Web Pages of Amateur Radio Station VE3CVG and VA3RCB

Information about the Station Operator:

Rick PictureRAC logo I'm Rick Bandla and I have an Advanced Amateur Radio Certificate, issued by Industry Canada, which entitles me to use a variety of communication modes on Amateur Radio (or Ham Radio) frequencies. Some of these modes include AM (or Amplitude Modulation) phone, SSB (or Single Side Band) phone, FM (or Frequency Modulation) phone, CW (short for Continuous Wave using Morse code), Amateur TV, and some digital variations including PSK31, JT44, FSK441, SSTV (slow scan TV), and RTTY (Radio Teletype). I am a member of Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC), West Carleton Amateur Radio Club (WCARC) and several other groups.

What Is Ham Radio All About?

  • Generally speaking, hams may be builders, operators, or both.
  • Some hams are in the hobby purely for the socializing and the camaraderie and this has a very positive social value.
  • Some hams devote a big part of their life organizing and operating networks which provide vital communications during emergencies.
  • Some help provide communications during community events.
  • Still others are real scientists and through their exprimentation, they help advance technology in the areas of satellites, radio, cellular, location reporting, antenna design, computer telephony, solar energy, video, and so on.

    Ham radio is an absolutely incredible hobby! Regardless of gender, age, or background, there is something to interest almost everyone.

    My Areas of Interest:

    Presentation on Digital Modes on HF

    Click on this link to see a copy of a presentation that Ken (VA3KA) and I made at the QCWA Conference in Ottawa, on October 15-16, 2004.

    Presentation on Propagation VHF and Above

    Click on this link to see a copy of a presentation that I made at the RAC Forum August 30, 2003.

    The 222MHz Transverter Project

    In 2003, I kitted up 10 of the Zack Lau no-tune transverters for 28 MHz I.F. radios If you are interested in how to build a no-tune transverter, follow this link.

    More info on my 222 Xvrtr project.

    The Infernal Tower

    I am the proud owner of a free standing Delhi DMX48 antenna tower. If you are interested in how to put up a tower, follow this link.

    To my tower project.

    The VE3CVG Plumber's Delight VHF (and up) Yagi Construction

    I've constructed some simple low maintenance, yagi antennas, which are all aluminum (nearly) and stainless steel. If you are interested in constructing your own antennas for VHF and up, follow this link.

    To my Antenna Construction pages.

    900MHz Project

    I've constructed the DEMI 900MHz transverter. I'll add some details later but apart from a poor LO design the DEMI unit is a good transverter.

    QRP HF Operation

    I enjoy QRP (or low power) operation when away from home, sometimes mobile sometimes based in motels, etc. I have a Yaesu FT-817 which in my opinion is amongst the best radios available for "turnkey" low power operation. The radio puts out about 5 watts on high power and covers all the standard HF bands as well as VHF and UHF. This radio also makes a superb driver for transverters such as my 1296 MHz and 2304 MHz equipment. The Z-11 made by LDG Electronics is an excellent companion automatic HF antenna tuner, that will probably load a wet string if necessary.

    Home-based HF Operation

    My primary HF transceiver at home is a Kenwood TS2000, an incredible multiband, multimode radio. It is stable and reliable, and tough to beat as a Swiss Army Knife of Radios. It has its own HF tuner built in and every feature that I can think of. On the HF side the radio connects to an MFJ 704 low-pass filter, and ultimately to a B&W AS80 inverted "V" antenna with its peak about 48ft. off the ground and favouring the west.

    My backup HF/VHF radio and the radio I use for portable operation is a Yaesu FT847, and an MFJ 949E HF antenna tuner.

    VHF Station

    On 50 MHz (all modes), I use the TS2000 to a 5 element beam at 50 feet. I often monitor the SSB call channel 50.125 MHz.

    For 144 MHz SSB, I use my Yaesu TS2000 connected to an 8 element rotatable yagi at 50' for VHF SSB and CW. I usually monitor 144.200 MHz. I get out quite well on this band and Rochester and Montreal are within consistent reach.

    For 222 MHz I use a modified Radio Shack 10M transceiver as an intermediate frequency (IF) for transverters. The present transverter is a 28-222 Microwave Modules transverter into a 30w homebrew brick linear.

    UHF Station

    For 432 MHz SSB, I use my TS2000 connected to a 19 element rotatable yagi at 54' for UHF SSB and CW. I monitor the call channel 432.100 MHz.

    I have built a 900MHz xvrtr and am active on that band.

    I am in the process of building up a 10GHz xvrtr.

    Microwaves - 1296 MHz And Above

    I generally use the FT-817 as a 144 MHz IF for 1296MHz. It can be set for .5 watts output and has access to its PTT, etc. and is very stable and feature rich. At home I use an SSB LT23S xvrtr to a loop yagi at 60 feet. Output power on the radio bench is 10 watts.

    On 2.3 GHz, I have a Down East Microwave xvrtr with a FT290 IF radio. The xvrtr feeds a Varian 3 watt amplifier. The antenna is a parabolic grid or paragrid which I call a a Bob Meyers BBQ antenna, because of its appearance. This antenna is reasonably small and simple and provides 23 dbd of gain. It is fixed-direction mounted on my tower at about 45'.

    Also for 10 GHz mobile experimentation, I have a Tellurometer wideband fm station. This equipment was used for topographical surveying in the 1970's and 80's. It is full duplex and when you have a pair, the remote locks to the master (AFC) so that they drift together. This is really interesting to tune, because you can hear yourself as soon as the distant end can hear you, so you know when you are lined up. Also, the equipment comes with built-in heater (oven) to help stabilize the drift. I have a pair of these for use in contests.


    I use a TM741 triband radio on 2m/70cm/23cm connected to a discone at about 40'. I'm not into a lot of FM activity but it can be useful, so both the shack and the car are equipped.


    I am the call sign holder and one of 3 sysops for the VA3ODG system of D-STAR (digital) repeaters in Ottawa.

    Packet Radio

    This is a very broad field spanning protocols, baseband technology, computers, software, and so on but the basic elements of a packet station are a radio, a modem, and a computer. I am interested in both TCP/IP and AX.25. The following section about APRS is a good example of fairly old packet radio technology put to good use with the help of computers.

    APRS or Automatic Position (Packet) Reporting System

    Amongst other things, APRS is an interesting mapping, tracking, locating, wx monitoring and direction finding package. There are already thousands of maps of various detail available for much of North America. APRS strength is its simplicity and it runs fine on the old ham radio equipment which is probably sitting in a corner under the electronics work bench. APRS uses UI AX.25 packets. You need a TNC (terminal node controller), a vhf radio, and a 68xxx (Mac) or 80xxx (IBM) computer or clone with a VGA screen, although other screens will work. The software is available free, check out the sites below. A GPS is not used for stationary installations, and is not necessary for mobile work but can add interesting information to your display.

    There are many excellent sites about APRS on the web.

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    This page was updated on May 7, 2012 and is Copyright © 2012 by Richard C.Bandla