31 May: Comrades. This year is an uprun. Many of our members, together with Hamnet and other KZN amateurs, were stationed along the route, helping with emergency comms.
28 February: From our
19 January: Notice of MARC meeting - 28
18 January 2015: RAE courses will be held in Pmb, staring at 13h00 on 25 January. Please contact Shaun Fisher, 0722496697 for further information.
13 December: ZR5S managed to sort the echo problem on both the Estcourt and Alverstone repeaters by adjusting a setting on the new RTCM firmware.
9 December: ZR5S, Curtis and ZS5ML went to Alverstone and installed the antennas for the D-Star 145.575MHz repeater and the uhf 439.325MHz repeaters.
December: ZR5S, Curtis and ZS5ML restored the tripped power and replaced
the top antenna at Gilboa in wet
misty conditions. The new
antenna also has a bad swr, so we assume that the cable and/or
connectors are faulty. We will have to arrange for another work
party to replace the faulty cable/connectors.
6 December: Our Christmas year-end function was well attended at Lexden
Scout Camp. The company was good, as well as the food.
Thanks to Des and Gwen for organising the cooldrinks, plates etc, and to
Louis for the excellent wood and charcoal for the braai. More
picture can be viewed
5 December: ZR5S and ZS5ML installed the new cabinet containing the
D-Star repeater and UHF repeater in Alverstone. Due to the rain,
the antennas could not be mounted on the mast. This will be done
as soon as we find time on a dry day.
4 December: The Hamnet Windy Hill repeater was uplifted for reprogramming
2 November: ZR5S, ZS5LF, ZS5AY, ZS5KDK, ZS5ZS and ZS5ML arrived at
Griffin's Hill in wet and misty conditions. The weather forecast
predicted that the weather would clear at 11, but they were out by about
2 hours. ZS5S and ZS5ML climbed the tower as soon as it was safe
enough, and were sometimes obscured by the mist. 2 new LMR400 coax
runs were installed, The 5GHz link radio was repositioned and aligned, a
new tx X200 antenna was installed on the lower 18m level, as well as a
folded dipole on this level for the APRS igate. One of the new
coax runs was connected to the existing rx X200 antenna on the upper
level, 26 meters up. All coax cables were secures with stainless
steel cable ties, as required by the tower owners.
A view down from the upper 36m level, just above the lower big dish.
More pictures can be viewed here
30 October: ZS5S called for a work party to the Eskom site on Sunday 2/11 to install new antennas, tie cables to the tower with stainless steel clips etc. Parties to be at Griffin's Hill at 10h00.
The Gilboa repeater was unlinked from the network again as it was locking up the system periodically. New antennas have been ordered, and the top receive antenna on Gilboa needs to be replaced.
29 October: Estcourt Repeater is back on air after Eskom restored power to the MARC repeater enclosure.
27 October. ZS5S is trying to book the Lexdon Scout's premises on 6 December for our year end function
26 October: Hot off the press (15h20): ZR5S, ZR5SEM and ZS5LF went up to Griffin's Hill and removed old RG213 of old antennas, and set up a 5HGz link back to Gilboa. The link connected! and they chatted on the repeater network. The electricity is tripped at the site to our MARC box and needs to be reset by Eskom. Shaun and co powered the repeater and link temporarily via his inverter in his vehicle. We should be able to finish the job on another day, if we get enough volunteers. Thanks to the 3 above to get the repeater up and running via the link, even if only temporarily.
25 October 2014: ZR5SEM, ZS5LF and ZR5S from Pmb and ZS5ML from
Wartburg went to Gilboa today to sort the link and also to attend to the
interference on the UHF repeater.
To improve antenna
separation, the lower antenna was lowered.
More pictures can be found
18 October: A meeting was held at Rural Metro, where the financial report was accepted. The committee held a meeting afterwards and the following portfolios were assigned:
ZR5S: Chairman and Technical
The outgoing committee wishes the new committee all the best for the new year
20 September: The AGM was held at Rural Metro at 11h00 and was
well attended. The following committee members were voted in.
A meeting will be reconvened on 18 October at 11h00, at Rural Metro, to table a signed treasurer's report.
19 May: It was decided to move the weekly net to Tuesday evenings at 19h30, as it clashed with HARC's Technical Net on Thursday Evenings
17 May: We had a very successful
meeting at Rural Metro, attended by 17 members, followed by a braai on
teh premises. Thanks to Des and Gwen, who organised the buns, soft
drinks and made a delicious potatoe salad.
28 March: Both Groenekloof and World's View are looking good again after a garden service removed surrounding and internal vegetation growth.
23 February: Our members helped with emergency communications with the Maritzburg Marathon. It was an early start as operators had to be in position by 03h00. Many requests for help were made and the event was completed successfully
15 February: Had a very nice quarterly meeting at Rural Metro at 11h00 today. It was followed up with a tasty braai.
01 February: There is a network problem on the internet side preventing the repeaters to be unlinked. Until this is resolved, the repeaters will operate in stand alone mode
01 January: We wish all our members and visitors a happy and prosperous New Year, filled with rf fun.
23 December: ZR5S trundled up Gilboa
mountain and reset the circuit breaker which had tripped on 12 December,
restoring power to the repeater
16 November: We had our Christmas function at Lexdon, Athlone. It was well attended and the setting was great. The weather played along as well.
14 November: ZR5S writes:
"50.550MHz is the frequency to monitor. Please pass this on to all South
09 November: ZR5S reports: "I have built and commissioned a X-Band
repeater up at Hilton to extend the HARC 145.625 Kloof repeater coverage
into the Midlands.
04 November: Gilboa lost power again at 14h52.
02 November: ZS5ML travelled up the mountain to the repeater and found
that the circuit breaker had tripped inside our box, and that there was
no damage, which is fantastic news. He installed a big 1kVa 1:1
isolating transformer, and this will hopefully help to absorb the spikes
and surges, and prevent damage to the power supplies in future.
28 October: Gilboa went off-air late afternoon during a storm. The link to Gilboa went down as well, but that was to be expected as it is powered by mains, and not by the battery. Then, 2 days on 30 October, the repeater could be triggered again, in stand alone mode as the link was still down. We are not sure why it decided to wake up on battery power, but we were certainly glad that it did.
05 October: ZR5SF reinstalled the TS-590 at his qth, and it can be accessed with RemoteHams again. Thanks for moving the rig from Groenekloof back to your qth so speedily!
04 October: ZR5S and ZR5SF met at
Groenekloof, and recovered the TS-590. ZR4S installed a $11 USB
SDR at Groenekloof which can be used to listen to the HF band.
Initial reports are that the noise levels on the SDR are much lower than
on the expensive Kenwood HF rig.
30 September: ZRS5S and ZR5SF installed the G5RV antenna at
Groenekloof, the peak suspended between the 2 towers. The antenna
was donated by Etienne, M0ZAN/ZS6ZA. Etienne also helped remotely
with advice and tests to set up the RemoteHam station at ZR5SF's qth, as
well as promoting our club on QRZ etc. Thanks Etienne, we
are most grateful! But I digress. the Station was then moved to
Groenekloof, and was attached to the G5RV, and connected to the
28 September: The committee
determined the following portfolios:
The Gilboa digipeater is working well. ZR6LJK was tracked going down van Reenen's Pass, on his way to Sani Pass
20 September: ZR5S writes:
15 September: Shaun, ZR5S reports:
14 September: The RTA in Durban was a success, and a handful of our MARC members attended. There were were some very interesting topics, which included the cube sat update, effect of antenna height on propogation, Operating your rigs remotely, the Mitra signal chain, the SDR kit explanation and the new 5MHz band. And as usual, it was nice meeting both old and new faces.
10 August: ZR5SF installed the new hf club radio, which can be accessed by RemoteHam by the MARC members. It has a temporary home at his shack for the time being, while antennas are being built for it.
20 July: It was decided at today's club meeting that all paid up club members, as well as any new members, will receive a black golf or tee shirt, complete with MARC emblem and the member's name and call sign. Those who prefer cotton shirts will pay the difference in price. More updates about this will follow
20 July: MARC held t's monthly club meeting at Rural Metro at 11h00. It was followed by a braai (meat and drinks were supplied by the club), and a swopshop. It was a most enjoyable outing and was well attended
13 July: Repeater update:
12 July: The membership subs for the next year (2013/4) have been determined, and will remain unchanged again. An early bird discount of R20 applies if they are paid by 31 July 2013. The fees are:
18 June: Terry ZS5RT went up to the Richmond (Burn Valley) repeater and reported back that the power supply voltage was too high and that the batteries were "bulged". This means that we will have to go up to the site with new batteries and power supply. A date has not been finalised yet.
15 May: MARC had it's first on-air monthly meeting. It went very well, and promises to get even better in future. It was decided to try and have 4 yearly meetings at our club house (or an other chosen venue), combined with other events, like a swop shop and braai, and fill in the other months with on-air meetings, on the third Wednesday of the month, at 19h30.
14 May 2013: ZR5S installed a new I-Gate (ZS5PMB-6) on the Noodsberg range ("Montebello") for testing. So far it is operating better than expected, with good coverage along the coast north of Durban, as well as coverage into central and northern Durban. It is hearing beacons from Underberg, ZS0NUD, 152km away and Paddock, ZS0PDK, 157km away.
25 April 2013: The security gate at World's View has eventually been repaired, thanks to ZR5S who organised it. The hinges broke soon after installation in September 2012 (the galvanizing had not been scraped from the hinges), and we battled to get the original installer to come up and repair it.
15 January 2013: Last year the SARL alerted radio amateurs that in terms of the Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations radio amateurs (and others) have to re-apply for their license every 5 years. ICASA on Monday published the gazette. The SARL has agreed with ICASA to simplify the form and make it amateur radio specific. The form will make it easier to re-apply. The deadline is 25 January 2013.
There has been a lot of discussion about this deadline, many claiming that this deadline only applies to those who have changed their addresses in the last year, and that 31 March is the deadline for all others. Please complete the forms and send them to ICASA before 25/01/13. Rather be safe than sorry. It does not take long to fill in the forms. The "deadline" in March could be incorrectly mixed up with the expiry date of our current licences, which is 31 March 2013. The actual Gazette mentions 25 January, not March.
You can download the forms here
8 December: We had an enjoyable Christmas lunch at Cumberland Nature reserve. The weather played along nicely, and it was sunny, but not too hot, and the flies were not a nuisance. Good company was enjoyed, as well as the pootjie, braai and salads.
More pictures can be viewed
25 November: The Gilboa and Estcourt repeaters have been taken off air for reprogramming. When reinstalled, they will be linked via 5GHz. The 750 repeater is still plagued by interference, especially when it rains, and as such has been unlinked from the network. The 6625 repeater has been behaving itself (mostly) and as such will not be tome guarded for the time being. The Estcourt repeater is still silent due to cable theft on the high site.
29 September: ZR5SF fetched the equipment which was removed from the carbineers, and will take it through to ZS5AZ for storage
25 September: The committee finalised
the new portfolios:
25 September: Both the World's View and Groenekloof masts have been scraped down and repainted. Also, all antennas were removed from the old mast at the Carbineers.
15 September: We held our AGM at Rural Metro, and it was very well
attended. There were about 20 members. (At present we have
31 paid up members). The following members were voted in as committee
The following awards were
After the meeting the members were treated to a table load of snacks, kindly donated by Rural Metro and ZS5ML. David ZS5JNB also showed us some of the equipment he has completed for his balloon project, which will hopefully fly during the Christmas holidays. And Des showed the members our new clubhouse, which is very nice indeed.
A big thank you to Rural Metro who are making this room available to us, and also for sponsoring the snacks!
The towers at World's View and Groenekloof have been repainted. "Plenty
old cables removed. Working cables rebound neatly with cable ties.
And the TH3 antenna was removed from the tower at Natal Carbineers.
11 August: The 2 stacks on World's View were fitted. In the
next few weeks all equipment mounted at the top of the mast will be
moved to these stacks, leaving the tower free for climbing and also
clearing it for refurbishment.
03 August: It is with regret to announce that Joey Lategan, ZS5VV, xyl of OM Jan, ZS5UP, went silent key on Friday, 03 August 2012. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.
02 August: ZR5S and ZS5ML went to
Groenekloof and Hilton and reconnected the Hilton 145.6625 repeater and
installed a 5GHz link. Thanks to ZR5S for programming and
connecting the repeater board. At the moment World's View,
Richmond and the Hilton repeaters are linked via 5GHz links. The
Underberg UHF repeater is linked via a vhf link via Hilton.
28 July: The Hilton 145.6625 repeater has been removed and a new repeater board is currently being fitted to it. It will be replaced at the earliest convenience. When operational again, it will be linked to World's View and Richmond. A 5GHz wireless link also has to be installed between Groenekloof and Hilton
22 July: Shaun and Mike went up the mountain and installed the
link to Groenekloof. At the moment it is linked to the World's
View 750 repeater. Audio fine tuning will still be needed, but by
all accounts it is working well.
21 July: Terry and his merry gang went
to the Richmond repeater site and installed the repeater. It's
frequency is 145.7875MHz, with the normal 600kHz offset tx frequency
(145.1875MHz). It needs a tone of 88.5 It is working well,
and we will appreciate feedback from all to determine it's range.
At the moment it is easily access from Pmb and surrounding areas,
Wartburg and areas from Durban
18 July: ZR5S writes:
7 July. It is proposed that our monthly MARC meeting be moved to 28 July so that our members can attend the RTA in Durban on 21 July
16 June: After considering the budget and health of the club's
finances, the committee decided that the subs for the next year stay
20 May: ZU Licensees (class B) will have more time to study and write
the class A examination. In a discussion with ICASA the agency confirmed
that the rule that class B licensees will loose their licence if they
are over 25 years old will only apply once the corrections to the
regulation, which were published, on 31 March 2011, have been
promulgated. After that date holder of ZU licences who are over 25 years
old will get two years to qualify for the class A licence.
20 May: DID NOT RENEW YOUR LICENCE AND LOST
20-22 April: SARL National Convention, Pinetown
17 Mar: Howick Scout Hall Mast: Quoting ZS5QM "Tower was lifted by
Boet, Martin's dad using the winch on his vehicle with Shaun and myself
guiding it up.
26 Feb 2012: MARC assisted with comms again this year with the Maritzburg Marathon. It was a successful communications operation again. ZR5S followed the leaders, and was tracked via aprs and this was displayed on a big TV screen at the command post, which was manned by ZR5SF
27 Nov 2011: Free SSTV online book:
Martin, OK2MNM has made his new book "Image Communication on Short
Waves" available free on the web.
Nov 13: ZR5S updated the MARC
& Frequency List .
Thank you Shaun!
. Thank you Shaun!
Nov 5: Shaun ZR5S went to Groenekloof with a professional tower climber. First all old antennas were removed from the top pole. Then a diamond antenna was fitted to the very top for our D-Star repeater for the rx side. Amazing how he could shimmy up a smooth 50mm pipe...
Oct 20: ZS5CID and ZR5PDL got the
Zwartbeg repeater up and running at the new site. Well done guys -
nice to be able to make contact with you again on 2m
Oct 15: Jamboree on air at the Scout
Hall, Howick. We had our well attended monthly meeting at 11h00.
This was followed by Jota in the hall.
Oct 8: A handful of members pitched and moved the shack contents to a store room provided by Ian ZS5AZ. Present were ZS5EL, ZS5AZ, ZS5DM and YL, ZR5SF and ZS5ML
Sep 17: We held our AGM at Rural
Metro, our first meeting at Rural Metro. It was most successful,
and all found the venue first class. Thanks you Des, ZS5DDM for
making this happen. The meeting itself was well attended and
painless. The same committee was elected, with the addition of
Evert, ZS5EFP. The committee will be convening a meeting shortly
to determine committee portfolios.
Eric and Graham managed to secure the Richmond site at Burne Valley. We will be installing a repeater here as soon as we have secured all equipment.
Sep 15: Shaun ZR5S made a trip up the mountain and switched the repeater back on.
Sep 13: Gilboa repeater went off air. Tripped circuit breaker or blown power supply?
Aug 20: MARC members helped with comms on the Capital Climb. Another most enjoyable event for those who participated. This was followed up by our monthly meeting at the Natal Carbineers.
Aug 13: Went up to the Burn Valley repeater site. A very nice site for a repeater! We will now negotiate space and attend to the paperwork to send things into motion.
Aug 06: The trip to Burn Valley for a site inspection for our new repeater site was postponed due to adverse weather conditions.
July 16: We held our monthly meeting at the Natal Carbineers. David ZS5JNB held a fascinating talk on his balloon project. Watch this space, there will still be a lot of interesting data on this project!
July 16: The orbiting of ARISSat One has been delayed for a few weeks. According to ARISSat One Project Manager Gould Smith, WA4SXM, the former Suit-Sat will not make an appearance in space until sometime in August. In a news release, Smith said he and ARISS Hardware Engineer Lou McFadin, W5DID, participated in a teleconference call this week with NASA to review the Roscosmos spacewalk procedures for the release of ARISSat One during E-V-A 29. For those who never heard the term before, E-V-A is an acronym for Extra Vehicular Activity and is NASA-ese for describing a spacewalk. Smith now says the discussion centered on preparation procedures including the battery being charged and assembled into the satellite. Also discussed were the procedures to remove the protective quilts from the solar cells and turning on the safety switches prior to deployment. During a later teleconference Sergey Samburov, RV3DR, announced that the ARISSat One battery will be charged in late July and a test of the system will be conducted from the ISS from 30 July at 19:15 to about 12:00 or 14:00 UTC July 31. The standard ARISSat One 2 metre downlink band plan should be transmitted as well as the FM signal also down linked on 437,55 MHz.
July 9: Had a great family day at World's View! The work party was a great success, and was well attended. Photos can be viewed here.
July 3: ZS5ML travelled to Greytown and switched the link back on. Now the 145.775 Greytown repeater is linked to the rest of the network again. Hilton is still unlinked, as as is Estcourt.
July 3: Our next work party will be at World’s View at 09h30 this coming Saturday, the 9th of July. The necessary material has been supplied. This work party will hopefully finish the work to be done. The following is on the agenda - the shelving has to be installed. The existing electric plugs and cables will be replaced with new equipment. And the interior will be painted.
It will be a family fun day, so bring the family along. The club will sponsor braai fires and meat. Please contact Shaun ZR5SF if you can come along, so that he can cater for the meat. It does not matter whether you come along to help with the actual renovations or whether you help with your moral support from the sideline - all are most welcome.
URGENT NOTICE TO ALL AMATEUR LICENSEES - ICASA has cancelled over 34 000 radio licenses that have remained unpaid for the past 365 days. This includes all amateur radio licenses that are unpaid. Check that you have paid your license and if you do not have a valid printed license or an official receipt call ICASA at 011 566 3313 or 011 566 3319 between 08:30 - 16:00 Monday - Friday. PLEASE HAVE YOUR LICENSE NUMBER HANDY. If your amateur license was cancelled call now and ICASA will re-instate it if you can prove payment. If you have not paid, do so now using the information and account number on your last license.
A YEAR OF THE MOON IN 2½ MINUTES - And a new on-line time lapse video of the Moon produced by the Goddard Space Flight Centre's Scientific Visualization Studio compresses one month into 12 seconds and one year into 2,5 minutes. Constructed, using data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft, the video shows how the Moon wobbles in its orbit, the way that it changes in libration and axis tilt and its numerous phases. You will find the video at YouTube by taking the shortcut of tinyurl.com/3ffmhbe.
July 2: ZS5EFP is making progress with the repeater set up, but the pin outs on the Motorola radios are different to the documented ones, and the repeater interface boards also need modifications, as they don't function as per documentation. Thanks Evert for your hard work, especially since this is a lot more complicated that plug and play!
June 29: ZS5EFP made a long trek to Estcourt and switched off the repeater there. All is quiet now. The link radio will be replaced. The faulty Hilton repeater is still in place and will only be replaced once ZS5EFP manages to set up one of the new repeaters. The Hilton 145.6625 repeater will remain tone guarded in future due to the increased rf experienced. We will also try and install an additional cavity filter.
June 28: The lock ups are happening during the day as well now. ZS5ML travelled to Greytown and switched off the link radio, removing the 145.775 from the equation. In spite of that, the interference was still there, but we decided to keep it unlocked until we had resolved the matter.
June 23: The rest of the repeater network is starting to lock up again especially at night. As Hilton has been unlinked, it is something on the rest of the network. We are hoping that it is not the uhf link, as the uhf repeater at Gilboa is on a high site with lots of RF. World's View is not suspected, as no input interference is heard. The likely faulty repeaters are Estcourt, Greytown and then Alverstone.
June 21: The repeater network has been locking up periodically for about 2 weeks, especially at night. Hilton was suspected, as was Greytown. We could not monitor Estcourt direct, but decided to switch them off one by one, starting at Hilton. ZS5EFP then switched off the Hilton link, and all was quiet! We can hear the Hilton repeater, no in stand alone mode, lock up from time to time. It will be replaced with one of our new repeaters.
June 18: We had our monthly meeting today. It was great to meet one of our new members, Burl ZS5BRS, and 3 Hamnet members from Highway who came up for the digital presentation by Shaun ZR5SF. Thanks Shaun for the wonderful demonstration, and for the documentation which you can download here, and here is the link to Ham Radio Delux
June 10: The work party for World's View was cancelled because of the wet weather still experienced early Friday evening. The walls would not dry up sufficiently by Saturday morning to enable them to be painted. It will be reconvened after our monthly meeting.
June: Membership subscriptions are due once again, as our financial year end is at the end of June. Membership fees are unchanged, and stay at R150pa. Those who want printed copies of the HHN posted, please add R100 to your subscription. The normal discount of 33.3% applies to pensioners. Here is a breakdown of the complete list
5 June: ZS5ML and ZS5GEL fetched the Greytown repeater from Pmb today and then installed it at our Greytown site. It seems to be working well. Please test it (145.775, no tone) and send us your feedback. A special thank you to Evert for having repaired it
29 May: 10 of our members helped as radio marshals in this great event. It was a great day in the field as usual. Thanks to all of you who helped!
More pictures can be viewed here
28 May: A very well attended swopshop was held in Monteseel at the qth of ZS5JF. Thanks to HARC for organising these events.
19 May: 9 students wrote the RAE in the new lecture room at Rural Metro - thanks Des for organising this. Thanks also to Evert and Shaun for organising the RAE classes and exam.
14 May: Work party at World View - quite a bit was achieved. Quote from Shaun ZR5SF: "we have scraped the whole building, painted the roof and tomorrow the fence will be done. so all that now remains is the painting inside and out and the electrics. we had a great turn out ZS5AZ, ZS5PJ, ZU5DM, ZU5SAM , ZR5NC and myself all put hands to the grindstone."
17 April: The 2011 SARL AGM was held. More details can be found on their website
17 April: Shaun uplifted the Estcourt repeater. It is suspected that it has a dry joint - it was locking up the repeater network quite often. Evert will be attending to it, as well as the Greytown repeater.
16 April: Had our monthly meeting. It was a pleasure to meet Ruth, ZS2QK, who joined us. We will be holding the next work party at World's View on 7 May. All are invited - there is quite a bit of work to be done (electrics, shelving, painting etc)
2 April: The work party at World's View was a success: The grass was cut, fence repaired and the building was pressure cleaned. Those who helped were Shaun ZR5SF, Neville ZR5NC, Des ZU5DM and Gwen and Mike ZS5ML. David, thanks for popping by. Here are two before and after pics:
1 April 2011: The new radio regulations
have been published in the Government Gazette. They are effective
from today, 1 April 2011.
They are available from the member's section on the SARL website
20 March: Gilboa is up again. We
replaced the power supplies there this morning. This means that the
World's View, Hilton and Estcourt repeaters are linked again. We tested
the antennas, and they passed with flying colours.
13 March: Evert ZS5EFP repaired the Estcourt repeater by replacing the uhf link radio. It is working very well, as confirmed by Tony in Estcourt and Ronnie and Rod in Ladysmith. Thanks Evert!
Good news is that Ruth, ZS2QK, has moved to Pietermaritzburg. Shaun lent her his hand held, and we heard her on air. He will install her own radios this week, so listen out for Ruth.
Bert ZS5MQ was in his shack at Baynesfield on the open day today. I know that many went there today, and I trust that Bert had a great day.
27 February: Maritzburg Marathon:
Shaun ZR5SF reports: "I would like to thank all the Hams that helped at this morning's marathon. We managed to operate with two unmanned stations. I really hope next time we call for volunteers we will have a better response, it must be remembered that it is at events like these that the good name of Amateur Radio is portrayed. A special thanks to Traffic Officer Ian (ZS5AZ), pity we don't have a photo of Ian's hard work in the middle of a really busy intersection. A lot of interest was shown in the APRS System and it was mentioned that we should use it in all the events that take place. Shaun ZR5S did a sterling job at pacing the front runners. Thanks again to all."
Shaun ZR5S: "Michelle took some photo's of today's event. 5sf said a lot of interest was shown and that amateur radio proved useful in 2 ways, comms amongst the tables, and tracking. 5sf should be sending a photo or two for our website soon. The one photo shows the whole system together. My bike with Skytracker mounted to the back, computer monitor showing www.aprs.fi, 2x Shaun's and the MARC banner. The image attached is of another ham's bike (extremist). Mine was not so well kitted out. I had my handheld clipped to my belt with earpiece/boom mic in my helmet. I used my handheld today for comms for this mornings 42km marathon run. Used the boom mic/ear piece in my helmet. Works fine at low speeds. Noisy when riding fast. We had one ham guy at each table. I had my Sky-tracker connected onto the back of my klr650. zr5sf had a big monitor at the finish and race organizers and the public could see the race progress. We had our M.A.R.C. banner up and lots of people where interested. Race started at 05h00. Woke up at 03h30. Had to be at the start by 04h30. It was dark and chilly (16deg/C). But it was very enjoyable. Lots of fun. Going to do it again. After the first male came in, I then found the first lady runner and came in with her. Then they wanted me to see where the last runner was. After that I went home. The others had to stay longer. We got served breakfast, cooldrink, egg burger and chips. [15:55:01] ZS5JC Jan: now for that i can join you next year on my bike. [15:56:09] Shaun Rudling: Yes, it would be better to track the male AND female at the same time. 1'st gear on the klr650 was suited well for the running paste of the lead runners. Sweeping up the rear with the stragglers will prove difficult on a bike. Even a little scooter would wiggle left and right at that slow pace. One always learns on the day, how to improve things for the next event. We learnt today that the default beacon rate for the Sky-Tracker is not ideal for the slow running speeds of this type of event. The tracker will need to be set to beacon out more often in future."
More photos of the event can be viewed here
20 February: DIGIMODE ACTIVITY IN THE 40 m CW SEGMENT At WRC03, the ITU allocated frequency segment 7 100 - 7 200 kHz to the Amateur Service in Region 1. This extension of the 40 m band allowed IARU Region 1 to modify the Region 1 band plan. These changes became effective on 29 March 2009. Some of these changes include extension of the exclusive CW segment by 5 kHz, and is now 7 000 - 7 040 kHz; the segment for Narrow Band Modes (Digimodes) with a maximum bandwidth of 500 Hz was extended by 5 kHz (doubled) and moved to 7 040 - 7 050 kHz and the segment for All Modes (Digimodes) with a maximum bandwidth of 2 700 Hz was extended by 7 kHz and moved to 7 050 - 7 060 kHz.
Although the separation of the segments is by frequencies that are easy to remember (7 040, 7 050, 7 060 kHz), there is still a lot of PSK31 activity around 7 037 kHz. Radio amateurs are requested to adhere to the guidelines as stipulated in the IARU Region 1 HF Band Plan.
20 February: SA AMSAT this week announced that the main payload on the KLETSkous CubeSat will be a linear UV transponder with a bandwidth of 20 kHz. The UV mode which is 70 cm uplink and 2 metre downlink was chosen in line with internationally recommended practice as it will minimize interference. The aim is to have it operating over Africa without the need of an access tone to open the transponder.
A multi city team is working on the designs and will soon finalise the specifications. Fundraising for the project has started in all earnest and radio amateurs are invited to make contributions to the fund. Visit www.amsatsa.org.za for bank details and more about the KLETSkous project
20 February: RAE. Our RAE courses for both the ZU and ZR courses will commence on Sunday, 6th March. Please contact Shaun ZR5SF if you are know of anyone who is interested. His email is zr5sf at marc.org.za
20 February: Repeaters: Underberg. The
uhf link radio has a corroded board which needs to be replaced. The vhf
repeater, which belongs to Craig, ZS5CID, has also been removed, as
there are no members there making use of it. Once the huf link has been
restored, members can get in via the the local uhf link between
Underberg and Franklin.
15 February :
Founder of the SA Maritime Mobile Net Silent Key.
the past twenty six years his voice kept yachtsmen and women company as
they sailed the oceans, providing them with regular weather reports and
assisted those who ran into trouble. Alister Campbell, ZS5MU, went
silent key on the afternoon of 14 February 2011.
MAJOR FLARE:Earth-orbiting satellites have detected the strongest solar flare in more than four years. At 0156 UT on Feb. 15th, giant sunspot 1158 unleashed an X2-class eruption. X-flares are the strongest type of x-ray flare, and this is the first such eruption of new Solar Cycle 24. The explosion that produced the flare also sent a solar tsunami rippling through the sun's atmosphere and, more importantly, hurled a coronal mass ejection toward Earth. This raises the possibility of geomagnetic storms in the days ahead. Visit http://spaceweather.com for images and updates.
13 February: We held our SARL HF Field
competition at Albert Falls Dam. Evert, Wendy and family and Gudrun and
Mike camped over from Friday afternoon, and we were joined by the Marx
and Jacobs families, as well as Shaun and Michelle and Craig, ZS5CID who
camped over on Saturday night. Day visitors included Joost and Marjoke,
Eric and Graham from Richmond, Tony from Estcourt and Ian - there were
19 hams with family members on Saturday.
24 January: Shaun went up to Groenekloof during a break in the weather and retrieved some faulty equipment. Internet is restored there which means that APRS, D-STAR etc is working again. Thanks Shaun!
Groenekloof. Shaun ZR5S and I, ZS5ML
went up to Groenekloof yesterday where Shaun installed the new pc, plane
and ship plotter, APRS and D-Star. When I left there at 18h45, all was
working well. I left Shaun the to finish the settings. At home I saw
that my aprs tracks stopped 45 minutes later and phoned Shaun. It turned
out that he was still on site - the 12V charger was faulty and the
battery voltage had dropped too much. This also affected the internet
connection. Shaun was still there after 21h00! It will need another
visit to complete.
Club Shack - We are still waiting for a date when they will commence with the roof and ceiling replacement. The latest news is that work will start in the next 3 months.....
ICASA licence fees. You have to pay R6.75 for January - March 2011 when your receive your account. Do not attempt to pay the April 2011 to March 2012 fees as the it has not be finalised. You should have received your invoice by now. If you have not, please contact Peter Leonard at ICASA. If you have outstanding amounts with ICASA, they will not send you an invoice. As such you could loose your licence. Surprisingly, if you have a credit balance big enough to cover the interim fee of R6.75, you will not receive an invoice either. If you are unsure of the state of your account, please contact Peter
1 January 2011: The radio amateurs and
the Lions Club of Eshowe are planning to observe Saturday 15 January as
an opportunity for Lions Clubs to exchange greetings on the air via
Amateur Radio. The birthday of the founder of Lionism, Melvin Jones,
born in 1879 at Ft. Thomas, Arizona USA is commemorated on 13 January.
27 December 2010: Shaun ZR5SF and Ian ZS5AZ went up to Gilboa today and restored the power. It looks like both power supplies are U/S, and need repairs. Thanks for your efforts and speedy repairs! The network was down for just over a day (it was back on air at 14h40)
26 December: Battery power carried the Gilboa repeater until 08h00 today. The link is now off and the repeaters are in stand alone mode. Unfortunately our visiting travellers can't enjoy the safety of our linked network until we can get up the mountain to rectify the problem.
23 December: Gilboa power was lost during the night, probably due to the storm. Hopefully it is just a tripped circuit breaker.
4 December: We held our year end function
at the Cumberland Nature Reserve, off the Table Mountain Rd, a few km NE
of Pmb on the Umgeni River. The weather and setting could not have
been better, not to mention the fine company. It was well attended
by 27 in total. Shaun ZR5SF and Ian ZS4AZ did a superb job in
organising the meat, rolls and soft drinks. Ian's chicken
pootjie was also really great, just like the company (yes, I know, it
was mentioned before)
1 December: The SARL presentation to
ICASA at the public hearing was well received. The Chairperson, Dr
Marcia Socikwa, thanked the SARL for the input which she described as
of great assistance in preparation of the final regulations.
21 November We had a successful weekend at Midmar Dam. Only 2 MARC members (one party) camped over this year, and three parties from HARC. The hf competition side was secondary this weekend as there were only few volunteers, conditions were not that great and our long wire antenna was not that successful. The positive side was that those who were there had a very relaxing time, catching up with news of our different clubs.
Our meeting was well attended. Brian ZR5BCB donated a new 15A power supply which is being raffled off. Please contact Ian ZS5AZ if you want to buy a ticket or two. Thanks Brian!
At the meeting we voted for the winning logo and slogan. "We do it wirelessly" and the following logo:
were chosen, both submitted by ZS5ML. There were many great designs and slogans, and more will be used. We will still decide on a final design (or designs).
Ian ZS5AZ and Lara's kids, Holly-mae and Morgan, sent in most designs (26, I think). For their sterling efforts they were awarded the two prizes! Thanks for the dedication. It was just unfortunate that only 25% of our members bothered to vote. One indicated that he could not download all the designs due to bandwidth limitations on his internet connection. Maybe more had this problem?
I hope that all those who could not attend this weekend will be able to attend next year's event - you really missed a fantastic day/weekend.
14/11/10 Logo and slogan design competition. Please click here to view all the entries. Please select you 5 favourite logo and slogan entries, ie 10 in total, and send these to email@example.com by Thursday, 18 November. The winning logo design and slogan will be announced at our next meeting on Saturday, 20 November, at Midmar dam at 11h00
12/11/10 Call signs have been allocated to our successful RAE candidates. Looking forward to hearing these new call signs on air:
12/11/10 Brian ZR5BCB restored the power at 09h15 - thanks! It looks like lightning took out the power supply. The spare one is now installed.
12/11/10 Gilboa Lost power at 22h47 CAT on 09/11/10. On 12/11 at 06h25 battery voltage is 11.8V - it will shut down today when the voltage drops to 11.5V
05/11/10 Well done to the following candidates who passed the RAE exams. Hope your call signs will be issued soon so that we can hear you on air :-)
4/11/10 The radar weather page is back on the weathersa site. Here is the link for Dbn
31/10/10: The MARC competition for a slogan and emblem design for banners, letterheads etc will end on 12 November. The designs will then be published here, and you will then vote for the best design and slogan. The winners will be announced at the meeting at Midmar on Saturday 20 November, and the winners will receive R200.
18/10/10: Shaun ZR5SF: "Howick JOTA was a huge success, so much so that we have been asked if we would do it again next year. All the participating scouts were very keen and interested in how and why radio operates ( I think we might have a few new hams here). A very big thank you to Stan and Rachel, Joost and Marjoke for all their help in making this a successful event. There is talk of the 1st Howick Scouts hosting the regional JOTA next year, this will be a huge event and I will be calling on hams to help out. Lastly, to all the scouts that participated, WELL DONE!! "
12/10/10: To all MARC members, past members, friends of the club and to any person who has been affiliated with MARC at some time. We need your help!!!
The committee has embarked on an exercise to update all the past and present members' recorded details as well as the details of any one who was or is affiliated with the club in any way. Please take the time to open the update form and complete it as fully as possible. All that is required thereafter is that you click on the submit button at the top and your details are then captured. You will see that we have asked for family details (for birthday greetings as well as getting to know your family better), there is a section for recognising the club membership focus in respect to common modes of operation and interests, and at the end there is a section where you can tell us, your committee, how you would like us to steer this club in order to best suit your needs.
9/10/10: The Following
list provides the Examination numbers of students that are going to be
writing their RAE Examination on the 21st October 2010.
7 October 2010: ZS5HL's memorial service took place at Oakleigh Funeral Chapel cnr of Wilkes and Fernbank Road, Prestbury, Pietermaritzburg at 14.30 Hrs.
3 October: ZS5MQ writes:
1 October: Krish writes:
27 September: The committee was asked if pensioners and family members could receive a discount, and has come up with the following tariffs:
Pensioners can deduct 33.33% from their applicable category
26 September: The recent poll indicated that most were happy top leave Echolink on the repeater linked network. Shaun ZR5S has started an experiment to see how this works:
"Since I have moved the Echo-Link off the linked rptr network and onto its own simplex freq of 145.450Mhz, I have been able to release a lot more features of this VOIP program. This freq is now very busy with all sorts of automated broadcasts and conference server hook-ups.
Mainly (by default) this node is linked to an international reflector where you will be able to listen and /or participate in discussions amongst hams from around the world. There is always someone there to talk to. The weather forecast, current wx conditions and severe wx warnings (if any) will be read out to you periodically. The time will also be read out on the hour and half hour.
Then, on Sunday mornings at 08h30 this node will automatically connect to zs6fcs for the SARL English weekly news broadcast. Then a series of prepared weekly bulletins from the ARRL, RSGB and WIA will be automatically broadcast (30min ea) after that. This repeats on Wednesday nights.
The odd INTECNET and such can be scheduled for automatic broadcast, but you will need to email me the times so that i can set it up. Email me any other local and international nets that you would like to be automatically broadcast.
Here is the current table of events.
So tune into 145.450 for news, weather and discussions. Please do also PTT now and again. They love to speak to ZA stations.
26 September 2010: ICASA has published
the draft radio regulations, Gazette #33590. It is available
here for download.
Please send your comments to
firstname.lastname@example.org before 10 October
21 September: The committee held
their first committee meeting at the clubhouse. The following
portfolios were discussed and assigned.
18 September: We held our MARC AGM today. Comments like "what a wonderful, "pain free" AGM was held today" were made. A special thank you to Mike ZS5BGV, our past chairman, and his committee, for holding the club together, and taking it a step further from where they picked up the reigns. I trust that the new committee will pick up from where the past one handed the reigns over. I feel that the club voted in the new committee members wisely, looking at who was voted in. I just hope that we (as a committee member) will live up to the club's expectations and more.
The new committee members are, in no
Also a special thanks to Gayle, XYL of ZS5BGV, who organised a fantastic spread of eats, which was "demolished" after the meeting
16 September: Des ZU5DM, arranged that Rural Metro donated a 2m Kenwood rig for our shack, in appreciation of what Amateur Radio contributes to our community. We are very appreciative and humbled by this donation - THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
14 August: The Capital Climb was a rounding success. Special thanks go to Roger ZS5EV for organising the comms from our club for the event. Thanks also to all the operators who sacrificed their time and petrol, and they are in no particular order, Shaun ZR5SF, Peter ZS5PJ, Gudrun ZS5GEL, Des ZU5DM, Ian ZS5AZ, Neville ZS5NC, and Mike ZS5ML.
12 August: We are running a ZU RAE course shortly. Please contact Mike ZS5BGV or Shaun ZR5SF if you are interested. Their contact details can be found on the member page.
5 August: ICASA has taken
occupation of their new offices in the Durban CDB, and the address is
Floor Victoria Maine, 71 Margaret
Mncadi Avenue (ex Victoria Embankment), Durban,4001.
2 August 2010: ZR5S posted a link for D-RATS (reverse for D-Star). Quite an innovative program to enable you to be part of the D-Star network. Have a look at www.d-rats.com
26 July: Power was restored at Gilboa at 13h00 by Brian ZR5BCB. The cause of the tripped circuit breakers is unknown
26 July: The Gilboa repeater shut down at 00h36 after running for 2.5 days on battery power
25 July: First African D-Star repeater. Shaun ZR5S assembled a D-Star repeater and got it working on his test bench. It will be installed at Groenekloof as soon as reliability has been proven on the work bench.
23 July: Groenekloof lost power at 10h00.
15 July: MARC renewal notices were sent out.
13 July: Shaun ZR5S asked for someone to take over the project of recording the MARC history from our records. Gudrun ZS5GEL volunteered if there were no takers, and got the job without a chance to pull the offer back.
09 July: Lots of discussion what a real radio amateur is, ranging from the opinion that only technical minded and capable persons are to including others with limited technical skills but superior operating skills. Ed. is of the opinion that it caters for all, not just the technical advantaged, some of whom have poor operating procedures by nature.
03 July: Evert ZS5EFP kindly went past the Estcourt repeater and set the link radio squelch with the help of Craig on the other end of a cell phone and a pot inside the radio. It has been working well when I monitored it today. Thanks to Evert and Craig! I'm sure our members in the Ladysmith area will be grateful, as well as our visitors travelling on the N3.
ZR5SEM, ZR5S and ZS5ML did some work at Groenekloof, removing the 6m
magnetic loop, which needs to be relocated to Greytown, and installed
the 30m dipole for hf APRS:
At 23h08 Shaun ZR5S posted an email saying "I
am pleased to announce that Pietermaritzburg now has a D-Star node on a
simplex frequency of 433.700Mhz (no tone).
20 June: The call signs of the RAE students have not been issued yet. It is understandable since the person responsible for this is also in charge of of sorting applications for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, having to focus on dealing with all spectrum licensing requests. A bit more patience is necessary, and SARL has asked that the candidates not contact them or ICASA directly, as it will bring nothing, and possibly only add to the frustration and delay things further.
19 June: Evert ZS5EFP installed the repeater this morning - thanks - it's working very well. Thanks to Craig for repairing it and brining it up to Pmb!
13 June: The Estcourt repeater is repaired. It will be brought up to Pmb this week, and can then be installed when someone goes past Estcourt. Craig is also waiting for a gap so that the repaired Underberg repeater can be reinstalled.
10 June: Call signs for the RAE candidates can now only be reserved after the examination, and not before as in the past. Mark Zank ZS6YES reports that this was done on Monday, and that he is doing his best to be able to issue the new call signs before 16 June, Youth Day. Hopefully he will get it right - it is not an easy task. A special thank you goes to him and his helpers for organising the RAE so efficiently!
8 June: ZR5S and ZS5ML went to Gilboa to install the newly acquired power supply for the UHF repeater.
5 June: The SARL announced that all our RAE candidates passed their exams. Congratulations to the students and also to Evert ZS5RFP, who tutored the candidates!
1 June: Reminder: The SARL subscription invoices have been sent out. If you are a member, and have not received your invoice, please contact the SARL directly.
30 May: Comrades Marathon, in which some of our members provided communications to the race organisers. 5 operators are from our club, and 26 are from Durban.
29 May: RTA in Durban, at the University of KZN
28 May: The funeral of ZS5NC took place at 13h00 at the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Hayfields.
23 May: ZS5ML and ZU5GL went to Gilboa to replace the battery charger, and installed a loaned power supply for the repeater. The power supply did not have enough capacity and was returned. A new one will be installed shortly.
9 club members sat the A and B class RAE exams tonight. It seemed
to be a fair exam, but to achieve top marks would have required
exceptional students. Here is a picture of some of our candidates
sweating it out. Good luck to all of you!
The exam numbers for our RAE candidates are out:
24 April: The SARL had their AGM in Port Elisabeth. A new committee was chosen, trophies awarded and the new constitution was approved - it is basically a re-write of the old one.
24 April 2010: Power was restored in Hilton. ZR5S and ZS5ML visited these sites today, installing a 12A battery charger at World's View, reprogramming the Didi there and then switching the computer back on at Groenekloof.
24 April: Had a very good MARC meeting. We had an open discussion on repeater etiquette, ZS5PJ showed us his radio kits which he takes along on his trips, and Bert brought along an old Heathkit radio and talked a bit about it and touched on radio repairs.
21 April: ZR5S went to Estcourt repeater. The battery and power supply were tested and are fine. The repeater has been working very well lately, and was not fading away. When the uhf link radio was turned on it's side to read the serial number of the radio, it lost it's TX! it was also running extremely hot. It was left in place to see if it would recover, bur alas, it did not. So it will have to come out and be repaired. It looks like the linking problem was the uhf link radio.
Power failures in the Hilton area resulted in the World's View repeater
and fill in Digi going off air. The battery was drained down to 0V
- not good for the battery. Will need to source a battery saver.
19 April: ZR5S went up to World's View and connected a temporary power supply. The 750 repeater is up and running again. Thanks Shaun!
April: A few attended the most
informative AMSAT Space Symposium in Durban
27 March: Had a most enjoyable morning at the joint swop shop in Monteseel
24 March: ZR5S and ZS5ML went up to Gilboa this afternoon and replaced the power supplies which were damaged by lightning on Saturday. All's working well again
23 March: Gilboa switched itself off this morning (with the battery saver). Telemetry shows that it tripped out during Saturday's storm on 20 March
5 March: ZR5S and ZS5ML installed the Windy Hill Hamnet repeater. It belongs to Hamnet, and has no tone guard at this stage. It is also not linked to our repeater network.
14 February 2010: We concluded a successful SARL HF Field weekend in Illovo (Villa Spa), just south of Durban, together with HARC. The setting and camaraderie was great, and good contacts were made, even though 20 & 80m were flat from there. 40m was also not as good as it was last time from Midmar. There were enough trees to string our antennas from. Pictures can be viewed here
Some old photos submitted by Bob, ZS5CU can be found here
If you have some old photos, please send them - I would love to display them here. If they are old paper photos, I can scan them in if necessary, as I did with Bob's photos.
13/14 February 2010 SARL HF Field Day
The first leg of the SARL Field Day for 2010 took place at Villa Spa in Illovo on Saturday 13 February to 12h00 on Sunday 14 February. A number of members from MARC and HARC attended. Some camped and some stayed in the Bungalows.
The picture above from our veranda, showing some of the vehicles, and the one below of Ian in the back of his Land Rover
A lot of fun was had, and many contacts were made, even if the bands were not as good as on the last event at Midmar Dam
30 January 2010: The standby 750 repeater was removed as the tx side had gone faulty. ZU5DF also cleared the World View site of grass and weeds - thanks Shaun!
26 January: ZS5EFP is manufacturing tone boards for the older radios in our club. Please contact him or the committee if you would like one.
24 January: The Bacar launch in the Worcester Airport, Western Cape was postponed because of ATC issues
22 January: The standby repeater has been installed at World's View. Please note that it is not linked. The original repeater will be sent to Craig for repairs
20 January: "The 750 Worlds View repeater was
recovered as the intermittent squeal it suffered from, got more
prominent and regular. I will have a go at it first to try find a
dry joint as when I tapped the heat sink, the fault cleared. If I
fail, zs5cid will have a go at it.
16 January: We had
a successful MARC meeting, with 20 attendees. Honorary members
of our club were announced, and they are: Hartwig Hillermann ZS5WA, Hill Mason ZS5HL,
Milne Buchan ZS5NZ and Rod Radford ZS5RK, now ZL1RK.
16 January: Bacar 2010 is set to
launch on 24 January from the Worcester airport at 11h00. More
details can be found at http://www.amsatsa.org.za/bacar.htm 15 January: News from HARC:
Ch6, the Kensington uhf repeater is back up and running. It
overlooks the Mosas Madiba Stadium to the east and Makro Springfield to
the west. is is on 439.275/431.675MHz, encode 88.5. More can
information can be found
here 13 January: Meyer Koch ZS5MMK
became a silent key today. "Meyer had been a stanch member of our
club having served on the Committee for several years. He had not been
well for some time. Our condolences are extended to his xyl Norma
and family. R.I.P." 12 January: ZS5S reinstalled the Hilton
145.6625 repeater, which had it's deviation set correctly by ZS5CID.
Thanks Craig and Shaun! 9 January: ZR5S is organised a work
party to go to Gilboa to change the rx antenna and test the ac feed
cable. ZU5DF tested the cable with a Mega, and all is 100%. We
changed the rx X200 antenna, which was full of water again. Upon
investigation it was found that there were pin prick holes in the
top section. We are awaiting answers from the suppliers. 1 January 2010: ZR5S and ZS5ML went to
Griffin's Hill, Estcourt, and replaced the receive antenna with a X200,
connected the correct tx antenna (phased folded dipoles), and connected
the 700 repeater with link. Click
some photos. 27 December 2009: A
work party converged on Gilboa to provide moral support for Shaun, ZR5S,
who installed the new UHF repeater. Present were the Marx family,
Shaun ZU5DF, Mike ZS5ML and of course Shaun ZR5S. It was misty,
but thankfully the rain kept away. The Shauns and Mike then traveled to
Greytown, where the repeater was modified to prevent the repeater from
being tone activated by accident. The repeaters are working fine.
The receive antenna at Gilboa however is off-spec, and we suspect that
the antenna contains water again. Another work party will be
needed to change the antenna. As a result, the Underberg link
battles to open the UHF link at Gilboa. Click
here for a schematic
diagram showing the linking of the repeaters 24 December: The SARL has
confirmed that ICASA has extended the grace period to 28 February 2010
for license payments. 23 December: It looks like ICASA
will only send out license renewals in the second or third week of
January (possibly later). License payments are due on 31 December,
with a grace period of 1 month. There are negotiations underway to
extend the grace period to the end of February, but please do not bank
on this happening. Please make your payments as soon as possible,
with your correct license number as reference. The banking details are as follows: 20 December. Midmar hf field day
results: Congrats to the HARC/MARC team! We achieved 4th
place. Here are first 10 places : 8 December: Shaun, ZR5S, removed
the old repeater at Hilton, and installed the new Kenwood repeater.
The deviation on the old repeater needs to be set - it is too wide.
The deviation on the stand in repeater also seems to be too wide.
Please don't use this repeater too often so that the DARC members are
not inconvenienced by this. The repeater will be disconnected when
Shaun goes past there again. 6 December: Shaun, ZR5S, drove
up to Gilboa and restored the power. 5 December: 11 members made it
to the Christmas braai. Many had other prior commitments. It
is always difficult to find a date at Christmas time convenient to most.
The radio donated by Brian, ZR5BCB, will be raffled at the next
meeting, on 16 January 29 November: The SARL reports that
ZU5DF and ZU5FHR, Shaun and Farhaadh, achieved 100% in their RAE exams.
16 January: We had a successful MARC meeting, with 20 attendees. Honorary members of our club were announced, and they are: Hartwig Hillermann ZS5WA, Hill Mason ZS5HL, Milne Buchan ZS5NZ and Rod Radford ZS5RK, now ZL1RK.
16 January: Bacar 2010 is set to launch on 24 January from the Worcester airport at 11h00. More details can be found at http://www.amsatsa.org.za/bacar.htm
15 January: News from HARC: Ch6, the Kensington uhf repeater is back up and running. It overlooks the Mosas Madiba Stadium to the east and Makro Springfield to the west. is is on 439.275/431.675MHz, encode 88.5. More can information can be found here
13 January: Meyer Koch ZS5MMK became a silent key today. "Meyer had been a stanch member of our club having served on the Committee for several years. He had not been well for some time. Our condolences are extended to his xyl Norma and family. R.I.P."
12 January: ZS5S reinstalled the Hilton 145.6625 repeater, which had it's deviation set correctly by ZS5CID. Thanks Craig and Shaun!
9 January: ZR5S is organised a work
party to go to Gilboa to change the rx antenna and test the ac feed
cable. ZU5DF tested the cable with a Mega, and all is 100%. We
changed the rx X200 antenna, which was full of water again. Upon
investigation it was found that there were pin prick holes in the
top section. We are awaiting answers from the suppliers.
1 January 2010: ZR5S and ZS5ML went to
Griffin's Hill, Estcourt, and replaced the receive antenna with a X200,
connected the correct tx antenna (phased folded dipoles), and connected
the 700 repeater with link. Click
27 December 2009: A work party converged on Gilboa to provide moral support for Shaun, ZR5S, who installed the new UHF repeater. Present were the Marx family, Shaun ZU5DF, Mike ZS5ML and of course Shaun ZR5S. It was misty, but thankfully the rain kept away.
The Shauns and Mike then traveled to Greytown, where the repeater was modified to prevent the repeater from being tone activated by accident.
The repeaters are working fine. The receive antenna at Gilboa however is off-spec, and we suspect that the antenna contains water again. Another work party will be needed to change the antenna. As a result, the Underberg link battles to open the UHF link at Gilboa.
Click here for a schematic diagram showing the linking of the repeaters
24 December: The SARL has confirmed that ICASA has extended the grace period to 28 February 2010 for license payments.
23 December: It looks like ICASA will only send out license renewals in the second or third week of January (possibly later). License payments are due on 31 December, with a grace period of 1 month. There are negotiations underway to extend the grace period to the end of February, but please do not bank on this happening. Please make your payments as soon as possible, with your correct license number as reference.
The banking details are as follows:
20 December. Midmar hf field day
results: Congrats to the HARC/MARC team! We achieved 4th
place. Here are first 10 places :
8 December: Shaun, ZR5S, removed the old repeater at Hilton, and installed the new Kenwood repeater. The deviation on the old repeater needs to be set - it is too wide. The deviation on the stand in repeater also seems to be too wide. Please don't use this repeater too often so that the DARC members are not inconvenienced by this. The repeater will be disconnected when Shaun goes past there again.
6 December: Shaun, ZR5S, drove up to Gilboa and restored the power.
5 December: 11 members made it to the Christmas braai. Many had other prior commitments. It is always difficult to find a date at Christmas time convenient to most. The radio donated by Brian, ZR5BCB, will be raffled at the next meeting, on 16 January
29 November: The SARL reports that ZU5DF and ZU5FHR, Shaun and Farhaadh, achieved 100% in their RAE exams. Well done!
SARL HF Field Day
Camping Weekend at Midmar Dam
Once again, we had a fantastic and successful weekend at Midmar dam, organised jointly by HARC and MARC. Three parties already pitched up on Friday night, in spite of the wet weather. Luckily the weather was dry on Saturday, and Sunday was a glorious sunny day.
We had quite a few visitors on Saturday. Two radio stations were used, and consisted of an Icom 706MKIIg and an Icom IC-728, both with antenna tuners. The antennas used were a 40/80 dipole, strung high (15m) between tree trees, and a NVIS connected to Mike's Landrover (ZS5ML). Both setups were run off vehicle batteries. Band conditions were good, and well over 300 contacts were made on various bands.
Craig, ZS5CD, gave an interesting talk and demo on antennas, and brought many of his projects along.
A special thanks to Brian, ZR5BCB, who donated a new handheld radio to each club! It is being "raffled off" at R20 per ticket. The draw will be at the club's Christmas Braai at the clubhouse on 5 December. Should you wish to buy some tickets, please contact Mike, ZS5BGV, or come along to the Christmas braai, where you will be able to purchase a ticket or two before the draw.
Peter, ZS5PJ, also donated a uhf radio to the club. This can be used as a link radio. Thanks Peter!
Thanks to all who came along to make the outing a success. Hope to see you all again on the next outing - possibly for the next HF field day in March next year.
More photos can be found here.
13 November: The RAE results are out! Please click here for the full results. Well done on passing your examinations, and please call in on air when possible - we would love to hear you.
Congratulations to all
of you! you are now licenced to talk on air!
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Copyright ©2009 M.A.R.C. All rights reserved. Last Modified: 12/07/2015 08:40