Tag: South Africa

YOTA 2018: Day 6

Today was our final day of activities and we started off the day going to Dinokeng Game Reserve. Yes, we were going on safari! Safari We got up at a more respectable time of around 7am, which compared to the balloon launch, was a long lie-in! Plus the weather was quite nice and nowhere near […]

YOTA 2018: Day 7

Our final day Most of the day was spent packing our bags and getting ready to leave the hotel. Our flight was a little later in the day, so we had some time to talk to others and say a proper thanks to the organisers for putting on such a brilliant event. After we got […]

YOTA 2018: Day 4

QSX Unveiling and Kit Building Today was one of the most rewarding days of the week. It was the grand revealing and build of Hans Summers’ new QSX kit, which is an amazing radio. We started off the day with an introduction into the radio and its specifications, which can be found at the following […]

YOTA 2018: Day 5

Trips to local companies Our penultimate day of activities included two group outings, one to a local PCB manufacturer, Bosco. Their website can be found at: http://www.bosco.co.za/ The second group went to a military company, GEW, which specialises in direction finding and radio jammers. Their website can be found at: http://www.gew.co.za/ Myself and Peter went […]

Kletskous plagued by battery failure

Kletskous on BACAR 6 worked perfectly on the ground while being assembled in the train of BACARSats to prepare for launch on a high-altitude balloon and for a short period while ascending on the balloon. Then suddenly the transponder switched off

YOTA 2018: Day 3

Balloon Launch at Secunda  Today was one of the highlights of the week, apart from the horribly cold weather and early start! We woke up at the very early time of 4:00am and stumbled onto the bus for 4:30am. The early morning was not helped by the freezing temperatures outside, but we all went in […]

YOTA 2018: Day 2

BaCAR Activity Our second day of activities began with a BaCAR (Balloon Carrying Amateur Radio) introduction. We were briefed on the main goals of BaCAR and told that we would be building our own cube to send up as a payload, tied onto a high-altitude balloon. This was very exciting, and we were divided up […]

YOTA 2018 off to a great start

YOTA 2018 hosted by the SARL got off to a great start. Young radio amateurs from 23 countries arrived throughout Wednesday until late into the night but were eager to get started on Thursday morning

YOTA 2018: Day 1

We set off for South Africa just after 2200hrs, and enjoyed our pleasant 11 hour flight to Johannesburg! We started bumping into fellow attendees while queuing for customs. We were greeted by a large welcoming reception, and driven to the fantastic Kopanong hotel a few miles from the airport Software Defined Radio We started off […]

A few weeks to go – YOTA ZS!

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With only a few weeks to go to YOTA 2018 in South Africa, the SARL Events Team is hard at work to conclude preparations for a 7 day programme filled with a range of amateur radio related activities, excursions and lots of fun!

The event will be held in the beautiful central region of Gauteng at the Kopanong Hotel and Conference Centre easily accessible from the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

All teams and participants will be met at the airport with a traditional South African welcome and be transported to the venue.
Being in the Southern hemisphere and August in Gauteng, it will expectantly be a mild winter with sun-filled days with day time temperatures in the low 20 degrees C and will be a “pseudo-Summer” camp for the overseas visitors.

The week will offer many opportunities to learn more about amateur radio and getting to know fellow amateurs from various other countries.
Highlights planned for the week include learning about SDR technology with your own SDR dongle, build a mini CubeSat and experience launching it as well as tracking it into near space on a high altitude balloon. Learn about Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio (RaDAR) which is in essence amateur radio on the move and build a QRP HF transceiver kit.

A visit to a game reserve to view the Big Five including some cultural experiences like a traditional braaivleis in an open-air boma and operate the ZS9YOTA special events station.

The theme of “Train the Trainer” will be explored, to enable participants to return to their home countries, equipped and inspired to organize and promote radio amateur activities to other youth groups or ultimately starting a youth group.
Should you have any specific questions about travel arrangements, documentation or any other specific information, please do not hesitate to ask, we are happy to assist: info@zs9yota.co.za.

The Events Team will keep participants informed in the next newsletter to be released soon. In the meantime bring your laptop, and if a licensed radio amateur your hand held radio and a copy of your amateur radio license.

We are looking forward to welcoming all teams in August this year!

YOTA 2018 – a few weeks away

With only a few weeks to go to YOTA 2018 in South Africa, the SARL YOTA Events Team is hard at work to conclude preparations for a 7-day programme filled with a range of amateur radio related activities, excursions and lots of fun!

ZS5 Sprint next Sunday

The ZS5 Sprint is a fun activity to promote contacts between radio amateurs in KwaZulu-Natal and radio amateurs in Southern African countries and will be run from 14:00 to 15:00 UTC on Sunday 1 July 2018

The ZS SOTA Weekend

Lucas Swart, ZS6ACT, has made arrangements that the SOTA team of Sid, ZS5AYC and Adele, ZS5APT Tyler and Lucas, ZS6ACT and Magda ZS6MMS Swart will be activating two summits in the Sani Pass area over the weekend of 28 June to 1 July

SARL Top Band QSO Party

The SARL Top Band QSO Party is a fun activity to promote contacts on 160 metres between radio amateurs in Southern African countries and to encourage radio amateurs to apply for the South African Radio League Top Band Award and it takes place from 00:00 UTC on Thursday 21 June to 00:00 UTC on Monday 25 June 2018

South Africans get 100kHz on 60m

The South African regulator, ICASA, recently published their 2018 National Radio Frequency Plan. In this, amateur radio was allocated 100kHz on a shared basis in the 60 metre band. 5.350 to 5.450MHz is now available to all licensed radio amateurs on a shared, non-interference basis, with a power limit of 15W EIRP. The South African […]

High-Altitude Balloon launch

Tom, ZSL5341 reports that Binaryspace is doing another High-Altitude Balloon Launch from about 07:00 CAT on 9 June from the Leeukop Farm Airfield in Deneysville in South Africa’s Free State

South Africa Gets 100 kHz Band at 5 MHz

South Africa telecommunications regulator Indepdent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has included a shared 100 kHz wide band at 5 MHz (60 meters) of 5,350 to 5,450 kHz in its just-published National Radio Frequency Plan 2018, at a maximum power of 15 W EIRP. The band is being made available…

South Africa gets 100 kHz on 60 Metres

On Friday 25 May, ICASA published the National Radio Frequency Plan 2018 in which amateur radio was allocated 100 kHz on a shared basis in the 60-metre band as well as channel 5 290 kHz for the 5 MHz propagation research project. The National Radio Frequency Plan 2018 is a nearly 300-page document which covers the entire radio frequency spectrum. The Frequency Plan is in Government Gazette 41650.  The SARL will carefully consider all the amateur allocations and ensure that a band plan is in place.

The spectrum 5 350 to 5 450 kHz is now available to all licensed radio amateurs on a shared non-interference basis, the SARL Council is working on the 60 m band plan using Recommendation LA17_C4_REC_02 from the 2017 Region 1 General Conference as basis. Council will publish the band plan as soon as possible and then operation on 60 metres can start.

In addition, the channel 5 290 kHz has been allocated for WSPR beacons deployed in the SARL Propagation Research project and members can continue to use this frequency. Due to licensing issues the SARL has kept low key on the 5 290 kHz beacon project. “We now can go full steam ahead”, Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, the SARL Regulatory Manager said. “There are no longer any restrictions and no application for use of the 60-metre band is required.”

Commenting on the 100 kHz 60 metre allocation, SARL President, Nico van Rensburg ZS6QL said that the SARL has worked on this for a long time. “Clearly our persistent interaction with ICASA has paid dividends. This is however not the end of the road as in the new band plan power on 5 MHz is restricted to the WRC-15 agreement of 15 watts e.i.r.p

YOTA 2018 team announced

Congratulations to the young radio amateurs who have been chosen to represent the UK at YOTA 2018 in South Africa this summer. Peter Barnes, M0SWN will be the UK team leader, whilst Benjamin Chalmers, M0NBA, Nathan Prentice, 2I0NTP and Mike Jones, 2E0MLJ will form the UK team. On their return they…

ICASA new automatic licencing system soon

SARL President, Nico van Rensburg, ZS6QL and SARL Regulatory Affairs Manager, Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV met with the ICASA CEO Willington Ngwepe and some of his senior staff to discuss several long outstanding issues that could not be resolved by the liaison committee

17 new Hammies in Bhisho

The SARL congratulates Dave Higgs, ZS2DH and his team who ran a special RAE boot camp which saw 17 youngsters from a rural community write the Class-B RAE on April 30

SDR Workshop on 5 May

The next workshop looking at what antennas to use for the project and other interesting aspects of the project will be presented at the SARL National Amateur Radio Centre on Saturday 5 May …