Nov 21

Raffle Update

Raffle update

 

The draw for the 80th birthday raffle has been set and will take place at our first flea market on Saturday the 3rd of February 2018.

 

As of 20 November, (excluding one book that we need to verify how many tickets have been sold) we have sold in excess of 70% of the tickets.

 

If you have not bought a ticket yet and would like one, please email zs6erb@gmail.com requesting a ticket.  One will then be booked for you, where after an EFT will be requested, which will need to be done and proof sent back to zs6erb@gmail.com.  A ticket number will then be issued to you.

Nov 21

Year end function 18 November 2017

Thank you very much for those who attended the year end function. A special thanks to Linda ZS6LML for the arrangements. And also to the ones that made the food and contributed to the lovely food and everything. Thanks to Louis ZS6BGG for the music and also Johan ZS6DMX.

Nov 07

Breaker, breaker: CB radios, the Facebook of the 1970s, back in fashion

Citizen Band (CB) radios, made fashionable in the 1970s by movies like Breaker Breaker and Smokey and the Bandit, are experiencing a resurgence in popularity thanks to nostalgic baby boomers.

The owner of Australia’s largest collection of CB radios, Mark Regan, said interest in the 70s craze had suddenly peaked again.

“They’ve become collectors’ items, and I’m seeing a resurgence of use now partly because mobile phones aren’t all they’re cracked up to be,” he said.

“Even though there were so many of them back in the 70s, not many survived, so the rarity also comes from that.

“And baby boomers, we’ve all grown up, and have cash to spend.”

Mr Regan has put his collection on show at the Lawrence Museum in the Clarence Valley region of northern New South Wales, in an attempt to satiate the interest of the growing numbers of CB radio enthusiasts.

“I also wanted to allow people to see what the social media of the day was,” Mr Regan said.

“It’s Facebook today, but back then it was CB radio — everybody had one.

“There was a lot of comradely gained and a lot of people became good friends and still are today.”

Bear bites from local yokels

Mr Regan said 14 million CB radio licenses were held by Americans in 1979, and Australians regularly spoke to them.

“In the mid 60s things started to really happen in the United States because radios were available fairly cheaply and you could have one in your car, your home, or carry one around with you,” he said.

CB radio language

  • Bear trap: Speed camera
  • Bear bite: Speeding ticket
  • Breaker breaker: Used to start a transmission/message
  • Choke and puke: A bad truck stop
  • Fox in the hen house: Unmarked police vehicle
  • Go-go juice: Fuel
  • Good buddy: CB radio friend
  • Kojak with a Kodak: Police officer with radar
  • Local yokel: Local police officer
  • Meat wagon: Ambulance
  • Papa bear: Police officer with a CB radio
  • Seat cover: Attractive woman in a vehicle
  • Ten-four: Transmission acknowledged

“Around the 1970s Australians really started getting interested in CB radio, especially truckies … and there was great sunspot activity which allowed for communication between Australian and the US.”

Mr Regan said part of the appeal of the CB radio craze was the slang words, which Australians began to pick up after speaking to Americans.

“During the early 1970s there was a fuel crisis and people couldn’t get petrol, and in the United States there was a 50 mile per hour speed limit, but truckies had to be places and so they developed this slang that they hoped would not be understood by the police who were listening on radios as well,” he said.

“So it initially started as a bit of skulduggery to avoid being caught speeding by the police.”

40 years of legal use

Mr Regan’s exhibition also coincides with the 40th anniversary of CB radio use being legalized in Australia.

“Truckies did a lot for CB radio to have it legalized in 1977,” he said.

“Before then it was a criminal offense punishable by six months in jail and/or a $100 fine.

“The Postmaster General would oversee all of this and they were catching people and fining them and some went to jail.”

Today, Australian CB radio users can still be prosecuted, but only if they use ‘channel five’, which is designated for emergencies only.

Mr Regan’s collection is on display at the Lawrence Museum until the end of November.

Oct 27

BACAR-5

BACAR-5 Feedback                             21 October 2017

BACAR-5 was again held at the Trichardt Model Flyers airfield, outside of Secunda this past Saturday 21 October. The day started slow and easy, with many feet gathering from about 7 in the morning to start the last-minute preparations to their various payloads. It wasn’t long before the wind was staring to play up, all while the latex weather balloon was being inflated.

Soon the balloon was fueled, but it seemed way too early to be launched, besides, most of the payloads where not ready, as it always seems happen, Murphy was on the move again, many where battling with last minute adjustments. As a result, the inflation team had their latex glove covered hands full trying to keep the balloon stable, while the winds kept on blowing. It wasn’t long before the first puncture happened, when the balloon practically folded over Don ZS6SSR, as if it was planning to eat him, hooking on his wrist watch.

They valiantly tried to seal the puncture, but it was too late, the balloon succumbed and burst. Many where worried that the day was over, but the Secunda guys had more tricks up their sleeves. Another balloon was taken out and this time, they waited a little longer before inflating it, making sure the others were ready with their payloads.

Very soon, just after 10, the call came to rally, everyone proceeded to the airstrip, payloads neatly tied together with rope. The countdown began, and slowly one by one, the payloads lifted off, but oh-no, what is this, the last payload is not lifting off the ground! It turns out that the balloon did not have the lifting power for all the payloads! I suppose if this was a Star Trek movie, one could say “Scotty, We Need More Power!” The launch team ran behind the limping balloon to catch it.

Without risking more damage to the 2nd balloon, the Secunda team brought their trailer containing the Hydrogen tanks to the launch site. Quick work was done adding some more oomph, and soon we were ready for take-off attempt number 2! Everyone lined up and the countdown once more began. It was a sight to see, the balloon taking off with power and speed, dragging the poor payloads behind it like an angry mother with her disobedient kids.

It climbed and soared into the cloudy sky until it vanished behind a blanket of clouds, all under 5 minutes. This meant one thing, the chase was on! If it took off that quickly, it was already traveling at an astonishing rate by now.

Oh but old man Murphy was not done yet, the chase teams at the airfield had trouble getting their equipment ready, taking at least 10 more minutes before they deployed, I was one of them, having to connect the laptop to the radio to receive the aprs packets, then making sure the I-gate was on the same frequency so as to push the packets to the Internet for everyone else to see… I will admit, the stress was a little high…

We eventually got going, a convoy of vehicles all heading out towards Bethal, as the first packets came in. The balloon was storming ahead at 177Kmph. Unbeknown to us at the time, Leon and Henry where prepared and they were hot on its tail.

Our convoy, comprised of Myself and Phillip ZS6PAJ, Don ZS6SSR, Hannes ZS6EMS and Ettiene ZS6ET in the TATA, as well as Shane ZS6W along with his Son and Connel ZS6CNP in the Toyota, steamed on the N17. Phillip made a few predictions and we decided which route to follow, it seemed like everything was just dandy, that old man Murphy decided to turn tail and run in fear of our Ham Radio Spirit.

But where we wrong, it wasn’t long before the balloon vanished off our screens. Typical chaos followed, oh no we thought, something must be wrong on our side!!! Why cannot we hear the balloon? Why is our equipment not functioning all of a sudden. We pulled over and the fiddling began, setting us back some more while the other chase teams carried on…

After more adjustments we where starting to wonder if the balloon fell, due to lack of any signals. So we decided to head to the area around Morgenson where the last position packet was heard. We where told en-route by Leon that they are also searching in that vicinity.

We passed Ermelo and decided to search coming form the north, while Leon and Henry was searching from the South. We eventually met up when the X-inna-box team had found the coordinates of where the balloon dropped its payload, somewhat 30 km south of Ermelo on the N11.

The race was on, the whole remainder of the chase team sped off to the coordinates, that turned out to be surprisingly close to Phillip ZS6PAJ’s original intercept point. The X-inna-box team had found the wreckage before we arrived and helped to guide us in.

We drove into the farmers property and realized that we had to cross the vaal river to get to the other side, the crash site was about 750m into the veld. Everyone ditched their vehicles and decided to cross the river on foot. I was stubborn of-course and insisted on crossing the river with my vehicle, which was done without issue. What however happened after that, well, as we say, what happens on the other side of the vaal river, stays on the other side of the vaal river…

What I can say is that we retrieved the payload and all safely returned to our vehicles, just in time as the rain started to fall. We all met up again at the Trichardt airfield where we discussed and debated all that happened during the day.

In close, we had tremendous fun, along with all the frustration faced, we learn a lot and I believe that we took with us valuable experience!

Here is to next time, to the great ham spirit and team work!

From ZS6DMX

The vehicle of Johan ZS6DMX was also part of the recovery.....

Vehicle Recovery

Oct 16

Membership Forms

Please print and fill in the form below if you want to become a member of the East Rand Radio Club.

Send it to zs6erb@gmail.com for approval

 

Aplication Form

Oct 15

LIMITED Edition Raffle

LIMITED Edition Raffle

 

East Rand Radio Club is 80 years old this year, and to celebrate you can win a Wouxun KG-UV8D handheld radio.  Only 80 tickets will be sold.

 

R100-00

The draw date will be advertised (www.zs6erb.co.za) as soon as all the tickets have been sold.  The draw will then be done publically at the Club House.

 

Oct 15

ERB News Bulletin times

Please take note of  the Club’s news times

 

News Bulletins:

When Monday evenings at 19h30 CAT
Frequency 145.675 MHz / 438.975MHz

 

Oct 11

2017-2018 Commitee

Willem van der Merwe ZS6WIM- Chairman

Judy Pretorius ZS6JDY- Vice Chairman

Linda Lessing ZS6LML- Secretary

Connel Paul ZS6CNP- Treasurer

Shane Bailey ZS6W- Liason Officer

Oct 11

“Braai and Brainwaves”.

Following our AGM, a topic raised and which the committee wish to map out, is the strategic direction of the club. What do us as members want the club to do for us? Where do we want the club to be in 5 years time? How will we achieve this? What as a member can I offer to the club?

 

These are some of the topics we wish to discuss and map out.

 

In order for us the achieve this we need direction. Therefore a strategy session is being held on Saturday the 14th of October 2017 at 14h00. It will take the format of discussions while we braai and will write notes on brown paper, discuss the ideas, agree a direction and then document this to be put into the ERB “roadmap” which the committee can execute. The intention will be to set short, medium and long term goals for the club. We are calling this event; “Braai and Brainwaves”.

 

It is important that we have as many members present as possible to give their input as to where they would like to see the club in 2-5 years time. This will also include how we prioritise and spend the monies received.

 

While we seek the input from members how they wish their funds to be prioritised, any interested and associated parties to ERB are welcome to attend.

Sep 18

New Committee 2016 – 2017

img-20160917-wa0057

                                                                                     ERB COMMITTEE 2016 – 2017

Front Row: Chris Nel(ZS6CPN, Johan Meyer (ZS6DMX), Connel Paul (ZS6CNP), Herman Marais (ZS6HHM)

Back Row: Armand Spruit (ZS6SPR), Jokan Steenkamp (ZS6SDJ), Willem vd Merwe (ZS6WIM), Tommy Mostert (ZS6THM)

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