other stations did not
    also send in logs. Yet a total of about 40 stations were actually involved
    in the contest. Complementary comments were received from many
    participants. Al Akers said that, analysing the performances of
    participants with various antennas in these contests has led him to have greater respect for long wire antennas.


    Mike Bosch, ZS2FM, informed SARL NEWS that the transmission of the ZS2VHF 2 metre beacon operated by the Port Elizabeth Society, is now beaming to Cape Town. The FSK signal is horizontally polarized. The beacon frequency has
    been changed to 144,412 MHz on request by the VHF manager, John Fielding, ZS5JF, since the long distance FM channel is changed from 144,450 MHz to 144,400 MHz. Unfortunately the old beacon frequency caused interference to
    the new FM channel, hence the change of 4 kHz. Please note the change in frequencies. The new beacon frequency will also benefit FM operators whose equipment can only tune in 12,5 kHz steps. ZS2VHF has in the past been
    heard as far afield as Divisions 4,5,6. Please send reports to: Mike ZS2FM
    at tel. number 041 581-2425 or cell number 082 654 0623


    Five double tickets to the film frequency will be given away this weekend
    in Amateur Radio Mirror International. The film premiers on Friday 21 July with Amateur Radio promotions at several cinemas around South Africa..
    Listen to Amateur Radio Mirror International this Sunday at 10:00 CAT on
    21560, 9750 and 7082 kHz for full details.


    With SUNSAT SO35 in full sunlight high temperature problems were being experienced. As a precautionary measure the team commanded the satellite
    off and commenced investigation to find a way to solve the problem. The obvious solution was to topple the satellite and let the bottom face to
    outer space. On June 20 the ground control team carried out an Attitude Determination and Control (ADCS) System spin test to measure the effects of
    the spin rate on the temperature of the satellite. The following day the
    new software was tested for other spin rates. On Thursday the new ADCS Software was loaded and SUNSAT was commanded so that the bottom plate of
    the satellite and battery are pointing to outer space with the hope that
    the temperature would drop.

    By Friday 23 June the team's efforts were rewarded with a drop in 8 degrees
    in battery temperature. That same day the team activated the digipeating
    mode to provide services during the ARRL Field day. Last Saturday the
    other amateur services were activated.

    On Sunday 25 June, the ground control team tested SUNSAT with a small
    handheld Kenwood Radio with a rubber duckie and were able to digipeat at
    1200 baud successfully even when the satellite was just above the horizon
    at 1,5 degrees. The power used was only 5 watt. Tests are continuing.

    Sunsat will operate in Mode J during the coming weeks (with weekdays
    included). A schedule for all voice passes to the end of July is available
    on the SUNSAT web <http://sunsat.ee.sun.ac.za>. The uplink is 145.825 MHz, downlink 436.250 MHz.


    The last few days has been noted for the very high number of flares from
    the sun.

    From Monday to Friday no less than 24 major solar flares occurred and most
    of them caused a fade-out somewhere on the earth affecting frequencies
    below 12 MHz.

    On Tuesday afternoon at 15:10 SAST and again on Wednesday at 12:37 SAST two X-ray class flares occurred.

    A X-class flare is a major flare and usually have a fairly serious impact
    on the earth.

    Just before noon on Thursday a double magnetic shockwave impacted on the
    earth. This was followed by a shock-wave of protons and other heavier particles just after mid-day on Friday.

    By Friday night SA time the earths magnetic field had reached a high level
    of activity and Boulder in Colorado classified the field at severe storm

    Friday saw another large x-class Solar flare, this one being rated a
    whopping X5 and warnings has been issued in the northern hemisphere for
    power distribution organisations to expect possible surges on power
    networks due to ground level magnetic effects.

    Once again we here in Southern Africa was fortunate because it is winter
    with us and the northern hemisphere born the brunt of the impacts. However today we are not going to miss the effects entirely.

    Major storm conditions are forecast for today and the Maximum Useable Frequencies should be 20 to 30 percent lower than normal. This means that
    the higher bands will be "dead" to a large degree. Tonight is going to be
    very noisy and HF bands will be unusable to a large degree.

    Tomorrow we should still experience active to minor storm conditions while thing die down. More flares are expected so the geomagnetic activity may remain higher longer than expected.

    The Solar Flux has declined rapidly and should be under 200 today. It is expected to decline gradually and be about 160 to 170 by next weekend.

    From Tuesday onwards the earth's magnetic field should be mostly unsettled with fairly normal propagation conditions. Good propagation should occur
    to the middle east around dusk on the 20 metre band, while good signals can
    be expected in the morning from the far east.

    A returning coronal hole on the sun is expected by next weekend and that
    may push the magnetic field to active conditions. No major disruption of propagation is expected.


    The Sandton Amateur Radio Club will be holding their AGM at the NARC,
    Radiokop on Saturday 5th August. The meeting begins at 14:30. All
    welcome. Refreshments and snacks will be provided. Please RSVP to Rob
    ZS6RAP at 011 708-1875 or 082 567-5649.

    The Alberton Amateur Radio Club will hold a fleamarket or bootsale on 26
    August 2000 at 08:00 in front of the Civic Center, Ring Rd East Alberton. Please book tables in advance with Koos ZS6JPY 082 461 2819. Refreshments
    will be available. For more information visit our webpage at www.hometown.aol.com/zs6tdk

    Remember the International Lighthouse/Lightship Activity will take place =

    during the weekend of 19/20 August. Detailed information will again be provided later.

    The SARL news service invites radio clubs to supply information for
    inclusion in the Diary of Events as well as other items of interest to
    radio amateurs. Email information to sarlnuus@mweb.co.za with a copy to gth@mweb.co.za at least two weeks before the event. Please submit it in
    both Afrikaans and English wherever possible.

    The South African Radio League provides this news bulletin as a service to Radio Amateurs and interested listeners on the African Continent. News in
    this bulletin was supplied by the SARL news service, individuals, and
    amateur radio clubs in South Africa.

    Also join us on Sundays at 12:00 for the President's Net on 7082 kHz.
    This bulletin was compiled by Marten, ZS6ZY and read by.........

    A reminder that the interesting program Amateur Radio Mirror International
    is on the air on Sundays at 10:00 SAST on 9750 and 21560 kHz and is
    repeated on Mondays at 20:00 SAST on 3215 kHz. These transmissions are sponsored by Sentech, the common carrier for broadcasting signals in South Africa and Telkom who provides the transmission lines. The following VHF frequencies are also used: 145,375 for the Northern Free State and Vaal triangle areas, 145,650 MHz for the greater Durban area and if conditions permit in Pretoria on 145,750 MHz. The 145,400 and 439,100 MHz frequencies have temporarily been suspended for technical reasons. .

    The address for Amateur Radio Mirror International is armi@intekom.co.za. Include your contact telephone number to allow the producers of the
    programme to call you for a possible interview. Send written reports to P
    O Box 90438, Garsfontein, 0042 and include a self addressed stamped
    envelope, overseas stations two IRC's, so that you may receive a QSL card. Please note the new postal address.

    Thanks to all who gathered news items and have made contributions to this bulletin. We thank all the stations who so reliably relay the bulletins.
    We wish you a pleasant week. ZS6SRL now closes down with ZS6... at
    the microphone.

    Goodbye 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)