Make Space your technology partner in work and play – amateur radio will take you there

  “Amateur radio – your ticket to space communication”. This appears on the last page just before the index of the first amateur radio satellite handbook authored by Martin Davidoff, K2UBC, (published  by the ARRL in 1985). He wrote “Amateur radio by its very nature is space communication. Not only do (radio) hams bounce signals […]

29 MHz – the forgotten frequency for amateur radio satellites

  In the early days of satellites, not many years after the launch of Sputnik One in 1965, amateur satellites were designed and launched with downlinks on 29 MHz. Satellites were much larger than the present day CubeSats which only measure 10 x 10 x 10 cm and present interesting challenges for antenna  design and […]

SARL to launch 160 m propagation research project

  For many years radio amateurs have shown interest in the propagation properties of the various frequency bands available to them. One of them is the 160 m band where some interesting propagation properties have been observed. It has recently come back into focus as the sunspot cycle is on its downward slope to a […]

16 year old to coordinate amateur radio activity for young people

The South African Radio League (SARL) has as one of its major objectives the promotion of amateur radio amongst the youth of South Africa.  In years gone by young people moved into amateur radio by playing with crystal sets or tuning around the shortwave bands of the family’s radiogram. They would stumble across a group […]

More government support is needed for amateur radio to prosper

  Government can do three things to help amateur radio in South Africa prosper.  Perhaps the most important support government can give is to understand what amateur radio is really about and how to support it. In article 1.56 of the ITU Radio Regulations amateur radio is defined as a service.  The article states: “Amateur […]

SARL – nine decades of supporting amateur radio

  While amateur radio was part of the wireless scene in South Africa over a century ago, the South African Radio League (SARL) celebrates its ninetieth anniversary in 2015, which makes it one of the oldest associations of radio amateurs in the world, close on the heels of the American Radio League, the Wireless Society […]

5 MHz propagation research project shows unexpected results

  Earlier this year the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) awarded two licences to the South African Radio League (SARL) to carry out propagation research on the 5 MHz band in preparation for the agenda item to grant radio amateurs spectrum in the 5 MHz band at the World Radio Conference to be […]

A $50 satellite? Just ask a radio amateur!

  Radio amateurs can do crazy things, like thinking up a project to build a $50 satellite, get it launched and operational from space! There are two good reasons why radio amateurs can often achieve things that many people consider impossible: radio amateurs can set their own time line and they don’t have to meet […]

Gough Island emergency – amateur radio to the rescue

  It has often been said that when all communication fails, you can depend on amateur radio. This was again proven on 9 August 2014 when an important message from Gough Island to the department of environmental affairs could not be sent as their links were down. The story started when Pierre Tromp, ZS1HF, volunteered […]

Amateur radio must keep innovating

  “Amateur radio as a hobby has reached an important turning point”, said South African Radio League (SARL) president, Geoff Levey (pictured) at the Radio Technology in Action symposium held in Durban recently. He said that the trend of activity and interest now as compared to five or even ten years ago is changing. “The […]