Monday, 19 February 2018

CTARC Forthcoming March Meeting - 3 March '18

A scene from last year's Mega Flea Market
The CTARC's March meeting will be, as is always the case, our Mega Flea Market, which is traditionally held on the first Saturday in March. In this case, that will be the 3rd of March, 2018.

This is probably the largest flea market / "Swop Meet" of amateur radio equipment in the Western Cape. It is always well attended and the ideal opportunity to sell off surplus equipment. For the buyer, there are usually lots of bargains to be had. But... caveat emptor - let the buyer beware!

You don't have to be a member of the CTARC to attend, to buy or to sell items at this event, although our friendly club always is glad to welcome new members into our fold. The event is also a social highlight on the amateur radio calendar and a great chance to meet up with friends and to chew the rag face-to-face.

Sellers are requested to bring their own tables and/or to sell items out of their car boot. Tables are in very short supply at the clubhouse, and the CTARC needs their own to display items which will be on sale at reasonable prices.

Sellers will be charged a ticket fee of R10-00 per vehicle. The good news is that this ticket will enter you in the lucky draw to win a prize! (Non-sellers may also buy a ticket and enter the raffle, too).

Scrumptious boerie rolls and liquid refreshments will be on sale throughout the day.

The setup time and simultaneous start of the Flea Market will be 12h00. While the CTARC committee members will meet before 12h00 to set up the event, we really would prefer everyone else to respect the starting time. The event usually lasts until about 16h30 - 17h00.

Sellers are requested to remove unsold items from the venue when they leave. The CTARC cannot take responsibility for any items left behind (and we have no space in our clubhouse, anyway!).

Further details will be published as required here, announced in Ragchew, at the February meeting, and on our Sunday Morning Bulletins.

CTARC Forthcoming February Meeting - 24 Feb '18

The Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre will hold its February 2018 meeting on Saturday 24 February 2018 at the clubhouse, starting at 14h00.

At this meeting, Charles / ZS1CJO will give a talk on Electronic Logging, E-QSL and LOTW (Logbook of The World).

Charles is our club's E-QSL manager and has extensive experience in computers and software apps, and this promises to be a most interesting meeting.

Afterwards there will be the opportunity to conduct eyeball QSO's, to chat with friends, to boast of your latest DX contact and to catch up on the skinner over a cup of coffee.

We look forward to seeing you there!

CTARC Come And Get Your Badges! - Feb '18

The following CTARC gold badges were ordered, paid for, manufactured and delivered. They're still hanging - lonely and unloved - on the grey metal cabinet at the CTARC radio shack in the clubhouse.

If you are the rightful owner of one of these handsome badges depicted on the right, do please remember to collect it from the clubhouse and wear it with pride!


Sunday, 18 February 2018

CTARC Committee Meeting - 19 February 2018

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

Please be there!

CTARC Photos of 3Y0Z Function at RCYC - 18 Feb '18

The written report-back on the 3Y0Z farewell function is [here].

Collecting the team at the hotel beforehand.
Traffic to the VA Waterfront was quite congested in places

The team were greeted by this sign at the entrance

Matt / ZS1MJJ and Kieth / VE7KW

Michael / PA5M, Robert / ZS1FF and Allan / ZS1LS

Gregg / W6IZT, Michael / PA5M, Dennis / ZS1AU and Robert / ZS1FF

Dennis / ZS1AU and Michael / ZR1MDJ

Kieth / VE7KW, Alejo and Oleg / ZS1OIN

Raoul / ZS1C, Hannelie, Craig / K9CT and Glenn / W0GJ

Barry / ZS1FJ, Jerry / WB9Z and Ralph / K0IR

Johan / ZS1A, Lynn, Sylvia and Andre / ZS1AN

Deon / ZS1ZL, Raoul / ZS1C, Hal / W8HC, George / N4GRN
and Jim / N9TK

Hawk / SM5AQD, Just / LA9DL, John / ZS1ZC and Erling / LA6VM

Arnie / N6WC and Danny / ZS1BL

XYLs Glynis and Anne (CTARC Secretary and Newsletter Editor)

Arnie / N6WC and Alejo swop anecdotes

Paul / ZS1S delivers the welcoming speech

The signed DxPedition Sheet

The RCYC restaurant catering was up to its usual
high standard

Paul / ZS1S, Glynnis / ZR1GW, Anne and Rob / ZS1SA
line up at the buffet table

In the background, behind the yacht masts, several ocean-going vessels
lie at berth. Who knows what might be possible for a future DxPedition...?

The team poses for one last group photo

Team members sign the pennant

Bob / K4UEE puts his signature on the 3Y0Z pennant

The pennant, with all the signatures

Erling / LA6VM chats with SARL President, Nico / ZS6QL,
who flew down specially from Gauteng to attend the function.

Every good seafaring story ends with an anchor!
This large one (scrounged by ZS1ZD from a kindly passing yachtsman)
will soon embellish the QTH of Paul / ZS1S
in some decorative capacity...

CTARC Report-Back on 3Y0Z Farewell Function at RCYC - 18 Feb '18

On Saturday, 17 February 2018, the 3Y0Z team arrived at Cape Town harbour after their long voyage up from Bouvet Island on the m/v Betanzos. They were hailed, to their surprise and delight,  by local ZS hams who had sailed out from the Yacht Club on Robert / ZS1FF's fine ketch to greet them. Paul / ZS1S called out "CQ" on his trumpet. Dennis / ZS1AU was aboard too.

After a rather lengthy process of customs formalities, the crew were taken across to their hotel. It being late in the day, the hotel's bar and restaurant were by then closed, but victuals and beer were somehow rustled up (again, with the assistance of ZS1S) and the crew could enjoy (almost) hot food and cold beer - even if it was on the balconies of their rooms...

At 12h00 on Sunday, 18 February, Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre (CTARC) members met the 3Y0Z team at a hotel in Strand Street and started ferrying them across to the Royal Cape Yacht Club for a farewell function before they all depart for home overseas. In some cases the traffic was very congested owing to an event at the Cape Town Soccer Stadium, but after 45 minutes, most of the team had been delivered to the RCYC. More or less.

The function was very well attended, not only by the 3Y0Z team and CTARC members, but also by a goodly number of ZS (and other) hams who arrived to meet and greet them and, in some cases, have lunch together. Included among these were: Karin / DG5DSM, Werner / V51JP (Chairman of Namibian Amateur Radio Club), Glynis / ZR1GW, Michael / ZR1MDJ, Johan / ZS1A, Andre / ZS1AN, Dennis / ZS1AU, Danny / ZS1BL, Raoul / ZS1C, Greg / ZS1EZ, Robert / ZS1FF, Barry / ZS1FJ, Tjerk / ZS1J, Allan / ZS1LS, Matt / ZS1MJJ, Oleg / ZS1OIN, Paul / ZS1S, Rob / ZS1SA (CTARC Chairman), Tony / ZS1TK, John / ZS1WJ, Rassie / ZS1YT, John / ZS1ZC, Nick / ZS1ZD, Deon / ZS1ZL, Fred / ZS1ZV and Nico / ZS6QL (SARL Chairman). Special mention goes to Werner / V51JP and Nico / ZS6QL who flew down from Namibia and Gauteng respectively to attend this function in Cape Town.

Initially there was a hubbub around the bar where thirsty throats were slaked with the amber nectar and face-to-face QSO's took place. Once all had arrived we then moved through to the adjoining restaurant.

A few informal speeches were delivered before the food. Paul / ZS1S welcomed the team to Cape Town and thanked numerous people for their involvement, including VIPs from the ZS ham community who took the trouble to attend the function, some having traveled a great distance to do so.

Team Leader, Bob / K4UEE,  responded, thanking all who have assisted with support for the DxPedition in general and CTARC and Paul /ZS1S in particular for organising the function. Bob also emphasized the greatness of the hobby and the fellowship that binds fellow radio hams together by our deeds and mutual support.

Various gifts and souveniers of the DxPedition were handed over to worthy recipients. Dennis / ZS1AU was given a 3Y0Z DxPedition cap for his role as DxPedition pilot. Barry / ZS1FJ, who had made a significant contribution to the DxPedtion, was similarly acknowledged. Paul was handed a laminated tactical info sheet - signed by the team members. The CTARC has been given the signed 3Y0Z DxPedition pennant, for which we are all very grateful and which we will hoist in our clubhouse with great pride.

Ralph / K0IR, Erling / LA6VM and Alejo Contreras (the Chilean glacier expert and environmental consultant who accompanied the DxPedition) also gave brief speeches.

SARL President, Nico / ZS6QL, who had arrived from Gauteng that very morning, also spoke briefly. He greeted Bob and the 3Y0Z team and handed over a selection of items from the youth contingent up north, who had collected them in support of the 3Y0Z team. Bob / K4UEE expressed his great appreciation for that gesture.

Thereafter the luncheon began and the team had the chance for probably their first decent food since leaving the ship. Sadly, team member Nodir / EY8MM had to remain aboard the ship owing to red tape surrounding visa matters.

After luncheon and desserts there was a chance to get one last group photograph and for all team members to sign the 3Y0Z pennant. Thereafter there followed a chance to chat, make new friends, swap contact details and eventually to depart.

Later that afternoon the team was returned to the hotel for a brief rest and to pack. Some were to fly out of Cape Town that evening. Others departed the following day. All were keen to be reunited with their families and loved ones, having been away from home for quite a while. We wish them all bon voyage  and safe home to their respective QTHs. We hope to see them again in Cape Town some day.

Photos of the event are [here].

The official 3Y0Z website is [here].

(Thank you to those good folk who pointed out errors in this report, which we trust are corrected now. Most grateful for your feedback /73 de ZS1ZD)

Friday, 16 February 2018

CTARC 3Y0Z Dxpedition Arrival in Cape Town - 16 Feb '18

The 3Y0Z DxPedition crew are expected to arrive at Cape Town harbour on Friday 16 or Saturday 17 February 2018, following their disappointing cancellation of the DxPedition to Bouvet Island, owing to poor weather on 2 February, and then a rather bumpy sea voyage up to Cape Town thereafter.

When the m/v Betanzos is docked in the harbour, it will not be possible to visit them on their ship because it will be berthed in the restricted area.

However, there will be a function for the 3Y0Z crew at the Royal Cape Yacht Club on Sunday 18 February at 12h30. Fellow radio amateurs in Cape Town are invited to meet and greet the crew members at this function, which will probably be the only chance to do so as the crew flies back home shortly thereafter. Visiting local hams will be required to pay for their own luncheon should they decide to stay and have a meal at the RCYC.

The crew will be staying at a hotel in central Cape Town and local hams will provide transport from there to the RCYC function and back on Sunday, At present we think we have enough vehicles to cope with the numbers. Thanks to Paul / ZS1S for his involvement in this opportunity for local radio hams to meet with this prestigious international DxPedition crew,

Please stay tuned to the 145.750 MHz Kanonkop Repeater for updates.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

CTARC World Radio Day - 13 Feb '18

Today, 13th of February, is World Radio Day.

World Radio Day is recognized each year on this date, and acknowledges why we all (not just radio hams) love radio and its power to reach and connect people across the world.

The first World Radio Day was proposed in 2011 by UNESCO and since then on this date each year, a different radio theme has been celebrated.
This year, the theme is "Radio and Sports".

There are three sub-themes. They are:
  • Diversity in Sports Coverage, 
  • Gender Equality in Sports Coverage, and 
  • Peace and Development through Sports Coverage.
There is an article describing these annual themes of World Radio Day on Wikipedia [here]

There is another article [here].

There is a Twitter feed [here].

Not everybody is all that charmed, though, as is evidenced [here],

Thursday, 1 February 2018

CTARC I R Pope Employment Position is Filled - Feb '18

Please note that the Technician's position recently advertised for I R Pope has now been filled.

CTARC Ragchew - February 2018

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

This edition includes a report-back-back on the January CTARC meeting, an article in memoriam of  Bernie /ZS1BW /SK, Contest and DX News by Dirk /ZS1X, two great antenna projects (by Dennis /ZS1TC and Pieter /ZL1PDT) and lots more!

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