10 Meter Ham Radio Band

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The 10-meter radio band consists of frequencies from 28.000 to 29.700 MHz. These frequencies are contained in the Amateur Radio 10 meter frequency band and the FCC requires that the radio operator obtain a license. The FCC considers the 10 meter band acceptable for long range communication.

Communication distance on 10-meter is highly impacted by the 11-year solar cycle. When the cycle is at it's peak, worldwide propagation allows for distant communication with minimum power levels. At times with only 4-12 watts side band communication between the United States and Europe, or Australia is regularly done. Other atmospheric conditions also have an impact on this phenomena known as "skip."

  • During the height of a sun spot cycle radio waves reflect off the ionosphere allowing for "skip" or long distance communication.
  • During random periods of atmospheric anomalies skip propagation may also occur independent of the solar cycle.
  • Direct communication (without skip) can occur from 30 to 50 miles depending on terrain and transmit power.

10 Meters HAM Allocation (Part 97)

Novice and Technician classes:

  • 28.000-28.300 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data--Maximum power 200 watts PEP
  • 28.300-28.500 MHz: CW, Phone--Maximum power 200 watts PEP

General, Advanced, Amateur Extra classes:

  • 28.000-28.300 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
  • 28.300-29.700 MHz: CW, Phone, Image

Skip Phenomena

The "solar wind", generated by the sun's explosions, impacts the earth's upper atmosphere, called the ionosphere. When it does, ionized layers (called "F2" and "F1") form in the ionosphere between about 100 and 300+ miles above the earth's surface. The "F2" layer acts like a mirror to a 10 meter radio signal. The "F2" reflects the signal back to earth, thousands of miles beyond your antenna.

The part of the earths atmosphere called the ionosphere is divided into three layers. The three layers are, from lowest to highest, the D layer, the E layer, and the F layer. Each layer has a different effect on HF radio propagation.

The F layer is the highest layer and it is divided into two levels: F1 and F2. At night the F1 and F2 merge into one layer. During the day, the F1 layer doesnt play a part in radio propagation, but F2 does. It is responsible for most high-frequency long distance propagation on 20 meters and above. In years with high sunspot numbers, worldwide contacts can be made easily on 20 through 10 meters by F2 layer propagation.