Building a satellite takes amateur radio to the next level

  It is often heard that in our days of modern technology there is no room for amateur radio. Smartphones and the internet can deliver it all. Many smartphones include better and faster processors than most computers and laptops but with all that we still need some sophisticated hardware. Cell phones do not make good […]

Is shortwave radio something of the past?

  Before the first FM radio service was introduced in South Africa on 25 December 1961, just about every home had a radio which could tune the shortwave bands. Many people were fascinated by foreign radio stations and the various languages in which they were broadcasting. The BBC, the Voice of America, Radio Nederland, Deutsche […]

The WRC15 agrees on 5 MHz amateur allocation

  At the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC15) radio amateurs were allocated a small segment in the 5 MHz band from 5351,5 to 5366,5 kHz on a secondary basis after years of preparation, trials and discussions. The conference modified the table of allocations based in Article 5 of the ITU Radio Regulation by introducing a […]

Man-made pollution of radio spectrum is a growing problem

Man-made pollution of the radio spectrum is a growing problem for everyone, with radio amateurs being the first to notice its effects. The main reason is that radio amateurs work mostly with low power transmissions and weak signals which are particularly susceptible to man-made noise. In a recent editorial, Dave Sumner, CEO of the American […]

SA AMSAT CubeSat project on track

  SA AMSAT has successfully completed the first prototype of the various elements of its CubeSat project, named Kletskous. The CubeSat is being designed and built by radio amateurs and will ultimately include a 20 kHz linear transponder, extensive telemetry and command systems and selected school science projects. Kletskous measures 10 x 10x 10 cm […]

Student helps to reduce mass of CubeSat’s space frame

  Over the past few years CubeSats have been a popular vehicle for taking payloads into space. The concept has not bypassed radio amateurs who were amongst the first to explore a more cost effective way of getting a payload into space. CubeSats are launched in batches which greatly reduces the launch cost and makes […]

With industry support amateur radio can make engineering cool

  It is unlikely to be a coincidence that worldwide, the countries that have large electronics industries also have the largest number of  amateur radio “hams”; for example the USA, Korea and Japan. Amateur radio is the oldest scientific hobby in the world. It started with the invention of, as it was called in the […]

Bloemfontein 5 MHz beacon enhances the SARL propagation research project

  The South African Radio League (SARL) propagation research project is based on a number of automated beacons using a program called “Weak Signal Propagation Reporter” (WSPR). During July 2015 the scope of the project was greatly enhanced when a beacon was installed in Bloemfontein. For the past few months the focus was on short […]