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 […]

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 […]