Monday, 18 June 2018

CTARC Forthcoming June Meeting - 23 Jun '18

The June CTARC meeting will take place on Saturday 23 June 2018 at 14h00, as usual at the clubhouse.

At this meeting, committee member Peter ZS1PGC will give a talk on Asset Management of our club's various rigs and assorted bits and pieces, using the Libra Office freeware application.

If your ham shack is anything like that of most of ours (!), it probably holds a variety of equipment (some quite expensive), discrete components, tools, hardware, cables, antennas, books, software, notes and a myriad of smaller items. It is a very good idea to keep track of everything (of at very least the major items such as rigs, power supplies and amplifiers) so that you can know just what you own, how much to insure it for, what the serial numbers are should (heaven forbid) anything get stolen, and (ahem) just where to find that packet of transistors or PL-259's you could have sworn you had left on top of the linear a week ago. But which may have been magically teleported into the refrigerator...

With his engineering background, Peter is a very organised man. He is systematically itemising everything the CTARC possesses and has already demonstrated to the CTARC committee his thorough and creative approach to completing this gargantuan task. Those fortunate enough to have attended his fascinating talk in 2016 on his RigExpert Antenna Analyser will know that he delivers his presentations with infectious enthusiasm. So the June meeting promises to be a good one, full of useful information on how to organise your own radio ham (and other kinds of) possessions. Come early to ensure your seat.

CTARC REMINDER: Annual Subs Renewal - Jun '18

Hi to all CTARC Members...

A HUGE THANK YOU to those members who have already renewed their subs for 2018 / 19.​

There will be NO increase in subs for 2018 / 19; they remain at R150-00 per Member, and R120-00 for Pensioners (over 65 years of age).

(For new members joining the CTARC, a once-off Admin fee of R50-00 applies.)

(Remember, your spouse may join the Club for 50% of your fee.)

The Renewal Form is attached [here] with all the information you need including banking details and this is your reminder to pay your 2018/2019 subs as soon as possible.

(EFT is preferred if possible please, but I will be collecting cash subs and forms at the AGM.)
Please remember, to send me proof of payment with some means of identifying that it is you how have paid (e.g. Name Callsign).

CTARC subs are due each year on 30 June, and to those members who have not let us know their intention to renew on or before the AGM, we will have to assume you wish to be removed from the membership and mailing lists.
  • Most important: If your contact details have changed, then please also update them on the Renewal Form attached and email it to me. If your contact details have not changed, you needn't e-mail it to me.

    This way we can ensure members continue to receive notifications and editions of Ragchew by e-mail.

Morningstar Remote Station:

Also available to members is our kilowatt remote base station at Morningstar.

If you would like use Morningstar and have not already subscribed, then kindly add an additional R200-00 to your membership subs which will be used toward the site rental costs at Morningstar.

Once I receive your proof of payment, I will add your name to the list and you will be given access to Morningstar until 30 June 2019.

If you require setup instructions for the use of Morningstar, please request this information in your e-mail to me at the same time.

Our Growing Club:

The Club is once again growing, with many new members having joined us this past year. At the time of writing this e-mail we are only two away from the magical 100th member!

The Club has many exciting and different events planned for the upcoming year, so please don't miss out - renew your membership now.

I will see you all on Saturday, 28 July 2018 at the AGM where you can enjoy some delicious refreshments and socialise with your friends and fellow Amateurs for a while.


(CTARC Secretary)

CTARC Mysterious Project "X" - 17 Jun '18

Now, at last, it can be told. At great cost to life and limb our trusty operatives have smuggled the following image (see right) out of the workshops of a Foreign (unspecified) Power. Behold Project "X"...

This unique and truly ingenious device exhibits the characteristically flawless metalwork signature of Rob ZS1SA and (when opened) the deftly intricate hand-wiring skills of Chris ZS1CDG within.

It is, in fact, a Fox. Observe it closely, for ere long it shall be, suitably camouflaged, secreted at a hidden location known only to a very select inner circle, and then activated to emit a tantalisingly fugitive signal periodically.

At this point, teams of trained operatives, bearing a variety of directional antennae that bear resemblance to vandalised tape-measures, egg-beaters and ray guns, will endeavor to discover its secret location by way of the dark arts of radiolocation and direction finding.

Should you wish to participate in this activity, further instructions will be posted here in due course.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

CTARC Forthcoming Committee Meeting - 18 June '18

CTARC Committee embers are reminded of the forthcoming meeting at 19h00 on Monday 18 June 2018 at the clubhouse.

Please make an effort to attend as there are important matters to discuss regarding the July Meeting.

(If you can't be there, please remember to send in your reports and apologies to Rob or Anne.)

Please note this meeting has now taken place. CTARC chairman Rob ZS1SA will report back at the June meeting.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

CTARC 3Y0Z Pennant at our Clubhouse - 14 Jun '18

When the 3Y0Z DxPedition to Bouvet Island was abruptly cancelled, the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre came to the rescue and formed a welcoming committee (organised chiefly by Paul ZS1S, as well as a number of other local and regional radio hams) to greet the weary travelers who had made it up from Bouvet Island after a rather bumpy ride through the roaring forties. They were assisted with their disembarcation at Cape Town, with logistics and with a combined welcome and farewell function at the Royal Cape Yacht Club, and later with lifts to the airport as well. Read about that (here).

The 3Y0Z group were so grateful for their warm welcome that they donated their DxPedition colours to the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre. So we display them proudly in our clubhouse, for although we did not take physically part in their journey to Bouvet Island, we were very much with them on air and in spirit, and we share the fellowship and fraternity with that great team and with the greater Amateur Radio community.


Friday, 8 June 2018

CTARC Employment Opportunity - 8 Jun '18

An employment opportunity has become available recently.

An Installer Technician is needed by two-way radio company based in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town.

The position requires somebody with the following experience and abilities:
  • Perform installations, de-installations of two-way radio units into various vehicle types, including trucks and plant machinery;
  • Perform the installations as per the set standard operating procedures at our workshop as well as at sites located throughout the Western Cape;
  • Do repairs to all types of electronic devices, locate and resolve faults in them, and do maintenance work on them;
  • The ability to safely climb radio masts and towers;
  • Solid experience in handling various tools and machinery;
  • Hands-on maintenance experience in both mechanical and electrical components;
  • A team player, with excellent communications skills;
  • A valid driver's license.
If you have the above proficiencies/experience and are interested in joining the team, please e-mail your CV to

Saturday, 2 June 2018

CTARC Further Club History - 2 Jun '18

Here's another photo, kindly provided by Dennis ZS1AU.

At a JOTA-type outreach activity are, L to R. Ted Baker ZS1RA (former Cape Town Branch chairman) and Sydney Smith ZS1PF at the microphone, along with two avid Lakeside Sea Scouts.

CTARC Club History - 2 Jun '18

Here is some club history, kindly provided by Dennis ZS1AU.

In the photo (right) from (we guess) the 1960's, L to R: Sydney Smith ZS1PF standing, telling us about his homebrew project (it was an electronic keyer), Ray Alexander ZS1IM (then CT Club Chairman) & Jack Meerburg ZS1FM (Secretary) seated. Note the Trophies!
Syd, who was a Mechanical Engineer by profession and who built beautiful homebrew equipment, was the winner in the photo. He also built (for his company, Cape Steel Pty Ltd ) the connecting bridge walk through, over Darling Street, from Cape Town Railway Station to the OK Bazaars/Golden Acre complex.

Sadly, both Syd and Ray have since passed on, but Jack is still around and living in Constantia.

In the photo (right) are Muriel Alexander (Ray's XYL) and Mac Mclure ZS1VM.

Thanks so much, Dennis!

Friday, 1 June 2018

CTARC Ragchew - 1 Jun '18

The June 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