yl.beam #30 jan 2016

Our new name above in recognition of SAWRC (South African Women's Radio Club)
Founded 1952 which had its own magazine, "YL Beam"

  • Sprites and Trolls at the Edge of Space
  • Local is Lekker: ZS3LAC Dr. Lisa Crause astronomer
  • Sutherland and SAAO
  • Sutherland Repeater.
  • SOS Radio Week (RNLI) Royal National Lifeboat Institution
  • YLs Essex repeater (Network)http://spaceweather.com/
  • Dutch YLs in ARRL 10m contest
  • Further Afield – Solo YL; ALARA 40th
  • Simpatie
  • Calendar & QRZ

We all know what comes out of the bottom of thunderclouds: lightning. But rarely do we see what comes out of the top. On August 10th, 2015, astronauts on-board the International Space Station observed red sprites dancing atop a cluster of storms in Mexico. Photos show their red forms reaching all the way from the thunder-storm below to a layer of green air-glow some 100 km above Earth's surface. This means sprites touch the edge of space, alongside auroras, meteors and noctilucent clouds. They are a true space weather phenomenon. A few minutes after the astronauts saw the sprites, they spotted a related creature--a "Troll." It jumped up to the left of the sprites. Sprites can actually pull Earth's ionosphere down toward the thunderstorm. When the gap shrinks and the local electric field intensifies, Trolls appear.

Editor: After hearing that the ISS celebrates New Year's Eve 16 Times (last issue #29) its a good thing the above sighting did not occur at this time of year! (hi-hi)
We hope that you celebrated 2016 in a spectacular fashion and wish everyone lots of “Pixie Dust” (aka propagation) for the New Year.

Local is Lekker
ZS3LAC Dr. Lisa Crause 19/12/2015
I'm an astronomer in the Instrumentation group at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Cape Town, but spend lots of time up in Sutherland - since that's where much of the cool stuff happens! I'm incredibly lucky to work with absolutely amazing people while getting to do all kinds of interesting things :) My brother took the attached pic when he visited up here earlier in the year, while I was working on something inside the payload of the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT).
The Observatory's in a beautiful, peaceful place & there's an endless amount of work to be done looking after the various telescopes & instruments. Both on SALT & on the SAAO's smaller telescopes, like the 74-inch (1.9-m) which we've recently finished building a new spectrograph for. Check out http://saaospup.blogspot.co.za/ for more on the building & commissioning of this latest SAAO instrument, now dubbed SpUpNIC.
There's also a whole series of posts on the SALT Astronomy blog, starting in early September 2013 describing the installation & commissioning of SALT's latest spectrograph, the HRS (High Resolution Spectrograph). 

& work your way up through the posts to see it going together, then there are a couple more about the HRS in October & November 2013.
A few years ago I was involved in a project to fix SALT's spherical aberration corrector & kept my first blog about that adventure:
If you ever find yourself passing through in the Karoo, you should aim to pop by the Obs & come see what the place is about.
(Ed.: There are 9 YL's in Div 3. N Cape; 3 at Sutherland – rare DX!)

Sutherland and SAAO
Since the early 1970s, the major telescopes of the SAAO (South African Astronomical Observatory) have operated on a hilltop near the Karoo village of Sutherland, about 370 km inland. from Cape Town and 1800 metres above sea level. GPS: [20°48’38.5″E 32°22’46″S]
This small village is in the Northern Cape, a semi-desert region, with vast stretches of arid bushland between towns. This emptiness has made the province a major hub for astronomical observations – there's little artificial light, pollution, or radio waves to interfere with optical and radio astronomy.
In addition to its remoteness, the Northern Cape has a low topography that is suited to radio astronomy, with mountains providing extra shielding against radio waves from distant metropolitan areas. The main gate and Visitor Centre is about 14 km from Sutherland.
In winter the narrow, tarred road to Sutherland (R354) can have a layer of snow or ice on it. Drive carefully as there is wildlife in the area including tortoise, baboon, snakes, bat eared foxes, rabbits, antelope, black eagles and lots of flowers in spring.

The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) is the largest single optical telescope in the southern hemisphere and among the largest in the world. It has a hexagonal primary mirror array 11 metres across, comprising 91 individual 1m hexagonal mirrors, with a light-gathering surface of 77.6 square metres. The last of the 91 smaller mirrored hexagon segments was put in place in May 2005. First light with the full mirror was declared on 1 September 2005. 2006 - 2009 was a period of commissioning and performance verification. Since September 2011, it has begun realising its potential as Africa’s Giant Eye on the Universe.
The southern hemisphere is the perfect place for astronomy because it sees more of the sky than the northern hemisphere. The centre holds Open Nights, which include a talk, a site tour and weather permitting, star gazing. Entrance is free. 

ZS3VIC- Vic Moore: Sutherland Repeater. - With the grateful assistance of HAMNET Western Cape we have recently commissioned a 2m Repeater in Sutherland. RX 145.600 Tone 88.5 Hz which would not be possible without the gracious assistance of ATNS South Africa (Air Traffic Navigation Systems) for hosting the repeater. It is situated at the ATNS radar site approximately 1850 metres above sea level.
We now have 2m coverage over an extensive area not previously covered by Cellular or any other communication method. This has greatly enhanced the safety of travellers in the area. (licensed amateurs only)
It will also be of great importance should disaster communications in the area be required
We now have an APRS Igate operating at 1810 m asl - ZS3OBS-10. 32°22.59' S 20°48.65' E

SOS Radio Week (RNLI) : 23-31, Jan. 2016 - Nine days of fun, non-competitive, operating. A fund raising event by Radio Amateurs in aid of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)
The event takes place at the end of January to coincide with the RNLI’s own SOS fund raising day. Run since 2009, the event is open to Amateur Radio operators in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. http://www.sosradioweek.org.uk/

YLs wake a quiet Essex repeater
GB3DA, the repeater in Danbury near Chelmsford is one of repeaters looked after by the Essex Repeater Group (UK). Of an evening when no net is scheduled its pretty quiet. On the 27th of August (2015), the repeater quickly livened up after Kelly, M6KFA started an impromptu net.
Kelly presents an online technology radio show and during a brief pause in recording, put out a call on the repeater. Thanks to the help of a mention on Facebook and Twitter, an impromptu net of 12 was under way. Kelly was joined on-air by fellow YL Dorothy M0LMR, prompting talk of a YL net. There’s much discussion taking place about how to get more activity on 2m, and now we know what the answer may be - encourage our YLs to take to the air!

Dutch YLs in ARRL 10m contest Posted on 12/12/2015 by pa1eng
In de meeste contesten waar PI4YLC aan mee doet wordt er op meerdere banden gewerkt. Dit weekend is de ARRL 10m contest. Het is doel is om zoveel mogelijk QSOs te maken over de hele wereld met alleen de 10m band (meer informatie: www.arrl.org/10-meter). Omdat het huidige team van PI4YLC vooral een contestteam is, hebben Lisa PA2LS en Claudia PD5AX besloten om aan deze contest mee te doen vanaf de home-QTH van Claudia. Hun score is te volgen via cqcontest.net
(ED. - miskien will ons Jong Dames iets in Afrikaans deel?)

Further Afield
YL Solo Sailor
Heather ZS6YE wrote to ZS1SAM: Don't always remember the call-sign but never forget a voice - so when I heard Susanne N1QFE check in with Sam on the S African Maritime Net, Monday 14/12/2015, I checked my address book. In 2003 after several QSO's we met Susanne N1QFE and OM Tony aboard their yacht “So Long” on their arrival in Hout Bay, W Cape.
ZS1SAM replied: I’ve been speaking with Susanne for the past few weeks; she is way down south on her way to Australia. Her last port was the Canary’s, so it’s been a long passage. She is single handed; on a new boat, S/v NEHAJ.
My beam is pointed to the SE of Cape Town, my sked with her is at 06:20 UTC - 14,316 KHz
I have alerted the Australians and NZ that Susanne is on her way to them, gave them my frequency and time, and this morning VK6NDE – Ted – came onto frequency plus a whole bunch of other stations and they made contact with Susanne. I am really pleased about this; at least she will have company should we lose contact.

Keep a listening watch and track her on:

YLRL (Young Ladies Radio League) website have lots of pictures of ALARA (Australian Ladies Amateur Radio Assoc.) celebrating their 40th birthday.

Bertha Kappetijn is op nuwejaarsdag oorlede, vrou van ZS6KR Hans Dagsê Vriende. Dis met groot hartseer dat ek verneem het van 'n baie goeie Vriend se afsterwe. Anton de Beer (ZS6AG). Baie sterkte aan Fransis (ZS6FRA) en die kinders.

2016 January Calendar
Jan. 9-10 45th Hunting 'Lions on the Air' Started 1971
Jan 13 Schools re-open
Jan. 23-31 SOS Radio Week - (RNLI)Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Jan 23 SARL Summer QRP Sprint Contest
Jan 23-31 SOS Radio Week – (RNLI)
Jan 25 closing date for February Radio ZS articles

QRZ CONTACTS: zs6ye.yl@gmail.com zr6d@ymail.com Facebook ‘HAM Yl’


yl.beam #32 march 2016


  • Ja-No-Well-Fine

  • An Overview on the Amateur Life of Pam Momberg ZS6APT

  • Amateur radio more Space Age than Digital Age gaining popularity

  • CLARA Chatter Party 2016 – March

  • Calendar


ZS6APT Pam Momberg has been chosen to show-case local YL's for International Womens Day celebrated during March. An active YL, often heard on the air. (By a happy coincidence it is also her birthday this month!)

SARL (South African Radio League) has been busy initiating a “Hall of Fame” and Iris Hayes ZS2AA (SK) has been nominated. (We paid tribute to her in YL News #20, May/June 2014)

Only SARL members may vote. If not a member, persuade anyone you know who is, to vote for the 1st South African YL. More info on S.A.R.L. Web-page http://www.sarl.org.za

The voting system can be accessed through the nominations page on the SARL Web site. A link is provided on the home page under "Activities". SARL members can vote for up to five nominees.

Please vote as soon as possible. Voting will close at the end of March

​An Overview on the Amateur Life of Pam Momberg ZS6APT

1975 – I wrote and passed the RAE awarded call sign ZR6KN. Six weeks later, wrote the CW 12 w.p.m. test and obtained call sign ZS6APT. Worked on CW for first year of operation, as required by the regulations at that time.

1978 – Became Hon. Secretary for the South African Women’s Radio Club, and editor of the YL Beam. I held this post for a number of years. I was awarded the Irvine CW Trophy during this time. What wonderful memories of our ladie’s get togethers, drinking morning tea, and discussing club events, and generally seeing that the club was running as it should.

1979 – Went on a DXpedition to Venda, to celebrate their independence. Camped out in the bush for four days with no facilities at all. No running water, no electricity and no ablution block! We used the call sign T4A and made plenty of contacts during the weekend.

1984 – Awarded the Jack Twine Award. The postmaster general of Pretoria made the presentation.

I have been serving on Branch/Club committees since early days, and am still very much involved with club affairs. 1977 – Started serving on the club committee, first as Secretary then as Secretary/Treasurer.

In 2002 I became the ZS6CEN Treasurer, in 2005 Vice Chairman/Treasurer and in March 2009 Chairman/Treasurer of the club. (Still hold this post today).

In 2005 I started assisting with compiling and reading our Sunday morning bulletins, and as from July 2012 was solely responsible for compiling and reading bulletins.

During 2006 I became involved in producing our CQ Centurion magazine, and in 2007 became editor, with numerous co-editors during the years. At the moment my OM Jimmy ZS6APS is the co-editor. I am still responsible for this magazine today.

I have always been a keen contester and won numerous awards and certificates. In 1981 I won the Silent Keys Memorial Trophy, and have a certificate for attaining 1st place in the SARL HF Phone contest. I also have a certificate for second place in 1982. I have other certificates for those early years, but cannot lay my hands on them at the moment. A lot of information has been lost as the years go by. I work SSB and CW.

During the SARL YL Sprint I came 1st during the March 2011 contest and 2nd during the August 2011 contest. During the other years I was cruising between 2nd and 5th.

First WAZS 100 certificate awarded 2010 and WAZS 600 in 2015 At the moment I am 50 contacts short for my WAZS 700.

I have been told that I am the first YL in South Africa to receive the WAZS500, and also the WAZS600.

An interesting fact is that the very first WAZS certificate was awarded to a YL. Gwen Smith ZS1NQ – certificate no 1 – awarded 24/2/1959.

I have attended numerous SARL AGMs through the years. Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Pretoria, Pietermaritzburg, Durban, Johannesburg, Kempton Park, Vereeniging, Stellenbosch, Alberton, Botha’s Hill are the ones I can remember. I was one of the representatives for the club/branch for many years.

I was involved in presenting CW Classes, and together with Jimmy ZS6APS, we made CW tapes, (no CDs or DVDs in those days) which were duplicated and distributed to numerous hams wanting to pass the CW proficiency test. These tapes are still in circulation today. Jimmy and I still present CW classes when called upon.

I have been the SARL Liaison Officer for the Centurion Radio Amateur club since 2005.

I have been involved in emergency communications for Hamnet, and can remember on one occasion being called out at 02:00 (am) to help with the evacuation of houses which were being flooded along the Hennops River. The occupants were sleeping upstairs and had no idea that their premises were being flooded downstairs. I also assisted with the communications during the evacuation of the caravan park at the Ses Myl Spruit. This was during the early years of my amateur life.

At the time of my marriage in 1971 to Jimmy ZS6APS who had obtained his operating license in 1955, I knew absolutely nothing about Ham Radio, but found myself very interested in what he was doing. I used to spend hours listening to Jimmy operating and watching him building his home brew equipment. (Yes in those days that is what they did!)

Then one day in 1975 Jimmy persuaded me to attend classes given by OM Henry Schoeman ZS6AHS. In December of that year I wrote the required RAE to obtain my B Class license (ZR call sign, restricted licence). No HF operation was permitted by a ZR in those days.

My OM Jimmy ZS6APS started giving me CW classes, and within 6 weeks I wrote and passed the required CW test 12 w.p.m. at the Post Office in Pretoria. I obtained the A class license, which enabled me to operate on all bands, on CW only for one year. Thereafter the world was open to me and needless to say, I was hooked! 33 de Pam ZS6APT


Amateur radio more Space Age than Digital Age gaining popularity

Amateur radio operators — alternatively referred to as “ham” radio operators, work and play on prescribed portions of the radio spectrum. There, they talk with one another, communicate in Morse code, experiment by meshing radio with computers and other forms of modern-day technology, and provide communications at the site of disasters and emergencies when phones, cell towers and other means of getting information from here to there and back again have gone on the fritz.

Sean Kutzko, spokesman for the American Radio Relay League, says ham radio’s all-time-high popularity seems a bit counter-intuitive? After all, the cheapest smart-phone today can offer worldwide communications capability to the most tech-averse consumer, while the Internet routinely flings email across the globe in seconds. Actually, Kutzko says, today’s ever-expanding roster of technological innovations has served only to create a broader range of ham-friendly activities. A number of people are doing hybrid work combining the technologies with amateur radio. Ham radio has moved into almost every field of electronics.

Another possible, and more practical, reason for ham radio’s 21st century resurgence, could be that entry-level applicants no longer have to learn Morse code to get a license. It doesn’t hurt that the cost of entry-level amateur equipment has dropped significantly through the decades.

Newcomers are intrigued when they see the service that hams routinely offer communities, not just by providing emergency communications but by handling communications for charitable fundraisers, marathons, races and other events. Ham radio operators are a valuable resource which doesn’t cost taxpayers ; it’s called ‘amateur’ radio because we’re not allowed to accept compensation for our services.

One amateur pursued the hobby around the world while serving with the Air Force.

What hasn’t changed is amateur radio’s predominantly male tilt. Kutzko estimates just 8 to 10 percent of amateurs are women. Bigley, SOAR’s (Sisters Of Amateur Radio) co-founder and president, says the group has 25 to 30 members locally and 60 to 70 more nationally and internationally.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL John Przybys - jprzybys@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0280


May 10, 2014

CLARA Chatter Party 2016 - March

Contest days are: Tuesday, March 15th and Saturday March 19st for 24 hours.

This is 2 days after the daylight savings time change.


a) 15 March 1700Z to 16 March 1700Z and or

b) 19 March 1700Z to 20 March 1700Z

c) Total hours must equal 24 hours.

Logs are due April 18th, 2016

More info: http://www.clarayl.ca/index.php/claracontestrules

AFRICA DX NET Every Saturday afternoon 14UTC 14.260Mhz - with V51MA, operator MIKE in Namibia - ZS6MHK operator TINUS in South Africa and A25SL operator LEON in Botswana.

Silent Key Apologies & Correction: ZS6WE Wilma Botha went SK 25 November 2015, not 9 Jan, 2016 as incorrectly stated #31

QUOTE: No one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell. Charles de Lint (Source: SAARP Jan 2016 Newsletter)

Why not share your stories with us?

QRZ CONTACTS: zs6ye.yl@gmail.com
Facebook ‘HAM Yl’

The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the YL Group, or the editor.

PS: African DX - Swaziland, 3DA. Arkady, UA4CC, and Arunas, LY2IJ will be active as 3DA0CC and 3DA0IJ, respectively, from Mozambique between 8 and 15 March, 2016. (HF Happenings No 694 the week of 29 February 2016)


March 06 YL France and DARC’s YL – International Activity

March 06 SARL Hamnet 40 Metre Contest Simulated Emerg Contest 1200Z-1400Z

March 08 International Woman’s Day

March 15 & 19 CLARA Chatter Party

March 19-20 SARL VHF/UHF/Microwave Contest [10:00 UTC Sat 19 - 10:00 UTC Sun 20]

21 March Human Rights Day SA

23 March World Meteorological Day

24 March Purim

25 March Good Friday

26 March Two Oceans Marathon (Cape)

26 - 27 March CQ WW DX WPX Phone Contest SSB 0000Z, Mar 26 - 2400Z, Mar 27

31 March Amateur License pay