SARL call book

 

Recent Forum Topics

ICASA AGREES ON 5260 AND 5290 kHz,  PUBLISHES NEW NATIONAL FREQUENCY BAND PLAN AND SARL TO PRESENT AT THE TYPE APPROVAL PUBLIC HEARING ON WEDNESDAY 14 DECEMBER 2016- On Friday ICASA published the proposed National Frequency Band plan in a 230 page document as part of a mega Government Gazette of over 500 pages. The band plan creates a number of challenges for Amateur Radio which will have to be addressed and documented for submission to ICASA by 27 January 2016 followed by public hearings which may be held on 2 and 3 February. It is expected that ICASA will publish the draft National Radio Frequency Plan on www.icasa.org.za. Watch the SARL homepage for more information as and when it becomes available.

Some good news is that ICASA has agreed to allow members of the South African Radio League to operate on 5260 and 5290 kHz. Since the original authority to operate on these two frequencies expired on 31 October 2015 there were some interim on off arrangements. ICASA has now confirmed that under a trial license these frequencies may be used by SARL members for the next 8 months.

On Wednesday 14 December the SARL will present its reasons why amateur radio equipment should be considered for exemption of type approval regulations. 

Details will be published on the SARL home page as the SARL Manager Regulatory and his committee review the new National Frequency Band Plan  and information about type approval will become available.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SDR - On Saturday 26 November 2016 AMSAT SA in cooperation with the SARL will be holding a workshop on Software Defined Radio. The morning programme which starts at 9 am and will feature an introduction to SDR well supported by videos. There will be a few practical demonstrations including a SDR repeater using a Raspberry Pie board by Anton Janovsky ZR6AIC. Cor Rademeyer ZS6CR will talk about a SDR transponder concept and there will be an update on the Kletskous project.

Registration opens at 9 am with the workshop running from 9.30 till about 12:30.  After the workshop you are invited to stay for an open discussion on future SDR event planning.

To register for the SDR workshop point your browser to www.amsatsa.org.za. The cost is R20 to cover light refreshments plus a voluntary donation to the AMSAT SA Kletskous CubeSat project. You may pay online or at the door but please complete the registration form.

INTERNET CELEBRATES ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY 12 November 2016 is the 25th anniversary of the first South African Internet networking system.  In 1988 Mike Lawrie led the Rhodes University team that established the very first South African Internet networking system. The following year saw Rhodes use email for the first time. South Africa has solid Internet foundations built by visionary South Africans who saw the potential of a new technology that has today flourished and built many local centres of Internet excellence such as ZACR which is tasked with administering second-level domains within the greater .ZA 

DTPS gets a Director General - Former Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) councillor Robert Nkuna  has been appointed the new director-general of the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services. Nkuna, who is no stranger to the industry, takes over from Rosey Sekese, who left under a cloud earlier in 2016.

Nkuna's appointment will strengthen the department, which faces the huge task of implementing a new policy that aims to drastically change the telecoms industry. Apart from his time as a Councillor at Icasa, Nkuna has also served as an adviser to former communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda and former transport minister Ben Martins. He was part of the panel that was working on the National Integrated ICT Policy white paper, which was released in September.


AMSATSA SDR WORKSHOP: In association with the South African Radio League, AMSAT SA is holding a Software Defined Radio workshop at the NARC on Saturday 26 November 2016.  Get details and registration information here


ICASA COUNCIL APPROVES MOU WITH SARL This week the Council of ICASA approved the memorandum of understanding with the SARL. The memorandum replaces a very old MOU which was outdated and had expired. The purpose of the MOU is to establish the manner in which the Authority and the SARL will interact with each other to enable them, inter alia: 

  • to co-ordinate and harmonise the issuing of amateur radio frequency spectrum licences in South Africa;
  • to establish a framework to conduct the radio amateur examination (RAE); and, 
  • to co-ordinate activities with respect to matters of common interest. 

In terms of the MOU the SARL will set up a formal National Repeater and Beacon Managing Group in order to coordinate applications made for repeater and beacon station licences and a Joint Working Committee constituted by representatives of the Authority and the SARL, as nominated by the parties respectively, shall be established pursuant to this Agreement and shall function on an on-going basis. Arrangements are now being made by ICASA's legal department for the formal signing of the MOU by SARL President and the Chairman of ICASA. The signed document will be made available on the SARL web pages. 

Commenting on the MOU, SARL President, Nico van Rensburg said that the signing of the MOU will be an important milestone as it formalise the relationship between ICASA and the SARL.

ICASA STARTS TYPE APPROVAL CONSULTATION PROCESS

On 20 September ICASA published a discussion document on Equipment Type Approval Exemption and has invited written representation with the closing date of 2 December 2016. Type approval is a very important issue for the amateur radio fraternity and has been on the agenda of the SARL/ICASA liaison committee for the past few years. Some two years ago the SARL submitted a document to ICASA asking that all amateur radio equipment, including homebrew equipment, be excluded from the regulations promulgated on 26 August 2013 which required that all radio equipment had to be type approved. The SARL will review its original proposals in terms of the ICASA discussion document, published last week. The SARL will also have preliminary discussions at the next SARL - ICASA liaison meeting scheduled for 17 October 2016. The Government Gazette is available on www.icasa.org.za. Radio amateurs are invited to provide input for review by the SARL Regulatory Working Group. Please send your input to sarlregwg@sarl.org.za by 31 October 2016.

THE GEOMAGNETIC BLITZ OF SEPTEMBER 1941: Seventy-five years ago today, a massive geomagnetic storm disrupted electrical power, interrupted radio broadcasts, and illuminated the night sky in a World War II battle theater. The untold story of this remarkable event has just been published in a lively article by two space weather researchers

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What is Amateur Radio ? 

Tell me more  about Amateur Radio

Radio Amateurs, or "Hams" use two-way radio communication to make contact with other radio amateurs all over the world. They are even able to use satellites and on occasion speak with astronauts. Radio Hams can do this from home or while mobile in cars, boats or on foot.

Radio Hams have a full range or communication modes at their disposal. These include plain voice, Morse code, numerous digital computer modes and even graphical modes like television. As a licensed amateur radio operator you will be able to join in experiments using all these modes.

A
mateur radio can be enjoyed by young and old, male and female, even the most severely disabled can make friends around the world from their own home. This hobby knows no boundaries.

ICASA RULES ABOUT ZU LICENSES FOR PEOPLE OVER 25 - From  2017 amateurs over 25 years old who hold a ZU license cannot renew their  licence. ICASA recommends that the affected persons enrol for a class A license course and write the next RAE in  October 2016. That will be the last opportunity.

The revised regulation stipulates that persons under 20 years old can write the class B examination and if successful can hold a ZU or class B license until 25 years old after which, if they would like to continue with Amateur Radio, have to sit the class A examination to qualify for a class A (ZS/ZR license).

During the discussion stage of this new regulation the SARL was requested to approach ICASA to review their decision, which the SARL did on two occasions when ICASA invited comments on their proposal.  ICASA strongly believes that the class B license prime purpose was to create opportunities for young people to enter Amateur Radio and based on that premises implemented the new regulation. 

The SARL requested ICASA to allow a reasonable period for ZU licences over 25 to upgrade. ICASA agreed to this and set the final date as 31 March 2017.

DECEMBER IS YOTA MONTH - From Thursday 1 December to Saturday 31 December 2016, the annual Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) event takes place and YOTA stations will attempt to make many contacts worldwide with each other. This is an excellent opportunity to get young amateurs in their teens and early 20s to talk with their counterparts on the air 

This  is not a formal contest, but a way to get young people  on the air and to let them realize that there are hundreds of other peers around the world that feel just the same as they do about the hobby. The main aim is to get our youngsters on the air and for them to make contact with youngsters all over the world. This is an excellent opportunity for clubs to run a demonstration at a local school or church or to gather together with our amateur friends at the club and display this great hobby to our South African youth! 

The SARL  will once again register as a Region 1 Member Society participant and obtain the special call sign ZS9YOTA that will be registered as an educational call sign for use by clubs and individuals during December. Details pertaining to bookings for the special call sign will be made available during November. For any additional information or possible questions please forward your e-mails to Koos, ZR6KF, at koosfick096@gmail.com or alternatively to Nico, ZS6QL, at zs6ql@mweb.co.za. They will provide you with much more information and will answer any questions.