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Registration 2016/111111/08


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P O Box 90438
Garsfontein 0042
South Africa
Tel:  012 991 4662


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SA AMSAT EZINE May 2018 edition is available

To request a trial copy send your email address here with trial copy in the subject line




The Amateur Radio Development Trust will be sponsoring VHF/UHF dongles for the 80 young people taking part in YOTA 2018 to be hosted in South Africa  from 8 - 15 August 2018.
Funding is however required for the connecting cable between the dongle  and antenna. The cost for 80 cables  is approximate R9000.  The dongle will be used to introduce the young people into the world of Software Defined Radio and be part of their near-space BACAR experience.  If you or your company  can assist,  make a contribution. Your help will contribute to making YOTA 2018 a success and the best ever.

Funds for  5 Cables have thus far been donated. AMSAT SA will handle the fundraising for  the cables. Bank details  ABSA 40 8982 6281 Branch code 632 005. A list of donors will be published on

AMSAT SA Space Symposium papers now available

A number of papers presented at the 2018 AMSAT SA Space Symposium are now available for download. Click here to view the papers available. A few more will follow soon.

Two weekends of Satellite DX with Madagascar 

Jack Welch 5R8SV will active on various satellites over two weekends and will be looking for contacts with South African satellite stations, 15 – 17 June 2018  CW over  satellites with linear transponders and FM Voice and  from 22 – 24 June on FM voice.

Dave Long ZS5FR has prepared a schedule of satellite that will be in view between some areas of South Africa and Madagascar. Download it here

South Africa's most advanced satellite to support Operation Phakisa 

The Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, in a ceremony to send off South Africa's second nanosatellite to India, where it will be launched on 18 July. 

ZACUBE-2, described as the most advanced on the continent, will provide cutting-edge remote sensing and communication services to South Africa and the region. The 4 kg ZACUBE-2 was developed by the French South African Institute of Technology (F'SATI) at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). 

F'SATI is a French South African postgraduate institute for teaching, research and development with two nodes – one at Tshwane University of Technology and one at CPUT. 

The project was funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and managed by the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), in close cooperation with the University of Montpellier, the French Embassy and the Paris Chamber of Commerce. 

The primary mission objective of ZACUBE-2 is to demonstrate vessel-tracking services in the South African Exclusive Economic Zone in support of the Oceans Economy component of Operation Phakisa. Operation Phakisa is intended to fast-track the implementation of the National Development Plan. 

The 10 x 10 x 10 x 30 cm satellite will track vessels along South Africa's coasts, with its automatic identification system (AIS) payload providing information on their position, speed and registration.  The AIS will also proactively detect forest fires through an imager payload developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). 

CPUT adopted Operation Phakisa as a key focus area, specifically using research and technology to innovate for marine protection and governance. The university has agreements with both the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Environmental Affairs for the development of nanosatellite-based solutions for Operation Phakisa.

In June 2016, the university launched its Research Chair in Oceans Economy, cementing its overall contribution to Operation Phakisa. ZACUBE-2 is a precursor to a constellation of nanosatellites that will be developed to facilitate South African marine domain awareness.  This will support international maritime communications, from the current AIS to the evolving VHF Data Exchange Service. 

Speaking at the send-off, Minister Kubayi-Ngubane welcomed the successful development of the nanosatellite, as monitoring the continental shelf was a critical part of Operation Phakisa and required a dedicated low-cost solution.

"The Department of Science and Technology saw an opportunity to contribute to Operation Phakisa by ensuring that the country can monitor its 3 000 km coastline effectively," said the Minister. 

The Minister said space science and technology were capital-intensive, and the government had a role to play in creating an environment in which the local space industry could thrive.  She said that projects like the development of ZACUBE-2 benefited not only the space industry, but also the manufacturing and downstream application development industries. 

Ambassador of France to South Africa, Christophe Farnaud said his country was very proud to be part of this adventure. “Space is about science, economy, innovation and more than that. Space is also a dream – we dream together, we build together.” 

SANSA CEO, Dr Val Munsami said the agency strove to grow the local space industry through products, services and skills development. “Supporting such programmes as ZACUBE-2 enables the country to benefit from trained and experienced young space engineering experts.”


New book available from Amazon - kindle or soft cover

This book provides a comprehensive guide to how you communicate through amateur radio satellites and how to receive signals from other small satellites and 'weather' satellites.
Amsats and Hamsats gets right into the techniques you will need for working amateur radio stations through amateur radio satellites, then it moves on to listening, or watching, signals from satellites.

There are chapters answering questions like, "how do satellites stay in orbit" and "why are they so expensive to launch?" Followed by sections about the history of amateur radio satellites, the mathematics governing orbits, different types of satellite and their orbits. It covers the equipment you need, to track and use the amateur satellites and some of the satellite tracking software that is available. There are detailed sections covering feeders, Masthead preamplifiers, antenna systems and automated rotator control. There are the details of FUN cube Satellites, Weather Satellites and even the International Space Station. If you want to know the art of the possible and what satellites ae available, where they are, new ones that are planned and even the bands you can operate. There is much more besides, as Amsats and Hamsats provides the ultimate guide to operating satellites.



Kletskous is crowd funded. Please make a contribution to the Kletskous fund. The account number is ABSA 40 8982 6281 Branch code 632 005. Please send payment advice to,za with your details so that your name can be added to the donor list on the web.

For more details about Kletskous  listen to Hannes Coetzee here

Kletskous transponder V3 demonstrated

Leon Lessing, ZS6LMG  successfully demonstrated the version 3 of the Kletskous transponder at the AMSATSA/SARL SDR workshop held on 19 August 2017

Watch it here


An easy to operate satellite recently launched by AMSAT NA

Get all the details here



Total donated to date R1050

Dr Emil G. Bohme 
Ron Richards ZS5ABD
Grant Dixon ZR6WTF
Hannes Coetzee ZS6BZP
Michael Boast ZS5BGV







More Kletskous Progress

A flight-ready solar panel for Kletskous.

The solar cells are glued to the PC board using conductive silver epoxy. This is done under vacuum to prevent bubbles being formed in the epoxy. Bubbles may burst in the vacuum of space, fracturing the paper thin glass solar cell and destroying it in the process.

AMSAT SA welcomes the following new members:
Ron Richmond ZS5ABD  Ladysmith
Peter Dormehl ZS5HF Durban
Gavin Halse ZR5YJ Kloof
Peter Leonard ZS5PL Pinetown
Tom van den Bon, Vanderbijlpark
Rakeshh Dhevalall
Marius Kapp ZS4MK

Grant Dixo ZR6WTF

Become a partner in space

Donate to the AMSAT SA Kletskous fund and become a partner in space

Please make your contribution. You may pay directly into our account electronically. Please send the payment details with your name, callsign, email and  postal address to

All contributions will be acknowledged on this page (Scroll down). Donations of R500 or more will be acknowledged with a certificate.

Bank Details: AMSAT SA, ABSA Menlyn, Branch code 632 005
Account: 40 8982 6281

African Radio Amateurs will soon have access to a geostationary satellite

In the next few years radio amateurs will have access to two geostationary platforms, one that will service the Americas and another one, particular attractive to South Africans, that will be  positioned at 26° East giving 24 hour access to Africa, Europe and the Middle East. These two geostationary projects will be included in commercial platforms similar to Amateur Radio Satellite (AMSAT) South Africa seeking to have an amateur radio transponder included in South Africa’s next satellite currently designated as EOS-1 (Earth Observation Satellite). Read the full story here



RS, the component supplier in South Africa has become a component sponsor for the KLETSkous project.

RS Components is the market leader in the high service level distribution of electrical, electronic, mechanical & industrial products as well as tools.  Offering over 400 000 products across 2000 leading brands at, RS serves every sector of industry in the procurement of their products relating to maintenance, repair, operations, low volume production, research and development.

TRAX SPONSOR PCBs for KLETSkous More about  TRAX

Avnet : a broad line supplier of semiconductors,  passives, magnetics, enclosures, optoelectronic, GPS / GSM, interconnect, electromechanical, embedded products and components

Deon Coetzee ZR1DE
Tobile Koni ZS6TKO
Jan van Rooyen ZR5JR
Pravin Ashok
Donald Jacobs ZS2BW
Ray Webber ZS6RSW
Tarries Brink  ZS6MNO*
Kempton Park  Amateur Radio Technical Society ZS6KTS
Paul Roos ZS6HQ*
Anton Janovsky ZR6AIC
Pine  Pienaar ZS6OB
Gert Botha ZS6GC
David Horne
Etienne Saayman ZS5EFS
Nic van Duffelen ZR6AEZ
Andre Rox ZS6ARX
Carl Wentzel ZS6CFW
Gert Kok
Gordon Prentice ZR6RA
Rassie Erasmus ZS1YT
Guy Eales ZS6GUY
Bert van der Ploeg ZS6VDP
Wally Watson
Rickus de Lange ZS4A
Kerverne Thurling ZS1ABU
Lem Melidonis ZS1LEM
Paul Johnson ZS1S
Martinus Grobbelaar
Michael Boast ZS5BGV
Francois Basson ZS6DGN
Robe Bareham ZS1SA
Thomas Ambrose  ZS1TA
Craig Hardman ZS5CD
Ton van den Bon
Grant Dixon ZR6WTF

*Denotes  that the person has made several donations over time. Thank you