Marconi transmitter c.1897

Elecraft KX3  c.2012

Go to VHF/UHF pages


Experimental Radio Communications

Since 1895

Philip G0ISW

Amateur Radio Communications

 since 1985





If you cannot see the full index shown on the left edge of your screen, please go to my main page at

HF (High Frequency) radio signals in the range of 1.8MHz - 30MHz enable Amateur Radio transmissions to travel World-wide, provided that the right conditions exist to reflect the signal sent from the transmitting station (from a layer of the Earth's atmosphere called the Ionosphere) back to the Earth's surface and back again, perhaps several times before it reaches the Receiving station which could be many thousands of miles (km) away on the other side of the World. To see what HF propagation could be like now for your location, please try either the VOACAP online HF propagation prediction tool  or the VOACAP online HF coverage maps.

Ionization levels vary greatly between Day (Left) and Night (Right) causing HF radio waves to reflect off different layers of the Ionosphere or travel straight through them depending upon frequency and angle of transmission. Under certain conditions multiple reflections can occur between the Ionosphere and the ground or Sea to enable Worldwide communications.

The Ionosphere and therefore also the Maximum Useable Frequency (MUF) for HF Radio Communication is greatly affected by the Sun's on average 11 year Solar Cycle. In 2008 the Solar Cycle was thought to be at minimum, with HF radio communications much degraded from Solar Maximum, forecast to occur next in around 2013/14.


HF real-time Propagation Map by NG0E

(Click on historical image below for current map)



If you already use your computer soundcard for data modes such as PSK31, then you may like to try the new WSPR (Distant Whispers)  software by K1JT, which transforms your station into an automated beacon and weak signal reception hub. You will be amazed how far your low power signals can be heard and can see maps in real time. Great for antenna experimentation too. There is even a searchable WSPR spots database

Below is a map showing my 5W 10MHz WSPR signals reaching VK1UN in Australia using a small HF vertical on 8th April 2011.

The WSPRnet database shows my 10.140195 MHz signal to VK1UN in Australia had a SNR of -28 dB and the distance was my best yet at 16947 km.



Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) is a radio wave propagation method that provides usable signals in the range between Groundwave and Skywave distances (usually 30 to 400 miles, or 50 to 650 km). It is used mainly for military  communications and by radio amateurs. The transmission frequency is selected close to, but not over, the critical frequency (the highest frequency which the F layer will reflect at a maximum--90 degree--angle of incidence) travel at very high angles approaching 90 degrees upwards into the ionosphere, where they are refracted back down and can be received within all distances from 0 km to 650 km from the transmitter. If the frequency is too high, refraction fails to occur and if it is too low absorption reduces the signal strength.

Click on the following link, or the thumbnail below, to view the latest NVIS foF2 Ionospheric Map. This displays the highest Critical frequency for NVIS Communications and in the example shown below for stations based in the UK 4 MHz is the maximum as indicated by the dark green colour, so radio amateurs would use the 80m (3.5-3.8 MHz) band for the time and date shown for NVIS Regional UK HF Communications. As of 2015 the Europe only version appears to be discontinued and I can now only find a World map.

Click on image below for latest live Critical frequency map

Europe Ionospheric Map

The usable frequencies for NVIS communications are between 1.8 MHz and 10 MHz. The most common bands used in amateur radio are 3.5 MHz and 7 MHz, with experimental use of 5 MHz (60 meters) frequencies. Military NVIS communications mostly take place on 2-4 MHz at night and on 5-7 MHz during daylight. The lowest layer of the ionosphere, called the D layer, causes attenuation of low frequencies during the day. This layer disappears at night enabling improved communications at the lower frequencies during the night.

An NVIS antenna configuration is a horizontally polarized (parallel with the surface of the earth) antenna placed low to the ground to ensure a high angle of takeoff, Vertically polarised antennas are not suitable for NVIS as they produce low angles of radiated signals and therefore the skip distance will be too great for local HF communications.

My own NVIS antenna is a military tactical dipole at only 2m height above ground level (AGL), with this antenna on 5 MHz I can work throughout the UK during daylight hours from the Shetland Isles to London and everything in between.



Latest HF DX cluster spots

The conditions that affect HF signals are in the main determined by the current Solar Cycle, which peaks every 11 years on average, unfortunately in 2010 we were just coming out of the Solar minimum, which means that conditions were poor and many of the higher frequencies above 14 MHz could not be reliably used.

Whether the path is in daylight or darkness also affects which layers of the Ionosphere will reflect HF signals and at what frequency. Amateur Radio FAQ.



HF Propogation prediction from UK by G0KYA

HF Propagation prediction from UK by G0KYA


Propagation Stats

Add Propagation Stats to your ham radio site.


Near-Real-Time MUF map

The following map shows Maximum Usable Frequencies (MUFs) for 3000 kilometre radio signal paths.  More importantly, the current sunspot number (SSN) and Planetary A-index are updated every 30 minutes on the bottom of this image.  Additionally, the grey line position, Auroral ovals, and sun position are provided.  Click on the map for more details on how to use it.

Near-Real-Time MUF Map (with SSN & A-index)



HF links
 VOACAP online HF propagation prediction tool VOACAP online HF coverage maps  Current Space Weather WWV Solar Data

NB6Z HF Digital modes

DX Summit N1RZ DXers info all bands ARRL Propagation predictions

Geophysical alerts description


NOAA Space Weather scales Space Weather alerts Current Space Weather warnings
D Region absorption map   Solar Terrestrial Despatch

NOAA Aurora 27 day forecast 


GB7MBC (DXcluster for the North of England)


Announced DX Operations SM3CER Contest Service 'CQ' Contests  

DX Central


Solar Cycle 23 progression chart Topband Propagation Stealth antennas  

Near Vertical Incidence Skywave antennas



IARU Regions 1, 2 & 3 HF Bandplans


DX Foundation WSPR (Distant Whispers) DX Summit
 RSGB Propagation Forecast  GB2RS Propagation update Live Aurora map  

Greyline Map of Earth


 PSK Reporter

GB2RS Propagation update

Live Aurora map  

Greyline Map of Earth


RSGB Propagation Studies Committee  

NU9N AM & ESSB Audio

 PSK31 Readability, strength, quality

Islands on the Air (IOTA)
  ARRL US Band Plans HF Nets

RSGB HF Contest Committee


ARRL Contest Calendar





UK HF Band Plans

160m band (1.8 MHz)


Not much shorter than medium waves, at daytime the "Top Band" is deeply affected by D-layer absorption and only radio waves entering the ionosphere at a very high angle can be reflected to the ground. At daytime this band is thus mainly dedicated to local QSOs by ground waves, up to distances reaching about 120 km. It is thus relatively quiet compared to the other HF bands. At night the D-layer disappears, allowing low-angle signals to reflect more easily on via the F-layer, and DX contacts are possible at several thousands of kilometres. This is a band to mainly use at night.

 1.8 MHz (160 metres) 'Top Band' 1.810-2.000 MHz 

Band plans UK by RSGB 1.8MHz spots Cluster

Topband Propagation

160m propagation prediction table
G4VGO Kite & Balloon antennas 160m antennas 160m/80m coaxial receiving loops EMPTY
Frequency Mode Remarks
1.810-1.838 MHz CW Morse Code (1.810-1.850 MHz 400w maximum)
1.836-1.838 MHz USB (JT65/JT9) JT65/JT9 Data Mode Activity
1.838 MHz USB (PSK31) PSK31 Activity
1.838-1.840 MHz All Narrowband Modes Data modes 
1.840-1.843 MHz All modes


1.843-2.000 MHz LSB, CW, AM Voice & Morse Code (1.850-2.000 MHz 50w maximum)
1.843 MHz LSB, CW


1.885 MHz AM UK AM activity
1.900 MHz AM UK AM activity
1.933 MHz AM UK AM activity
1.945 MHz AM UK AM activity
1.960 MHz CW DF Contest Beacons
1.963 MHz AM UK AM activity
1.980 MHz AM UK AM Net (Sundays 1100 UTC)
1.985 MHz AM

UK AM activity

1.990 MHz LSB

GB2RS News Broadcast (Sundays 2130 Local)



80m band (3.5 MHz)


This band is similar to 160m but as the frequency increases the D-layer absorption begins to decrease as it is proportional to the inverse square of the frequency. At daytime most contacts are worked with near countries, up to about 2000 km from your QTH. At night or using the gray line it is possible to exceed 9000 km (e.g. Europe to W, UA or JA). If you wake up in winter a few hours before the sunrise to avoid atmospheric noises you can work most DX stations (e.g. VK, ZL from Europe). In Region 1 the frequencies ranging between 3775-3800 kHz are usually dedicated to DX hunters.


 3.5 MHz (80 metres) 3.500-3.800 MHz

Band plans UK by RSGB 3.5MHz spots Cluster

80m antennas

EMPTY EMPTY 80m ARDF 160m/80m coaxial receiving loops
Frequency Mode Remarks
3.500-3.570 MHz CW Morse Code
3.570-3.580 MHz USB (Narrow band data modes) New 200 Hz narrow band mode segment, from June 2016
3.576-3.580 MHz USB (JT65/JT9) JT65/JT9 Data mode Activity
3.580 MHz USB (PSK31) PSK31 Activity
3.580-3.590 MHz USB (Narrow band data modes) Narrow band data modes 500 Hz
3.590-3.600 MHz USB (AX25 Packet) Packet Radio or unattended data modes
3.593 MHz USB (PSK31 & MT63) GB2RS News Data Broadcast

(Sundays 2100 Local)

3.600-3.730 MHz LSB, AM (2.7 kHz) Voice
3.600 MHz AM UK AM activity
3.615 MHz AM VMARS Net (Saturdays 0830 UTC)
3.625 MHz AM UK AM activity (National AM Frequency)
3.630 MHz LSB Digital Voice (DV)
3.650 MHz LSB GB2RS News Broadcast (Sundays 0900 & 1800 Local time)
3.666 MHz LSB Proposed Mobile /M (vehicle) calling/working frequency
3.730-3.740 MHz LSB (SSTV) SSTV
3.740-3.775 MHz LSB, AM Voice
3.740 MHz LSB UK & World Scout nets
3.760 MHz LSB Worked All Britain (WAB) Net
3.791 MHz USB HF Pack Net
3.775-3.800 MHz LSB

Intercontinental working voice




60m band (5 MHz)


Five (5) MHz RSGB information


This band combines the best characteristics of the 80m (3.5 MHz) and 40m (7 MHz) bands, the 60 meter (5 MHz) band forms a communication bridge when propagation effects make use of 80 or 40m impossible for local-to-medium distance communications often needed in emergency communication scenarios where there is no existing normal communications infrastructure or it is devastated. Less affected by D-Layer absorption than 80m, the 60 meter (5 MHz) band is an ideal candidate for Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS), the most commonly used technique capable of providing seamless local-to-medium distance HF communications.  


NVIS communication on the 5 MHz band in simplistic general terms is primarily a daytime event commencing at dawn, with peaking signal strengths in the afternoon and the band closing to SSB voice communications shortly after dusk. However there are exceptions to this general rule and it can be possible for NVIS communication to extend in the evening after dark using weak signal data modes such as Olivia 16/500 to around 21:30z, as at March 2013. Later 5 MHz openings to further away stations are possible via the F layer and QSO's inter G from Shetland to Hereford have been open as late as midnight before the band shuts for all inter G comms.


The Primary user in the UK is the Ministry of Defence (MoD), UK amateurs with FULL licences are now allowed to operate on this band, whereas previously you had to have a current Notice of Variation (NoV) to your FULL amateur radio license issued by OFCOM or RSGB. An NVIS antenna configuration is a horizontally polarized (parallel with the surface of the earth) antenna placed low to the ground to ensure a high angle of takeoff, Vertically polarised antennas are not suitable for NVIS as they produce low angles of radiated signals and therefore the skip distance will be too great for local HF communications.


 UK 5 MHz (60 metres) Channelised & NoV to Full license

(Valid for existing NoV holders from 2010-2015)

Band plans UK by RSGB 5 MHz operating procedures

RSGB 5 MHz activity Log

Latest digisonde real-time foF2 frequency
International 5 MHz frequency allocations listing SINPO reports 5 MHz Beacon auto monitoring SOTA 5 MHz guidelines

UK 5 MHz Technical Topics Reflector


UK 5 MHz Path analysis software UK 5.368 MHz GM4SLV automatic data signal monitor/Propagation resource based in Shetland Isles UK 5 MHz Logging software

UK 5 MHz live Beacons comparisons by G4IRX


OLD UK 5 MHz Channels before 01.01.2013

N.B. Some old NoV only allow operation on these channels unless updated and replaced with new NoV

Old 'F' Channels Centre Frequency USB Carrier Frequency Remarks


5.260 MHz 5.2585 MHz UK  (Since 2013 used for CW)


5.280 MHz 5.2785 MHz UK, FINLAND, ROI



N.B. UK beacons transmit for 3 minutes, every quarter of an hour GB3RAL, GB3WES, GB3ORK

OV1BCN (JO55si) transmits after UK Beacons

FK 5.368 MHz 5.3665 MHz UK, USA, FINLAND (Before and since 2013 used for Data modes)
FL 5.373 MHz 5.3715 MHz UK, USA, FINLAND (HF Pack Net)
FE 5.400 MHz 5.3985 MHz UK, FINLAND, ROI 
FM 5.405 MHz 5.4035 MHz UK, USA, FINLAND, ROI & many other Countries Worldwide

GB2RS News 12:30 Sundays


 From 01.01.2013 UK 5 MHz (60 metres) Full license holders only

(Replaces previous NoV only if applied for)

Please also be very mindful not to cause QRM to frequencies used by other Countries on 5 MHz, in particular respect the old 'F' channels often used by Radio Amateurs in other nearby Countries such as the Republic of Ireland (Channels FB, FE & FM). By all means work them on SSB, but don't set a dial frequency or use a mode that clashes with their allocation.

RSGB first guidance, superseded by band plan issued in 2017

The new available frequencies are shown in the table below. The notes provide a guideline to where activity on various modes can be found based on the first few days of operation, but this could well change over time.
Lower limit kHz Upper limit kHz Notes on current usage  
5258.5 5264.0 CW activity, 5262kHz QRP. 5258.5kHz international use  
5276.0 5284.0 5278.5kHz international use. EMCOMM Centre of Activity  
5288.5 5292.0 Beacons on 5290kHz. WSPR  
5298.0 5307.0 All modes. Highest USB dial frequency 5304kHz  
5313.0 5323.0 All modes. AM 5317kHz. Highest USB dial frequency 5320kHz  
5333.0 5338.0 Highest USB dial frequency 5335kHz  
5354.0 5358.0 Highest USB dial frequency 5354kHz Within WRC-15 allocation so from 2017 should be avoided for UK to UK contacts
5362.0 5374.5 Digital modes activity. Highest USB dial frequency 5371.5kHz international use Within WRC-15 allocation so from 2017 should be avoided for UK to UK contacts
5378.0 5382.0 Highest USB dial frequency 5379kHz  
5395.0 5401.5 Highest USB dial frequency 5398.5kHz  
5403.5 5406.5 USB dial frequency 5403.5kHz international use  






N.B. Since January 2017 note 4 of the UK 5MHz Band Plan states that 'Contacts within the UK should avoid the WRC-15 allocation if possible'

This will impact upon current UK 5 MHz activity, specifically the existing Worked All Britain (WAB) 5 MHz net on 5.354 MHz, which is within the WRC-15 allocation and is used extensively by amateurs outside of the UK by nearby European Countries.

At WRC-15 in November 2015, the amateur service achieved a new 15kHz secondary allocation between 5351.5 5366.5kHz. This is not yet in effect and UK stations must adhere to the frequencies set out in the licence schedule.

Digital mode activity between 5.362 - 5.370 MHz refers to data modes and NOT Digital Voice (DV) see chart extract below

Specific user activity for various data modes are currently found in the UK on and around the following frequencies

5.357 MHz - JT65

(USB dial frequency 5.357 MHz plus maximum +800 Hz AF, otherwise you will be transmitting outside UK bandlet allocation, which stops at 5.358 MHz)

There have been numerous instances of UK stations observed transmitting JT65/JT9 data modes above 5.358 MHz when calling or working International stations who are operating within their WRC-15 band allocation, to which we in the UK do not yet have access.


5.363 MHz - PSK31

(USB dial frequency 5.362 MHz, plus +1000 Hz AF)


5.368 MHz - Olivia 16/500

(USB dial frequency 5.3665 MHz, plus 1500 Hz AF)




For an even better visualisation of the new UK 5 MHz bandlets please see my 'activity heard' charts below.



For a higher quality printable pdf version of these UK 5MHz band charts please click on this link

Please note that for USB operation in the UK bandlet segment between 5.354-5.358 MHz the frequency 5.354 MHz USB should be used and NOT 5.355 MHz USB, this is because this bandlet contains a tiny UK part of the Internationally used 5.357-3.579 MHz JT65 digital data mode segment, which would be interfered with if 5.354 MHz was used by USB signals due to the bandwidth of that voice signal, no such problem exists using 5.354 MHz USB.

As at December 2016 the Worked All Britain (WAB) 60 metre (5 MHz) Net appears to be a regular user of 5.355 MHz and may not be aware of the potential for them causing interference to other UK and European Radio Amateurs trying to use JT65 data between 5.357-5.358 MHz.



5 MHz UK NoV conditions from 1st January 2013


a) Antenna height must not be over 20m agl.

b) Maximum power: 100W (PEP) input into the antenna with the expectation that this would not result in more than 200W EIRP.

c) Restrictions on message content have been relaxed and must now be consistent with normal Terms and Conditions of the Full Amateur Licence.

d) Maximum Bandwidth: 6 kHz (double side band)



Within the UK on 5 MHz signal reports prior to 1st January 2013 did not use the conventional amateur radio RST format, but used instead the SINPO table recommended by the ITU, shown below.

  S I N P O
Rating scale Signal strength Interference Degrading effect of Noise Propagation disturbance Overall rating
5 Excellent Nil Nil Nil Excellent
4 Good Slight Slight Slight Good
3 Fair Moderate Moderate Moderate Fair
2 Poor Severe Severe Severe Poor
1 Barely audible Extreme Extreme Extreme Unusable




Too see the latest maximum useable frequency for Inter-G working via NVIS look at the latest Chilton Ionogram and the fxI figure, in the example below it is 7.10 MHz and is indicated by the green coloured atmospheric reflections.


40m band (7 MHz)


This band is still under the influence of the D-layer and is the lowest band showing an appreciable skip distance, up to 500 km at night. At noon it is hard to work stations located over 800 km away, while working with the gray line or at night, this band is open to DX contacts. This band is slightly influenced by 11-year solar cycle. Atmospheric noises are still present, but not as strong as on the lower bands. QSOs can however be difficult during summer months, but signals are not completely overridden by static. This is also one of the most crowded bands and do not be surprised to find in Europe and during weekends each station within 1 kHz or so from each another. Recently in Region 1 this band was made made accessible to amateurs from 7100 kHz up to 7200 kHz. Note that it is already open to amateurs to 7300 kHz in North and South America.

 7 MHz (40 metres) 7.000-7.200 MHz

Band plans UK by RSGB 7MHz spots Cluster

40m antennas

Cobra Ultralight aerial
Frequency Mode Remarks
7.000-7.040 MHz CW Morse Code
7.040 MHz* USB (PSK31) PSK31 activity (*since 29.03.09)
7.040-7.047 MHz* All narrowband modes

All narrowband modes (since 29.03.09)

7.047-7.050 MHz* All narrowband modes  *Unattended data stations (since 29.03.09)
7.074 MHz USB (FT8) FT8 Data mode Activity
7.076-7.078 MHz* USB (JT65/JT9) JT65/JT9 Data mode Activity
7.050-7.200MHz All modes, LSB Voice
7.070MHz LSB Digital Voice (DV)
7.080 MHz USB (PSK31) (Region 2 Americas) PSK31 activity (Region 2 Americas)
7.087.5 MHz LSB HFpack Net - Region 1 (Sunday 0730 UTC)
7.090 MHz LSB QRP, UK & World Scout nets (0700 UTC daily Summer)
7.110 MHz LSB Region 1 Emergency Centre of activity
7.111 MHz LSB Proposed Mobile /M (vehicle) calling/working frequency (When no Region 1 emergency exists)
7.150 MHz LSB RSGB News on Sundays
7.160 MHz LSB Worked All Britain (WAB) Net
7.163 MHz LSB RAOTA Net
7.165 MHz LSB Image centre of activity (SSTV etc.)
7.185.5 MHz USB HF Pack Net, Portable, Manpack, Mobile




30m band (10 MHz)


Conditions are similar to the 40m band, but this band works better in summer showing some of the properties of the 20m band. As communications reach 1600 km at daytime and 12000 km or more at night, this band is considered open for 24 hours a day. It is also the band least affected by variations of the solar cycle. However this band is affected by the ionization level of E and F-layers and at night, during the minimum of the solar cycle, it is regularly above the MUF for most DX paths, becoming thus the higher workable frequency for night time communications. With very few exceptions this band is reserved for digital modes and CW.


 10 MHz (30 metres) 10.100-10.150 MHz

Band plans UK by RSGB 10MHz spots Cluster


Frequency Mode Remarks
10.100-10.130 MHz CW Morse Code
10.136 MHz USB (FT8) FT8 Data mode Activity
10.138-10.140 MHz USB (JT65/JT9) JT65/JT9 Data mode Activity
10.140 MHz USB (PSK31) PSK31 activity
10.130-10.150 MHz All narrowband modes Unattended data modes should avoid use of 10 MHz band 

N.B. Changes made June 2016 extending down narrowband mode section by 10 kHz


20m band (14 MHz)

This is the primary HF band most used by Radio Amateurs and open throughout the solar cycle in daylight hours. Indeed, the 20m band is the DX band par excellence and is considered by many hams as the most reliable band for hunting DX stations because atmospheric noises are weak.It is practically usable all the day long as soon as there is propagation, and mainly in summer, and all the more during periods of high solar activity. It is only during the minimum of the solar cycle that this band closes down in the late afternoon and is unusable at night.The 20m band shows an appreciable skip distance reaching about 700 km in daytime and exceeding 1600 km at night. It is thus not suited to local QSOs.


 14 MHz (20 metres) 14.000-14.350 MHz

Band plans UK by RSGB 14MHz spots Cluster

20m antennas

Frequency Mode Remarks
14.000-14.070 MHz CW Morse Code
14.070 MHz USB (PSK31) PSK31 activity
14.070-14.080 MHz USB (PSK31, PSK63, MFSK) Narrowband modes
14.074 MHz USB (FT8) FT8 Data mode Activity
14.076-14.078 MHz USB (JT65/JT9) JT65/JT9 Data mode Activity
14.079 MHz USB (MFSK) MFSK activity
14.080-14.089 MHz USB (RTTY) RTTY
14.089-14.099 MHz USB (AX25 Packet) Packet Radio
14.099-14.101 MHz Reserved for Beacons Beacons only
14.101-14.112 MHz USB (AX25 Packet) Packet Radio
14.112-14.350 MHz USB, AM Voice
14.130 MHz USB Digital Voice
14.178 MHz USB 'Audio Net' ESSB (Hi-FI quality SSB speech)
14.195 MHz USB DXpedition calling
14.222 MHz USB Proposed Mobile /M (vehicle) calling/working frequency
14.230 MHz USB (SSTV) SSTV centre of activity
14.260 MHz USB IOTA activity
14.285 MHz USB QRP Centre of activity
14.286MHz AM AM calling
14.290 MHz USB UK & World Scout nets (0700UTC daily Summer)
14.295 MHz USB Goddard Space Shuttle rebroadcasts
14.300 MHz USB Global Emergency Centre of activity
14.342.5 MHz USB  

HFpack Net Primary Portable, Manpack 

14.345 MHz USB VHF Net



Canadian TGM MQ-26SR HF 14-50 MHz Quad


17m band (18 MHz)

This band is similar to the 15m band in many respects although its activity is affected by the 11-year solar cycle, but not as pronounced. During the maximum of the solar cycle this band is open all day, up to well after sunset. When the solar cycle decreases this band closes earlier, just after sunset. At the minimum of the solar cycle this band opens to middle or equatorial latitudes, allowing north-south contacts, but mainly around noon. This band is mainly open during daytime with the skip distance reaching 1200 km in daytime and disappearing at night.


 18 MHz (17 metres) 18.068-18.168 MHz 

Band plans UK by RSGB 18MHz spots Cluster


17m wire antennas EMPTY EMPTY EMPTY
Frequency Mode Remarks
18.068-18.095 MHz CW Morse Code
18.100 MHz USB (PSK31) PSK31 Centre of activity
18.095-18.105 MHz Narrowband data modes Data modes
18.102-18.104 MHz USB (JT65/JT9) JT65/JT9 Data mode Activity
18.105-18.109 MHz All narrowband modes Unattended automatic data stations
18.109-18.111 MHz Reserved for beacons

Beacons only

18.111-18.120 MHz All modes

Unattended automatic data stations

18.120-18.168 MHz All modes, USB  
18.150 MHz USB Digital Voice
18.157.5 MHz USB HFpack net Secondary Portable, Manpack, Mobile




15m band (21 MHz)


This band works similar to the 17m band and is considered by most amateurs as a quieter alternative to the 20m band. It shows however a greater sensitivity to the fluctuations of the solar cycle. It is mainly used in daytime but during the peaks of solar activity DX contacts can extend to the night. During the minimum of the solar cycle this band can be closed except for a few trans-equatorial paths. Like 12m and 10m this band is also subject to weak Sporadic-E activity mainly in early summer and mid-winter. The skip distance reaches 1300 km at daytime and disappears at night.


 21 MHz (15 metres) 21.000-21.450 MHz

Band plans UK by RSGB 21MHz spots Cluster

15m antennas

Frequency Mode Remarks
21.000-21.070 MHz CW Morse Code
21.070-21.099 MHz All narrowband modes Narrowband data modes
21.070 MHz USB (PSK31 data) PSK31 data mode main activity
21.076-21.078 MHz USB (JT65/JT9) JT65/JT9 Data mode Activity
21.110-21.120 MHz USB (Data) Automatic unattended data modes
21.120-21.149 MHz CW Morse Code
21.149-21.151 MHz Reserved for beacons Beacons only
21.151-21.450 MHz USB All modes
21.180 MHz USB Digital Voice
21.222 MHz USB Proposed Mobile /M (vehicle) calling/working frequency
21.260 MHz USB IOTA activity
21.285 MHz USB Voice QRP
21.340 MHz USB (SSTV etc.)

Image centre of activity

21.360 MHz USB

Global emergency

21.400 MHz USB Transatlantic Maritime Net (Daily 1300UTC)
21.425 MHz AM

AM activity

21.437.5 MHz USB

HFpack net, Portable, Manpack, Mobile



12m band (24 MHz)


This band varies depending on the solar cycle and combines the best from the 15m and 10m bands. One year before  solar cycle maximum and up to one year after this peak, this band allows DX contacts until after sunset with practically any kind of antenna. However, when the solar cycle descends from maximum, this band is open at mid and low latitudes only at daytime, with very few openings after sunset. Near the minimum of the solar cycle this band becomes unusable, except at daytime for the highest latitudes with some North-South openings. This band is open to Sporadic-E traffic between the late spring and early winter. The skip distance reaches 1600 km at daytime and vanishes at night.


 24 MHz (12 metres) 24.890-24.990 MHz

Band plans UK by RSGB 24MHz spots Cluster

12m wire antennas

Frequency Mode Remarks
24.890-24.920 MHz CW Morse Code
24.917-24.919 MHz USB (JT65/JT9) JT65/JT9 Data mode Activity
24.920 MHz USB (PSK31) PSK31 activity
24.920-24.929 MHz All narrowband modes Data modes 
24.920 MHz USB (JT65-HF data)  

JT65-HF data mode


24.929-24.931 MHz Reserved for Beacons Beacons only
24.931-24.990 MHz USB

All modes

24.977.5 MHz USB

HFpack net Portable, Manpack, Mobile




10m band (28 MHz)


This band works in the same way as the 12m band, but is characterized by a great variability according to the solar cycle. During the peaks of the solar cycle DX contacts can be established with very low power and over 12000 km away. It is mainly a daytime band, but remains open a few hours after sunset. During moderate solar activity this band opens near noon for some trans-equatorial communications, but is closed for the higher latitudes. During the minimum of the solar cycle this band is straight out dead. There are however some exceptional openings for Ionoscatter, Meteor Scatter and Sporadic-E. This occurs mainly between April and early August allowing multi-hop communication up to 4100 km. This band is relatively quiet compared to the 15m band, for example, but it works globally very well for DX communications.  The skip distance reaches 2000 km at daytime.


 28 MHz (10 metres) 28.000-29.700 MHz

Band plans UK by RSGB 28MHz spots Cluster

10M Repeaters

10m antennas
10-10 International 6 and 10 Report 10 Metre Net EMPTY
Frequency Mode Remarks
28.000-28.070 MHz CW Morse Code
28.070-28.120 MHz All narrowband modes Data modes 
28.076-28.078 MHz USB (JT65/JT9) JT65/JT9 Data mode Activity
28.120 MHz USB (PSK31) PSK31 activity
28.120-28.150 Narrowband modes Automatically controlled data stations (unattended)
28.150-28.190 MHz Narrowband modes  
28.190-28.225 MHz Reserved for Beacons Beacons only
28.225-29.200 MHz All modes  
28.327.5 MHz USB HFpack Net, portable, manpack, mobile
28.360 MHz USB Voice QRP
28.500 MHz USB Voice calling frequency
28.555 MHz USB Proposed Mobile /M (vehicle) calling/working frequency
28.680 MHz USB (SSTV) SSTV centre of activity
28.885 MHz USB Cross-Band 50 MHz (6M) working
29.100-29.200 MHz FMn FM simplex (10kHz channels) (New since 2012)
29.200-29.300 MHz All modes FM most likely use 
29.210 MHz FMn UK Internet Gateway channel
29.290 MHz FMn UK Internet Gateway channel
29.300-29.510 MHz Satellite downlinks Satellite use only (AMSAT)
29.520 MHz RH1 FMn (Repeater inputs) Repeater input RH1
29.530 MHz RH2 FMn (Repeater inputs) Repeater input RH2 

UK Internet Voice Gateway channel

29.540 MHz RH3 FMn (Repeater inputs) Repeater input RH3 
29.550 MHz RH4 FMn (Repeater inputs) Repeater input RH4
29.560 MHz RH5 FMn (Repeater inputs) Repeater input RH5  
29.570 MHz RH6 FMn (Repeater inputs) Repeater input RH6  
29.580 MHz RH7 FMn (Repeater inputs) Repeater input RH7  
29.590 MHz RH8 FMn (Repeater inputs) Repeater input RH8  
29.600 MHz FMn

Region 1 FMn Simplex CALLING channel

29.610 MHz FMn Region 1 FMn Simplex Repeater (Parrot)
29.620 MHz RH1 FMn (Repeater outputs)

Repeater output RH1

10 kHz FMn Repeater outputs (-100 kHz shift)

29.630 MHz RH2 FMn (Repeater outputs)

Repeater output RH2

UK Internet voice gateway

29.640 MHz RH3 FMn (Repeater outputs)

Repeater output RH3

10 kHz FMn Repeater outputs (-100 kHz shift)

29.650 MHz RH4 FMn (Repeater outputs) Repeater output RH4

10 kHz FMn Repeater outputs (-100 kHz shift)

29.660 MHz RH5 FMn (Repeater outputs) Repeater output RH5

10 kHz FMn Repeater outputs (-100 kHz shift)

29.670 MHz RH6 FMn (Repeater outputs) Repeater output RH6

10 kHz FMn Repeater outputs (-100 kHz shift)

29.680 MHz RH7 FMn (Repeater outputs) Repeater output RH7

10 kHz FMn Repeater outputs (-100 kHz shift)

29.690 MHz RH8 FMn (Repeater outputs) Repeater output RH8

10 kHz FMn Repeater outputs (-100 kHz shift)



In 2016, I had been giving some more thought to the lack of proposed distinct HF mobile /M operating Net frequencies in the main HF bands. A Google search for HF mobile Nets draws a blank, so as a keen HF mobile operator (until 2023) I had been considering making some proposals for frequencies that would work well in Region 1. Whilst you can of course call on any permitted frequency often mobile operators want to communicate with other /M operators or home based operators simply don't know where to begin to look for /M activity. It can be both difficult and dangerous to change frequency easily whilst driving, tuning in precise SSB signals requires care so setting a designated and easily remembered 'channel' makes the most sense for the driver. Factors for choosing some suggested frequencies included avoiding other known regularly active Nets and having easy to remember frequencies, so at first glance the use of 'Triples' seems appropriate.

 HF Mobile (/M) Operating Net Frequencies 

3.666 7.111


Frequency Mode Remarks
3.666 MHz LSB Open locally all day, DX possible during darkness hours, but antenna efficiency poor
7.111 MHz LSB N.B. Close to Region 1 designated Emergency centre of activity at 7.110 MHz, but 99% of the time should be free
14.222 MHz USB   Previously suggested by 'DL' amateurs and good band for working throughout Europe
21.222 MHz USB Better for DX working
28.555 MHz USB Sporadic E skip in Summer should allow for both local and extended European contacts









Shown below is a screenshot using PSK Reporter of stations heard by me on 28.076 MHz (10m), using JT65 HF mode, on Tuesday 18th October 2011.Amazing conditions considering we are only a little way out of sunspot minimum and already DX is visible on 4 Continents all at the same time.

Here below is the accompanying JT-65 HF software screen grab showing ZS1LS in South Africa, PU3WSF in Brazil and several US stations.




The holder of an Advanced (Full) UK licence may allow an unlicensed person to send a greetings message provided it is under the direct supervision of the licensee, or if a club an authorised club member, who must operate the transmitter and identify the station.

Each greetings message must not be longer than five minutes and each person may send only one message to each station with which the station is in contact. Greetings messages may be sent and received only within the UK, or to and from stations in the United States of America, the Republic of Maldives, Gibraltar, Malta and Falkland Islands.

Greetings messages may also be sent to or from stations in Canada and Pitcairn Islands provided that each greetings message does not exceed two minutes.  When using a digital mode, anyone may type the message for transmission.



Amateur Radio Societies

 Radio Society of Great Britain RSGB News RSGB Contest Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC)


 Vintage & Military ARS

  Royal Signals ARS

  Eden Valley Radio Society (EVRS)

 Radio Amateurs Old Timers Association

Radio Society of Bermuda Royal Naval Amateur Radio Society Associazione Radioamatori Italiani

Irish Radio Transmitters Society

 Cyprus Amateur Radio Society

  Gibraltar Amateur Radio Society

  International Amateur Radio Union

British Amateur Television Club (BATC)

 Cyprus Amateur Radio Society

  Gibraltar Amateur Radio Society

  International Amateur Radio Union




RSGB EMC Committee EMC Leaflets 1-8

RA 179 TV & Radio Leaflet

Ofcom Radio & TV Interference
BBC TV reception advice EMPTY




HF Antenna homebrew design

Near Vertical Incidence Skywave antennas Stealth antennas Balloon & kite antennas Antennex

$4 special

 Dipole & inverted 'V' calculator

  End-fed halfwave antenna

  Low Bands antennas

Wire Loop antennas

 Horizontal wire loops

  Loop antenna calculator


Kites & aerials

Loop antenna Yahoo Group Loop antennas Antenna design software

Linear loaded inverted 'V'

 80/40 Super Loop

  'Grasswire' hidden HF antenna



For Sale / Wanted Adverts

G3CWI flea market Freemart



Extended SSB (Lo, Mid, Hi-Fi audio quality)

NU9N AM & ESSB Audio

Spectra Plus 2.32

Real-time Spectrum analyser



 Audio Software



Heil Sound



  14.178 MHz

Audio Net

  W2ONV (SK)

I  became very interested in experimentation with different microphones, and audio mixing, and regularly listen to the US 'Audio Net' on 14.178 MHz each day, where superb SSB audio could be heard. I was saddened to hear that Bill W2ONV had become a silent key in 2007, as he had the best audio I have ever heard on HF and was a true gentleman always helping others. I had the pleasure of previously working Bill on air from my car as EI/G0ISW/M and talking to him across the Atlantic, after having listened to him many times before and since. He will be missed by those Radio Amateurs who knew him.


    QSL lookup & card suppliers


 Octavia QSL cards

QSL Factory Buckmaster

Electronic eQSL cards






Radio pictures DX Zone HF Nets IRC #CQDX Chat
Morse Code radio reviews

 RSGB HF prediction

Ultimate Radio Mods site

Scout Nets K2BJ HF Mobile Message board The AM Window Maritime Mobile Service Network

Amateur Prefix listing

RSGB EMC pages

 Worked All Britain


RSGB Spectrum Forum

UK 5 MHz Band

RSGB HF Awards RSGB News Broadcast schedule
SW broadcast frequencies RTTY Empty Empty
Empty NB6Z Digital Ham Radio Modes explained MFSK Vintage & Military ARS
Bletchley Park Museum List of Major Amateur Radio Societies

Amateur Radio FAQ

Number (Spy) Stations

Clandestine Radio Vanity Callsigns Greyline View

AC6V links

BR68 UK License conditions GB7MBC (DXcluster for the North of England) RSARS Nets & frequencies PRC military radio descriptions




 Popular HF radios
Yaesu FT-100 Yaesu FT-847  Icom IC-746 Icom IC-706
Icom IC-756 Pro 2 Icom IC-756 Pro 3 Icom IC-7800 Icom IC-7800 reviews
Yaesu FT-817  FT- 847 Homepage  FT-847 FAQ Empty
Yaesu FT-847 Yahoo group   Yaesu FT-1000MP  FT-817 Yahoo group UK FT-847 yahoo group
Kenwood TS-2000 reviews  Icom IC-7400 reviews  Icom IC-756 Pro 2 reviews  Yaesu FT-1000MP reviews
Yaesu FT-897  Icom IC-703   Yaesu FT-857D Yaesu FT-857 reviews




Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF)



RDF Projects

RDF webring site listing

  Homing in

RSGB ARDF Committee

UK & International ARDF event calendar 2004

  80m ARDF


  it's private  



50 MHz (6 metres)

70 MHz (4 metres)

144 MHz (2 metres)

432 MHz (70 Centimetres)

G0ISW Ham Radio Station

Send formatted VHF DX Cluster spot


If you cannot see the full index shown on the left edge of your screen, please go to my main page at

Copyright G0ISW. Page last modified 3rd May 2023. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy - This site uses cookies, by continuing to use this site you agree we can place these cookies on your computer / device. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. See details