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X7If you 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 operating.

I was first licensed in 1969 and have my Advanced Amateur license with call sign 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.

Kitchener QTH

In 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.









Brampton QTH

Prior to September 2011 my shack was located in Brampton, Ontario. The following makes reference to that location.

Here 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 this picture.

To 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 less).

The 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. 

Cushcraft X7 TribanderThe 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

Barely 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 property also.


W4/VE3BUCSome 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.

Check out the pages listed in the upper left margin for more of my activities.


2003 - 2014 by Don Cassel