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.
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:
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
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.
In addition to this bandplan page, there are also several other pages that deal with frequency usage issues:
The bandplan diagrams below reflect not only the general recommendations of the ARRL's suggested bandplans, but also how these frequencies areactually used in Utah. In 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
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
28.000-28.300: CW/Data - No voice modes allowed per FCC §97.305
28.000-28.070: CW28.300-29.300: 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
29.600: National 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; 29.580/29.680Notes:
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.
50.000-50.100: CW - No voice modes allowed per FCC §97.305
50.060-50.080: CW/Beacon Subband50.100-50.300: Phone (SSB), etc. (no FM voice)
50.100-50.125: DX Window50.300-50.600: 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.)
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:
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
144.000-144.100: CW - No voice modes allowed per FCC §97.305
144.000-144.050: CW EME (e.g. "moonbounce")144.100-144.300: Phone (SSB), etc. (no FM voice)
144.100-144.200: SSB (Weak Signal and EME)144.300-144.500: Proposed OSCAR (Satellite and Spacecraft) subband (new) - Please avoid other types of operation.
144.390: Nationwide APRS (Automatic Packet 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 - see note*
145.100-145.500*: 2 Meter FM Repeater outputs (odd-numbered 20 KHz channels beginning with 145.210 MHz or 145.110 MHz - see note*)
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)
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
222.000-222.150: Weak signal work - No FM voice (no repeater operation allowed per FCC §97.205)
222.000-222.025: EME ("Moonbounce")222.150-222.250: 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 223.420)
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)
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:
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.
Misc. links, and control
432.000-432.070: EME ("Moonbounce")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 Beacons433.000-435.000: 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.438.000-441.000: Links, control and local simplex usage
440.050-441.050: Misc. Digital/Packet operation (except Northern Utah/Wasatch Front)441.000-442.000: Links, control
442.000-445.000: 70cm FM repeater inputs (25 kHz channels) with some linking/control.
445.000-447.000: 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) with some linking/control.
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.
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This page was last updated on 20181114
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