are already a ham then this first paragraph will be old
hat to you but for newcomers here is a brief introduction.
Amateur radio, better known as Ham radio, is not to be
confused with CB radio. Radio Amateurs need to pass
several tests depending on their class of license. Tests
can involve operating theory and regulations, radio
theory, and Morse code. A first license is generally easy
to get as the testing is not too demanding but a new ham
is restricted to certain bands and modes of operation.
Moving up the ladder of license classes (3 in Canada)
requires more of a commitment but the extra time and study
is worth the access you get to more bands and modes of
first licensed in 1969 and have my Advanced Amateur
license with callsign VE3BUC giving me all the operating and
frequency privileges of amateur radio. In December 2002 I was given
a second call VE3XD. I mostly engage in contesting or radio sport as
it is called using phone (voice) CW (Morse code) and digital modes. To date I have contacted
radio amateurs in over 250 different countries using a
variety of modes. It is possible to contact over 300
countries as some have done.
late summer 2011 we moved to a new location in Kitchener Ontario. As
permanent outdoor antennas are not permitted here I have made do with
some temporary setups. The shack is still under construction so photos
of that will come later.
Here is the antenna used for the 2011 CQWW CW contest.
It was a single band 15m QRP effort.
As of summer 2012 I have Par end-fed dipoles for 15 and
20 meters in the attic.
Prior to September 2011 my shack was located in Brampton, Ontario. The following makes reference to that
is my radio room (shack) with a Yaesu FT-1000 MP
Mark V which
transmits a maximum of 200 watts into either a
Cushcraft X7 7-element yagi for
10 through 20 meters, an Alpha Delta DX/DD for 40 and 80 meters
and a DX-B for 160 meters. The X7 was installed in early June 2003.
Before that I used a TA-33 Jr on a 12m tower. The map on the left shows
countries I have worked and have received QSL cards
from. The red pins noting this are barely visible in
the right are some certificates on display for
contests where I have been fortunate to attain a
notable record. Another
map, off the picture to the right, marks 100+ countries
that have been contacted using QRP (5 watts or
computer is a Windows system running XP which is used to log all
my contacts. It is also used for digital modes
of communication such as Rtty and PSK-31 using the
sound card, a MicroKeyer interface and Writelog software.
The X7 is seen here mounted on a 56' (18m) tower behind the house. With this
setup I have contacted other hams in Europe, Africa,
South and Central America, Australia and the South
Pacific, Japan and China.
See the work on erecting
the tower and antenna
visible here is an Alpha-Delta DX/DD dipole for 40
and 80 meters. Its center feedpoint is mounted near the top of the tower and the wires slope down to
about 5 meters above the ground at the rear of the
property and to the left-front corner of the roof. So much for small city lots.
There is also a 160m sloper attached below the
dipole on the tower and it slopes to the rear of the
of the contest results on the contests page show a mobile operation as
VE3XD/W4. Here is my setup in
the car which was used for these contests and for other
operations. On the left rear trunk area is a Hamstick antenna
(barely visible in the picture). The radio is set up
temporarily on the
console between the front seats and the computer sits
on the armrest in the back seat.
For CW and Rtty an
appropriate interface is used between the radio and computer
and the computer is used for sending, receiving and logging.
Of course with CW the ears are most important. The mike is
only used for phone contesting. Obviously I don't set any
records here, either for contacts or for hours of operation
but it fills the fun quota on a contest weekend.
out the pages listed in the upper left margin for more of my activities.