List of amateur radio modes
The following is a list of the modes of communication used by amateur radio operators.
Modes of communication
Amateurs use a variety of voice, text, image, and data communications modes over radio. Generally new modes can be tested in the amateur radio service, although national regulations may require disclosure of a new mode to permit radio licensing authorities to monitor the transmissions. Encryption, for example, is not generally permitted in the Amateur Radio service except for the special purpose of satellite vehicle control uplinks. The following is a partial list of the modes of communication used, where the mode includes both modulation types and operating protocols.
- Amplitude modulation (AM)
- Double Sideband Suppressed Carrier (DSB-SC)
- Independent Sideband (ISB)
- Single Sideband (SSB)
- Amplitude Modulation Equivalent (AME)
- Frequency modulation (FM)
- Phase modulation (PM)
Digital voice modes encode speech into a data stream before transmitting it.
Morse code is still used by amateurs. Operators may either key the code manually and decode by ear, or they may use computers to send and receive the code.
- Continuous wave (CW)
- Modulated continuous wave (MCW) is most often used by repeaters for identification.
Image modes consist of sending either video or still images.
Text and data
Most amateur digital modes are transmitted by inserting audio into the microphone input of a radio and using an analog scheme, such as amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation (FM), or single-sideband modulation (SSB).
- Amateur teleprinting over radio (AMTOR)
- D-STAR (Digital Data) a high speed (128 kbit/s), data-only mode.
- Hellschreiber, also referred to as either Feld-Hell, or Hell
- Discrete multi-tone modulation modes such as Multi Tone 63 (MT63)
- Multiple frequency-shift keying (MFSK) modes such as
- Packet radio (AX25)
- Phase-shift keying:
- Radioteletype (RTTY)
- Spread spectrum, which may be analog or digital in nature, is the spreading of a signal over a wide Bandwidth.
- Broadband-HamnetTM: The award winning Broadband-HamnetTM project, formerly known as HSMM-MeshTM, is a project that takes commercially available routers, loads customized firmware specially developed for Ham Radio use, and creates IP-based wireless mesh networks for multi-megabit data transfer (broadband is defined as speeds starting at 1 megabit per second). This can include (but not limited to) VoIP telephony, live video streaming, live text chat, file transfers, remote rig control, etc. Anything that can be done over a LAN or the Internet can be done over Broadband-HamnetTM. The firmware is available for free from the project website for Ham radio operators. It was the featured cover story in the July 2013 QST. Also on July 1 2013, it won the International Association of Emergency Managers US Council AND Global Technology and Innovation awards.
Activities known as modes
Certain activities in amateur radio are also commonly referred to as "modes", even though no one specific modulation scheme is used.
- Automatic link establishment (ALE) is a method of automatically finding a sustainable communications channel on HF.
- Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) uses the Moon to communicate over long distances.
- Echolink connects amateurs and amateur stations via the internet.
- Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) connects repeaters via the internet.
- Satellite (OSCAR- Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio)
- Low Transmitter Power (QRP)