Radio hams plan big meet
AMID the age of cellphones and instant internet communication across the globe, amateur radio enthusiasts are still active around the world.
Durban has an active community of 400 “radio hams” and in August the South African Radio League (SARL) will host 80 radio amateurs from 34 countries in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East for a week-long event.
“This annual event provides an opportunity to learn about different nationalities and cultures, foster international friendships and goodwill as well as learn new radio communication and technical skills,” said SARL president Nico van Rensburg.
Responding to last week’s story in the Sunday Tribune about private ambulance services and tow truck operators illegally tapping into police frequencies, SARL’S regulatory affairs manager, Hans van de Groenendaal, said there was a misconception about radio hams and what they do.
He said the story’s headline “Radio hams bust in sting,” gave the impression that amateur radio enthusiasts were involved in the illegal monitoring of emergency services.
Nothing could be further from the truth, he said. He said SARL worked closely with safety and security authorities to provide emergency communication facilities when required and assisted with specialised communication services at sporting events such as the Comrades Marathon.