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
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
FAILS AMATEUR RADIO SUCCEEDS
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 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
The National Road Traffic Act (submitted by ZS5DGR)
15 January 2010 - From the SARL
forum by ZS6BUU:
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
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
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
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
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
If you are interested, contact
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
More pics can be found
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.
The Asishove and Amashova cycles races
on 17 and 18 October was a success, in spite of trying conditions and
lines communication. Visit the
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
06/07 June 2009 - Dusi Mfula Cycle
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