NTAC Changes Amateur Band Plans For Digital Technologies
The WIA’s National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) has been asked to consider how best to accommodate narrow band digital technologies, such as D-Star, in the band plans.
Michael Owen - VK3KI
The NTAC Chairman, John Martin VK3KWA has advised the WIA Board of the NTAC’s conclusions, and the revised band plans are now on the WIA website..
In the 2 meter band digital repeaters will be assigned frequencies in the 146 to 147 MHz segment, using the space between existing FM repeater channels.
This inter-leaving will increase spectrum efficiency, making up for the shortage of available channels in some parts of Australia and so allowing uniform arrangements across the country.
To separate digital and FM emissions, NTAC has recommended the 145 MHz segment as the best area for simplex digital, with 145.125 MHz as the national simplex digital channel.
On 70cms, NTAC has recommended that the first fifteen repeater channels, that is, 438.025 to 438.375 MHz, be used for D-Star type activity.
NTAC has recommended that digital activity on 70cm be centred on a national channel of 438.900 MHz, with secondary channels 12.5 KHz either side of the national channel.
For the 23cm band, NTAC has recommend that repeater channels be assigned in the high end of the 1293 to 1294 MHz repeater segment. On the 23cm band there is already a digital simplex segment between 1298 and 1300 MHz.
As D-Star on this band uses a 128 KHz emission bandwidth, it is suggested that channels are spaced at 200 KHz intervals, beginning at 1298.1 MHz.
NTAC will review these arrangements as D-Star and other digital activity develops.
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