Wednesday, 18 April 2018

CTARC Heads-up for JOTA/JOTI - Oct '18

Here is an early announcement for the forthcoming Jamboree On The Air / Jamboree On The Internet, which is set to take place on the weekend period of Friday 19th to Sunday 21st October 2018.

JOTA is a long-established opportunity for radio amateurs to assist the Scouts / Guides / Wolf Cub / Brownie groups within your community to make international radio contact with similar groups worldwide.

You can download the JOTA/JOTI Participants Guide as a PDF file [here].

More information is on the JOTA website [here].


Tuesday, 17 April 2018

CTARC Committee Meeting - 23 April 2018

CTARC Committee Members are reminded of the committee meeting that will take place on Monday 23 April 2018, at 19h00 at the CTARC Clubhouse.

This will be an important meeting because there are a number of club issues that need to be addressed.

Please diarise and attempt to be there!

Monday, 16 April 2018

CTARC Forthcoming April Meeting - 28 Apr '18

Alan / ZS1LS
Photo credit: SARL
As the CTARC meeting for March was the annual mega flea market held on 3rd March 2018, the next monthly meeting will only be held at 14h00 on Saturday, 28 April 2018. The venue, as per usual, will be the CTARC clubhouse.

At this meeting, Alan / ZS1LS will provide us with a fascinating talk on operating a remote-controlled ham station, and on the software being used. Don't miss this meeting!

There will also be the usual ham equipment swop-shop after the meeting.

Further details will be announced on this blog, on the Sunday morning bulletins on the 145.750 MHz repeater, and in our bi-monthly newsletter Ragchew.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Summits on the Air - 10 Apr '18

Here's a PDF file on SOTA (Summits On The Air) ham activity, with which Chris / ZS1CDG is getting involved. The Cape Peninsula has a good number of hills and mountains on top of which one may operate. In some cases these koppies have yet to be activated on SOTA, and your call sign could be the first!.

Download the PDF file here.

Thanks to Chris for the contribution.




Wednesday, 4 April 2018

CTARC Solar Noon Calculator - 4 April '18

John / ZS1AGH kindly sent us this useful link:

It is an online calculator for Solar Noon at your QTH.

Solar Noon is when the sun is at its highest and the shadow cast is at its shortest; the shadow should then be pointing directly North - South. Useful for aligning antennas accurately, if you don't have a GPS.

First obtain the Latitude and Longitude coordinates of your antenna's location (which you can acquire from Google Maps - just click on the exact point with your mouse and a label will appear with the selected location's decimal coordinates).

Then go to the Solar Noon web page [here]

Then plug in the Latitude and Longitude coordinates into the fields provided. Remember to set your time zone (as GMT +2 hours for local time).

Then the web page prints out a year's table with the exact Solar Noon times for each of the 365 days.

Below is an example of the process done for the CTARC clubhouse's (approximate) location:

Sunday, 1 April 2018

CTARC Ragchew - April 2018

The April 2018 edition of the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre's bi-monthly newsletter "Ragchew" is now published.

Grateful thanks once again to our editor, Anne, for all her excellent work in putting together this month's edition, and to all those who contributed articles.

Remember please, Anne is always on the look-out for articles to publish in Ragchew!

Download the PDF file [here];

Ragchew is also on our Newsletters Page

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

CTARC Report on Antenna Work Party - 28 Mar '18

The CTARC Antenna Work Party of 21 March 2018 was a great success. At 09h00 the team assembled and set to work.

Present were:
ZS1S - Paul
ZS1SA - Rob
ZS1ZKZ - James
ZS1EQ - John
ZS1TK - Tony
ZS1RIC - Richard
ZS1FW - Noel
ZS1BL - Danny
ZS1FJ - Barry
ZS1PGC - Peter 

The vertical mast for the main beam antenna was finally fixed and the club's beam antenna mounted on top. The vertical antenna was also mounted in position on the western wall of the clubhouse.

At the end of the work party, Danny / ZS1BL tested the antenna on 20m and made a contact with the USA using 100W, so the antenna is getting a signal out. Well done, guys!

Here are some photos and captions, kindly provided by Peter / ZS1PGC.

The guys examine the snagged cable on the mast
Rob / ZS1SA makes up an adaptor pipe
to mount the vertical antenna

James / ZS1ZKZ uses a bit of gentle persuasion to remove a pulley
to release the snagged cable.


Tony / ZS1TK attaches the vertical antenna to the mast
using Rob's adaptor pipe.


Examining the mast to determine catch points. It turns out that
the screws were a bit long and had to be shortened.

The vertical antenna in position.

Noel and then Richard and Tony assemble the beam.


Rob and Paul make an adaptor pipe to mount the bean antenna
to the mast.

The pause that refreshes! Danny / ZS1BL has a quick cup of coffee.

Paul mounts the adaptor pipe to the vertical mast.

Assembling and checking the beam antenna.

The beam antenna now assembled and attached to the mast,
ready to be hoisted up.

Noel enjoys some pizza, kindly provided by one of the team. Tony / ZS1TK provided
some samoosas that were enjoyed. John / ZS1EQ and others also provided
cold drink and water for the team.

The beam antenna up and in position at the top of the mast,
with the two vertical antennas also in the picture.

John / ZS1EQ cranks up the mast to its full height.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

CTARC Forthcoming Antenna Work Party - 21 Mar '18

Could all CTARC members please take note that there will be an Antenna Work Party at the Clubhouse on Wednesday, 21 March 2018, starting at 09h00. We would be most grateful to those who can find the time to assist.

We will need some hands to enable us to lower the main club mast as well as to get the central coaxial portion of the tower out of its housing, so that various tasks can be applied to same. These various jobs are not expected to consume the entire day!

Thanks in advance!

This work party has taken place. See the report and photos [here].

Saturday, 3 March 2018

CTARC Photos of March Flea Market 5/5 - 3 Mar '18

5th (and final) batch of photos; The written report on the flea market is [here].
Photos of the event: [Batch 1] [Batch 2] [Batch 3] [Batch 4] Batch 5

Ian / ZS1SX's car boot...

ZS1PJB and ZS1JX discuss valve bases

Desiree / ZR1VOX  draws the raffle tickets

Kobus / ZS1K (on right) wins the Yaesu cap in the raffle

Peter / ZS1PGC (left) wins the bottle of wine

Dirkie / ZS1X, Kassie / ZR1JK and Mike / ZS1PE


We had about 24 sellers and at least 70 buyers at the event

Keverne / ZS1ABU and Lem / ZS1LEM

Paul / ZS1S and Peter / ZS1OA share a moment of contemplation
over a box of  components last encountered decades ago


John / ZS1JNT, Dirk / ZS1VDP and Celso / ZS1MYG

Not sure who these good folk are, but they sure took an interest in a
massive, heavy old Sony CRF-330K rx that sat there quietly bending gravity

John / ZS1EQ (right) expresses delight at his new acquisition to
James / ZS1ZKZ (centre)

The look of satisfaction is palpable. Now the boxes must be carried to the car

At the end of the afternoon, everyone lent a hand to tidy up
and pack things away

CTARC Photos of March Flea Market 4/5 - 3 Mar '19

4th batch of photos; The written report on the flea market is [here].
Photos of the event: [Batch 1] [Batch 2] [Batch 3] Batch 4 [Batch 5

Paul / ZS1S and Mike / ZS1FP peruse an unidentified piece of gear


Mike / ZS1FP brought an interesting selection of wares in his bakkie...

...and kindly assisted the club with his PA System

Avron / ZS1LA investigates an RF widget


Lem / ZS1LEM and Noel / ZS1FW forage through a pile of FREE STUFF
very kindly made available by Deon / ZR1DE

Paul, Lem, Celso and Peter

Mike / ZS1PE had this nice homebrew adjustable PSU (on table)

The MAGNIFICENT catering ladies who sustained us all
throughout the afternoon. Left to right: Anne, Elsabe,
Desiree / ZR1VOX and Ilse

Steve / ZR1ACM and Paul / ZS1S look suitably pleased

The item on the RHS of the bakkie is, apparently, a GDO.


Two 'scopes and a spectrum analyser.
On the right is a Wavetek signal generator

A nice Icom transceiver and automatic ATU

The table of Tom / ZS1AFS and Sue / ZS1AFR.
In the background are Andrew / ZS1SBM and Fred / ZS1ZV.