Glynn Chamberlain ZS6GLN has drawn my attention to the fact that the report on the Value Logistics Cycle Race in last week’s bulletin was in fact written by Allen Herweg ZS6HWG, and not by Glynn himself. My apologies for getting the source wrong!
Gideon Jannasch ZS4GJA reports that on Monday 11 February, HAMNET Vaal was activated during the memorial service for the learners from Hoërskool Driehoek who passed away.
Gideon ZS4GJA was attending the service and was one of the security monitors during the service. HAMNET was asked to stand by in case of any emergency which might occur. The service was attended by approximately 2500 people and high level officials, and anything might possibly have happened.
Most of the HAMNET Vaal members and other Radio Amateurs of the Vaal were monitoring from 14:00 from home or their work places, in case of any communication relay that might be needed. Members close to the church were ready to be deployed should there have been an emergency.
No emergency occurred and the members were stood down at 17:00.
Our heartfelt condolences go to the parents and families of the four children who died, and the many who are recovering after this tragic event of 1 February 2019, when a concrete walkway collapsed on children at the school.
Thank you to Gideon for this report.
Radio is a powerful tool that continues to promote “dialogue, tolerance and peace,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a message on Thursday, marking World Radio Day.
“Even in today’s world of digital communications, radio reaches more people than any other media platform” explained the UN chief, adding that it “conveys vital information and raises awareness on important issues”.
“And it is a personal, interactive platform where people can air their views, concerns, and grievances” he added, noting that radio “can create a community”.
UN Radio was established on 13 February 1946, and since 2013, the day has been commemorated to recognize radio as a powerful communication tool and a low-cost medium.
“For the United Nations, especially our peacekeeping operations, radio is a vital way of informing, reuniting and empowering people affected by war”, said Mr Guterres.
Despite the rise of the internet, many parts of the world, especially remote and vulnerable communities, have no access, making radio broadcasting via transmitters, a vital lifeline. Joining a community of local listeners, also provides a platform for public discussion, irrespective of education levels.
Moreover, it has a strong and specific role in emergency communication and disaster relief.
“On this World Radio Day, let us recognize the power of radio to promote dialogue, tolerance and peace”, concluded the Secretary-General.
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) underscored “the unique, far-reaching power of radio to broaden our horizons and build more harmonious societies”.
“Radio stations from major international networks to community broadcasters today remember the importance of radio in stimulating public debate, increasing civic engagement and inspiring mutual understanding”, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said in her message.
Since its invention as the first wireless communication medium well over a hundred years ago, “the radio has sparked new conversations and broadcast new ideas into people’s homes, villages, universities, hospitals and workplaces,” she continued. “To this day, dialogue across the airwaves can offer an antidote to the negativity that sometimes seems to predominate online, which is why UNESCO works across the world to improve the plurality and diversity of radio stations”.
The UNESCO chief pointed out that radio has adapted to 21st-century changes and offers new ways to participate in conversations that matter, retaining its role as “one of the most reactive, engaging media there is”, especially for the most disadvantaged.
The Es-hail-2 narrowband transponder went live a couple of days early and now is open for Amateur Radio. Thursday, February 14, was Teleport Inauguration Day in Qatar, celebrating the opening of the new Es’hailSat teleport and the “official” opening of Es’hail-2, which carries the first geostationary Amateur Radio payload, a German P4A package. Es’hail-2 launched last November from Cape Canaveral. The two Amateur Radio transponders onboard what’s now known as Qatar OSCAR 100 (QO-100) became available on February 12 for general operation by stations within QO-100’s footprint. Emceeing the opening ceremony was Qatar’s former Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiya, A71AU, who chairs the Qatar Amateur Radio Society (QARS) and is a satellite patron.
A delegation from Germany — AMSAT-DL President Peter Guelzow, DB2OS; Achim Vollhardt, DH2VA, and Thomas Kleffel, DG5NGI, of the P4A team — went to Qatar to set up and commission the ground segment of P4A, which includes a club station that will operate under the auspices of QARS as A71A.
An AMSAT-DL ground station at the Bochum Observatory in Germany has been set up for QO-100, and operation via the satellite will be carried out using the call sign DL50AMSAT, recognizing AMSAT’s 50th anniversary.
The satellite transponder offers a 250-kHz passband for modes such as SSB, FreeDV, CW, RTTY, and other modes, plus an 8-MHz wideband downlink for digital amateur TV (DATV) modes. Downlink frequencies are at 10 GHz. The uplink frequency is at 2.4 GHz.
Stations located outside of the QO-100 footprint or lacking 10 GHz receive capability can monitor the proceedings using online WebSDR resources. In cooperation with AMSAT-DL, the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) will operate a WebSDR for the narrowband segment, and a spectrum viewer for the wideband (DATV) segment. The satellite is in geostationary orbit at 25.9° E.
Thanks to the ARRL letter for 14 February for this news.
This is Dave Reece ZS1DFR reporting for HAMNET in South Africa.