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Old 02-02-2018, 9:21 AM
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Default Frequencies available for Ham simplex - Digital and Analog

My wife and I both have our technician level licenses. What simplex frequencies are we allowed to use for simplex conversations?

For example if I look at the ARRL band plan for 2 meters and it shows some simplex channel groups:

146.40-146.58

147.42-147.57

Can we select any frequencies in these ranges for simplex communications? Are we free to use digital and analog with any frequency in these ranges that are not already in use? Thank you.
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Old 02-02-2018, 9:38 AM
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I don't know where you live, but maybe this will give you a good idea.
IRA Frequency Utilization (Band Plan) - October 1, 2005
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:01 AM
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Thank you for that information.

146.400 146.415 146.430 146.445 146.460 146.475

It seems that they list all the frequencies in the range by 15 KHz spacing. With digital narrowband having a spacing of 6.25 KHz would that open up more channels ?
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by human8472 View Post
It seems that they list all the frequencies in the range by 15 KHz spacing. With digital narrowband having a spacing of 6.25 KHz would that open up more channels ?
No because almost everybody else is still using 16-20 kHz wide FM on receivers with filter bandwidths that can be up to 30 kHz wide. If you run a narrow digital mode like NXDN or even CW on a a frequency that is only a few kHz away from somebody running FM you will both cause interference to eachother.

Legally you can operate simplex on any frequency that your license class allows and that Part 97 allows as long as you don't cause interference. If you pick the wrong frequency you could interfere with repeaters, point-to-point links or other stuff.

In most areas it's usually safe to operate simplex on 2 meters between 144.9-145.10, 145.51-145.79, 146.41-146.6 and 147.40-147.59 although in some areas some of those frequencies could be used for repeater inputs or outputs, RoIP nodes, or packet radio.

Where are you located? Check your state or regional frequency coordinator and see if they have VHF/UHF band plans for your area.
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Last edited by nd5y; 02-02-2018 at 10:35 AM..
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:29 AM
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Proceed carefully before you light up VHF / UHF simplex frequencies with digital voice modes (e.g. D-Star, DMR, C4FM, P25). It can range from mildly aggravating to completely intolerable for some users to hear the buzzing digital wasp's nest on a frequency "thought" to be analog simplex.

The ARRL Band Plan doesn't address all the details / modes / specific frequencies used for VHF / UHF simplex communications. One of several places to find more info is here -
https://sera.org/index.php/frequency...on-band-plans/
Because this info is subject to change I didn't quote specific frequencies, but did quote the following -

"Of particular note, some simplex frequencies listed in the ARRL Band Plan may, or may not, be repeater inputs in some areas as our coordinators make changes to better suit their area."

"Another example is the different assignments of spectrum for FM Voice Simplex, and Packet/ Digital Simplex. Repeater users as well as packet/digital users are asked to honor these frequencies by utilizing the ones specifically assigned to the particular mode they are operating."

"All coordination and spectrum management by coordinators is based on “gentlemen’s agreements” and usage by all hams whether they are operators using FM repeaters, simplex, or packet digital using duplex packet modes or simplex. For spectrum management to continue to work successfully around the nation, operators must take the responsibility of working only frequencies in the mode in which that frequency is assigned."

"This prevents chaos and interference and arguments. All modes of amateur operations are well represented by frequency spectrum assignments on most all bands. Using only those frequencies assigned prevents unwanted problems."

Finally, here are the "most common" simplex frequencies I've seen used / recommended for various digital modes -
D-Star (2M) - 145.670
D-Star (70cm) - 440.9125 440.9250 440.9375 440.9500 440.9875 441.0000 * 441.0125 441.0250 441.0625 441.0750 441.0875 441.1000 441.1375 441.1500 441.1625 441.1750
* 441.000 is the National Digital Simplex Calling Frequency
DMR (2M) - 145.510, 145.790
DMR (70cm) - 441.000, 446.500, 446.075, 433.450
(.... and I'll let someone else fill-in with C4FM or other modes)
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popnokick View Post
* 441.000 is the National Digital Simplex Calling Frequency
Says who?

SERA's band plans are only good in the states and areas that they serve.
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Old 02-02-2018, 11:03 AM
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Thanks Tom for pointing out to all reading that the SERA plan is but ONE regional plan and that other plans have variations based upon geography. Sorry if I didn't make that clear in what I wrote.
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Old 02-02-2018, 11:47 AM
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Band plans, no matter who publishes them, are just guidelines or "gentlemen's agreements". The ARRL publishes a band plan that tries to incorporate typical operating practices across the country. But, your state or regional frequency coordinator ls likely to have a slightly different band plan that would be more appropriate to use in your particular area. Even then, you are likely to find users who don't follow the band plan. Listening first for other activity on your frequency of choice is always a good policy.
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Old 02-02-2018, 2:10 PM
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Since you don't state which state you live in, here's a link to the Arizona coordinating body:


Arizona Frequency Coordination Committee: Bandplans

John
Peoria, AZ
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Old 02-03-2018, 8:40 AM
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If you are (un)lucky enough to live in New York, you need to find out which coordinating body covers your part of the state. There are no statewide coordinators here.
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:26 AM
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To the OP, the salient point of all this is that the appropriate frequency for you to operate simplex on is subject to local agreement. Failure to follow local custom could find you operating on someone's coordinated repeater input.

The ARRL bandplan is useless except in the case of areas that have adopted it for their local bandplan.
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Old 02-04-2018, 2:37 PM
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The way I see it is that as long as you're not operating on some repeater's input or output frequency, using simplex for a digital mode is about the same as using it for analog FM. If you listen first and make sure there is no other activity on the frequency, then you should be fine. If some other operator gets his shorts in a wad because you're using digital on what he feels should be an analog frequency, that's his problem, not yours.
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Old 02-04-2018, 3:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k6cpo View Post
If some other operator gets his shorts in a wad because you're using digital on what he feels should be an analog frequency, that's his problem, not yours.
That's not going to fly...

In most areas, there are designated FM simplex frequencies. Digital modes are getting popular enough that the local groups that do frequency planning and coordination should be making suitable frequencies available for the various digital modes.

Good amateur practice would include making an effort to operate with local standards in mind. Popping up on a digital mode in the middle of a bunch of FM activity is not only NOT the other guy's problem, it could be interpreted as against the rules:

97.101 General standards.
(a) In all respects not specifically covered by FCC Rules each amateur station must be operated in accordance with good engineering and good amateur practice.

Learn what the local frequency assignments are, and find a place that fits in. It's really not that difficult.
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Old 02-06-2018, 9:37 AM
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Thanks for all the answers. I will look to see if I can find a local band plan. I just want to stay within the FCC regulations and not annoy anyone else.
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Old 02-06-2018, 5:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zz0468 View Post
That's not going to fly...

In most areas, there are designated FM simplex frequencies. Digital modes are getting popular enough that the local groups that do frequency planning and coordination should be making suitable frequencies available for the various digital modes.

Good amateur practice would include making an effort to operate with local standards in mind. Popping up on a digital mode in the middle of a bunch of FM activity is not only NOT the other guy's problem, it could be interpreted as against the rules:

97.101 General standards.
(a) In all respects not specifically covered by FCC Rules each amateur station must be operated in accordance with good engineering and good amateur practice.

Learn what the local frequency assignments are, and find a place that fits in. It's really not that difficult.
The Coordinating groups and the league need to get with it then and start designating spots for digital voice on the VHF/UHF bands. The only thing I can find looking at the band plans put forth by the two coordinating bodies in Southern California are slots for packet. Nothing for simplex modes such as DMR and System Fusion.

My club uses a 2 meter simplex frequency we chose ages ago for simplex nets and we aren't adverse to using it for System Fusion on occasion. Nobody seems to mind.
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Old 02-07-2018, 5:24 PM
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I would love to see established calling frequencies for all the digital modes (C4FM especially). Sometimes I feel someone just needs to pick it and then maybe it will spread. Looks like Dstar and DMR have it figured out.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
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