The Utah VHF Society
Utah VHF/UHF Band Plan

The weight of law:

The reader should not confuse the bandplans published by the ARRL and coordination entities with the FCC Mandated band allocations.  While the former are recommendations, the latter carry the weight of law and their contravention may result in enforcement action.  (A printable, color version showing current U.S. Bands may be found here (207k PDF) at the ARRL web site.)  Of course, the ultimate authority in the permitted frequency ranges and modes is FCC Part 97.  (The ARRL maintains a copy of Part 97 on their web site here.  Those parts specifically related to frequency ranges and modes [e.g. §97.301-317] may be found here.)


Why are there bandplans?

Although the FCC has already defined specific portions of each band for use with specific modes, there exists a need, in a somewhat less formal manner, to further divide the bands according to the types of operation encountered in everyday USE.  While these "band plans", unlike the FCC's defined segments, do not carry the weight of law behind them they are an integral part within the framework of a number of widely recognized "gentlemen's agreements" that, by general consensus of the occupants, play a large part in determining which operations may occur and where.  More recently, the FCC has indicated its strong support for adherence to local bandplans.  A page citing a few examples of this may be found here.
 
When "Fringe" Operation can get you into trouble with the FCC...

Too often, amateurs forget that their signals have a width as well:  They are usiing frequencies in addition to the frequency on their radio's display.  As it turns out, an FM signal occupies about 12-15 KHz.  The filters in FM receivers are typically about 15-17 KHz wide, and therefore, two signal of roughly equal strength must be at least 20 KHz apart to avoid interference between them. 

Another problem arises occasionally that is more serious:  Out-of-band operation!

This happens when someone says "Since the band goes from 144 to 148 MHz, let's operate on 144.000 - there's no-one there! 

There are two problems with this example that make it illegal:  First of all, only CW is permitted below 144.100.  Secondly, since your signal is 12-15 KHz wide, half of it is outside the 2 meter ham band!

The basis of the bandplans are threefold:

  1. They reflect the FCC-mandated band segments based on transmission modes and types of permitted operations (e.g. subbands where voice modes are not permitted, repeater and satellite subbands, etc.)
  2. They reflect how various parts of the bands are to be used - using sound engineering practices - in a way that will allow the greatest number of people to use the frequencies with a minimum of interference (e.g. not operating FM in the middle of the satellite subbands, etc.)
  3. A number of aspects of these plans are a result of traditional usage over the years (e.g. the use of 146.52 as a simplex frequency, etc.)


While it may be technically legal (according to the letter of the law) to go against portions of the bandplan, doing so may have unforeseen technical consequences (such as unintentional jamming of an amateur satellite, unknowingly operating simplex on the input of a repeater or link frequency to name just a few) and ignoring a bandplan is not likely to win you very many friends!  Since our amateur frequencies are a shared and increasingly utilized resource, adherence to sound operating practices continues to become more important as time goes on.


The Utah bandplans:

The bandplan in Utah is based largely on the ARRL-recommended bandplan.

In the Utah plan there are a few departures from the ARRL plan based on local usage and needs, and these are noted where appropriate.  How did these departures occur in the first place, you may ask?  Because of geographical isolation of the main population centers of Utah (the Wasatch Front) operation has occurred in a "vacuum" and usually has had little or no impact on neighboring regions.  Because the band plans are based on sound technical principles, operation in Utah more or less happened to follow them and adopt them as time went on.  In the 70's and 80's when bandplan discussions were hot topics of discussion, Utah took further steps (i.e. the adoption of the 20 KHz channel spacing on 2 meters) to conform to the ARRL bandplan in anticipation of heavier spectrum use in the future.  More information on the "why" behind 20 KHz channel spacing may be found here on the Frequency Coordination FAQ  page.

It is important to remember that the implementation of this bandplan by the Utah Frequency Coordinator does, in effect, supercede, the ARRL national bandplan.  Why might this be?  It should be no surprise that each geographical area has specific frequency coordination needs based on geography and population distribution.  Additionally, each geographical area has traditional frequency usage patterns that should be taken into account that might require certain modifications to aspects of the bandplan.


Simplex Frequency operation within the Utah bandplan:

It cannot be emphasized too strongly that the choice of frequencies used for simplex operations be considered carefully.  Even if other bandplan information (such as the ARRL national bandplan) shows a frequency segment as being available for simplex operation, please check the Utah Bandplan to make sure that such operations can be accomodated without causing interference to coordinated users.

Only those frequencies specified in the Utah bandplan as being available for simplex operations should be used as such - and this is especially true of 70cm where there are many control and auxiliary links that, for various technical reasons, are not listed in any published frequency lists!

If you have needs for simplex frequencies that you feel cannot be met using those frequencies that are listed in the bandplan and on the "Simplex Frequency Usage page," please contact the Frequency Coordinator to discuss the your needs and to find solutions.


It is not the intent for a bandplan to stifle technical innovation and experimentation!

If there is a mode or type of operation that you believe is important to implement, but it does not readily fit within the bandplan, please contact the Frequency Coordinator:  It is possible that provisions may be made for the type of operation you are proposing.  If a brand new mode comes along that doesn't easily fit within the bandplan, it is possible that the bandplan may be modified as appropriate.

Remember:  The bandplan has been established as a cooperative effort by amateurs representing various kinds of operation.  Proposals for changes may be taken to the coordinator and, ultimately, the entire Utah VHF Society. If you feel that some aspect of the bandplan is contrary to current/future uses of the amateur spectrum, you are encouraged to begin a dialogue with the frequency coordinator to discuss current and future needs and their possible impacts on the bandplan.

Additional resources:

In addition to this bandplan page, there are also several other pages that deal with frequency usage issues:


About the Bandplan diagrams:

The bandplan diagrams below reflect not only the general recommendations of the ARRL's suggested bandplans, but also how these frequencies areactually used in UtahIn other areas of the country, there are significant differences in the way "local" bandplans are implemented and the information on this page should not be used outside Utah without due consideration of those differences.

These charts do not reflect those portions of the bands that may be restricted to certain license classes.  For example, Novices and Technicians (that have passed code tests) have privileges on 10 meters that are not delineated in the chart below:  Please refer to other publications for this sort of information.

NOTE:  As per FCC regulations (i.e. §97.305) voice modes are not permitted in the red portions of 10, 6, and 2 meters.
 

10 Meters:

This is the highest of the HF bands - or is it the lowest of the VHF bands?  It has properties of both that make it unique:  During band openings, it seems as though one may communicate almost anywhere in the world with even the lowest transmitter power.  When the band is closed, however, it is strictly a "local" band.

All classes of license that have passed a code test have at least some privileges on this band.  It is also the lowest band on which repeater operation is permitted.

Please avoid casual operation in the satellite subband:  Your transmission may be going over a satellite and interfere with an ongoing QSO - and you may not even realize it!

FM Simplex operation on 10 meters:

Occasionally, when the band is "open," it may be difficult to find a clear spot for 10 meter simplex operation.  When possible, use 29.600 MHz for simplex operations.  When this is not possible, it is permissible to use other frequencies where narrowband FM is relatively common (e.g. from 29.000 to 29.700 MHz) while avoiding the Satellite segment from 29.300 to 29.510 MHz and the repeater subbands.
 
Utah 10 Meter Bandplan

28.000-28.300:  CW/Data - No voice modes allowed per FCC §97.305

28.000-28.070:  CW
28.070-28.150:  Data/CW
28.120-28.189:  Packet/Data/CW
28.190-28.300:  CW
28.200-28.300:  CW/Beacon Subband
28.300-29.300:  Phone (SSB), SSTV, etc. (no FM voice)
29.300-29.510:  Satellite subband (uplinks/downlinks) - Please avoid other types of operation.
29.510-29.590:  10 Meter FM Repeater Inputs
29.600National 10 Meter FM Simplex Frequency
29.610-29.690:  10 Meter FM Repeater Outputs

10 Meter Repeater pairs (Input/Output):

29.520/29.620;  29.540/29.640;  29.560/29.660;  29.580/29.680
Notes:
  • Utah uses the standard 100 KHz negative split and requires subaudible tone access for 10 meter repeaters.
  • There are specific restrictions on allowable bandwidths of FM signals on different parts of 10 meters - see the FCC rules for more information.

6 Meters:

This is a truly unique band.  Most of the time, it has properties very similar to those of 2 meters, but during band openings, one may communicate over vast distances with even the lowest transmitter power.  Being a lower frequency band than 2 meters, the distances over which one may communicate via simplex tend to be much greater than 2 meters - provided one uses a reasonable antenna (a quarter wave vertical works nicely.)

According to listings in the ARRL directory, various regions have chosen 500 KHz or 1 MHz (plus a couple of others) for a frequency split for 6 meter repeater operation.  Utah has chosen a 1 MHz split for two main reasons:  There are relatively few 6 meter repeaters in Utah, and the use of the wider 1 MHz split somewhat simplifies repeater design.

FM Simplex operation on 6 meters:

The frequency of 52.525 MHz has been traditionally used for simplex operation on 6 Meters.  Other suggested frequencies are 52.400, 52.020 and 52.040 Mhz.  There is also a "range" from 51.500 to 51.600 where there are 6 channels spaced 20 KHz apart.  Please refrain from operating in the "DX Windows" unless you are actually working some DX using SSB or CW.
 
Utah 6 Meter Bandplan

50.000-50.100:  CW - No voice modes allowed per FCC §97.305

50.060-50.080:  CW/Beacon Subband
50.100-50.300:  Phone (SSB), etc. (no FM voice)
50.100-50.125:  DX Window
50.300-50.600:  All modes (simplex)
50.600-50.800:  Digital modes (e.g. Packet)
50.800-51.000:  Radio Control (R/C)
51.000-51.100:  "Pacific DX window" (SSB/CW)
51.120-51.480:  6 Meter FM Repeater Inputs (areas w/500 KHz split)
51.500-51.600:  Simplex FM, 6 channels:  51.500, 51.520, 51.540, 51.560, 51.580, and 51.600
51.620-51.980:  6 Meter FM Repeater Outputs (areas w/500 KHz split)
52.000-52.480:  6 Meter FM Repeater Inputs (for 500 KHz and 1 MHz split)
Note:   52.525, 52.400, 52.040, and 52.020 are widely used for simplex operation with 52.525 being the "national simplex" frequency.
52.500-52.980:  6 Meter FM Repeater Outputs (areas w/500 KHz split)
53.000-53.480:  6 Meter FM Repeater Inputs (for areas w/500 KHz split) and Repeater Outputs (for areas w/1 MHz split)
53.500-53.980:  6 Meter FM Repeater Outputs (for 500 KHz and 1 MHz split.  This is the only portion currently used in Utah.)

Notes:

  • The Utah 6 meter repeater "test pair" is on 52.210 (input) and 53.210 (output).  Read here for more info on test pairs.
  • Utah uses a -1 MHz split exclusively.  1.7 MHz and 500 KHz are used in elsewhere and are mentioned here for reference purposes.

2 Meters:

This is our most popular VHF band and it is also the most congested!  Perhaps the heaviest usage on this band is repeater operation, but that isn't all that goes on here:

In the early 1980's, Utah chose to adopt the "20 KHz" spacing bandplan for both repeaters and simplex frequencies.  For a discussion about why this spacing was chosen, go here.

With all that happens on this band, it is in all of our best interest to operate in a courteous manner and follow the bandplan.


FM Simplex operation on 2 meters:

The most often used simplex frequency is 146.520 MHz.  Because it often busy one may wish to try alternatives such as 146.540 or 146.560 MHz.

There are additional "ranges" where simplex operation is common:  From 146.420 to 146.600 MHz, from 147.400 to 147.600 MHz (channels spaced every even 20 KHz in both ranges) as well as from 145.510 to 145.790 MHz (channels spaced every odd 20 KHz..)  Note that a frequency of 146.40 is not available for simplex use in northern Utah because that is the input frequency of a repeater on 147.000 in southern Idaho.

Please DO NOT try to "squeeze" more channels in by picking 10 or 15 KHz spacing:  This will not work!  The simple fact is that not only are the FM signals themselves too wide for this, but the filters in your radio cannot separate channels that are spaced this closely.  Also, use of FM below 144.500 MHz is frowned upon (with the sole exception of APRS Packet operation on 144.39 MHz) and is illegal below 144.100!

As of 12/2006, FCC rules changes have made it legal for primary control of an amateur station to be done on 2 meters - but keep in mind that this not legal below 144.5 MHz or in the 145.8-146.0 MHz satellite subband.  Furthermore, such operations must be avoided on existing repeater inputs, repeater outputs, and on busy simplex channels.  Finally it is Utah VHF Society policy that all such control operations MUST BE COORDINATED (in cooperation with the frequency coordinator) before they occur!

Keep in mind that others (groups and individuals) use these simplex channels as well and that if one you pick is busy, please select another one.  For a list showing how simplex frequencies are used along the Wasatch Front, refer to the Simplex Frequency Usage page.  Please read the first paragraph of this page.
 
Utah 2 Meter Bandplan

144.000-144.100:  CW - No voice modes allowed per FCC §97.305

144.000-144.050:  CW EME (e.g. "moonbounce")
144.050-144.100:  CW/Weak signal
144.100-144.300:  Phone (SSB), etc. (no FM voice)
144.100-144.200:  SSB (Weak Signal and EME)
144.200:  SSB/CW weak signal calling frequency
144.200-144.275:  General SSB operation
144.275-144.300:  Propagation Beacons
144.300-144.500:  Proposed OSCAR (Satellite and Spacecraft) subband (new) - Please avoid other types of operation.
144.390:  Nationwide APRS (Automatic Position Reporting System) Packet chanel.
144.500-144.900:  2 Meter FM repeater inputs (odd-numbered 20 KHz channels beginning at 144.510 MHz)
144.900-145.200:  Simplex/Duplex Packet operation
145.200-145.500:  2 Meter FM Repeater outputs (odd-numbered 20 KHz channels beginning with 145.210 MHz)
145.500-145.800:  Simplex, miscellaneous/experimental (no repeater operation allowed per FCC part 97.205) using various modes (odd-numbered 20 KHz channels beginning with 145.510)
145.800-146.000:  OSCAR (Satellite and Spacecraft) subband - Please avoid other types of operation.
146.000-146.400:  2 Meter FM repeater inputs (even-numbered 20 KHz channels beginning at 146.020 MHz)
146.420-146.600:  2 Meter FM simplex operation (even-numbered 20 KHz channels beginning at 146.420 MHz)
146.600-147.400:  2 Meter FM repeater outputs (even-numbered 20 KHz channels beginning at 146.620 MHz)
147.400-147.600:  2 Meter FM simplex operation (even-numbered 20 KHz channels beginning at 147.400 MHz)
147.600-148.000:  2 Meter FM repeater inputs (even-numbered 20 KHz channels from 147.620 MHz to 147.980 MHz)

Notes:

  • For repeaters with outputs on 147.000 MHz and below, Utah uses a Negative 600 KHz split.
  • Those repeaters with output above 147.000 MHz use a Positive 600 KHz split.

1.25 Meters (or "The 222 MHz band"):

This is the "quiet" band.  It behaves very much like 2 meters - except that there are few fewer people on it.  Why is activity relatively sparse here?  Most of the world does not have this band.  Also, there is relatively little commercially available gear for "nearby" frequencies that can be easily modified for this band.  Because of these reasons, equipment is a bit harder to obtain and more expensive.

Nevertheless, this band is often used for linking and control purposes.  It is often used by those people who just want to go where it is quiet...

FM Simplex operation on 1.25 meters:

On the 222 MHz band, FM simplex operations occur from 223.420 to 223.520 using six even-numbered 20 KHz channels.
 
Utah 1.25 Meter (222 MHz) Bandplan

222.000-222.150:  Weak signal work - No FM voice (no repeater operation allowed per  FCC §97.205)

222.000-222.025: EME ("Moonbounce")
222.050-222.060:  Propagation Beacons
222.100:  CW/Weak signal calling frequency
222.100-222.150:  Weak signal CW and SSB operation
222.150-222.250:  Misc. simplex, links, and control
222.250-223.400:  1.25 Meter FM Repeater inputs (even-numbered 20 KHz channels beginning with 222.260 MHz)
223.400-223.520:  1.25 Meter FM Simplex (even-numbered 20 KHz channels beginning with 222.420)
223.520-223.640:  Digital/Packet operation
223.640-223.700:  Misc. simplex, links, and control
223.700-223.850:  Misc. simplex, links, and control
223.850-225.000:  1.25 Meter FM Repeater outputs (even-numbered 20 KHz channels beginning with 223.860 MHz)

Notes:

  • There is an additional conditional amateur allocation from 219 to 220 MHz for digital operation only.  Refer to FCC §97.305 for more information.
  • Utah uses the standard 1.6 MHz negative split on this band for repeater operation.

70 Centimeters:

This is one of our most important bands:  Not only is it popular for simplex and repeater operation, it is heavily used for control, auxiliary, and linking purposes - the sorts of things that tie systems together and allow them to work.

There are also numerous other modes available on this band:

In Utah we have chosen to orient our 70 cm repeaters with negative splits.  One of the reasons for doing this is that it puts the repeater inputs farther away from commercial UHF transmitter outputs - something that greatly reduces the probability of interference when an amateur repeater is located on a site that also hosts UHF commercial transmitters.

FM Simplex operation on 70 cm:

For whatever reason, as large as 70 cm is, there are presently only four official simplex frequencies in use in Utah.  These are:

446.000, 446.500, 447.800, and 447.850 MHz.
Simplex FM operation is permissible on other frequencies, but please be aware that you may be unknowingly transmitting on control or link receiver inputs:  Note that the many control and link frequencies are not publicly listed.  If you plan to do frequent simplex operation on a frequency other than one of the four listed, please contact the Frequency Coordinator to help you select a frequency that will not cause interference.   Note that the use of 447.850 MHz for simplex only applies along the Wasatch Front.
 
Utah 70 cm (440 MHz) Bandplan

420.000-425.000:  Misc. links, and control
425.000-431.000:  ATV Repeater Output (Northern Utah/Wasatch Front)
425.000-431.000:  Misc. links and control (Central/southern Utah)
431.000-432.000:  Digital/Packet operation (9600+ baud)
432.000-432.100:  Weak signal work - No FM (no repeater operation allowed per FCC part 97.205)

432.000-432.070:  EME ("Moonbounce")
432.070-432.100:  Weak signal CW
432.100-433.000:  Weak signal work, various modes - No FM voice (no repeater operation allowed per FCC part 97.205)
432.300-432.400:  Propagation Beacons
432.400-433.000:  Mixed mode and weak signal work
433.000-435.000:  Misc. links, and control
435.000-438.000:  OSCAR (Satellite and Spacecraft) subband - Please avoid other types of operation.
Note:  Simplex ATV activity occasionally occurs on 434.000.  When operating in this manner, please be considerate of the weak signal, link operators, and satellite users.
438.000-444.000:  ATV Repeater Input (shared with links and repeater inputs from 442.000 MHz to 444.000 MHz)
440.050-441.050:  Misc. Digital/Packet operation (except Northern Utah/Wasatch Front)
442.000-445.000:  Misc.  links, control, and repeater inputs
445.000-447.000:  Misc. simplex, links and control
Note:  446.000, 446.500, 447.800, 447.825 and 447.850 are used for 70 cm simplex operation in Utah, (447.850 is to be used only along the Wasatch Front.)
447.000-450.000:  70 cm FM repeater outputs (25 KHz channels)

Note:

  • On 70 cm, Utah uses a negative 5 MHz split for all repeater operation.

33 Centimeters and above:

Operation on our microwave bands is encouraged.  For recommendations as to how to operate on this band, it is suggested that you reference the ARRL Repeater Directory and contact the Frequency Coordinator for more information.

Note:  "Wasatch Front" means, in this document, the area from Provo to the Idaho border, along the I-15 corridor, plus Logan, Tooele, Heber, and Morgan.

Questions or comments pertaining to the content and/or layout of this page may be directed to:uvhfs@utahvhfs.org

This page was last updated on 20121220

Go to the  Utah VHF Society home page.