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  WATCH  A VIDEO OF   ZS1AU   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDKYUfr0EvU       <<<<  CLICK HERE !!




TABLE MOUNTAIN  in  Cape Town   SOUTH AFRICA was  DECLARED ONE OF THE 7 NATURAL WONDERS OF THE WORLD on 11 November 2011.    see webcam  below.


This is now my 68th 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,  from the day I was born on 7th December 1928 as at that time my father was a "real" Amateur Radio Pioneer & I got my Operators License in July  1950,  3 months after he became a SK.     I  have been a licensed operator  for the past 67 years, 1950  to  2017 &  counting........ ????

My father LEN WELLS, was the first person as a young boy scout to  hear Mr Streeter A1A, the first wireless experimenter to successfully transmit over the ether.   My Grand Father James ( Jimmy ) Wells,  became A1B as Len was too young,  in his early teens.   LEN started work as a professional telegraphist  in the GPO in Cape Town & became licensed as  ZS1AU ( 1930 to 1938) in Cape Town  & ZS6FB (from 1938 to 1939) in PRETORIA  & Post WW2 1946 returned to Cape Town   & became a SK rather tragically at the young age of 45 yrs, on 13 April 1950.     

From 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. !!  Having had so much CW since my fathers days,   I became more fascinated when he built his first modulator for AM.    I took part in SARL  CW Contests & came 2nd to Roy Larsen ZS5QU in 1968 & worked the odd DX  on CW.    I rebuilt the RF  Final using an 814. !!  I started enjoying my DX on AM using  a  dipole & long wire antennae.     I became hooked on Phone DX &  had many sked QSO's,   but never thought of being a very serious DXer,  although it was fun working  ATNO  rare DX & receiving the QSL cards.  These I managed to preserve in a safe container for 66 years. !!!       I  can now boast 359 DXCC entities confirmed in hard copy QSL cards.!!!    I have KOSOVO confirmed a few times & hope that DXCC eventually recognise KOSOVO so I can then claim my # 360 DXCC Certificate sticker  PHONE/MIXED.

In 1952  I had my first surprise & experience when a W called me on  SSB / 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. 

I never owned a LINEAR until I obtained a COLLINS  30 L1,  from the late OM Harold ZS1VW in 1980.

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 1972 & 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 committee, 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 2017 is the 50th 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.

The LEN WELLS  HAM  SPIRIT  Trophy for 2017 was  presented  on  25 November 2017  at the CTARC,    with our CONGRATULATIONS  to OM Fred Ziss,  being  a very worthy  recipient in this  50th year of the trophy's existence.

Fred is a "permanent"resident in Cape Town for 6 months of each year he also resides in Germany for 6 months.  He was awarded the highest CTARC Buck Taylor Award in June 2017 for his services to the Club.  Following this he invited a fellow radio amateur ZS1S to come & visit him in GERMANY   & then tour 3 countries in Europe & then end at  FRIEDRICHHARFEN, Hamfest with a knee that was in urgent need of replacement.  He saw to it that Paul ZS1S enjoyed his holiday & then went for surgery.  Fred is now recuperating with 2 walking sticks in Cape Town where he is also licensed as ZS1FZ.        

Fred displayed true consideration for his guest by putting his friend from Cape Town before his own health problem.     He is truly one of us & is a long standing member of the SARL & the  CTARC. 


This year there were 6 nominations  from the 4 Clubs in the CT area who were all worthy of displaying  various forms of very fine HAM SPIRIT.      Thanks to those who did the nominations  &  sorry that there is only one Trophy. !!


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  23 yrs later I am still enjoying my retirement  &  Amateur Radio,  thanks for the support of my wonderful wife,   JOAN,  of  61 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., to allow my recovery to make for an almost normal life & is proof that CANCER CAN BE BEATEN. !!!

In 2008,  I was diagnosed with Glaucoma in both eyes.    The immediate action taken by my Opthalmologist Dr Deon De Wet,   saved the sight of my left  & 30 % of my right eye.     This was also a saving grace in being able to see & to express my grateful THANKS for making it  possible to reach my DXCC  # 1 Honor Roll.

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. 

On 27 April 2016,   Joan & I in ICU for different reasons.    Cardioversion  again.!!

On 20 January 2017,  Joan & I  in  ICU,   again. !!!

This time,  both for a  heart problem.  However Joan more serious & still under Drs care  into  March  2017.   

Once again my 6th  (?)  cardioversion  & heart back to normal.  

We are both home on 6 February 2017.   Joan back into ICU in Feb.                                                                                               

I am now feelng well again & raring to go. !!!   Thanks to Dr Wouter Basson a great Cardiologist.

Through the wonders of modern Medicine,  Thanks to  our Doctors  & the  Faith in the SUPER POWER of GOD,  I have beaten the odds.   Joan is fighting against the BIG C.   



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.     

ON THE  1st  JULY  2017,   it was  70 UNBROKEN YEARS AS A   SARL   &  CTARC   MEMBER   & 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  &  celebrated our Diamond 60th Wedding in 2015 .)    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 & is involved in running several Companies  & is our tower of love,  support & strength in our last few years of ill health.    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 spend more time with my family & friends  & also "planting roses."  Hi !!!

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 Raechel, 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.




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 NASA Astronaut STS78,  & radio amateur N4BQW/3Y0C. & many other DXpedition callsigns.

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 comms for General Dan Pienaar  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 close on 70 yrs,   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.

On 16 June 2016,  Tippy Marais ZS1CL,    a friend for over  65 yrs,  joined the rank of the Silent Keys.   We met over the air & in later years were together in WRR  &  had skeds on 20m every Sunday for many years.  He was a fine gentleman & a loyal South African.

ZS1PS  OM Tom Cooper of FBARC,   went  Silent Key rather suddenly on 12 July 2016.     Awarded Len  Wells  Ham Spirit Trophy in  2011.     Had SARL unbroken membership  for  65years.

ZS1JN   OM Owen Penberthy of FBARC,   went Silent Key on 29th January 2016,   a day before his 80th   birthday.    Served on CT & FBARC committees ( Secretary ) & on SARL Council.     Was recently a finalist for the Len Wells Ham Spirit Trophy for 2016.   One of our  Amateur Radio  gentlemen.  

ZS1DTM Dennis Maastricht, fellow Oakdale Member & together on committee  for over 10 years.   A fine gentleman & friend.     SK  on   30 July 2017 at  age 88.      Rest In Peace  Dennis The Menace.                                       

My friend IAN VK2EYC from Sydney Australia visited ZS1AU & photo is on www.qsl.net/zs1au   SK August 2017

The Editor of QRZ DX,  OM CARL SMITH,   N4AA,  who managed the finest DX  Magazine, in the World,  became a Silent Key on  20 October 2017,  as a result of ill health over many years.   We corresponded on e-mail for over  17 years & I received the DX news from Carl  for all those years.   He was a dedicated DXer & a fine radio amateur.   I will miss Carl as he became part of my life through reading his work. He 3was brilliant in what he did for DXers world wide.     He was inducted into the CQ Hall of Fame in the USA in  May 2012.

My longstanding friend Hugo Friedman ZS1HSF & I sharred the same birthdate,   the 7th December & we exchanged birthday wishes  on the telephone for all of 30 years.   Hugo became a SK in August 2017.   - RIP   Hugo.-

On 22 December 2017,  at age 88,   the giant amongst GIANTS in Amateur Radio,   OM Bernie Crockford  ZS1BW became a SK.  He  came out to South Africa on the HMS Vanguard with the British Royal Family on their visit in 1947 & loved South Africa & spent the rest of his life in Cape Town.  BERNIE was one of the greatest radio amateurs  I had the pleasure of knowing & he will be remembered for most of his life that he gave to the CTARC & OAKDALE Clubs as Chairman &  original Editor of  the Cape Town Branch's  RAGCHEW & Oakdale clubs monthly newsletter THE  ACORN TIMES.   He held the JACK TWINE MERIT AWARD award in the SARL & was a HLM of the SARL  & also HLM of CTARC.      He was awarded the LW Ham Spirit Trophy in 1981 & again in 1989.



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  PHONE  & 352  MIXED.

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 ( # 1 HR ) 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 submitting cards  for scrutiny in October 2010. 


The 5th  ZS  to  reach  #1 HR on PHONE & MIXED.

1st   ZS1 to reach   #1  HR  on  PHONE & MIXED  on  22 April 2014.

TOP  of  ALL-TIME HIGH  on  DXCC list  in  Africa &  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 )   & 1st  ENDORSED all on 20M SSB,  in ZS.     # 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.   In  1980  I put up 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   Durbanville   in Cape Town,  some 30 kms from of the  city center  & Table Mountain.    The same 204BA & the addition of the Hygain  DB1015   &   a  1/2 G5RV sloper  was  erected,    where we are at 923 feet a.s.l.,  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 DXCC Entity to reach  # 1 Honor Roll  340 Mixed  & Phone  with grand totals of  358/359,   the highest in  AFRICA.     

Many 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,   and appear insurmountable  & IMPOSSIBLE to get in the LOG.!!!!! 

I have just proved that  IT IS POSSIBLE. !!!

And NOW,  in the year 2016,   the maximum output power in ZS has been increased  to a Maximum of 1 KW. !!!

I  never reached 400 watts in all my 60 odd years.      I  believe in MIRACLES,   so can you. !!!??


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  1996  was an operator for  ZS64RI on Robben Island & slept in house where Nelson Mandela slept. !!   In 2003 as ZS03CWC for Cricket World Cup held in South Africa.

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 as  Mark 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   I was their a first  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 Andrew Roos ( now ZS5U )   &   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 89 (Deo Gratius) 7 December 2017. My activity is to encourage DXing in Southern Africa, with news gathered from various sources especially with the support of our great DXer friend,   DXpeditioner & editor of QRZ DX,   Carl Smith N4AA . Sadly OM CARL SMITH  became a Silent Key on 20 October 2017.

>>>>>>SEE the beautiful City of CAPE TOWN from a LIVE webcam across the bay, daylight hours in ZS. <<<<<< NB

LIVE CAM >>> www.tablemountainview.com << 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 SUN is shining  or the weather will allow you to have a clear view. !!



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