Guide Considerate Operator

SARA Home Page ~ last update:  19 Oct 2023

Considerate Operator’s Frequency Guide

The following frequency data is directly from the ARRL Considerate Operator’s Frequency Guide. These frequencies are generally recognized for certain modes or activities under normal conditions (all frequencies are in MHz). These are NOT regulations, only guidelines. Occasionally with a high level of amateur radio activity, such as during a period of emergency response, DXpedition or during a contest, there will be stations operating outside these frequency guidelines - you must listen carefully... before considering any transmission and then act accordingly.

Nothing in the rules recognizes any net’s, group’s or any individual’s right to any set or special privileges with respect to any specific frequency. Section 97.101(b) of the Rules states that "Each station licensee and each control operator must cooperate in selecting transmitting locations and in making the most effective use of the amateur service frequencies. No frequency will be assigned for the exclusive use of any station. No one "owns" any set frequency. However, social manners are implied and so moving away from a net frequency is strongly advised.

It is good practice, and plain good old common sense, for an operator, regardless of mode, to check to see if the frequency is "in use" prior to engaging operation {it is part of the actual regulations, as well}. If you are there first, other operators should make an effort to protect you from interference to the extent possible. Given that 100% interference free operation is an unrealistic expectation in today’s congested bands, some level of interference should be accepted. Try to keep all conversation(s) and content within an acceptable limits (technical and social). It is best to not engage in arguments over frequency usage (just a 'word to the wise'). These are "everybody loses" situations at the very best and can lead to  a high level of frustration - most probable.

Frequencies {MHz} & Bands   Modes/Activities

By Band Wavelength 

 160 Meters

1.800-2.000                                CW

1.800-1.810                                Digital Modes

1.810                                          CW QRP calling frequency

1.843-2.000                                SSB, SSTV and other wideband modes

1.910                                          SSB QRP

1.995-2.000                                Experimental

1.999-2.000                                Beacons

  75/80 Meters

3.500-3.510                                CW DX window

3.560                                          QRP CW calling frequency

3.570-3.600                                RTTY/Data

3.585-3.600                                Automatically controlled data stations

3.590                                          RTTY/Data DX

3.790-3.800                                DX window

3.845                                          SSTV

3.885                                          AM calling frequency

3.985                                          QRP SSB calling frequency

  40 Meters

7.030                                          QRP CW calling frequency

7.040                                          RTTY/Data DX

7.070-7.125                                RTTY/Data

7.100-7.105                                Automatically controlled data stations

7.171                                          SSTV

7.173                                          D-SSTV

7.285                                          QRP SSB calling frequency

7.290                                          AM calling frequency

  30 Meters

10.130-10.140                            RTTY/Data

10.140-10.150                            Automatically controlled data stations

  20 Meters

14.060                                        QRP CW calling frequency

14.070-14.095                            RTTY/Data

14.095-14.0995                          Automatically controlled data stations

14.100                                        IBP/NCDXF Beacons~ DO NOT TRANSMIT HERE!   

14.1005-14.112                          Automatically controlled data stations

14.230                                        SSTV

14.233                                        D-SSTV

14.236                                        Digital Voice

14.285                                        QRP SSB calling frequency

14.286                                        AM calling frequency

14.300                                        Nets are here pretty much 24/7 - listen first

  17 Meters

18.100-18.105                            RTTY/Data

18.105-18.110                            Automatically controlled data stations

18.110                                        IBP/NCDXF Beacons~ DO NOT TRANSMIT HERE!

18.162.5                                     Digital Voice

  15 Meters

21.060                                        QRP CW calling frequency

21.070-21.110                            RTTY/Data

21.090-21.100                            Automatically controlled data stations

21.150                                        IBP/NCDXF Beacons~ DO NOT TRANSMIT HERE!

21.340                                        SSTV

21.385                                        QRP SSB calling frequency

  12 Meters

24.920-24.925                           RTTY/Data

24.925-24.930                           Automatically controlled data stations

24.930                                       IBP/NCDXF Beacons~ DO NOT TRANSMIT HERE!

  10 Meters

28.060                                       QRP CW calling frequency

28.070-28.120                           RTTY/Data

28.120-28.189                           Automatically controlled data stations

28.190-28.225                           Beacons

28.200                                       IBP/NCDXF Beacons~ DO NOT TRANSMIT HERE!

28.385                                       QRP SSB calling frequency

28.680                                       SSTV

29.000-29.200                           AM

29.300-29.510                           Satellite downlinks

29.520-29.580                           Repeater inputs

29.600                                       FM simplex

29.620-29.680                           Repeater outputs

 W1AW's Bulletins & CW Practice Frequencies:

Listen to W1AW's phone bulletin 0145 UTC on 1.855, 3.990, 14.290, 18.160, 21.390, 28.590, and 50.350 MHz (SSB), as well as on 7.290 MHz (full-carrier, double sideband AM), and on 147.555 MHz (FM simplex). There are CW, Digital transmissions as well. The CW practice transmissions are very popular for those wanting to learn and improve their CW skill sets. See the ARRL's W1AW operating schedule for full details (times, etc.). I have switched my method to practicing CW to the internet, but this not something everyone can do.

The 'bulletins' contain current information on various topics and you should have a habit of listening to them often. They will list some frequency usage guidelines based on current issues and demands. Following the current information is always a good plan.