HF Digital Mode Band Plan Review

Because fre­quen­cy allo­ca­tions and ama­teur radio oper­at­ing inter­ests vary in dif­fer­ent parts of the world, the devel­op­ment of band plans – vol­un­tary guide­lines on the use of the spec­trum that is avail­able to radio ama­teurs – is a respon­si­bil­i­ty of the three IARU region­al orga­ni­za­tions. Each of the three Regions has a band plan­ning com­mit­tee to focus on this work. In recent years there have been increased efforts to bring the region­al band plans into align­ment wher­ev­er pos­si­ble. Final approval of band plan revi­sions is gen­er­al­ly giv­en by the region­al con­fer­ences of IARU mem­ber-soci­eties that are held every three years on a rotat­ing basis.

This approach to band plan­ning gen­er­al­ly has kept pace with the evo­lu­tion of ama­teur radio oper­at­ing. How­ev­er, the explo­sive growth in HF (below 30 MHz) dig­i­tal modes, par­tic­u­lar­ly FT8, has led to per­ceived over­crowd­ing of HF dig­i­tal mode band seg­ments.  Accord­ing­ly, a work­ing group has been formed con­sist­ing of rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the three region­al band plan­ning com­mit­tees. This is the first time the three Regions have joined togeth­er to direct­ly coor­di­nate band plan­ning efforts.

The work­ing group has already had fruit­ful dis­cus­sions with the WSJT Devel­op­ment Group led by Joe Tay­lor, K1JT. Addi­tion­al dis­cus­sions, includ­ing with oth­er HF stake­hold­ers, will be held as part of a fun­da­men­tal review of the dif­fer­ent HF dig­i­tal modes, and how they can be best cat­e­go­rized and arranged to share the lim­it­ed spec­trum available.

The main aim is to devel­op solu­tions that reduce con­ges­tion with­in very pop­u­lar mode seg­ments while pre­vent­ing mutu­al inter­fer­ence between incom­pat­i­ble modes to the great­est extent pos­si­ble.  While the pro­posed band plan revi­sions will have to be approved by mem­ber-soci­eties in each Region, recent admin­is­tra­tive changes mean that the changes can be imple­ment­ed with­out hav­ing to wait for the region­al conferences.

Ama­teurs are encour­aged to fol­low progress through their IARU mem­ber-soci­ety and the respec­tive IARU web­sites, all of which can be reached via

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New IARU EMC Coordinator Appointed

The IARU Admin­is­tra­tive Coun­cil has appoint­ed Mar­tin Sach, G8KDF, as glob­al EMC Coor­di­na­tor. Mar­tin suc­ceeds Tore Wor­ren, LA9QL, who has served in this vol­un­teer posi­tion since 2017.

Elec­tro­mag­net­ic Com­pat­i­bil­i­ty (EMC) is a major chal­lenge for all radio­com­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices. Radio ama­teurs are expe­ri­enc­ing increased inter­fer­ence caused by unwant­ed radio fre­quen­cy emis­sions from a wide vari­ety and rapid­ly grow­ing num­ber of elec­tron­ic devices. The mis­sion of the IARU EMC Coor­di­na­tor is to ensure that the con­cerns and needs of radio ama­teurs are effec­tive­ly addressed in inter­na­tion­al stan­dards bod­ies, par­tic­u­lar­ly CISPR and the ITU, as well as in region­al telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions orga­ni­za­tions and at the nation­al lev­els through IARU mem­ber-soci­eties. Assist­ing in the effort is a net­work of vol­un­teers with exper­tise in the field of EMC.

IARU Pres­i­dent Tim Ellam, VE6SH, observed: “The IARU Admin­is­tra­tive Coun­cil is grate­ful for Tore’s lead­er­ship and for his will­ing­ness to con­tin­ue con­tribut­ing to this vital work. We are for­tu­nate that some­one as well qual­i­fied as Mar­tin is will­ing to take the reins. He has already rep­re­sent­ed the IARU effec­tive­ly at impor­tant inter­na­tion­al meet­ings and we look for­ward to work­ing even more close­ly with him.”

Radio ama­teurs through­out the world sup­port the work of the IARU through mem­ber­ship and involve­ment in their nation­al IARU mem­ber-soci­eties. The IARU needs qual­i­fied vol­un­teers in this and oth­er fields. For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it

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IARU paper submitted to CISPR on increasing noise from digital devices

IARU EMC spe­cial­ists Tore Wor­ren LA9QL and Mar­tin Sach G8KDF have sub­mit­ted a paper to CISPR con­cern­ing the increas­ing impact of mul­ti­ple dig­i­tal devices on the noise lev­els in the radio spec­trum. The paper was con­sid­ered at the CISPR Steer­ing Com­mit­tee in May and adopt­ed for cir­cu­la­tion to CISPR Nation­al Com­mit­tee for com­ment as a Com­mit­tee Draft, with a view to it becom­ing a CISPR Report.  IARU hopes that the result of this will be amend­ments to the way in which stan­dards are devel­oped, to recog­nise the need to prop­er­ly con­sid­er the cumu­la­tive impact of mul­ti­ple devices.

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Japan Expands 160 and 80 Meter Privileges

Effec­tive on 21 April 2020, Japan­ese ama­teurs can oper­ate in expand­ed fre­quen­cy seg­ments on 160m and 80m bands as described below.

160m band

          1,800 — 1,810 kHz   All Modes (New segment)

          1,810 — 1,825 kHz   CW (Exist­ing segment)

          1,825 — 1,875 kHz   All Modes (New segment)

          1,907.5 — 1912.5 kHz        CW, NB Data (Exist­ing segment)

 80m band

          3,500 — 3,520 kHz   CW (Exist­ing segment)

          3,520 ‑3,535 kHz              CW, NB Data (Exist­ing segment)

          3,535 — 3,575 kHz   CW, NB Phone/Image (Exist­ing segment)

                             (NB Data allowed for Inter­na­tion­al communication)

          3,575 — 3,580 kHz   All Modes (New segment)

          3,599 — 3,612 kHz   CW, NB Phone/Image/Data (Exist­ing segment)

          3,662 — 3,680 kHz   CW, NB Phone/Image (New segment)

          3,680 — 3,687 kHz   CW, NB Phone/Image (Exist­ing segment)

          3,702 – 3,716 kHz  CW, NB Phone/Image (Exist­ing segment)

          3,745 — 3,770 kHz   CW, NB Phone/Image (Exist­ing segment)

          3,791 — 3,805 kHz   CW, NB Phone/Image (Exist­ing segment)

73 de JARL (Japan Ama­teur Radio League)

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ITU News Features World Amateur Radio Day

On the eve of World Ama­teur Radio Day the ITU has pub­lished an inter­view with IARU Pres­i­dent Tim Ellam, VE6SH.

Click on the but­ton to load the con­tent from

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More infor­ma­tion about World Ama­teur Radio Day, 18 April, is avail­able at

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