LowFER

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LowFER (Low-Frequency Experimental Radio) refers to experimental radio communication practiced by hobbyists on frequencies below 300 kHz, a part of the radio spectrum known as low frequency. The practitioners are known as "LowFERs".

Practices[edit]

LowFER operation is practiced in the United States and Canada on radio frequencies between 160 kHz and 190 kHz, which is sometimes referred to as the 1750-meter band.[1] and in the past as the 1875 Meters band [2] Proposals have also been made for Amateur radio operations at 136 kHz with a number of U.S. Hams holding experimental licenses authorized to conduct tests on that frequency. U.S. and Canadian radio operators who conduct low-frequency experimental operations on the LowFER band are known as LowFERs. Many LowFERs are also licensed radio amateurs, although an amateur radio license is not required for LowFER communications in those countries.[3]

Equipment[edit]

Antenna efficiencies at these frequencies make it difficult to radiate much useful power. By current U.S. and Canadian regulations, LowFER transmitters may not use antennas longer than fifty feet or final RF stage input powers that exceeds one watt. Telegraphy and digital modes are the most commonly used for communications, but speech transmission via amplitude modulation (AM) or single-sideband modulation (SSB) is also allowed. Even with such short antennas and low transmit power, lowFER stations have been heard at distances approaching 1000 miles by listeners using sophisticated receiving setups.[3]

Similar activities[edit]

CEPT LF amateur service allocation[edit]

Main article: 2200-meter band

In Europe, and generally in ITU Region 1, the LowFER frequency range (160–190 kHz) is used for broadcasting and is unavailable for two-way communications use. In the United Kingdom there was an allocation for radio amateurs at 73 kHz from 1998 to 2002. The International Telecommunication Union's 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07) in Geneva agreed a secondary allocation 135.7-137.8 kHz (the so-called 2200-meter band) to the Amateur Service on November 9, marking the first time since amateur allocations began that there has been an amateur band below the Medium Wave broadcast band. Transmitter power is limited to one watt erp, meaning an inefficient antenna can be fed a higher power.

MedFER[edit]

In the U.S., license-free operation is also allowed on the medium frequency band, also known as the AM Broadcast Band. Similar to LowFER, MedFER is medium-frequency experimental radio. MedFER enthusiasts operate using 0.1 W (a tenth of a watt) and a three-meter-long antenna between 510 kHz and 1705 kHz, coinciding with the U.S. AM radio band.[3]

HiFER[edit]

HiFER is high frequency experimental radio operating within a 14 kHz-wide band centered at 13.56 MHz.[4] This frequency range is allocated to industrial, scientific and medical uses and a small level of radio frequency radiation is allowed without licensing. (See RFID for other uses of this frequency).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ White, G.E. (April 1968). "1750 meters - Some data on an undiscovered experimental band". CQ: 31–32,120. 
  2. ^ Ellen White, W1YL, ed. (1976). ARRL Ham Radio Operating Guide. Newington, CT: American Radio Relay League. pp. 36–37. 
  3. ^ a b c ARRL (LF) Low frequency
  4. ^ Longwave Club Of America

External links[edit]