Amateur Radio Frequencies.
I have created this page for shortwave listeners and beginners to the hobby in order to get maximum benefit from there new receivers. The HF (high frequencies) or shortwave as it is also known is where most of the activity takes place, so I will list these bands first.
UK FREQUENCY LIST
1.8 to 2000 MHz (160M)
This is known as top band. It is shared by mainly by amateurs, coastal shipping, ship to shore communications and other commercial stations. Amateur stations use LSB (lower sideband) for chat, while other services use usb (upper sideband). During the day contacts around 70 miles can be heard. This is mainly a nighttime band, although its mostly used for local nets, DX stations can be heard at night from the other side of the world including the USA in winter months. Atmospheric noise increases greatly during the summer.
3.5 to 3.8 MHz (80M)
This band is also shared with commercial stations. It is a chat band during the day with a distance of about 200 miles to be expected. At night the band comes alive with stations not only from Europe but from all over the globe many thousands of miles away. Dawn or dusk is a good time for DX. Amateur chat stations use LSB.
7 to 7.100 MHz (40M)
This is a very popular band, unfortunately it is only 100KHz wide and can become very crowded. Most of the UK can be heard through the day, ideal for nets and two way chat on LSB. The band opens up to mainland continental signals at night, mostly Europe. DX stations are possible at night and early mornings.
10.100 to 10.150 MHz (30M)
This is such a narrow band it is only 50 KHz wide. Good signals from Europe can be heard during the day, a reliable band for long path DX including Australia and New Zeeland early in the morning.
14 to 14.350 MHz (20M)
This is known as the DX band, it is the most consistently suitable for long distance communication. It can become crowded during the day with very strong signals from Europe. During the winter the band will close at night, however in summer it can stay open all night. Amateurs use several modes of communication on 20M such as Morse and slow scan TV, but USB is mostly used.
18.068 to 18.168 MHz (17M)
This band is prone to seasonal changes and can only be used for CW (Morse) communication. However it can produce some very good DX.
21to 21.450 MHz (15M)
This is a good daylight DX band which is best in spring time and late autumn. The afternoons are usually full of strong stations from USA and regular stations from Japan in the mornings. The skip frequency is higher than the 20M band so there is less interference from stations under 1000 KM. ( Phone stations use USB).
24.890 to 24.990MHz (12M)
This band is similar to 21 and 28 MHZ, good DX is possible with stations over 1000 miles during sporadic E daylight summer conditions. ( Phone stations use USB).
28 to 29.700 MHZ (10M)
This can be one of the most interesting bands, It has normal shortwave conditions and also some types of propagation associated with VHF frequencies. It is very dependant on sunspot and seasonal changes and can vary from day to day, sometimes it is very busy and the next day totally quiet. There is some fantastic long distance contacts with some stations using low power (QRP). Several modes are used such as CW USB and there is an FM section at the higher part of the band. There is also an FM repeater segment, many stations can be heard accessing American repeaters to talk elsewhere in the world.
These are the main and most widely used HF bands, there are two other bands which are 73 KHz and 136 KHz, But as they are a more specialist subject and very low in frequency I will not go into them at this stage.
In each and every band there are certain sections and certain frequencies set aside for a specific mode or type of transmission. The bottom section of each band is reserved for CW only, some have repeater, beacon, ssb and FM sections, this helps to eliminate cross modulation interference. This idea is to make the best use of available space. These plans are not law but only an advisory, more like a gentlemen's agreement, and people stick to the rules most of the time.
VHF AND UHF FREQUENCIES
As well as HF (shortwave) there are also amateur bands in the VHF and UHF regions. Some of there characteristics can differ quiet a lot depending on where they are in the spectrum. They are different to the shortwave frequencies because of the type of propagation. You will notice straight away when listening that stations are only heard up to about 100 miles or so because the mode of communication is line of sight, unless there is a lift in conditions, such as sporadic E, or tropospheric ducting. These bands are also affected with the Aurora and meteor scatter to enhance further contacts.
If you are interested in listening to these frequencies there are receivers available from most good amateur radio dealers as well as on the second hand market. Because of the frequency the antennas are much shorter than that of HF which makes it possible for more directive antennas such as beams with more elements and much more gain.
50 to 52 MHz (6M)
This is a very interesting band because it exhibits both shortwave and VHF propagation (sporadic E, F2 layer, and tropo ducting). While sometimes it is completely quiet, other days it can be full of long distance stations. It is the old television band which has now declined and is becoming available in more countries. Modes used are CW, USB and FM.
70.250 to 70.500 MHz (4M)
This band is not very popular, apart from the UK there are few countries who have these frequencies, there where no commercial transceivers available until recently, most amateurs used home made gear or converted PMR radios. It is for this reason why some interesting contacts can happen.
144 146MHZ (2M)
This is the most popular band and most used on VHF. The FM frequencies are organized into channels, there is a repeater network all around the country (and many other countries) as well as internet gateway stations allowing greater distances to be achieved. CW and USB are also used. Some great DX contacts can occur when there is sporadic E, tropo and costal ducting making it possible to speak to Europe.
432 to 440 MHz (70CM)
Although 70 cm's is not the highest band available, it is the highest of the popular bands. This is another band for local communication with a repeater network around the country,( and other countries ) there are also some gateways. The FM part of the band is channelised, other modes used are CW, and USB. Amateur TV is also used. Propagation is similar to 2M with the exception of sporadic E, the tropo on this band can be better than 2M and good DX contacts can be made many hundreds of miles away.
1240 MHz (23cm's)
This band is more for the technical operators, there were no commercial transceivers for this band, but now some have started appearing over the past few years usually as very expensive optional extras as part of other UHF rigs. However many receivers are available.
There are higher microwave bands for amateurs, but these are for the more experienced operators as they build there own equipment, so I have not listed them on this page.
I have listed below some frequencies which may be of interest to shortwave listeners.
QRP (LOW POWER) FREQUENCIES.
CW= 1.843 MHz, 3.560 MHz, 7.030 MHz, 10.106 MHz, 14.060 MHz, 21.060 MHz, 28.060 MHZ.
QRP SSB= 3.690 MHz, 7.090 MHz, 14.285 MHz, 18.130 MHZ, 21.285 MHz, 24.950 MHz, 28.365 MHz.
RAFARS ( Royal Air Force Amateur Radio Society ) calling frequency 3.568 MHz 24 hr's RAFARS NET 3.710 MHz
29.600 MHz FM , 50,110 MHz USB, 51.510 FM, 70.200 MHz USB,/CW, 70.260 MHz AM/FM, 144.300 MHz USB, 145.500 MHz FM,
AMATEUR RADIO PAGE