Band Condition Scale:
Excellent, Good, Normal, Fair, Poor and Very Poor


Band Plans

When I got my first radio, I knew from the test preparation that for 2M I could use frequencies between 144MHz and 148MHz. Then, when you have a radio staring you in the face instead of a test paper, you realize how many different frequencies there really are between those two numbers. What I didn't know was exactly what frequency to use. There was very little about that in my test prep; because its not written into FCC regulations and therefor not on the test.

Thats where band plans come into play. Band plans take the band (ie 2M) in question, and break it down further into what frequencies of that band are to be used for what. Following this plan serves two purposes: It follows the FCC rule of cooperative use, and it guides us as to where we will find other operators to communicate with that are also using a chosen mode.

For US amateurs, the band plans are developed by a committee of the ARRL; which is a national association of ham radio operators. Thus, its basically an agreement amongst all ham operators. Thus, following the band plan not only helps you comply with the cooperative use requirement of the FCC; it helps you make friends on the air.

This plan for all of the bands can be viewed on the ARRL website; so no point in restating it here. I will try to explain what some of the terms/abreviations mean.

I welcome input from others on this page; as I still have plenty to learn as well! (callsign @ cfl.rr.com) I'd really like to expand the information on each of these.