Band Plan Update
(Most recent items at the top)
New Licence Conditions
The main outcome of the new ACMA licence conditions is that restrictions on operating modes and bandwidths have been removed on most bands (but not all - refer to the LCD for details). This change has not necessitated any band plan changes. However there have been some changes to wording in the introductory section of the band plans.
30 Metres SSB and FT8
As FT8 activity continues to increase, there is not much room to move on 30 metres.
Back in 2017 the 30 metre band plan was modified to address an interference issue between CW and SSB operators. It was recommended that whenever possible, SSB activity should be within the segment 10.125 - 10.135 MHz.
In other words, whenever it is possible - and bearing in mind the time of day - preference should be given to filling this segment before spreading down into the CW segment, or up into the digital modes segment.
This has been working moderately well, but the issue has arisen again due to a further increase in FT8 activity. There are now three FT8 frequencies in use, and the lowest of these is 10.131 MHz. Unfortunately this clashes with the recommended SSB segment extending up to 10.135 MHz. To keep the two modes apart, it will be necessary for SSB stations whenever possible to keep clear of frequencies above 10.130 MHz. For USB operation, this means a dial (suppressed carrier) frequency no higher than 10.127 MHz.
So the band plan has been revised to change the preferred (core) SSB segment to 10.120 - 10.130 MHz.
This is inconvenient for SSB stations, and for CW operators who also have to share the remaining band space with SSB. But there is no real alternative. The frequencies used for FT8 are internationally co-ordinated, so we cannot tell the rest of the world to move. The only way to avoid QRM is to avoid the frequencies where it is happening.
FT8 Segments on 160 and 40 Metres
The 160 metre band plan has been updated to recognise the use of 1840 - 1843 kHz for FT8 operation. And on 40 metres, the band plan now recognises the use of 7074 - 7080 kHz for FT8 activity.
There have also been some interference issues between FT8 operation on 7074 kHz (USB) and WICEN voice activity on 7075 kHz LSB. The logical remedy, at least for now, is to move the recommended WICEN frequency down 1 kHz to 7074 kHz LSB. However this is not a permanent cure because digital activity is constantly increasing and 7070 - 7080 kHz is being used for digimodes in Region II. Our band plan needs to be aligned with IARU Region III, but we also need to avoid clashes for stations working into other regions. So this issue will need further consideration.
In the longer term, WICEN groups may wish to consider making use in the future of the IARU Region III recommended emergency frequency of 7110 kHz. This is in the internationally agreed SSB segment and is a comfortable distance away from the band segments being used by digimode stations.
FT8 on 2 metres
FT8 is becoming popular on 2 metres. The software comes with recommended operating frequencies built in, but only for bands up to 6 metres. On 2 metres, our band plan has a group of spot frequencies recommended for modes of different bandwidths. The narrow band channel on 144.320 MHz is the logical one for FT8. It is noted that 144.313 MHz has also been used for FT8. But unless there are compelling reasons to do otherwise, I would recommend the band plan.
Band plan changes
6 Metre Beacons and Digital Modes
With Channel 0 well and truly gone, it has become possible for us to update the 6 metre band plan to fall into line with the current IARU recommendations.
The 50.300 - 50.400 MHz is sub-band is now recognised as digimode territory in all IARU regions, and IARU Region I has adopted 50.400 - 50.500 MHz as the new recommended beacon segment. We are able to follow the same pattern, so our beacons are being relocated to new frequencies above 50.400 MHz. This is actually a convenient beacon segment for us, because it corresponds to the equivalent segment on higher bands (144.400, 432.400 MHz etc).
70cm Digital ATV Repeaters
The 70 cm band plan has been amended to allow digital ATV repeaters to operate 1 MHz lower in the band, occupying a channel at 442 - 449 MHz.
A DATV signal occupies a full 7 MHz bandwidth with virtually no guard band, and filtering under these conditions is quite a challenge. This has resulted in interference between DATV operation and other services immediately above 450 MHz. By moving the DATV channel down, we gain a 1 MHz guard band for DATV, and also a new segment for links at 449 - 450 MHz.
Existing 442 MHz links can in most cases stay on their current frequencies, but some in the service areas of DATV repeaters may need to move down to 440 MHz or up to 449 MHz. AM ATV repeaters can also remain, but as they change over to DATV they should convert to a channel centre frequency of 445.500 MHz.
Peter Mill VK3APO, repeater coordinator
Peter Cossins VK3BFG, ATV advisor
John Martin VK3KM, TAC coordinator
Recent band plan issues
Over the past couple of years, in order of frequency
Please refer to the band plans for an interim plan for the 2200 metre (135.7 - 137.8 kHz) band.
The band plan has been updated with additional detail added. Full details are in the Files for Download section below: Background - 630 metres 2014.pdf
HF Bands - Recommended IARU Region III centre frequencies for emergency operation
IARU Region III has adopted the following frequencies as recommended emergency centre of activity frequencies: 3.600, 7.110, 14.300, 18.160 and 21.360 MHz. As an IARU member society, the WIA has adopted these recommended frequencies.
"Centre of Activity" frequencies are not spot frequencies or net frequencies. They are recommended as starting points for emergency traffic which may extend 5 kHz above or below the designated centre frequency.
HF Bands Digital Segments
The 2017 recommended changes to the HF digimode segments have been made. This brings our digital band plans into line with the IARU Region 1, 2 and 3 plans. See the "Files for Download" section.
The 6 metre band plan has had some additions:
50.000 - 50.030 MHz - Reserved for IARU international Synchronised Beacon Project
50.240 - 50.280 MHz - Recommended for Chirp beacons with bandwidths 2 - 20 kHz.
50.320 - 50.400 MHz - Reserved for upward expansion of the beacon segment.
50.400 - 50.500 MHz - Reserved for propagation studies:
Guard band for new Region I beacon segment.
Recommended for Chirp beacons with 20 - 100 kHz bandwidth.
50.500 -52.000 MHz - Still tagged "All Modes" for maximum future flexibility. Possible use of all or part when the availability of the full 50 - 54 MHz band is confirmed.
Any comments on future uses of the band are most welcome.
Revised CTCSS Standards
Changes were made to the standard CTCSS tones to be used for repeater access and linking.
Our licence conditions require tone access for repeaters that are linked to repeaters in certain other bands, to prevent transmissions from being relayed on frequencies that the operators are not entitled to use. CTCSS is also used to activate selective linking or for interference protection.
The following CTCSS tones have been adopted for repeater access:
91.5 Hz: For use with repeaters fitted with CTCSS for interference protection.
141.3 or 146.2 Hz: To activate links to repeaters on other VHF/UHF bands.
85.4 Hz: To activate links to other bands that some operators are not permitted to use.
The previously recommended 123 Hz tone is no longer recommended for future repeaters due to problems with false detecting.
The band plans have been updated to include revised standards for DVB transmission.
RESTRICTIONS ON 3.4 GHz OPERATION
From July 2015, operation on frequencies between 3400 and 3575 MHz is prohibited in many parts of Australia (basically all major population centres). However operation is still permitted in country and remote areas. For full details, please refer to the latest ACMA Amateur Licence Conditions Determination.
The main impact is on the Narrow Band Modes segment. To avoid any confusion about where operation should take place, all weak signal activity has moved to 3398 MHz.
Overseas band plan information
IARU Region I: click this Link to the IARU Region I web site.
IARU Region II: click this Link for details of the Region II MF and HF band plans.
IARU Region III: click this Link for Region III band plan information.
New Zealand: click this Link for band plan information from the NZART.
Japan: click this Link for information on band plans in Japan.
Feedback can be sent to tac (at) wia.org.au
Files For Download
Page Last Updated: Tuesday 1 September 2020 at 14:36 hours by Tac