Okay, ya got thru “2 Meters – Off The Beaten Path”. Do you think your Editor would dismiss the wild and crazy world of 70 centimeters (420-450MHz.)? Surely you jest!
Hopefully having read the previous part of this continuing series you know the general guidelines and precautions of any exploration on the Amateur Bands, so we can cut most of the chit chat for this next trip… to 70 centimeters!
Just as 2 Meters has a generally agreed upon Band Plan, so does 70 centimeter band:
|420.00 – 426.00||ATV repeater or simplex with 421.25 MHz video carrier frequency|
|426.00 – 432.00||ATV simplex with 427.250-MHz video carrier frequency|
|432.00 – 432.07||EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) “Moon Bounce”|
|432.07 – 432.10||Weak-signal CW|
|432.10||70-cm calling frequency|
|432.10 – 432.30||Mixed-mode and weak-signal work|
|432.30 – 432.40||Propagation beacons|
|432.40 – 433.00||Mixed-mode and weak-signal work|
|433.00 – 435.00||Auxiliary/repeater links|
|435.00 – 438.00||Satellite only (internationally)|
|438.00 – 444.00||ATV repeater input with 439.250-MHz video carrier frequency and repeater links|
|442.00 – 445.00||Repeater inputs and outputs (local option)|
|445.00 – 447.00||Shared by auxiliary and control links, repeaters and simplex (local option)|
|446.00||National simplex frequency|
|447.00 – 450.00||Repeater inputs and outputs (local option)|
(Frequencies in RED are NOT shared simplex channels)
Here is where it gets a little confusing. I guess since 70 centimeters is such a vastly wide band available to us Hams, there are no specific simplex frequencies. The ARRL suggests a National Calling Frequency of 446.00 MHz, but where you go from there if you find someone else to talk to is not carved in stone. Just find a quiet place on the band, not allocated to a Repeater or any other specifically allocated mode and talk away! A reasonable suggestion is to try to stay somewhere in the 445.000 – 447.000MHz portion of the larger 70 cm band.
Most of my advice is the same as it was for 2 Meters – general Good Amateur Practices. Only use the minimum necessary power for your conversations. Make sure that no one is using the frequency before transmitting, be a good neighbor and choose a frequency not too close to one in use nearby, and try not to act like you haven’t graduated from Junior High School yet. Being Young At Heart is great, being immature can be oafish.
And as always…
REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN!
– The Editor –