Sunday 13 December 2015

CTARC Ragchew December 2015

The December 2015 edition of the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre's bi-monthly newsletter "Ragchew" have been published.

This is the final Ragchew  newsletter for 2015. Huge thanks to Anne, the Ragchew Editor, for all her hard work throughout the year.

You can download the December Newsletter as a PDF directly from [here].

Alternatively these can be found on our Newsletters Page


Sunday 29 November 2015

CTARC End-of-Year Function (2) - 28 Nov '15

Here are more photos of the End-of-Year function held at the CTARC on 28 November 2015. These are by kind courtesy of Mike / ZS1FP.

The report-back on the meeting is [here]

CTARC End-of-Year Function (1) - 28 Nov '15

The CTARC held its final meeting of the year on 28 November 2015 at the clubhouse in Rondebosch.

It was a fine occasion, where our members got the chance to meet with friends and chew the fat (in some cases, literally!) with each other and with family members before the CTARC closes for the December season.

The braai fires were lit at 12h00, and people started to arrive shortly thereafter. Very grateful thanks to Anne and the ladies for providing the scrumptious hamburgers, rolls and salads, and to Rob / ZS1SA, for fetching the meat!

The weather was fine, the wind not too fierce, and it was most pleasant to sit outside and enjoy the fellowship and friendship for which our club is well known.

Later on in the afternoon, Dennis Wells / ZS1AU presented the Len Wells Ham Spirit award, This year the trophy goes to Paul / ZS1S and his good lady Glynis / ZR1RW, both of whom are worthy recipients of this award for their direct and indirect involvement in the Tristan da Cunha DxPedition earlier on this year

Festivities continued until about 17h00,

We look forward to an exciting and active new year for the CTARC in 2016. Various meetings are being planned and details will be presented here and on the CTARC bulletins in due course.

Some more photos of the meeting are [here]


ZS1BL, ZS1VK, ZS1II AND ZS1FK in the clubhouse



Dennis / ZS1AU & Anne, our trusty Club Secretary & Ragchew Editor

The weather was warm and the grub was great!


Richard / ZS1RIC, Hans-Jurgen / ZS1HJH and Wolfgang / ZR1WLH

John / ZS1AGH & Paul / ZS1S

Tony / ZS1TM (left) was a dab hand with the burgers

Frank / ZS1CM and Fred / ZS1FZ were also there

Dirkie / ZS1X proudly shows off his harmonic to Anne, who is instantly won over.
Harmonic (radio-ham in-the-making) just sits there, looking hugely cute.

Grateful thanks to Anne & Elsabe for their expert management of the food tables

The long awaited Len Wells Ham Spirit Award. Dennis /  ZS1AU begins his preamble

And the winner is... Paul  / ZS1S / and his good lady, Glynis / ZR1RW,
who both won the award jointly for their Tristan da Cunha DX-pedition

Left to right: Paul / ZS1S; Dennis / ZS1AU & chairman Rob / ZS1SA

Afterwards, Noel / ZS1FW, Rob, Paul & Dennis share a moment of hubris

Glynis / ZR1RW, Paul / ZS1S and Dennis / ZS1AU in Dennis's shack.
Photo by kind courtesy of ZS1AU, and taken in or around April 2015

Thursday 26 November 2015

CTARC Forthcoming End-of-Year Function - 28 Nov '15

The Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre's final meeting of the year will take place at 12h00 (please note the change of time from the usual 14h00) on Saturday, 28 November 2014 at the CTARC clubhouse at the Belvedere Community Centre in Rondebosch.

Instructions on how to get there are [here].

It is always a highly sociable occasion, and all members (and, of course their partners) are encouraged to attend.

Once again, hamburgers will be on sale wth all the trimmings, and a cash bar (beers and cool drinks) will be in operation,

We will light the braai fires at 12h00 for those who wish to braai their own meat.

Here's hoping the weather behaves itself on the day, as it usually does.The prediction (by here) is currently "sunny, around 25 degrees in the afternoon. Moderate SSE wind".

We plan to have a sales table with lots of CTARC-related goodies for sale, so do bring some cash along.

John / ZS1AGH will be taking orders for his very fine personalised embroidered caps and other CTARC regalia.

Nick / ZS1ZD will be selling (and taking orders for) laminated A4 and A3-sized CTARC Calendars in glorious technicolor.

We are really hoping Dennis / ZS1AU will also be there, health permitting, to make a special presentation, as is the tradition.

There will also be a raffle, with great prizes to be won.

This is the final CTARC meeting of the year for 2015. As such, this will be your last chance this year to socialise / eyeball / do face-to-face QSO's with your ham friends of this particular amateur radio club.

We do look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday 7 November 2015

CTARC Ragchew November 2015

The November 2015 editions of the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre's bi-monthly newsletter "Ragchew" have been published.

Editions? Yes - two! By kind courtesy of Anne, our capable Ragchew editor, we have the actual interim Ragchew for this month, plus a dedicated Swopshop edition.

You can download the November Newsletter as a PDF directly from [here].

The Swopshop edition is [here].

Alternatively these can be found on our Newsletters Page

Sunday 1 November 2015

CTARC Committee Meeting - 23 Nov '15

There will be a meeting for members of the CTARC committee, at 19h00 on Monday, 23 November  2015, at the CTARC Clubhouse.

Please diarise accordingly.

Saturday 31 October 2015

CTARC Feedback from JOTA Station - 31 Oct '15

We received this nice letter today from Kyle Cato about the recent JOTA Station we held in Bergvliet on 18/19 October:

Dear Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre

Thank you the experience with using the radio. I will enjoy coming next year and try meet more people on the air.

Thank you

Kyle Cato
2nd Bergvliet Sea Scouts

Our club's secretary, Anne, wrote back:

Dear Kyle
Thank you so much for your e-mail.

We are so glad you enjoyed yourself and are looking forward to the next one.

Best regards

(CTARC Secretary:)

So, it looks like we might be doing JOTA again, next year! Well done to those dedicated CTARC members who made it all possible.

Sunday 25 October 2015

CTARC Report-back on Meeting of 24 Oct '15

The October meeting of the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre was held on Saturday 24 October at 14h00 at the clubhouse.

At the meeting, the 2014 ZL7AAA DX-pedition to Chatham Island video was screened,

Thanks to all who attended, and to those who set up the equipment. We look forward to seeing you again at our nest meeting on 28 November 2015.

Sunday 18 October 2015

CTARC JOTA Station at Bergvliet - 17 / 18 Oct '15

Members of the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre set up a JOTA field station for the Bergvliet Scout and Girl Guides on the weekend of 17 / 18 October 2015. The location was the Scout- & Girl Guide Hall in Glen Alpine Way, Bergvliet in the Cape Town southern suburbs.

The antennas used were the club's WD3ZZ dipole for 40 & 80 metres, as well as a TA33 beam antenna on a lightweight rotator.

Present during various parts of the weekend were: ZS1FW /Noel, ZS1AGH /John, ZS1BL /Danny, ZS1S /Paul and ZR1HPC /Hylton. Thank you to those who assisted with setting up the station on Friday, , operating it during the weekend and dismantling the station after 10h30 on Sunday.

In spite of relatively poor propagation- and solar figures, (on 18 October the Sunspot Number was 51, the Solar Flux was 89, the A Index was at 22 and the K index at 2) contact was made with several other JOTA stations during the course of the weekend.

Grateful thanks to Noel / ZS1FW, for providing the initiative behind the event, and to Paul / ZS1S and John / ZS1AGH for the photos.

Friday 16 October 2015

CTARC Forthcoming October Meeting - 24 Oct '15

The October meeting of the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre will be held on Saturday 24 October at 14h00 at the clubhouse.

At the meeting, a video will be screened of a DX-pedition to Chatham Island that happened in 2014, runing the callsign ZL7AAA. This interesting video, which also gives some interesting insights into life on remote Chatham Island, comes to us by kind assistance of Barry / ZS1FJ (who took part in the DX-Pedition, where they flew in by light aircraft from Auckland in New Zealand) via Paul / ZS1S.

Further details will be announced presently here and on the Sunday morning CTARC bulletins.

Thursday 1 October 2015

CTARC Ragchew October 2015

The October 2015 edition of the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre's bi-monthly newsletter "Ragchew" has been published.

You can download the newsletter as a PDF directly from [here]

Alternatively these can be found on our Newsletters Page

CTARC Committee Meeting - 19 Oct '15

There will be a meeting for members of the CTARC committee, at 19h00 on Monday, 19 October 2015, at the CTARC Clubhouse.
Please diarise accordingly.

Sunday 27 September 2015

CTARC Report on September Meeting of 26 Sep '15

On Saturday 26 September 2015 at 14h00 the CTARC held its September meeting, which was reasonably well attended in spite of rather cold and windy weather.

The afternoon began with our chairman, Rob / ZS1SA, calling us to order. He gave us a report on the recent committee meeting of 21 September, and the various forthcoming events with our club will be involved:
  • The club has disposed of its old trailer by selling it to one of our members. The trailer had been sitting unused for several years and was accumulating fines for unpaid vehicle registration fees;
  • On the weekend of 17/18 October, the CTARC will run a JOTA station for the Bergvliet Scouts and Guides. Noel / ZS1FW is driving this project;

  • Our Saturday 24 October monthly meeting will be the screening of the video of a DX-pedition to Chatham Island, kind courtesy of Barry / ZS1FJ via Paul / ZS1S;
  • We also plan to operate ZS1CT during the forthcoming Field Day exercise;
  • Our final monthly meeting of the year will be on Saturday 28 November, which will be the CTARC End-of-Year function;
  • Next year, the CTARC celebrates its 70th anniversary. We eagerly await members' input and suggestions on how to commemorate this auspicious milestone.
Further details on the above forthcoming activities will be published on this blogspot and announced in the regular CTARC Sunday morning bulletins.

In addition to this, Rob mentioned our club had recently been featured in an article in the Southern Suburbs Tatler newspaper. (See that article here)

We then proceeded with the main event of the afternoon. John / ZS1AGH gave us a fascinating lecture on Decibels - what they are, and how they apply to amateur radio. His talk was illustrated with a PowerPoint lecture, which may be downloaded here.

Those CTARC members with grey hair had to scratch our heads (and watch what hair we have left turn even greyer) at the complexity of it all, having last had exposure to such mental calisthenics when at technical college or university (many years ago...)! At the time, John made it all appear so clear and simple!

John also showed us the tools of the pre-calculator epoch - logarithm tables and a slide rule. They may appear cumbersome to us now, but in experienced and adept hands they were tools of great productivity before cheap digital calculators became widely available.

Hans-Jurgen / ZS1HJH brought along a very useful card published by the German Funkamateur club, of a comparison between decibel values, Voltage and Power levels, and S-Units. He very kindly allowed us to make it available, so you can download it as a PDF file here.

Afterwards we broke for the usual natter over coffee and biscuits. All in all, another great CTARC meeting. We look forward to the forthcoming JOTA field station and October meeting.

Rob / ZS1SA opens the meeting and discusses forthcoming events

John / ZS1AGH begins his lecture

A series of calculations on a loooong sheet of paper!

John's lecture was ably illustrated by a Powerpoint show

The meeting was reasonably well attended, in spite of cold weather

Hans-Jurgen and Paul in discussion

Tea and biscuits and chewing the rag after the meeting