Monday, October 18, 2010

Spectrum and Band Occupancy

Dan, KB6NU, has some good reasons to worry about 300-3000 MHz competition for amateur bands.
American Radio Relay LeagueImage via Wikipedia
Right on.  At least frequencies below 300 MHz are under less pressure, which is a relief to us HF & 2M troglodytes.  Still, vigilance is required.  Support ARRL.

There is a problem with the VHF and higher bands that doesn't get a lot of attention.  Amateurs are not very good at utilization.  The bands are almost always completely empty, and this makes them targets for commercial use.  Around here in CT, the 2M repeater segments are mostly allocated and unavailable for new applications, but they are still unused most of the time.

Multiple PSK31 transmissions on the 20m digimo...Image via WikipediaBy contrast look at 14.070 - 14.073 kHz. I can often copy dozens of PSK31 QSOs in progress there in 3 kHz of spectrum.  Also look at the cell/CDMA bands that support 100s of "QSOs" in a few MHz all the time.  Hams do need to pay more attention to band occupancy.


Dan KB6NU said...

Not only that, I'd say that hams aren't utilizing our bands at 900 MHz and above nearly enough. Someone needs to think up a "killer app" or "killer project" for the 900 MHz band and 2.3 GHz bands.

Anonymous said...

The killer app is mesh networking data radios that are inexpensive and plug into a PC via a USB port. Each radio will have an omnidirectional antenna and "make friends" with all the neighboring radios it can see and form local, regional, or national routing tables. It would probably be capable of only a few meg of bandwidth, but even if we could send pings around, it would be pumping out RF and using the bands.

HF will be safe from this threat, but our bands above 200 MHz are fair game, and rightfully so. Our utilization is miserable when compared to the utilization that 3G and 4G can squeeze out of spectrum.