Tuesday, 5 May 2020

CTARC Ragchew - May '20

The May 2020 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!

You can advertise ham-related articles for sale or swop in Ragchew, including colour photos, details and prices.

To do so, contact the editor [here].

Download the current Newsletter PDF file [here];

Ragchew is also on our Newsletters Page

Saturday, 2 May 2020

CTARC Government Coronavirus Website - Apr '20

Following a recent announcement, every South African website must prominently promote
the South African Government Portal on Covid-19.

On this website you will find news, statistics, resources and contact information
about the Coronavirus in the South African context.

Here is the link:

CTARC Morningstar's QO-100 Satellite Station - 2 May '20

A dish antenna to work the Es-hail 2 /  QO-100 geostationary satellite has recently set up at the CTARC's remote station at Morningstar. This amazing feature has been discovered by many of our club members, enabling them to work transcontinental DX via satellite. If you are a licensed radio amateur, you can too!

To gain access to this great feature, you need to be a CTARC member [details here] and have also taken out the annual subscription to access the Morningstar Remote Station. However, those with access to Morningstar get free access to the QO-100 Satellite transceiver as well.

Working the Satellite has a learning curve - you need to be able to ensure that activating QO-100's linear transponder doesn't transmit downlink signal on the wrong frequency! Therefore all those members with Morningstar access who would like to also us the QO-100 feature need to contact the CTARC Secretary [here] to register. She will then send you links to an instructional PDF by Tjerk ZS1J and video by Chris ZS1CDG that explain how the system works.

Friday, 24 April 2020

CTARC Next RAE Course - 8 Aug '20

The next available RAE [Radio Amateurs Examination] course begins on the Saturday 8th August from 10h00 to 12h30 at the CTARC clubhouse at the Round Table / Belvedere Community Centre off Laidlaw Lane, Rondebosch.

For all people in Cape Town who would like to take their Radio Amateurs Examination, Chris ZS1CDG will run a nine-week course.

At the end of the course, candidates will write the Radio Amateurs Examination, successful passing of which is required to obtain the Radio Amateur's License from ICASA.

The next Radio Amateurs Examination takes place in October 2020.

For further details, please contact the CTARC Secretary [here]. A PDF file of the course details and curriculum will be sent to the applicants.

Should the Covid-19 lock-down require a change in dates or venue, these will be announced in due course.

Monday, 6 April 2020

CTARC New Membership Form for 2020 / 2021

The Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre continues to grow. New members are always welcomed into our sociable community!

Membership of the CTARC has many benefits, including:
  • Fellowship with like-minded radio enthusiasts and involvement in the CTARC's interesting meetings, bulletins, radio nets and activities;
  • The CTARC's bi-monthly newsletter, Ragchew;
  • Access to people highly experienced in amateur radio technology, radio station assembly, construction and operating skills;

  • Use of the CTARC's amateur radio station ZS1CT [for licensed radio amateurs];
  • Optional access to use the Remote-Controlled Station at Morningstar [for licensed radio amateurs];
  • Access to our regular ham radio equipment Swop Shops and car boot sales;
  • And much, much more...

The Application Form for membership of the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre, for the period 2020/2021, details current membership fees in the document.

Prospective members are requested to download and fill in the application form and return it to the Secretary, Anne or to hand it in to the CTARC chairman, Rob ZS1SA, at one of our monthly meetings.

Download the correct Application Form PDF file [here].

Saturday, 4 April 2020

CTARC RAE HF Assessments - 9 May '20

While the Coronavirus lock-down continues to curtail CTARC Club meetings, the activities and planning continue. Chris ZS1CDG plans to hold an HF Assessment morning for non-course RAE candidates. This is scheduled to take place at the CTARC clubhouse on the morning of  Saturday, 9 May 2020.

We would be grateful for radio hams to kindly assist this event by replying to these candidates' first calls on the air via the ZS1CT station.

Of course, this event's chances of taking place will depend entirely on the 21-day Lock-down period [which, at present, is currently scheduled to end at midnight on Thursday16 April] being lifted before any public gatherings may happen.

Further details woll be announced presently.

Monday, 23 March 2020

CTARC All Club Meetings & Events Cancelled - 23 Mar '20

Dear CTARC Members

Reminder: This Saturday, 28 March, Monthly Meeting Cancelled.

I am sure you will have heard by now either on the Sunday bulletin or on our blog spot that this Saturday's meeting has sadly been cancelled due to concerns over the current Covid-19 virus outbreak.

The Chairman and his Committee have decided that all CTARC events, workshops and meetings will be cancelled; this will include Committee meetings and work parties, until this current crisis is over.

Update: With the recently announced national lock-down from 26 March to 16 April, any club-related activities that would take people out of their homes are restricted anyway.

We wish you all well and please be safe, looking forward to chatting with everybody over the air.

Kind regards & 73

The CTARC Committee

Sunday, 15 March 2020

CTARC Committee Meeting Cancelled - 23 Mar '20

CTARC Committee members please note that the committee meeting scheduled  for 19h00 on Monday, 23 March 2020 has now been CANCELLED owing to the Coronavirus situation.

The decisions that need to be made will be done by e-mail & WhatsApp instead.

With apologies for the sudden change in plans, but we live in interesting times...

CTARC Forthcoming March Meeting Postponed - 28 Mar '20

Following a considered decision by the CTARC Committee, the planned members' meeting for Saturday 28 March 2020 at the clubhouse at 14h00 has been POSTPONED. We apologise for the last-minute decision.

It is believed that the rapidly spreading Coronavirus is reaching the stage where it would be too risky for many of our members, many of whom are in the "target zone" age profile, to attend the meeting in the closely-packed clubhouse.

Also, large gatherings are now a potential risk too.

When the meeting does indeed take place, Lem ZS1LEM will do a presentation on Satellites and the equipment radio amateurs use to work them. It promises to be very interesting.

Further details will be published via the usual channels presently.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

CTARC Ragchew - Mar - April '20

CTARC Ragchew 2020 March & April
The March / April 2020 edition of the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre's bi-monthly newsletter "Ragchew" is now published.

This edition is a bumper one, with three separate PDF files:
  • The CTARC Newsletter "Ragchew", edited by Anne;
  • A supplement on Operating the Morningstar Remote-Controlled Station, by Tjerk ZS1J, with Alan ZS1LS contributing;
  • Another supplement on Operating the QO-100 Satellite via the CTARC's Morningstar station, by Tjerk ZS1J, comissioned and mentored by Fred ZS1FZ and Alan ZS1LS, as well!

Very grateful thanks once to our editor, Anne, for all her excellent work in putting together this month's bumper edition, and to all the other contributers.

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

You can advertise ham-related items - for sale, swop or wanted-to-buy - in Ragchew, including colour photos, details and prices. To do so, please contact the editor [here].

Download the March / April 2020 Newsletter PDF file [here];

Download the Operating the Morningstar Remote-Controlled Station PDF file [here];

Download the Operating the QO-100 Satellite PDF file [here]

Ragchew is also on our Newsletters Page

Sunday, 8 March 2020

CTARC Yet More Photos of CTARC Fleamarket - 7 Mar '20

The catering zone gets set up
Peter ZS1PC kindly sent us his photos of the CTARC Flea Market.

Here they are.

Tom ZS1AFS, Sue ZS1AFR & Andre ZS1AN
Hans-Jurgen ZS1HJH [centre] had some high quality gear on offer.

Table groaning under the collective weight of fine test gear on offer

A variety of rigs, test gear, PSUs...

An MFJ antenna analyser didn't have to wait too long
to find a new owner...

Nick ZS1ZD, Peter ZS1JX, Leon ZS1MM and Barry ZS1FJ

The catering was up to its usual high standard, thanks to
Elsabe and Anne

Centre: Rob ZS1SA, Lem ZS1LEM and Celso ZS1MYG

Elsabe, Anne and John ZS1AGH

All the boerie rolls were sold!

Mike ZS1FP [centre right] kindly brought along his PA system
for the announcements.

Some legacy Quad audio gear at Paul ZS1S's tables

John ZS1EQ scored a hefty variac transformer!

CTARC More Photos of Fleamarket - 7 Mar '20

Tony ZS1TK kindly sent us his photos of the CTARC Mega-Flea Market of 7 March 2020.

Here they are:

John ZS1EQ provided sterling service at the braai fires.

Tony ZS1TK's stand.

Our dear catering ladies provided scrumptious boerewors rolls
throughout the afternoon