Wednesday 22 January 2020

CTARC Ragchew - 22 Jan '20

The January 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

Tuesday 21 January 2020

CTARC Solar Cycle 25 Forecast Update - 19 Jan '20

Latest from the Space Weather Prediction Center at NOAA [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] in the USA, as of 19 Dec '19...

Monday 20 January 2020

CTARC January Meeting - 22 Jan '20

[From previous Show and Tell meetings...]
Mike ZS1FP demos a handy utility box he made
for reading current consumption
with a clamp ammeter.
The Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre kicks off the new year with its first meeting, to be held at the clubhouse on Saturday 25 January 2020, starting formally at 14h00, although we encourage you to arrive a little earlier if you want to get a seat!

The topic of the meeting will be a Show-and-Tell Session. We encourage all members to bring along an interesting radio amateur-related item [or items] they may have designed, built or acquired along the way. Don't be shy!

Chris ZS1CDG shows a nifty digital keyer
and readout that he constructed and programmed
Past events of this nature have been very interesting indeed, with fascinating and sometimes unusual radio items being dusted off from workshops and garages / rediscovered in  attics / dug up from buried caches in back gardens... We're confident this meeting will be no exception.

We also remind you of the opportunity to bring along surplus radio-related gear to sell, swop or buy at our regular informal regular monthly swop shop after the meeting. Please remember, whatever stuff you bring to the meeting, [whether it's been sold or not] must please be removed from the clubhouse afterwards because we have no space to keep it there and cannot guarantee its safety.


Please note: This event has now taken place.
A report will be published presently...

Richard ZS1RIC shows a wind-up
coaxial mast he is putting together

Sunday 19 January 2020

CTARC A Very Accomplished Radio Ham! - Jan '20

Dennis ZS1AU
Long-standing CTARC member Dennis ZS1AU recently sent us a list of his many accomplishments in the field of Amateur Radio. In detail below...

ZS1AU's Activities & Achievements
Since 1947 until January 2019:

  1. First Mobile-to-Mobile / Continent-to-Continent 1973 Barney Joel Trophy;
  2. First Digital Voice in the Southern Hemisphere, on HF, on 20m/15m/10m in August 2004;
  3. First & only WAZL award.
    Worked over 1000 ZL’s;
  4. First Garden City Award – Christchurch NZ;
  5. First & only Calgary Stampede Award VE6;
  6. Second ZS1 to achieve DXCC Honour Roll in 2011;
  7. First ZS1 to achieve #1 DXCC Honour Roll in 2014;
  8. Fourth ZS to reach #1 DXCC Honour Roll;
  9. First ZS to reach DXCC Entity Sticker #360 in 2018;
  10. First to transmit modulated CW on HF, in 1960’s for CW over-the-air classes. ZS1PF & ZS1YP @ 12 wpm;
  11. In 1960’s won the TED BAKER Rally Trophy, held by CTARC;
  12. Winner (Division One) SARL SSB Contest 1989;
  13. Len Wells Ham Spirit Trophy in 2007, held by CTARC;
  14. Winner in Mobile section of SARL Annual Contest in 1961;
  15. Runner-up Mobile section of SARL Annual Contest in 1962;
  16. Runner-up in Annual SARL CW Contest on 80m/40m/20m in 1968;
  17. Highest Single Band 20M SARL Contest Joseph White Trophy in 1958, 1959 & 1967;
  18. Hunting Lions On The Air 1989, Fifth in the World Plaque;
  19. Hunting Lions On The Air 1990, First in ZS, while leading #1 in the World.
    Ruled a "No Contest" due to loss of contest logs in Argentina;
  20. Certificates: First WAS all on 20m SSB;
  21. SARL Certificates: AAA, WAZS;
  22. Awarded Honourary Life Membership from CTARC in 2003;
  23. Awarded Honourary Life Membership from SARL in 2005;
  24. Luminated Address for Services Rendered & Attendance over 20 years in 1966;
  25. One of five Radio Amateurs awarded Officers' Rank in SAPWRR in 1974 to 1980;
  26. Served on Cape Town Branch Committee & as Chairman in 1947 to 1966;
  27. Served on Oakdale Klub (Amateur Radio) Committee as Vice-Chairman from 1996 to 2008;
  28. Awarded Gary Immelman Amateur Radio Heritage Award & Gold Pen in 2008;
  29. Served on SARL Council for 3½ yrs 1966 to 1969 HQ Notes & Branch Affairs;
  30. Was Pilot for DXpeditions for CT1BWW, ZS1FJ, 7P8DX & 3Y0C;
  31. Worked stations on SUNSAT Satellite in 2000/2001;
  32. Organised First & thus far the only Satellite contact for 3Y0C Chuck Brady on a 2m Handy to make contact with ZS1DFR & ZS1AAZ in the PARROT mode, SUNSAT foot print over CT & Bouvet Island in 2001;
  33. Operator on DXpedition to Robben Island as ZS64RI in 1996;
  34. Organised departure & reception for Chuck Brady 3Y0C after he had completed three months on Bouvet Island;
  35. ZS1S Paul Johnson & ZS1AU organized reception for VK0EK DXpedition to Heard Island in 2016;
  36. ZS1S Paul Johnson & ZS1AU organized reception for 3Y0Z aborted DXpedition to Bouvet Island in 2018;
  37. Organised Special Event Station ZS1WPR WP Rugby 100 yrs;
  38. Organised Special Event Station ZS03CWC Cricket World Cup in RSA;
  39. Took part in operating as ZS….. MADIBA & worked over 1000 stations;
  40. On Oakdale Klub (Amateur Radio) Committee, proposed that Mark Shuttleworth be granted ZS1RSA on the International Space Station;
  41. Read SARL HQ Bulletins on 40m & 20 m for almost 10 years from QTH in Plumstead CT;
  42. Refurbished TH-5 antenna at ZS1CT Club House after a severe Cape Storm smashed the Beam & Tower;
  43. Organised a Field Day Weekend on top of Montague Mountain @ 1600 metres ASL in 1984 as ZS1CT/P;
  44. In the 1980’s I saved Bertie Reed on SA Yacht “Voortrekker” after his auto-pilot broke & saw him around the World;
  45. Did a caravan tour, "The Great Trek" in 1968 as ZS1AU / MOBILE;
  46. In 1971 did a caravan tour of Zimbabwe & operated as ZS1AU / MOBILE / ZE;
  47. Did a caravan tour of Swaziland & operated as ZS1AU/MOBILE/7P8;
  48. In 2008 put together & erected 3x TELREX Beams for 20m 5-element, 15m 5-element & 10m 6-element at 30m on Oakdale Tower;
  49. In addition to above I was involved in two MAYDAY calls, the rescue of a Russian boat that was drifting rudderless off coast of Australia;
  50. The other MAYDAY call was at midnight when the RSA Base station ZS1ANT called for help via the USA. One of the team on Antarctica had been seriously injured & urgent medical help was needed. Unfortunately the person died during the early hours of the following morning;
  51. I received a letter of thanks from the Minister of Transport for alerting the high-powered station to SANAE base;
  52. Attended many SARL AGM’s - in East London, Cape Town, Pretoria, Stellenbosch and Durban;
  53. Took part in operating JOTA from home & at various other locations as ZS1CT/P, & in Bergvliet & Zandvlei Scout camp;
  54. Went out 20kms offshore on Robert ZS1FF’s yacht to welcome the aborted Bouvet Island DXpedition Team into Cape Town Harbour in 2018;
  55. In 1960’s home-brewed a complete mobile transceiver & centre-loaded whip on a 1954 Hillman & worked DX & many States-side stations on 20m & South America on 40m using 50 watts AM;
  56. Home-brewed first 15m ZL Special beam & the rotator;
  57. First to contact VK on 15m in 1952;
  58. Designed & constructed my 15m tower, still in use since 1980;
  59. Played around with RTTY, SSTV & manufactured my morse keys & a “bug” key;
  60. Did many construction items for HF to Telephone patching & microphone speech compression audio unit;
  61. Did most of my own repairs when things went wrong. HI !!!
Well done, Dennis! An inspiration to all

Wednesday 15 January 2020

RSA Government Coronavirus Portal 

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:

Sunday 5 January 2020

CTARC Committee Meeting - 20 Jan '20

CTARC Committee members are reminded of the first committee meeting of the new year to be held at the clubhouse at 19h00 on Monday, 20 January 2020. 

Please do make an effort to attend the meeting..

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