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									SARL
News release
29 January 2007


RADIO AMATEURS TO FOCUS ON TECHNOLOGY THIS YEAR


The South African Radio League, the National Body for Amateur Radio in
South Africa, will be focussing during 2007 on Communication Technology.
This was announced last night by the organisation’s President, Graham
Hartlett addressing the country’s radio amateurs on the SARL national radio
repeater network.

“Contrary to the perception of some that computers and the internet would be
the demise of Amateur Radio, the opposite is true. Digital technology and
access to the internet has greatly enhanced Amateur Radio and what it
offers its enthusiast”, he said.

During 2007 the SARL will focus on digital technologies in a roadshow that will
touch Kwazulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape, the Western Cape, the Free State
and Gauteng

Simple to construct radio devices connected to a PC sound card are starting
to replace complex radio receivers. The so called Software Defined Radio is
making great strides and radio amateurs are right upfront in its development
and application.

“We will be expanding on last year’s theme of “The Year of Young people in
Amateur Radio” with the introduction of the “Talk for Free” campaign showing
the benefits that young people can derive from Amateur Radio. To this end we
are promoting an entry level license that requires only a few weeks of study
and will give successful candidates access to some of the amateur radio
frequency spectrum paving the way to a full license. The entry level licensee
is allocated a call sign with the prefix ZU.

“With the launch of South Africa’s second satellite, SumbandilaSat, we are
working with our affiliated organisation, SA AMSAT, to present a number of
fun events using the amateur radio system onboard SumbandilaSat. The “Talk
for Free” campaign also includes the use of Echolink, an internet VoIP system
that allows radio amateurs access to radio repeater stations in many part of
the world. For example a young person with an entry level license (ZU) will be
able to talk to other radio amateurs using only the PC and it is for free. “This
opens many doors to a whole new world of technology.”

“Amateur Radio offers learners and students “Experimental Learning”
opportunities that will go a long way to scientific based studies and careers.
By just simply talking to other radio amateurs develops confidence in public
speaking and broadens the view of the world outside the classroom”, Hartlett
said.
“During this year we will also focus on senior citizens and make amateur radio
more accessible to them by working towards developing more tolerance for
antennas by Body Corporates and retirement villages. We will explore new
antenna technologies that are less intrusive and yet deliver a reasonably
acceptable performance. Amateur Radio is an ideal past time activity for
retired people as it provides access to the outside world without having to
leave the comfort of their homes.

“Amateur Radio is communication Technology in Action”, he said. “We would
like to bring it to more people in South Africa.



SARL – South African Radio League - The SARL is the national body for
amateur radio in South Africa. Membership is open to all persons interested in
amateur radio and shortwave listening. The SARL is a member of the
International Amateur Radio Union representing radio amateurs world-wide in
international forums such as the ITU. The SARL promotes amateur radio as a
technology stepping stone into a career in electronics and communication.
Web: www.sarl.org.za


SA AMSAT – Southern Africa Satellite Association, affiliated to AMSAT
groups worldwide promoting space science. Membership is open to any
person interested in amateur satellite activity. Web: www.amsatsa.org.za.

Ends


Issued on behalf of the South African Radio League by
Hans van de Groenendaal
012 991 4662
082 781 4631

								
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