My life as a Radio Amateur for twenty six years

Call sign :  ZS6BNE

1975: Running an FTDX400 Transmitter and KW77 Receiver

using a 40 meter Inverted V wire beam on the roof


My interest in amateur radio started while listening on the short wave bands one Sunday morning using a valve receiver that my uncle had given me. I heard amateur AM transmissions sent out by the SARL. I wrote to them and became a listening member. I later could resolve SSB and CW by using a portable short wave receiver and by tuning the local oscillator up and down I could simulate a Beat Frequency Oscillator on the valve receiver.

I had become a ham just after turning sixteen which was the minimum age limit at the time. I taught myself the Morse code using long playing records played at different speeds. After passing a  written regulations and technical exam, my  Amateur Radio Operators Certificate arrived in the post a few weeks later.  I then went into town and did my Morse test at the post office. I was later assigned the call sign ZS6BNE  which I still hold today. I was probably the youngest radio amateur in South Africa then. I was attending Alberton High School and was in standard nine. I belonged to the school electronics club. I matriculated in 1976.

I went to the army for two years during 1977 and 1978 where I was actively involved in manning ZS6VT at Witwatersrand command signal unit for eighteen months after completing basic training.

Ted ZS6BYX , Eddie ZS6BNE , Mike ZS6ARU . The late ZS6ET (SARL)

The late George ZS6ARP

This historical event took place at a science fair in Mmabatho , Bophutatswana easily twenty years ago. It was to promote amateur radio among the younger generation.

I actively took part in scout jamborees during those years with the 1st Mafikeng Scout group originally started by Baden Powell.

2001: Running an FT101EE (Since 1977) a R1000 Receiver and Homebrew Keyer

An ex military B25 is used for Portable use

I have been in Lichtenburg since I was married in 1980 and have been an active ham for most of the time. In recent years we formed the Lichtenburg Amateur Radio Club and we now have almost twenty members. I am the sysop for two packet radio BBS's ZS0TFK and ZS0LTG.

LARK's Day on top of Tafelkop

I am a member of the South African Radio League.  I also belong to an emergency communications organization , HAMNET , and assist with off road rallies to provide valuable communications and marshalling.

My hobbies are of course Amateur Radio ,  Robotics , Programming and Running.

For Packet Radio , I use a YAESU FTC-1525A Commercial 2 Meter rig and a Kantronics KPC-2 TNC on 144.550 Mhz. For chatting on 2 meters I have a lovely Handheld , the Kenwood TH235.

Antennas for HF are always Coax Trap Inverted V type antennas and for VHF I use a straightforward 5/8 ground plane.

Contact Information

Packet Radio Address : ZS6BNE@ZS0LTG.LIC.NWP.ZAF.AF

Email Address :

Telephone : South Africa 018-632-2360

Cell phone : 083-732-2537