Monday 27 February 2017

CTARC Forthcoming Bumper Fleamarket - 4 March '17

The March meeting of the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre takes place on Saturday 4 March 2017.

This will be our annual Mega-Fleamarket of amateur radio rigs, components and "stuff".

The venue is the CTARC Clubhouse off Laidlaw Lane in Rondebosch, Cape Town. Details of how to get there are [here].

Please note: Committee Members to be there at 11h00
Sellers to be in place at 12h00 noon for setting up.
The Market officially opens at 13h00 for buyers.

There will be a small charge of R10-00 per vehicle to Sellers, to help defray our costs, but no charge to buyers and browsers. This small fee also allows sellers to park their vehicles on the grassy area directly in front of the club house. As this area is limited in size, buyers and non-sellers are requested to park in the paved parking area of Laidlaw Road, which is immediately adjacent to the flea market area only a few metres away.

Sellers are reminded to please bring their own table/s if they do not intend to sell out of their car boot as the club has only a very limited amount of  tables.

Ice cold refreshments and snacks will be available throughout the afternoon. We will have two braai fires going.

See you there; don’t miss this truly amazing annual event that just gets bigger and better each year...

Pics of the 2016 Flea Market
Pics of the 2015 Flea Market
Pics of the 2014 Flea Market

Sunday 26 February 2017

CTARC Report-Back on Meeting of 25 Feb '17

On Saturday 25 Feb 2017, Jan / ZS1VDV gave the club a most interesting talk and Powerpoint presentation on the Western Cape Repeater Working Group's activities.

Using the Hawequa Repeater as an example, Jan took us through the environmental issues that affect the repeaters proper operation. Sited as they are on exposed positions high up on mountain tops, the actual buildings require periodic maintenance, in addition to the maintenance of electronics inside. Wind load on exposed antennas - sometimes as high as six tons! - takes its toll on even sturdy steel structures over time.

Jan also showed us the insides of the repeater buildings and the actual repeaters themselves, which also require maintenance, repair and (eventually) replacement. He brought along an example of a repeater unit for us to see, too.

He also gave some insights into the future plans of the WCRWG, which include implementation of new technologies in the digital domain.

In essence, Jan provided us with a clear understanding of just why there is a constant request for funds by  the WCRWG - regular custodianship of equipment by this dedicated group of individuals (who often give freely of their personal time to keep the system afloat) does come at a cost. Furthermore, in April  the repeater licenses are due and the 5-year option (cheaper in the long run) is a significant sum.

After Jan had finished his talk, Klaus / ZS1QO briefly presented some of the latest Yaesu mobile rigs which he is taking orders for.

That was another great CTARC monthly meeting. The next meeting is the mega-fleamarket outside the club house on Saturday 4 March 2017. See you there!

Jan / ZS1VDV introduces himself

Cable ducts outside the repeater building

Jan shows the repeaters in situ

Our chairman, Rob / ZS1SA, thanks Jan for his presentation

Klaus / ZS1QO presents s latest line of Yaesu rigs

Jan brought an opened repeater for all to see the components thereof

Various questions were asked and answered after the talk

The usual post-meeting rag-chew and eyeball QSOs.
Left to right: Hans / ZS1HA, Noel / ZS1FW, Skippy,
Danny / ZS1BL and Barry / ZS1FJ

Saturday 18 February 2017

CTARC Old Clubhouse Tower - 1981

Thanks to Paul / ZS1S, for this photo of the tower at the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre, as it was in 1981. It will be immediately apparent just how clear the surrounding terrain is! Since then the trees have grown somewhat and there have been some building developments too.

Wednesday 1 February 2017

CTARC Forthcoming Meeting - 25 Feb '17

Jan / ZS1VDV
The February meeting of the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre will take place (as per usual) on the fourth Saturday of the month, which will be 14h00 on Saturday 25 February 2017.

The venue will be the CTARC Clubhouse. Details of how to get there are [here].

At this meeting, Jan / ZS1VDV (a most active member of the WCRWG) will give a talk and Powerpoint slide show on the topic of  "The Western Cape Repeater Network" - it's workings, maintenance and general info. This promises to be a most interesting event.

Further details will be published in Ragchew, on this blog and on the Sunday Morning CTARC Bulletins on the 146.750 Mhz repeater at 08h30.