Band Plan Frequency Limits

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When you move up to the General Class license, you’ll be able to access and use more of the HF amateur bands. For example, phone privileges are notably increased on 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 40, 60, 80, and 160 meter bands. Additionally, digital and data mode transmissions are extended on the HF range.

For the hopeful General Class upgrading ham, the benefits of these increased privileges is a greater set of band limits and sub-band limits to use and comply with and to use. With the exclusion of the 30 meter band that only allows for digital or data transmissions across the complete width, as well as the 60 meter band, which only offers 5 channels, every HF band features a sub-band that can be used for transmissions via phone mode, as well as a sub-band that can be used for transmissions made digitally and via data.

Additionally, General Class sub-bands are different from the Advanced Class sub-bands or the Extra Class sub-bands for four of the eight different HF bands where phone and digital/data are permitted.

There are a lot of questions related to sub-element G1A that demand the correct identification of frequencies within the General Class portion on any band. Remembering all of the sub-band limits can be a very tedious and unexciting task. Fortunately, there is a much easier way.

Remember the following equation from your Technician Class that was used for calculating wavelength from frequency:

Wavelength (measured in meters) = 300/ Frequency (measured in MHz)

Remember, the frequency has to be in megahertz; for example, if you’re using G1A09, you have to change the kilohertz values, which can be done by moving the decimal point three spaces to the left. Additionally, keep in mind that the names of the band are approximate wavelengths in meters. With this information, you can calculate the wavelength for the four response items and determine which one falls closest to the closest called out band. With that said, in this example, the band would be the 80 meter band. These calculations are as follows:

  • 1855 KHz = 1.855 MHz; 300/1,855 MHz = 161.73 meters
  • 2560 KHz = 2.560 MHz; 300/2.560 MHz = 117.19 meters
  • 3560 KHz = 3.560 MHz; 300/3.560 MHz = 84.27 meters
  • 3650 KHz = 3.650 MHz; 300/3.650 MHz = 82.19 meters

Obviously, the responses for A and B aren’t anywhere close to 80 meters; however, C and D are possible candidates for the proper answer. By analyzing the band plan chart, you can easily see that response D is in the Extra Class-exclusive phone sub-band, whereas response C is in the General Class digital/data sub-band. But how do you figure this out when you’re taking the test?

You can use each item similar to this in the most current question pool from the General Class. When you’ve narrowed down the options to two contenders, be sure to choose the lower frequency value of the two options given. For instance, the correct answer selection would be 3560 KHz and not 3650 KHz.