Comrades 2018 - 10 June

A big thank you to all who were involved again with the planning from Hamnet's side, and to ZS5GD and ZS5WFD for taking time off for Expo.

Willem ZS5WA did duty as the Pietermaritzburg JOC, later handing over to the Durban JOC in Moses Mabida stadium, where ZS5GD, ZS5WFD and ZS5LT were on station. Both JOC stations handled the net professionally. A big thank you to all who helped on the water tables along the route!

Peter, ZS5PL, HARC chairman, writes:
"To all the operators, helpers, wives, girlfriends and others who assisted with the radiocomms today. Very well done! Your efforts today were of the highest quality of professionalism and I'm very sure enhanced the respective reputations of the various clubs involved, both Amateur and non-Amateur. Most of you had a very long day and yet you coped with everything that was thrown at you, from scraped knees to potential coronary failure and everything in between. I monitored the Ham frequencies for most of the day and nobody lost their temper, became overly frustrated or bad-mouthed any other organisation or individual. Regardless of whatever club or organisation you belong to, you can all go to bed tonight and sleep well, knowing you were part of a magnificent effort. Three cheers to the lot of you!"

Ironman 2017
Hamnet KZN managed two events today, 18 June.  The first was the Ironman event in Durban.

Click here for more pictures.

Scottburgh to Brighton 2017
Despite having to split our team to also manage the Ironman event on the same day, we managed perfectly.  Weather conditions were great!

Click here for more pictures.

Comrades 4 June 2017
Comrades was an up-run this year.  The linked Durban and Pietermaritzburg repeaters worked well.  Unfortunately the Hilton repeater was still down, so the Pmb JOC needed to use the World's View repeater with the lower audio level.  As usual, it was a busy day for all radio operators who helped today.  Thanks also to the CB and LCCSA who helped out with the radio communications today.  Click here for more pictures.

More Comrades images can be viewed here

August 2016 - ZS5HN writes:

This year’s isiMangaliso went off with great success, Hamnet KZN played a vital role by providing the Radio Communications for this event once again.

The event saw 234 Mountain Bike Riders, riding from Lake St Lucia past Lake Sabaya, through Phinda Game Reserve and on into Mkuze Game Reserve.

Both of these Reserves have the Big 5. Comms were established on VHF Simplex 145,550 Mhz with 145,225 Mhz as a backup when 145,550 got Busy.

The Ops Control ZS5MB situated on a high point was in contact with the JOC ZS5HN, ZS5J as Rover, ZS5LT as Sweep 1, ZS5CD as Sweep 2 &

ZR5GB as Sweep 3. There were some challenges, from S2 Mush on VHF from the Computer Systems at the JOC, to Strong Wind and Lightning at the High Site.

All the Hamnet members deployed are looking forward to next years event.

Feedback from the isiMangaliso MTB organisers:

After a year’s activity culminating in the hectic non- stop 4 days of the event, we’re finally getting our breath back and taking a reflective look at the 2016 isiMangaliso 4 Day event. Thank you for the part you played.

What a ride it was, starting in October last year and ending in the past week, with the last five, mad weeks, marking track, dealing with last minute queries, questions, organization and what seemed to be a continuous undercover operation to throw various obstacles in our way, from a garage door that had to be cut open to the RIS vehicle that was crashed the night before we were about to take delivery, to the police impounding the bike wash trailer, let alone water restrictions and intermittent power, this year we had it all.

Then the 4 days of madness during the event which saw, for the first time, the weather throwing a huge curved ball, with the wind and rain forcing last second track changes to less muddy routes, with some incredibly fast remarking and redeployment of marshals all handled exceptionally well without the riders even being aware of the crazy, behind the scenes, rush. This year the crew were thoroughly tested and showed that with 3 years of experience, they could handle any and every obstacle efficiently and quickly, plus handling casualties, comms, dangerous game, power, water, driving 58 vehicles to the finish, whatever it was, just sorted and handled.

If I add in the marshal teams, labour teams, sweeping teams, logistics, caterers, accommodation, photographers, video guys, admin, motorbike riders, Honorary Rangers, marking teams, track clearers and suppliers, the list seems endless, the crew adds up to 120, and to each and everyone who played a part, volunteer and supplier, thank you for assisting in this enormous undertaking of getting 234 riders safely to uMkhuze and back, well fed, watered, accommodated, entertained and with the ride of a lifetime under their belt. The feedback from every entrant has been overwhelming, testimony to this year’s success has been the huge positive response to the social media campaign.

Your assistance has enabled us to raise a further R230-000 for the isiMangaliso Rare and Endangered Species fund and more importantly raised awareness of this incredible World Heritage site.

We look forward to seeing you in 2017.

Shane and Daryl

Hamnet Meeting, 13/12/14

A well attended meeting was held at Disaster Management Centre. Interesting topics we discussed.

2013 Total Rally

Hamnet KZN again provised vital comms between the different stages and the control points.  In many areas there was no cell coverage.  More pics can be found here

2013 Duzi
Hamnet assisted with the gruelling 3 day canoe event, providing comms in the mountainous terrain where modern conventional cell comms are difficult, and sometimes impossible

Dawie Conradie, ZR5DHC, from Amateur Radio Sonder Grense, interviews Gawie Hoon, ZS5R, about Hamnet's participation in Comrades.  Click here to listen.  (It's in Afrikaans, 6.1MB)

03 June 2012 - Comrades down run

We had another successful communications system with this year's Comrades.  Again, comms provided by Hamnet KZN is proving vital for requests for ambulances, crowd control etc.  Here is a picture of table 30, ZS5JM. 
More pictures can be viewed here.

October 2011 - Some more pictures can be viewed of the Amashovashova race here

07/08/11 Some more picture have been uploaded on our photo album of the Scottborough to Brighton Race, Dusi Mfula, Durban Airshow and our July Hamnet meeting

2011 Tour Natal Rally, 25/26 March

The Rally was a resounding success from Hamnet's communication point of view.  The reliability of modern technology still has not caught up with what our teams can achieve with Amateur Radio equipment.  Again we managed to provide invaluable comms between the stages and control, which was also used to send through the stage times to control.

More pictures can be viewed here

Durban Twister?

On 31 January 2011 Phil ZS5VC reports:
I have just (19h20) captured on camera what appeared to be a very well defined 'funnel shaped feature' in the sky to the south of Durban. I am not suggesting full-on 'twister' but looks quite similar to one (although it was not touching the ground), or perhaps a water spout ? I can not tell exactly it's distance from my location or whether it is over the sea or not, but if I had to guess it looks like it could have been in the vicinity of Isipingo - Amazimtoti (??) Interesting anyway."

you can view some more photos here


 Amashovashova 2010

Asishova 2010

The National Road Traffic Act  (submitted by ZS5DGR)






Previous home entries can be found here


Ethekweni Emergency Control Number: 031 361 0000

Comrades 2015

This year's up run was a hard one, with many ambulances required to tend to runners in trouble, keeping the radio operators busy requesting ambulances and other emergencies.  Another job well done!



Comrades 2014

Hamnet KZN had another successful day on the down run, providing vital communications during the race, especially during the latter part of the race when there were many requests for ambulances, busses etc. 

It was an early morning for some:


Comrades 2011

We had a very successful event from a communications point of view.   The normal requests, such as requests for ambulances for road side treatment etc where carried out with Keith ZS5WFD at control in Pmb, and Dion ZS5DD as half way control at Cato Ridge (relaying messages from the Dbn side to the Pmb side).

As soon as more photos are available, I will post them here (also accessible from the album section)


Bulletin Frequencies:

Sundays: 7.110MHz and 145.625MHz, @07h00

Wednesdays: 7.110MHz and 145.625MHz, @19h30

Emergency Frequencies

Traditionally, 3.760MHz, 7.110MHz and 14.300MHz are considered HamNet Emergency frequency.  But if busy, any frequencies can be used in the Amateur bands.

On 2m, 145.700MHz duplex frequency is generally reserved for HamNet use


Something has gone terribly wrong. Normal ways of doing things are not working. The fastest way to turn an emergency into a full disaster is to lose communications.  Radio Amateurs understand emergencies. For over 70 years they have provided emergency communications for organisations. When normal ways of communication fail or get overloaded Radio Amateurs will be there.  


HAMNET, the National Emergency Communications division of the South African Radio League (SARL), provides communications for emergencies and can mobilise experienced communicators who with their own radio equipment will back up official channels or take over when all else fails.


The SARL represents all Radio Amateurs in South Africa at all levels of Government and through the IARU at the International telecommunications Union.  Radio Amateurs or "Hams" use two-way radio communication to make contact with other radio amateurs all over the world. They are even able to use satellites and on occasion speak with astronauts. Radio Hams can do this from home or while mobile in cars, boats or on foot.

Radio Hams have a full range or communication modes at their disposal. These include plain voice, Morse code, numerous digital computer modes and even graphical modes like television. A licensed radio amateur is able to join in experiments using all these modes.

HAMNET is a voluntary group of amateurs who make their unique communication skills available to assist and help others in distress during and after disasters. HAMNET is represented on the sub-committee of the South African Search & Rescue Organisation. Training Modules are available either from your Provincial Director or from the National director via e-mail.

HAMNET forms part of the Constitution of the South African Radio League which means that you have to be a member of the SARL to be a member of HAMNET. All information on HAMNET is available on the web site of the SARL.

The SARL is a founder member of the International Amateur Radio Union and as part of it's charter, is required to operate an emergency communications division which is charged with providing accurate and efficient communications in times of natural and other disasters, and when life or property is endangered.

This task has been delegated to HAMNET which is the SARL's emergency communications arm.

The members of Hamnet KZN are also actively involved in assisting with communications on numerous sporting events. During these events, normal means of communication by cell phone do not work due to various reasons, including traffic congestion of cell phone towers, and difficult terrain, such as deep valley where no cell phone coverage is found.  Our Hamnet members have the ability to set up radio equipment in these environments for successful communication lines, enabling critical race and safety information to be relayed from the field to the central command centre.

Some of the regular events Hamnet are involved in include:

  • Comrades Marathon
  • Tour Natal Motor Rally
  • Dusi Mfula Cycle race
  • Tour d'Urban
  • Scottbugh to Brighton Beach Sand and Surf Marathon
  • Amashovashova Cycle Race

Keith, ZS5WFD, in his command vehicle, operating ZS5DCC


Copyright ©2009 HAMNET KZN.  All rights reserved.  Last Modified: 13/06/2018 10:27