BAREC Pedal Radio Group

Aims - The Bendigo Amateur Radio and Electronics Club Pedal Radio Group, was established by a number of Club members with the common interest in combining mobile amateur radio and cycling. The main aims are:

• Health benefits through cycling.

• Amateur radio publicity and public visibility.

• Maximising mobile transmission and reception efficiencies and operational convenience through experimentation.

Activities - The Group is currently riding and identifying the many riding trails in and around Bendigo. Emphasis is given to off-road trails and many of the available maps are not up to date. Activities are in their early stage and the process of creating better maps is being fine tuned. The Group is using Global Positioning System (GPS) and Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) for the mapping purposes and VK3RCV (147.150MHz) and VK3RBO (438.025MHz) repeaters for communications purposes.

Opportunities are also taken to provide backup communications facilities for cycle rides organised by other groups.

Challenges - Antenna efficiency on HF becomes a real problem due to the physical size of a common bicyle or trike. It simply does not contain sufficient metal to provide the required antenna counterpoise. The problem can be overcome on VHF and UHF with the use of ground-independent antennas but the larger size required for HF is an entirely different matter. However, you have to start somewhere and you can only use equipment that you have.

In addition, wind noise, equipment control and the need to continue breathing while talking and pedalling also come into play.

Facebook - Join the Group on Facebook.