Talk:Amateur radio frequency allocations

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Replacement plan[edit]

The plan for this page is to replace the comparable section found at Amateur radio#Band_plans_and_frequency_allocations. The main article is far beyond Wikipedia guidelines for article length. --N5UWY/9 - plaws 20:27, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Here's what I put over at Talk:Amateur radio:

OK, it's done. Now we need to flesh out the new article. Ideally, it would look at ITU allocations by region, then representative national allocations, and finally national society bandplans. --N5UWY/9 - plaws 21:27, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

--N5UWY/9 - plaws 01:51, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

  • I put a little more order into the information on this page (the former paragraph at the bottom was really just an non-bulleted list). Wish I had time to do more! VA7AJJ --Andrewjuren 21:47, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Band plan for all 3 regions[edit]

FCC Part 97 subpart D (97.301) lists the bandplans for all three regions as a nice table. The first and third columns of that table are substantially similar to what is here already. Would it be a good idea to link to that (done), or just copy it here? --ssd 13:04, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

The regions[edit]

I don't know if dividing this list up by ITU regions is a good idea... I've kinda watched this article for a while and I haven't seen anything added to regions 1 and 3. Just links to get info elsewhere. I suggest we just eliminate the grouping by ITU regions altogether. I would rather see a list of all bands allocated to amateurs anywhere and listed with their widest frequency ranges allocated anywhere. Most of these bands link to their own articles now, As it stands now this article is 100% US-centric, and doesn't provide much info. Before I do something crazy, what are your opinions on this? Anonym1ty 17:47, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

I think the regions are fine. It's US-centric because no one from outside the US has contributed. By organizing it by region, the attempt has been made to globalize it. Unfortunately, no one from outside Region 2 appears to have made the effort to contribute! --N5UWY/9 - plaws 16:05, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Well I (G3YMC) have just found this series of pages. It is incredibly US-centric!. Rather better would be a straight list of amateur bands here with wiki links to detailed ones for each one. I will attempt to expand some of the band pages but it will take time.Dsergeant 20:07, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
I would be happy to add the listings for the other regions, and create at least generic allocation tables for them. I know I would like to have the charts as a reference, especially when DXing. It's always nice to know where the other fellow is allowed to operate! I'd really appreciate it if someone could point me to some authoritative sources for the information. Thanks! - Joe Shupienis, W3BC 19:49, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

On a related topic, it occurs to me that there is a major difference between the frequencies allocated and the bandplans for those allocations. Hypothetically, several countries might allocate 160m from 1.8 to 2.0 MHz; however one country may split the band into phone and CW, another may split at a different frequency, based on emissions bandwidth, while a third may not split it at all and rely on its amateurs to abide by the region's (or that country's -- or the ARRL's[!]) bandplan!

Now what I've done so far in R1 is the R1 bandplan, with a country extension for UK on 60 m. But if were to follow this "rule" in R2, then the US regulated splits make the chart very cumbersome. Perhaps the best course is to make a "rule" that more than two additional lines or three bands per country gets the country its own chart.

If I were to show the frequencies allocated by region, the chart would be very simple: three boxes, end to end, but no info of any import. So I made the choice to superimpose each region's bandplan over the end-to-end bar. This poses a problem for those nations which don't folow their region's bandplan, eg: the US classwise distribution.

Any thoughts??? - Joe Shupienis, W3BC

Allocation Tables[edit]

OK, I did it. Using the RSGB band plan, I put allocation tables together. I believe this can be expanded for other countries -- if I can find another country's bandplan from Region 1, I'll give it a shot. The problem I forsee is that if one country's band-split differs from another's, that segment will have to be split, and all the table definitions re-edited. The more I think about it, the more I realize that if it was easy, it would have already been done :) ... At any rate, here is my first run at it. Please mangle as you see fit. - Joe Shupienis, W3BC 22:59, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for your work, I have corrected a few minor anomalies. The RSGB bandplans are identical to the Region 1 IARU bandplans which can be found at and these should apply to ALL region 1 countries. You have added the DL ones indicating they are allowed all modes everywhere - this is not true, they also follow the region 1 ones and cannot (for instance) use SSB in the cw/data only sections.Dsergeant 09:43, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your help! I'll remove the erroneous information, and perhaps replace the the country flags with "IARU Region 1 Bandplan" or somesuch. Hmmm... maybe R I, II and III can end up as all one table, with a separate one for US? Any thoughts? - Joe Shupienis, W3BC 17:27, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
It's now beginning to look quite good. I wouldn't guarantee there are not some variations across Region 1, in particular with say 160m where some countries only have a limited allocation. Others can add them... I don't think it is a good idea to try and combine the three regions as there are a lot of differences. And for myself I know very little about what happens down under in Region 3! By the way I notice that Region 2 has 'meters' and Region 1 'metres', not sure we should mix the US and UK spellings on a single page (I know which I prefer...), but will let WP protocol decide. Dsergeant 19:03, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
I noticed the spelling as well, but wasn't too worried as the spelling represents the domininant group of English speakers in that region. Trying to make it one or the other would likely lead to a dispute over which is correct. --StuffOfInterest 20:25, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for your help and encouragement! It appears to me that even if we can combine the three regions, the convoluted US allocations would still have to stand alone. :( Sometimes it's hard to maintain NPoV, but we can try. As to meters/metres, as I recall we Yanks and you Brits fought a war or two over such trifling matters HI HI. Perhaps the correct answer is to use the SI abbreviation, "m" and be done with it. Or "1.8 MHz" instead of "160 m". I don't know, but the charts are easy enough to change.
Once again, thanks for the kindness, and I hope someday we meet up on the air. 73 OM! - Joe Shupienis, W3BC 20:33, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
It is my opinion that this article should focus on the ITU worldwide allocations with only minor references to country-specific band plans. Thoughts? Anonym1ty 22:21, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Good in theory. Ideally the national band plans would be in their own articles. In practice, however, many of these articles would be too small to make a good case for standing on their own. I'd say to keep them all in one place for now and we can always split them off into separate articles later. Perhaps deal with ITU worldwide at the top and then a region by region break down with a nation by nation towards the bottom. Work from general to specific and then we can always flake the specific off to separate articles later if there is enough material. One way to get enough material later is to go into the history of the allocations in each country. --StuffOfInterest 23:58, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Now we're talking! Good ideas all around. To make it work, a standard color code will have to apply to all circumstances. Perhaps the resistor order (Black, brown, red, orange, etc.) ordered by bandwidth (CW, PSK, <200 Hz = Black, etc.)???
Next, I completely agree on the suggested organization; First start with region edge to edge coverage, then bandplans and finally country-specific data. 60 meters is the only oddball that might not fit this scheme. Should I change the headings to 80m, 40m, etc to eliminate any language issues?
It was difficult for me as a US amateur to grasp that the rest of the world is not restricted by their governments to one particular mode on each particular frequency, but instead it is determined by gentlemen's agreement... I guess it takes gentlemen to abide by such agreements, something sadly missing from about half the US, hence the FCC has to step in and lay down the law...73, - Joe Shupienis, W3BC 13:18, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

(rethreading) Joe, first off, great job on the editing you have been doing! Next, plesae fix your signature. Without any link back to you in it, it is like you are leaving unsigned comments. Continuing, take a look at WP:HAM when you get a chance. It would be great to have another name on the list.

Now, to the meat of the topic. Standardizing the color codes is important. As long as it is consistent I'm not too worried. Since the US appears to be moving from mode to bandwidth allocation (if ARRL gets its way) we'll probably need colors (or patterns) for both. I would actually suggest that we come up with a standard set of colors to be used across all of the HAM articles. The color/pattern settings could be built into a collection of templates so that if we decide to change a color later it can be modified in one place and pushed across all articles. Something similiar was done at Wikipedia:WikiProject Washington Metro to standardize line colors across articles. Having the colors/patterns standardized will help if we start pushing some national band plans into separate articles later. Perhaps WP:HAM is a better place to discuss this. I'll start a thread over there pointing back to this post. --StuffOfInterest 13:31, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Color bar layout idea[edit]

I have an idea. Instead of having colors for each permutation of modes, how about giving each mode a color and then doing vertically separated bars to show the span of each mode within a band segment? Below is an example for the 10 meter band in US & Candada using red for CW, green for RTTY, and blue for phone:

10 Meters 28000 - 29700
 United States 28000 28300 28300 28500 28500 29700
Novice / Technician Plus
General, Advanced, Extra

The table will take a bit more to setup, but the color combinations are reduced quite a bit. --StuffOfInterest 14:17, 19 December 2006 (UTC)


The chart makes it look like Canada has no bandplans at all. Are Canadian hams really allowed to use any mode anywhere on any band? Roger (talk) 08:43, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, see the RAC web site. There is no legislated requirement for a band plan, though obviously coordination with US usage is important. Don't want to spoil some California kilowatt's QSO with Morse, now, do we? --Wtshymanski (talk) 01:13, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Space operation[edit]

What are the international allocations for space usage, above 50 km? --Wtshymanski (talk) 01:13, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Merged Amateur radio bands[edit]

Amateur radio bands was redundant to this article. I've merged it; it had been tagged since January. It did have some useful notes on the different characteristics of the bands, sadly, with no references. --Wtshymanski (talk) 01:17, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Content needed[edit]

A little history would be in good order. Early days, amateurs and commercial stations interfered with each other, then the amateurs got exiled to those useless 200 m and shorter waves, while the commercial traffic was all on the valuable long-waves. Then the amateurs found out about the various propagation modes that only show up on "short wave". Talk about the various WARC conferences and how they set up band plans that affected amateurs. Talk about restrictions due to war, or political restrictions ( can't QSO between Florida and Cuba?). US hams lost 11 m in 1958 to CB radio, then lost 220 MHZ to UPS (who then gave up on it). Conflicting demands between international broadcasting, commercial and military users on one hand and amateur radio on the other. Valuable VHF and UHF ands under pressure from more and more uses such as computer networks and survey instruments. Does anyone have the books handy, or am I doomed to trek off to the library? --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:25, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Factoring the articles[edit]

I suggest that this article be about the regulated limits of the frequency allocations by IARU region and country. Each band segment has its own article, which could give the detailed band plan for each band (modes or bandwidths allowed). The band articles can identify, by country, which bandplans are regulated by the authority having jurisdiction, and which are only set up as agreements among operators. As of this morning, it seems the frequency limits tables are duplicated in every article, which I think is unnecessary and hard to maintain. As always, we're short of references and citations. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:39, 14 March 2010 (UTC)


I think this article should be more consistent in discussing various band in the relevant sections - High frequency, Medium frequency, etc. The article currently treats 500kHz and 137hHz bands as "exceptional freaks" instead of simply adding them to the relevant (MF and LF) sections. There are also repeated attempts to add irrelevant material about non-amateur bands and activities such as LowFER to the article. In addition there is a tendency to treat information applicable to only the United States as if it is globally relevant. Roger (talk) 08:00, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

I agree that there are many consistency and other problems with the article. It is also too US-centric in sections.
I disagree that LowFER is irrelevant and not amateur related; however, I am "on the fence" about whether any mention should be included about it in this article. 500 kHz, by the same logic, could also be considered a non-amateur band and activity. I am not aware of any country with an amateur allocation in the 500 kHz region, and all the activity I've heard of thus far, is of special, authorized, experimental activity.
I would like to hear a justification of why 500 kHz should be included, but not LowFER, from those with a view on the mater.
As a relevant aside, New Zealand has had an amateur radio allocation at 165 to 190 kHz, and this was expanded in recent years to 130 to 190 kHz. I believe there was also an attempt to add 160 to 190 kHz as an amateur radio band for ITU regions 2 and 3 at WARC-1979, so it was (and is still is in areas) desired for amateur use like 500 kHz (It will take me awhile to re-find references of this, if wanted. It's been a long time since I read about it.)
Sparkgap (talk) 09:16, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
I found out a few more details since my last comments above:
Amateurs in Papua New Guinea have had operating privileges on 160-190 kHz.[1]
Four countries have an official, amateur radio allocation, around 500 kHz, Belgium, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Norway.
Sparkgap (talk) 12:19, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Make that at least five, the UK has had an official allocation for several years, although it is available on request via an NOV it is effectively a normal amateur allocation. Dsergeant (talk) 17:00, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
I was aware of the UK operations during my last post; however, I left it out because it is not an official allocation. There is a special agreement which temporarily allows hams to operate around 500 kHz, if they apply for the experimental authority (the NOV), but Ofcom has not allocated the band to amateur radio.
See UK Frequency Allocation Table 2010 Pages 18-19 and Pages 210-211 (Annex F).
No mention of the band being allocated to HAMs is made in Ofcom's own documents. Personally, I would like to say the UK HAMs are operating at there under an official allocation, but this is not factual. Until the band is available to UK HAMs with out a NOV, there is legally not an allocation. –Sparkgap (talk) 08:43, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Why do I say LowFER is not ham radio? Because an amateur licence is not needed to operate LowFER. I tend to prefer a "legalistic" definition of Amateur bands - it's only a ham band if a ham licence is required for using it. That most LowFER operaters happen to be hams is just a co-incidence, it is not a requirement. In my country (South Africa) the majority of the few remaining CB operators also happen to be hams - that does not make CB an Amateur band. Don't forget that this article is explicitly and exclusively about Amateur radio frequency allocations - you won't find LowFER frequencies listed under "Amateur" on any official bandplan document. Roger (talk) 07:05, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
"It's only a ham band if a ham license is required for using it."
I strongly disagree with this statement. The 13-centimeter band is ham band even-though in many countries, most users of the band are unlicensed, and it's not the only ham band with legal, unlicensed users. There are legitimate, non-HAM users on other bands too, such as 30 meters, but the presence of Fixed and Mobile stations does not make 30 m any less a ham band. 40 meters is another classic example of a ham band that does not require a ham license to use; the top 100 kHz of 40 is frequently populated with shortwave broadcasters. In fact most ham bands are legally available to other, non-ham uses (licensed or not). Only a few bands are exclusively available to amateur radio licensees.
I do agree that other radio services, such as CB, are not amateur radio, but some radio activities are engaged in by both ham and non-hams. For example, an amateur license is not needed to operate radio control models, yet there are hams who operate their radio control transmitters, on amateur radio frequencies. Some RC HAMs even put ATV cameras and telemetry transmitters (which are operating under their license) on their models for feedback. RC modeling is not exclusively an amateur radio activity, but nor is it completely separated from amateur radio either. Likewise, LowFER is an activity that is neither completely separate from nor completely under the umbrella of ham radio. Some LowFER operators are HAMs licensed to operate at LF. The band 135.7-137.8 kHz is used by Canadian LowFER operators, and they are operating under their HAM License. Also, New Zealand HAMs have had an allocation at 165-190 kHz for decades (this band was expanded down to 130 kHz after WRC07).
"You won't find LowFER frequencies listed under "Amateur" on any official bandplan document."
There is this: New Zealand Amateur Radio Bandplans
Sparkgap (talk) 09:29, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
It's a ham band if it's shown in the table of authorized bands for use by radio amateurs. This varies by the part of the world. Some of them are shared with other users. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:07, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
I generally agree with Wtshymanski. The tricky part comes in with domestic amateur radio allocations, which are not on the ITU's table, but they may be on multiple countries' table of allocations. Finding an official document listing HAM allocations for a country can be time consuming, particularly for small, non-English speaking countries. 60 m and 4 m are the best known examples of domestic HAM bands. –Sparkgap (talk) 19:57, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Meteor trail scatter?[edit]

I recall reading about burst communications experiments with meteor trail scatter.

Was this ever tried by radio amateurs and does the list of propagation methods deserve mention of this?

Idyllic press (talk) 08:15, 16 July 2013 (UTC)