You’ve recently bought your very first handheld transceiver. You want to use the 2 meter band to communicate with the device, but there are several different frequencies to choose from. So, how do you know which frequency to use to make the most of the 2 meter band on your handheld transceiver? Here’s a look at some handy types.
Federal Communications Commission Rules
First, you’ll need to understand the rules that have been established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC regulates both interstate and international communications via radio, television, satellites, cable, and wire across the entire country. Therefore, you need to familiarize yourself with the frequencies that the FCC has approved for this specific license.
For HF bands, the frequencies that are allowed to be used depend on operator’s licensing class. For those that are higher than 50 MHz, the frequencies that can be used are the same as the frequencies that can be used for Technician licenses. Specifically, the 2 meter band extends from 144 MHz to 148 MHz.
As per the FCC, any mode, including FM, AM, SSB, and so forth, can be used on bands that range from 144.100 to 148.000 MHz, and the regulatory body has limited 144.0 to 144.100 MHz to only use CW operation.
The Band Plans
While it’s important to know the frequencies that are authorized by the FCC, you do need to dive in a little more and investigate further. Operators of amateur radios use various techniques for modulation in order to communicate. Typically, the modulation techniques aren’t compatible, as the signal of one kind cannot be received by a radio that is set to a different type of modulation.
For instance, an SSB signal cannot be received on an FM receiver, or the other way around. Therefore, you need to use the frequencies that are authorized by sharing the band with the users that you plan on communicating with in order to avoid interferences. As such, it would make sense to use a band plan that splits the band up into segments for each kind of operation.
The 2 Meter Band Plan
The ARRL 2 meter amateur band plan can support several radio operations. Large selections of the band are devoted to FM operation, which is consistent with the FM mode popularity. There are segments of the band that are designated for repeater outputs and repeater inputs; the former refers to the frequencies that are tuned to in order to receive the repeater, and the former refers to the frequencies that are transmitted onto the use of the repeater.
Basic FM mobile or handheld transceivers are the most common VHF radios used. Typically, they’re tuned to the whole 2M band from 144 MHz to 148 MHz in 5 kHz steps. The band plan determines the appropriate range of frequencies for FM operation.
Summing It Up
With the above-mentioned information, you can determine which frequency do use on 2 meters to ensure the most reliable communication.