SEE NEWS video; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDKYUfr0EvU <<<< CLICK HERE !!
TABLE MOUNTAIN DECLARED ONE OF THE 7 NATURAL WONDERS OF THE WORLD on 11 November 2011.
Look for website>> Table Mountain Aerial Cableway( it is there.!!! click on the magnifying glass) & enjoy the visit to one of the 7 Natural wonders of the World.
Also try...... http://www.tablemountainview.com (Cape Town,South Africa)
MY PERSONAL WEBSITE IS OUT OF DATE BUT THERE IS ENOUGH TO KEEP YOU BUSY FOR 1/2 HOUR>>>www.qsl.net/zs1au <<<
This is my 66th year on the air, being licenced 26 July 1950 as ZS1AU. In 1970 to 1979 as ZS4AU in Bloemfontein. During this period, the call ZS1AU was taken over by Ian McGregor, who came to live in Cape Town, after having held the call ZE1AU in the then Rhodesia. When I returned to Cape Town in 1980, he very sportingly handed the callsign ZS1AU back to me & he acquired the callsign ZS1A which had become available & as a CW man this was what he was very happy about & so was I, to get my old callsign back. !!!!!! We lived a block away from one another & were very close friends & we could operate with no QRM problems.
Sadly, Ian Mac Gregor ZS1A, became a Silent Key in 1992.
I have been blessed with the most wonderful experiences & memories from a very early age & as a licensed operator for the past 66 years, 1950 to 2016 & counting........ ????
My father LEN WELLS ZS1AU ( 1930 to 1938) / ZS6FB (from 1938 to 1939) in PRETORIA & Post WW2 1946 & became a SK rather tragically at the young age of 45 yrs, on 13 April 1950. I was licensed ZS1AU, 3 months later, July 1950. I was restricted to CW for the first year & managed 99 DXCC countries. It was not easy in those days & then onto AM, all frequncies were crystal controlled, until I built a stable VFO. That was a BIG step forward. !!
In 1952 I had my first surprise & experience when a W called me on USB & I used the BFO on my HRO to read him. !!! My first SSB transceiver was on loan to me & in 1963. In 1965 I got my 1st SSB Transceiver, the YAESU FTdx 100.
The LEN WELLS Ham Spirit trophy in the CTARC is in memory of my father & also to recognise & promote Ham Spirit. It is awarded at the end of each year to a radio amateur in the greater Cape Town area, who has displayed true ham spirit during the year. It was awarded for the first time in 1967 to one of our finest radio amateurs, Ray Alexander ZS1IM, who was the Chairman of the Cape Town Branch as it was known in those days. Ray was awarded the Jack Twine Merit Award in 1971 & a short while after, sadly, Ray joined the ranks of the Silent Keys.
In 1966 I received an illuminated address " for services rendered & regular attendance over a period of 20 years ", from the then Cape Town branch of the SARL, now known as CTARC. The Chairman was Theo Karlsson ZS1P & the Secretary was Rolf Kersandt ZS1VM.
In 2003 elected Life Member of the Cape Town Amateur Radio Center. The Chairman was Dr Bud Voortman ZS1B & the Secretary was Peter Henochsberg ZS1PMH.
At the 2006 SARL AGM in Durban, elected Life Member of the South African Radio League.
Awarded the LEN WELLS Ham Spirit trophy in 2007. Chairman was Dr Dave Reece ZS1DFR & Secretary was Peter Henochsberg ZS1PMH.
In 2008 I was appointed as the Custodian of the LWHS trophy by the CTARC, who also proposed that the trophy be made available to any radio amateur in the Cape Town area via one of the local Clubs. It is now my duty to arrange the presentation of the trophy & a certificate is also awarded to the winner, at the last function of the year of the winners Club. The LWHS trophy was awarded each year. The year 2015 was the 48th year. This is the nicest job I have ever had to do. !!! The trophy is still in beautiful, shiny condition, indicating that every winner from the past has displayed it in a very safe place & looked after it with pride. I can assure you all, that Ham Spirit is still very much alive amongst us & this makes our hobby so enjoyable & special.
HERE WE ARE AT THE CTARC EOY FUNCTION ON SATURDAY THE 28th NOVEMBER 2015.
IT WAS MY PRIVILEGE TO PRESENT THE LEN WELLS HAM SPIRIT TROPHY TO THE POPULAR COUPLE, PAUL JOHNSON ZS1S, JOINTLY WITH HIS XYL GLYNIS ZR1GW, FOR THE YEAR 2015, & IN IT'S 48th YEAR.. !!
PAUL HAD TAKEN 2 YEARS TO ORGANISE A MINI DXpedition TO TRISTAN DA CUNHA ZD9 IN 2014. OM NIGEL G3TXF, A FAMOUS CW DXer & CONTESTOR, OFFERED TO JOIN PAUL AS A CW OPERATOR & THEY STARTED A FRIENDSHIP WHICH CULMINATED IN A HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL 5 WEEKS AS ZD9ZS & ZD9XF, TO GIVE ZD9 TO THOUSANDS OF DXers WHO NEEDED IT FOR ATNO, ON MANY BANDS ON SSB & CW. ALL THIS TOOK PLACE WHILE THE XYL's KEPT THE HOME FIRES BURNING. THERE WERE NO SPONSORS TO ASSIST WITH THE FINANCIAL EXPENSES. THEY DID THIS OPERATION FOR THE LOVE OF OUR HOBBY & SET RECORDS FOR THE NUMBER OF CONTACTS MADE & GAINED THE ADMIRATION OF THE DXers WORLD WIDE. PAUL HAS SERVED AS A DILIGENT CHAIRMAN & COMMITTEE MEMBER OF CTARC & AS A COUNCILLOR OF THE SARL OVER A PERIOD OF SEVERAL DECADES. PAUL & GLYNIS HAVE SET A WONDERFUL EXAMPLE OF THE COOPERATION BETWEEN OM & XYL IN A HOBBY WHICH THEY BOTH SHARE SO PASSIONATELY. !!! THEY WERE CHOSEN UNANIMOUSLY AS OUR WINNERS WHO POSSESS THOSE FINE PERSONAL QUALITIES THAT EARNS THEM THE RECOGNITION OF TRUE HAM SPIRIT. CONGRATULATIONS & THANKS TO THEM FOR THEIR LOYAL SUPPORT & INTEREST IN MANY FUNCTIONS WITHIN OUR CLUB.
It was a privilege to have served on the Cape Town Branch / Club committee, from 1946 to 1966, as a committee member, vice-chairman & chairman. I was elected & served as a councillor on the Council of the South African Radio League, 1966 to 1970 with one of the greatest SARL Presidents Willy Wilson ZS1BF, who was President for 12 consecutive years. In 1970 I was then transferred to Bloemfontein for 10 years, as ZS4AU.
In 1993, I was diagnosed with lower colon Cancer. After major surgery I was given 2 months to live & to get my house in order. !!! Chemo from the USA, & eventually all of 54 litres was administered over a period of a year & now 22 yrs later I am still enjoying my retirement & Amateur Radio, thanks for the support of my wonderful wife, JOAN, of 60 years & my family & friends. Deo Gratius & also grateful thanks to the worlds finest Surgeons, Oncologists & medical staff, also the most reliable supplier The Cancer Association of SA., for Stoma fittings, to allow my recovery to make for an almost normal life & is proof that CANCER CAN BE BEATEN. !!!
In September 2013, I was admitted into ICU for 8 days with a heart attack & my heart was shocked into rythm & a stent was inserted. On 4th May 2014 I was in ICU for 3 days, following a irregular heart beat.
On 4th to 8th October 2014 my heart was again shocked into rythm while in Durbanville Mediclinic ICU. In ICU on 5 Jan 2015 again for Cardioversion. I am now feelng well again & raring to go. !!! Thanks to Dr Wouter Basson a great Cardiologist.
Served on the committee & was vice-chairman of the Amateur Radio Section of The Oakdale Klub during the years, 1995 to 2008. The greatest event in the club was the assembly & erection of the 3 stacked TELREX monoband beams, 5 elements on 20m, 5 elements on 15m & 6 elements on 10m, on top of the the 40 meter Eiffel Tower at the Oakdale Klub, by a group of radio amateurs who worked tirelessly for 5 years to see it happen. !! The beams were very generously donated by Sidney Smith ZS1PF ( who had retired from the hobby ) to The False Bay Amateur Radio, Electronics & Computer Club, who passed it on to ZS1OAK on a permanent loan basis & to share. !! IT IS A SIGHT TO BEHOLD. !!! I learnt recently that SIDNEY became a SK on 18 September 2013 at age 87yrs.���� RIP �MY� FRIEND.
Pearl Harbor 1941, was on 7 th December, on my 13 th birthday. My father was already a radio amateur when I was born in 1928, so I had no option as I thought Amateur Radio was part of life.!!
My father was the first person, be he a boy scout, to hear Mr J.S. Streeter A1A & O-A4Z., transmit the first voice over the ether around 1914, in the suburb of Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa. I have the headphones which my father used to pick up the very first words of Mr Streeter A1A, hanging in my shack. Mr Streeter is credited with starting amateur radio as a hobby from that moment. !! When I was around 4 yrs old, I watched my fathers every move & eventually I was even allowed to hold wires & learnt to solder. I spent all my growing up days in the shadow of my father when he was constructing a CW rig using Crystal controlled 6F6 - 6L6 - 807 - pair T20's into a center fed dipole with 6 inch spreaders at some 40 feet above the ground. It was strung between two buildings, one being a double storey owned by our landlord. Len's first DX on CW was G5RI in Northumberland in the UK. I can recall a few early model receivers being tried & eventually the NC100 with the green "magic eye" proved to be very good. My father being a professional CW man spent a few years on CW & eventually built a modulator using an Astatic D104 mike into a 6SJ7 - 6J6 - pair of 807's, into a pair of T20's in the Final, running 100 watts input. In 1938 my father was transferred to Pretoria on promotion in the Cental Telegraph Office ( CTO ). We lived in West End Pretoria as ZS6FB until �W W 2 �closed down amateur radio in September 1939.
In 1940 my father was transferred to Windhoek, South West Africa ( now known as Namibia ) as Chief Clerk I/C of Telegraphs. Due to the war he was not licenced as a ZS3. !!!��
In 1945 he was transferred back to Cape Town & in� January 1946 was re-issued his old callsign ZS1AU, in Wynberg, Cape Town.
On 1 July 1947, I became a member of the Cape Town Branch of the SARL together with my friend Artie Perold ZS1HL.����������� We now enter our 69th year & counting. !!
In my early years I was the jnr engineer in the shack & did all the upgrading of rigs & antennae.��� On 12 April 1950, my father, LEN, suffered a massive stroke & became a Silent Key on the following day, the 13 ApriI 1950,� �at the young age of 45.����� I was devastated, but realised that I had to pass the required CW & get my licence & my father's callsign.� This happened on 26 July 1950, through the service of Mr Kovachi in the Cape Town CTO� &� the Radio Inspector Mr Bill Fairley, who eventually became my life long friend & one of the finest men I have ever known. They are now both Silent Keys.�
I have done RTTY, SSTV, PSK31, Digital Voice on HF ( first in the Southern Hemisphere ), Satellite comms & built a mobile AM rig & whip. In later years I upgraded to a FTdx100 & a Hustler whip & was the first to work mobile to mobile, continent to continent & was awarded the Barney Joel, Mobile Trophy in 1973. The trophy was shared with ZS1ANT operated from a MOBILE snowcat by Brian Van Zyl, at the South Pole.������ Brian is now licensed ZS1BVZ & is also a member of our CTARC.
I have been blessed with amateur radio all my life & it is the greatest hobby one could ever have. Thanks to my XYL Joan, who has been my best friend for 65+ yrs ( met in 1950 & married in October 1955 & just celebrated our Diamond 60th Wedding .) Joan has supported me in all my AR activities & many milestones.���� Without her I would never have survived & retained my hobby. Our brilliant Son Graeme passed away tragically in April 2008 aged 47. Double Springbok in sport & has an invention in TOP 10 in RSA. Has appeared on many TV shows & was Runner-up Entrepreneur in business & was nominated for Hon Dr in Engineering. A product of Grey College in Bloemfontein. Our Daughter Jeanette is keeping Graeme's legacy on the go. My family has supported me over the years & at times put up with me, when ham radio was so entrenched in my life, that it took much of my spare time. Now that I have reached #1 DXCC Honor Roll, I can now spend more time with my family & friends & also "planting roses " !!!
In 1981 one of the finest DXers & conversationalists I have ever known, Dave Tremayne, ZL1AV, of Rotarua New Zealand, my DXing mentor, persuaded me to upgrade from my Mosely TA33 to the 204BA @ 15m ( the same as Dave was using ) & I added the DB1015, a few years later. It got me climbing the DXCC ladder. My tower & 204BA is a monument to Dave who became a Silent Key on 28 July 2008, at the age of 70 years.
Dave was a popular Radio Inspector for New Zealand & had achieved the DXCC # 1 HR with 318 DXCC entities, on 20M SSB in the 1980's.
I have met or have spoken to many great radio amateurs all over the world. Amongst the greats are Senator Barry Goldwater K7UGA, King Hussein JY1, Bob Allphin K4UEE one of the greatest DXpeditioners, NASA Astronaut Dr Chuck Brady N4BQW / KH9 / VP5, who operated on BOUVET Island as 3Y0C & many Islands in the Pacific. Several photos of visitors to my shack are seen on my website http://www.qsl.net/zs1au
I had the very wellknown & famous VK3MO Ian Williams & XYL Ruth & daughter Rachel, visit me in Dec 2012. This was such a pleasure after having chatted on 20m for many years.
I will never forget our own SUNSAT satellite. Seeing it on the workbench in Stellenbosch University, where it was constructed & then dispatched to Vandenberg in the USA for launching into space & a few months later, talking to other radio amateurs, using a hand held on 2M, while it was over our foot print area. The greatest moment was arranging for Chuck Brady 3Y0C who used a hand held walkie talkie on Bouvet Island, to contact Cape Town radio amateurs, ZS1AAZ & ZS1DFR in an historic first, in the year 2000, via SUNSAT satellite using the parrot repeater method on 2 meters.
Joan & I have visited several friends overseas & some have been to visit our home. I have many interesting stories to tell & the one that stands out in my memory was reacting to a MAYDAY call from the SANAE base in the Antarctic, where one of our own countrymen was seriously injured in an accident & medical assistance was sought over the air. This was successfully done but sadly he died from his injuries a few hours later.
Three months of being the Pilot for Chuck Brady N4BQW / Bouvet Island 3Y0C ( read the 3 Yankee Zero Charlie story on my website www.qsl.net/zs1au ) to the sea rescue in the Indian Ocean of a Russian craft drifting a few hundred miles off the coast of Australia ; supporting that great yachtsman Bertie Reed ZS1LP /mm around the world yacht race & aeronautical mobiles flying around the world. Then to make contact with the great DXpeditions such as the Scarborough Reef BS7H of 2007, & Peter 1, 3Y0X of 2006, was a sense of achievement & great satisfaction. Many VISITORS to my shack can be seen on my WEBSITE ... http://www.qsl.net/zs1au under Image Gallery in the index. Amongst these are Astronaut Dr Chuck Brady 3Y0C / N4BQW & Bob Allphin K4UEE our world famous Dxpeditioner with over 50 DXpeditions that he has carried out all over the world. Bob was inducted into the Hall of Fame in the USA. I was privileged to have had these great radio amateurs visit me in my shack.
SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK SKSK SK SKSK SK SK SK SK SK SK SK
My Father Len Wells, ZS1AU & ( ZS6FB 1937 to 1939 ), became a SK at the age of 45yrs on 13 April 1950. He inspired me & set an example & to put a good clean signal on the air. Maybe this has been my driving force to enjoy DXing as he had lost 6 yrs due to the WW2 years. > Rest In Peace DAD <
Sadly I have had to say farewell to many of my lifelong & DX friends with whom I had regular contact & skeds over a period of up to 60 yrs, who have joined the ranks of the SILENT KEYS:
I have had the pleasure of passing my CW at 12 wpm with Mr Kovachi in the Main GPO in Cape Town in 1950. Then Bill Fairley the Radio Inspector who arranged for me to get my fathers callsign ZS1AU. Bill & his xyl Clara became life long & the most wonderful true friends in my life. They are now sadly, all Silent Keys.
My personal best friends, Ray Alexander ZS1IM, Chris Stiekema ZS1YP, Tommy Freeborough ZS1BK, Ian Mac Gregor ZS1A, Howard Keanly ZS6XK, John Doull VE1WC, Joe Vilardo K4EQC, Frank Pelegreno W0OKC, Dave Tremayne ZL1AV, Alfred Sass VE3AS, Norman Gulde ZL1PV, Colin Duff ZS1CA, Bertie Reed ZS1LP/mm, Ron Marlow ZS1RON. Chuck Brady ("my brother") N4BQW / 3Y0C became a SK on 23 July 2006., Malcom Mac Gregor ZS1LK, Bud Voortman (Dr) ZS1B, who saved my life in 1993,became a SK so suddenly in August 2008. On 6 April 2011, my DX friend & one of the Greatest YL DXers in the World, Dianna Killeen KB6NAN, 6 Band DXCC & Honor Roll, became a Silent Key. Dianna was the QSL manager for many DXers & also QSL manager for our personal friend, the late Chuck Brady N4BQW/3Y0C.
On 2 December 2011, a Gentleman & one of the greatest radio amateurs in the world, was still active until the end, at the age of 96 yrs, became a Silent Key. Bert Howes ZS6HS ( first licensed as ZS1AL in 1934 in Cape Town ) will also be remembered as a pioneer in UHF & VHF, a brave soldier ( Colonel in WW2 in North Africa) & was a member of the SARL for an unbroken period of 79 years for which Bert was honoured with the Presidents Award. On 19 January 2012, Bert's ashes were placed on top of Table Mountain @ 3500 feet asl. RIP Great Warrior.
Buddy McCullam ZS1MP who was my friend from 1944 & one of the foundation members of the CT Branch in 1946, SK on 22 November 2012. On 24 June 2013, Phil (Ben ) Bennett ZS1AAQ at the age of almost 92. Great in everything, RAF in WW2, pianist & tuner, story teller, CW man, Chief broadcasting & TV Engineer, a Gentleman & wonderful husband to his wife Audrey (SK) & a fine friend. Above all Ben was a dedicated Radio Amateur. His ashes were taken to RIP with Audrey, in England. I recently learnt that another old friend, from the 1950's Mac McClure ZS1VN, became a Silent Key at the age of 92 in Somerset West, near Cape Town, shortly after his return from the USA where he & Merida, his XYL lived for many years. In those far off days Mac relayed the SARL & Branch bulletins & was awarded the Jack Twine Merit Award for his sterling work & a fine amateur radio gentleman. On 18 Sept 2013, Sidney Smth, a brilliant Engineer, Deepsea Angler & great, generous radio man. The 10, 15 & 20M TELREX beams at ZS1OAK was donated to Fish Hoek & OAKDALE clubs & are a monument to his memory. He was 87.
ZS4PE Chris Beneke was my loyal supporter in WRR for the 10 yrs I was in Bloemfontein as ZS4AU. A true friend. He joined the rank of SK's in February 2015.
Harold Lange ZS1VW (88) who was a gentleman & a true friend for over 60 years joined the ranks of the Silent Keys over Easter Weekend in April 2015. We served on the CT Branch committee in the 1960's. He was the Treasurer for many years.
Some very special CERTIFICATES & AWARDS which were accumulated over the years ;
I have been a member of the ( SARL ) South African Radio League since 1947 & as from January 2011, joined the ( ARRL ) American Radio Relay League as a token of appreciation of the support & the work they do for DXers & for what is recognised as the greatest DX award, the DX Century Club with The Honor Roll as being the pinnacle of the DX achievement & the #1 HONOR ROLL being TOP in THE WORLD.
Some of my proud awards are ; The WAZL ( only ZS ) , The CALGARY Stampede City Award ( only ZS ) , Christ Church Garden City Award ( only ZS ), the first Mobile to Mobile / Continent to Continent & awarded The Barney Joel Mobile Trophy in1973.
Hunting Lions... 5th in the WORLD in 1990.
In 1991 the Top Local Official of Lions International, BOB OPPERMAN ZS1ABO, informed me that I was lying 1st in the WORLD, when it was ruled " A NO CONTEST " due to loss of some of the logs in Argentina & I was subsequently placed 1st in ZS.
Several SARL contest awards ; AKYAB, Fred Mills 1989, Joseph White Trophy 1958, 1959 & 1967, & SSB Contest Winner Division 1, in 1989.
Winner of The Leeb Du Toit trophy in the Mobile section of the 80, 40 & 20M SARL PHONE contest in 1960. The following year 1961, I was runner-up.
RADIO ZS AWARD ; Gary Immelman ZS6YI RA Heritage Trophy & Gold Pen, in 2008.
In November 2014 was surprised to find that I had made it to WAZS 100 Phone & also
The AAA ( All Africa Award ) both SARL awards.
On 26 July 2011, it was a thrill when ARRL DXCC published ZS1AU # 36267 on the HONOR ROLL with 334, Mixed & Phone.
At 0650 Z on 30th MARCH 2014, 3 yrs later, I WORKED MY LAST DXCC ENTITY............MELLISH REEF
VK9MT, 340/340 & GROSS TOTAL 359 Mixed & 358 Phone.
On 22 April 2014, ZS1AU appeared on DXCC list # 1 HONOR ROLL...MIXED & PHONE & my last QSL card for a FULL HOUSE from VK9MT arrived on Friday 13th June 2014.
My 1st DXCC application in my 64 yrs of being on the air, came about as a result of our South African Awards Manager & ARRL Field Checker Tjerk Lammers ZS6P twisting my arm to submit my QSL cards for scrutiny in October 2010.
It is thanks to Tjerk, that I have now achieved the honour of :
SHARING TOP of DXCC # 1 HONOR ROLL in the WORLD on MIXED & PHONE.
The 5th in ZS to reach #1 HR on PHONE to join ZS6LW (sk), ZS6P, ZS6EZ & ZS4TX. ( All at #1 in the WORLD )
1st ZS1 to reach #1 HR on PHONE & MIXED on 22 April 2014.
TOP of ALL-TIME HIGH on DXCC list in ZS (active) 359 MIXED & 358 PHONE.
In December 2011, I received my last QSL card from Rhode Island, W1KDA, to qualify for WAS ( Worked All States ) all on 20M SSB. # 56,939
ALL MY AWARDS CONTACTS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY CONFIRMED WITH BEAUTIFUL HARD COPY QSL CARDS, ALL 359 OF THEM.!!! I have KOSOVO confirmed & if it is recognised for DXCC, it could be my # 360 DXCC sticker.
I have been asked about my station & all I can say is that I live on a "postage stamp" size Plot, in a Suburb of the CITY of CAPE TOWN, RSA. We have Municipal legislated antennae restrictions with a maximum height of 15m. All my transmitters were Homebrew & it was in 1960 that I purchased my FTdx 100 & started SSB into a GP. In 1973, I got the FTdx560 @ 280 w into a TA33 on a 15M self standing tower. I later acquired the TS430S & a COLLINS 30L1 @ 380 w into a 204BA. In 1990 I got the TS440S. In 1994 we moved QTH to the Suburb, of Cape Town, Durbanville, some 30 kms from of the city center & Table Mountain. The same 204BA & the addition of the Hygain DB1015 & a 1/2 G5RV sloper erected, where we are at 923 feet asl on the slopes of Durbanville Hill, with a northern 180 degree window. In 2010, I swopped my Collins 30L1 for the Yaesu FL2100Z @ 380 w & continued to work my regular skeds with Friends all over the world & got many DXCC entities in my LOG. In 2010, I got onto the DXCC Honor Roll with 334 Mixed & Phone. Not expecting to live after several heart problems, I just carried on working DX & eventually I saw the light at the end of the tunnel & as luck would have it.............all those 6 DXCC entities that I still needed for a Full House started coming on stream in the form of DXpeditions & in April 2014, I got MELLISH REEF VK9MT, my last to reach # 1 Honor Roll 340 Mixed & Phone with grand totals of 358/359, the highest in AFRICA.
Most DXers in the World consider the #1 HR as impossible due to some DXCC Entities that have not been on the air for decades due to various reasons, which appear insurmountable. !!!!!
And NOW in the year 2016 the maximum output power in ZS has been extended to a Maximum of 1 KW. !!!
I believe in MIRACLES. !!!??
My 1st AM to SSB Contact was with a W station in the USA in 1951.
I wkd 99 countries on CW in my first year & over 100 DXCC countries in 1950 / 1951. I tried hard to get the 100 in my first year on the air, but it was not easy in those days using an HRO & a homebrew XTAL controlled AM / CW rig running 50 watts into a dipole at 30 feet & being shrouded by Table Mountain at 3500 feet asl. There was no DX Cluster or PC to assist DXing as it is today. QSLing also took a long time Direct or via the Buro & there was no LotW. !!
In January 1996, a well balanced group of operators, experienced in working DX pile-ups in SSB & CW, all members of the CTARC spent a weekend on the now famous Robben Island, as ZS64RI. They were ZS1FJ who is now also 9V1FJ, ZS1B, ZS1X, ZS1BW, ZS1AAX, ZS1ACH, ZS1YT, ZS1HSF & ZS1AU, on the DXpedition to Robben Island, ZS64RI, IOTA SA-064 in 1996. This operation was awarded THE SLY FOX DX AWARD for demonstrating to all, the ingenuity & skill of a world class DX station. The citation goes on........." We wish more amateurs had your passion for international friendship & understanding while working DX. Now you are officially a sly fox. We know your clever & crafty ways will inspire others in the perserverance of DX." ...... signed John KD0VL..... 26 January 1996.
In 1970 to 1980 was licenced as ZS4AU in Bloemfontein. Returned to Cape Town in 1980 & retired from Telecommunications Dept in 1989. I also operated special event stations, in 1983 as ZS1WPR for the centenary of Western Province Rugby 1883 to 1983. In 2003 as ZS03CWC for Cricket World Cup. In 1996 operated as ZS64RI on Robben Island.
Served on the Committee (vice Chairman ) of the Oakdale Club Amateur Radio Section, who applied for the SPECIAL LICENCE ( request to ICASA for ZS1RSA ) to permit "our local boy", MARK SHUTTLEWORTH, from our suburb, Durbanville in Cape Town, the SECOND Civilian Astronaut in SPACE, to operate AMATEUR RADIO from the ISS ( International Space Station ) on the 2 meter band.
The callsign ZS1RSA was apparently considered as being an "aircraft " in space by ICASA, so the # 1 was dropped & it became ZSRSA.
Cosmonaut Mark Shuttleworth spoke to scholars in his old school ( Bishops ) & local radio amateurs in Cape Town, South Africa, on 2 M FM asMark passed over CapeTown in the ISS. This received NEWS coverage, including LIVE TV in South Africa & the World.
If I had to single out 2 very special contacts & the QSL cards to confirm it, it would be, firstly ZL4AQ, OM Tom, in Dunedin on 14 mhz & me using a homebrew AM rig & a GP antenna, in October 1952. ZL was considered to us the rarest of them all & this contact made us in South Africa aware that New Zealand was now a possibility. I now have in excess of 1000 ZL's in my log, nearly all on SSB & most of them remarked that it was a first with ZS & some after being on the air for 40+ years. !!! The oldest radio amateur in ZS at the time & one of our pioneers of broadcasting, Peter Gilmour ZS1K, in his 90's, heard the QSO & told me that it was the 1st New Zealand station he had ever heard & my father in his years had never heard one. !!! The path from Cape Town to New Zealand, 160 degrees over the Antarctic, 0700z & 1900z, on 14 mhz!!
The second very special contact & only recently in March 2011, with Sable Island CY0/N1SNB/N0TG, was also VERY SPECIAL. !! I needed CY0 / Sable Island to get on the Honor Roll. My PC had crashed & I had no DX Cluster or means of e-mails, so I used ESP. !!! At 1900z on the 11 March 2011, I gave a very short call for "Randy" on 14190, a true SHOT IN THE DARK, because I had no idea where they were. !!! Sable / N1SNB & N0TG was listening at that precise moment & the contact was made on Simplex.
MANY THANKS to Randy & Jeff for this much needed entity & being on the right freq at the right moment. !!!
It was so SPECIAL that Randy N0TG has told THIS STORY at DX conventions in many parts of North America, during his talk on his successful DXpedition to SABLE Island, after their several attempts, due to aircraft problems & then very bad weather. This contact was a thrill of a lifetime. !!!
On 10 August 2004 at 11:16 am, ZS1AN om Roos, & ZS1AU, with technical support from ZS1AX & monitoring by ZS1TX & ZS1BSD, made the FIRST successful DIGITAL VOICE contact using HF, in the SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE using the 10m & 15m bands. Other contacts followed with signals on 20m being copied in Europe & by ZS6BUJ. A report can be found on www.first digital voice on hf ( see a Southgate amateur radio club website)
DXing & ragchewing are now my main interests at the tender age of 86 (on 7 December 2014 ) My activity is to encourage DXing in Southern Africa, with news gathered from various sources especially with the support of our great DXer, DXpeditioner & editor of QRZ DX, Carl Smith N4AA .
>>>>>>SEE the beautiful City of CAPE TOWN from a LIVE webcam across the bay, daylight hours in ZS. <<<<<< NB
LIVE CAM >>> www.tablemountainview.co.za << CLICK HERE & SEE ONE OF THE 7 NATURAL WONDERS OF THE WORLD which was declared on 11/11/2011. If you cannot see Table Mountain across the bay then try another time when the weather will allow you to have a clear view. !!
THANK YOU FOR READING ALL THE ABOVE & I HOPE TO HAVE A QSO WITH YOU ONE DAY. ?
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