Wednesday 26 August 2020

CTARC Radio Amateurs Exam - 29 August '20

Prospective radio amateurs will be able to write the RAE (Radio Amateurs Examination), which must be passed in order to obtain the Amateur Radio License, on Saturday, 29th August 2020.

Chris ZS1CDG, who has conducted the current RAE course, will of course be present at the venue.

The venue is the hall next to Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre clubhouse (which is part of the same building), at the Belvedere Community Centre, located on the V.O.B. Sports Grounds, Keurboom Park, in Rondebosch.

Directions to the CTARC clubhouse.

There will be two sessions:
  • The morning session starts at 09h30 for 10h00;
  • The afternoon session starts at 13h00 for 14h00.

HF Assessments

In addition to passing the RAE, prospective radio amateurs must also pass the HF Assessment Test. For those who still have not done this (easy) test, there will be a final final chance to do the test at the CTARC Clubhouse between the morning and afternoon sessions of the RAE.

We wish good luck and to all the RAE candidates!

Saturday 15 August 2020

CTARC RAE HF Practical HF Assessments - Aug '20

The RAE HF Practical assessment will go ahead under strict social distancing conditions on the 22nd of August 2020 at the CTARC club house.

Any RAE candidates who have not yet completed the HF assessment are welcome to join Chris ZS1CDG, the RAE course coordinator, at 10h00 at the club house.

Please ensure that you bring a mask.

CTARC members and other radio amateurs are very welcome to help us out - please listen out for "CQ CQ CQ ASSESSMENT THIS IS ZS1CT" around 7070 to 7090 kHz on the 40m band and work us! 

There will be many candidates so please be patient and remember many of these people may be quite nervous, remember your first time on the air? Help them out and show them what a great hobby we have.

Chris ZS1CDG

Friday 14 August 2020

CTARC International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend - 22 Aug '20

The Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre will once again take part in the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend, on the weekend of Saturday/Sunday 22/23 August  at Green Point Lighthouse in Mouille Point, Cape Town - but with a difference. Owing to the Coronavirus lockdown requirements, the Lighthouse's premises are unavailable this year. However, we may nevertheless do the following...

Going Ahead With Social Distancing...

Members are welcome to set up their own stations and operate parked from their cars near the Green Point Lighthouse and are free to use the ZS1CT/L call sign provided they fill out a Google form and ask Rob ZS1SA our chairman for formal permission.

What is the ILLW? Is it a Contest?

The event is NOT a contest. There are no prizes, certificates or other enticements to participate and therefore, participation is free. Each station's operators decide how they will operate their station regards modes and bands. Participants are not committed to being on the air during the entire period - only as much as they can. There are no restrictions on aerials or power. We wish operators to enjoy themselves and have fun whilst making contact with as many amateur radio stations as possible. We request that stations take time to work other lighthouses or lightships as well as the slow operator, or the newly-licensed or QRP stations.

How close to the Lighthouse do I have to be?

As most available space in many lighthouses is usually filled to capacity, our activity does not have to take place inside the tower itself. Field day type set-up at the light or other building next to the light is OK. Our guidelines require that the station must be AT or ADJACENT TO the lighthouse. Adjacent means next to or as close as possible. The intention behind this requirement is that the station should have a visible presence to the passing public who may be visiting the lighthouse over the weekend.

Please note that the exchange is CALLSIGN (ZS1CT/L), Report, and lighthouse reference ZA0006. Kindly send your call logs to Chris ZS1CDG.

To register your intention to setup a station kindly fill in the Google logging form here:

Note: There is no access to mains electrical power at the lighthouse this year, so operators must provide their own power sources / batteries.

Chris ZS1CDG

Sunday 9 August 2020

CTARC International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend - 22 / 23 Aug '20

Every year our club has activated the Green Point Lighthouse on Cape Town's western seaboard for the International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend (ILLW).

While the Coronavirus lock-down has imposed restrictions on access to the lighthouse premises and buildings, the CTARC Committee hopes to still take part in the event this year.

The ILLW takes place on the weekend of Saturday/Sunday 22/23 August 2020.

An announcement on the format of this forthcoming event, in compliance with the lock-down regulations, will be made shortly.

Wednesday 5 August 2020

CTARC Indian Radio Kits - 7 Aug '20



The CTARC is organising an exciting construction project for interested club members:

A QRP HF transceiver covering the HF bands, with the following features:
  • Up to 10 watts PEP on lower HF bands, dips to 5 watts on 28 MHz;
  • SSB and CW modes;
  • Simple to build and align;
  • Minimal controls;
  • Based on Arduino Nano controller and a Si5351 for all local oscillators;
  • Double-conversion, superhet architecture
The cost of this HF radio transceiver is $209-00 (USD) = R3500-00 ZAR (at today's  exchange rates), excluding RSA taxes and VAT. The final costs  will be conveyed to purchasers on the kit's arrival in South Africa. We are hoping a bulk order will reduce these costs).

The full uBITX version 6 Kit is comprised of:
  1. The Main uBITX board;
  2. Main uBITX board with mounting hardware;
  3. TFT - Arduino Board with Display with mounting hardware for the front panel;
  4. Encoder with pre-soldered cable;
  5. Tuning knob;
  6. Volume control knob;
  7. USB extender cable;
  8. Mounting screws & nuts;
  9. Microphone;
  10. Power Supply jack;
  11. Speaker;
  12. Cabinet (box) - chassis, front, back & top panels.
Take a look at their website for all the specifications of the transceiver:



31 AUGUST 2020

Tuesday 4 August 2020

CTARC Fox Hunt - Aug '20

As our members will all be aware, actual meetings during the Coronavirus lock-down period have had to be cancelled owing to the stringent limitations on meeting logistics in our clubhouse.

However, there is still a meeting format that is possible, safe and legal, and that is the Radio Fox Hunt! The hunts we have organised at the CTARC in the past have been great fun.

The CTARC is planning to hold another fox hunt at or near our clubhouse (but not inside it!) in the near future. We would like, first, to get an idea of how many would be interested in  taking part in such an event.

If you would like to take part in a Fox Hunt at the CTARC, please e-mail our Secretary, Anne.

Saturday 1 August 2020

CTARC Ragchew - Aug '20

The August 2020 edition of the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre's bi-monthly newsletter "Ragchew" is now published.

This edition contains the Chairman's AGM report. Due to the Coronavirus lock-down, our club has been unable to hold a proper meeting, but will do so when circumstances permit.

Grateful thanks to the editor, Anne, for another fine edition.

Remember please, Anne is always on the look-out for articles to publish in Ragchew! This is especially the case during the lock-down.

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 August Newsletter PDF file [here];

Ragchew is also on our Newsletters Page