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 […]

SA AMSAT’s CubeSat is making good progress

  The first prototype of the linear transponder was successfully tested and demonstrated on air at the recently held SA AMSAT Space Symposium. Named Kletskous (Afrikaans for chatterbox), the satellite measuring 10 x 10 x 10 cm is being developed  and built by radio amateurs who volunteer their expertise, time and often, their money for […]

Amateur radio embraces sport communication

  Amateur radio is a multi-faceted activity, ranging from providing opportunities to speak to other radio enthusiasts worldwide; to research such as the 5 MHz propagation research programme and,  in recent years, sport communication. Sport communication is an additional service provided by radio amateurs, within the ambit of  disaster communication support. In South Africa disaster […]

Propagation research on 5 MHz produces some interesting results

  Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, South African Radio League Propagation research undertaken by radio amateurs on 5 MHz showed some early and interesting results using the weak signal propagation reporter software (WSPR) . Almost a year ago the South African Radio League (SARL) obtained a licence from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa […]

David Larsen ZS6DN, a legend that will live on

  Amateur radio and the South African electronics industry has lost one of its greatest innovators and most inventive engineers, David Larsen, ZS6DN, who passed away on 26 February  2014. Mainly  self-taught, he  rose to become MD of Racal South Africa and  with Horace Dainty, its founder, established an internationally-recognised military communications company that produced […]

First radio ham in Africa to be awarded DXCC

  Jan (Pine) Pienaar ZS6OB recently became the first radio ham in Africa to hold a DXCC (DX Century Club),  with all contacts made by bouncing signals off the moon:  Earth-moon-Earth (EME). He is the second radio ham in the southern hemisphere to achieve this. The first southern hemisphere EME DXCC was achieved by a New […]

Radio amateurs experiment near the edge of Space

  by Hans van de Groenendaal, features editor, EngineerIT In this monthly feature, Hans van de Groenendaal ZS6AKV, executive chairman of the South African Amateur Radio Development Trust (SAARDT), looks at various technologies and activities that drive amateur radio. SAARDT is dedicated to the development of amateur radio in South Africa, with a special interest […]