Trade VHF+ for HF Space?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KK5JY, Oct 24, 2018.

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  1. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was having an interesting conversation with @W4NNF earlier, on the possibility of trading the relatively-unused 220MHz band in the US for something in the HF range that was more useful or desirable for amateur radio.

    Given the world's affinity for VHF and shorter wavelengths in general (for LMR, satellite, and other infrastructure-dependent communications systems), there aren't a lot of active users of HF beyond AR. Even broadcasting is exiting HF en masse.

    That made me wonder what other people would think of a possible future arrangement between IARU, ITU, and their member states and organizations, where AR worldwide might be willing to trade some VHF+ space for more/larger HF allocations. It seems to be a trade that would be agreeable to the users of those spaces, so it could be considered win-win, given current trends. The people who say "use it or lose it" could also use this as an opportunity to get bands that people might actually "use."

    So if you had the opportunity to trade one or more VHF and shorter wavelength bands for more HF space...

    1. Would you do it?
    2. What band(s) would you give up?
    3. What band(s) would you want to gain in return?

    Amateurs in many countries have huge allocations in VHF+, so MHz for MHz, we have a lot of space to trade, should the opportunity arise.
    NL7W and VK4HAT like this.
  2. W4ZD

    W4ZD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would surely make the trade. HF is the bread-and-butter of AR, so far as I'm concerned. As to specific allocations, that is something I would have to think about. Not that thinking about it would prove useful. :p
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    IMO, we have plenty of spectrum on HF: 9 bands and at no time are they all used; other than some very popular contest weekends, they're never more than maybe 10% filled. And we have an MF allocation (160m) and two LF allocations now, too. 12 amateur bands below 30 MHz, spaced apart in such a way that there isn't any time of day or night that some band isn't very useful with excellent propagation. And still, they're not nearly filled.

    222 MHz here is a very popular band (mostly FM/repeaters, but some SSB-CW-digi activity, especially during contests and times of unusually good tropospheric conditions). 223.50 simplex is our local "calling" frequency for many hundreds of stations -- say hello and you get a reply.
    AI6DO, KY5U and KA4DPO like this.
  4. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I prefer to ""OPEN"" my radios up so they will transmit on all HF frequencies in case I need extree channels in a big ol emergency.:D Just kidding.

    Actually, I find that to be a very ignorant and useless thing to do. I agree with WIK that we already have plenty of HF spectrum although I would like to see a dedicated 5 MHZ allocation for amateur exclusive use. That may or may not happen but it would be nice.

    I would like to see more hams actually use the 220 band but as it is right now, no one even uses 2 meters anymore. From my experience with 220 there is not much difference between it and two meters, propagation is the same. I'm not sure what commercial interests would want it, I remember when they took away 220 to 222 MHZ for UPS, and they never used it, what was the point.

    I even feel like 6 meters is under utilized I realize it is not open all that often for DX, but it is also a great local area band for FM simplex or, even SSB or CW.
  5. AF7TS

    AF7TS Ham Member QRZ Page

    If it came up, than amateurs should _jump_ at the chance of a MHz for MHz trade from VHF+ to HF...but I don't think would be 'fair'.

    In a very real sense bandwidth is 'cheaper' at higher frequencies; the _entire_ HF band (3MHz to 30MHz) would fit in the amateur 70cm allocation!

    I think that a fairer trade would be %bandwidth for %bandwidth, and I don't think that many amateurs would be interested in that sort of trade, eg the _entire_ 70cm band in exchange for doubling the 40 and 80 meter bands. I certainly would be opposed to such a trade.

    I guess that I personally would be open to the concept of a trade, but the popularity of a trade would greatly depend on the specific frequency ranges being traded.

    KK5JY likes this.
  6. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is an interesting point. I would only note that if we trade VHF+ for HF at a rate of 10:1 (for example), respectively, there's still a lot of VHF+ to trade for HF space.

    Whether that's a good idea or not, well, back to the group... :)
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree. 60m is a fantastic allocation but with only five "channels" available it's not nearly as useful as it could be. I realize it's shared, as some other amateur allocations also are. But making it 50 kHz wide and continuous, and CW-SSB-Digital allowed across all of it, would probably make it a lot more popular. It's a band that's often "wide open" when almost nothing else is.
    NL7W, KA4DPO and KK5JY like this.
  8. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The lack of activity on the 60 meter band shows how likely it is that hams would actually use a new HF frequency allocations. There's not much of a buzz about 2200m and 600m either. Why trade an inactive band for another inactive band?
  9. KB1PA

    KB1PA Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    220 mHz is heavily used, just not in any obvious manner. Lots of 2 meter and 440 mHz repeaters use 200 mHz links to extent networking. its a great band for this due to the longer reach of 220 compared to microwaves.
    AG5DB likes this.
  10. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is the frequencies near, and above, 1 GHz that the commercial interests are wanting, not lower frequencies like the 222 MHz to 225 MHz band.

    There are a relatively few commercial two-way radio systems in the 220 MHz to 222 MHz segment, mostly ACSB systems. UPS was counting on having the FCC allow normal FM operation after using the "narrow band" proposal to get the segment reassigned from amateur radio use to a commercial two-way band. When the FCC actually refused to change the technical requirements to allow normal FM use, UPS abandoned their pilot systems because ACSB equipment was more expensive than normal FM equipment. However, the FCC did not go back and allow the 220 MHz to 222 MHz segment to again be used by amateur radio operators.

    Glen, K9STH
    NL7W, KA4DPO and N5PAR like this.

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