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


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

The National Road Traffic Act  (submitted by ZS5DGR)

15 January 2010 - From the SARL forum by ZS6BUU:

"My apologies for this late entry but as you can imagine, since Wednesday morning, I have been up to my eyebrows with involvement in this tragedy that took place in Haiti.

Suffice to say, we are involved but not as much as the relief organisations in the USA. A team from the Off Road Rescue Organisation under the control of Ivor Rimmer ZR6IVR and Bruce Hepburn ZR6BDH - both Hamnet members, are on their way to Haiti to assist with relief operations. The head of Gauteng Disaster Management Colin Deiner is also in the team.

Hamnet is involved from an IRESC point of view and Francois will be operating as Net Controller over the weekend giving the other operators from around the world an opportunity to take a well earned break.

The IRESC Conference Room is a hive of activity with as many as 120 operators from around the world on stand by to assist where possible.

Because we are so far removed from the disaster area and because propagation is poor, our best way of assisting and helping is via Echolink, and we will continue to do this and be involved as long as is necessary.

We have been flooded with data, information and feedback from information posted in the IRESC Database - not only reports from Haiti but also requests for information of family and friends from around the world.

This is a monumental disaster - never seen before and pictures from the area indicate total destruction of many parts of the city of Port au Prince!

The main priority at present is to establish effective communication links from the Island to relief organisations around the world but in particular to the USA.

The airport is still closed to commercial traffic and only open to relief flights.

We will keep you posted as to what is happening and fill you in with information as we feel it is necessary.

Should you need information of friends or family in Haiti, please visit the IRESC web site at www.iresc.org At the top of the page - in red - is a request "send us emergency information" This is recorded in the Database and is passed on to Red Cross.

It is going to be a very busy few weeks!

Francois Botha - National Director HAMNET and IRESC Officer."




Photos of our recent outings, the Amashovashova and the Asishova have been uploaded.  You can view them under our gallery.

Dion and Phil have come up with a great utility jacket, which can be viewed here. If you are interested, contact Phil for more details.

Both the Comrades (30 May 2010) and the Dusi Mfula cycle race (05 June 2010) were Hamnet success stories.  Have a look at the gallery for more pictures.

Hamnet had another successful event with the Tour Natal Rally on 6/7 March 2010.

More pics can be found here

The MODIS Rapid Response System was developed to provide daily satellite images of the Earth's landmasses in near real time. True-color, photo-like imagery and false-color imagery are available within a few hours of being collected, making the system a valuable resource for organizations....submitted by ZR5BBL.  More information

The Asishove and Amashova cycles races on 17 and 18 October was a success, in spite of trying conditions and lines communication.  Visit the photo gallery for more pictures.

Keith has secured a repeater for the Windy Hill site, and has had it programmed for the correct frequency.  He has acquired cavity filters, and is having them tuned.  As soon as this is done, we will install the repeater at the Windy Hill repeater site


Successful field day at the New Germany Nature reserve
(more photos)

06/07 June 2009 - Dusi Mfula Cycle Race

Hamnet KZN assisted with emergency communications once again on both days of the race.  Radio communication proved to be vital again, not only for requesting  medical assistance, but for logistics as well.

Further details and results of the race can be found here


Copyright 2009 HAMNET KZN.  All rights reserved.  Last Modified: 26/05/2011 07:33